The Last Waltz (soundtrack)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Last Waltz
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedApril 7, 1978 (1978-04-07)
RecordedNovember 25, 1976
VenueWinterland Arena, San Francisco
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerRobbie Robertson
The Band chronology
The Last Waltz
To Kingdom Come
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB+[2]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]

The Last Waltz is the second live 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 No. 16 on the Billboard 200.


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 5,000 attendees, with ballroom dancing and a stage set for La traviata borrowed from the San Francisco Opera.[5]

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 self-titled album; in 1973 with Ringo Starr on Ringo; in 1974 with Joni Mitchell on Court and Spark and with Neil Young on On the Beach and the sessions for Homegrown, later assembled into an album and released in 2020; 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.TitleWriter(s)Singer/guest performerLength
1."Theme from The Last Waltz"Robbie Robertson 3:28
2."Up on Cripple Creek"RobertsonLevon Helm4:44
3."Who Do You Love?"Ellas McDanielRonnie Hawkins4:16
4."Helpless"YoungNeil Young5:47
5."Stage Fright"RobertsonRick Danko4:25
Total length:22:40
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Singer/guest performerLength
1."Coyote"MitchellJoni Mitchell5:50
2."Dry Your Eyes"Diamond, RobertsonNeil Diamond3:57
3."It Makes No Difference"RobertsonRick Danko6:48
4."Such a Night"Mac RebennackDr. John4:00
Total length:20:35
Side three
No.TitleWriter(s)Singer/guest performerLength
1."The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"RobertsonLevon Helm4:34
2."Mystery Train"Junior Parker, Sam PhillipsPaul Butterfield, Levon Helm4:59
3."Mannish Boy"Mel London, McDaniel, McKinley MorganfieldMuddy Waters6:54
4."Further on Up the Road"Robey, VeaseyEric Clapton5:08
Total length:21:35
Side four
No.TitleWriter(s)Singer/guest performerLength
1."The Shape I'm In"RobertsonRichard Manuel4:06
2."Down South in New Orleans"J. Wright, J. AnglinBobby Charles, Dr. John3:06
3."Ophelia"RobertsonLevon Helm3:53
4."Tura Lura Lural (That's an Irish Lullaby)"ShannonVan Morrison, Richard Manuel4:15
5."Caravan"MorrisonVan Morrison6:02
Total length:21:22
Side five
No.TitleWriter(s)Singer/guest performerLength
1."Life Is a Carnival"Danko, Helm, RobertsonLevon Helm, Rick Danko4:32
2."Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"Reverend Gary Davis, Rick von SchmidtBob Dylan3:00
3."I Don't Believe You"DylanBob Dylan3:23
4."Forever Young"DylanBob Dylan4:42
5."Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (Reprise)"Davis, von SchmidtBob Dylan2:46
6."I Shall Be Released"DylanBob Dylan, Richard Manuel6:22
Total length:24:45
Side six
No.TitleWriter(s)Singer/guest performerLength
1."The Well"RobertsonRichard Manuel3:27
2."Evangeline"RobertsonRick Danko, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm3:17
3."Out of the Blue"RobertsonRobbie Robertson3:03
4."The Weight"RobertsonLevon Helm, Mavis Staples, Pops Staples, Rick Danko4:38
5."The Last Waltz Refrain"RobertsonRichard Manuel, Robbie Robertson1:28
6."Theme from The Last Waltz"Robertson 3:22
Total length:19:25 (130:22)


The Band

The horn section[edit]

Guest personnel[edit]

Production personnel[edit]


2002 box set[edit]

The Last Waltz
Soundtrack album & box set by
ReleasedApril 16, 2002
RecordedNovember 25, 1976
(Winterland Arena, San Francisco)
Late 1976 – mid-1977
(Studio overdubs)
LabelWarner Bros./Rhino
ProducerRobbie Robertson
The Band chronology
Greatest Hits
The Last Waltz
A Musical History
Professional ratings
Review scores

The Last Waltz is a 2002 four-disc box set re-release of the 1978 album The Last Waltz documenting the concert The Last Waltz, the last concert by the Band with its classic line up. A full forty tracks are taken from the show in addition to rehearsal outtakes. Twenty-four tracks are previously unreleased.

Among the tracks added are a version of Louis Jordan's "Caldonia" featuring Muddy Waters and Pinetop Perkins trading off the vocal, a reworked version of "Rag Mama Rag", Neil Young and Joni Mitchell joining the Band on "Acadian Driftwood", "The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show", excerpts from a pair of instrumental jams involving several of the concert's guest performers, and the concert closer "Don't Do It". In addition, several edits made on the original 1978 set have been done away with; certain songs (such as "Forever Young" with Bob Dylan) are now presented in their unedited versions.

Songs still missing from the concert are a version of "Georgia on My Mind", the full versions of the two jams presented, the full version of "Chest Fever", and the concert takes of "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" and "Evangeline". While the album still has overdubbing, re-sequencing, and editing, it does give a more accurate representation of the event itself than the earlier album or film do, according to collectors who have made comparisons with bootleg recordings of the concert.[20]

On November 11, 2016, this set was reissued as part of a 40th Anniversary edition that includes the 1978 Scorsese film on a separate Blu-ray disc. Enclosed in a 10" by 11.5" booklet, the set contains numerous photographs from the event as well as essays by David Fricke and Ben Fong-Torres. A previously published article entitled "A Behind-the-Scenes Report" by Emmett Grogan is also included, as well as a reproduction of the article on the event by Joel Selvin printed in the San Francisco Chronicle on November 27, 1976. It is not indicated whether or not new mastering was done to the audio discs over and above that from the 2002 reissue.

Box set track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Robbie Robertson, except where noted.

Disc one
No.TitleWriter(s)Guest performer(s)Length
1."Theme from The Last Waltz[a]" The Orchestra3:52
2."Up on Cripple Creek[a]"  5:31
3."The Shape I'm In"  4:10
4."It Makes No Difference"  6:51
5."Who Do You Love?[a]"Ellas McDanielRonnie Hawkins4:51
6."Life Is a Carnival"Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson 4:25
7."Such a Night[a]"Mac RebennackDr. John4:41
8."The Weight[b]"  4:50
9."Down South in New Orleans"Jack Anglin, Jim Anglin, Johnnie WrightBobby Charles, Dr. John3:11
10."This Wheel's on Fire[b]"Rick Danko, Bob Dylan 3:54
11."Mystery Train"Junior Parker, Sam PhillipsPaul Butterfield5:03
12."Caldonia[b]"Louis JordanMuddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin6:08
13."Mannish Boy"Mel London, Ellas McDaniel, McKinley MorganfieldMuddy Waters6:40
14."Stage Fright"  4:31
Disc two
No.TitleWriter(s)Guest performer(s)Length
1."Rag Mama Rag[b]"  4:34
2."All Our Past Times[b]"Eric Clapton, Rick DankoEric Clapton5:01
3."Further on Up the Road[a]"Don Robey, Joe MedwickEric Clapton5:30
4."Ophelia"  3:45
5."Helpless" (Mitchell uncredited on track listing)Neil YoungNeil Young, Joni Mitchell5:53
6."Four Strong Winds[b]"Ian TysonNeil Young4:37
7."Coyote"Joni MitchellJoni Mitchell5:28
8."Shadows and Light[b]"Joni MitchellJoni Mitchell5:45
9."Furry Sings the Blues[b]"Joni MitchellJoni Mitchell, Neil Young5:09
10."Acadian Driftwood[b]" (Mitchell and Young uncredited on track listing) Joni Mitchell, Neil Young7:07
11."Dry Your Eyes[a]"Neil Diamond, Robbie RobertsonNeil Diamond4:16
12."The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show[b]"  3:39
13."Tura Lura Lural (That's an Irish Lullaby)"James Royce ShannonVan Morrison4:10
14."Caravan[a]"Van MorrisonVan Morrison6:12
Disc three
No.TitleWriter(s)Guest performer(s)Length
1."The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down[a]"  4:35
2."The Genetic Method/Chest Fever[b]" (incomplete)Garth Hudson/Robbie Robertson 2:41
3."Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"Reverend Gary DavisBob Dylan2:55
4."Hazel[b]"Bob DylanBob Dylan3:41
5."I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)"Bob DylanBob Dylan3:29
6."Forever Young[a]"Bob DylanBob Dylan5:51
7."Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (reprise)[a]"Gary DavisBob Dylan2:58
8."I Shall Be Released[a]" (finale)Bob DylanBob Dylan, Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton; Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Ronnie Hawkins, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Pinetop Perkins4:49
9."Jam #1[b]" (Danko, Helm, Hudson and Robertson from the Band) Neil Young, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Ringo Starr5:32
10."Jam #2[b]" (Helm and Hudson from the Band) Neil Young, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Carl Radle9:10
11."Don't Do It[b]"B. Holland-L. Dozier-E. Holland 6:19
12."Greensleeves[b]"traditional 1:37
Disc four: "The Last Waltz Suite"
No.TitleGuest performer(s)Length
1."The Well" 3:32
2."Evangeline"Emmylou Harris3:10
3."Out of the Blue[a]" 3:20
4."The Weight" (Mavis Staples and Pops Staples take lead vocals respectively on the second and third verses)The Staples4:35
5."The Last Waltz Refrain" 1:32
6."Theme from The Last Waltz" 3:26
Disc four: Concert rehearsal
No.TitleWriter(s)Guest performer(s)Length
7."King Harvest (Has Surely Come)[b]"  3:52
8."Tura Lura Lural (That's an Irish Lullaby)[b]"James Royce ShannonVan Morrison3:52
9."Caravan[b]"Van MorrisonVan Morrison6:30
10."Such a Night[b]"Mac RebennackDr. John5:24
11."Rag Mama Rag[b]"  3:52
Disc four: Studio ideas
12."Mad Waltz[b]" (early version of "The Well")5:30
13."The Last Waltz Refrain[b]" (early instrumental version)0:50
14."The Last Waltz Theme[b]" (sketch track)3:34
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Features additional material
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Previously unreleased

Box set personnel[edit]

The Band



Technical personnel


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. The Last Waltz Review at AllMusic. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. New Haven, Connecticut: Ticknor & Fields. p. 38. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  3. ^ Miller, Jim (June 1, 1978). "The Last Waltz". Rolling Stone. No. 266. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside. p. 42. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ a b Orr, John (May 2002). "The Last Waltz". Triviana. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  6. ^ The Last Waltz, original vinyl issue, sleeve notes.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 321. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  9. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  10. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  11. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  12. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  13. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  14. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  15. ^ " – The Band – The Last Waltz". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  16. ^ "The Band Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  17. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1978" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  18. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1978 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  19. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Last Waltz [Box Set] - The Band | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  20. ^ Katz, John; Warschawski, Dror. "The 4 audio versions of The Last Waltz". Retrieved January 7, 2007.