Welcome back to the Various Artists/Various Blogs Festival! The festival runs December 1st-10th, across many blogs in the Community… Check out THIS PAGE at Bruce’s site for all the posts as we go along! And most importantly: our huge thanks to Bruce for getting the ball rolling on this, and for all his hard work in making it all happen!
I had to do a wee bit of detective work for this one, as the packaging on this set was shite for information.
Nowhere in the minimal booklet is it indicated where or when this concert was held. I found A&M Records listing 1987 (this Telstar version followed in 1989), and the bigger clue was the Prince’s Trust which, as you know, is Prince Charles’ long-standing charity in the UK to help young people.
Being like Sherlock as I am, I followed the information I had: Prince’s Trust and 1987, as well as the artist list on the back cover. The interwubs told me that the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Trust (1976) saw an all-star rock concert held at Wembley Stadium in 1986… An Eric Clapton fan site (which tracks every show Clapton has done) informed me it was held June 20, 1986…
So. Setlist.fm shows more of the same artists as are on this CD set than does the 1987 listing they have, but the 1986 listing only gives artist names, not the actual set played that night. I have no idea if this is the whole concert, though it is a 2CD set so… probably? Also, on this set the songs are split up – e.g. Elton John plays three songs, but one is on CD1 and the other two are on CD2. I would guess he played them all back to back that night, since he was already on stage? Etc.
Ah well, I am reasonably certain that I have the right gig tracked down. As you can see by the set list (below) it was a pretty stellar cast of players all night long. It really dates itself with Midge Ure, Level 42, Paul Young and Howard Jones. I had no idea who Labi Siffre* or Mark King & Mike Lindup (Level 42, but I never knew the players’ names) are until I saw the names here. But I was pleased to see Big Country (I like that band lots!) and Joan Armatrading is a cool addition. And how cool is it to have Ben E. King there to sing Stand By Me? Exactly.
The big names you know well, of course, and the versions of popular songs are all pretty damn good. I enjoyed the covers, including Phil Collins and Paul Young’s Motown romp and Righteous Brothers tune besides, and Bryan Adams and Dave Edmunds doing Dion is cool, although I wish Adams had taken a turn singing verses. Early on, I cracked up when Phil Collins, before starting In The Air Tonight, said “Now I know what you’re saying… You’re all saying that he’s going to play that bloody song again. Well, I am.” Haha get ‘em, Phil!
The quality’s decent enough, and the versions are good, so I call this one a win. Even though it took me a while to figure out what and when this even was.
*Turns out I really should have known who Labi Siffre is. But look at me! I am learning new things!