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Number 11

Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Vanguard VRS 35138 - 1971)

I have to confess that although The Band has over the years become one of the most significant musical outfits to me personally, it was Joan Baez who first brought their songs to my attention, specifically her 1971 rendition of one of their most familiar songs. Released on the Vanguard record label, the record became one of the surprise hits on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number 3 and 6 respectively on the US and UK charts, with Baez changing some of the words after miss hearing the original Robbie Robertson lyrics. Even though this version is thought of as a watered down version of the song, actually spending some time at the top of the ‘easy listening’ charts, the performance did effectively set me on a course of discovery resulting in a lifetime appreciation of The Band.