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George Harrison and Friends: The Concert for Bangladesh

George Harrison , Saul Swimmer    Unrated   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 48.99
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George Harrison and Friends: The Concert for Bangladesh + Watership Down Deluxe Edition (Sous-titres franais)
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The Concert for Bangladesh was the first benefit concert of its kind in that it brought together an extraordinary assemblage of major artists collaborating for a common humanitarian cause -- setting the precedent that music could be used to serve a higher


Before We Are the World, before the Amnesty International concerts, before Live Aid, Live 8, 46664, and all the other charitable and/or political events that have used popular music as their principal draw, there was George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, a stirring affair released here in a fine two-disc set. The cause--raising money for the beleaguered people of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), who were ravaged by war, floods, and famine--was enough to attract the support of stars like the former Beatle, who had never fronted a band before, along with Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, both of whom had been out of the limelight for some years due to various personal problems and choices. Given the little time that Harrison, whose help had been solicited by sitar master Ravi Shankar, had to organize the affair, the results are very impressive indeed: the enormous band, which also features Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, and Billy Preston, is tight, the music (spotlighting tunes from Harrison's All Things Must Pass, along with a few Beatle numbers) inspired, the musicians at the top of their games. (Only Clapton is sub-par; looking out of it and playing weakly, he's a far cry from the guy who, some 30 years later, would spearhead the magnificent Concert for George.) For some, the opportunity to see Dylan onstage with Harrison, Starr, and Russell (playing bass) will be the big attraction. Others will thrill to the remastered DVD sound and restored picture. Still others will revel in an entire disc of bonus material, including three previously-unreleased performances and a documentary featuring new interviews with many of the participants. 1971 was a bleak period in rock history; the Beatles had broken up, Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison were dead, Woodstock was a distant memory. The Concert for Bangladesh shone like a beacon, a revelation of the better angels that reside within us all. And it still does. --Sam Graham

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RE-ISSUE 'Concert for Bangladesh' on DVD, Pls... April 7 2004
Who single handily influenced me, at a tender age of 12, to care about the suffering from the great flood that year, George did. And, with kudos from my father, I brought my first ever Benefit Concert record that same year. I am still proud to have had contributed to George's cause that year, and I know I am a better person today because of it. Thanks to him and to my father for opening my eyes to the great many humanitarian causes and needs.
I still have the same record some thirty-two years later, and although I had brought the CD several years back, I think it is a high-time for me to buy a DVD to show my kids; my contribution to the Generation X I fondly call them, how a mass of people in this country, regardless of their race, age, gender, religion, all came together under one great flag that year and actually gave God something to smile about.
Rumors of financial scandal in the distribution of relief fund immediately following the year of the concert notwithstanding, the noble action of great many that year counts for something. Also notwithstanding, a seemingly lack of sophistication in the making of that concert, but the musicianship and the genuine fan participation still out-shine many present day events. A true 'Jewel' and a true 'Triumph of the Human Spirit'! And it would be a shame and a mockery, if the re-issue of this watershed DVD were being debated today on the ground of profitability. This event is a 'Public Domain', and should belong to the entire human race.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The First & Greatest Benefit Concert. Ever. Dec 22 2003
By A Customer
Great concert, great music, inept camera work (thus only 4 stars). Sound, produced by Phil Spector, is actually excellent. It is the same as the theatrical version of the concert movie. It can be hard to find.
This came at the end of a running, multi-year collaboration between George Harrison, Eric Clapton, the Delaney & Bonnie Band, Dave Mason and a whole host of others including a young Phil Collins. Many of the main musicians except for Bob Dylan had been playing together for years and it shows on the strong renditions of Harrison's songs. Harrison, Clapton, the D&B band and Phil Spector had just finished the All Things Must Pass epic album, and Clapton and others from the crew had recorded the Layla album, also epic. After this some of the same people went on tour with Joe Cocker as 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen.' You simply could not have assembled a better band than this in the early 70s.
For this concert, it is the D&B musicians backing Harrison, Ringo Starr, Clapton and every great session player in the vicinity. These performances launched the careers of Billy Preston and Leon Russell and returned Bob Dylan to the radio after a long absence.
It starts with Harrison explaining the notion of a benefit concert and how he came to organize it. This was the first benefit rock concert and really has not been equalled since. It also has some songs by Ravi Shankar and a small, all-star band of Indian musicians, as well as a few scenes of the suffering of the starving people of Bangladesh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!!! Dec 27 2005
By slook
Haven't heard this music since it was released back in the early 70's. Sounds even better now and to see it live is fantastic. Looks funny to see them all smoking cigarettes.
Dylan's Love minus zero is a real treat. My Sweet Lord is worth the price of this Dvd alone. Peter Ham of Badfinger joining Harrison on Here Comes the Sun, is also a highlight! I am Just glad I bought this!!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Long before "Farm Aid" and "We are the World", George & Ravi put together this fantastic show. Although I wasn't anywhere near Madison Square Garden, I read an article about this benefit in my doctor's office. The show was billed, George Harrison & Friends benefit for Bangla Desh. Can you imagine the surprise those lucky ticket holders experienced when they saw George's friends? A few weeks later, I saw the show advertised in the local newspaper and that the film was showing at a local movie theater. My friend and I went and stayed all day (watched it over and over). Many people don't realize the reason the sound is excellent. Up to that date, it was the most microphones/tracks ever used to record a concert. The engineer was none other than Phil Spector! Order this concert, it is the Best Of The Best for the era. You won't be disappointed!
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Billy Preston almost steals the spotlight from Eric Clapton on his One More Car, One More Rider DVD with his infectious smile and swirling Hammond B3 sounds. On the Concert for Bangladesh he absolutely brings the house down with "That's The Way God Planned It". This and "Jumpin Jack Flash" is worth the price alone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just priceless !!! Jan. 11 2014
To see George perform live is just priceless. Great picture, sound and great show !!! What more can I say, it's a must for your collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Master at work Feb. 24 2013
By bassMR
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
George should probably be recognized as the father of the benefit concert genre; he started it all with this one.
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