“Up on Cripple Creek” was the lead single from The Band’s eponymous second album, The Band. It was released as an single in November 1969 and reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Up on Cripple Creek” was written by Band guitarist and principal songwriter Robbie Robertson, with drummer Levon Helm singing lead vocal.
A 1976 live performance of “Up on Cripple Creek” appears in the Band’s concert film The Last Waltz, as well as on the accompanying soundtrack album. In addition, live performances of the song appear on Before the Flood, which records the Band’s 1974 tour with Bob Dylan, as well as on the 2001 expanded edition of Rock of Ages, originally released in 1972.
“Up on Cripple Creek” is notable as it is one of the first instances of a Hohner clavinet being played with a wah-wah pedal. The riff can be heard after each chorus of the song. The clavinet, especially in tandem with a wah-wah pedal was a sound that became famous in the early to mid-1970s, especially in funk music.