The Band – Music From Big Pink

The analog edition of this eminent rock recording follows Mobile Fidelity’s successful SACD release of the same title and raises the bar even higher. A groundbreaking album that combines a wide range of styles and influences, it came after the Band toured with Bob Dylan and recorded The Basement Tapes (reviewed last issue).

TONEAudio collector Tom Caselli says the original black-label Capitol is an excellent original pressing. However, it is tough to find a copy that isn’t warped. EMI’s 100th Anniversary 180g pressing is rarer and equally good, but great-condition copies now command upwards of $100.

Here, $30 buys you a Super Big Gulp of extra creamy analog. Levon Helm’s drumming, while somewhat subdued, is rich with texture in a way that few digital recordings manage to capture. Multi-part harmonies dominate and come alive across the soundstage, bringing us back to a time in recording history before massive overdubs became the norm. All of which explains why this record stands the test of time, earning the 34th spot on Rolling Stone’s greatest albums of all-time list.