Knebworth, Hertfordshire, June 30, 1990. 120,000 fans gathered for an historic concert event to aid the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre and the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. This incredible benefit c... more »oncert was an instant success due to the high-energy, awe-inspiring performances of such rock 'n' roll legends as Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Status Quo, Tears For Fears and Cliff Richard & The Shadows.« less
"As a big Tears For Fears fan, the 1990 Knebworth Concert was the final performance for the duo of Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal. This was my impetus for purchasing the "Live At Knebworth" DVD, but it also gave me a chance to see many of the legendary acts perform on one stage. In a lot of ways, the 1990 Knebworth Concert would be almost a final hurrah for the fabled 'British Invasion' of the rock era. The good news is their is some real good stuff on this DVD. The bad news is that there are some flaws that do detract from the enjoyment of the program.
"Live at Knebworth" is often knocked for having poor sound quality. If you know about the Knebworth Concert, you will know that some of the acts (like Tears For Fears) performed in horrific weather conditions - rain and wind. Yes you will hear some feedback on the equipment at certain points of the concert, but it is minimal. With the wind blowing the way it did, you wouldn't even know it was from just listening to the recordings. Therefore, I think a lot of credit should be given for to the production of this DVD from an audio standpoint. The problem is with the editing of the concert. First up, this is NOT the complete Knebworth concert. There are selected highlights from each of the acts. Most of the acts did around 6 to 8 songs. (I know this from following Tears For Fears very closely that they did other songs NOT included on the DVD set.) On the DVD set, all of the acts will perform only 2 to 4 songs. This set is well priced for what you get, but I think it would have been terrific if they offered a complete concert version as well. This would help with the flow and continuity of the concert. Continuity and flow are also affected due to the fact that the acts do not appear in the same order in which they actually performed. Much of this had to do that this DVD set was originally a three volume VHS set that 'packaged' the concert into three parts. However I find the re-ordering to really detract from the enjoyment. Much of the magic of a concert recording is watching it as you would have seen it. It is a shame that this collection doesn't do that.
A synopsis of each act:
Tears For Fears: I'm biased here. They are my favorite group and they don't disappoint. They do three songs - "Change", "Badman's Song", and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". I know from listening to some bootlegs that they really were impacted by the weather, but watching this recording you wouldn't know it. This is a top-notch performance and it was a great way for a great band to go out on top.
Cliff Richard and the Shadows: My first reaction was 'Cliff Richard'? But Cliff and the band are sensational. Cliff Richard proves he still can rock performing "On the Beach", "Good Golly Miss Molly", and "We Don't Talk Anymore". A highlight is a couple in the audience singing along to "We Don't Talk Anymore".
Phil Collins and the Serious Band: Phil's version of "In the Air Tonight" is sensational. He starts by sitting down, then gets up mid-song and smacks the drums! He does "Sussudio" with his Phenix Horns section.
Paul McCartney: Has four songs. The best of the four songs is "Hey Jude". McCartney gets the whole crowd into this song. McCartney's guitarist Robbie McIntosh is terrific on vocals as well - especially on "Coming Out".
Status Quo: Not a big fan of theirs. I was surprised they got 4 songs, while bigger names had less. The best song performed was "Whenever You Want".
Supergroup: First it's Eric Clapton, then Clapton is joined by Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, then Elton John joins them. Clapton does some very bluesy numbers . Knopfler and Dire Straits and with Clapton do a terrific version of "Solid Rock". They then do a new Straits tune called "Then I Love You Too Much". Following that is a terrific version of "Money For Nothing" that has a bluesy like intro and a terrific ending. The Elton John stuff really disappoints. He has Knopfler and Clapton on stage and picks two tunes not making the most of their abilities - "Sacrifice" and "Sad Songs"? Also renowned background vocalist Tessa Niles is on stage for all 3 acts of the Supergroup.
Robert Plant: Starts out slow with "Hurting Kind". Things pick up with "Tall Cool One". Jimmy Page then joins him on stage for "Wearing and Tearing" and "Rock and Roll" and Page really puts on a show.
Genesis: They do a version of "Mama" in which Phil is in fine form with the evil laugh in the microphone. "Throwing It All Away" is the version seen at many Genesis performances. They then go into a sensational version of the "Turn It On Again - medley" that includes "Turn It On Again" and covers of some non-Genesis stuff. What is cool about the medley is that Phil's band joins Genesis on stage for it - adding the horns section and making for some great entertainment.
Pink Floyd: They wrap up the collection. Only two songs - "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Run Like Hell". Both songs feature some great special effects and sax player Candy Dulfer will steal the show with the first song.
The liner notes include a brief writeup on background behind the concert. The acts and numbers they perform are listed. There is also a very brief summary of each of the performances. All of the musicians who participate are credited. Despite some of the shortcomings, this is still one great performance. I'd still recommend getting it because there isn't anything else out there that covers this concert of better quality."
The Rock Giants have descended on Knebworth
L.A. Scene | 12/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I only gave this 4 stars because there was too much of acts I don't care about, and not enough of Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, and Jimmy Page. Here's a run down of everybody that's on this video set: Vol.1 Tears for Fears, Cliff Richard, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney Vol.2 Status Quo, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Elton John Vol.3 Robert Plant (guest starring Jimmy Page), Genesis, Pink FloydHighlights: Tears for Fears does "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Phil Collins does "Sussudio" Paul McCartneys entire set "Coming Up", "Birthday", "Hey Jude", and "Can't Buy Me Love" Dire Straits doing "Money for Nothing" Robert Plant and Jimmy Page two songs "Wearing and Tearing" and "Rock 'N' Roll" Pink Floyd two songs "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Run Like Hell"The Pink Floyd set was the best. Excellent views of Gilmour playing "Shine On ...". Great light show too.Low Points: Too much of Cliff Richards. Elton John does "Sacrifice" and "Sad Songs". He could have picked some better songs to play. Too much Genesis.I hope if this ever goes to DVD they include the whole set of Pink Floyd."
Pink Floyd fans beware! This is not a Pink Floyd Concert.
L.A. Scene | 08/05/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't be fooled. This Box set, although very good, was very disappointing if you were looking for a great Pink Floyd concert. Although MTV aired this concert in 1990 with footage from four of the Pink Floyd songs in the concert, the box set here only has two songs to offer. The initial song and the concluding song of this great concert are all that is avialble in this box set. The box set contains several other great artists like Genesis, Dire Straits and many more. So if you were looking for more on Pink Floyd then you should buy Pulse or Delicate Sounds of Thunder."
What's up with the mix?????
Jose Hernandez | Chicago, IL USA | 07/21/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is worth the money just because of Tears for Fears' "Badman's Song," "Change," Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's "Wearing and Tearing," and Pink Floyd, but it sounds [bad]! I remember watching this concert on PPV and the memory of it made me buy the DVD, but it sounded so much better on the live broadcast than in the "newly mixed 5.1" version. There are thousands of volume drops throughout the two discs, and it's just generally poorly mixed. I tried several fixes for the volume drops, including putting the 5 channels of audio into a Yamaha O1v mixing console, and it didn't help. Then I tried gates and those didn't work either. Finally, I tried a limiter, and only boosting it to +10db and leaving the gate open, I was able to "semi-fix" it.
If you're an audiophile, try just buying the CD.
P.S. Status Quo is the British equivalent of Creedence Clearwater Revival or Georgia Satellites, and I think it's funny that the Brits also have redneck music."
R. COOK | Garden City, KS USA | 03/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, I am disappointed. The sound is terrible. Crowd sound levels are out of proportion to the music performed. We have come to expect a much better editing job. Of particular note, is that the sound track is out of sync with the video performances - especially on the Status Quo numbers.
It is nowhere near as complete as it could have been. So many good performances were omitted.
I give it 3 stars simply because it was such a moving concert. And it is better to have this record of it than to have none at all. Maybe someday this event will get the first class treatment it deserves. "