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The Concert for Bangladesh
Live album by George Harrison and friends
Released 20 December 1971 (U.S.)
7 January 1972 (UK)
24 October 2005 (expanded remaster)
Recorded 1 August 1971
Genre Rock
Length 102:57 (1971)
99:32 (2005)
Label Apple/EMI (U.S.)
Epic/Sony Music (UK)
Apple/Rhino (2005 reissue)
Producer George Harrison, Phil Spector
Professional reviews
George Harrison chronology
All Things Must Pass
The Concert for Bangladesh
Living in the Material World
Eric Clapton chronology
Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
The Concert for Bangladesh
The History of Eric Clapton
Alternate cover
Cover of the 2005 remaster of The Concert for Bangladesh

The Concert for Bangladesh (originally titled The Concert for Bangla Desh) is a live triple album and double DVD by George Harrison and celebrity friends performed in aid of the homeless Bengali refugees of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Performed on 1 August 1971 at New York City's Madison Square Garden, The Concert for Bangladesh was a pioneering charity event, preceding Live Aid by 14 years.



After being made aware of the gravity of the situation in what was then known as East Pakistan by friend and musician Ravi Shankar, Harrison quickly organised two performances in their aid, in addition to composing and releasing a single called "Bangla-Desh" just preceding the event. With Harrison, highly popular following the success of All Things Must Pass, leading the shows, he wanted to surround himself with his closest musician friends, including Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan (both of whom were in reclusive states at that time), in addition to Billy Preston, Badfinger, Leon Russell, Shankar, and Ringo Starr, among others.[1]

The two concerts on 1 August 1971 were highly successful, with a cheque for US$243,418.50 being immediately sent to UNICEF for relief. All involved were pleased with a job well done.[1] As much as $15 million was made by the album and film, but the money was held in an Internal Revenue Service escrow account for years because the concert organisers hadn't applied for tax-exempt status. It's uncertain how much money actually went to relieve the initial refugee crisis and Harrison himself was said to have been "disgusted" over the matter.[2][3][4]

Album release

Shortly before Christmas in 1971, The Concert for Bangladesh was released in the US, while appearing in the UK shortly after New Year's Day 1972. It was an immediate best-seller, spending several weeks at #2 in the US and becoming Harrison's second #1 UK album during his lifetime. The album's significance was further cemented when it won the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1973.

To enable Bob Dylan's appearance on the album, his label, Columbia Records, was given the cassette distribution rights. Presently, Sony Music has also assumed the CD rights for the album in Europe.[1]

Initially reissued on CD in 1991, The Concert for Bangladesh was remastered and re-released - with some editing of the breaks in between the songs - in October 2005 with the addition of Dylan's rehearsal performance of "Love Minus Zero/No Limit", as well as a simultaneous DVD release of the original 1972 Apple film.

The artwork on the original album featured a malnourished Bangladeshi refugee child, which the record companies thought was too depressing and would hurt sales of the albums. They wanted Harrison's image on the cover, but Harrison refused and insisted that the child be put on the cover.[1] Eventually, when the album was re-released in 2005, after Harrison had died, it was Harrison's photo on the cover, though the special-edition DVD retains the original photograph.

Sales of the remastered album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.

Track listing

All songs by George Harrison, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "George Harrison/Ravi Shankar Introduction" – 5:19
  2. "Bangla Dhun" (Ravi Shankar) – 16:40

Side two

  1. "Wah-Wah" – 3:30
  2. "My Sweet Lord" – 4:36
  3. "Awaiting on You All" – 3:00
  4. "That's the Way God Planned It" (Billy Preston) – 4:20

Side three

  1. "It Don't Come Easy" (Ringo Starr) – 3:01
  2. "Beware of Darkness" – 3:36
  3. "Band Introduction" – 2:39
  4. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" – 4:53

Side four

  1. "Medley: Jumpin' Jack Flash/Young Blood" (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards)/(Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller/Doc Pomus) – 9:27
    • Performed by Leon Russell, with Don Preston on "Youngblood"
  2. "Here Comes the Sun" – 2:59

Side five

  1. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" (Bob Dylan) – 5:44
  2. "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" (Bob Dylan) – 3:07
  3. "Blowin' in the Wind" (Bob Dylan) – 4:07
  4. "Mr. Tambourine Man" (Bob Dylan) – 4:45
  5. "Just Like a Woman" (Bob Dylan) – 4:49
    • Tracks 1–5 are performed by Bob Dylan, accompanied by Harrison, Ringo Starr and Leon Russell

Side six

  1. "Something" – 3:42
  2. "Bangla-Desh" – 4:55
    • Harrison's studio version of "Bangla-Desh" was released as a single just two days before the concerts

Bonus track (2005 re-master)

  1. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" (Bob Dylan) – 4:19


The Artists

The Band

The Hollywood Horns

The Backing Vocalists

Production notes

This recording was made using up to 44 microphones at one time.

Special thanks go to Gary Kellgren, Lillian Davis Douma, Dennis and Tom of Record Plant, New York and to Norman and Steve mix down engineers of A&M Studio, Los Angeles for their time and energy.


Country Charts (1972)
Peak position Weeks
Norway 1 (4) 18
United Kingdom 1 13
United States 2 41
Japan 2 19
Country Charts (2005 Reissue)
Peak position Weeks
Japan 116 2


  1. ^ a b c d Concert for Bangladesh Revisited with George Harrison and Friends, (2005), Claire Ferguson, notes from: Interviews. Apple Corps,6 0349 70481 20, (2005).
  2. ^ Hari Scruffs FAQ.
  3. ^ "George Harrison dies at age 58", Associated Press, November 30, 2001 (retrieved via BeatleLinks Fab Forum on December 12, 2006).
  4. ^ Benefit Concerts, Encyclopedia of American History (via on December 12, 2006).

External links

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