193: The Band, ‘Rockin’ Chair’

“The Band” had a profound timeliness for 1969. But it also has a purity and timelessness, a music that evokes respect for what went before, a modesty and gravitas and resonance rare in popular art. The album is a gift.

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127: The Band, ‘Tears of Rage’ (“Music from Big Pink”)

So much of The Band’s essence can be found in the instrumental introduction to ‘Tears of Rage’—the lead voice of the guitar so integral to the whole; the floating sustained organ; the interplay of the bass and the drum and the rhythm piano providing an implicit rhythm created as much by the gaps as by the beats, as intimate as lovers, as self-effacing as monks, as synchronized as guys who have been on the road together for six years.

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126: Bob Dylan, ‘Tears of Rage’ (The Basement Tapes)

‘Tears of Rage’ is Dylan’s “King Lear”, a brutally painful description of a daughter’s love denied. The Basement Tapes, recorded in 1967 as he convalesced from his motorpsycho accident, lay underground for decades. But their impact on the way we perceive the world is greater than any other pop music, including “Sgt Pepper”.

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