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Last Waltz: Upgrade

The Last Waltz: Upgrade

4.4 5
by The Band

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The Last Waltz: Upgrade is a two-CD distillation of the 2002 four-CD box-set restoration. Upgrade presents the complete 30-song track listing from the original 1978 triple LP release, remixed by the Band's Robbie Robertson and newly remastered. The set also includes the in-studio "Last Waltz Suite" and comprehensive liner notes


The Last Waltz: Upgrade is a two-CD distillation of the 2002 four-CD box-set restoration. Upgrade presents the complete 30-song track listing from the original 1978 triple LP release, remixed by the Band's Robbie Robertson and newly remastered. The set also includes the in-studio "Last Waltz Suite" and comprehensive liner notes from David Fricke.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
As a film, The Last Waltz was a triumph -- one of the first (and still one of the few) rock concert documentaries that was directed by a filmmaker who understood both the look and the sound of rock & roll, and executed with enough technical craft to capture all the nooks and crannies of a great live show. But as an album, The Last Waltz soundtrack had to compete with the Band's earlier live album, Rock of Ages, with which it bears a certain superficial resemblance -- both found the group trying to create something grander than the standard-issue live double, and both featured the group beefed up by additional musicians. While Rock of Ages found the Band swinging along with the help of a horn section arranged by Allen Toussaint, The Last Waltz boasts a horn section (using Toussaint's earlier arrangements on a few cuts) and more than a baker's dozen guest stars, ranging from old cohorts Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan to contemporaries Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Van Morrison. The Band are in fine if not exceptional form here; on most cuts, they don't sound quite as fiery as they did on Rock of Ages, though their performances are never less than expert, and the high points are dazzling, especially an impassioned version of "It Makes No Difference" and blazing readings of "Up on Cripple Creek" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (Levon Helm has made no secret that he felt breaking up the Band was a bad idea, and here it sounds if he was determined to prove how much they still had to offer). Ultimately, it's the Band's "special guests" who really make this set stand out -- Muddy Waters' ferocious version of "Mannish Boy" would have been a wonder from a man half his age, Van Morrison sounds positively joyous on "Caravan," Neil Young and Joni Mitchell do well for their Canadian brethren, and Bob Dylan's closing set finds him in admirably loose and rollicking form. (One question remains -- what exactly is Neil Diamond doing here?) And while the closing studio-recorded "Last Waltz Suite" sounds like padding, the contributions from Emmylou Harris and the Staple Singers are beautiful indeed. It could be argued that you're better off watching The Last Waltz on video than listening to it on CD, but either way it's a show well worth checking out.

Product Details

Release Date:


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Band   Primary Artist
Paul Butterfield   Harmonica,Vocals,Background Vocals
Emmylou Harris   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Neil Diamond   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Dr. John   Guitar,Piano,Conga,Vocals,Background Vocals
Bob Dylan   Guitar,Vocals
Ronnie Hawkins   Vocals,Background Vocals
Joni Mitchell   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Robbie Robertson   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Soloist,Harp Guitar
Ringo Starr   Drums
Ronnie Wood   Guitar,Soloist
Neil Young   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals,Background Vocals
Tom "Bones" Malone   Trombone,Euphonium,Alto Flute,Bass Trombone
Howard Johnson   Tuba,Bass Clarinet,Flugelhorn,Baritone Saxophone
Bobby Charles   Vocals,Background Vocals
Rick Danko   Bass,Violin,Vocals,Standup Electric Bass
John Simon   Piano
Bob Margolin   Guitar
Jim Gordon   Clarinet,Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Roebuck "Pops" Staples   Guitar,Vocals
Eric Clapton   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Soloist
Levon Helm   Mandolin,Drums,Vocals
Garth Hudson   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Accordion,Horn,Keyboards,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Pipe organ,Soloist
Charlie Keagle   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Richard Manuel   Organ,Dobro,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Van Morrison   Vocals,Background Vocals
Muddy Waters   Vocals
Larry Packer   Electric Violin
Dennis St. John   Drums
Mavis Staples   Vocals
Jerry Hay   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Joe Perkins   Piano
Orchestra   Track Performer
Rich Cooper   Trumpet,Flugelhorn

Technical Credits

Neil Diamond   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Robbie Robertson   Composer,Producer,Remixing
Neil Young   Composer
Tom "Bones" Malone   Horn Arrangements
Howard Johnson   Horn Arrangements
Bobby Charles   Composer
Rick Danko   Composer
John Simon   Producer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,Musical Director
Johnnie Wright   Composer
Greg Allen   Reissue Design
Terry Becker   Engineer
Joel Bernstein   Equipment Manager
Bo Diddley   Composer
Neil Brody   Engineer
Sandy Castle   Road Manager
Donivan Cowart   Engineer
Rev. Gary Davis   Composer
Rob Fraboni   Producer
Henry Glover   Horn Arrangements
Levon Helm   Composer
Garth Hudson   Horn Arrangements
Mel London   Composer
Elliot Mazer   Engineer
Ellas McDaniel   Composer
Van Morrison   Composer
Muddy Waters   Composer
Wayne Neuendorf   Engineer
Junior Parker   Composer
Don Robey   Composer
Larry Samuels   Executive Producer
Stuart Taylor   Engineer
Ray Thompson   Engineer
Allen Toussaint   Horn Arrangements
Bradley Hartman   Engineer
Dr. John   Composer
Jack Anglin   Composer
Jim Anglin   Composer
Bill Spears   Equipment Manager
Tim Kramer   Engineer
Sam Phillips   Composer
David Fricke   Liner Notes
Joe Medwick   Composer
Ed Anderson   Engineer
Ed Thrasher   Art Direction
Andy Bloch   Engineer
Paul Sandweiss   Engineer
Wray Smallwood   Engineer
Dennis Mays   Engineer
James Royce Shannon   Composer
Patrick McDougal   Engineer
Jerry Stroud   Engineer
Rock Brynner   Road Manager
Jerry Caskey   Equipment Manager
Ava Megna   Production Liason
Taylor Phelps   Road Manager
Cliff Crumpler   Equipment Manager
Barry Imhoff   Logistics

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The Last Waltz: Upgrade 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
When The Band (or more accurately, a road weary Robbie Robertson) decided to retire from touring in 1976, they put together a farewell concert featuring friends and associates. The result was a mixed bag. The group showed off its versatility by backing musicians as different as Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, and Joni Mitchell. The diversity can be a bit schizophrenic at times, but that was typical of the 70s. Highlights for me are rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins leading The Band through Who Do You Love, Eric Clapton's Further On Up The Road, Mitchell's Coyote, and Mystery Train with Paul Butterfield on harmonica. Bob Dylan galvanized the proceedings when he played a set with his former band mates at the end of the concert. The appended soundtrack studio recordings seem like a vanity project. If you really want to know about The Band and are new to their music, start with the first two studio albums or Rock Of Ages, their 1972 live album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From Emmylou Harris's plaintive harmonies to the Last Waltz Theme, the music here is of the soul. No one can do again what was done in this concert. From Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton to Van Morrison and more. This is the absolute finest music there is. A masterpiece of filmmaking from Martin Scorsese.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The reason Neil Diamond attended the Last Waltz was because of his relationship with Robbie Robertson, wo had produced some of his recordings in the few years prior to the celebratory concert.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great CD. I have bought it as a gift several times and always get a lot of positive feedback. Definitely a must have for true music lovers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago