I rate this an A-minus, which means that I break with consensus, I guess, since it's supposed to be an all-time classic. I'd give that honor to the self-titled follow up. One thing about The Band - these two albums are some of the most unassuming, unpretentious excellent albums from the time period that nevertheless tried to do a little bit more than play it totally straight. When you listen closely to these albums - especially the second - you can identify lots of interesting things going on, suggesting that they were no mere Americana/roots band.
-Randy Newman, Sail Away
Another album that I feel positive about, but no doubt rate less than the overall consensus. I give this one a B-plus, and consider it to be the slightest of the 1970 - 1974 trio of albums.
-The National, Boxer
I never really bought into this as a great album. Their 2010 album, High Violet, is the only one of theirs that really distinguishes itself, IMO. I still give this a B - I think it's a perfectly fine, minor album that does a reasonably decent enough job of encapsulating a particular mid-2000s indie sound, but that's about it.
-The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers
Same reaction as Music From Big Pink. I think highly of it (A-minus), but not enough to call it a timeless classic
-Flying Burrito Bros, The Gilded Palace of Sin
This, on the other hand, is a timeless classic (A).
And another (A).
-Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
And another (A).
-Swans, Children Of God
I don't own this and can't remember enough about it right now to comment.
A timeless classic (A).
-John Coltrane, Ascension
One of the pillars of jazz music