By David Browne
November 27, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Premise
Recording of the VH1-sponsored charity concert — the first-ever hoedown by divas old (Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan), new (Shania Twain), borrowed (Celine Dion, from Canada), and not-so-blue-since-her-divorce (Mariah Carey)
Real Premise
To prove these divas aren’t such terrible people — they shared a stage without clawing each other’s plucked brows out, right?
Reason We Like Live Albums
List of participants ensures you won’t have to endure your least favorite diva for more than two or three songs. Consider four potentially horrifying words: Celine Dion — Double Live!
Reason We Hate Live Albums
Hotel-lounge-band arrangements; full-ensemble shrieking match at the conclusion of ”A Natural Woman” may be fascinating viewing but makes for water-torture-like home listening.
Sample Patter
Disappointingly, mostly a series of very un-diva-ish blanditudes like ”I’m so thrilled to share the stage tonight with such incredible talent.” The anti-meow!
Shocking Revelation
Aretha sounds distressingly out of breath on ”Chain of Fools.”
C

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