October 07, 2013 4:15pm PT by Tim Appelo
Human Rights Take Center Stage -- Alongside Springsteen, Sting, U2 -- on New Concert DVD Set
Released!, a six-disc DVD and 2-disc CD set of highlights from the Amnesty International benefit concerts from 1986 through 1998, will be released Nov. 5 by Shout Factory. Featuring performances and appearances by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Youssou N'Dour, the total tally of music stars who appeared in front of over a million people live -- and millions more on MTV, HBO, ABC and PPV -- clocks in north of 35.
Three of the four concert films never have been issued as video or audio recordings, and one, released in 2001, has long been unavailable. Of the almost 17 hours of footage, 14 hours and 18 minutes have never been available on home video in North America.
The release celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Human Rights Now concert that played five continents in 1988. The concert video and audio has been restored and produced for release by Martin Lewis, who first recruited rock stars to support Amnesty International via the Secret Policeman's Ball shows he co-created with John Cleese from 1976 to 1985.
Besides archival performances and interviews from the '80s, there are performances from the last decade by Green Day, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Perry, Pete Seeger, Evan Rachel Wood and David Byrne, along with new documentaries starring Springsteen, Sting, Bono, Townshend and others.
There will be two major events for the release, a world premiere Nov. 3 at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles and the New York premiere Dec. 10 at the Museum of Modern Art.
"Ever since Pete Townshend's pioneering performance for Amnesty in 1979, the rock music community has been spectacular in its support," said Lewis. "These concerts broke new ground."
Added Townshend: "It was amazing subsequently to see what [the concerts] triggered."