On August 1, 1971, an amazing group of musicians gathered for the first mega-benefit concert in history. Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician, asked his friend George Harrison for help raising funds for the people of Bangladesh following devastating floods and military atrocities affecting millions. Within weeks The Concert for Bangladesh was organized and scheduled for Madison Square Garden in New York City.
George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Billy Preston, Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner, Carl Radle, Jesse Ed Davis, Jim Horn, Don Preston, Don Nix, Badfinger, Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan performed an incredible set in two appearances. The two concerts were filmed and edited into one production that was released to theaters in 1972.
Bangla Desh, written by George Harrison, begins with these lyrics: “My friend came to me, with sadness in his eyes. He told me that he wanted help, before his country dies. Although I couldn’t feel the pain, I knew I had to try. Now I’m asking all of you, to help us save some lives.” An incredible song in its own right.
In recognition of the 40 year anniversary of The Concert for Bangladesh, iTunes released the entire album in digital form with most of the individual songs available separately. All sales benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
And over at Amazon there is the remastered CD of The Concert for Bangladesh as well as the Limited Deluxe Edition DVD which includes the restored and remixed concert with previously unseen performances, and a documentary of the concert.
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