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I saw Queen live in 1980 and this concert is so close to what I saw which is great, when this video first was released it was only a 60 min version missing such great songs like Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions, and a few others, but when in 1992 it was re-released as "The Complete Concert" with NO Omissions, gee, then why in 1998 or 1999 when Pioneer Released it it had another song on it that isn't on the first one. who knows, but this last version is without a doubt THE GREATEST Live video by Queen so far.
This is an arena concert performed in Montreal in the early 80's. At the time, Queen were riding high on the success of their album The Game; their peak of popularity in North America. The problem is, the crowd isn't as responsive as European crowds, and if you watch Live at Wembley '86 or listen to Live Killers, you'll see how into the show the crowd can be. So on this level, the crowd disappoints, because it seems they are there because Queen is the band of the day. Nonetheless, their popular anthems get a good spark from the crowd, and the performance is great because you get some songs performed live that were taken out of the set on later tours. So if you're in it for the music, this is a great show. If you want to see a huge concert, go to Wembley.
This is one of Queen's early concerts. They play most of their songs from "Queen" to "The Game." They also add in "Jailhouse Rock" "Under Pressure" and two different versions of "We Will Rock You." This is one to watch, i recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We Will Rock You is a concert film by English band Queen. It was filmed
in Montreal,Quebec,Canada at the Montreal Forum on November 24 and 25,
The band perform the definitive versions of all of their greatest hits such We Will Rock You,Bohemian Rhapsody,Another One Bites The Dust,We Are The Champions,Keep Yourself Alive,Somebody to Love,Killer Queen,Under Pressure,Crazy Little Thing Called Love,We Are the Champions,God Save the Queen and many more.
Watch this concert and it is one of the best Queen has ever performed.It will make you truly appreciate both their music and their legend.
Being quite a Queen fan but never having had the chance to see them
live, I jump at the opportunity to see one of their concerts on DVD.
It's great to see a straight forward rock concert with just the four band members on stage.
It is definitely the best live performance I have seen from Freddie, and of course the rest of the band rocks.....
Picture quality and 4:3 leaves a bit to be desired, but hey it was the 80's.
The 5.1 mix is great.
A concert not to be missed.
A review is just the opinion of the author...So please do not be upset
if mine and yours differ as neither is defacto, but each is, hopefully,
interesting. That said, here goes...
I always use "Under Pressure as a dividing line separating early and later Queen, therefore the few years around it is what I refer to as Mid-Period Queen. This concert in 1981 in Montreal fits into that time frame. It's a good time to see them as they are still growing, however they've already achieved major success worldwide. With almost a dozen "hits" to their credit (and "misses" that were not bad either) even casual fans would come away from a Queen show quite impressed. So, we have a setting for a good mid-period Queen showcase.
The show starts out with a much changed tempo, and stripped down, version of "We Will Rock You". It works and I think years later The Eagles must have noticed as they did the same thing rearranging "Hotel California" on "Hell Freezes Over" DVD. What follows is basically a fairly spirited concert version of their hits. It's clear in short order you are watching a very tight band with an extremely unique sound which is in no small order due to the charismatic Freddie Mercury. Freddie Mercury is no cookie cutter front man, he's equal parts Opera, Broadway, Vegas, and Rock. His persona carries the energy with his band-mates providing a solid backup. Speaking of the band: Brian May has the super distorto-crunch chording and saccharine coated double tracked leads that are as indigenous to Queen's sound as Mercury's bombastic vocals. I see May here as not a master guitarist, but a master sound-scapist. What many casual fans will be surprised to witness here is the fact that Roger Taylor was as important as May in the Queen "wall of sound". Mr. Taylor is like a Keith Moon with more control...Plus, he is one heck of an excellent vocalist. Yes, Roger Taylor could have been a front-man as he sings better than Phil Collins for instance. You'll be amazed at just what a big piece of the Queen sound Roger is responsible for, excellent! As for John Deacon, well he's Bill Wymann which is to say boring and but good to the point of being invisible. 2/3'rds the way through the only thing occurs which is out of place, mind you not at show you're physically at, but in the context of a video concert. What am I talking about? Well the obligatory Kettle Drum Solo of course! Seriously, there is a drum solo that segues into a kettle drum solo that culminates with a guitar solo. It's all "noodling" and it's boring in the confines of home video. It is the only break in an otherwise excellently paced DVD. And speaking of the DVD we must address the sound and the video quality. Keep in mind the finest home set up at the time had a VHS-HiFi deck with about 240 (best case) veritcal lines of resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio and audio that likely had artifacts from helically scanned FM-modulated sound which, though capable of a good frequency range, still sucked when reproduced from mass produced video cassettes. So, what I'm saying is the DVD is a revelation. Video quality is great! It's been converted to 16:9 aspect ratio and it really rocks. The film frames must have been individually tweaked to remove all imperfections while retaining the soft warm quality of analog film. For a 1981 filmed concert the lighting was amazing. Most concert videos of the period were so dark you couldn't turn the brightness/contrast high enough to resolve detail...Not a problem here as this concert is clear and well lighted throughout. I thank the director for that as he correctly understands this is tantamount to the home viewer's enjoyment. As for the sound, well apart from some hard pans of various instruments to mimic the camera's position (common in all 80's and many 90's concert videos) it, too, is great. Sounds warm in a very analog way, but it's with clarity and good upper treble air. I listened on very revealing Martin-Logan electrostatic speakers and I'm happy to report I heard the metallic attack of the cymbals and the upper harmonics very well indeed. Good original sound, and even more importantly very well remastered here.
As you can tell I recommend this concert to both the casual and die-hard Queen fan. The production is solid but very low key due to no slickness or over-the-top special effects. Refreshingly straightforward. I'd go further and include even the non-fan as well since the songs are accessible and eminently listen-able, plus Freddie Mercury is a spectacle that Rock is not likely to see anytime soon again. "We Will Rock You" does his legacy justice. To close it's poignant that ten years later (to the day this Montreal show was recorded many say) Freddie Mercury passed away. Most folks still did not know he was gay at the point of this show. You do see that he was no longer playing up his masculinity but was the more ambiguous cabaret persona which was really him...Just a very flamboyant singer who in another era might have been Rudi Vallee. This stuff is a great time capsule of a great band...Miss it at your own peril!
Queen is my favorite band, and this was an excellent concert. It was
charged from the beginning to the end, including a version of Jailhouse
Rock that was almost just as good as Elvis Presley's. Freddy's common
eccentric and charismatic acting was as evident here as in any
performance he gave. At about 2/3 of the way through, there's a drum
and guitar solo, so All the members could take a break. But the guitar
solo is good (Brian is no Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, but he is still
a very skilled guitarist nonetheless), and i thought the drum solo left
a touch to be desired (Sorry Roger, i respect you, but it just seemed
partially lacking. But he was performing hard throughout the entire
concert). This was an early concert of theirs, and i own it on DVD.
Well worth the $15 it cost me, but i bought it at Fry's, and they
aren't a discount house for movies. If you have never heard of Queen
(god forbid... just think of We Are The Champions and We Will Rock You
and Bohemian Rhapsody (Wayne's World). That was them), but you like
AC/DC or Aerosmith, or heavy metal/classic rock at all, Queen is well
worth checking out.
P.S. I know this is terribly written, but i'm sick, so don't bother me :p
What a great collection of classic Queen songs!!! It's a pleasure to listen to, indeed! But I say listen, because the picture quality is not quite up to standards. But close Your eyes, it's the music You want, isn't it?
I thoroughly enjoyed this concert. If you want something a little more polished, view "Rock in Rio" or "Live in Wembley". This concert certainly demonstrates the dynamic vocals of Freddie Mercury aided by a brilliant band consisting of Roger Taylor, Brian May, and John Deacon.
Freddie, Brian, Roger and John performing live some of their greatest songs ever; worldwide smash hits such as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Another One Bites the Dust' along tender ballads such as 'Love of My Life'. Whether you're a Queen fan or not, you will probably be rocked by the wonderful compositions, the band members playing skills and, of course, Freddie Mercury's fabulous voice. Directed by Saul Swimmer in late 1981, this video gives you a good example of how humble but enjoyable rock shows used to be, before the age of giant video screens and dozens of background dancers. Music lovers, don't miss this one.
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