There’s still time to contribute your thoughts to the MOJO readers’ Records That Changed The World, your chance to put the musos right who voted in MOJO 163 and decided in their wisdom that Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti and Kraftwerk’s Autobahn were more epochal than Ray Stevens’s The Streak. Get in the mood with Fran Healy from Travis, who drifts into a reverie at the mere mention of Music From Big Pink by The Band (Capitol, 1968). “It’s bonkers,” says he.
Click below to read his fervid appreciation…
Fran Healy: “The Band’s Music From Big Pink still sounds at odds with music the way it did back when it was released. With America’s counter culture peaking, it was a rebellion against rebellion. The songs sound like they’re from the 19th century, when the pioneers came over, before there were buildings. They used old instruments, and grew beards! It’s bonkers, too, because at first the guitar sounds drunk, the Hammond has a weird tone, and there’s loads of trombones, but it’s so accomplished and original. For starters, you can’t open an album with a slow song, but Tears Of Rage is the slowest song ever! It really sets the tone for breaking some sort of mould and convention.
“For me, the key song is The Weight: everything coalesces, and it’s a pop song too, which uses religious overtones to tell another kind of story. The Band are a great role model because they did everything in such a noble, cool, proud way. Because they’d been together for eight years before Big Pink, they’d made all these contacts, and through them became a band’s band. Every band around would have bought Big Pink, The Beatles included. Look at The Last Waltz – the film is a who’s who of the world’s greatest musicians: Clapton, Joni, Dylan, Neil Young, Neil Diamond! Without Big Pink, I certainly wouldn’t be in a band. It’s such a pure record that it encourages you to be true to yourself, to just run with what you do naturally in music, and don’t be afraid to do something that no-one else has done.”
Nominate your records that changed the world (remember, singles and albums are equally eligible) below, or by mailing Mojo@emap.com. Travis's fifth studio album, The Boy With No Name, is out now.