The Band (roots rock band)

~ Group


The Band were a Canadian-American roots rock group, originally consisting of four Canadians—Rick Danko (bass, vocals), Garth Hudson (keyboards), Richard Manuel (piano, vocals), and Robbie Robertson (guitar)—and one American, Levon Helm (drums, vocals). The members of the Band first came together as they joined the rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins's backing group, the Hawks, one by one between 1958 and 1963.

In 1964, they separated from Hawkins, after which they toured and released a few singles as Levon and the Hawks and the Canadian Squires. The next year, Bob Dylan hired them for his U.S. tour in 1965 and world tour in 1966. Following the 1966 tour, the group moved with Dylan to Saugerties, New York, where they made the informal 1967 recordings that became The Basement Tapes, which forged the basis for their 1968 debut album, Music from Big Pink. Because they were always "the band" to various frontmen, Helm said the name "The Band" worked well when the group came into its own. The group began performing as the Band in 1968 and went on to release ten studio albums. Dylan continued to collaborate with the Band over the course of their career, including a joint 1974 tour.

The original configuration of the Band ended its touring career in 1976 with an elaborate live ballroom performance featuring numerous musical celebrities. This performance was immortalized in Martin Scorsese's 1978 documentary The Last Waltz. The Band recommenced touring in 1983 without guitarist Robertson, who had found success with a solo career and as a Hollywood music producer. Following a 1986 show, Manuel committed suicide. The remaining three members continued to tour and record albums with a succession of musicians filling Manuel's and Robertson's roles; the final configuration of the group included Richard Bell (piano), Randy Ciarlante (drums), and Jim Weider (guitar). Danko died of heart failure in 1999, after which the group broke up for good. Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and was unable to sing for several years, but he eventually regained the use of his voice. He continued to perform and released several successful albums until he died in 2012.

The group was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked them No. 50 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, and in 2008 they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, "The Weight" was ranked 41st on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

In 2014, the Band was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1968 Music From Big Pink The Band 3.5 14
1969 The Band (“The Brown Album”) The Band 4.5 12
1970 Stage Fright The Band 10
1971 Cahoots The Band 10
1973 Moondog Matinee The Band 8
1975 The Basement Tapes Bob Dylan & The Band 5 9
1975 Northern Lights – Southern Cross The Band 9
1977 Islands The Band 8
1991 Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk Son of Bazerk featuring No Self Control & The Band 1
1993 Jericho The Band 3
1996 High on the Hog The Band 3
1998 Jubilation The Band 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1970 The Best of The Band The Band 5 5
1978 Anthology The Band 4 1
1980 Anthology, Volume 2 The Band 2
1982 Anthology, Volume 1 The Band 2
1989 To Kingdom Come The Band 3
1991 The Best of The Band The Band 2
1992 The Collection The Band 1
1994 Across the Great Divide The Band 1
1994 The Best of Across the Great Divide The Band 1
1996 The Weight The Band 1
1997 The Collection The Band 2
1998 The Shape I'm In: The Very Best of The Band The Band 1
1999 The Best of The Band, Volume II The Band 1
2000 Greatest Hits The Band 2
2000 Music From Big Pink / The Band The Band 2
2002 The Very Best Album Ever The Band 1
2002 The Moon Struck One The Band 1
2005 A Musical History The Band 1
2007 The Best of a Musical History The Band 2
2009 10 Great Songs The Band 1
2013 Collected The Band 2
2013 The Band: Opus Collection The Band 1
2014 The Bootleg Series, Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete Bob Dylan & The Band 2
2014 The Bootleg Series, Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Raw Bob Dylan and The Band 2
2015 Icon The Band 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1972 Rock of Ages The Band 7
1974 Before the Flood Bob Dylan & The Band 10
1978 The Last Waltz The Band 5 13
1990 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down The Band 2
1995 Live at Watkins Glen The Band 1
2005 Midnight Train Bob Dylan & The Band 1
2013 Live at the Academy of Music 1971 The Band 2

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