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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 09:41 GMT
DVD Review: Live Aid
By Michael Osborn
BBC News

Live Aid at Wembley Stadium
Memories of Live Aid's Wembley Stadium concert come flooding back
A Live Aid DVD which plays an exhaustive 10 hours of footage from the concerts from 1985 has been released to raise money for charity.

The DVD box set gives coverage from both the concerts in Wembley, London, and Philadelphia in the US and much of the proceeds will go to the Band Aid Trust, which still exists to relieve poverty and hunger in Ethiopia and the surrounding area.

Warner's, which is releasing the DVD, is giving all profits to the charity.

According to the glossy and informative insert booklet, Bob Geldof, the driving force behind Live Aid, was not keen on recording the concerts on 13 July 1985.

But nearly 20 years later, organisers decided to allow the DVD release after realising bootleggers were making money from it - but none was going to charity.

It's easy to become totally immersed in this package for a whole host of reasons, one being to see how many acts who were riding high back then have since disappeared.

Other artists such as Madonna, meanwhile, did not seem quite as powerful and important all those years ago, although she still gave an energetic, gutsy performance of Holiday and Get Into the Groove.

Status Quo at Live Aid
Status Quo performed at the Live Aid Wembley concert

There are also the performances which have stuck in the mind and still seem remarkable - Freddie Mercury and Queen commanding Wembley with their huge presence, and a suave David Bowie coolly contending with the roasting weather.

Another nostalgic reason to sift through all this live material is to realise how dreadful fashions were back in the 1980s and marvel at a myriad of laughable hairstyles.

At the time music fans made comparisons between the US and British concerts, with many on this side of the Atlantic favouring the Wembley line-up - while we saw little of the Philadelphia gig on the day itself.


Each of the four DVDs allows you to choose between the two concerts, while it's possible to search for your favourite star and proceed straight to their performance - otherwise it would be easy to get lost in all this material.

It might be hard to lose sight of the fact that Live Aid was for a worthy cause, but the closing extra is a documentary made not long after the concerts, showing where the money had gone and reminding us why it all happened.

As for the concerts, they are a revealing chunk of musical nostalgia which will revive memories of that long summer day all those years ago.

BBC News website users sent in their views.

I received my Live Aid DVD through the post this morning and I'm waiting for a spare day to sit down and watch the entire thing in one go. I was a year old when Live Aid actually happened, so to finally be able to see this event that so many people have raved about over the years is very exciting. As a big Queen fan, I can't wait to see the performance that got them back on track again but mainly I can't wait to see this little piece of history so I can make my own judgement about whether it deserves it's iconic status.
Laura, Edinburgh

Bought the DVD today - David Bowie was good, as were Sting and Phil Collins - U2 were great too. Queen, however, were quite simply Awesome - truly the best act on that great day.
James Lunt, Liverpool

Better late than never!
Graham Ridler, Hong Kong

Looking forward to seeing Sade's backless dress again - an unforgettable image!
Scott de Vries, USA

I've been waiting nearly 20 years for this release. I was only 18 years old in 1985 and had just graduated from High School. Wembley still has a special place in my heart and I can't wait to see Queen and all of those clapping hands during Radio Ga Ga! Thank you Bob Geldof for making me feel 18 again.
Terence Reilly, USA

On that memorable long summer's day I was out on the lawn of our holiday cottage, playing badminton with my gran, Live Aid on in the background. Gran sprained her ankle in a hole in the grass, I got the blame and the telly was turned off. So I didn't get to see much of the concert. Which is why I'll enjoy the DVD all the more, in the comfort of my own home.
Willem, Netherlands

I will always remember dancing and jumping on the sofa to the Live Aid single with my sister back in 1985! The DVD is a must-have and if it raises money and awareness at the same time, then fantastic.
Kate, London

When the DVD arrives I intend to sit in front of the telly with a load of booze and crisps and pretend it's for real all over again!
David Thorpe, London, UK

Everyone should buy the DVD and absorb every minute of film and read every word of the book. What an event.
Dave Gunner, Copthorne

It's great to finally see it on DVD. My personal favourite has to be Madonna. They were about to write her off at the time as a minor success, but she turned out to be more successful than most of the others.
Adam, Milton Keynes

Watching the first DVD, this is a concert I'll never forget. One part I enjoyed was Bob Geldof banging the table and saying "give me your f****** money now". A classic.
Robert Greene, Dublin

I'm looking forward to getting the DVD. I had a backstage pass for the Wembley event which is the most memorable gig I've ever been to. I think I'll be overwhelmed by nostalgia when I watch it.
Paul Yates, Essex

I've watched the first disc. Good stuff - great opening by the Quo, Bryan Adams (when he still played rock), Paul Young (much better than I remember) and the moment when Bono went to crowd and danced with a fan was when they became superstars for me. On the downside, Adam Ant (why didn't he play Antmusic or Stand And Deliver?), Sade (weak voice) and Spandau ballet (but the clothes are priceless. Overall it's a brilliant nostalgia trip - can't wait to wacth the rest!
Sanx, West Midlands

I bought the DVD today and have surfed through the memorable bits with permanently damp eyes. Bono getting the girl out of the crowd and every note of Queen will live forever as milestones. It's just a shame that Zeppelin saw fit to pull their performance. Awesome regardless.
Robin Fanner, Preston

I can't wait to see this. At the time I couldn't travel to London but a whole group of us watched the whole thing on TV. It was a day when we really thought we could change the world.
David, Motherwell

I can remember Live Aid as though it was yesterday even though I was only 10. On that Saturday the programme was on throughout the day everywhere we went. The stand out moment for me was a personal one when my big brother took me to buy my first computer and I was watching the concert in the shop on a huge screen along with most other customers and staff. We taped the concert and over the years have watched it so many times that we can quote what most people said. Even so watching it on DVD will be a very special moment.
Adeeba Siddiqui, Slough

My memory, was that we were camping with our two small children, and another couple with their baby, on the top of a mountain in Wales with a portable TV set run off the car battery. The adults had to take it in turns standing half in and half out of the tent holding the aerial trying to get and maintain a picture. Very unsatisfactory indeed. I think we will buy the DVD because we did feel that we rather missed out on a momentous event that was a part of our youth.
Clive, Birmingham

I've just bought the DVD and can't wait to watch all the discs. I lived in Egypt back in 1985 and we were only allowed five hours of airtime. I got so depressed for not being able to watch the whole event - now I can watch the highlights over and over.
Momin Soliman, UK

It's great that the DVD has been released because it will introduce it to another generation of music listeners and show how great this event was.
Rikki, North Yorkshire

I can't wait to see the Live Aid concert again on DVD as it was a fantastic day for my family at Wembley and one we will never forget. Queen were awesome!
Nicole Jackson, Warwick

I remember the day vividly - it was my 40th birthday and I was lucky enough to get tickets. The food was awful, the toilet queues were horrendous and I could hardly see a thing. But it was still one of the best concerts I've been to.
Bill Stitt, Edinburgh

My copy of the box set should be waiting for me when I get home - can't wait. I still remember as a 10-year-old boy being mesmerised by Freddie Mercury live on stage and wishing 'I wish I was there'.
Christopher Teague, Wales

I was too young to watch it the first time around, but I'll buy it just for Queen's performance. It'll make a great Christmas present for someone!
Wayne, Oxford


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