The Concert for Bangladesh is a live triple album and double DVD by George Harrison and celebrity friends performed in aid of the homeless Bengali refugees of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Performed on 1 August 1971 at New York City's Madison Square Garden, The Concert for Bangladesh was a pioneering charity event, preceding Live Aid by 14 years.
After being made aware of the gravity of the situation in what was then known as East Pakistan by friend and musician Ravi Shankar, Harrison quickly organised two performances in their aid, in addition to composing and releasing a single called "Bangladesh" just preceding the event. With Harrison, highly popular following the success of All Things Must Pass, leading the shows, he wanted to surround himself with his closest musician friends, including Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan (both of whom were in reclusive states at that time), in addition to Billy Preston, Badfinger, Leon Russell, Shankar, and Ringo Starr, among others.
Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney had been asked by Harrison to join, but McCartney felt it was too soon for a Beatles reunion and declined. Lennon was keen to take part, but recanted his acceptance after Harrison stated that he did not want Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, to take part in the concert.
The two concerts on 1 August 1971 were highly successful, with a cheque for US$243,418.50 being immediately sent to UNICEF for relief. All involved were pleased with a job well done. As much as $15 million was made by the album and film, but the money was held in an Internal Revenue Service escrow account for years because the concert organisers hadn't applied for tax-exempt status. It's uncertain how much money actually went to relieve the initial refugee crisis and Harrison himself was said to have been "disgusted" over the matter.
Shortly before Christmas in 1971, The Concert for Bangladesh was released in the US, while appearing in the UK shortly after New Year's Day 1972. It was an immediate best-seller, spending several weeks at #2 in the US and becoming Harrison's second #1 UK album during his lifetime. The album's significance was further cemented when it won the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1973.
To enable Bob Dylan's appearance on the album, his label, Columbia Records, was given the cassette distribution rights. Presently, Sony Music has also assumed the CD rights for the album in Europe.
Initially reissued on CD in 1991, The Concert for Bangladesh was remastered and re-released -with some editing of the breaks in between the songs - in October 2005 with the addition of Dylan's rehearsal performance of "Love Minus Zero/No Limit", as well as a simultaneous DVD release of the original 1972 Apple film.
The artwork on the original album featured a malnourished Bangladeshi refugee child, which the record companies thought was too depressing and would hurt sales of the albums. They wanted Harrison's image on the cover, but Harrison refused and insisted that the child be put on the cover. Eventually, when the album was re-released in 2005, after Harrison had died, it was Harrison's photo on the cover, though the special-edition DVD retains the original photograph.
Sales of the remastered album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
All songs by George Harrison, except where noted.
"George Harrison/Ravi Shankar Introduction" – 5:19
"Bangla Dhun" (Ravi Shankar) – 16:40
A dhun performed by Ravi Shankar
"Wah-Wah" – 3:30
"My Sweet Lord" – 4:36
"Awaiting on You All" – 3:00
"That's the Way God Planned It" (Billy Preston) – 4:20
Performed by Billy Preston
"It Don't Come Easy" (Ringo Starr) – 3:01
Performed by Ringo Starr
"Beware of Darkness" – 3:36
Featuring Leon Russell on one verse
"Band Introduction" – 2:39
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" – 4:53
"Medley: Jumpin' Jack Flash/Young Blood" (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards)/(Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Doc Pomus) – 9:27
Performed by Leon Russell, with Billy Preston on "Youngblood"
"Here Comes the Sun" – 2:59
"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" (Bob Dylan) – 5:44
"It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" (Bob Dylan) – 3:07
"Blowin' in the Wind" (Bob Dylan) – 4:07
"Mr. Tambourine Man" (Bob Dylan) – 4:45
"Just Like a Woman" (Bob Dylan) – 4:49
Tracks 13–17 are performed by Bob Dylan, accompanied by Harrison, Ringo Starr and Leon Russell
"Something" – 3:42
"Bangla-Desh" – 4:55
Harrison's studio version of "Bangladesh" was released as a single just two days before the concerts
Bonus track (2005 re-master)
"Love Minus Zero/No Limit" (Bob Dylan) – 4:19
Ravi Shankar – sitar
Ali Akbar Khan – sarod
Alla Rakha – tabla
Kamala Chakravarty – tamboura
George Harrison – vocals, guitars
Ringo Starr – vocals, drums, tambourine
Leon Russell – vocals, piano, bass guitar
Billy Preston – vocals, organ
Eric Clapton – lead guitar
Bob Dylan – vocals, guitar, harmonica
Klaus Voormann – bass guitar
Jim Keltner – drums
Badfinger (Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Joey Molland) - acoustic guitars, (Mike Gibbins) – tambourine
Jesse Ed Davis – lead guitar
Don Preston – lead guitar, vocals
Carl Radle – bass guitar
Jim Horn, Allan Beutler, Chuck Findley, Jackie Kelso, Lou McCreary, Ollie Mitchell – The Hollywood Horns
Don Nix, Jo Green, Jeanie Greene, Marlin Greene, Dolores Hall, Claudia Linnear – backing vocals
This recording was made using up to 44 microphones at one time.
Special thanks go to Gary Kellgren, Lillian, Dennis and Tom of Record Plant, New York and to Norman and Steve mix down engineers of A&M Studio, Los Angeles for their time and energy.
(Credit goes to Wikipedia)
Last edited by Brainwashed
on Fri May 16, 2008 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.