Even taking into account inflation, it's ironic in this era of $250 concert tickets that critics harped when the Band charged $25 for their legendary November 1976 farewell show at San Francisco's Winterland. That price not only included Thanksgiving dinner, but also numerous guest superstars who'd influenced, worked with, and/or shared the Canadian roots of Robbie Robertson and crew. What transpired was a grand celebration of North American musical forms. There are numerous definitive performances here--from Van Morrison's goose-bump-inducing "Caravan" and solo rendition of the beautiful Irish standard "Tura Lura Lural" (Celtic music inspired those Appalachians in the first place) to Bob Dylan and "the Hawks" delivering a pop-metallic "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down," first captured on the Royal Albert Hall Concert
tapes. But because this new fleshed-out version--produced and compiled by Robertson--includes surprises (late blues legend Muddy Waters's endearing take on Louis Jordan's "Caledonia"; current blues legend Dylan's "Hazel"), treasures ("This Wheels on Fire," Neil Young's "Four Strong Winds"), and two jam sessions that just don't add much, the new box set simply matches and enhances--but doesn't top--the original three-LP version of this wonderful slice of rock & roll history. --Bill Holdship
This 2-CD distillation of Rhino's 4-CD box restores the 30-song track listing from the 1978 triple-LP set, remixed by Robbie Robertson and remastered for stunning clarity! One of the most awe-inspiring concerts ever: Up on Cripple Creek; The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down; Mystery Train with Paul Butterfield; Such a Night with Dr. John; Mannish Boy with Muddy Waters, plus Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison .rapturous to relive!