Highlights From The Human Rights Concerts 1986- 1998 (Eagle Rock) CD & DVD
[Release date 27.05.13]
Live Aid in 1985 started something of a trend for the great and good of pop / rock coming together to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes. Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Amnesty International’s 1986 USA Conspiracy Of Hope concert tour, and the 52nd anniversary of the founding of Amnesty, it’s fitting therefore that Geldof should open proceedings with a duet of ‘Redemption Song’ with Little Stephen.
Sometimes when revisiting fond memories, reality fails to match the height of your recollections, but on this teaser release – which picks highlights from the ’86 Conspiracy Of Hope tour, the 1988 historic 5 continent 20 concert Human Rights Now! and the stand alone concerts An Embrace Of Hope (Chile 1990) and The Struggle Continues (Paris 1998) – there are plenty of gems to be enjoyed.
The complete concert set will be released in October 2013 as a box set, but for now it’s a selective trip down memory lane. Should you opt for the DVD, as opposed to the 2-CD set, the scary part is just how young everyone looks and the realisation that there isn’t a new wave to follow in the footsteps of legends like Springsteen and U2.
There are moments here where rock doesn’t get any better – Bryan Adams’ timeless ‘Run To You’, a youthful Bono leading U2 and the crowd through ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’, and Tracy Chapman’s sheer presence with just an acoustic guitar on ‘Talkin’ ‘bout A Revolution’. Others, like Lou Reed, just exude an effortless cool.
Three of the four films have never been available in any format since their one-time only TV airings, and all have been digitally restored making this a perfect opportunity to enjoy some performances that still sound fresh and vital all these years later. Classic stuff. ****
Review by Pete Whalley
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