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