Sat 04 May 1985

    Apollo Theater, New York City, NY, USA

Careless Whisper (with Smokey Robinson)

Love´s In Need Of Love Today (with Stevie Wonder)

I Want To Know What Love is (Diana Ross with all artists of the evening)


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George performed on NBC television special celebrating the 50th anniversary of Harlem's famed Apollo Theater. He sang with Stevie Wonder and performed a duet of "Careless Whisper" with Smokey Robinson, achknowledging the inspiration he'd so long received from these legendary artistis.

New York Times wrote on May 9th:

''Motown Returns to the Apollo,'' the NBC-TV special taped last Saturday before a live audience at the newly redecorated and reopened Apollo Theater, at 125th Street and Eighth Avenue in Harlem, was the most exciting pop event this observer has attended in New York City all year. Celebrating the Apollo's 50th anniversary, the show brought together some 60 stars representing three generations of black entertainers, from Sammy Davis Jr. (dancing, not singing) to Motown's hottest young crooner, El DeBarge. Al Green, Little Richard, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Sarah Vaughan and Stevie Wonder were on hand, as were Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Boy George and George Michael - four white English soul singers whose styles are rooted in American black music. It is to be broadcast May 19.

Because it was being taped for TV, the concert, with a droll, unflappable Bill Cosby as host, jerked along unsteadily while each segment was set up. But in almost every case, the payoff was worth the wait. The first of several emotional climaxes came when Al Green, Patti LaBelle, Mavis Staples and Little Richard joined the New Jersey Mass Choir in a gospel segment, culminating in ''You'll Never Walk Alone,'' that brought down the house. Later, Miss LaBelle returned with Joe Cocker and Billy Preston for an equally rousing ''You Are So Beautiful.''

There was general agreement that Miss LaBelle, who has been a cult figure for many years, stole the show with her whooping metallic delivery that sustained an almost superhuman passion and intensity. The 40-year-old singer, who has adopted Judy Garland's signature song, ''Over the Rainbow,'' as her own, seems on the brink of major stardom.

The evening's biggest surprise was the powerful ''blue-eyed soul'' singing of George Michael. On record, the dashingly handsome leader of the British duo Wham sounds like a sobbing teen idol. Performing two duets at the Apollo, Mr. Michael was something else entirely. Reprising the recent Wham hit ''Careless Whisper,'' he outsang Smokey Robinson. And he more than held his own with Stevie Wonder in a thrilling call-and-response rendition of Mr. Wonder's ''Love's in Need of Love Today.'' By contrast, that other pop-soul Wunderkind Boy George courted disaster in his duets with Mr. Wonder and Luther Vandross. His thin, brittle tenor was consistently flat, and his attempts to answer Mr. Vandross's soulful invocations were weak, befuddled ''yeah, yeah, yeahs.''




Official DVD japan only release exists.