Concert for Bangladesh
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Staged on Aug. 1, 1971, at New York's Madison Square Garden, the show raised funds via UNICEF for Bangladeshi refugees caught in the middle of the country's battle for independence from Pakistan.
It featured Harrison performing alongside Bob Dylan (making a rare public appearance in the wake of a serious motorcycle accident), Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Ravi Shankar, Billy Preston, Badfinger and Leon Russell. The event was chronicled the following year on a triple-LP set and a feature film.
Rhino's DVD restores the original 99-minute movie in 5.1 sound and tacks on a wealth of extras, including a rehearsal performance of "If Not for You" with Harrison and Dylan and a soundcheck take on "Come on in My Kitchen" with Harrison, Clapton and Russell, plus Dylan performing "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," an outtake from the theatrical release.
The DVD will also include a 45-minute documentary, "The Concert for Bangladesh Revisited 2005," which features interviews with Bob Geldof and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Here is the track list for "The Concert for Bangladesh":
"My Sweet Lord"
"Awaiting on You All"
"That's the Way God Planned It"
"It Don't Come Easy"
"Beware of Darkness"
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
"Here Comes the Sun"
"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
"It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry"
"Blowin' in the Wind"
"Just Like a Woman"
"My friend came to me, sadness in his eyes, told me that he needed help, before his country died". How could someone refuse such a request. This concert reissue comes only days after a major earthquake has brought untold devastation and misery to millions in Southern Asia to whom this concert was first dedicated almost 35 years ago. It is fitting that this coincident release will help some of those affected.
Much has already been said about the concert footage which is reproduced on the first disc of the set although much cleaned up and with better quality sound. It is easy to forget what a task Harrison had in assembling such a troupe of musicians at the time. The difficult separation and divorce of the Beatles added to his own inexperience being the leader and not just the member of a band, Clapton with his ongoing substance abuse problems which had driven him to being a recluse and the shyness of Bob Dylan in front of such a crowd, this in the days before arena rock became the norm rather than the exception. Despite all of this the musicians played well together although the wall of sound approach sounds a little over the top when one compares to the slimdown reunion performance of Cream recently. There is a touch of the democratic approach with most of the artists with the exception of Clapton contributing at least one song to the proceedings.Read more ›
It's all evident in the Concert for Bangladesh movie. But that's not what I'm here to discuss.
I first saw it when it was released in the theaters in 1972, that's how old I am. I still have the original vinyl album and the great booklet with all the pictures.
I remember one summer the movie played at the local drive-in and I went with a bunch of buddies, crowded into a lime-green Volkswagen Beetle. When Bob Dylan came on, everyone honked their horns and flashed their lights. It was a cool moment. Of course, one of my cynical friends had to complain. "Look at Dylan! He's a has-been! He's OLD!" What was he, like thirty? I guess that was old back then, wasn't it.
Looking at the film on DVD all these years later, I'm struck by just how much sprituality was in evidence at that show. Harrison was so earnest in his beliefs and it really rang true. It still makes sense to me today. He never sang about subscribing to a certain religion, but simply what you can find inside yourself. You know, The Inner Light and all that.
There was such a heartfelt camaraderie on the stage that night. Ringo Starr looked great behind the skins, alongside future Wilbury Jim Keltner. When those shimmering first chords of It Don't Come Easy come up, so do my goose-bumps. You have to put this in perspective; The Beatles had only broken up a year or so earlier, and these guys were still infallible gods at the time. Not only that, to see Bob Dylan in person was an event; he'd been in exile for several years at this point.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great historical concert witnesses the shy Bealte at the top of his game! A must for rock fans and historians!Published 4 months ago by Charles W. Peters
One of the best packages I ever purchased...I still watch this amazing group of musicians from such a magic time.Published 10 months ago by Thonza
The DVD hardly needs another 5 star review, with 82% five stars at this time. I'm only 41, I wasn't there when this occurred. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gladlands