The Last Waltz (1978 album)

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This article is about the 1978 album. For other uses, see The Last Waltz (disambiguation).
The Last Waltz
Soundtrack album by The Band
Released April 7, 1978 (1978-04-07)
Recorded November 25, 1976
Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA
Genre Rock
Length 129:06
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Robbie Robertson
The Band chronology
Anthology
(1978)
The Last Waltz
(1978)
To Kingdom Come
(1989)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[2]

The Last Waltz is the thirteenth album by The Band, released on Warner Bros. Records in 1978, catalogue 3WS 3146. It is the soundtrack to the 1978 film of the same name, and the final album by the original configuration of The Band. It peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200.

Content[edit]

The triple-album documents the Band's "farewell" concert which took place at Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom on Thanksgiving Day 1976. The event included an actual Thanksgiving dinner for 5000 attendees, with ballroom dancing and a stage set for La Traviata borrowed from the San Francisco Opera.[3]

The concert featured songs by The Band interspersed with the group backing up a variety of musical guests. These included many with whom they had worked in the past, notably their previous employers Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan. Van Morrison, a Woodstock neighbor, had co-written and sung on the track "4% Pantomime" for the Cahoots album. Individual members of the Band had played with the invitees on the following albums: in 1972 with Bobby Charles for his eponymous album; in 1973 with Ringo Starr on Ringo; in 1974 with Joni Mitchell on Court and Spark and with Neil Young for On the Beach; in 1975 with Muddy Waters and Paul Butterfield on The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album; in 1976 with Eric Clapton on No Reason to Cry and with Neil Diamond on Beautiful Noise.

Sides one through five of the album consisted of songs taken from the concert. Side six comprised "The Last Waltz Suite," new numbers composed by Robertson and performed by the Band on an MGM soundstage.[4] The suite featured Emmylou Harris and, on a remake of "The Weight," Roebuck and Mavis Staples. The music received overdubs at Village Recorders and Shangri-La Studios in post-production, owing to faults recorded during the concert.[5]

On April 16, 2002, a box set reissue of the album arrived in stores, including everything released on the original with additional tracks taken from the concert.

Track listing[edit]

The performance of "Helpless" by Neil Young features backing vocals by Joni Mitchell; Paul Butterfield plays harmonica for Muddy Waters on "Mannish Boy;" Dr. John plays congas on "Coyote" and plays guitar on "Down South in New Orleans;" the entire ensemble sings back-up on the closer, "I Shall Be Released."

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Singer/Guest Performer Length
1. "Theme from The Last Waltz"   Robertson   3:28
2. "Up On Cripple Creek"   Robertson Levon Helm 4:44
3. "Who Do You Love?"   McDaniel Ronnie Hawkins 4:16
4. "Helpless"   Young Neil Young 5:47
5. "Stage Fright"   Robertson Rick Danko 4:25
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Singer/Guest Performer Length
1. "Coyote"   Mitchell Joni Mitchell 5:50
2. "Dry Your Eyes"   Diamond, Robertson Neil Diamond 3:57
3. "It Makes No Difference"   Robertson Rick Danko 6:48
4. "Such A Night"   Rebennack Dr. John 4:00
Side three
No. Title Writer(s) Singer/Guest Performer Length
1. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"   Robertson Levon Helm 4:34
2. "Mystery Train"   Parker, Phillips Paul Butterfield, Levon Helm 4:59
3. "Mannish Boy"   London, McDaniel, Morganfield Muddy Waters 6:54
4. "Further On Up the Road"   Robey, Veasey Eric Clapton 5:08
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Singer/Guest Performer Length
1. "The Shape I'm In"   Robertson Richard Manuel 4:06
2. "Down South in New Orleans"   J. Wright, J. Anglin Bobby Charles, Dr. John 3:06
3. "Ophelia"   Robertson Levon Helm 3:53
4. "Tura Lura Lural (That's An Irish Lullaby)"   Shannon Van Morrison, Richard Manuel 4:15
5. "Caravan"   Morrison Van Morrison 6:02
Side five
No. Title Writer(s) Singer/Guest Performer Length
1. "Life Is A Carnival"   Danko, Helm, Robertson Levon Helm, Rick Danko 4:32
2. "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"   Davis, von Schmidt Bob Dylan 3:00
3. "I Don't Believe You"   Dylan Bob Dylan 3:23
4. "Forever Young"   Dylan Bob Dylan 4:42
5. "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (reprise)"   Davis, von Schmidt Bob Dylan 2:46
6. "I Shall Be Released"   Dylan Bob Dylan, Richard Manuel 6:22
Side six

The Last Waltz Suite written by Robbie Robertson

No. Title Singer/Guest Performer Length
1. "The Well"   Richard Manuel 3:27
2. "Evangeline"   Rick Danko, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm 3:17
3. "Out of the Blue"   Robbie Robertson 3:03
4. "The Weight"   Levon Helm, Mavis Staples, Pops Staples, Rick Danko 4:38
5. "The Last Waltz Refrain"   Richard Manuel, Robbie Robertson 1:28
6. "Theme from The Last Waltz"     3:22

Personnel[edit]

The horn section[edit]

Guest personnel[edit]

Production personnel[edit]

References[edit]