The Last Waltz, by Gregory Morgan

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My recording of the month is the 40th Anniversary Deluxe edition of The Band’s Last Waltz.  I have long loved the timeless quality of The Band’s music and the 40th Anniversary edition of the last Waltz is fantastic. I have long felt that no group deserved to have as much talent as the Band had.  Each of the members played multiple instruments and could play each other’s instruments equally well.  The only other band that I can think of that plays on this level is Los Lobos.  The Last Waltz is the final concert by the original line-up of the band plus a lot of guests, including Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, among a lot of others.  The event was held at Winterland on Thanksgiving Day 1976 in San Francisco and filmed for posterity by Martin Scorsese.  San Francisco was chosen for the final concert, as it was where The Band played their first concert as ‘The Band’ in 1969 after having backed other musicians for year, most notably Bob Dylan.   The packaging is a book filled with photos and a couple of essays about the concert and The Band.  The concert is presented in its entirety (minus a couple of poetry readings) with some recordings of the rehearsals across four CD’s and it comes with a BluRay of the film.  I’ve had a bootleg copy of the entire concert in mono for years, but having a properly mixed stereo version is light years ahead of the bootleg in terms of sound quality.  There are two different versions of the 40th Anniversary Edition of The Last Waltz.  There is the 40th Anniversary Deluxe version, which I have, that is reasonably priced. There is also a 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, which comes in a replica of Martin Scorsese’s original shooting script, and adds the original edited concert in a 5.1 surround mix, which goes a whopping $275.  I was very tempted to pick up the more expensive version, but it didn’t make sense to do as I don’t have surround sound, but I really would like to thumb through the shooting script.”

San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society