The release coincides with the 25th anniversary this autumn of the most high-profile of all the concerts in the series – the “Human Rights Now!” world tour. The six-week, five-continent, twenty-concert tour of the world in 1988 was headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour and was seen by over one million people in-person.
Its mission was to raise awareness of the cause and it succeeded in tripling the movement’s worldwide membership. These new DVD and CD releases also arrive just six weeks before worldwide commemorations on 10th December 2013 of the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the Magna Carta of the human race that was instigated after World War II by Eleanor Roosevelt and that has been an inspiration for Amnesty’s 52 years of worldwide campaigning for human rights.
The “Human Rights Concerts” series comprises four films: The first film presents over five hours drawn from the all-day final concert of “A Conspiracy Of Hope” – Amnesty’s 25th anniversary concert tour of the USA in June 1986.
The second film is of the above-referenced historic “Human Rights Now!” world tour undertaken in September and October 1988.
The third film is “An Embrace Of Hope” – the October 1990 concert in Chile celebrating that nation’s liberation after 17 years of dictatorship. The fourth and final film is “The Struggle Continues…” – the concert staged in Paris in 1998 on the exact 50th anniversary of the signing in that city of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The DVD set and CDs – all digitally-restored from the original master tapes – feature thirty-six of the world’s leading musicians performing some of their biggest hits live in concert for the benefit of Amnesty.
The DVD set contains 120 songs extending over 12 hours of disc time. The set also contains 32 additional segments featuring contextual content and additional music performances together comprising almost 5 hours of supplementary features. The full running time of the box-set is just 12 minutes short of 17 hours.
Three of the four concert films have never been issued before in any video or audio format. In the mode of that era’s “Live Aid” concert they were seen just once on TV – and were not subsequently made available for home enjoyment.
The fourth film – from 1998 – had a limited VHS & DVD release 14 years ago and has been long unavailable. (Some individual songs from the concerts were included on a single-DVD highlights sampler released earlier this year). Of the 16 hours & 48 minutes of content on the DVD box-set, 12 hours 40 minutes has never previously been available on DVD or any home video format.
The DVD box-set consists of six discs plus a 48-page booklet with rare archival photographs and extensive liner notes including a 10,000 word essay on the history of the concerts by writer Gregory Weinkauf.
There are also four CD sets – one for each of the four concerts. The 1986, 1988 and 1998 concerts are presented on two-disc CD sets. The 1990 concert is a single disc presentation.
The list of musicians who contributed their services to the concerts is extraordinary and includes some of the world’s foremost artists – drawn from several nations and representing a wide range of musical styles. The primary factor uniting them was their desire to donate their time and talents to place a spotlight on Amnesty’s crucial work campaigning for people whose human rights are abused.
The “Human Rights Concerts” series started in 1986 – evolving out of Amnesty’s desire to capitalize and build on the invaluable support it was receiving from the rock music community.
This had first manifested itself in Amnesty’s “Secret Policeman’s Ball” series of benefit shows, albums and movies beginning in 1976, that had presented musical performances by Pete Townshend, Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Tom Robinson, Donovan, Midge Ure and Bob Geldof.
Those entertainment events were a crucial turning point in Amnesty’s strategy of inspiring young people to become active participants in the human rights movement.
A key organizational figure in the first three events of the “Human Rights Concerts” series was Jack Healey, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA between 1981-1993. The 1986 US tour and 1988 world tour were co-produced with seasoned rock promoter Bill Graham. The 1998 Paris concert was organized by Amnesty planning officer Blair Gibb and Peter Gabriel.
The “Human Rights Concerts” have been restored and produced for release by longtime (37 years) Amnesty activist and producer, Martin Lewis – who was co-creator (with John Cleese) of Amnesty’s “Secret Policeman’s Ball” series and co-producer of all the ‘Ball’ shows, movies, TV specials and albums between 1976-1985. It was Lewis who first instigated Amnesty’s outreach to rock musicians by recruiting and producing Pete Townshend and the other above-referenced musicians. Lewis and Healey together conceived Amnesty’s 1988 world tour.
Executive Producers for Amnesty on the release are Claire Schultz and Stacey Bain.
Among the hallmarks of the concerts were the unique musical collaborations that arose between the artists. The concerts include duets and ensemble performances featuring various combinations of Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, Youssou N’Dour, Aaron Neville, Steven Van Zandt, Bob Geldof and Bryan Adams.
The companion content includes 17 sequences under the collective title “Context On The Human Rights Concerts”. Among the segments:
A brand-new documentary about the concert series featuring new exclusive interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Pete Townshend and others.
New, stand-alone, in-depth interviews with Bruce Springsteen and Sting about their support for Amnesty
Peter Gabriel’s home movies of the 1986 Amnesty tour featuring backstage moments and an historic jam
Special messages in support of Amnesty from some of the world’s leading actors, comedians and musicians.
Archival interviews, promotional sequences, TV news coverage, performances not seen in the original films
20-minute animated film about human rights curated in 1988 by Aardman Animation – featuring a specially-created score by David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Danny Elfman and Mark Mothersbaugh.
The companion content also features 15 additional music sequences. Two key performances from the “Secret Policeman’s Ball” series by Pete Townshend and Sting that helped inspired the “Human Rights Concerts” and thirteen new performances given for Amnesty in the last ten years by major music stars that represent part of the legacy of the concert series. The performers for Amnesty from the last decade include: Green Day, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Jeff Beck, Seal, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Perry, Bono, Damien Rice, Pete Seeger, Evan Rachel Wood, David Byrne.
Eagle-Rock will be issuing RELEASED throughout the world excluding North America. In the United States & Canada, Amnesty’s six-disc RELEASED box-set and a companion two-disc CD set will be issued by Shout! Factory on Tuesday November 5th.
¡RELEASED! – The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998 – Full Tracklisting Information
DVD Set Disc One – A Conspiracy Of Hope – Part One (1986) – 145 mins approx.
[2CD format EDGCD517, tracks featuring on this highlights 2CD release marked *]
1) Prologue 2) Bob Geldof & Steven Van Zandt – Redemption Song* 3) Third World – Now That We’ve Found Love* 4) Third World – You’re Playing Us Too Close 5) The Hooters – Day By Day 6) The Hooters – And We Danced* 7) Peter, Paul & Mary – If I Had A Hammer 8) Peter, Paul & Mary – Blowin’ In The Wind 9) Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul – Los Desaparecidos 10) Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul – Native American* 11) Bob Geldof – In The Pouring Rain 12) Joan Armatrading – Steppin’ Out 13) Joan Armatrading – Love And Affection* 14) Jackson Browne – For Everyman* 15) Jackson Browne – Soldier Of Plenty 16) Jackson Browne – Lives In The Balance 17) Jackson Browne – Till I Go Down 18) Jackson Browne – For America* 19) Jackson Browne – I Am A Patriot* 20) Rubén Blades – Cuentas del Alma* 21) Rubén Blades – Muévete 22) Miles Davis – One Phone Call / Street Scenes 23) Miles Davis – Tutu 24) Miles Davis – Burn* 25) Howard Jones – No One Is To Blame* 26) The Neville Brothers – Everybody Better Wake Up* 27) The Neville Brothers – Midnight Key 28) Joan Baez – The Times They Are A-Changin’ 29) Joan Baez – Shout 30) Joan Baez – No Woman No Cry* 31) Joan Baez & Aaron Neville – Amazing Grace*
Disc Two – A Conspiracy Of Hope – Part Two (1986) – 163 mins approx.
1) Lou Reed – Rock And Roll* 2) Lou Reed – I Love You Suzanne* 3) Lou Reed – No Money Down 4) Lou Reed – Turn To Me 5) Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side* 6) Lou Reed – Video Violence 7) Peter Gabriel – Red Rain* 8) Peter Gabriel – Shock The Monkey* 9) Peter Gabriel – Family Snapshot* 10) Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer 11) Peter Gabriel – San Jacinto 12) Peter Gabriel – Biko 13) Bryan Adams – Run To You* 14) Bryan Adams – It’s Only Love* 15) Bryan Adams – Straight From The Heart 16) Bryan Adams – Tonight 17) Bryan Adams – Summer Of ’69* 18) Bryan Adams – Somebody 19) Joni Mitchell – Number One 20) Joni Mitchell – Hejira* 21) U2 – MLK / Pride (In The Name Of Love)* 22) U2 – Bad 23) U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday* 24) U2 – Maggie’s Farm* 25) U2 – Help 26) U2 – Sun City 27) The Police – Message In A Bottle* 28) The Police – King Of Pain 29) The Police – Driven To Tears 30) The Police – Every Breath You Take* 31) The Police – Roxanne* 32) The Police – Invisible Sun 33) The Conspirators – I Shall Be Released*
Disc Three – Human Rights Now! (1988) – 182 mins approx.
[2CD format EDGCD518 features all tracks but not prologue]
1) Prologue 2) Youssou N’Dour – N’Dobine 3) Youssou N’Dour – Deugeu (The Truth) 4) Tracy Chapman – Across The Lines 5) Tracy Chapman – Why? 6) Tracy Chapman – Freedom Now 7) Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution 8) Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer 9) Peter Gabriel & Youssou N’Dour – In Your Eyes 10) Peter Gabriel – Biko 11) Sting – Don’t Stand So Close To Me 12) Sting – They Dance Alone 13) Sting & Bruce Springsteen – Every Breath You Take 14) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Born In The USA 15) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – I’m On Fire 16) Bruce Springsteen & Sting with The E Street Band – The River 17) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Raise Your Hand 18) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Twist And Shout / La Bamba 19) Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Youssou N’Dour & Tracy Chapman with the E Street Band – Chimes Of Freedom 20) Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Youssou N’Dour & Tracy Chapman with The E Street Band – Get Up, Stand Up
Disc Four – An Embrace Of Hope (1990) – 73 mins approx.
[CD format EDGCD519 features all tracks but not prologue]
1) Prologue 2) Inti-Illimani – Bailando, Bailando 3) Inti-Illimani – El Equipaje Del Destierro 4) Wynton Marsalis – Jungle Blues 5) New Kids On The Block – Call It What You Want 6) Sinéad O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U 7) Rubén Blades – Pedro Navaja 8) Jackson Browne – Lives In The Balance 9) Peter Gabriel – Biko 10) Sting – Little Wing 11) Sting – They Dance Alone
Companion Material: Context On The Human Rights Concerts – Part One – 126 mins approx [DVD format only, not released on CD]
A Conspiracy Of Hope (1986): 1) Meet The Conspirators! 2) Special Messages – 1986 3) Witness To A Conspiracy 4) Peach Jam 5) Grainy Night In Georgia 6) The Morning After -
Human Rights Now! (1988): 1) Five Musicians – Five Continents 2) Chimes Of Freedom (Los Angeles Concert) 3) Get Up, Stand Up (Montreal Concert) 4) The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights 5) Special Messages – 1988
The Struggle Continues - (1998): 1) Meet Les Conspirateurs! 2) At The Threshold - 3) Special Messages – 1998
Disc Five – The Struggle Continues - (1998) – 147 mins approx.
[2CD format EDGCD520 features all tracks but not prologue]
1) Prologue 2) Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Youssou N’Dour & Tracy Chapman – Get Up, Stand Up 3) Peter Gabriel & Youssou N’Dour – Signal To Noise 4) Peter Gabriel & Youssou N’Dour – In Your Eyes 5) Alanis Morissette – Baba 6) Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket 7) Alanis Morissette – Thank U 8) Asian Dub Foundation – Black White 9) Asian Dub Foundation – Buzzing 10) Asian Dub Foundation – Free Satpal Ram 11) Shania Twain – You’re Still The One 12) Shania Twain – Black Eyes, Blue Tears 13) Kassav’ – Kassav’ Medley 14) Kassav’ – Se Dam’ Bonjou 15) Tracy Chapman – New Beginning 16) Tracy Chapman – Fast Car 17) Tracy Chapman – Baby Can I Hold You? 18) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – When The World Was Young 19) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You 20) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Gallows Pole 21) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Rock And Roll 22) Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender 23) Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA 24) Bruce Springsteen – Working On The Highway 25) Radiohead – Karma Police 26) Radiohead – Bones 27) Radiohead – Paranoid Android 28) Youssou N’Dour & Peter Gabriel – Shaking The Tree 29) Youssou N’Dour with Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman & Jocelyn Beroard – 7 Seconds
Disc Six – Companion Material: Context On The Human Rights Concerts – Part Two – 152 mins approx. [DVD format only, not released on CD]
The Human Rights Concerts: 1) Light A Candle! The Story Behind The Human Rights Concerts 2) No Retreat: Bruce Springsteen’s Support For Human Rights 3) Driven To Tours: Why Sting Has Toured The World For Amnesty
Other Music Performances For Amnesty
Inspiration For The Human Rights Concerts (pre-1986): 1) Pete Townshend & John Williams – Won’t Get Fooled Again (1979) 2) Sting & The Secret Police – I Shall Be Released (1981)
Legacy Of The Human Rights Concerts (post-1998): 1) Bono & Damien Rice – Walk On (2012) 2) Green Day – Working Class Hero (2007) 3) Coldplay – Viva La Vida (2012) 4) Seal & Jeff Beck – Like A Rolling Stone (2012) 5) David Byrne – One Fine Day (2010) 6) United Nations All-Stars – The Price Of Silence (2008) 7) Evan Rachel Wood – I’d Have You Anytime (2012) 8) Joe Perry – Man Of Peace (2012) 9) Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (2012) 10) Bono & Damien Rice – One (2012) 11) Ozzy Osbourne – How? (2010) 12) Children Of The World – Imagine (2003) 13) Pete Seeger – Forever Young (2012)