The Prince’s Trust Concert 1986 Complete
Wembley Arena, London, England – June 20th, 1986
Disc 1 (77:34): Introduction, God Save The Queen, Wonderland (Big Country), Fields Of Fire (Big Country), Look Away (Big Country), Chance (Big Country), In A Big Country (Big Country), Tom’s Diner (Suzanne Vega), Cracking (Suzanne Vega), Small Blue Thing (Suzanne Vega), Marlene On The Wall (Suzanne Vega), Lesson In Love (Level 42), Leaving Me Now (Level 42), Something About You (Level 42), Hot Water (Level 42), Opening, Your Song (Elton John), In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
Disc 2 ( 75:18): Better Be Good To Me (Tina Turner), Tearing Us Apart (Eric Clapton & Tina Turner), Call Of The Wild (Midge Ure), Money For Nothing (Mark Knopfler), Every Time You Go Away (Paul Young), Reach Out (Joan Armatrading), No One Is To Blame (Howard Jones), Sailing (Rod Stewart), I’m Still Standing (Elton John), Every Time You Go Away (Paul Young & George Michael), I Saw Her Standing There (Paul McCartney), Long Tall Sally (Paul McCartney), Dancing In The Street (David Bowie & Mick Jagger), Get Back (Paul McCartney Plus Everyone), Outroduction
The Prince’s Trust was established in 1976 by Prince Charles of Wales as a charity to aid young people. The first benefit concert was held in 1982, and by the summer of 1986 they held a special benefit to also celebrate the organization’s tenth anniversary. An impressive roster of acts and artists were assembled for what would be one of the best charity events of the decade.
The Prince’s Trust All-Star Rock Concert was released on VHS, LP and laser disc featuring the more interesting performances from the latter half of the show with all the big names. Only scant attention was paid to the acts in the first half of the show. The three acts were given one song each. The entire second half (minus the Mick Jagger & David Bowie duet on “Dancing In The Streets,” omitted for contract reasons and George Michael singing “Every Time You Go Away”) was present on the video.
The Prince’s Trust Concert 1986 Complete, as the title signifies, presents the complete two and a half hour concert for the very first time. It is sourced from a perfect soundboard recording. The only minor imperfection is a weak left channel during Elton John’s “Your Song.”
The tape begins with the Prince and Princess of Wales entering Wembley to “God Save The Queen.” The first half of the show consists of longer sets by three currently popular acts. Big Country start with “Wonderland,” their biggest hit in the UK up to that point. It segues into “Fields Of Fire” from The Crossing, another international hit for the band.
The late Stuart Adamson introduces “Look Away” as an “interesting little ditty.” It would be the first single from their third album which would be released the following week. “Look Away” would become Big Country’s biggest UK hit later that summer, hitting #7. They follow with the slower “Chance” from their first album and end with “In A Big Country,” which Adamson refers to as “a sort of theme” for the band.
Suzanne Vega is introduced for her four song set. She starts off with the acapella “Tom’s Diner” and proceeds through her acoustic neo-folk tunes ending with the excellent “Marlene On The Wall.” Final Level 42, with their excellent bass player Mark King, play a four song set with “Lesson In Love,” “Leaving Me Now,” “Something About You” and “Hot Water.”
After the intermission the second half begins with Elton John singing his early hit “Your Song.” Phil Collins comes onstage and sings “that song” “In The Air Tonight.” He performs a pretty and dramatic piano ballad arrangement of the piece.
Tina Turner comes onstage for “Better Be Good To Me,” and then joins Eric Clapton to duplicate her part on “Tearing Us Apart” from August, which wouldn’t be released until November.
A madding amount of talent comes onto the stage to sing the hits. Mark Knopfler comes to sing “Money For Nothing,” Paul Young sings “Every Time You Go Away,” and Rod Stewart jokes that he finally has Elton John in his back up band for “Sailing.” John follows with “I’m Still Standing” and George Michael crashes the event to sing “Every Time You Go Away” with Paul Young, claiming it’s the only song he knows.
The finale of the show features Paul McCartney’s second live appearance since the last Wings tour in 1979 (following Live Aid the previous summer). He has two songs, “I Saw Her Standing There” and the Little Richard cover “Long Tall Sally.”
“Time for one more surprise. It was a surprise to us as well” Paul says before introducing “Mr. Bowie and Mr. Jagger.” With a massive amount of talent on stage including Elton John banging the piano, Paul McCartney playing bass, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler among others on guitars and Phil Collins on drums, they play a ragged but energetic version of “Dancing In The Street.” Jagger’s vocals dominate the song and Bowie is pushed deep into the mix.
The long night ends with all of the musicians jamming on The Beatles’ “Get Back.”
The Prince’s Trust Concert 1986 Complete has so many excellent live treats and surprises. Beano focuses upon Eric Clapton, but he’s actually a very small part of the show. Having the rare McCartney live appearance, the Bowie and Jagger duet, full sets by Big Country and Susanne Vega, and contributions from Phil Collins, Elton John and George Michael makes this an important document from the eighties charity gigs.