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The Concert for Bangla Desh was a...concert staged in 1971...for..Bangla Desh.

Well, on August 1, 1971 in Madison Square Garden, NYC, the world's two best songwriters got together and did something big.

Bob Dylan and George Harrison- being the famous people they were- George fresh off the Beatle-wagon, and Bob just being the awesome guy he was-they decided to make some good off of their fame. So they got a few more famous people together: Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Don Preston, Ringo Starr, and Jim Horn, to be exact.

Don't ask me what the real "problem" was. You've all seen the cover, whether you know it or not. It's this emaciated kid, so I'm assuming those people in Bangla Desh were starving.

The concert was released on Apple/EMI (Capitol) on December 20, 1971.

It stands up very well 30 years later, even though Ringo still forgets the word in "It Don't Come Easy" and most people will skip through the Ravi Shankar section...

Track Listing:

Disc One:

1. George Harrison/Ravi Shankar Introduction (6:18)
2. Bangla Dhun {public domain} (17:21)
Sitar & Sarod Duet
Dadra Tal - 6 Beats
Teental - 16 Beats
Ravi Shankar: sitar
Alla Rakah: tabla
Usted Ali Akbar Kahn: sarod
Kamala Chakravarty: tamboura
3. Wah-Wah {Harrison} (3:45)
George Harrison: lead vocal
4. My Sweet Lord {Harrison} (4:50)
George Harrison: lead vocal
5. Awaiting On You All {Harrison} (3:08)
George Harrison: lead vocal
That's The Way God Planned It {Billy Preston} (4:30)
Billy Preston: lead vocal

Disc Two

1. It Don't Come Easy {Starkey} (3:09)
Ringo Starr: lead vocal
George Harrison: lead guitar
2. Beware Of Darkness {Harrison} (3:41)
George Harrison: lead vocal
Leon Russell: lead vocal
Jim Horn: saxophone
3. Introduction Of The Band (3:00)
4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps {Harrison} (4:52)
George Harrison: lead vocal, guitar, solo guitar
Eric Clapton: solo guitar
5. Medley:
Jumpin' Jack Flash {Mick Jagger/Keith Richard}
Youngblood {Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Doc Pomus} (10:12)
Leon Russell: lead vocal, piano
Don Preston: lead guitar, vocal on "Youngblood"
George Harrison: guitar
Carl Radle: bass
6. Here Comes The Sun {Harrison} (3:28)
George Harrison: lead vocal, guitar
Pete Ham: acoustic guitar

Disc Three

1. A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall {Bob Dylan} (6:23)
Bob Dylan: lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Leon Russell: bass
George Harrison: electric guitar
Ringo Starr: tambourine
2. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry {Bob Dylan} (3:08)
Bob Dylan: lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Leon Russell: bass
George Harrison: electric guitar
Ringo Starr: tambourine
3. Blowin' In The Wind {Bob Dylan} (4:12)
Bob Dylan: lead vocal, harmonica, acoustic guitar
Leon Russell: bass
George Harrison: electric guitar
Ringo Starr: tambourine
4. Mr. Tambourine Man {Bob Dylan} (5:17)
Bob Dylan: lead vocal, harmonica, acoustic guitar
Leon Russell: bass
George Harrison: electric guitar
Ringo Starr: tambourine
5. Just Like A Woman {Bob Dylan} (5:27)
Bob Dylan: lead vocal, harmonica, acoustic guitar
Leon Russell: background vocal, bass
George Harrison: background vocal, electric guitar
Ringo Starr: tambourine
6. Something {Harrison} (4:54)
George Harrison: lead vocal
Bangla Desh {Harrison} (5:05)
George Harrison: lead vocal
Jim Horn: saxophone

This was originally a six-disc set.

Actually, the people in Bangla Desh weren't starving. Well, I'm sure they were, but anyway.
Their country had been ravaged by monsoons and floods, and most importantly, the Bengalis were commiting horrible genocides to the Bangladeshis in their yearlong campaign to gain control of Bangla Desh. Maps of mass graves were left behind by the Pakistanis, who then as now enjoyed the patronage of America, in this case because Henry Kissinger thought they were geopolitically significant.

Ravi Shankar was a native of Bangla Desh and was planning on having a benefit concert "and maybe raise $20,000, $25,000, $30,000, and send it." He asked his friend George Harrison if he would maybe come introduce him and play a song or two. George accepted, and then decided to play a whole concert with Ravi. George invited a few friends like Leon Russel and Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan just sort of showed up.

It's hard now, 30 years later, to imagine rock stars as being honest-to-god caring of anything. But clearly, the late George Harrison wasn't doing this for his image, because it wasn't initially his idea. This, in no doubt, paved the way for benefits like Live Aid, Band Aid, countless other concerts, and most recently, The Concert For New York City.

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