(Sevens, a new feature on Aquarium Drunkard, pays tribute to the art of the individual song.)

From Garth Hudson’s opening notes on the organ – on through to the songs climax – it’s immediately apparent The Band’s “Chest Fever” means business. “I know shes a tracker, any scarlet would back her. The say she’s a chooser, but I just can’t refuse her.” A soulful, yet tortuous, ode to the allure of the elusive, “Chest Fever” showcases some of my favorite vocals by Richard Manuel. Here, the man spits the lyrics out as if he is exorcising a femme fatale seductress that dominates his every thought.

MP3: The Band :: Chest Fever
Amazon: The Band – Music from Big Pink

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The Last Waltz :: Chest Fever (tease) —> The Band :: Ophelia

+ Download your music DRM free via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer

14 Responses to “Sevens :: The Band: Chest Fever”

  1. I’ll take Caldonia Mission over Chest Fever but it’s close. A great song and an incredible record.

  2. Chest Fever is one of those songs I hope comes up whenever I put the iPod on shuffle. Neat feature, and a great song to start it with. Ld

  3. Wow, just listened to Music From Big Pink Last Night after seeing the episode on VH1 Classic’s Classic Albums

  4. amazing tune. Where did the pic come from? Looks like it was taken during the recording of the Brown Album…

  5. […] Drunkard’s Sevens series spotlights The Band’s “Chest Fever,” and I remain ambivalent about The Band itself. Their music always just sounds so…fratty. Not […]

  6. I always loved this tune. Not sure about D. Naked’s ambivalence. The Band could be one of America’s greatest group ever. They combined so many musical styles that were pioneered here in the states. Certainly not “fratty”.

  7. Actually, Levon Helm aside, I think they’re definitely Canada’s greatest group ever.

    Still, all I can I think about when The Last Waltz is on is Robbie Robertson enthusiastically singing into that dead mike onstage.

    Seriously, when was the last time anyone said anything nice about Robbie Robertson to a reporter/author?

  8. Chest Fever’s my runner up favorite on this album – Out done only by Richard Manuel’s In A Station. If only he had written more…

  9. At the risk of setting myself apart from hardcore “Band-O-Philes,” I will never tire of hearing “The Weight” (especially the version with the Staples Singers). Pure soul, unity of black and white. Nice new feature…kudos.

  10. Hey Jusitn did you know Todd Rundgren engineered Stage Fright. And I already thought he was one of the greatest producer/engineers before that!

  11. @ me – I knew that, but only cuz I ponied up some cash and bought that reissue that came out awhile back w/ the extensive liner notes. has some nice alt-takes too.

  12. The searing energy of The Band live is something I can’t believe I missed out on as a youth. No one introduced me to them, and I was almost 30 by the time I truly discovered them.

    About two weeks ago I listened to The Last Waltz for the first time in a while, and it was astonishing.

    Canada’s greatest band ever? Probably. Rush deserves to be on that list, but who else? The Tragically Hip, perhaps? I’ve always thought The Band’s contemporary’s were overrated: BTO, the Guess Who etc.

    Neil Young is Canadian, so you could go Neil Young & Crazy Horse if you’re demanding a band.

    Helpless, from The Last Waltz, is definitely the greatest Canadian song ever. Neil on vocals, The Band on the instruments and Joni Mitchell on backing vocals. It doesn’t get more Canadian.

  13. over july 4th weekend i attended Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble…he plays concerts at his home in his barn for abouy 150 people. to describe it as “magical” doesn’t do it justice. the band is whomever is in town that night. our show consisted of jimmy vivino, brian mitchell, Little sammy davis, his daughter and a whip ass horn section.

    you are truly a guest at levon’s house. his toothpaste and toothbrush are in teh upstairs bathroom! his dog is wandering around. it was teh 100th ramble and they had a huge pig roast and everyone brought side dishes.

    we also took bike ride, saw dylan’s old house (donald fagan lives there now), the ite of the motorcycle crash and Big Pink itself.

    if you love the band, you owe it to yourself to make it to one of these

    Set List ~ July 5, 2008
    100th Ramble Midnight Ramble

    Same Thing
    Rain Down Tears
    Fanny Mae
    Scratch My Back
    Bye Bye Love
    I Want To Know
    Got Me A Woman
    Long Black Veil
    I Ain’t Got No Home
    Shake A Hand
    Rag Mama Rag
    WS Walcott
    Make’s No Difference
    Highway 61
    I’m Ready
    Rip It Up
    Tears Of Rage
    King Harvest
    Back To Memphis
    Shape I’m In
    The Weight

  14. Levon was incredible at Bonnaroo this year…the best set I saw the whole deal. To saw he got a hero’s welcome would be putting it mildly. Larry Campbell, who produced “Dirt Farmer” had a hell of a Bonnaroo (along with his lovely wife Teresa Williams), tearing it up in Levon’s band, then playing a late night electric set with Phil Lesh and an acoustic one the next day. Larry does an AMAZING guitar intro to “Chest Fever” these days…

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