Knebworth: The Album

Rock turns into a predictable kind of classical music on Knebworth: The Album, recorded at the giant British charity concert in June. The artists — venerable names like Elton John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Genesis, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Dire Straits, Tears for Fears, Pink Floyd, and Paul McCartney — sing and play lots of their hits, which, depending on your taste, collectively add up to either a pantheon of the great or a snooze. McCartney socks out his first-ever concert performance of ”Hey Jude,” with the audience happily singing along. Status Quo, a lesser boogie band from the ’60s and ’70s, can’t sing in tune anymore, but so what? The crowd just as happily belts out Status Quo songs, too. Genesis supplies another low point with a medley of improbable chestnuts (among them ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” ”Pinball Wizard,” and ”Twist and Shout”), which all come out sounding alike. Robert Plant, whose voice still has teeth, almost alone shows signs of life, but then that’s what happens when rock gets predictable: It quickly grows dull. Taken as a whole, Knebworth isn’t terrible, but — unless classic rock makes you absolutely drool — it’ll very likely put you to sleep. C

Knebworth: The Album
  • Music