Rising to prominence as Bob Dylan’s backing band and key collaborators, The Band soon became a hugely influential act in their own right. With their string of hugely acclaimed albums in the late 60s and early 70s, as well a performance at the legendary Woodstock festival, they inspired such contemporary acts as Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Elton John. On November 25th 1976 The Band performed their farewell concert at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco which featured such special guests as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Van Morrison. The concert was immortalised as ‘The Last Waltz’ by famed director Martin Scorsese and is often hailed as one of the greatest concert films ever made.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory
With a string of hits under their belt, and a high profile set at the legendary Woodstock Festival, CCR were one of the biggest bands around. This double album would be their commercial peak just before the band rapidly spiralled towards a tempestuous breakup. It’s also their most diverse album featuring the rock’n’roll of ‘Travellin’ Band’, the psychedelic ‘Ramble Tamble’ and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard it Through The Grapevine’.
Neil Young – Harvest
As much as he tried to avoid it, fame and success followed Neil Young around, whether with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or with his solo work. All other success though paled in comparison with that of Harvest, an acoustic album featuring the hits ‘Heart Of Gold’ and ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’. Following this Young tried to escape his acoustic troubadour image and went on to make heavier albums that helped found alternative rock and grunge.
Grateful Dead – American Beauty
The biggest cult band in the world. Although they were one of the most popular bands in America at the time they didn’t receive much commercial success until they swapped out their psychedelic acid test jams for the acoustic style of American Beauty. It featured some of their most famous and familiar songs including ‘Truckin’, ‘Sugar Magnolia’ and ‘Friend of the Devil’, ‘Ripple’ and ‘Box of Rain’.
The Band – The Last Waltz
Starting out as a backing band for Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, The Band went their own way and became known as one of the most loved and talented bands of the time. By the late 70s however pressure was starting to build and they decided to call it quits with one massive farewell concert. Though it featured such incredible guest stars as Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton, The Band pulled off one final swan song and upstaged them all.