The Concert For Bangladesh (album) - Release and Reissue

Release and Reissue

The Concert for Bangladesh was released in the United States on 20 December 1971, and in Britain on 10 January 1972, with the same Apple Records catalogue number (STCX 3385) in both territories. The retail price for the lavishly packaged triple album was set at $12.98 in America and an extraordinarily high £5.50 in the UK, due to the purchase tax surcharge there. The prices drew some criticism, from Harrison for one, even if it was accepted that the proceeds were going to those in desperate need – or, as Beatles Forever author Nicholas Schaffner wrote in 1977, to "a nation still viewed as the worst pocket of misery on earth". Similarly, the relief project's funds controversy and tax problems, which came to light shortly after the release of the live album, were a source of frustration and embarrassment to Harrison, but commentators have noted that these problems took nothing away from the "resounding success" of Harrison and Shankar's Bangladesh relief project.

Despite the cost, the album was an immediate best-seller, spending six weeks at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, kept from the top by Don McLean's American Pie, which was one of the top-selling albums in America for 1972. In the UK, The Concert for Bangladesh became Harrison's second number 1 album, hitting the top position within two weeks of release. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on 4 January 1972 for sales of over 500,000 units. In March 1973, The Concert for Bangladesh's significance was further underlined when it won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In Harrison's absence, Ringo Starr attended the awards ceremony in Nashville and carried off a tray of Grammys, one for each of the featured performers. Author Peter Lavezzoli writes that, with the success of the live album and Saul Swimmer's concert documentary, which opened in US cinemas in March 1972, Indian classical music reached its largest Western audience to date through the Concert for Bangladesh.

The album was first issued on CD on 30 July 1991 in America and 19 August in Britain, on a two-disc set, with significant editing of the breaks between songs. On 24 October 2005, The Concert for Bangladesh was remastered and re-released, with the heavily revised album packaging, by Wherefore Art?, and the addition of Dylan's afternoon-show performance of "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" as a bonus track. The reissue coincided with the concert film's first international release on DVD, accompanied by the Concert for Bangladesh Revisited with George Harrison and Friends making-of documentary, which was directed by Claire Ferguson and co-produced by Olivia Harrison. Sales of the album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. In 2011, to mark the 40th anniversary of the concerts and the live album's release, and in conjunction with UNICEF's "Month of Giving" campaign, the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF raised over $1.2 million in emergency relief for children in famine- and drought-stricken areas of the Horn of Africa.

Read more about this topic:  The Concert For Bangladesh (album)

Famous quotes containing the words release and and/or release:

    We read poetry because the poets, like ourselves, have been haunted by the inescapable tyranny of time and death; have suffered the pain of loss, and the more wearing, continuous pain of frustration and failure; and have had moods of unlooked-for release and peace. They have known and watched in themselves and others.
    Elizabeth Drew (1887–1965)

    As nature requires whirlwinds and cyclones to release its excessive force in a violent revolt against its own existence, so the spirit requires a demonic human being from time to time whose excessive strength rebels against the community of thought and the monotony of morality ... only by looking at those beyond its limits does humanity come to know its own utmost limits.
    Stefan Zweig (18811942)