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The Last Waltz: The Band Say Farewell

Updated on May 23, 2015

One fantastic group, some megastars to help them along, a musical farewell party - that's The Last Waltz. Ronnie Robertson and colleagues joined with friends like Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond and Emmylou Harris in one of the most memorable gigs of the last fifty years. The Band was breaking up after years of solo success and a long time supporting Bob Dylan to universal acclaim.

Bluegrass, blues, US folk, rock: The Band played them all and played them beautifully. Every single member was multi-skilled and, as a unit, they rocked. From saturnine frontman Robbie to drummer Levon Helms, every man was a master of his instrument (or several) and a great singer.

On November 25, 1976, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, all came together to perform what serves as a litany of the great roots rock songs. There's "Up On Cripple Creek", "Down South In New Orleans" and a bunch of others by The Band themselves. Then there's the guest artistes: Dylan and "Forever Young", Neil Diamond with a roof-raising "Dry Your Eyes", blues numbers with Paul Butterfield and Muddy Waters, Clapton in a dirty duet with Robbie on "Further On Up The Road" and a bunch of others.

The whole thing was filmed by Martin Scorsese to produce what most people think is one of the greatest concert films ever made. I actually have that DVD as well as the CD - worth it for the interviews and the sight of musicians who'll never be that hairy again!

The CD is a double with 30 tracks, including a few variations on the Last Waltz theme, and not a bad track there.

The Last Waltz (Special Edition)
The Last Waltz (Special Edition)

Scorsese's film of The Last Waltz, this version is colour corrected from the original but all the energy is there.


Are you a fan of The Band?

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The simple but powerful theme

I've never heard Emmylou sing so well: great performance

One of the songs that defined an era


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      BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

      Great film... especially for those of us "who remember." I saw The Band with Bob Dylan at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto (the year before Rolling Thunder). Amazing stuff.

    • psiloveyou1 profile image

      psiloveyou1 3 years ago

      I don't believe I've heard of this, but I have heard of Emmylou Harris, who has an amazing voice on her own.

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      sherioz 3 years ago

      WOW! That's all I can say, Wow!

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      Nathalie Roy 3 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Ashamed to admit I never heard of them. But I love good rock so they are on my "have to listen to" list now

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      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      This sounds quite impressive i.e. that Martin Scorsese directed this? I think that would be compelling reason for me to watch / listen! Plus I love the title of it. How about adding a poll to query visitors on their favorite performances?