The Concert for Bangladesh album review – archive, 1972 | George Harrison

We are usually not attempting to make any politics. We’re artists. However by our music we wish you to really feel the agony … In Bangladesh.” Ravi Shankar talking earlier than he started to play at Madison Sq. Backyard. The file of that live performance can be launched subsequent Monday as a triple album (Apple STCX 3385), and all of the proceeds will go to aid for Bangladesh (just like the live performance gate of $243,418.50).

Since he performed in Monterey, Ravi Shankar grew to become well-known each to the rock music viewers and in addition to rock musicians. George Harrison elected to be influenced by Indian music as quickly because the Beatles performed greater than pop tunes: Revolver, launched in 1966, exhibits the start of his self-teaching. (Brian Jones was influenced on the similar time: Aftermath, additionally launched in 1966, has him enjoying sitar). Harrison was at all times extra involved to deepen his concepts than to try the musically unimaginable; so, as a substitute of emulating Ravi Shankar, each males have for years in impact been the others’ patron: George by putting his fame at Ravi’s service, Ravi by being, within the background, an altogether higher Guru for Harrison than the Maharishi.

Ravi Shankar, a Bengali, requested Harrison for assist to boost cash for the victims of the struggle in East Pakistan final summer season. The Madison Sq. Backyard’s live performance was the end result, mounted in a month. The first aspect of the triple album has Ravi enjoying sitar to Ali Akbar Khan’s sarod.

Aspect two is, in impact, a retake of probably the most memorable and attribute of Harrison’s songs on All Issues Should Cross (Apple STCII 639). Certainly, with some very notable exceptions to come back, the lineup of musicians on The Concert for Bangladesh is much like George’s earlier triple album. Eric Clapton joins him for Wah-Wah, My Candy Lord and Awaiting On You All, with Leon Russell on piano. The images of Harrison on the live performance present him with an extended pointed beard, like a wizard, singing with eyes shut, virtually wrenching the phrases from himself. The refrain behind, and the viewers in entrance, rise to him, the ladies within the band responding half Gospel-style, half as a mantra. The music stays rock; organ and piano punctuate the melody like pistons, guitars oil it, bending and shaping the beat.


My Candy Lord was generally recognised as the one of 1970. The music is an invocation, made not for safety, however in a state of bliss. Once more, Harrison mixes East with West the refrain chant generally “hare krishna,” generally “alleluia.” The music is straightforward sufficient for it to be even higher performed right here than on the earlier studio observe, Clapton’s guitar answering Harrison’s voice. The act of worship, amplified immensely by being made by star performers on the top of their fame and talent, virtually turns into a beatitude. Every a part of the music comes clear, Harrison infects a little bit cry not within the studio model. “Contact my cheek.” Listening, the impact is simply that of the early Beatles’ hits: pleasurable shudders, and tingling on the finger-tips, virtually evangelistic.

Two hymns finish the second aspect, Awaiting On You All and That’s The Manner God Deliberate It. Each songs are assured celebrations, ending abruptly in their very own silence.

Simply because the album has an image of a ravenous little one on its cowl, so the viewers on the live performance should have heard phrases of the songs new. After Billy Preston sings “I hope you get this message,” Ringo Starr comes on to sing his It Don’t Come Straightforward. Horns and drums thrashing, the viewers clapping and calling, he sings “open up your coronary heart and are available collectively.” Then Harrison once more, harking back to Dylan in Watch out for Darkness: “Be careful now take care, watch out for grasping leaders.”

Leon Russell supplies the secular feast of enjoyable on aspect 4, with a medley of Leaping Jack Flash, and the Coasters’ Younger Blood, sneering and yip-yipping pretty much as good as Jagger, guitars weeviling down and thru the sound, woman refrain squealing, Leon improvising the music’s hyperlinks. The aspect ends with George singing his Right here Comes The Solar from Abbey Street.

George Harrison (centre), flanked by Allen Klein (left) and Ravi Shankar, speaks to reporters about their benefit show for East Pakistan refugee children at Madison Square Garden, 1971.
George Harrison (centre), flanked by Allen Klein (left) and Ravi Shankar, speaks to reporters about their profit present for East Pakistan refugee kids at Madison Sq. Backyard, 1971. {Photograph}: NY Day by day Information/Getty Pictures

Aspect 5: a roar of pleasure as Bob Dylan comes on to sing songs all of which he wrote six years in the past or extra, enjoying acoustic guitar and harmonica, singing as he used to. Clearly, he relates Bangladesh to his outdated songs’ issues, giving them a brand new twist, one other aspect. 4 years in the past Dylan stated of his early songs, which had been taken as anthems by the children, “I now not have the capability to feed this drive which is needing all these songs. I do know the drive exists, however my perception has become one thing new.” And at different instances he spoke of being made intolerably confused by the pressures placed on him. Now, remaking these songs by singing them on the Bangladesh live performance, Dylan brings them to the sunshine once more, reminding us of their worth.

A Onerous Rain’s Gonna Fall – like most of Dylan’s songs elliptical and metaphorical – comes into its new focus. “Been ten thousand miles within the mouth of a graveyard”: and the viewers see the newspaper photos of the brown corpses. “I met a younger girl/whose physique was burning.” “The executioner’s face/is at all times nicely hidden/the place starvation is ugly/the place the souls are forgotten.” Right here and now, the acquainted phrases are exhausting to take: they’re too apt, they level to sorrows too giant to be grasped besides by a poet. However right here is the poet, in public. Dylan goes on to Blowin’ In The Wind, Mr Tambourine Man, to Simply Like A Girl. He performs gently, inside himself; maybe to make plain that the present is Harrison’s.

The live performance ends, relaxed, with George singing One thing and Bangladesh. What Woodstock was stated to be, the Madison Sq. Backyard Bangladesh live performance was. It’s on file. The live performance will stand as the best act of magnanimity rock music has but achieved.

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