"A pink house seated in the sun of Overlook Mountain in West Saugerties, New York. Big Pink bore this music and these songs along its way. It’s the first witness of this album that’s been thought and composed right there inside its walls."
Those words were inscribed on the inside cover of The Band’s debut album Music From Big Pink, which was released on this date in 1968. The landmark LP, whose songs were crafted in the basement of its namesake Upstate New York home at the time to Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, established the group among the most influential and groundbreaking musicians of their generation. The Band holed up in a dank concrete cellar in the wilderness of the Catskills to find their muse. Everything about their stripped-down sound and style seemed to violate fundamental rules of the industry.
“We were rebelling against the rebellion,” Robbie Robertson reflected years later. “If everybody was going east, then we were going west and we never once discussed it. There was this kind of ingrained thing from us all along. We were these kind of rebels with an absolute cause. It was an instinct to separate ourselves from the pack."