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