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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We hear Freddie's call, though he's many years away ... an inspired collaboration
I got this as a present from my son. I probably would not have bought it myself. I had never heard of the Queen-Paul Rodgers collaboration, and I reserved judgement at first. Although I like Queen, I'm not a hardcore fan. I'm not that keen on live albums, and I'm wary of comeback collaborations.

However, this album is excellent. It is as good as any of the live...
Published on 30 Mar 2008 by Bob Sherunkle

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars They just don't fit together
I am coming at this review as a fan of Paul Rodgers, especially his achievement with Free. Let me also say I don't dislike Queen by any means. What we have here, are some great musicians whose styles and respective genres are glaringly incompatible.
Queen are a stadium rock band, through and through. Rodgers' home is in blues, blues-rock, soul, generally...
Published on 22 Jan 2006 by S. Roberts


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We hear Freddie's call, though he's many years away ... an inspired collaboration, 30 Mar 2008
By 
Bob Sherunkle (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Return of the Champions (Audio CD)
I got this as a present from my son. I probably would not have bought it myself. I had never heard of the Queen-Paul Rodgers collaboration, and I reserved judgement at first. Although I like Queen, I'm not a hardcore fan. I'm not that keen on live albums, and I'm wary of comeback collaborations.

However, this album is excellent. It is as good as any of the live Queen recordings I've heard, with the probable exception of the 1985 Live Aid performance.

During the set, Brian May gives Paul Rodgers a name-check as "our inspiration", which he evidently is. Rodgers makes no attempt to do a Freddie Mercury impression, though at the start of Bohemian Rhapsody he sounds uncannily close. May and Taylor are obviously gripped by Rodgers' commitment and enthusiasm, and it shows in their electrifying performance. They are helped by three excellent supporting musicians. The additional guitarist gives May extra freedom.

Freddie does make one vocal appearance, in the usual pre-recorded middle section of "Bo Rhap".

Paul Rodgers gets to perform two numbers each from his Free and Bad Co back catalogue.

This must have been a great night in Sheffield. The audience clearly enjoy themselves, and even give themselves well-deserved applause for their contribution to "Love of my life".

Has this album has given John Deacon second thoughts about his retirement?

I have only one complaint. Paul Rodgers is as old as me, so how come his voice has held out so well? It's even better now than it was in the 1970s.

Buy this, you won't be disappointed.

Thanks son.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new-look Queen is alright now!, 4 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
this is what was missing for Live 8! The band that stole the show at Live Aid prove on this CD that they still are in a league of their own when it comes to putting on a show. A show without Freddie - Paul Rodgers is a great choice giving his own interpretation on the Queen classics. Welcome too that its not just the Greatest hits catalogue - 30 years on from the classic Night at the Opera Album, five tracks from this album make the set list.
My only regret of this tour is that there was no John Deacon in the line up. Queen were always about the band members not the individuals and the Queen sound isnt 100% there without Deacon.
In truth though this isnt Queen, or if it is it's a new kind of Queen - its Rogders, Taylor and May putting on a rock spectacular - playing the Queen, Free and Bad Company catalogue. But they're brilliant at doing it! Rodgers works well with the band. What he lacks in stage presence compared to Freddie Mercury (impossible for anyone!) he more than makes up for by a superb vocal performance. As a live vocalist Rodgers is second to none.
The acid test with this live recording is that you dont have to be a Queen fan to enjoy this disc. The sheer power and engagement of the show will please most. Great to have Queen back on the scene - and music is a better place for this!
Lets just hope on the back of a successful tour - their first in 19 years - that we see some new orginal material. It's long over due. The London musical has milked the back catalogue and in recent years too many classic hits have been argyuably ruined by some suspect re-recordings for the singles chart.
Big thumbs up for the tour - now lets hope 2006 sees a new studio album!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fun in Rock is back, 17 Sep 2005
By 
Gary H. Osborne "gosbo" (Vermont) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
I grew up with Queen and nobody ever came close to their live shows. This captures a group of dedicated fans reliving the bands glory days and Paul Rodgers does a great job being himself. I really like the addition of the Free / Bad Company songs to the show but it is just great to have Brian and Roger out there having a blast and you can feel it in the album. Can't wait to see them in the Meadowlands in October. I also have listened to the whole CD as it is out in the US - and it is shaking my car windows daily.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, So-So Artwork, 14 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
This is one of those albums where you might be put off by the CD sleeve - what were they thinking of? Considering Queen's previous live album artwork, this one is only so-so. HOWEVER, the CD itself is probably one of the best live recordings I've heard in a long time. It was released in Canada September 13 so I've had a chance to listen to the complete album and one of the best things about it is that in no way does Paul Rodgers try to imitate Freddie Mercury - I mean....who could? Instead, he steps up to the plate and gives his all but as Paul Rodgers, not as a Freddie knock-off. He does a great job as do the other musicians. No one plays guitar quite like Brian May - he is still in a class of his own. The band sounds totally together and the sound quality is excellent. Wish I'd been there! All in all, a great album and one that I am sure Queen fans will really enjoy. Pity they haven't included Canada on the tour itinerary yet.......we live in hope!!! Enjoy!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have waited for this for 30 years, 24 Sep 2005
By 
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
1975 was quite a year. My first son was born. Bad Co. was released. We named him Paul Rodger Snelgrove. He is 30 in a few weeks. It was also the year that Bohemian Rhapsody transformed rock and rock videos in one foul swoop. I had the privilege to see Free and Bad Company on a number of occasions, I also got to see Queen - Mercury was indeed the classic showman.
The demise of Bad Company was as tragic an event for me as even the untimely death of Freddie Mercury. The result was that two of rock's finest artists became a subject of nostalgia, greatest hits albums, antholgies etc.
But this album is not nostalgic, it is 2005 and rocks the socks off anything that has come out this year and I include the excellent Coldplay. I love it.
It captures the finest vocalist to have ever graced the rock stage with the outstanding musicianship of Queen and has breathed new life into every one of these songs. There is not one dud, especially those where Rodgers voice graces Queen standards. One after another he adds rather than detracts from each song. The album starts on an amazing high note with Reaching Out/Tie Your Mother Down and just goes from strength to strength. It is hard to pick a highlight, there are so many!
I guess for me the rendition of We Are The Champions nicks it. Rodgers has given it new life. It should be a single, EMI!
If you buy one album in 2005 - get this one, you will not be disappointed
BTW, on 7 Oct 2005, my first grandson will be born. 30 years - and worth the wait!!!!
John Snelgrove, Pastor, Hong Kong
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars They just don't fit together, 22 Jan 2006
By 
S. Roberts (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
I am coming at this review as a fan of Paul Rodgers, especially his achievement with Free. Let me also say I don't dislike Queen by any means. What we have here, are some great musicians whose styles and respective genres are glaringly incompatible.
Queen are a stadium rock band, through and through. Rodgers' home is in blues, blues-rock, soul, generally the type of music that sounds best in a smokey, packed club with a tiny stage. Consequently, they just don't gel. On the Queen tracks, Rodgers can't pull off the falsetto, operatic stylings of Mercury, while May's homespun guitar tone is just too 'metal' for the Free and Bad Co. tracks. I much prefer Paul Kossoff's (Free's guitarist's) raw but wrenchingly emotional approach to All Right Now, Wishing Well, et. al.
Lastly, I wasn't too impressed with the recording. It sounded really boomy - very distracting. I won't recommend (or not) this to Queen fans, but I will warn off fans of Paul Rodgers expecting to hear alternative takes of Free & Bad Co's back catalogues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Hours of pure live entertainment at it's best., 15 Jun 2008
By 
Derrick Page "Dr.Delboy" (Uckfield. Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Return of the Champions (Audio CD)
I was a little nervoius on knowing that Paul Rodgers was the main vocalist, singing Freddie Mercury songs. As a Queen fan I did'nt think that anybody could sing Queen songs better then Freddie, I was so wrong, Paul has sung the songs his way and it works in his style. He has not copied Freddie atall. Paul has brought the songs back to life with his own style and keeping Queen alive with new fans.

The live recording is excellent, it is just like being there in the crowd. Paul has done a few of his own song tracks from his group Free, and with the Queen backing sound it has brouht them back to life.
Roger Tayor plays "Let There Be Drums" in his style orginally played by Sandy Nelson and Roger does an excellent job.
Brian May fans will not be disapointed with his guitar solo called "Guitar Solo" and "Last Horizon".

Highly recommed Live double CD for all the family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 30 Sep 2005
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
I went to the first concert of the tour at the Brixton Academy, and what a concert. This isn't traditional Queen with someone trying to replace Freddie. Paul Rogers takes Queen's music off in a new direction altogether, and it works fantastically well. I recommend this cd to everyone, and especially anyone who was not lucky enough to see one of the concerts in person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blistering live performance CD, 22 Sep 2005
By 
Red (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
It could hardly be anything else really, but this is a superb live CD, truly capturing the power and skill that Queen still bring to a live performance. The sound quality is superb, beautifully mixed, although that's hardly surprising given the reputation as perfectionists Queen have picked up over the years.
The only slight thing that comes across a lot more on the CD than it did actually at a gig is that, whilst Paul Rodgers has a truly superb voice, he doesn't have the range of Fred. However, that's hardly unusual, and I really can't think of anyone better to step into Fred's trainers (if not his stilletoes!)
Hopefully this could be the start of new music from these superbly talented musicians - here's hoping!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Opportunity, 15 Dec 2005
This review is from: Live - Return Of The Champions (Audio CD)
This album is certainly reflective of the tour so if you loved it you'll probably love this. I on the other hand found the two shows I went to somewhat dissapointing and this album re-affirms why. With Brian and Roger back together, what fan wouldn't be excited at the prospect of what was to come and with Paul Rodgers in tow the anticipation was of something new and exciting. Unfortunately we got a show which tended to lose momentum on several occasions going from the sublime to the ridiculous.
It starts off well with Rodgers great vocal on Reaching Out storming into Tie your Mother Down - but then it became clear where this simply was not going to work, the pop songs! I Want to Break Free, while I've never loved this song (I was cringing at it now). Another one Bites the Dust (which I love) is also cringworthy. Ironically some of the best songs are the Free/Bad Company ones, Wishing Well and All Right Now in particular. Brian and Roger seemed to have a ball playing them more than Rodgers did on quite a few of the Queen tracks (going through the motions, often came to mind). The semi-acoustic section is terrific with Brian taking lead on 39 & Love of my Life and Roger chipping in with a good new song Say It's not True. Hammer to Fall is great with the slow intro arrangement keeping it fresh. Then we get the bloody solos's! - I'm sorry I just get bored! Roger announces he hates long drum solos and does one anyway! OK it was short but why bother? Just play more songs guys! Roger's These are the Day's of Our Lives probably one of his best songs always sounds great and Brian's subtle guitar playing on this track is far more emotive than at anytime during his solos.
The closing section dissapointed again with a poor Radio Ga Ga & A Kind of of Magic. Nice to hear I want It All and Show Must Go On live but surprisingly didn't think Rodgers did a particularly good job with either. Bohemian Rhapsody was more of a tribute with Freddie's vocal inserted - but next time be brave drop it - It can't be reproduced so play something else or stick the end into a medley as in early shows. The show end is now a bit of a cliche - and for this 'new start' it would for me have been more intersting if it was changed around with We Will Rock You played earlier and Champions dropped altogether. All in all a real mixed bag, some highs, some lows and the rest OK.
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