Today is the late Richard Manuel’s birthday. He was one of three lead singers for The Band and played piano (or sometimes drums). Manuel’s singing could really convey pain, frailty, and heartbreak. He’s one of my favorite vocalists ever.
One of his greatest vocals is on 1970’s “The Shape I’m In”. Two of my favorites are “Saved” and “The Great Pretender” from the 1973 covers album Moondog Matinee. I love the way he hits the high note near the end of “The Great Pretender”. “Saved” appears to be a commentary on his own substance abuse problems.
Check out The Richard Manuel Archive for some excellent articles on The Band.