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The Band — I Shall Be Released
Album: Music From Big Pink
Avg rating:
5.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 92









Released: 1968
Length: 3:09
Plays (last 30 days): 0
They say everything can be replaced
They say every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here

I see my light come shinin'
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

They say every man needs protection
They say that every man must fall
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Somewhere so high above this wall

I see my light come shinin'
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

Now, yonder stands a man in this lonely crowd
A man who swears he's not to blame
All day long, I hear him shouting so loud
Just crying out that he was framed

I see my light come shinin'
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
Comments (33)add comment
Otherwise okay but the falsetto is driving me nuts.
RIP Richard Manuel
rococodeco wrote:
Nina Nina Nina!! where are you in this moment of pain? I do like the Band though and kudos to them for trying.
Yeah, Nina's version kicks this one's ass all the way around the block.
Boy, some of these commenters are so harsh!! I tend to place the Band in the same category as the Grateful Dead; they may not have had silver tongued vocalists galore, they may have eschewed the polished, produced sound that many groups of the era provided on their albums, but they (the Band and the Dead) were fearless chroniclers of the roots of Rock & Roll and collectors of a variety of overlooked songs from different genres from country to folk. Thanks in part to them the eclectic nature and varied roots of rock, blues, and "folk" music survived the commercialization of Rock and Roll that overtook popular music in the late 60s and early 70s to be rediscovered by subsequent generations of music fans. So go ahead and make fun of Richard Manuel's vocals, or Gerry Garcia's vocals; those who understand what these bands were all about still appreciate them.
Hideous. Makes me cringe. The world would be a better, happier place without these vocals...
For more information and context: In a group remembered for their vocal talent, the late Richard Manuel was often seen as the lead singer. His is the first voice you hear on the Band's legendary debut album, Music From Big Pink, a rich baritone so soulful and charged with pathos it's hard to believe it could come from the frail Canadian. His is also the last voice heard on that album, a lonesome, quavering falsetto on Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" that raises the hair on the back of the listener's neck. Sadly, Manuel hanged himself in a motel room in Florida on March 4, 1986. Manuel, the son of a Stratford, Ontario, mechanic, developed his vocal ability as a youth in the Baptist church choir. He grew up listening to country music, eventually discovering R&B, which would become a huge influence. (His voice would garner frequent comparisons to Ray Charles.) Manuel was the fourth future member of the Band to join the Hawks. In 1961, Levon Helm was the drummer for the Hawks and Robbie Robertson was on bass. Soon, however, Robertson took over as lead guitarist and Rick Danko was added as the new bass player. When Stan Szelest left the group that year, Richard Manuel was brought in as the piano player. Throughout the legendary career of the Band, Manuel was troubled by drug and alcohol problems. It was only a few years after the Band had reunited in the '80s (without Robertson) -- and during an endless tour of much smaller clubs than the group was accustomed to -- that Manuel committed suicide. No other singer in the group was as admired, however. Even musical giants such as Eric Clapton (who has made no secret of his fascination with Manuel) were in awe of his vocal ability. Clapton would go on to record a tribute to Manuel, "Holy Mother," on his 1986 album August. Ex-bandmate Robbie Robertson would also eulogize Manuel on his 1987 solo debut with "Fallen Angel." Richard Manuel's grave is at the Avondale cemetery in Stratford, Ontario. ~ Erik Hage, All Music Guide
Nina Nina Nina!! where are you in this moment of pain? I do like the Band though and kudos to them for trying.
is this called music? It sounds like confessions from a torture chamber...
ChardRemains wrote:
Awesome song. Abysmal version. My friends and I do it better at the campground.
Ha that's funny, been there, done that.
Ouch.
Please release us all!
Reminds me of "Basketball Jones."
Two songs from them in one day? OK. I'll try to forget this one (not my favorite for sure)otherwise they negate each other.
Good song, good band, but this just isn't working. I'd love to hear more of either.
I like The Band, but the singing on this is just awful.
Awesome song. Abysmal version. My friends and I do it better at the campground.
Pearls before swine. Apparently.
Oh wow...I normally like The Band, but the high key isn't helping them at all, is it? I can hear dogs howling in the neighborhood....
Agggh my ears!
How many versions of this song do we need on RP? In any case, this one is the worst... that pseudo-hillbilly whiny hippyish singing is really grating...
that song was awful!
:sunny:
Liked the original vinyl cover with the actual pink building that was the house/studio for the album. Another singing drummer..... :yes: :clap:
dreadpixie wrote:
sweet jesus i ran away screaming
me too. they called security. but I'm alright now
A 6 but only 'cause it's The Band. They have done it better. The forced falsetto/Neil Young-ish/testicles clqamped-in-vice-grips........
boober wrote:
I always loved the Chipmunks!
Al-vinnnnnn!
Agggh, the screeching...
I always loved the Chipmunks!
This falsetto just seems to lack the gravitas of other recordings of this song.
The live version on "Before the Flood" is also outstanding...
sweet jesus i ran away screaming
Oh, yes. If I weren't at work, I would be wailing along to this (and a little tear would be in the corner of my eye).
Great album cover