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The Last Waltz The Last Waltz
by The Ovi Team
2015-11-25 12:03:28
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waltz03_400The Last Waltz was a concert by the Canadian rock group, The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz was advertised as the end of The Band's illustrious touring career, and the concert saw The Band joined by more than a dozen special guests, including Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood and Neil Young.

The event was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same name, released in 1978. The film features concert performances, scenes shot on a studio soundstage and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band. A triple-LP soundtrack recording was issued in 1978.

 The film was released on DVD in 2002 as was a four-CD box set of the concert and related studio recordings.

The Last Waltz is hailed as one of the greatest concert films ever made.

waltz01_400The idea for a farewell concert came about early in 1976 after Richard Manuel was seriously injured in a boating accidentwaltz02_400. Robbie Robertson then began giving thought to leaving the road, envisioning The Band becoming a studio-only band, similar to The Beatles' decision to stop playing live shows in 1966.

Though the other band members did not agree with Robertson's decision, the concert was set at Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom, where The Band had made its debut as a group in 1969. Originally, The Band was to perform on its own, but then the notion of inviting Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan was hatched and the guest list grew to include other performers.

The film has been hailed critically, listed among the greatest concert films. Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Wilmington calls it "the greatest rock concert movie ever made – and maybe the best rock movie, period." Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press comments that "This is one of the great movie experiences." Total Film considers it "the greatest concert film ever shot." On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a 97% (fresh) rating with just one negative review out of 37 total, from Janet Maslin of The New York Times. She states that it "articulates so little of the end-of-an-era feeling it hints at ... that it's impossible to view The Last Waltz as anything but an also-ran." Music critic Robert Christgau gives the soundtrack a "B+", saying "the movie improves when you can't see it." He praises the blues numbers by Muddy Waters and Paul Butterfield, the horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint, and the "blistering if messy" guitar duet by Robertson and Eric Clapton.


     
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Thanos2009-11-25 21:40:37
One of my all time favorite albums.


Asa2009-11-25 22:55:51
I love the interviews between the fast-as-lightning Scorsese and the slow drawl of Robbie Robertson, or perhaps better known as Speed vs. Grass.


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