YMMV / The Band

  • Award Snub: Not even a nomination for The Last Waltz for the Best Documentary Oscar in 1978? How about "Evangeline" getting nominated for Best Original Song? Also no?
    • The Band were also never nominated for a competitive Grammy Award, although they did get a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and Helm's solo effort Dirt Farmer won for Best Traditional Folk Album that same year.
  • Covered Up: People are often surprised to learn that Joan Baez didn't originate "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".
  • Epic Riff: "Chest Fever"
  • Face of the Band: Clearly averted initially, with two principal songwriters and three different lead singers. The fact that they were such an organic group with no clear frontman is one of the things that Eric Clapton, for one, found so attractive about them. Robertson's attempt to become this later on led to a great deal of ill will.
  • Genius Bonus: In a nod to their Canadian background, "Ferdinand the Imposter" has to be the only rock song ever to make a reference to the Doukhobors.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Robertson's musings in The Last Waltz about touring being "a goddamn impossible way of life" take on more meaning after Manuel's suicide during a tour.
    • Manuel's song "The Shape I'm In", with its lyrics about a man contemplating suicide, is another example.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: They were hugely influential and have a small-but-enthusiastic fanbase, but "The Weight" is their only widely-known song.
  • Mondegreen: Joan Baez never saw a copy of the lyrics to "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" before she made her cover version. "Stoneman's cavalry" became "so much cavalry", "I will work the land" became "I'm a working man", etc. Did not prevent her version from becoming a top ten hit.
    • Not to mention, in the same song, the discrepancy between "there goes Robert E. Lee" (the Confederate general) and "there goes the Robert E. Lee" (a steamboat). Though, to be fair, Levon Helm himself often sang it the latter way in the Band's live concerts.
  • Narm: "The Moon Struck One" is musically one of Robertson's most beautiful songs. Lyrically, it's a would-be Tear Jerker done in by some clumsy phrasing ("stung by a snake"?) and Painful Rhymes (sweetheart/cohort, Durango/triangle).
  • The Scrappy: Robbie Robertson has become this in some circles, due to his perceived spotlight- and credit-hogging and his more or less unilateral decision to retire The Band from touring, which led to their breakup.
  • Signature Song: "The Weight"
  • Sophomore Slump: Averted with The Band, which is regarded by many as superior to Music from Big Pink.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: The public perception of the band in later years, at any rate, was that Robertson was the leader, especially in the wake of The Last Waltz, in which he has more camera time than the others. Levon Helm was not happy about this, and some fans regard him as the leader, especially in the light of his memoir. But Helm himself emphasised that their musical leader was Garth Hudson; although relatively shy and soft-spoken, he was the oldest and most musically-educated one and his ability as a multi-instrumentalist meant that he played the most significant role in determining what they sounded like. Then again, Robertson did write most of the music, especially after Richard Manuel dried up as a songwriter following Music from Big Pink.
  • Tear Jerker: "It Makes No Difference", "Acadian Driftwood", "Whispering Pines", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "Stage Fright"
    • Most of the debut Music from Big Pink could be regarded as this, especially the bookending Dylan collaborations "Tears of Rage" and "I Shall be Released".
    • Despite being uptempo, "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" is pretty sad lyrically.
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