Various Artists – Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea (1981)

FrontCover1 During the four nights after Christmas in 1979, a number of musicians got together at the Hammersmith Odeon in England for a series of benefit concerts to provide famine relief to the victims of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The event was organized by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim (who was then Secretary-General of the U.N.), and it involved older artists such as McCartney and the Who as well as younger new wave acts like the Clash and the Pretenders. A 2-LP set titled Concerts for the People of Kampuchea was issued in 1981, containing selected highlights from the four evenings. It’s good to have some historical document of this event. Although the album isn’t the best of its kind, it does capture an interesting moment in rock history.

ConcertProgrameSide One is owned by the Who, who reportedly played a three-hour set on the third night. The four songs contained here are well-played by the post-Keith Moon quartet. It’s not exactly a Live At Leeds-class performance, but it’s respectable enough. A good performance of the then-timely “Sister Disco” makes this set unique.

Side Two contains three songs by the Pretenders (the original lineup, no less) and one from Elvis Costello. It’s good to hear lively performances by these new wave icons in their prime, but the high points of this side are the two rollicking numbers by Rockpile, featuring Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds. Their guest vocalist on “Little Sister” is none other than Robert Plant, doing his best Elvis impersonation.

Side Three demonstrates the difficulty of doing justice to so many artists within the constraints of an LP, as it allows only one song apiece for four of the acts. Queen had the first night of the event to themselves, but they are only represented by one long song. The Clash’s set could probably have been represented by a better song than “Armagideon Time”, though the song is appropriately solemn for the occasion. It’s more fun to hear Ian Dury’s goofy “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” and the Specials’ droll “Monkey Man”. The latter is a reminder of the 1979 ska revival in England.

Side Four showcases McCartney’s exploits during the fourth and final evening, first with three Wings songs, and then with three bombastic numbers by Rockestra, a McCartney-led jam of at least twenty English rockers. (The credited list appears at the bottom of this page). The “Rockestra Theme” won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. This is definitely a unique moment that is interesting to hear and see. Unfortunately, the documentary Rock For Kampuchea has never been released on DVD. But, thanks to YouTube, the “Rockestra Theme” footage is embedded below:

Booklet1 Whereas George Harrison had his all-star charity concert for the people of Bangladesh, Paul McCartney had this December, 1979 series of concerts in Hammersmith Odeon to raise money for the victims of Pol Pot’s reign of terror in Cambodia. It was a meeting of the old guard (McCartney, the Who) and the new (the Clash, Ian Dury, the Pretenders, Elvis Costello), and those in the middle (Queen) who could sneak in. The audio quality is shabby; nothing leaps out as being more sonically interesting than a live radio broadcast, and the performances are okay but not staggering. the Who — with a full side devoted to them — deliver their usual stadium set (edited from a three-hour performance). Queen, on the other hand, who similarly had a full night to themselves, get one song. Of most interest in terms of rockstar-watching is the “Rockestra,” a supergroup of the musicians from all three nights. Before the infamous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame superstar jams, here’s about 30 rockers plowing away at “Lucille” and “Let It Be” in front of thousands of awestruck fans. Of archival interest mostly: I guess you had to be there. (by Ted Mills)

DVDCoverPersonnel (Rockestra):

Piano: Paul McCartney
Keyboards: Linda McCartney, Tony Ashton, Gary Brooker
Guitars: Denny Laine, Laurence Juber, James Honeyman-Scott, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant
Bass: Paul McCartney, Bruce Thomas, Ronnie Lane, John Paul Jones
Drums, Percussion: Steve Holley, Kenney Jones, Tony Carr, Morris Pert, Speedy Acquaye, John Bonham
Horns: Howie Casey, Steve Howard, Thaddeus Richard, Tony Dorsey
Vocals: Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, John Paul Jones, Ronnie Lane, Bruce Thomas, Robert Plant

RockestraA small part of Rockestra

Tracklist:

The Who:
01. Baba O´Riley (Townshend) 5.22
02. Sister Disco (Townshend) 5.22
03. Behind Blue Eyes (Townshend) 3.41
04. See Me, Feel Me (Townshend) 6.02

Pretenders:
05. The Wait (Hynde/Farndon) 3.32
06. Precious (Hynde) 3.27
07. Tattooed Love Boys (Hynde) 3.23

Elvis Costello & The Attractions:
08. The Imposter (Costello) 2.15

Rockpile:
09. Crawling From The Wreckage (Parker) 3.06
10. Littler Sister (with Robert Plant)(Pomus/Shuman) 3.34

Queen:
11. Now I´m Here (May) 7.00

The Clash:
12. Armagideon Time (Bennett)

Ian Dury & The Blockheads:
13, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (Dury/Jankel)

The Specials:
14. Monkey Man (Hibbert) 4.17

Paul McCartney & Wings:
15. Got To Get You Into My Life (Lennon/McCartney) 3.06
16. Every Night (MyCartney) 4.23
17. Coming Up (McCartney) 4.15

Rockestra:
18. Lucille (Collins/Penniman) 3.08
19. Let It Be (Lennon/McCartney) 4.14
20. Rockestra Theme (McCartney) 2.37

LabelD1* (coming soon)
**

 

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The Chieftains – The Wide World Over (2002)

FrontCover1In the Chieftains’ four decades of recording, they’ve changed labels a handful of times, and each label has seen fit to record at least one or two collections of the band’s output under their tenure. At this point they have so many best-ofs and greatest-hits compilations, it’s tough for the listener to know the best of what they’re actually hearing. New millennium — new collection: the band’s longtime label, RCA Victor, has done the Celtic community a favor by releasing a collection that deals more with the band’s journey through their different phases as opposed to trying to reassemble a hits package. The end result is almost like listening to a radio station that only plays Chieftains songs. There are some live tracks, their countrified romp through “Cotton-Eyed Joe”; Van Morrison’s adult-contemporary “Shenandoah”; an unusual introduction of the bandmembers in Chinese; appearances from Sting, Diana Krall, and Art Garfunkel; and a couple of new recordings. The breezy cover of “Morning Has Broken” fares better than the hybridized “Redemption Song” (in fact, it’s a challenge to think of any instances of a successful Celtic/reggae alloy). The album will be enjoyed by Chieftains fans as a fun collection of songs they have never heard back-to-back before, and those looking for a greatest-hits collection will have plenty of other places to look. (by Zac Johnson)

Inside1Personnel:
Derek Bell (cláirseach, oboe, keyboards, tiompán, vocals)
Kevin Conneff (bodhrán, vocals)
Martin Fay (fiddle, bones, vocals)
Seán Keane (fiddle, tin whistle, vocals)
Matt Molloy (flute, tin whistle, vocals)
Paddy Moloney (uilleann pipes, tin whistle, button accordion, bodhrán, vocals)
+
Anúna (vocals)
Jean Butler (dancer)
Ry Cooder (electric guitar, mandocello)
Elvis Costello (vocals)
Art Garfunkel (vocals)
Diana Krall (vocals, piano)
Ziggy Marley (vocals, guitar, percussion)
Joni Mitchell (vocals)
Van Morrison (vocals)
Carlos Nunez (bagpipe)
Sinéad O’Connor (vocals)
Linda Ronstadt (vocals)
Ricky Skaggs (vocals)
Don Was (percussion)
+
Belfast Harp Orchestra
Chinese Ensemble
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel
Los Lobos
The Corrs
The Rolling Stones

Booklet01A

Tracklist:
01. March Of The King Of Laois (Traditional) 4.25
02. The Foggy Dew (feat: Sinéad O’Connor) (Traditional) 5.01
03. I Know My Love (feat: The Corrs) (Traditional) 3.27
04. Cotton-Eyed Joe (feat: Ricky Skaggs) (Traditional) 2.45
05. The Magdalene Laundries (feat: Joni Mitchell) (Mitchell) 4.57
06. Live from Matt Molloy’s Pub (Traditional) 2.21
07. Shenandoah (feat: Van Morrison) (Traditional) 3.52
08. The Munster Cloak (Traditional) 6.12
09. Morning Has Broken (feat: Art Garfunkel / Diana Krall) (Traditional) 2.55
10. Morning Dew /Women Of Ireland (P.Moloney) 2.57
11. Mo Ghile Mear (feat: Sting) (P.Moloney/Traditional) 3.20
12. Carolan’s Concerto (feat: Belfast Harp Orchestra) (Traditional) 3.02
13. Guadalupe (feat: Los Lobos / Linda Ronstadt) (Traditional) 3.31
14. Full Of Joy (feat: Chinese Ensemble) (Traditional) 3.24
15. Here’s A Health To The Company (Traditional) 3.03
16. Chasing the Fox (feat: Erich Kunzel / Cincinnati Pops Orchestra) (P.Moloney/ Traditional) 4.11
17. Long Journey Home (Anthem) (feat: Anúna / Elvis Costello) (Costello/P.Moloney) 3.20
18. The Rocky Road To Dublin (feat: The Rolling Stones) (Traditional) 4.17
19. Redemption Song (feat: Ziggy Marley) (B.Marley) 4.22

CD1*
**

wikipediatracklisting