Since its founding in 1961, Amnesty International has endeavored “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” The Nobel Peace Prize-winning international human rights organization has, naturally, attracted a number of high-profile supporters over the years. In 1988, a number of those men and women took the road to spread Amnesty’s message and raise funds via the Human Rights Now! world tour. The 25-city trek was headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour and was seen by over one million concert attendees in person and by millions more on television. The tour was a success, tripling Amnesty’s worldwide membership. To commemorate this event, Shout! Factory will issue the 6-DVD box set ¡RELEASED!: The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998 on November 5. The same date will also see the release of The Human Rights Concerts, a 2-CD set of audio highlights.
The DVD box set features performances from 36 artists performing for Amnesty International, with 120 songs and 12 hours of music. It includes four films, all restored from the original masters. The first film is dedicated to the all-day final concert of A Conspiracy of Hope, Amnesty’s 25th anniversary concert tour of the USA in June 1986. The second film features highlights from the Human Rights Now! The third presentation is An Embrace of Hope, the October 1990 concert in Chile celebrating that nation’s liberation following nearly two decades of dictatorship. The fourth and final film in the set is The Struggle Continues…, recorded in Paris in 1998 on the exact 50th anniversary of the signing in that city of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In the tradition of numerous benefit concerts, these gigs presented the opportunity for favorite artists to perform in unexpected duets. Various duet combinations of Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Lou Reed, Youssou N’Dour, Aaron Neville, Steven Van Zandt, Bob Geldof and Bryan Adams are among the concert highlights.
What will you find on the 6-DVD and 2-CD collections? Hit the jump for more details and pre-order links!
In addition to the four films, the set also contains 32 additional segments of bonus material – including more musical performances – for a running time of roughly 5 hours. This extra content, collected as Context on the Human Rights Concerts, includes:
- Light A Candle! – a new documentary featuring new exclusive interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Pete Townshend and others;
- Standalone interviews with Bruce Springsteen and Sting about their support for Amnesty over the years;
- Peter Gabriel’s home movies of the 1986 Amnesty tour featuring backstage moments and an historic jam;
- Special messages in support of Amnesty from familiar actors, musicians and comedians;
- Archival interviews, promotional sequences, TV news coverage of the time, and performances not seen in the original films; and
- A 20-minute animated film about human rights curated in 1988 by Aardman Animation (Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run) featuring a specially-created score by David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Danny Elfman and Mark Mothersbaugh.
The additional content also features 15 performances including Sting and Pete Townshend at The Secret Policeman’s Ball as well as songs from Green Day, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Jeff Beck, Seal, Ozzy Osbourne, Joe Perry, Bono, Damien Rice, Pete Seeger, Evan Rachel Wood, and David Byrne.
In total, the box set runs just 12 minutes shy of 17 hours. Three of the four concert films have never been issued before in any video or audio format. The Struggle Continues… was released on VHS and DVD, but had fallen out-of-print. A 40-page booklet accompanies the box, with archival photography and new liner notes including a 10,000-word essay by Gregory Weinkauf
The track listing for the companion 2-CD set The Human Rights Concerts has not yet been released, but it includes performances by both contemporary and classic rock notables including Bryan Adams, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morissette, Youssou N’Dour, Sinead O’Connor, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, The Police, Radiohead, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, U2 and others.
Shout! Factory will be issuing ¡RELEASED! in North America. Outside of North America, both releases will be issued by Eagle-Rock Entertainment. They’re due in the U.S. on November 5 and can be ordered just below! Net proceeds from sales of the DVD set and CDs benefit Amnesty International!
6-DVD Box Set includes:
A Conspiracy of Hope (1986)
U2 – MLK/Pride, Bad, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Help! • The Police – Message In A Bottle, Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, King Of Pain • Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer, Biko, Shock The Monkey • Bryan Adams – Straight From The Heart, Run From You, Summer of ‘69 • Joni Mitchell – Number One, Hejira • Miles Davis – Tutu, Burn • Jackson Browne – For Everyman, For America • Joan Baez and Aaron Neville – Amazing Grace • Joan Armatrading – Love And Affection • Lou Reed – Rock And Roll, Walk On The Wild Side • Ensemble – I Shall Be Released – and 37 more songs! (5-1/2 hours)
Human Rights Now! (1988)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Born In The USA, I’m On Fire, The River • Sting – Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Every Breath You Take • Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes, Biko • Youssou N’Dour – The Truth • Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ About A Revolution • Ensemble – Chimes Of Freedom, Get Up, Stand Up – and 8 more songs! (3 hours)
An Embrace of Hope (1990)
Sting – Little Wing, They Dance Alone • Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U • Jackson Browne – Lives In The Balance • Peter Gabriel – Biko • Wynton Marsalis – Jungle Blues – and 4 more songs! (72 minutes)
The Struggle Continues… (1998)
Radiohead – Karma Police, Paranoid Android • Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender, Born in the USA • Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Rock and Roll • Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket, Thank U • Peter Gabriel and Youssou N’Dour – Signal To Noise, Shaking The Tree • Tracy Chapman – Fast Car, Baby Can I Hold You? – and 16 more songs! (2-1/2 hours)
Other performers include Bob Geldof • Third World • The Hooters • Peter, Paul & Mary • Steven Van Zandt • Rubén Blades • Howard Jones • The Neville Brothers • Inti-Illimani • New Kids On The Block • Asian Dub Foundation • Kassav’ • Shania Twain • Carlos Santana and Fela Kuti.
¡RELEASED! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998 2-CD Highlights (Shout! Factory, 2013) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. link TBA)
- Track Listing TBA