QUEEN : ON STAGE 1977-1985 - ANNOUNCING THE NEW DOUBLE ALBUM IN GATEFOLD SLEEVE PRESSED ON BLUE VINYL. LIMITED TO JUST 2000 NUMBERED COPIES WORLDWIDE
QUEEN ON STAGE 1977-1985
Queen are universally known and appreciated as a live band. However, those fantastic live concerts which are celebrated in this new double album anthology were created and honed in the recording studio. It's fair to say the success of Queen as a live phenomenon goes hand in hand with their astonishing prowess in the studio.
The sheer scale of Queen's chart achievements during their halcyon years can be seen from the powerful track list featured on this new double album anthology.
- We Will Rock You
- Let Me Entertain You
- Play The Game
- Death On Two Legs
- Killer Queen
- I'm In Love With My Car
- Need Your Loving Tonight
- Rock It (Prime Jive)
- Save Me
- Now I'm Here
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Radio Ga-Ga
- Hammer To Fall
- We Will Rock You
- We Are The Champions
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
- Under Pressure
- Keep Yourself Alive
- Tie Your Mother Down
- Somebody To Love
Side A & B - ESTADIO JOSÉ AMALFITANI, BUENOS AIRES - 28th FEBRUARY 1981
Side C - ROCK IN RIO, RIO DE JANERIO - 12th JANUARY 1985
Side D - Tracks 1 & 2 - SNL 25th SEPTEMBER 1982, Tracks 3-5 - THE SUMMIT, HOUSTON 11th DECEMBER 1977
QUEEN ON THE ROAD AND IN THE STUDIO
In 1970, the members of a band named Smile, changed their name to "Queen" and, on 18 July, performed their first gig although It was not until March 1971 that they settled on a permanent bass player in the form of John Deacon. On 2 July 1971, Queen played their first show in the classic line-up of Mercury, May, Taylor and Deacon at a Surrey college outside London.
In 1973, Queen signed to a deal with Trident/EMI and released their eponymous debut album, an album which was clearly influenced by heavy metal and progressive rock. The album was received well by critics; however, it drew little mainstream attention, and the lead single "Keep Yourself Alive" sold poorly. Despite the initial lack of success Roy Thomas Baker was retained to produced Queen's first four albums.
The group's second LP, Queen II, was released in early 1974, the album reached number five in Britain and became the first Queen album to chart in the UK. The Freddie Mercury composed lead single "Seven Seas of Rhye" reached number ten in the UK, giving the band their first hit.
In May 1974, Queen started work on their third album. Released in 1974, Sheer Heart Attack reached number two in the UK, and sold well throughout Europe, and went gold in the US. This album also marked the point at which Queen started to move away from the progressive tendencies of their first two releases into a more radio-friendly, song-orientated era. The single "Killer Queen" from Sheer Heart Attack reached number two on the British charts, and became their first US hit, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album's second single, "Now I'm Here", was a more traditional hard rock composition, which was a number eleven hit in the UK.
Queen had proved they could deliver hit singles, onstage however, Queen continued to deliver the musical goods for the sections of the Queen crowd who wanted to really rock out. The group still harboured serious musical goals and n the live arena they retained a hard rocking /progressive edge which increasingly took a back seat on the albums. The heavier/rockier side of Queen’s onstage persona is represented in this new anthology by tracks like ‘I’m in Love with My Car’ and ‘Rock It (Prime Jive)’
In late 1975, Queen recorded and released A Night at the Opera. At the time, it was the most expensive album ever produced. The Mercury penned ballad, "Love of My Life", featured a harp and overdubbed vocal harmonies. Although somewhat overlooked in Europe and the US it became a huge crowd favourite in South America, The album, of course, also featured the hit single "Bohemian Rhapsody", which was number one in the UK for nine weeks.
The first track on A Night at the Opera, "Death on Two Legs", is said to have been written by Mercury about Norman Sheffield (and the former management at Trident) because the band was broke despite the huge success of the previous album. On a happier note The second single from the album, "You're My Best Friend", was the second song composed by John Deacon, and peaked at number sixteen in the United States.
By 1976, Queen were back in the studio recording A Day at the Races, which is often regarded as a sequel album to A Night at the Opera. Musically, A Day at the Races was considered by both fans' and critics to be a strong effort. It reached reaching number one in the UK and Japan. The major hit on the album was "Somebody to Love", a gospel-inspired song in which Mercury, May, and Taylor multi-tracked their voices to create a 100-voice gospel choir. The album also featured one of the band's heaviest songs, May's "Tie Your Mother Down", which became a staple of their live shows.
The band's sixth studio album News of the World was released in 1977. It has since gone four times platinum in the United States, and twice in the UK. The album contained many songs tailor-made for live performance, including two of rock's most recognisable anthems, "We Will Rock You" and the rock ballad "We Are the Champions", both of which became enduring international sports anthems, the latter reached number four in the US. Queen commenced the News of the World Tour in November 1977. In 1978 they received the Madison Square Garden Gold Ticket Award for passing more than 100,000 unit ticket sales at the venue.
News of the World In Concert has since become a best seller for Coda Records in the highly sought after 10-Inch Double album series.
In 1978, Queen were re-united with Roy Thomas Baker the band released their eighth album entitled Jazz. It reached number two in the UK and number six on the Billboard 200 in the US. The album included the hit singles "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Bicycle Race" which were released on on a double-sided record. Another notable track from Jazz, "Don't Stop Me Now", is another example of the band's exuberant vocal harmonies.
In 1978, Queen toured the US and Canada, and spent much of 1979 touring in Europe and Japan. Queen also released the very successful single "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", having written the song on guitar and played rhythm on the record, Freddie Mercury played rhythm guitar while performing the song live, this was the first time he ever played guitar in concert.
Queen began their 1980s career with The Game. It featured the single "Another One Bites the Dust", both of which reached number one in the US. The album topped the Billboard 200 for five weeks, and sold over four million copies in the US. It was also the first appearance of a synthesiser on a Queen album.
In February 1981, Queen travelled to South America as part of The Game Tour, and became the first major rock band to play in Latin American stadiums. The tour included five shows in Argentina, one of which drew the largest single concert crowd in Argentine history with an audience of 300,000 in Buenos Aires and two concerts at the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, where they played to an audience of more than 131,000 people in the first night (then the largest paying audience for a single band anywhere in the world) and more than 120,000 people the following night
1982, the band released the album Hot Space, a departure from their trademark seventies sound, this time being a mixture of rock, pop rock, dance, funk, and R&B.It was not well received, Q magazine lists Hot Space as one of the top fifteen albums where great rock acts lost the plot. On 14 and 15 September 1982, the band performed their last two gigs in the US with Mercury on lead vocals, playing at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The band stopped touring North America after their Hot Space Tour, as their success there had waned.
In February 1984, Queen released their eleventh studio album, The Works, which included the successful singles "Radio Ga Ga", "Hammer to Fall" and "I Want to Break Free". In the UK it went triple platinum and remained in the albums chart for two years. That year, Queen began The Works Tour...but that is another story.