Vinyl Pressing Review

The Band

The Last Waltz

Reviewed by Rob Peoni on 09.17.2013

There is a reason this historic compilation repeatedly receives top tier reissue treatment. For many, the place of 'The Last Waltz' in the pantheon of modern American music is up there with Woodstock and Stevie Ray Vaughn's Montreux performances. The concert has since achieved immortal status due to the unparalleled popularity of Martin Scorsese's documentary. The laundry list of special guests at The Band's farewell show on Thanksgiving Day 1976 is unrivaled. Here, Rhino teams up with Warner Bros. for a stellar 3 X LP Record Store Day package that does the historic recordings justice.

Ratings are based on a scale from 0-10.

Overall Sound:


The production quality is as pitch-perfect as ever. From the Garth Hudson's immaculate saxophone solo on "It Makes No Difference" to the kitchen sink rendition of of "I Shall Be Released," it's all here in astonishing clarity, particularly for a live recording. The vocals are up front. The rhythms are bouyant and energetic. It's big and bold at every turn.

Pressing Quality:


Excellent pressing. The 180-gram, virgin vinyl sounds as great as it looks and feels. It would be nice to have a gatefold jacket, however it appears Rhino adhered to the design of the original album for the Record Store Day edition. Overall, we can daydream about additional bonus materials but aside from some minor vinyl noise, there are very few flaws to be found.

Vinyl Noise:


There is some minor static toward the end of the b-side and beginning of the a-side of records 1 and 2 respectively. However, this is a very quiet release throughout. There is also some occasional popping between tracks, but never during songs. No skipping throughout.

Overall Artwork:


Rhino appears to have achieved an accurate reproduction of the original LP. The artwork is minimal, with the iconic image of the band taking its final bow with hands held skyward on matted cream paper. The still-frames included in the album's gatefold insert are a nice touch, but don't offer anything to fans familiar with the release.

Overall Extras:


Hand-numbered and limited to 5,000 copies on 180-gram vinyl. Album insert featuring full-color still-frames from Martin Scorsese's documentary as well as a full track listing. It's not a ton of extras, but it's tough to fault the accurate reproduction of the original album.

Reviewed By:
Rob Peoni

I'm a longtime music junkie who began collecting vinyl around three years ago. I have around 300 titles that span a broad variety of genres. I tend to gravitate toward...

Rob has reviewed 48 other Records.


Total Score

: 4.15



Label: Rhino / Warner Bros.
Release Year: 2013
Purchase Price: 49.99
Pressing Company: unknown
Format: 12 inch LP
# of Records: 3
Pressing Weight: 180 gram
Color: black
Gatefold: No
Digital: No
Inner Sleeves:
matted cream paper

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Nice review of a fantastic album. If you read Levon Helms autobiography you will get a different take on the concert as Levon was really not happy. He goes on to say that all of the other parts from the members of the Band, save his, were overdubbed in the studio, so maybe you could make the argument that it is not completely a live album. I love it still especially Van Morrison's "Caravan".