Live Aid: Wembley Stadium, 13th July 1985 poll.

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Queen 13
U2 8
Coldstream Guards 4
Sade 4
Dire Straits 4
Ultravox 3
Status Quo 3
Elvis Costello 3
The Style Council 2
Bryan Ferry (w/David Gilmour) 2
Elton John 2
David Bowie (w/Thomas Dolby) 1
The Boomtown Rats 1
Paul McCartney 0
Freddie Mercury & Brian May 0
The Who 0
Paul Young 0
Howard Jones 0
Sting/Phil Collins/Branford Marsalis 0
Nik Kershaw 0
Spandau Ballet 0
Adam Ant 0
Band Aid 0


You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 21:49 (seven years ago) link

There's a deeply regrettable but still fairly major part of me that wants to vote for U2 here

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:04 (seven years ago) link

Queen were excellent tbh. Otoh I really fucking hate Queen.

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:10 (seven years ago) link

forgotten about, but still did the business on the day: Paul Young, Dire Straits
genuinely great, obviously: U2, Queen, Bowie
also good: Costello.

ultimately Queen though.

piscesx, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:15 (seven years ago) link

xpost:

Yeah, U2 and Queen seem to be the two UK Live Aid performances that everyone talks about; Bono dancing with the girl and U2 generally on the cusp of getting even bigger, and Queen, while undoubtedly being at their artistic peak in the '70s, were probably at their hugest as a stadium act at this point in time - their own shows at Wembley and Knebworth were just around the corner.

Is it me or does the relic count feel a lot lower for the UK Live Aid in comparison to the US Live Aid?

the boomtown rats and the who are the two acts that seemed the most irrelevant to me at the time, but i can understand the inclusion of both

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:24 (seven years ago) link

I seem to remember that Sade's performance was also really good - have this vision in my head of 'Your Love is King' floating out over the sunbaked crowd like some sort of sweet heavenly balm, time seemed to slow down for a moment there

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 22:35 (seven years ago) link

I always got the impression that The Boomtown Rats were on the bill only because of Geldof's hand in organising Live Aid. I don't think there was any other reason why they should have been on the bill! At least Ultravox were still having hits, although that would soon change after Live Aid. Word has it that Midge Ure's ego ballooned around the time of Live Aid, and it ultimately led to him going solo and eventually Ultravox breaking up. On the other hand, it's very difficult to see Ultravox finding a place in the late '80s musical climate without completely changing who they were - that album they did after Live Aid, U-Vox is a woeful attempt to move away from the music they were most known for.

I always got the impression that The Boomtown Rats were on the bill only because of Geldof's hand in organising Live Aid

absolutely, they were way, way past their sell-by in 85 - their last top ten hit was in 1980

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:03 (seven years ago) link

The band's fifth album, V Deep, was released in February 1982.[1] The first single was "Never in a Million Years" which did not sell well, whilst the follow-up "House on Fire" made number 24 in the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the album was initially rejected by their American label, who instead issued a four-song EP called The Boomtown Rats featuring four selections from V Deep. The full album was eventually issued in the US in late 1982.[6]

A follow-up album entitled In The Long Grass was recorded in 1983, but was initially rejected by the group's label.[6] By 1984, the band was touring universities after becoming unable to fund the "guarantee" required to book mainstream concert halls. In The Long Grass was finally issued in the UK in May 1984, but failed to chart. Two singles, "Tonight" and "Drag Me Down", were pulled from the album and reached the lower rungs of the UK Singles Chart, but two further singles, "Dave" and "A Hold Of Me", failed to hit the UK top 75.

The Boomtown Rats' involvement with Band Aid (on which they all played) raised their profile again, and In January 1985, a revised version of In the Long Grass was finally released in the US. The album made the US charts at #188, but the associated singles failed to make an impact on the charts or on the radio. The band subsequently performed at Live Aid's charity performance.

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:04 (seven years ago) link

Bryan Ferry: best hair of the festival, the only guy who didn't embarrass himself.

http://assets8.heart.co.uk/2010/28/live-aid-25-years-on25-1278840012-view-0.jpg

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:05 (seven years ago) link

and, sorry, I thought Bowie was excellent. That version of "Heroes" is still my go-to live arena version.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:06 (seven years ago) link

and he opened with "TVC 15"!

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:06 (seven years ago) link

Adam Ant's career totally went off a cliff at this point amirite?

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:11 (seven years ago) link

Yeah but he only got to do one song. If he'd been given fifteen minutes to play Stand and Deliver etc it would have probably been okay. The one song he did (Vive Le Rock) is really quite shit.

everything, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:18 (seven years ago) link

I was always under the impression that Adam Ant was well on his way out by '85... the Ants had long split up, and his last Top 10 album was Friend or Foe in '82, with 'Goody Two Shoes' on it. His last Top 10 single was 'Puss 'n Boots' in '83. The album he released in 1985, Vive Le Rock, was a huge flop.

Agreed - he was past it already. This high-profile fuck-up was the final nail in the coffin.

everything, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:21 (seven years ago) link

I think we were kind of excited at the time about the return of Adam Ant and then he played the song and well, we never thought of him again until people were horribly cruel about the whole gorilla thing :(

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:26 (seven years ago) link

One of those latter singles of the Boomtown Rats was a picture disc ("Dave", I think) which had a gig ticket inlayed, the promo idea being that it would get you free admission to the next gig.

Of course, the next gig for some people turned out to be Live Aid.

I believe Bob was a bit snotty about it in the end. Like, "yeah, turn up. See what happens.."

I don't suppose anyone did.

Mark G, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:29 (seven years ago) link

and he opened with "TVC 15"!

― The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, July 14, 2015 11:06 PM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Hahahaha! Yeah, I always thought that was a bit of a bold choice, given the amount of songs he had to choose from.

Howard Jones setlist: "Hide and Seek"

^ way to rock the party, howie zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:34 (seven years ago) link

xp

and of course he nixed one of his own scheduled songs (5 Years iirc?) so that they could show the Cars / Drive clip that he'd somehow seen the week prior in the office of a tv exec.

piscesx, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:35 (seven years ago) link

yeah truly amazing how many artists forgot about the whole 'Global Jukebox' thing and just played new stuff.

piscesx, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:36 (seven years ago) link

Ferry got a lot of grief from future sideman Johnny Marr about playing new stuff.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:39 (seven years ago) link

yeah truly amazing how many artists forgot about the whole 'Global Jukebox' thing and just played new stuff.

― piscesx, Tuesday, July 14, 2015 11:36 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah, you'd think they were just using Live Aid as a platform to promote their new records or something... er...

And on the other hand there was Dire Straits' 11 minute version of Sultans of Swing. It's actually pretty cool that there was a bunch of different approaches to this.

everything, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:42 (seven years ago) link

Mark Knopfler's solo was longer than Adam Ant's entire set.

everything, Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:44 (seven years ago) link

I dunno, I think it's very fair to say that a lot of people who played Live Aid definitely had one eye on what it could do for their career and/or record sales, you just wouldn't have found any that would have admitted it. I'll bet the backstage area looked like a fucking snowstorm, too!

That Howard jones song wasn't even a recent single though, it was just a random boring song from the album before last.

feargal czukay (NickB), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:47 (seven years ago) link

the Who's set was as shaky as you'd expect, but it contained Kenney Jones' single finest moment as a Who member, massively thundering back into "Won't Get Fooled Again" like he knew it was the last time he'd ever do that (and it was). Also, Townshend fell over.

U2 will probably get my vote. Queen shmeen. Never understood what was supposed to be the big deal about their set.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 14 July 2015 23:56 (seven years ago) link

I've heard that Freddie was advised not to perform at Live Aid, because apparently his throat wasn't it great condition. They did put in a great performance, though, especially 'Hammer To Fall'

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 00:28 (seven years ago) link

What was the objection to people playing new stuff...made it look self-promoting?

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 01:12 (seven years ago) link

As opposed to .. playing the back catalogue and reviving the career / greatest hits comp?

Well, Elvis Costello sang "All you need is love", a song that he never released on record.

Mark G, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 07:59 (seven years ago) link

the idea was, as Geldof saw it, this is the 'global jukebox' so you come on, you play the hits, you fuck off after 17 minutes. that way people put more money in on the phones, as they've been hearing the songs they know and love. so uh.. a jukebox in reverse! it's a wonky concept for sure but you get the idea. i'm not sure how strict he was with bands about this beforehand, clearly not too much as loads of bands didn't do that.

it was all over the posters beforehand

http://cdn.sting.com/non_secure/images/20110712/live_aid_poster/live_aid_poster_640.jpg

piscesx, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 08:15 (seven years ago) link

dude from my high school played in bryan ferry's band for that show -- jon carin on keys. he's also played w/pink floyd and the who. and kate bush in her recent shows. plus he was in a chillwave band (whatever that is) with another dude from my high school.
http://cdn.discogs.com/tru5dZPmA3ixeTV-WxTFwagIue4=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc%28%29:format%28jpeg%29:mode_rgb%28%29/discogs-images/R-429407-1226509120.jpeg.jpg

Thus Sang Freud, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 11:18 (seven years ago) link

Elton & Kiki with a smoking version of Don't Go Breaking My Heart. I adore this song.
https://youtu.be/3rFre07UXNc?t=39s

campreverb, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 14:24 (seven years ago) link

Francis Rossi: "Bowie was the only one sober, immaculately dressed, when everyone else looked shit-faced. I never found out how he'd managed it."

everything, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 16:20 (seven years ago) link

will insist Ferry takes the honors.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 16:23 (seven years ago) link

xpost:

Probably because the days of Bowie putting his piss in the fridge were long behind him and he'd learned from the experience, whereas Rossi's nose had yet to completely give way!

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 16:26 (seven years ago) link

picked Sade her set is so ill. beach boys were the best of the whole concert tho.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfs5D4waGPM

Cory Sklar, Wednesday, 15 July 2015 16:35 (seven years ago) link

More summer music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA19EtcTofY

... (Eazy), Wednesday, 15 July 2015 18:18 (seven years ago) link

For some reason, I always keep forgetting that The Style Council played Live Aid. It makes sense for them to have done so (The Council was Weller's most "political" period), but I was always under the impression that Weller was really unpopular with the '80s "in-crowd", no doubt because he was always slagging most of 'em off in print.

he scored a bunch of hits in England, and "My Ever Changing Moods" is his only American top 40 success.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 July 2015 03:02 (seven years ago) link

I think one of his more memorable quotes from the '80s was when he was talking about Wham! and their slogans: "'Go For It!'... go for what?, a fucking all-year suntan?"

I don't think any of Weller's incarnations made much of an impact in America, did they? I'm guessing The Jam definitely didn't, I don't know about his solo career. I know he does have some dedicated American fans, though.

Voted Dire Straits. Never could stand Queen.

anthony braxton diamond geezer (anagram), Thursday, 16 July 2015 08:15 (seven years ago) link

"Money for nothing" was their forthcoming single, wasn't it?

Mark G, Thursday, 16 July 2015 08:18 (seven years ago) link

It was released a couple of weeks before Live Aid.

anthony braxton diamond geezer (anagram), Thursday, 16 July 2015 08:23 (seven years ago) link

Just looked it up, it wasn't really storming up the charts at the time.

Mark G, Thursday, 16 July 2015 14:06 (seven years ago) link

they were on fire that day but they were in the middle of a huge world tour (and played 'across the car park' at the Arena the same evening) so fair dos.

piscesx, Thursday, 16 July 2015 14:29 (seven years ago) link

I don't think any of Weller's incarnations made much of an impact in America, did they? I'm guessing The Jam definitely didn't, I don't know about his solo career. I know he does have some dedicated American fans, though.

― You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, July 15, 2015 11:08 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Nope, other than "My Ever Changing Moods," he never had a US hit. I remember hearing "You're the Best Thing" on the radio a lot at the time, though. Weirdly, I don't think the Style Council ever toured the US.

The Jam couldn't get arrested in the US, though apparently there was a big push by their label around 1980 or so; they appeared on American Bandstand and Fridays. A few cities had sizable Jam followings (NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA), where they played maybe 3000-4000 seat venues. They got off on the wrong foot here, though: their first US dates in the late 70s were opening for Blue Oyster Cult.

Dunno how much overlap there is between Jam fans and Weller solo fans here; some friends of mine saw him a few weeks ago and said it was disappointing, but they only know his Jam stuff, which he didn't play.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 16 July 2015 15:14 (seven years ago) link

their first US dates in the late 70s were opening for Blue Oyster Cult.

fwiw that's not correct, they played headline dates in the US in 1977 but at smallish venues like CBGBs/The Rat, they supported BOC in 1978.

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Thursday, 16 July 2015 15:23 (seven years ago) link

Ah, good point. I couldn't remember if the BOC shows were before or after the CBGBs shows.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 16 July 2015 15:31 (seven years ago) link

Should point out I am not a walking Jam encyclopaedia but by coincidence someone posted a link to a CBGBs chronology on FB yesterday and I was reading the 70s gig listings last night!

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Thursday, 16 July 2015 15:40 (seven years ago) link

Dunno how much overlap there is between Jam fans and Weller solo fans here; some friends of mine saw him a few weeks ago and said it was disappointing, but they only know his Jam stuff, which he didn't play.

― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, July 16, 2015 3:14 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Even here, I've found with Weller fans that it depends on who you talk to regarding their preferences - every Weller fan I've ever spoken to seems to have a very different opinion. The hardcore of the hardcore love all three Weller periods equally, I guess, but just as often you'll find people who say, like The Jam and nothing else, or The Style Council and nothing else, or they'll like The Jam and Weller's '90s solo work but not the rest of his stuff etc.

I'm just thinking about what happened to a lot of these artists post-Live Aid, not so much the then-"old guard" acts like Status Quo, McCartney, The Who etc. but more the artists that emerged in the first half of the decade/tail end of the previous decade. It's already been mentioned that The Boomtown Rats and Adam Ant were on their way out, but they're not the only examples.

I mean, Spandau Ballet basically had one more Top Ten hit after Live Aid ('Through The Barricades'), Ultravox began to falter with the sacking of Warren Cann and U-Vox (and never recovered), Nik Kershaw's album after Live Aid was a flop, none of Paul Young's singles in 1986/1987 made the UK Top 10. It was pretty much slowly downhill for The Style Council in terms of popularity, too. Howard Jones never had a Top 10 hit again on either side of the Atlantic after 1985. Duran Duran kept on making records and having a dedicated fanbase, but Live Aid was pretty much the end for the original line-up.

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 20 July 2015 00:01 (seven years ago) link

I'm the guy that voted for Elton btw.

Joan Crawford Loves Chachi, Monday, 20 July 2015 00:13 (seven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 21 July 2015 00:01 (seven years ago) link

seven years pass...

and, sorry, I thought Bowie was excellent. That version of "Heroes" is still my go-to live arena version.

― The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, July 14, 2015 7:06 PM

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 3 August 2022 18:13 (one week ago) link


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