The Band’s “The Weight” can be heard in a new Super Bowl LVIII commercial for Budweiser.
The ad begins with an instrumental version of the track before evolving into the original song. The commercial features Bud’s famous Clydesdale horses delivering beer to a very thirsty bar. Check out the trailer below.
The track was featured on the band’s debut album Music From Big Pink. Released at the height of the psychedelic era, Big Pink sideswiped a music scene that had become reliant upon finding itself in lysergic experiences and extended instrumental wig-outs.
From the group’s modest billing (not even named on the sleeve, they chose the name The Band because, up to that point, that’s all they’d ever been behind the marquee names they’d toured with) to the folk-art cover painted by Bob Dylan, the album created something truly new from its arcane influences.
Released on July 1, 1968, Music From Big Pink emitted a mystique all unto itself. Bookended by a trio of Dylan numbers, opener “Tears Of Rage” and closing duo “This Wheel’s On Fire” and “I Shall Be Released,” it offered the first hint of how any of the infamous “Basement Tapes” songs should have sounded by the musicians that first recorded them.
Though the 1967 sessions that Dylan held at Big Pink with The Band while recuperating from a motorcycle crash (and the demands of his ’66 world tour) were already the stuff of legend – and, thanks to leaks of acetates, had spawned numerous covers – the Big Pink album versions were the first released by anyone who was actually present during those hallowed “Basement Tapes” sessions.
The emotional core of the album is “The Weight,” which features drummer Levon Helm on lead vocals. It has become the group’s defining song in a discography full of folk-rock masterpieces; a timeless artifact from Americana’s heyday that is as powerful today as when it was released.