This has been blogged about a great deal, but I haven’t done it yet, so tough luck.
I (like many others) got the Live Aid DVDs for Christmas this year. I’ve sat down this morning and started watching it all the way through, instead of the random selections I’ve watched up until now. The first thing you want to do is to go straight to the performances you remember (Queen, U2) and ignore the ones you had forgotten all about.
And yes, before you ask, I do remember it – at least the parts I was allowed to stay up for (I turned 6 that year). I definitely remember thinking for years afterwards that Mick Jagger and David Bowie were an established duo after their duet of Dancing in the Streets. That one in particular looks horribly camp and dated when you see it now.
The start of the first DVD chronicles the making of the two Christmas singles in 1984 – Feed the World and We are the World. The noticeable thing about this is how much better the US talent is!! The UK single featured the legendary likes of Duran Duran, Bananarama, Wham, Status Quo and quite a large number of ‘stars’ who were never heard from again. The only big names really were Bono and Paul Weller. In contrast, the Americans had Ray Charles, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Randy Newman and Bruce Springsteen, amongst a boat load of others. Where did all our big names go?
Gems for those with the discs:
- The Style Council drummer getting out from behind the drums and showing of his pasty white legs and tiny red shorts
- Elvis Costello and All You Need Is Love
- Bono being the embodiment of bad 80’s fashion – blond streaks, mullet, new romantic shirt and blazer, leather trousers, high-heeled leather boots – it doesn’t get much worse. See also Wil Wheaton’s great blog for comments on this one.
- Queen – Freddie Mercury drawing his energy from the entire Wembley crowd, to give a brilliant performance.
- We will rock you – you can see the speed of sound in the clapping from the crowd as it ripples back through the stadium.
- Billy Connolly: “Ladies and gentlemen, at no expense whatsoever, Elton John!” And if you look closely, I think that Kiki Dee is singing backing vocals for Elton as well.