B.B. King - Live in Africa

Watch B.B. King - Live in Africa

  • NR
  • 1974
  • 43 min
  • 8.1  (38)

B.B. King - Live in Africa from 1974 is a concert film that captures the legendary blues guitarist and singer B.B. King performing in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) as part of the historic music festival known as Zaire 74. The concert is a testament to King's immense talent and the power of music as a unifying force that transcends race, culture, and geography.

The film begins with footage of King arriving in Africa, greeted by enthusiastic fans and a group of African drummers who accompany him to the concert venue. The excitement is palpable as King takes the stage, his guitar Lucille in hand, and launches into his signature song, "The Thrill is Gone." The audience responds with cheers and applause, clearly familiar with King's catalogue of hits.

Throughout the concert, King delivers searing blues solos, showcasing his virtuosic guitar playing and soulful vocals. He's accompanied by a tight band featuring standout performances by saxophonist Bobby Forte and drummer Sonny Freeman. The setlist includes many of King's biggest hits, including "Rock Me Baby," "Everyday I Have the Blues," and "How Blue Can You Get?"

While King's musical performance is the main attraction, the film also captures some of the cultural and political context of the concert. Zaire 74 was organized by promoter Don King (no relation to B.B.), as a prelude to the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. The concert was meant to showcase African culture and music and draw attention to the continent's struggles with poverty and political instability.

King acknowledges this context in one of the film's most poignant moments, when he pauses to reflect on the meaning of his performance in Africa. "I think it's important that we've come to Africa," he says. "There's so much strife here… But in spite of all the troubles and all the problems, there's still the joy of these people, and that's what we're here for."

The concert also features an appearance by Muhammad Ali, who takes the stage to deliver a spoken-word performance about his own experiences as a Black man in America. It's a powerful moment, as Ali speaks passionately about the need for unity among people of different races and nationalities. The audience responds with cheers and applause, clearly inspired by Ali's message of solidarity.

Overall, B.B. King - Live in Africa from 1974 is an electrifying and moving document of one of the greatest blues musicians of all time performing at the height of his powers. King's music transcends borders and cultures, bringing together a diverse audience for an unforgettable night of soulful blues. While the concert was part of a larger cultural and political moment, the film remains a timeless tribute to the enduring power of music to bring people together and inspire change.

B.B. King - Live in Africa is a 1974 documentary with a runtime of 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1.

Where to Watch B.B. King - Live in Africa
B.B. King - Live in Africa is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime. Some platforms allow you to rent B.B. King - Live in Africa for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    43 min
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (38)