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Critics' Choice
NOV. 11 IS ROBBIE ROBERTSON DAY
9/29/16

Universal Music Group’s UMe and Warner Music Group’s Rhino have selected 11/11 to celebrate the musical achievements of The Band co-founder Robbie Robertson. UMe has Testimony, a compilation of 18 tracks that cover recordings with Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, The Band and his solo career. Rhino will release four editions of a 40th Anniversary of The Last Waltz set.

The big boy in Rhino’s collection is The 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition, limited to 2,500 copies worldwide. It includes four CDs with 54 tracks, including the entire concert, rehearsals and outtakes, plus two Blu-ray discs—one of Martin Scorsese's film, another of bonus material—and a replica of Scorsese's original shooting script for the film, considered one of the best concert films ever.

The 40th anniversary editions will be available as a six-LP set, a two-CD remastered version of the original release, and a four-CD/Blu-ray Deluxe Edition.

(As if this needs explaining: The Last Waltz was The Band’s final concert, staged on Thanksgiving Day 1976 at the Winterland Theatre in San Francisco, and featured guest appearances from Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Dylan, Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Neil Young and others.)

Testimony will include a new mix of the title track, released in 1987 and featuring Gil Evans and his horn section, U2, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, Daniel Lanois and Ivan Neville. Other tracks include Levon & The Hawks’ “He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart)” and “I'm Gonna Play the Honky Tonks,” three live cuts from a 1971 show at The Academy Of Music and Robertson’s “Somewhere Down The Crazy River,” “Soap Box Preacher,” “When The Night Was Young” and “Unbound.”

The flurry of Robertson activity coincides with the 11/15 release of his memoir Testimony (Crown Archetype). Robertson will tell his side of The Band’s story, his personal experiences of the last 50 years and his creative friendships. Robertson created the compilation to accompany the book.