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4.6 out of 5 stars129
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on 14 November 2004
First, lets clear up why there are songs missing - The footage simply no longer exists. Its already been well explained but here goes:
Prior to 13 July 1985 Bob Geldof had said he did not want the concert recorded as it was to be a one off never to be repeated event. The BBC ignored him and recorded it anyway, minus most of The Who set as a power failure within the BBC trucks meant their set was only seen within Wembly. Alas along the way the Beeb deleted some of the tapes in the same way they deleted programmes like Dad's Army, Swap Shop etc.
ABC in America deleted the entire concert. The only footage from America is that recorded by MTV which is littered with commercial breaks and VJ inserts hence the reason some of the songs are missing, but at least its there.
The DVD at 10+ hours is excellent value for money and I found myself getting caught in the emotion of the day even now.
A true defining moment in our history finally available for us to relive.
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on 21 November 2004
How anyone can call this poor quality sound and picture is beyond me. It was screened on BBC1 in 1985 so what you have is as good as it was watching it live, you can't expect any more.
It was 1985 and even existing technology now could not remove some of the occasional picture interference, for me though it adds to the authenticity and is fairly un noticeable. Back in 1985 homes didn't have super surround, all whistles and bells televisions so I wasn't expecting this to be an attack of the senses.
That said mostly the picture and sound are excellent anyway and this was viewed on a surround sound widescreen TV. Way better than what I had expected. I first watched Live Aid as an 11 year old and was already a big fan of a lot of the musicians playing, and its great to relive those moments and also scarey realising I actually remembered it better than I thought.
Quite simply if you want to enjoy LIVE AID again go buy this DVD and remember you'll be giving to charity by buying it.
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on 9 November 2004
Finally a new generation gets to see the pivital event of the mid-80's with live aid.We have 80% of the 16 hour show which raised millions for the starving in Africa.All the stars of the 1980's are here all at there prime from Howard Jones to Duran Duran.The DVD is fantastic with over 10 hours of this brilliant concert filmed part in America and here at Wembley.I don't remember even seeing the show on the Tv which is odd.However this DVD makes up for it in spades as not only a homage to the 80's but to Bob Geldofs sterling effort.This is a must have DVD with all profits going to the Aid charity as it should do.The Special features are somewhat sparse but we do get extra performances plus a documentary.The picture and sound are a little rough but this is explained in the insert booklet.But this doesn't detract from the DVD itself in any way.
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on 14 August 2009
Bluntly? Yes, and it always will be. First things first, a synopsis. Live Aid was formed by Bob Geldof with supporting artists in a short space of 3 weeks.

Anyways, the interesting part is that Live Aid former Bob Geldof originally said no to it been on MTV, BBC, and ABC, but as they all do they ignored him anyway and filmed this momentus event. Reluctantly, Bob Geldof only gave them broadcasting rights to do so.

They were asked to delete this concert after they had filmed it. ABC complied, BBC has fragments of the concert still left, what was deleted made way for newer programs to come in, MTV still has (I think) the complete collection, but littered with ads. I can imagine that the MTV and ABC ones are unusable, but I digress... Essentally what your watching is what is left in the BBC archives, which considering some of it is deleted not bad going for what is left!

But someone managed to cut through the red tape and dismiss the paperwork to provide this. What was left of Live Aid. A lot, incomplete, but a lot nontheless. To the people bitching about it it been incomplete. Shut up dammit, we should be thankful that there IS a Live Aid DVD! Otherwise, we would be watch Live Aid on crinkly, crumbling cassettes and watching our cherised memories disintegrate to static. Yeah, yeah, your song isint on. Shut up and just appreciate it as is!

Anyways, we have an amazing lineup of artists performing at this concert - or rather on this DVD in this 8 hour music fest. Paul Young, Queen, etc. to say the least! Strutting thier stuff and singing songs that we all love and enjoy. Amazingly, this is better than any other concert because no playback was allowed in this, the atmosphere, and the artists' music sounded SO much better live.

This was all live when they did it, so any editing errors on here are present on this DVD also.

I must give kudos however to the cameramen that did this, the shaky handywork on this and desperatly trying follow the subject lunking a very heavy camcorder with a hapless bloke running around picking up cables after him. To me, this is not unprofessional: No, it gives a much more atmospheric and welcoming feel to the concert, and wish all concerts were done this way. Full stop.

How dare people say that the quality on this is DVD is poor? People seem to fail to realise that this was filmed in 1985, where the idea of having a surround sound would be utterely mind-blowing. We had no High Defination which are all so comfortable with, TV sets were mainly in mono, and filmed how it was using "tube cameras" (How do I know this? Watch when a cameraman swings the camera from a bright light. You will see streaks of light on the footage. This is called "Comet Tailing") so obviously its not going to be what we have today.

Other than that, it has made a sensational DVD transfer.
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on 23 September 2005
This is a really great DVD for the 'BEST' live aid performance to date. Gone but not forgotten...
The music and performances on the DVD are really good like Queen, David Bowie, Elton John, U2, Dire Straights etc...
The biggest problems with it, is there are lots of tracks and performances missing!! i.e elton john - i'm still standing
If I remember back then, 'Wham' was in it as well im sure!!!
Not sure why they left these bands or tracks from the DVD, I do know that the microphones were going wrong all day, and some songs you couldn't hear, maybe that was the reason, but they should had put it on anyway!
Its a fantastic DVD, really good, but only 3 stars as its incomplete!
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on 12 November 2004
Ok, some performances are not on this dvd,(read the dvd bumpf for a partial explanation).
It has not reduced the enjoyment I have had watching it. My outstanding memories of the day were the report on the plight of the children and Queen's performance. Standing in the crowd with Queen on stage is something I will never forget and can now revisit again and again.
20 years may have passed but the memories are still vivid. I found myself explaining to my 4 year old son why this was such an important day. Unfortunately, I also found myself explaining that there were still many children in the world who do not have enough food and are 'very poorly'.
For the generations not aware of it the first time round, it is important for them to understand what it was all about and to see the bigger picture of why we are still needing to raise funds today.
Personally I think it is a fantastic dvd (and I get to see the bits I missed travelling home!)
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on 23 December 2004
I can't really remember much of Live Aid from the day, perhaps catching snippets of it throughout the day. I was 12 at the time, and not into my music as I am now.
Watching the DVD now, which also comes with a prequel of news footage, the Band Aid video and the massively over egoed USA for Africa video, where everybody out shouts one another and Bruce Sprigsteen sounds like he's on the toilet, you can relive the sense of the occasion.
Forget that certain bits are missing, because they don't exist any more, or that the quality is only up to 1985 standards - Live aid was certainly much more than the sum of it's parts.
I must say that the Wembley footage was much better than the USA stuff, the British acts seem to have more of a sense of occasion, more togetherness and having more of a laugh generally.
All in all, I found the whole concert very moving and emotional, although you can't hope to match the impact from the actual day. I would also have liked to have seen more background stuff from the day and the links, perhaps then I could have felt even more involved. Whether you like all of the acts or not (I must confess that I dont) this is an absolutely must buy.
Queen, U2 and Simple Minds are all brilliant, by the way.
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VINE VOICEon 24 November 2004
As someone who sat and watched the whole event live 19+ (can in really be that long!!) years ago, this has been a long time coming....and proves worth the wait. Yes, there are bits missing, but when you consider that Bob Geldof requested that the BBC didn't even tape the event, what we have is pretty darn good. As I sat through the event again I realised how many of the acts I had forgotten were there. Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Ultravox.....some wonderful blasts from the past.
The highlights are obviously U2, Queen, David Bowie et al. These sections are worth the purchase price alone, and with the money going back to famine relief projects, even more so.
Gripes....some of the US show is a little lack lustre. You get the feeling ( as you did on the day) that the egos were a little more evident state-side. Also, I would have liked to see some of the in-between/back stage bits I remember from the day.
However, as a huge slab of nostalgia this can't be beaten. Bad hair, bad cloths, good music, great cause.
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on 30 November 2004
I am 20 years old, so I was only a baby when this took place. However, it is well known that the concerts have gone down as the greatest live extravaganzas in history, so when this was to finally come out on DVD, I knew I would have to buy this, as a self-respecting music fan. In any case, I knew my money would be going towards a good cause, which is as good an incentive as any to buy...
...And I have to say, this 4 DVD set of 10 hours or so really does do it justice. A Who's Who, nay a Burke's Peerage even, of artists, all at their peak or approaching it, all giving it their all, in the name of trying to make a difference. I won't list the artists, most of them you will know anyway, but they were all high calibre artists who performed, and while most of the live performances are merely good/very good, some are truly exceptional. Especially, in my view, the sets by Madonna, Paul Young, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, U2 and Queen, and the song "Reach Out and Touch" by Ashford and Simpson with Teddy Pendergrass, which are just sublime. Buy this, and you will be getting for the most part, live performances at their very best.
Lots of people have commented on the fact that certain artists are missing, and that certain songs are missing. Here's my six penn'orth on the issue: If Led Zeppelin and Santana would not let their footage on, well they did have the right to say no. And if they're not on cos they said no, then so be it. In any case, this set we're pretty lucky to get, as this was not even meant to be recorded originally! Fortunately, BBC and MTV ignored this, but ABC in the States sadly did follow this instruction. Which means certain bits Stateside are missing. Allied to this, various technical bits going wrong during the show(notably during the Who's performance), and general degradation of recordings over 20 years- all limiting output. What we have here is best we've got, and I for one am glad with it, an exceptional job has been done. Okay, I would have liked some more, but if it ain't there, then there's nowt one can do about it...
To conclude, this is an exceptional DVD set, and even if the proceeds were not going to charity, I would recommend buying this as an exhibition of live music at its best. However, the fact that proceeds are going to charity makes this even more special. Because the spirit of Live Aid is able to live on today. The day where the world came together as one to make a difference. If this DVD set inspires my generation to carry on working to solve the problems in Africa(most notably famine, AIDS), then I for one will be happy for it. This is not just a brilliant DVD set, it is a reminder to all of us, especially my generation, that much needs to be done in Africa, and that we still have a duty to do something about it, like the artists did on the 13th July 1985. An exceptional set, both for what it is, and for what it stands for.
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on 4 November 2004
For those of you that don't remember, Harvey Goldsmith (the promoter) said, twenty years ago, quite categorically, that the contracts that were signed for the performances did not include any recording rights - just the broadcast rights for July 13th, 1985 and that no portion of the concert could ever be released on video or CD. That someone finally had the ability to get through the red tape and release any of the greatest rock and roll show that anyone has witnessed, and may ever witness, on DVD is a remarkable feat and I, for one, thank you.
Stop writing low star reviews, just because your favourite song isn't on this box set. Just be grateful that 80 per cent of the show is available. And enjoy.
I was at Wembley that day and musically it has to be the greatest day of my life (apart from meeting my wife at a Stiff Little Fingers concert seven years ago!) I have almost the entire show on VHS (six in all) but the picture is getting bad and it's only mono Now I will be able to re-live that day in glorious surround sound and as good a picture as possible. AWESOME!
Whether you remember watching this show at all or if you were too young to remember, you will want to buy this box set. Probably the greatest day in broadcast history when literally every country in the world re-broadcast the show in some form, creating the global jukebox that proved music is the one passion the unites us all.
My only dilemma; buy the UK version or wait another week to get the US version (I now live in California.) As I said 19 1/2 years is a long time to wait!!!
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