One of the Greatest Songs, Transcending Eras - "The Weight" | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's note: I have initiated this new segment on BCN, where I determine the Best Music Ever. I do this from my opinion, for what that is worth, where I will measure the best music that I am familiar with.

    I do this for two reasons: 1) I want to expose the best music that I know to the rest of us. 2) Popular Music today may be the very worst it has ever been, and that is saying much, since I lived through Disco.

    For a list of the contributions to this series, please click here.

    One of my favorite bands from my era, which produced the best music of the 20th century, is The Band. The Band is not known as well as one might expect, even though one of the greatest documentaries ever made - The Last Waltz - was made about them by Martin Scorsese. If you read the linked review, by Wyatt Sanderman Day, you will learn much about this fine ensemble, which, sadly, three of these five creative spirits have now departed, with Levon Helm passing recently.

    Today, we celebrate their passing (Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon), and their great talent by reprising their original song, The Weight. The version that we present here today is from the aforementioned documentary, The Waltz, done on a superbly lit set, featuring the gospel singers, Staples Singers.

From The Last Waltz: 3 members of The Band - (from left to right) Richard Manuel (departed), Rick Danko (departed), Robbie Roberson (still with us).

    The addition of the Staple Singers accentuates the gospel influence of this Southern song, with the defining lilt of Garth Hudson's Zydeco Organ chords wafting nonchalantly as a period placement, a mood bender. Besides the Staple Singers's enriching presence, every member of The Band fills in to hone this song's lyrical wall of sound, and especially Rick Danko, when he does his "Crazy Chester" verse solo.

    It just does not get any better than this.

Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )


( March 26th, 2020 @ 2:57 am )
Bobby Tony, if you are out there, I am one chord (A/G#) away from playing this song. That breakthrough may come the next time I try running this one around the block.
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 8:28 am )
The Stamp King abides.
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 7:49 am )
Ted is the emoticon king, and in a creative way, but you are the king of the stamps
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 7:30 am )
I guess that is why they call it dueling hits.
Ted that is a first BT uses the emoticon
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 7:14 am )
I may still surprise you.
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 6:42 am )
No, i have to wait for you to post your song, then i can see if I'm right. The hint is in my last comment.
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 6:34 am )
No problem there.

Can you guess what the song will be?
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 6:30 am )
I won't try to preempt your next entry but just say that Elton John had some great ones and I hope he won't mind if I include him on my list as well.
( October 2nd, 2015 @ 5:41 am )
You have fine taste in music Bobby Tony.

I wonder if my next entry will challenge you. It will be a song written by Elton John /Bernie Taupin.
( September 27th, 2015 @ 9:22 am )
Some people could take this as a challenge, but not Bobby Tony. I have standards. I also can't disagree with the choice.

Trials of Ambiguity: A Political Nightmare Worth Playing, Local News & Expression, For What it's Worth, Best Music Ever, Music through the Ages, Music Reviews, Music, The Arts My favorite Rock 'n' Roll Song was Built by Legends


Back to Top