“Live At Knebworth” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Live at Knebworth”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 3/16/2010
Genre: Rock
Rating: 3.75/5

I was really happy to see this CD coming out in celebration of this particular event’s 20th Anniversary, as I can remember clearly sitting in front of my television watching it on MTV with the VCR controller in my hand pressing either record or pause based on which band was coming on so I could keep their set forever in my video library archives. I know what you are saying after that disclosure and its something like “a concert on MTV?”, “V…C…R???” and yes at one time we saw many concerts broadcast on the network and crazy music fans such as me often recorded the ones we held most passionate. In 1990 this was a common activity but I digress. In 2002 the video of this same broadcast was released and now in 2010 we find the audio companion for those fans who longed to see it coming out. They presented this CD as being a re-issue, but I must admit that I never owned it’s original and that makes this all the more exciting. I did own the DVD and had to say that there are a number of differences in the included tracks between the audio release and the three DVD disc set but that makes perfect sense. For me there were a number of highlights and lowlights to the release but first a little bit of background about the actual show. Recorded on June 30, 1990 at the Knebworth House, some of the most amazing British bands in music history convened at a benefit which was to raise money for both the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and the Brit School Of Performing Arts. These legends would perform for free and all of the money earned went to the charities involved and that was an incredibly noble gesture.

Given the fact that we only get a double CD for the audio version we lose a lot of the material that we saw on the DVD (if you have actually been able to enjoy that film) and oddly enough some of the CD tracks were not presented on the film. It was cool to hear Tears For Fears, but I only ever enjoyed two of their songs of which one is presented here and Status Quo while considered a legend were never one of those bands that did it for me. I was most interested in Robert Plant and while he primarily performs solo material, he is joined by former band mate Jimmy Page for the final number that he delivers here. That was a great one without question. I also really liked the lengthy Genesis presentation and while it only gives us one of their own tracks, it becomes a music history rewind treat as they touch upon many classics from Rock music history. Drummer/singer Phil Collins remains onstage to do one tune and while many like this particular track its never been one of my own favorites from his repertoire. I admit feeling a wee bit cheated at the one offering from the Dire Straits and Eric Clapton I was smiling again when Sir Paul McCartney hit the stage. The release closes out with Pink Floyd who does only two songs on the audio but I clearly recall their kicking off the set with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” when I watched the show. To my knowledge they were the main reason I was even tuning in and this would be as impressive as ever since this band pulls out all the stops with their live shows. I think in the end when it came to the CD that I was most taken by the McCartney, Genesis and Floyd contributions.

The CD comes with a booklet which lines out more about the players that took part in the show and gives you some additional photographs. They announced that some of the money earned from the sales of the CD will go back to these charities that they were originally planned for. This is a great piece to help recall a very special show and if you are a fan of these bands then it is a fantastic way to have your purchase help out in a good cause. I might have had some reservations about a couple of the omissions but that is to be expected when something lengthy gets trimmed down to fit on the available space. I will remain hopeful that a special and longer version of the original film gets released since that was very, very entertaining even if I was not into every single band that played. A good show is a good show and that is all that matters in the end.

Track Listing:
1. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Badman’s Song
2. Status Quo – Dirty Water, Whatever You Want, Rockin’ All Over The World
3. Cliff Richard & The Shadows – One The Beach, Do You Wanna Dance
4. Robert Plant – Hurting Kind, Liar’s Dance, Tall Cool One, Wearing And Tearing
5. Genesis – Mama, Turn It On Medley: Somebody To Love/Satisfaction/Twist & Shout/Reach Out I’ll Be There/You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling/Pinball Wizard/In The Midnight Hour/Turn It On Again
6. Phil Collins – Sussudio
7. Eric Clapton – Sunshine Of Your Love
8. Dire Straits – Think I Love You Too Much
9. Elton John – Sad Songs Say So Much, Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting
10. Paul McCartney – Coming Up, Hey Jude
11. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell

Official Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concerts_at_Knebworth_House

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