Flashback To Bob Dylan & The Band’s Star-Studded Performance Of “I Shall Be Released” In 1976

Flashback To Bob Dylan & The Band’s Star-Studded Performance Of “I Shall Be Released” In 1976

bob dylan, the band
Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and The Band's Robbie Robertson sing 'I Shall Be Released,' the finale of director Martin Scorsese's concert film, 'The Last Waltz.' Photo by United Artists/Getty Images.

Folk-rock icon, Bob Dylan celebrated his 79th birthday over the weekend (May 24), and to mark the occasion we’re diving into the archives to remember The Band’s spectacular performance of “I Shall Be Released” in 1976, featuring Dylan himself, alongside one of the most star-studded line ups to ever join forces. 

The incredible moment occurred during The Band's cherished farewell concert from Thanksgiving Day (Nov 25th) at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom, known as The Last Waltz. The four-hour concert celebrated The Band’s rich and illustrious catalogue of tunes, with accompaniment from an overwhelming list of high-profile guests that included Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Ronnie Wood, Van Morrison and many more. Watch below. 

Bob Dylan & The Band | “I Shall Be Released” [1976]

Towards the end of the epic concert, Bob Dylan took to the stage decked out in the white pimp's hat and a polka dot shirt he wore during his 1966 tour with The Band. After delivering a shortlist of well-loved hits, Robbie Robertson asked Dylan to remain onstage to lead the grand finale, bringing all of the nights' guests back to the stage for this rousing rendition of "I Shall Be Released" – a song written by Dylan and first recorded by The Band on their 1968 album, Music From The Big Pink.

Bob Dylan is surely one of the most influential artists of all-time. “I Shall Be Released” has been recorded by an exhaustive list of massive artists, including Jeff Buckley, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, The Byrds, Nina Simone, Jerry Garcia Band, The Hollies, Lisa Loeb, Michael McDonald, Elvis Presley (literally) just to name a few. But, it’s safe to say that this all-star performance of the classic Dylan-penned track goes down as one of the most spectacular moments in music history! 

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