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What a band,
This review is from: Live Killers (Audio CD)
It is widely accepted (quite rightly) that Queen were the best live act this planet has ever seen - Freddie's showmanship and Brians scarily good guitar playing to name but a few reasons for this. Much fuss has been made of Queen's World Tours of 1984 and 1986, again quite rightly. But in order to fully appreciate Queen as a live band, you have to come to Live Killers.
This double album released in 1979 is a mixture of performances of the band's European tour of that year. The production may not have been superb, but you do not lose any aspect of the pure raw energy that Queen produced on stage in the 1970's.
Right from the opening chords of the 'fast' version of 'We Will Rock You' it is easy to see this album will not disappoint. This is followed by Freddie's excellent 'Let Me Entertain You' (as if he needed any permission!) and straight into the snarled vitriol of 'Death On Two Legs (dedicated to...)' This then is followed by a nice medley which was a common feature of their tours in the 70's and to a lesser extent the 80's. The end chord of 'Death On Two Legs' moves smoothly into the classic 'Killer Queen' which in turn moves seamlessly into 'Bicycle Race', then into Roger's 'I'm In Love With My Car' with the drummer singing his own song. How exactly Brian gets his guitar to do what it does in 'Get Down Make Love' I'll never know, but Queen were still adamant they used "no synthesisers" at this time, so it's all Brian. John Deacon's hit 'You're My Best Friend" provides some light relief until Brian's classic rocker 'Now I'm Here' which features some of Freddies 'singing lessons' with the audience - always a favourite at the gigs. Then we have the band together stage front for the 'acoustic set' featuring the beautiful 'Love of My Life' (try listening to the crowd singing the verses and not feel a shiver), Brian's excellent '39' and 'Dreamer's Ball' with an interesting wind section... Then it's back to business as usual with the brilliant 'Keep Yourself Alive'.
'Don't Stop Me Now' and 'Spread Your Wings' keep things moving until the track which is my favourite on the album, 'Brighton Rock'. As Freddie says, it is a bit special. This is the only place you will find the full song live. However, it is Brian's excellent echo guitar solo (no, there aren't two other guitarists!) and some killer drumming from Roger too that really make this track. There really is only one song that could follow this and that is 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The only way the band could do this effectively live was to use taped parts for the opera section and let their light show take over. This does not take away from the performance however, as you find out when the band come bursting back in for the 'headbanging' section. Some out and out rock with 'Tie Your Mother Down' and 'Sheer Heart Attack' and we come to what is the trademark Queen concert ender, 'We Will Rock You' and 'We Are The Champions' (they certainly are.) Brian's arrangement of 'God Save The Queen' plays us out and so end's Queen live.
This really is a superb album, and it more than rivals the more popular 'Live At Wembley 1986' or 'Live Magic', both from the same world tour. For me though, the true Queen experience is in their 1970's tours, and this is a prime example of their abilities on the stage. The only thing that would beat this would be if either their 1975 Christmas show, or the concerts at the Rainbow were brought out.
If you enjoy Queen's music, then this is a must (especially if you are new to the 70's stuff - think Greatest Hits vol.1 times about a million...it's THAT good!) If you have never heard Queen live, then give this a listen before you check out the more popular 80's shows, you won't regret it. If you are forming a band and want to know how to play live this is the one. All in all this is an essential addition to the collection of any fan of rock music. Pure majesty from the royal family of Rock