Entertainment Weekly (4/19/02, pp.72-73) - "Time hasn't diminished The Band's uniqueness or mythic mystery..." - Rating: A
Q (May 2002, p.127) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...Ever conscious of their place in history, [The Band] went out in style....full of invention, twists and...moments of other-worldly genius..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.73) - Ranked #3 in Mojo's "Best Box Sets & Compilations of 2002"
Mojo (Publisher) (5/02, p.117) - "...The original highlights are highlights still: Danko's heartrending solo turn on 'It Makes No Difference', big Ron's yelping 'big time, Bill, big time' turn on the Diddley-stompin' 'Who Do You Love'; the soulful Staples on the after-the-fact studio version of 'The Weight'..."
This 4-CD box set of THE LAST WALTZ includes the complete original album, 24 tracks of previously unreleased rehearsals, performances from the show, film, and studio demo tracks. Includes an 80-page booklet.
The Band: Robbie Robertson (vocals, guitar, piano); Richard Manuel (vocals, dobro, keyboards, drums); Levon Helm (vocals, mandolin, drums); Rick Danko (vocals, violin, bass); Garth Hudson (accordion, soprano & tenor saxophones, horns, piano, electric piano, organ, synthesizer).
Additional personnel includes: Neil Young (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica); Joni Mitchell (vocals, acoustic guitar); Dr. John (vocals, guitar, piano, conga); Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Roebuck "Pops" Staples (vocals, guitar); Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica); Mavis Staples, Ronnie Hawkins, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, Bobby Charles (vocals); Stephen Stills, Ron Wood (guitar); Joe "Pinetop" Perkins (piano); Ringo Starr (drums).
Producers include: Robbie Robertson, Rob Fraboni, John Simon.
Reissue producer: Robbie Robertson.
Recorded at Winterland Arena, San Franciso, California; MGM, Culver City, California; Shangri La, Malibu, California; Village Recorders, Los Angeles, California in 1976. Originally released on Warner Brothers (3146). Includes liner notes by Robbie Robertson and David Fricke.
Personnel: Robbie Robertson (vocals, guitar, piano); Levon Helm (vocals, mandolin, drums); Rick Danko (vocals, violin); Richard Manuel (vocals, piano, keyboards, drums); Garth Hudson (accordion, saxophone, organ, synthesizer).
Liner Note Authors: Robbie Robertson; David Fricke.
Recording information: MGM Studios, Culver City, CA; Shangri-la Studios, Malibu, CA; Village Recorder, Los Angeles, CA; Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA.
Editor: Patrick McDougal.
Photographers: Ken Regan; Annie Leibovitz; Robert Full; Howard Rosenberg; Neil Preston.
The Band's farewell concert was lavishly presented on Thanksgiving night, 1976 at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom. Originally released as a three-record, 30-song set, it's been expanded to 54 songs spread over four CDs. The concert presented an overview of their entire body of work, with music from most of their albums. They're joined by a series of guests who are all either peers (Van Morrison, Neil Young) and contemporaries or mentors and wsources of inspiration (Ronnie Hawkins, Muddy Waters).
With the exception of Bob Dylan, all of the artists were originally heard performing only one song with accompaniment from the Band. This longer format allows for a further look at what transpired on that night. The live material is also joined by previously unissued studio recordings, including a theme that frames the work as a whole. Additional material also includes a few rehearsal takes, demos for some of the studio tracks, and 15 minutes of jamming with even more guests (Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills). This is not a traditional career overview or hits run-through; rather, it's a celebration of this important ensemble's legacy.