The Band

Starting life as a backing band who played across America's South under the alias The Hawks, The Band found fame whilst musicians for Bob Dylan on his notorious 1965-66 World Tour; when the folk star controversially "went electric" and had to endure cries of Judas. When Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident in 1966 The Hawks started writing their own songs and soon evolved into The Band with debut album Songs From Big Pink (1968) producing the classic single The Weight (used in the film Easy Rider). They played at the legendary Woodstock festival before eponymous follow-up The Band (1969) and third album Stage Fright (1970) both made the Top 10 in the US album charts, defining a sound of rich, bluesy Americana that stemmed from the roots of rock'n'roll. Adored by the music press and respected by their peers as pioneers of country rock, The Band split in 1976 after the huge Last Waltz concert in San Francisco, which included guests such as Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison and was filmed by Martin Scorsese. They reformed again in 1983 without guitarist Robbie Robertson and continued with various different line-ups until 1999, releasing 10 studio albums and leaving a legacy that was a big influence on the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Black Crowes and Fleet Foxes.

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