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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'It's only a b----y record...
...people get so excited about these things!!'
So said Freddie Mercury from the stage at Milton Keynes Bowl, whilst reassuring his audience that just because they had taken a more 'funk' direction with their then most recent album 'Hot Space', it did not mean that they had suddenly turned their back on rock 'n' roll, which the audience present that night were pleased...
Published on 28 Nov 2004 by ronster500

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleh.
This doesn't begin to do justice to what wasn't even one of Queen's better shows. If they are willing to release this, one can only ask why they will not release shows from 1975 and 1976, all of which have been available on pretty decent bootlegs for years.

Sometimes I wonder about what Brian and Roger are thinking - but then I remember why I care what they...
Published 8 months ago by Paul Flynn


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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'It's only a b----y record..., 28 Nov 2004
By 
ronster500 (Liverpool, England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
...people get so excited about these things!!'
So said Freddie Mercury from the stage at Milton Keynes Bowl, whilst reassuring his audience that just because they had taken a more 'funk' direction with their then most recent album 'Hot Space', it did not mean that they had suddenly turned their back on rock 'n' roll, which the audience present that night were pleased to hear!
The DVD release of this concert features the complete set for the first time, previously the Channel 4 special was all that was ever seen. With several then new songs making the set, you actually see Roger Taylor use his new Simmons drums on these numbers (personally I hated those things!) - in the edited version you could have been forgiven for thinking they were for show! Freddie's reassurance to his audience is backed up by a performance high in volume, and the playing of the fast version of 'We Will Rock You' at the start signalled their intent to do just that.
The set played in this show is sufficiently different from the Wembley '86 DVD to make this release worthwhile, of course songs which have since become regarded as favourites, such as 'Radio Ga Ga' and 'A Kind of Magic' were yet to be written, and so here we get a gloriously OTT performance from Freddie during 'Somebody To Love' and some high camp during the wonderfully politically incorrect 'Fat Bottomed Girls' (they would never get away with that nowadays!)
Freddie on this performance both looks and sounds in fantastic shape; his voice in superb condition and you never feel he is singing 'within himself' - a night when he was indeed 'on fire'. The 'Hot Space' material does come over well live, and trivia fans will notice that John Deacon swaps his bass for a Telecaster guitar during 'Staying Power' (bass synth was played by keyboard player Morgan Fisher, this tour marked the first time they had used an extra musician live). The sharp-eyed will also notice Brian May use the John Birch replica of his famous guitar on some numbers; he smashed it in frustration shortly after and has only recently had the guitar - still in bits - returned to him!
The concert filming does not use the multitude of cameras that was used for the Wembley show, and so you do not get that many 'cuts' between band members; consequently you do still feel you're watching a video rather than feeling part of the audience at the show. For the time however, it was well put together and the band were sufficiently impressed with director Gavin Taylor to work with him again at Wembley. The footage has been considerably enhanced for the release and although 'dark' in places (remember they were not using their normal battery of lights) stands up well. Once again, they have included a DTS soundtrack for those suitably equipped to access it.
Fans will be pleased to note that Brian May's solo includes the moment where his guitar cut out on him - you can hear clearly the roar from the crowd when he got it back on!
The second disc contains all the 'extras'; some footage from Austria and Japan is included. The Japan footage features a superb rendition of 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' with an extended piano solo, even Freddie joins in at one point! Also featured is a rare interview with Freddie, discussing their ten years together at that point, and he is musing over whether they would last another ten years. As we all know, that did not quite happen.
To conclude then: the devoted fans will snap this up but the casual fan will also find plenty to enjoy here; the playing and singing performances are excellent and although the Wembley DVD features arguably more favourably regarded songs, more thorough coverage of the show and the spectacular setting of Wembley itself, this concert on live performance edges it.
Another well put together, good value live DVD. My thanks to Brian and Roger for releasing it.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Crown Jewel, 12 Nov 2004
By 
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
For Queen obsessives, the advent of remastered CD and DVD has served to keep the - ahem - 'magic' alive long after the demise of the band itself as a creative unit. The latest release is this long-awaited Milton Keynes Bowl concert, recorded June 1982, on the European leg of the Hot Space tour. A heavily-edited film of the show was first used, improbably enough, on Channel 4's alternative music show The Tube in 1983; that edit has since featured regularly on VH1. Individual songs have also appeared in video montages and compilations. Now, after the success of the Live at Wembley Stadium DVD, this is the MK show in its entirety - warts 'n' all - and very welcome it is too.

Previous 'live' offerings from Queen too often suffered from heavy handed editing, remixing and general interference, sometimes due to the limitations of technology at the time but more often in a mistaken attempt at quality assurance. The nadir is 1986's Live Magic which employs a ghastly mixture of omission and (unbelievably) song editing to fit a two-hour show onto LP. A close second is the video of 1985's Rock In Rio triumph: Brian May's guitar is hopelessly buried in the mix and the overall band sound is dull and blunted. Now, as this DVD demonstrates, even on basic home equipment, digital remastering brings a raw freshness to the sound as well as sharpness and colour to the picture.

After the pomp and grandeur of two world tours between 1977 and 1979, their stage show by 1982 had adopted a pared-down, 'hot and spacey' feel to match their changing musical direction. The grandiose 'Crown' lighting rig in 1977-78 and the 'Pizza Oven' roof of lights that spectacularly adorns the Live Killers sleeve were replaced by relatively modest, moving banks of lights and powerful spots. Musically, while the new songs from the sharply criticised Hot Space album undoubtedly benefit from a live work-out, this viewer well remembers their muted greeting by the crowd at the previous week's Elland Road concert.

However, Queen always delivered onstage and this DVD magnificently captures the power of Queen live. Freddie is in particularly mischievous form, teasing and energising the crowd ("are you ready...are you ready brothers and sisters?"). The consummate showman bounds across the stage and athletically utilises gangways incorporated into the stage set to project the band in larger venues. Though Freddie did not personally write a Queen blockbuster after 1979's Crazy Little Thing Called Love, he was still fit and lithe, aged 35 in 1982, the singing voice strong and assured. Only later did a combination of wear and tear, age and smoking lead to difficulties at the end of long shows and tours. Before AIDS (first identified in 1983), it is also interesting to note the overtly sexual nature of much of his onstage banter, strutting and posing.

The performance - and the filming - is not quite as polished as 1986 and casual buyers might begin their collection with the aforementioned Live At Wembley Stadium DVD. It was 1985's Live Aid that truly elevated Queen to superstar status. In 1982, the set list still contained obligatory new-album material and hard-rocking (but relatively uncommercial) stage favourites like We Will Rock You (fast) and Sheer Heart Attack. For the Queen connoisseur, however, there is much to enjoy. Particular highlights include Somebody To Love: a singalong favourite and live staple from 1976, it was inexplicably left off the Live Killers LP and finally dropped in 1986. If Queen's finest hour (or, rather, 17 minutes) at Live Aid can be criticised, it is surely the inclusion of Hammer To Fall at the expense of Somebody To Love.

Another fine Milton Keynes moment is the gloriously un-PC Fat Bottomed Girls. Unfortunately, a raucously out-of-tune scream by Freddie has been polished out - but at least problems with Brian May's lead during his earlier solo spot have been left in; anoraks truly treasure such moments! This tour is also noteworthy for fans as the first to feature additional (off-stage) keyboards to supplement the band's sound. Brian's 'chat' before Love Of My Life is also somewhat unusual. Dedicating the song to people "who have given up their lives for what they believe", it is a reference to the Falklands War that dominated the headlines that spring and summer: Queen were in an acutely difficult position as they had played in Argentina the previous year, were selling phenomenally well over there and had just released a single in English and Spanish - Las Palabras De Amor.

Overall, Live At Milton Keynes Bowl is another top quality Queen DVD. What delights await next Christmas? Paris 1979? Houston or Earl's Court 1977? Hyde Park 1976, please.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best DVD footage that ever graced my television screen, 31 May 2005
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
I got this DVD as a birthday present about a year ago, I am totally thankful.
The first disc includes the whole concert. The concert is amazing, with lots of popular songs and also some that aren't often recognised. The atmosphere of the concert is great. I'd expect nothing less from a Queen concert.
The second disc includes extras, including unseen photos and interviews. These are very interesting, and offer a better insight into the work behind the concert and the rest of the tour.
I have watched the DVD many times and still find it superb. I'd recommend this to anyone.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you ready brothers and sisters?, 4 Nov 2004
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
I only got into Queen in a big way with their Greatest Hits release a couple of years before this concert was shown on The Tube on Channel 4. By the time Hot Space was released I was convinced Queen were the best rock act on the planet, and I would have given anything to see them live. Having missed out on their Leeds concert I was absolutely beside myself when I discovered their Milton Keynes show was going to be on telly! But I wasn't prepared for how good the show was actually going to be. I've had my VHS recording of this (edited) concert for 21 years now, and only recently got it backed up onto DVD. I must have seen it several hundred times. Of all the concerts I have on DVD (and I have some good ones) this is by far the most energetic, the most fun, the tightest show I have seen. Maybe I'm biased because of the memories, but Queen On Fire showcases Queen at their absolute best (Live At Wembley is better known but nowhere near as good as this).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power! Power! Power!, 27 Jan 2005
By 
M. Edwards "mre_chalfont" (Bucks UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
From the eery crawling electric monster that is Brian May's guitar in 'Get Down Make Love', to the ultra fast perfect power packed funk of the then brand new 'Staying Power', this DVD epitomises for me the perfectly matured state of Queen in 1982.
This is undoubtedly the tightest rock performance I have ever seen by ANY band and showcases each members individual but equally vital part in making something incredibly special happen.I remember my sister going to this concert, I only wish I'd tagged along!!, this marvellous re-vitalised vision of the event is some recompence. Freddy would have been proud!.Thank you Brian/Roger and John and good luck this year!.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible concert - so much more energy than Wembly!, 29 Oct 2004
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
Although, circa 1982, Queen were touring South America and doing great things abroad; for many fans, they had not produced a decent studio album for years. Following "The Game", Flash Gordon was not enough to feed the die hard fan's appetite for Queen. (At 15 years old two years is a long wait). Then came Hot Space!!! Was "Body Language" really by the same group as "Brighton Rock"? However, armed with the memory of "Live Killers" I travelled to the exotic Milton Keynes and was blown away by a wall of sound. Compare the energy in this DVD to Wembley. Freddie was still hitting the high notes and look at the way he and Roger and "going for it" 100%. I remember that Freddie took time out to talk to the fans about the shock of the new tracks from Hot Space album. He exclaimed "It's only a !"%"% record". The sound was superb and the heavy renditions of Staying Power, Back Chat and Dragon Attack were fantastic. Brian May's guitar sound (lots of flanging) was the best I can remember. I remember an issue with his guitar lead during the Brighton Rock solo and they have kept that in for the DVD. The guys were back !!! I'm in the front row at the beginning when then come on stage to Flash Gordon and the DTS 6.1 sound brings the whole thing to life. Thanks for working on this Brian and Roger. Phil Nelkin, West London, England.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen rock!, 3 Nov 2004
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
If you're wanting a repeat of Queen Live at Wembley, then you're not going to get it here. Okay, so the stage is a bit smaller and the lights less impressive, but this is nevertheless Queen looking great. By 1982 Queen had established themselves as the best live stadium rockers in the world - and this DVD proves it. The band is tight, and Freddie is athletic, flamboyant, energetic, and his voice as electric as ever. Unlike Wembley, Queen at the Bowl is still 'early' Queen. All the tracks are from the 'Greatest Hits 1' era, making the sound retro, but seriously cool. If you like Queen, buy this DVD. If you like rock music, buy this DVD. If you are an amateur rock group looking for inspiration, buy this DVD. It's cool.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 22 April 2005
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
This concert is truly awesome. originally recorded in mono back in 1982, it has been digitally remastered and restored in DTS 5.1 and PCM stereo, the sound on it being most impressive.
The performance just blows you away with how powerful it really is. From We Will Rock You (Fast), to my particular favourite Action This Day, and Get Down Make Love, this is a truly amazing performance from a truly amazing band. It has a slight edge over Wembley '86 as it is more raw and the atmosphere is more intimate.
I love it-buy it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any Queen fan, 1 Oct 2009
By 
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
Considering that Queen performed around 700 performances in their career, a lot of which was filmed, it's surprising how limited the choice of official DVD releases is (though the bootlegs are plentiful!). Queen were an amazing and inventive band live, and their achievement in the concert medium is worth watching... again and again.

Of the few DVDs available - Montreal '81/Live Aid '85, Wembley '86, and Milton Keynes '82 - this is the one I'd recommend the most. Why?

1) Freddie Mercury's voice is on top form. Though even at the worst of times he was wonderful to listen to, he did often struggle with his voice as a tour progressed - after all, he was untrained and a smoker! On this concert, though, he sounds truly out of this world.

2) The selection of songs is a mixture of the classic and the experimental. Apart from "Under Pressure", none of the "Greatest Hits II" songs (such as "Radio Ga Ga" or "One Vision") had been written yet, and the band were still finding their feet stylistically in the 80s. While there are plenty of familiar tunes from the "Greatest Hits I" era (including "Fat Bottomed Girls" with impressive vocals by Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor, and a beautiful rendition of "Play the Game"), there are fascinating versions of tracks from their then latest album, the critically panned "Hot Space". Many fans were skeptical of Queen's funk/dance experiment, but the songs sound heavy and rocking live - further proof of Queen's musicianship and ability to pull off pretty much anything on stage.

3) The audience is noisy and enthusiastic. I mention this because Mercury loved getting the audience involved, and while the Montreal concert is rather good, the audience is too passive for him to get them to sing. A Queen concert without audience participation is simply incomplete!

4) Brian May seems particularly fired up for this one. Often a somewhat introverted performer, he really goes for it here, which is a pleasure to see and hear.

5) The audio and video quality really surprised me when I first played it - they're both excellent in my opinion.

None of the other officially releases concert DVDs sum up Queen in the same way I think - they're all great, but offer an incomplete picture. If you're going to buy only one Queen Live DVD, make it this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 18 May 2007
By 
Adrian Samuel - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Queen: On Fire - Live At The Bowl [DVD] (DVD)
A true piece of nostalgia for me as I was at this gig. This recording is a fabulous piece of musical/theatrical history. As an avid fan at the time I saw Queen several times live. This show in 1982 was relatively small in terms of audience and venue size and this DVD does capture some genuine intimacy. I cannot recall them ever playing with such tightness energy and obvious enthusiasm for their tradecraft. Despite their obvious fame and fortune by this stage in their careers here is a band working hard at doing what it does so very well. There is a great range of back and recent catalogue for those who want to see how versatile and able these four individuals were. Happy days.
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