4/15/2007

Live Killers

Sometimes ripping vinyl leads me back to albums I used to love and haven’t heard in years. Such is the case with Queen’s Live Killers. This was one of my favorites from the band, but regrettably, one I never bought on CD.

Queen recorded Live Killers on the European leg of their 1979 tour behind the Jazz album. The band self-produced it. Live Killers was the first to be mixed at their own Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor revealed on the radio show “In the Studio with Redbeard” that the band was not happy with the album's final mix, even though they had done it themselves.

Interestingly, in 1985 this album was rereleased outside the US in a shorter version titled simply Queen Live.

What I’ve done is pick a few of my favorites from the double LP. What I suggest is that you buy the album and give the whole thing a listen to remind yourself what a great rock band Queen was in its prime.

There are some short liner notes about the songs on the album sleeves. It’s interesting to look at some of these notes with the advantage of 25 years hindsight. The notes follow, in the order the songs are posted:
This is how Queen sound in 1979, but the material is drawn from almost all phases of the band’s development since 1973. “We Will Rock You”: this blatant version of the song is a flexing of the muscles ... John Deacon’s “You’re My Best Friend,” a very singable tune with sentiments never forgotten by Queen fans ... “Keep Yourself Alive,” the first track ever recorded by Queen, though never a hit except in Japan, is always requested, and regarded as a kind of trademark by those who found Queen much later on. The song is strangely prophetic and, having gone full circle over the years, sounds much as it did in 1973 ... “Don’t Stop Me Now” is the most recent Queen hit, literally fighting its way up the charts to win a new audience in Britain 1979. The song is in its youth on stage and is already developing new features. It is a good example of how Freddie’s piano technique has broadened the scope of the show ... “Tie Your Mother Down,” from A Day at the Races, was evidently built for stage. It is pounded out mercilessly and signals the end of the concert proper ... “Sheer Heart Attack,” not from the album of the same name but from News of the World, sees Roger miraculously drumming up new reserves of energy for a blistering few minutes during which all remaining inhibitions are rapidly lost.
We Will Rock You (fast version).mp3
You’re My Best Friend.mp3
Keep Yourself Alive.mp3
Don’t Stop Me Now.mp3
Tie Your Mother Down.mp3
Sheer Heart Attack.mp3

YouTube has a video clip of a live performace of "Killer Queen", one of my favorites, which unfortunately was relegated to part of a medley on Live Killers.

NOTE: all links should be working now

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4 Comments:

At 11:56 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

I saw this tour at Madison Square Garden (so young, so very young).
I remember that a bunch of naked girls on bicycles came out for "Bicycle Race" and when the orchesteral part of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was played, it was actually a recording as the band left the stage and we were treated to a light show that culminated in the band reappearing in flash and grandeur and rocking the crap out of us all.

rock n roll!

 
At 11:58 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

ps- links don't appear to work.

 
At 8:22 PM , Blogger aikin said...

my bad - I accidently reached my host limits. All should be OK now.

 
At 1:06 PM , Blogger Mito said...

www.mito-crashband.blogspot.com

 

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