Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FSOTD #31/The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (1969)

Bruce Springsteen is 60 years old today, well on his way from rocker guy to rocking chair.  Happy Bossday to him.

Now that we've dispensed with the pleasantries, today's FSOTD is from another iconic rock act.  The Band recorded "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" in 1969, releasing it on their second album, also named The Band.   "The Weight" is undeniably the group's biggest hit, but as the years have gone by, "The Night They Drove..." has only risen in stature.  Check out this partial list of people who've covered it:   Joan Baez, John Denver, Jerry Garcia, Richie Havens and Johnny Cash.  Very, very few songs have such a pedigree.  Argue if you must whether The Band is one of rock's greatest acts:  They certainly made enough good songs to fill a greatest hits album, they were the backing band (hence their name) for in-his-prime Bob Dylan, and they played at Woodstock (no big surprise since they lived there).  So maybe they were as much about time and place as true greatness.  I think the term legendary, in its fullest expression, is the most apt description.  Does that make them great?  Perhaps. At the very least, none would argue their story is anything but fascinating.

Yabbathanks to Wikipedia

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