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The Band — The Weight (With The Staples)
Album: The Last Waltz (Remastered)
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1570









Released: 1978
Length: 4:32
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I pulled into Nazareth, was feeling 'bout half past dead
I just need some place where I can lay my head
Hey, mister, can you tell me, where a man might find a bed?
He just grinned and shook my hand, "No" was all he said.

[Chorus]
Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny, and you put the load right on me

I picked up my bags, I went looking for a place to hide
When I saw old Carmen and the Devil, walking side by side
I said, "Hey, Carmen, c'mon, let's go downtown"
She said, "I gotta go, but my friend can stick around"

[Chorus]

Go down, Miss Moses, ain't nothin' you can say
It's just old Luke, and Luke's waiting on the judgment day
Well, Luke, my friend, what about young Annalee
He said, "Do me a favor, son, won't you stay and keep Annalee company"

[Chorus]

Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog
Said, "I will fix you right, if you'll take Jack, my dog"
I said, "Wait a minute Chester, you know, I'm a peaceful man"
He said, "That's okay, boy, won't you feed him when you can"

[Chorus]

Catch the cannonball, now to take me down the line
My bag is sinking low, and I do believe it's time
To get back to Miss Fanny, you know she's the only one
Who sent me here, with her regards for everyone

[Chorus]
Comments (220)add comment
a stellar documentary moment. i'll never forget seeing it the first time. just discovered mavis feels the same way... 



https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/mavis-staples-remembers-singing-the-weightThe Band held its last concert on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson performed at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and others. The production, staged and filmed by Martin Scorsese (and released, in 1978, as “The Last Waltz”) was, as Helm wrote in his memoir, deemed “too lily-white and missing something crucial.” And so, not long after the show, the Staples Singers, a popular gospel group and old friends of the Band, performed “The Weight” on an M.G.M. soundstage in front of an audience of two hundred and fifty people.

As the song finishes up, the camera settles on the Staples family—Roebuck (“Pops”), out of focus in the background, and his daughters, Cleotha, Yvonne, and Mavis. Mavis, closest to the camera, throws her head back, leans toward the mic, and says, almost inaudibly, “Beautiful.”

Here is Mavis Staples’s memory of that session:

It was so beautiful to me. I was surprised that was caught on tape, you know, because I thought I was whispering. It wasn’t rehearsed to go like that. It was just a feeling that brought that on. The excitement of being with our friends—Levon and Danko and those guys were such good friends of ours—to be singing with them, and knowing that this is going to be on the big screen, the silver screen, it was just a moment in time for me. You could probably, had you been there, you would have heard my heart pounding.
////
I’ve had a lot of great moments in my life and my career. But that is something where I could put my chest out and hold my head up and I can just be super proud.

I don’t want to be gloatin’, you know, but anytime I watch it, it’s refreshing. It’s like the first time. You never get tired of it, you know. And I remember everything about it.


The Band is On Later...

Sorry, I hear "The Band" and mind regresses back to Animaniacs back in college...

We should all watch this movie about one a year. 

Just to see Dylan , Joni , Emmylou, and the Belfast cowboy kicking up his legs in a dance..   
What a great version. Not that it lifted any weights off shoulders. Not today. Maybe tomorrow. 
 Steely_D wrote:
Waitaminnit Chester.

The Waltz version was originally this file, which is why it was a 10. But this isn't that. I miss the superlative version. BillG, can you fix that?
 

Sorry about that. Got screwed up in our update-to-FLAC process. Fixed now.
Yes, the Time article went on and on about how they were 'the best band of all time', which I thought was more than a bit odd, and a gross exaggeration for an end of the 1960's great music era.  It sure beat the next ten year's dearth of talent in the disco era.  

 
jbuhl wrote:
If I am not mistaken, first rock/folk band to grace the cover of Time Magazine.  Jan 1970.
 

Pauses RP, reads the New Yorker article, checks out the Last Waltz, Staples family version.

Ok, I'm back and I don't mind having two 10 versions one little bit.
 Steely_D wrote:
Waitaminnit Chester.

The Waltz version was originally this file, which is why it was a 10. But this isn't that. I miss the superlative version. BillG, can you fix that?
 

Guessing this why the Mavis Staple comment before the song.
A biker's song if there ever was. Even the cheesy (now) no-staying power residue of Easy Rider can't diminish this one. 
Waitaminnit Chester.

The Waltz version was originally this file, which is why it was a 10. But this isn't that. I miss the superlative version. BillG, can you fix that?
This is the Big PInk version, not Last Waltz.
In your best Beavis and Butthead voices - "Hehehehe. Hehehehehe, He said fanny. Hehehehehehe"
For me 6  
Easyrider1970.jpg
great soundtrack  : )    wish I was back in time riding on an open stretch of highway, endless blue above me
Not sure who said it but Rick Danko was born with "a tear in his throat"
 Grammarcop wrote:
On The New Yorker's website: Mavis Staples recalls filming the song with The Band.

Link is here

Beautiful...

 
Thank you Grammarcop!!!   (beautiful  : )
I received Robbie Robertson's great book, Testimony, from my sister for Xmas.  She was just here talking with me about it, and about the Last Waltz - she walks out the door and this song comes on!  How cool is that!
 number7 wrote:
Just happened to be reading this when this came on. Curious.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-weight-by-the-bands-robbie-robertson-1480436811

 
Nice article.
Just happened to be reading this when this came on. Curious.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-weight-by-the-bands-robbie-robertson-1480436811
 james_of_tucson wrote:

I'm satisfied that it's an autobiographical vignette, about a certain kind of alienation that only the writer would understand, who is confiding in a woman, who almost certainly doesn't understand what the writer is expressing. 

 

Ah!  Of course.
If I am not mistaken, first rock/folk band to grace the cover of Time Magazine.  Jan 1970.
 fabulous Band, awesome song (whole album is great road traveling music, man I'd have these cassettes going over and over when on long trips in my old CJ-5, that tiny interior space, womb-like and bathed in enriching sound, oh man thank you for bringing me back  : )
Had the 3 LP set, the 2 CD set, then the 4 CD set, and the DVD and now the Blu-Ray.

I think that this was a pretty good album, too.
 
The Staple singers are singing very, very quietly

(Still gets a "9". Either way!)
 Bat wrote:

You are right - I didn't hear any Staples in there.

Most of the comments regard Mavis Staples so this link must have used to be to the Last Waltz version. 

 
Yeah, this is definitely the album version. It's still pretty great but that version with the Staples actually is just a notch above, I think.
 Bleyfusz wrote:
Excuse me - what I've just heard was the Pink, not the Waltz version. Bill? You read me?!

 
You are right - I didn't hear any Staples in there.

Most of the comments regard Mavis Staples so this link must have used to be to the Last Waltz version. 
On The New Yorker's website: Mavis Staples recalls filming the song with The Band.

Link is here

Beautiful...
 meinthecorner wrote:
Oh Mavis! You brought this up a notch. I'm so grateful. You've made an old fave even better for me.

 
I've seen Mavis Staples twice in the last three years.  Both times she has performed this song, beautifully and with such conviction.  You can tell that it is a song that she and her band love to perform.
Excuse me - what I've just heard was the Pink, not the Waltz version. Bill? You read me?!
Oh Mavis! You brought this up a notch. I'm so grateful. You've made an old fave even better for me.

 window wrote:
Absolutely the best version of this timeless song.  IMO (obviously).

 
Not my favourite version but it's a great song and I'll take any version.
Great song. 
Absolutely the best version of this timeless song.  IMO (obviously).
Hudson's Organ sends chills up and down my back.

You may not hear it in this audio but in the DVD version Mavis mouths "beautiful" as it ends.
 shellbella wrote:
I just saw Mavis and Bonnie Raitt in Boise ID over Labor Day.  Two classy women they are!!!  {#Cheers}
 
Saw the same show the week before here in SLC.  Mavis and her band do this song a proud version in concert.
ohhh yaaa!!!! warms the soul{#Drummer}-mechanic2
OK, so The Last Waltz raises controversy among fans of The Band (especially fans of Levon such as myself), but the music from the recording for this movie totally rock!
I just saw Mavis and Bonnie Raitt in Boise ID over Labor Day.  Two classy women they are!!!  {#Cheers}
 hippiechick wrote:
I have listened to this song at least 1000 times and still don't get what it's about.
 
I'm satisfied that it's an autobiographical vignette, about a certain kind of alienation that only the writer would understand, who is confiding in a woman, who almost certainly doesn't understand what the writer is expressing. 
 helgigermany wrote:
Nice!
 
Never saw the movie, but have 2 versions of records!
 johnjconn wrote:
Here's a lesson in time perspective.

When this movie came out I remember thinking how "old" the artist all felt. Dylan looked old, Band looked old, Staples looked old, etc.
Now their voices sound so young , fresh and strong.

Funny how 30 years changes one's "old and young" perspective
 
Yes, I certainly recognize that.
 hippiechick wrote:
I have listened to this song at least 1000 times and still don't get what it's about.
 
In a certain way, you do: it's about a guy coming to some place where he just doesn't get it.
I have listened to this song at least 1000 times and still don't get what it's about.
 Giselle62 wrote:
I felt a little like crying when I heard Pop Staples' voice.
 
And today I feel like crying a little bit when I hear Levon's and Danko's voices.
I felt a little like crying when I heard Pop Staples' voice.
The live version (video) is incredible - much better than this (although this is very good).
Funny thing about the Last Waltz. An electrical engineer who used to work for me was also a sax player, and he was called at the last minute to fill in for the player who couldn't make it. Not a bad gig {#Dancingbanana}I think he played flute on some songs too. Charlie Keagle is his name.

Here's a lesson in time perspective.

When this movie came out I remember thinking how "old" the artist all felt. Dylan looked old, Band looked old, Staples looked old, etc.
Now their voices sound so young , fresh and strong.

Funny how 30 years changes one's "old and young" perspective
with the Staples - and she is still rocking — great !
 ozzie1313 wrote:
The song is "Godlike" but this version "Outstanding."
 
Agree!

The song is "Godlike" but this version "Outstanding."
Love it!
 Xeric wrote:

Yes.

And I've yet to see The Last Waltz (I assume that's what you mean), but man, what an utterly essential album.   

Hmmm.  Wait.  There are subtle differences here.  From the "remastered" version?
 



This is from the Last Waltz, but not the actual concert...for the film, they did a couple of "live" studio tracks.

Pops steals it on this one


 Jimmy86 wrote:


Exact same set just played now Aug. 14, 1:02 am PT...

It WAS a good set, though...  and I had missed it first time around...
 


It is indeed a good set. Experiencing it now.
Hard to argue with the coolness of this one
Can't hear this song now without thinking of the Saturday Night Live sketches. Anyone else?
Listening to this with the knowledge that some of the singers (from the Band at least) are no longer with us, is a sad/happy experience.

 fredriley wrote:
Sit yersel' down, take a load off fanny ;)
 

Heh.  I never heard it that way, but now it's impossible not to.
 Emmylou Harris and Low Anthem sang this in Albany on Sunday.  Great rendition!!
One of my all-time favorites. I never tire of hearing this version. Makes me want to get comfortable and watch the Last Waltz from beginning to end.
 calypsus_1 wrote: 

Exact same set just played now Aug. 14, 1:02 am PT...

It WAS a good set, though...  and I had missed it first time around...
Boring? {#Ask}
Sit yersel' down, take a load off fanny ;)
big_gare wrote:
Are you haters for real? The Band with The Staple Singers? This is sublime to those who appreciate greatness. If you can't recognize a brilliant pairing of great artists like this, then get out your Michael Bolton Cassettes & be happy... :-)
I guess that there are an infinite variety of music enthusiasts out there. I enjoy pretty much everything up and down the Band's DNA chain, but have always found the Staples to be syrupy and self-important beyond redemption. Seeing them live a couple of times (admittedly, post-Pops) confirmed this for me. Worked for the Band, obviously. Not so much for me, and I'm thinking that I appreciate greatness on a regular basis.Your results may vary. Member FDIC.

Angel from Montgomery. Late for the Sky. Sky Blue Sky. The Weight. Ok Bill, I'll give you money now...

 wbeaver wrote:
Some may find it hard to like this song because it was way overplayed by certain radio stations during a certain era. I think the Band has better tunes, as well. Don't know if this version is directly from The Last Waltz, but I can say that stumbling upon The Last Waltz made me appreciate The Band more than simply listening to their music.
 
Yes.

And I've yet to see The Last Waltz (I assume that's what you mean), but man, what an utterly essential album.   

Hmmm.  Wait.  There are subtle differences here.  From the "remastered" version?
This is my favorite tune from The Band, though not a big fan of them overall, I do like this song even if it was overplayed.{#Yes}

 AphidA wrote:
This is the worst.  You'd think that ladling a bunch of silly gospel crap on top would make this already horrible song better but it just makes it crappier.
 

Where I live we suffer from aphid infestations from time-to-time.  There is a great tea mixture you can buy at any head shop, brew it and then spray on your plants.  No more disgusting aphids sucking the life force out our precious plants. 

oh yaa take me back
Some may find it hard to like this song because it was way overplayed by certain radio stations during a certain era. I think the Band has better tunes, as well. Don't know if this version is directly from The Last Waltz, but I can say that stumbling upon The Last Waltz made me appreciate The Band more than simply listening to their music.
 AphidA wrote:
This is the worst.  You'd think that ladling a bunch of silly gospel crap on top would make this already horrible song better but it just makes it crappier.
 
wow

{#Neutral}

 DDB61 wrote:
Recorded on a Thanksgiving weekend at the Fillmore West, wasn't it?  Although this sounds like a studio cut.
 
It is. For some reason, the Staple Singers were not able to turn up at the Filmore that day, so they played the gig apart from the concert just to get it into the movie.

This is the worst.  You'd think that ladling a bunch of silly gospel crap on top would make this already horrible song better but it just makes it crappier.
The deserves an 11

The song is absolute greatness to begin with.
But this version with the Staples gives me shivers of delight every time I hear it.
I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't love it.
It's one of the best things I have ever heard!

This is my favorite version of this song...love it
Recorded on a Thanksgiving weekend at the Fillmore West, wasn't it?  Although this sounds like a studio cut.
After many years, this song seems more significant to me now that I know who The Staples are...
Are you haters for real?  The Band with The Staple Singers?  This is sublime to those who appreciate greatness.  If you can't recognize a brilliant pairing of great artists like this, then get out your Michael Bolton Cassettes & be happy...  :-)

Here ya go. Real stuff.
 Papernapkin wrote:
Wow! I've never liked this song, and nothing's changed.
 
You've got a 'hate on' for a lot of songs, 28% of your ratings are "1"! However, you do support more airplay for new artists and I applaud you for that stand.
 Danimal174 wrote:
I know this is probably going to draw the wrath of everyone on here, but I've never really cared for this song or understood the appeal of it. I don't think it's bad, per se, but it doesn't blow me away, either. To me, there are so many better songs from that time period that I've never understood why everyone loves this one.

Hey, just my opinion...
 

That is the beauty, of RP, you get to express your opinion, it may not be a special opinion, but you are a special person, as is everyone....thanks for your thoughts

 Papernapkin wrote:
Wow! I've never liked this song, and nothing's changed.
  Whatever I did like about this song has been obliterated in this version ... {#Rolleyes}


Beautiful....
 manzanitafire wrote:
What in the hell is this song really about? I've wondered my entire life.

 
It's about takin' the load off of Annie....and puttin' the load on me.

I think it's a present day version of the birth of Christ(Annie is Mary)

One of these is correct. 


 Danimal174 wrote:
I know this is probably going to draw the wrath of everyone on here, but I've never really cared for this song or understood the appeal of it. I don't think it's bad, per se, but it doesn't blow me away, either. To me, there are so many better songs from that time period that I've never understood why everyone loves this one.

Hey, just my opinion...
 

What makes you so special?  You don't like it - you don't like it.  It's no big deal.
Imagine being a fly on the wall of Big Pink in West Saugerites in the early 70s. The Bob and The Band jammin'—it does not get better than that.
Wow! I've never liked this song, and nothing's changed.
 manzanitafire wrote:
What in the hell is this song really about? I've wondered my entire life.
 

Ask Robbie: It was a moment in the time of his younger days.
The Band and The Staples doing this song in The Last Waltz has to be one of the best scenes ever in rock & roll movie history.
 linden wrote:
Wow, I never liked this song before. Add the Staples, and I do.
 
I loved this song before. Add the Staples and love turns to bliss.

Man, this tune REALLY cleaned up nice on the remaster!! Normally, I'm not 100% for remastering classics. I think you loose some of the inspiration and feeling of the original, but, that said. WOW, this one POPs. Thanks Bill.

{#Motor}

Easy Rider!


Wow, I never liked this song before. Add the Staples, and I do.
 Danimal174 wrote:
I know this is probably going to draw the wrath of everyone on here, but I've never really cared for this song or understood the appeal of it. I don't think it's bad, per se, but it doesn't blow me away, either. To me, there are so many better songs from that time period that I've never understood why everyone loves this one. Hey, just my opinion...
 
'Cos it's fun joining in with the harmonies?

What in the hell is this song really about? I've wondered my entire life.
LOVE this song!
Ayyi! El Peso Grande mis companeros .. vamos y cantar! El Pueblo Unida y es un Pueblo Sandinistamos!
Danimal174 wrote:
I know this is probably going to draw the wrath of everyone on here, but I've never really cared for this song or understood the appeal of it. I don't think it's bad, per se, but it doesn't blow me away, either. To me, there are so many better songs from that time period that I've never understood why everyone loves this one. Hey, just my opinion...
ditto
I know this is probably going to draw the wrath of everyone on here, but I've never really cared for this song or understood the appeal of it. I don't think it's bad, per se, but it doesn't blow me away, either. To me, there are so many better songs from that time period that I've never understood why everyone loves this one. Hey, just my opinion...
What a combination !! It doesn't get better!!
jnhashmi wrote:
I honestly think this may be the worst song ever.
Well, at least you're honest about your tin ear.
Rick, Levon, Thank You.
hippiechick wrote:
What the hell does this song mean?!? I have listened to it a million times and I can't figure it out. (Still like it though)
(click here) to check out one interpretation.
jnhashmi wrote:
I honestly think this may be the worst song ever.
And that may be among the most profound statements I've heard/read in the past...15-20 seconds. Honestly!
jnhashmi wrote:
I honestly think this may be the worst song ever.
them's is purty big words for a guy who gives "Styx - Come Sail Away" a 10!
not a great version of this. y'all need to check out Aretha's version with Duane Allman on guitar. killer.
I honestly think this may be the worst song ever.
This is the shiznit. RP should play more music by The Band.
Beautiful!
Goodness gracious I love that moment when Pop Staples quietly tells everyone "sing, y'all..."
had to move my rating from a 9 to a 10...what an awesome song - robbie you are the best!
Ah the vision of Easy Rider .... Most excellent tune ....
hippiechick wrote:
What the hell does this song mean?!? I have listened to it a million times and I can't figure it out. (Still like it though)
If you don't get & it has 2B 'splained Lucy, you may want to rethink your moniker; maybe lose the hippie part-go blonde, or Valley Girl or something else
An excellent version of a truly classic song. Many thanks.
Staple Singers singing here...looks so fine on DVD.
Cool song :bananapiano: ...although I think that the repetition of that cell phone commercial wore it out.