Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Katie’s Been Gone

In Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Levon Helm, The Band boasted an enviably strong vocal front-line. Helm's honest and unpolished country twang, Manuel's rich soulful baritone and Danko's nasal tenor were distinct and individual elements, which blended together seamlessly as and when required. As the years passed, the creation of The Band's music became more or less Robbie Robertson's vision alone, though it wasn't always that way. In the early days both Danko and Manuel made significant songwriting contributions. 'Katie’s Been Gone' was co-written by Robertson and Manuel in 1967, initially appearing on 'The Basement Tapes' in 1975, before being remixed for inclusion as a bonus track on the 'Music From Big Pink' reissue in 2000. Richard's vocal here is heartbreaking and the key change / denouement in the final seconds is utterly devastating.

Not for nothing did Robbie Robertson write 'The Shape I'm In' for Manuel to sing. Had his long-standing personal demons not finally got the better of him in 1986, today would've been Richard Manuel's 75th birthday.

The Band - Katie's Been Gone

5 comments:

Rol said...

Ooh, that's lovely. I only have a Band best of. More investigation required.

Vintage Spins said...

Nice track, Mr. S, and a distinctive voice.

Rickety Rackety said...

Richard sang like an angel. Pure soul.

John Medd said...

Like Rol says, I need to do a bit of digging and see what all the fuss is about.

The Swede said...

The Band are well worth digging into, particularly those first two albums - essential stuff.
Lovely to hear from you Marie. I've tried your place so many times over the past few months, but with no luck. You always seem to be closed whenever I get a few minutes of precious browsing time. Hope you're doing well.

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