[Review] Recorded Highlights of The Prince’s Trust 10th Anniversary Birthday Party (1987)

Rock’s royalty and real royalty join forces for a good cause that actually pre-dates Live Aid.

Kronomyth 1.8: Heiring Aid.

A year after Live Aid, Midge Ure and a smaller, star-studded cast returned to Wembley Arena to celebrate the 10th anniversary of (and raise money for) the Prince’s Trust Charity. This disc highlights the biggest stars from the concert, including bits by Ure, Dire Straits, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Sir Macca himself.

As concert discs go, this one is pretty tepid; so was Live Aid for that matter. Performers don’t get a chance to set up the acoustics the way they’d like, they don’t get a chance to warm up, in some cases they’re playing with ad hoc bands (albeit with very good players), all of it conspiring toward mediocrity. The engineering on this one isn’t particularly good either, with predictably thin-sounding results. So if you weren’t invited to the original party, Highlights is no magic ticket.

Some of the performances are good, most of them fall flat. Honestly, if you’re interested in hearing an oldies revue like this, pick up one of Ringo’s All-Starr albums. Speaking of The Beatles, McCartney does a decent version of “Get Back” (with Tina taking a few lines) and a short, spirited revival of “Long Tall Sally.” (The elpee version featured a bonus single with Sally and I Saw Her Standing There.) As someone who still isn’t completely sold on the merits of live albums, I’m rarely charitably disposed to these “save the worldwind” tours. The Trust’s Tenth is a great cast for a good cause, but a good live album it isn’t.

The Songs

1. Dire Straits: Money For Nothing (Mark Knopfler) (5:03)
2. Midge Ure: Call of the Wild (Midge Ure/Daniel Mitchell/Colin King) (3:51)
3. Suzanne Vega: Marlene On The Wall (Suzanne Vega) (2:52)
4. Phil Collins: In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins) (4:20)
5. Big Country: Fields of Fire (Big Country) (4:12)
6. Howard Jones: No One Is To Blame (Howard Jones) (4:14)
7. Level 42: Something About You (Mike Lindup/Phil Gould/Boon Gould/Mark King/Wally Badarou) (5:03)
8. Elton John: I’m Still Standing (Elton John/Bernie Taupin) (3:40
9. Joan Armatrading: Reach Out (Joan Armatrading) (4:07)
10. Tina Turner: Better Be Good To Me (Holly Knight/Nicky Chinn/Mike Chapman) (4:40)
11. Rod Stewart: Sailing (Gavin Sutherland) (4:58)
12. Paul McCartney: Get Back (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) (3:29)
13. Paul McCartney: Long Tall Sally (Richard Penniman/Enotris Johnson/Robert Blackwell) (2:07)

Bonus 7-inch Single
A1. (Same as track 13 above)
B1. Paul McCartney: I Saw Her Standing There

The Players

Bryan Adams, Joan Armatrading, Big Country, Samantha & Vicki Brown, Jimmy Chambers, George Chandler, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Ray Cooper, Dire Straits, Jimmy Helms, John Illsley, Elton John, Howard Jones, Mark King, Level 42, Paul McCartney, Trevor Morais, Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi, Rod Stewart, Sting, Tina Turner, Midge Ure, Suzanne Vega, Paul Young. Project produced by Andrew Sheehan; engineered by Barry Sage; digital editing by Stavros Papadimitriou.

The Pictures

Front cover photograph by Terry O’Neill. Design by John Warwick-le Breton.

The Plastic

Released on elpee with bonus 7-inch single and compact disc in 1987 in the UK (A&M, AMA-3906), the US (A&M, SP/CDA-3906) and Japan (A&M, C28Y-3168) with picture sleeve; reached #194 on the US charts.

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