Home Culture The Band’s Traditional Track, “The Weight,” Sung by Robbie Robertson (RIP) and Musicians Across the World

The Band’s Traditional Track, “The Weight,” Sung by Robbie Robertson (RIP) and Musicians Across the World

The Band’s Traditional Track, “The Weight,” Sung by Robbie Robertson (RIP) and Musicians Across the World


Yesterday Robbie Robertson, the Canadian songwriter and guitarist for The Band, handed away at age 80 after a protracted sickness. As a tribute, we’re bringing again a video that pays homage to “The Weight,” a track Robertson wrote for The Band’s influential 1968 album, “Music from Large Pink.” The video options cameos of Robertson himself, and in addition Ringo Starr and different particular company. Take pleasure in…

Robbie Robertson’s “The Weight,” the Band’s most beloved track, has the standard of Dylan’s impressionistic narratives. Elliptical vignettes that appear to make little or no sense at first hear, with a refrain that cuts proper to the guts of the human predicament. “Robertson admits in his autobiography,” notes Patrick Doyle at Rolling Stone, “that he struggled to articulate to producer John Simon what the track was even about.” An artist needn’t perceive a creation for it to resonate with listeners.

A learn of “The Weight”’s lyrics make its poignant themes evident—every stanza introduces characters who illustrate some sorrow or small kindness. The refrain affords what so many individuals appear to crave as of late: a promise of relaxation from ceaseless toil, freedom from fixed transactions, a neighborhood that shoulders everybody’s burdens…. “It’s nearly prefer it’s good drugs,” Robertson instructed Doyle, “and it’s so appropriate proper now.” He refers particularly to the track’s revival in a dominant musical type of our isolation days—the net sing-along.

Although its lyrics aren’t almost as straightforward to recollect as, say, “Lean on Me,” Robertson’s basic, particularly the large harmonies of its refrain (which everybody is aware of by coronary heart), is right for giant ensembles just like the globe-spanning assortment assembled by Taking part in for Change, “a bunch devoted to ‘opening up how individuals see the world by means of the lens of music and artwork.” The group’s producers, Doyle writes, “not too long ago spent two years filming artists all over the world, from Japan to Bahrain to Los Angeles, performing the track,” with Ringo Starr on drums and Robertson on rhythm guitar. They started on the fiftieth anniversary of the track’s launch.

The performances they captured are flawless, and combined collectively seamlessly. If you wish to understand how this was achieved, watch the quick behind-the-scenes video above with producer Sebastian Robertson, who occurs to be Robbie’s son. He begins by praising the stellar contributions of Larkin Poe, two sisters whose rootsy nation rock updates the Allman Brothers for the twenty first century. However there are not any slouches within the bunch (don’t be intimated out of your individual group sing-alongs by the expertise on show right here). The track resonates in a method that connects, as “The Weight”’s refrain connects its non-sequitur stanzas, many disparate tales and voices.

Robertson was thrilled with the ultimate product. “There’s a man on a sitar!” he enthuses. “There’s a man enjoying an oud, considered one of my favourite devices.” The track suggests there’s “one thing religious, magical, unsuspecting” that may come from instances of darkness, and that we’d all really feel a complete lot higher if we realized to deal with one another. The Taking part in for Change model “screams of unity,” he says, “and I hope it spreads.”

Associated Content material:

Jeff Bridges Narrates a Temporary Historical past of Bob Dylan’s and The Band’s Basement Tapes

Stream Marc Maron’s Glorious, Lengthy Interview with The Band’s Robbie Robertson

Watch The Band Play “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek” and Extra in Uncommon 1970 Live performance Footage

Martin Scorsese Captures Levon Helm and The Band Performing “The Weight” in The Final Waltz

Josh Jones is a author and musician primarily based in Durham, NC. Observe him at @jdmagness



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