Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Last Waltz

This is so cliché, but I’ve just got to use it anyway: If I had to choose the one music album to bring to a desert Island, what would it be? It sure would not take me long to opt; no doubt would it be The Band’s ‘The Last Waltz’. This album is like historical documentation to beat even the Dead Sea Scrolls! The Band on their own is good, but on this album they are joined by some of the absolute great: Bob Dylan (of course), Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Paul Butterfield, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison … And the tracks they play … better than …. you name it … So fabulous!

PS I would very much like to bring Robbie Robertson along to that island as well, if possible.

Now, allow me to choose my favourite tracks. But please let me safeguard myself by saying I do like all the tracks! I mean who could not like Muddy Waters singing ‘Mannish Boy’!? Well?

My favourite tracks:

1) ‘Up on Cripple Creek’ (Robbie Robertson, vocals: Levon Helm)
“I took up all of my winnings
And I gave my little Bessie half
And she tore it up and blew it in my face
Just for a laugh”

2) ‘Helpless’ (Neil Young)
“There is a town in north Ontario,
With dream comfort memory
to spare,
and in my mind I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there”

3) ‘Coyote’ (Joni Mitchel)
“Locals were up kicking and shaking on the floor
And the next thing I know
That Coyote's at my door
He pins me in a corner and he won't take "No!"
He drags me out on the dance floor
And we're dancing close and slow”

4)‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ (Robbie Robertson, vocals: Levon Helm)
“Like my father before me, I'm a working man
And like my brother before me, I took a rebel stand
Oh, he was just 18, proud and brave
But a yankee laid him in his grave
I swear by the blood below my feet
You can't raise a Cane back up when he's in defeat”

5) ‘Caravan’ (Van Morrison)
“And the caravan is on its way
I can hear the merry gypsies play
Mama mama look at emma rose
Shes a-playin with the radio“

6) ‘I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)’ (Bob Dylan)
“I wish she'd tell me what it is, I'll run an' hide.
Though her skirt it swayed as a guitar played,
Her mouth was watery and wet.
But now something has changed
For she ain't the same,
She just acts like we never have met.”

7) ‘I Shall Be Released’ (Bob Dylan)
“They say ev'ry man needs protection,
They say ev'ry man must fall.
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.”

8)’The Weight’ (Robbie Robertson, vocals: Levon Holm)
“I pulled into Nazareth, I was feelin' about half past dead;
I just need some place where I can lay my head.
"Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?"
He just grinned and shook my hand, and "No!", was all he said.”

9) ‘Mystery Train’ (Herman Parker/Sam Philips, vocals: Paul Butterfield)
“Well I went down to the station, meet my baby at the gate
Asked the station master was the train a-running late
"Son, if you've been waiting for the four forty-four
I hate to tell you, boy, that train don't run here any more"

Wikipedia reads:
"The Last Waltz is the name of The Bands's final concert, the Martin Scorsese concert film, and the album of the concert.
The Band, consisting of Levon Helm on drums, Rick Danko on bass, Garth Hudson on organ, Richard Manuel on keys, and Robbie Robertson on guitar, had been touring for 16 years before deciding to disband.
They held their final concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, and made rock music history by compiling one of the most extensive lineups of prominent guest performers at a single concert. The venue was chosen as it was the first venue the group played under the name "The Band". The concert was not so much a farewell show, but more of a celebration of the group themselves and their close friends and biggest influencers."
( 2006-08-05)

The Last Waltz at imdb:

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