ATLANTIC RECORDS 40TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT - THE COMPLETE HBO TELECAST (1988)
On May 14, 1988, the Atlantic Records label held its 40th Anniversary Celebration by staging a non-stop concert lasting almost 13 hours starting at noon and ending just shortly before 1am the following morning at Madison Square Garden, New York. The event was dubbed "It's Only Rock And Roll".
Only artists who had released material on the Atlantic label in the United States performed, with the artists spanning the 40 years of the company's existence. Lavern Baker and Ruth Brown were the longest tenured Atlantic acts to perform, while Debbie Gibson was the most recent Atlantic signing to make an appearance at the event.
Some Atlantic signings, who had either officially split up or who had not performed together for a number of years, re-formed especially to perform at the concert. These artists included The Rascals, Iron Butterfly, and the former members of Led Zeppelin.
Other notable performers included Yes, Genesis, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer (representing Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Bob Geldof, Booker T. Jones, Wilson Pickett, The Coasters, The Spinners, Peabo Bryson, The Blues Brothers (featuring Dan Aykroyd and Sam Moore), Roberta Flack, The Manhattan Transfer, Bee Gees, Ben E. King and Vanilla Fudge.
There had been plans to close the performance with a greatest hits all-star jam, but this idea was shelved. Instead, the former members of Led Zeppelin performed as the last act.