Music From Big Pink
Music from Big Pink is the debut studio album by the Band. Released in 1968, it employs a distinctive blend of country, rock, folk, classical, R&B, and soul.
The music was composed partly in "Big Pink", a house shared by Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson in West Saugerties, New York.
The album itself was recorded in studios in New York and Los Angeles in 1968, and followed the band's backing of Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour (as the Hawks) and time spent together in upstate New York recording material that was officially released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes, also with Dylan.
One could easily fill a book with everything that has been written so far about the house, the music and the musicians. We will give you two links:
The Wikiipedia page of The Music from Big Pink is okay for the basic knowledge.
There is also the wonderful page in Bob Egan's Popspots which will present you a whole bunch of interesting (and new) facts.
We will stick to the cover of the album, which was covered in a most peculiar way.
Music From "Lil Brown"
If this album's cover and title remind you of something else, that's because it was planned that way. Apparently, Music from "Lil Brown" was a black response to the Band's Music from Big Pink. Indeed, the liner notes inside the gatefold read, "'LIL BROWN'. A brown garage squatting in the shadows and sun of the Baldwin Hills in South Los Angeles. And 'Lil Brown' gave birth, possibly caesarean, certainly not prematurely to this music. As witness, we offer this album conceived and born (also recorded) within its brown walls. Any similarity to any other album package was purely calculated and our thanks to all those concerned. Be sure and listen to the Band. SKAO2955." Hell, there's even a painting on the back cover done in the same style as Bob Dylan's artwork on Big Pink. [Record Friend]
Although performed by former members of the Los Angeles doo wop group the Valiants, produced by Lou Adler (who also produced Dylan's Gospel) and titled in response to the Band's classic Music from Big Pink, Africa's Music from "Lil Brown" defies its pedigree by delivering Latin-tinged psychedelic soul covers of some of the era's biggest pop hits. Credit all involved with pushing and pulling these familiar songs to their breaking points. Africa's instrumental renditions of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It, Black" and the Doors' "Light My Fire" significantly expand upon the psychedelic elements of the originals, and even more unlikely fare like "Louie, Louie" and "Ode to Billie Joe" also proves surprisingly ripe for lysergic interpretation. Sadly enough there are no Dylan covers on the record. [AMG].