Queen - Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Hollywood Records
Catalog Number: 2061-62479-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 102:08:00

Maybe it's because they haven't released any "new" product since 1995, I don't know; but it's always bothered me that there are no Queen reviews here at PW. Given Queen's obvious influence on progressive rock artists, it just seems like an unfortunate oversight. Well, let's set that right by puking huge buckets of superlatives all over what should be this year's must-have Christmas gift, Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl.

Recorded on the last night of the Hot Space tour at Milton Keynes in June of 1982, this live set documents Queen at the height of their powers. If you ever doubted that Queen knew how to rock, put those doubts to rest now. Queen On Fire-? Live At The Bowl rocks from start to finish, with just a couple of respites to let you catch your breath.

The only way to describe Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl is inspired; the band were in top form for this show, and the audience was just as enthusiastic, singing along at every opportunity. The performances were sterling, especially that of Freddie Mercury, whose strong, distinctive vocals soared over the tightly rocking ensemble of May, Deacon, Taylor, and guest keyboardist Morgan Fisher. Give the band their due, too, for playing like this was going to be the very last show on earth and making the absolute best of it. May gets big points for his powerful chords and fiery solos, Deacon surprises with some amazing runs (check out "Dragon Attack") and Taylor displays his powerful, spot-on dexterity (that, for some reason, reminds me of Carl Palmer). The keyboards of Freddie and Fisher are equally adroit, supporting the dramatic Queen "sound" and delivering some sweet, unexpected surprises ("Bohemian Rhapsody").

And what a set-list! Frankly, I don't think Queen could've picked better; every song fits perfectly, like fine diamonds in a Cartier bracelet, designed to set and maintain a rocking pace from start to finish. On disc 1, "Flash" and "The Hero" get things off to a good start, but things really get going with the "fast" version of "We Will Rock You". I'd never heard this one before, and let me tell you, It Rocks! The rock doesn't stop until "Love Of My Life," when the audience takes over the vocal duties for Freddie. "Save Me" and "Back Chat" close out the disc on a good rocking note. Disc 2 kicks in with an abbreviated "Get Down Make Love" that segues into the solo segment by May, who gives a fine account of his skills by drawing some sexy and spacey sounds from his guitar. The 1-2-3 combination of "Under Pressure," "Fat Bottomed Girls" (always a favorite of mine!), and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" get the audience's blood pumped and sets up the knockout punch, "Bohemian Rhapsody," which is delivered with inspired, rocking power. No quarter is given, though, as "Tie Your Mother Down" amps up the audience for the finale of "We Will Rock You," "We Are The Champions," and May's electric arrangement of the traditional "God Save The Queen" (nope, no Sex Pistols here, gang). Great stuff!

So there you have it - me getting sick all over what may just become my most favorite Queen album of all time. Freddie may be gone and the material may be dated, but the Queen sound is as just as powerful and entertaining today as it was in 1982. I don't like telling people what they need to do (okay, yes I do!), but I'm telling you now that you need to add Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl to your collection ASAP - there's no excuse for missing out on a release this good. Period.

[Dave actually rated this 6/5 -ed.,

Disc 1: Flash (1:54) / The Hero (1:44) / We Will Rock You (Fast) (3:17) / Action This Day (4:52) / Play The Game (4:30) / Staying Power (4:03) / Somebody To Love (7:53) / Now I'm Here (6:18) / Dragon Attack (4:16) / Now I'm Here (Reprise) (6:18) / Love Of My Life (4:22) / Save Me (4:00) / Back Chat (5:00)

Disc 2: Get Down, Make Love (3:39) / Guitar Solo (6:22) / Under Pressure (3:47) / Fat Bottomed Girls (5:25) / Crazy Little Thing Called Love (4:15) / Bohemian Rhapsody (5:38) / Tie Your Mother Down (4:09) / Another One Bites The Dust (3:49) / Sheer Heart Attack (3:25) / We Will Rock You (2:08) / We Are The Champions (3:28) / God Save The Queen (1:24)

Freddie Mercury - vocals, piano
Brian May - guitars
John Deacon - bass
Roger Taylor - drums
Morgan Fisher - additional keyboards, piano

Queen (1973)
Queen II (1974)
Sheer Heart Attack (1974)
A Night At The Opera (1975)
A Day At The Races (1976)
News Of The World (1977)
Jazz (1978)
Live Killers (1979)
The Game (1980)
Flash Gordon (1980)
Greatest Hits (1981/2001)
Hot Space (1982)
The Works (1984)
A Kind Of Magic (1986)
Live Magic (1986)
The Miracle (1989)
At The Beeb (1989)
Innuendo (1991)
Greatest Hits II (1991/2001)
Greatest Hits I/II (1992)
Classic Queen (1992)
Live At Wembley (1992)
Made In Heaven (1995)
Queen Rocks (1997)
The Crown Jewels (1998)
Greatest Hits, Vol 3 (1999/2000)
Greatest Hits: Interactive Songbook (2000)
The Platinum Collection, Vol 1-3 (2001)
A Day At The Races/A Night At The Opera (2002/2003)
Made In Heaven/Innuendo (2002)
Gold (2003)
Live At Wembley Stadium (2003)
Live At Wembley '86 (2003)
Queen Rocks (2004)
Greatest Hits [We Will Rock You Edition] (2004) Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl (2004)
Jewels, Vol 2 (2005)
Jewels, Vol 1-2 (2005)
Return Of The Champions (2005)
Stone Cold Classics (2006)
Singles (2006)
Queen Rock Montreal (2007)
The A-Z Of Queen, Vol 1 (2008)
In Vision 2 (2008)
The Cosmos Rocks (2008) The Singles Collection (2008)
Singles Collection, Vol 2 (2009)
Rock You From Rio (2009)
Absolute Greatest (2009)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: November 15th 2004
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website: www.queenonline.com
Hits: 802
Language: english


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