Grousing The Aisles: Complete Last Waltz

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1. This Wheel’s on Fire
Co-written with Dylan and found on Music From Big Pink, this version gets a deluxe orchestra and horn arrangement by Allen Toussaint.
2. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
From Stage Fright, Toussaint also arranges the horns to give this a better effect.

3. Georgia on My Mind

No one can draw on their own personal sadness when singing a melancholy number better than Richard Manuel. The omission of this track from the official release is unpardonable.

4. King Harvest
Another favourite sadly left off The Last Waltz.

5. Rag Mama Rag
Dixieland seems to be the theme here. This is a radical departure from the studio version with Howard Johnson leading a horn section of clarinets and tubas with a good measure of honky tonk piano thrown in for good measure. Listed with Robbie Robertson as singer, but it sure sounds like Levon Helm to me.

6. Caledonia
Not many realise that this number is a Louis Jordan cover. Muddy Waters gets the call to do the lead vocal. Paul Butterfield adds some great harp playing to this version but isn’t listed.

7. All Our Past Times
Eric Clapton entered the proceedings with this number from his No Reason To Cry album and splits the lead vocal with Rick Danko.

8. Four Strong Winds
Neil Young covers this Ian Tyson song. It’s more interesting than “Helpless” which made the official album.

9. Shadows & Light
Joni Mitchell may be a great songwriter but she’s not a terribly strong performer. Left off the album with good reason.

10. Furry Sings the Blues
Joni Mitchell again.

11. Acadian Driftwood
A strong version with help from Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.

12. Chest Fever
Although this track was always a concert highlight, it just doesn’t work here. The heavy focus on horns instead of Robertson’s guitar takes all the guts out of it. The Band also seems uncomfortable with the arrangement. With these factors and its 12-min length, I can understand why it was excluded.

13. Hazel
Bob Dylan gives a simplistic reading of this cut from Planet Waves.

14. I Shall Be Released
Dylan and Richard Manuel share the vocals.

15. Instrumental Jam #1
This 12-min jam starts off with a drum duel between Ringo and Levon Helm before turning into a boogie-style guitar showcase with Ron Wood, Clapton, Young, Stephen Stills and Robertson.

16. Instrumental Jam #2
This is a slow blues featuring Garth Hudson’s keyboards and lasting over 17 mins.

17. Don’t Do It
The closing song of the show and an unforgivable exclusion from the official release for that reason alone. A set meant to close out a band’s career should have contained their final notes.

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15 thoughts on “Grousing The Aisles: Complete Last Waltz

  1. phairmount Reply

    Fantastic, thank you, I still can’t believe that omitted “Don’t Do It?”

  2. Craig Reply

    I believe the 4CD box set of the Last Waltz has all of these tracks except for Georgia On My Mind.

  3. Jesse G. Reply

    wow. That is amazing. I agree that the 4CD boxed set has all of the songs but I think even those contained the overdubs, etc.

  4. Scott Bernstein Reply

    Exactly, Jesse. Very different sound and feel to the boxed set.

  5. Jon Reply

    Nice man, thanks. Great addition to the collection.

  6. Oliver Reply

    Good lord. Manuel singing Georgia on my Mind? How could they sit on this?

  7. Pingback: The Band — The “Real” Last Waltz « Musical Stew Daily |

  8. Paul Barnes Reply

    What about Dr. John & James Quill Smith. James rarely gets the credit or recognition he has deserved as premier blues guitarist. I believe he was there with Dr. John.

  9. Michael Shaw Reply

    Where can I find this to purchase?

  10. Scott Bernstein Reply

    Robbie Robertson only wants you to be able to hear the studio-ized version, so the only bound copies that exist would be found at record stores that sell bootlegs.

  11. Tony Gustamato Reply

    Listened to the first ninety minutes during the first half instead of madden/michaels b.s. Really different than the box set. Feels like you are there.

  12. Pingback: Grousing The Aisles: Complete Last Waltz | ShaBlogs |

  13. mark Reply

    where can I find how much these are worth?

  14. Pingback: Just Announced: The Complete Last Waltz @ The Warfield, SF 11/24/12LIVE music blog | LIVE music blog |

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