25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockin' for a Purpose
Twenty years ago, this album opened new territory for me as a teenager. I was most taken with the Dylan side (5 songs), and the incredible performance of Leon Russell. Recently I re-bought the concert as a CD because I wanted to hear how it (and maybe I) measured up. It is fantastic! Now what I notice are the subtleties: how welcome the opening chords to...
Published on June 7, 1999
1 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars George on Drugs
George is clearly stoned! Too bad we don't have the concert from Japan around 1992, with Eric Clapton. The 1992 show would be great on DVD. Here, George is playing too well and even Clapton on My Guitar Gently Weeps is not in form.
Plus, there are all too few Harrison songs. Something and Here Comes the Sun are there, but once again the performances are...
Published on February 18, 2003
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rockin' for a Purpose,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)Twenty years ago, this album opened new territory for me as a teenager. I was most taken with the Dylan side (5 songs), and the incredible performance of Leon Russell. Recently I re-bought the concert as a CD because I wanted to hear how it (and maybe I) measured up. It is fantastic! Now what I notice are the subtleties: how welcome the opening chords to "Wah-Wah" sound after the Ravi Shankar introduction, how Ringo bungles his way through the lyrics of "It Don't Come Easy", how George omits a verse of "Awaiting On You All", what a great addition Leon is to George's "Beware of Darkness", how George cuts off the applause to the introduction of Eric Clapton, how Leon sounds better than ever, how earnest George sounds in "Here Comes the Sun", how looking-back-prophetic Dylan sounds. And how George reclaims the show with "Something" and "Bangla Desh". This concert is where '60s hope met '70s futility. For all, it is a true rock treat. For me, it sounds better than ever!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Beatles + Dylan + Clapton + Russell + Preston = History!,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)From the opening warm up sitar of Ravi Shankar (a great introduction to Indian instruments and music) to the legends of English and American rock n' roll this concert immortalizes a historic coming together. George Harrison was still primed from his "All Things Must Pass" LP's. The pure energy of "Wah-Wah", "My Sweet Lord" and "Awaiting On You All" leaves you breathless. Then Billy Preston did the one song I like by him "That's The Way God Planned It". From the soulful organ to the gospel harmony backing him, this song moves even a non-believer. Ringo does his first and best post-Beatle single "It Don't Come Easy" with his usual laid back coolness. And now comes the best song on disc one "Beware Of Darkness". George starts it out with all the enthusiasm of the previous songs but watch out now here comes Leon Russell to knock you off your feet. Great Harrison and Russell duet. Then this allstar band plays one of the Beatles classics "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". From the superstars to the back-up players this was a band's Band. Disc two starts out with the medley "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Youngblood" by Leon Russell. Russell does "Jumpin' Jack Flash" as good if not better than the Stones. He plays to the audience better than any of these superstars. He had it in his blood this night. Next Harrison treats us to "Here Comes The Sun". It was like a gentle rain on this thunderous evening. Next we hear five of Dylan's best, played at their best. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" is his poetic masterpiece played to a waiting and heated audience. "It Takes A Lot To Laugh..." has you swaying and keeping time with your feet. "Blowin' In The Rain" is one of his best performances. With "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Just Like A Woman" to follow we have a live greatest hits venue. Then follows Harrison doing a polished live version of "Something" to be followed by the reason for this gathering "Bangla Desh" (a stirring song). It will be a long time before this type of talent would be on one stage at one time any time soon. Shortly after this concert Leon Russell released an LP with "Beware Of Darkness," "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall". A great collection!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sterling live performances,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)It was 1971 and Bangela Desh was suffering one of its most severe famines and droughts in recorded history. Musician Ravi Shankar asked his friend George Harrison if there was some way the music community could help the suffering in Bangela Desh. This fine album is the result. Featuring spirited performances that vary from ragged to inspired, Concert remains one of the best benefit albums and the was one of the first of its type on such a grand scale.
Ravi Shankar starts things off with his piece Banla Dhun (Harrison admonishes the crowd to be quiet prior to the performance)Harrison's performances are stellar; the best songs from All Things Must Pass receive the production and sound that you hear on the original album. There's also a number of Beatles' classics as well (although, sadly, some of Harrison's early Beatles material is not included but you can find that on the Live in Japan album). Here Comes The Sun benefits from having Harrison accompanied by Badfinger's Pete Ham on acoustic guitar. It's a transcendent moment on the album.
Eric Clapton doesn't play any of his Cream material but appears as a support musician on most of the tracks. The talented Leon Russell duets on Harrrison's Beware of Darkness and performs an inspired medley of Jumpin' Jack Flash and The Coasters' Youngblood. Ringo appears with his solo hit It Don't Come Easy. It's a pity that John Lennon chose not to appear (he was invited) as the band featured here is superior to Elephant's Memory (Lennon's backing band on his live album).
Finally, Bob Dylan appears after a long self imposed exile from performing. His performance is a bit ragged but welcome. He begrudingly played Blowin' in the Wind (Harrison asked him to do so. Dylan retorted that Harrison should play I Want to Hold Your Hand).
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Soundtrack But I Was Hoping For Better Sound Quality,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)My vinyl copy for the Concert for Bangladesh is still in excellent condition and for the era, most of it sounds very good. I made a cassette tape of my favorite tunes when I first bought it, then a CD copy a while back after buying a CD recorder. I expected this remastering to be an improvement over the CD copy I made of my vinyl and it really isn't. Mind you, I'm not saying that the CD sounds bad, but the vinyl was very clean on the songs by Dylan, Clapton, Harrison and Russell and they sound a little muddier on CD.
The sitar music never appealed to me much back in the day, but I've now listened to it more because of buying the CD and my appreciation has grown. But still, the folk and rock sections are the part that stand out to me. Listening to these discs really bring back the memories of that special time. Ravi and George did a wonderful thing in organizing this concert. It's great that it's available again.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrison and Dylan headline this historic benefit concert,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)In 1971, tens of thousands of refugees were fleeing into India from Bangla Desh, as the government in West Pakistan was attempting to assert its complete dominion over the eastern half of the nation. Pakistan had been created in 1947, following the withdrawal of the British from the Indian subcontinent, into two distinct land areas separated by over one thousand miles of Indian territory. The acclaimed Ravi Shankar, as a Bengali, was naturally concerned with the humanitarian crisis and hoped to arrange some sort of benefit for the cause. After seeking help and advice from his friend George Harrison, the whole project started coming together, eventually raising many times the amount of money Shankar had initially dreamed of. Under the leadership of Harrison, the Concert for Bangla Desh was planned and staged over the course of only some five or six weeks. Not only did the concert benefit a worthy cause, it gave us all an incredible concert performance to enjoy featuring some of the biggest stars of the day.
The show starts with an introduction by Harrison and a performance by Ravi Shankar and crew. Bangla Dhun is an incredibly long track that displays all of the mystical beauty and, to many listeners, wholly unknown sound of the sitar and other Asian instruments. The crowd showed a lot of appreciation for the performance, despite the fact that most of them came to see and hear Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Bob Dylan. Such an appearance by the reclusive Dylan was certainly an event in 1971, and he gave by far the strongest performance of the evening, singing five of his classic recordings: A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall; It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry; Blowin' in the Wind; Mr. Tambourine Man; and Just Like a Woman.
George Harrison, naturally, performed a good number of his own songs - including Beatles tracks alongside songs from his relatively young solo career. Harrison's delivery of Wah-Wah and My Sweet Lord are just terrific. Awaiting On You All, Beware of Darkness, and Something are also fine performances. His voice seemed to let him down a bit as the concert wore on, though, and this took a little something (but not much) away from his renditions of the immortal tracks Here Comes the Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
There were other noteworthy contributions on this night. Ringo Starr stepped out from behind the drums to sing It Don't Come Easy - apparently, remembering the words to the song is one of those things that "don't come easy." He does give an energetic performance, though. Billy Preston emerged to deliver one of the concert's best songs: That's the Way God Planned It, doing his career a lot of good through this one 1971 performance. Leon Russell excited the crowd with a forceful rendition of the Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash and the song Youngblood. The group Badfinger added their talents to the mix, as did guitarist extraordinaire Eric Clapton. One of the most memorable moments of the night must surely have come when both Clapton and Harrison teamed up on the classic While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
I actually think the sound quality is pretty good on this CD, especially taking in mind the fact that this concert took place on August 1, 1971. The concert was a great success, raising almost two hundred fifty thousand dollars for the cause, and fans of George Harrison and Bob Dylan will definitely want to add this two-disc album to their CD collections if possible.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, George,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)Ok, now that George is gone can the good people at Capital please get off their apple scruffs and remaster and rerelease this beautiful concert? I mean it did win the Grammy as Album of the Year, if I'm not mistaken, and it contains a remarkable warmth and humanity you just don't find in the ego star (...) that pass as benefit concerts these day. And the music, if you believe, is timeless. I'm telling you, after all these years (my vinyl is wearing thin, folks, so please get this thing remastered and rereleased) I still get a chill when Leon comes in on George's "Beware of Darkness." The crowd does too. The excitement is palpable. George is in superb voice. Leon nearly steals the show. Ringo is, well, Ringo. The background singers are excellent. Badfinger holds it all together, and Bob Dylan produces one of his most underrated and finest sides ever. This is the best his voice ever sounded. .... Please, give this the "All Things Must Pass" treatment because it is just as valuable as a great listen, as well as a memorial to George Harrison's humanity and quality.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE essential benefit concert soundtrack that every person should own,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)Benefit concerts are common place now, but this was the first. Held on 1st August 1971 in Madison Square Garden and captured using over 40 different microphones, these tracks still sparkle and this collection made a difference in the lives of many starving people.
Nearly thirty years later, the music is still fresh and hopeful. George Harrison (some of you may recall him as a member of the Beatles) gathered a few musicians for a magical night. Ringo Starr (identified in the liner notes by his birth name-Richard Starkey) from the Beatles joins Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar, and Bob Dylan, among others.
The CD opens with almost twenty minutes of fantastic Indian music. Ravi Shankar plays a 'dhun' on sitar (just the name sounds like the popping of a drumhead) accompanied by sarod, tabla, and tamboura. Leon Russell's medley, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Youngblood" is worth the price of this CD alone. I've listened to a lot of different recordings of this medley, but this is the best. It is alive and crisp. If that's not enough for you, keep listening and you'll hear Bob Dylan perform five great tracks. My wife and I saw him tour with Paul Simon in the summer of 1999, and marveled at his sets. But these tracks were recorded when he was at the peak of his career, and are clearly keepers. Have you ever heard "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall?" How about "Blowin' in the Wind" or "Mr. Tambourine Man?" I'm sure you have, and they were current when these performances took place.
George leads various musicians (including the Apple band Badfinger) in a lot of familiar Beatle numbers, like "It Don't Come Easy," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun." "Beware of Darkness" is a great track, recorded with almost everyone on stage. It is chilling!.
I still remember the LIFE magazine coverage of this event, and you can hear the audience in happy amazement at this once-in-a-lifetime moment. They bought tickets, not knowing who would be there (hoping, I suppose, for a reunion of the Fab Four.) Read the article.
Buy the brand new -at last!- DVD on 25th October and the new CD remastered edition. This is by far the best benefit concert.
Remember George Harrison 1943-2001
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A trip down memory lane,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)I was fortunate to attend the evening performance of the amazing Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. I went mainly to hear Dylan, who was ethereal, but the entire concert was fabulous. It was mindblowing to see and hear all those great musicians together on one stage. After not listening to the ablum for years, I was reminded by Beware of Darkness on the recent Concert for George, of the powerful version done by George and Leon Russell. That song alone is worth the price of the CD, but there other great ones: Wah Wah (Leon Russell's piano and Billy Preston's organ!!) as well as While My Guitar Gently Weeps,Leon Russell's Jumping' Jack Flash/Youngblood, and Dylan's performance of Just Like a Woman.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE CONCERT FOR BANGLA DESH (APPLE RECORDS/1971),
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)An amazing document and a truly compassionate gesture from ex-Beatle George Harrison who organized and donated all the proceedings from this hastily produced concert extravaganza to help the poor, starving refugees from Bangla Desh. Joining him on stage are a host of musicians and friends including fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, session men extrodinaire Billy Preston and Leon Russell, legendary bassist Klaus Voormann, power pop group Badfinger, and (most impressive of all) two of rock's most enigmatic icons: Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. Master sitarist Ravi Shankar opens the proceedings with the bejewelling and intoxicating "Bangla Dhun". After which Harrison (who seems a little nervous at first) kicks into a ragged version of "Wah Wah" then settles into the lovely "My Sweet Lord" and a nicely jived-up "Awaiting On You All" which provides a nice segue-way into Preston's soul/gospel showcase "That's The Way God Planned It". From there on out the album just blasts off, climaxing with an electrifying performance by Bob Dylan who hadn't been seen on stage in over a year. Side six closes with "Something" and an impassioned coda of George's "Bangla Desh" single. But the most unforgettable moment comes courtesy of Harrison and Badfinger guitarist Pete Ham as they deliver a haunting, all accoustic rendition of "Here Comes The Sun". It's a transcendent piece of pure Heaven. "BANGLA DESH" remains a grand delight, and a heck of a concert. HIGHEST POP ALBUM CHART POSITION: Number 1.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Classic Band-Aid of The Times,
This review is from: The Concert for Bangla Desh (Audio CD)The artist's are terrific. This album brought George Harrison out to center stage in his career. It also brought Eric Clapton out of a self-imposed alcohol stupor, and launched the career of the relatively unknown "Brit," to Americans - Leon Russell. The music is great, but better if you know the songs they're performing from the individual artists before hearing these renditions. Some of the highlights include Clapton and Harrison sharing lead guitar's on Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and Leon Russell's lead vocals on Harrison's "Beware of Darkness." One of my all time favorites is "Wah-Wah," a great rendering considering all the talent available on the stage at this time. I've rated this (4) stars due to the limitations of the recording of this "live" benefit concert. This was the first of what would become many "Aid" type concerts and really began the whole genre of this type of selfless benefit concerts long before "We Are The World," or "Farm-Aid." Really a classic in its own right. I wonder who profits from these album sales now? A must have for any serious 60's / 70's collector.
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