The Rolling Stones are back in the limelight thanks to the much-anticipated Martin Scorsese movie of their live show, Shine A Light, to be released later this month. But they're not the first group to get the director's treatment: 32 years ago, an equally influential rock band were immortalised thanks to Scorsese's genius. They are The Band, a Canadian-American group that rocked the music scene from the mid-1960s, when they were a backing band for Bob Dylan, to 1976, when they performed the legendary farewell concert that was documented by Scorsese and was released two years later as The Last Waltz. The film is hailed by many critics as a wonderful example of rock 'n' roll art. The same should be said of The Band's music, which helped to redefine the music of a generation. Even today, their happy melodies and storytelling lyrics, drawing on various traditions of rural American music, still have the power to enthral and excite. The Band - guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, drummer Levon Helm, organist and keyboardist Garth Hudson and multi-instrumentalist Richard Manuel - started out as the nameless backing band for rockabilly rebel Ronnie Hawkins. They got a gig supporting Dylan and helped him develop his unique electric sound, which offended folk purists who booed the electric set of every concert they did during the world tour from 1965 to 1966. Some of their most electrifying performances with Dylan revolutionised rock 'n' roll, and were captured on the album The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The Royal Albert Hall Concert. After working with Dylan, the band began to write their own songs. The result was Music from Big Pink (1968), one of the most memorable and versatile albums in rock 'n' roll history. With popular numbers such as The Weight, Chest Fever, Tears of Rage and I Shall Be Released, the band - by then officially called The Band - became a musical force to be reckoned with. The albums that followed, such as their self-titled sophomore album and Stage Fright, were critical - if not always commercial - successes. Then Robertson, weary of touring, decided to call it quits. 'Sixteen years on the road is long enough. Twenty years is unthinkable,' he says in The Last Waltz. The Band performed for the last time on November 25, 1976, inviting Hawkins, Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Dr John, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Paul Butterfield and Neil Diamond to guest-star. The film marks the end of an era - before rock 'n' roll was consumed by commercialism. The Last Waltz may mark the end of The Band, but its members will forever remain icons of American music.