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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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Review of Live Aid

DVD Review - Various Artists - Live Aid

It's doubtful that many would remember The Boomtown Rats were it not for
Bob Geldof's selfless act of setting aside his career in order to bring
to the attention of the Western world the horrible plight of over 30
million Africans who were suffering from the effects of a drought and
famine of Biblical proportions. Inspired in 1984 by a BBC news segment,
Geldof formed Band Aid -- a super-group of sorts that included Sting,
Bono, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, and Boy George, among others -- to
record a charity single titled Do They Know It's Christmas? Two months
later, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones founded USA for Africa, a
collective that included Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson,
Tina Turner, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder and issued its own tune We
Are the World. By July 13, 1985, the two organizations had combined
their efforts in order to produce a mammoth, all-star concert that was
dubbed Live Aid. Held on two continents and featuring snippets from
like-minded gatherings in Austria, Germany, Japan, Australia,
Yugoslavia, Norway, and the U.S.S.R., the event was broadcast throughout
the world to an audience of more than a billion and a half people spread
across 100 countries. Since then, the not-for-profit known as the Band
Aid Trust has raised more than $144 million to support its mission.

Therefore, it's not surprising that the largest concert in history has
been made available for home viewing, complete with the heartbreaking
BBC account that started it all. Though it is shocking that it took this
long to come to fruition, one must consider that Live Aid never was
supposed to be recorded or released in the first place, and Geldof, who
believed that the memory of the event would be a far more powerful
statement than its execution, long had resisted the urge to do anything
further with the original broadcast. However, given the problems that
the countries of Africa continue to face, Geldof changed his mind as a
means of raising additional funds. Still, the production of the Live Aid
DVD wasn't without its own share of difficulties. For starters, the
rights to all of the performances needed to be renegotiated with the
individual participants, which explains, at least in part, the reason
for some of the missing material. For example, the much-publicized
reunion of Led Zeppelin is conspicuously absent, apparently because
Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and Jimmy Page were so disappointed with
the band's set that they refused to allow the footage to be utilized.
Spoiling the rest of the absent selections were an array of other
factors, including a power outage that kept half of The Who's segment
from being broadcast at all; deleted news reels at the BBC and ABC; and
MTV's blabbering VJs. In essence, it's somewhat of a minor miracle that
a huge portion of the show -- a full 10 hours -- remained intact.

For the record, all-star affairs like Live Aid are typically heavy on
crowd-pleasing moments, and as such, they tend to be short on
inspiration. Each artist has only enough time to deliver a mini-set,
which almost always is comprised of mega-selling hits, and opportunities
for disparate acts to assimilate are nearly non-existent in such a
fast-paced environment. Therefore, there's little leeway for rebounding
from a slow start, building momentum, or, worse, overcoming boredom with
a highly anticipated tune. Consequently, benefit concerts feature an ebb
and flow of energy that attendees only can hope will coalesce into
something truly special, but as Geldof so aptly understood, what matters
at a particular moment in history is far different from something meant
for repeated viewing. Therefore, it's certainly fair to say that much of
the material on the Live Aid package falls somewhere in the middle of
the spectrum between good and bad, though in total, it's a magnificent
compilation that is beautifully shot and magically recaptures the
electrifying atmosphere of this extraordinary global phenomenon.

This is an excerpt. To read the complete review, please visit:

Love Julesxxx
Bob's personal Hippy Angel - well in my dreams ;-)
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