The Secret Policeman's Third Ball

The Music

 

Amnesty International hosted The Secret Policeman's Third Ball as a charity event at the London Palladium on March 27, 1987. This live album collects several diverse performances from an eclectic mix of artists and bands who all support the goals of Amnesty International.

Joining Kate Bush for "Running Up That Hill" are guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason from Pink Floyd. Gilmour's lead guitar work gives the performance and added musical bite.

Duran Duran's stripped-down version of "Save A Prayer ('Til The Morning After) is highlighted by Simon Le Bon's rich vocals. The sparse instrumentation is just the right touch for this cut.

Bob Geldolf, the musical architect behind Live Aid, contributes "This Is The World Calling" from his 1986 album. Another choice selection from this collection, Geldolf shines on this soaring take.

Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler's guitarist duet on a touching instrumental version of John Lennon's "Imagine" had to be a moving moment at this concert. The poignant melody received a rousing round of approval from the London Palladium audience.

Peter Gabriel, a major advocate of Amnesty International, performed his anthem "Biko" with a little help from some of his stage friends. Lou Reed, Youssou N'Dour, Habib Faye, Rick Bell, and Papa Oumar N'Gom lend their vocals on the protracted chorus.

Largely uninspired, the third live sequel, following TSP's Ball from 1979 and TSP's Other Ball from 1981, fails to match the starpower of the British classic rock artists who appeared together at those first two benefit concerts.

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           Airtime for the discerning Concertphile

01. Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush
02. Save A Prayer - Duran Duran
03. Voices of Freedom - Lou Reed
04. This Is The World Calling - Bob Geldolf
05. For Everyman - Jackson Browne
06. Victims of Love - Erasure
07. Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw
08. Call Me Names - Joan Armatrading
09. Imagine - Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler
10. Biko - Peter Gabriel
11. Ship of Fools - World Party

Virgin Records
October 1987