The sound quality on this release is absolutely breathtaking. I cannot believe how much resolution has been tweaked out of these 26-year-old multi-track master tapes. This is by far the best audio quality I have ever heard of a music concert of this age. The sound quality can stand next to any sound quality of today. Yes, it is that stunning!!!
Honestly, I did not expect the audio quality to be as good as the audio quality from the 2004 DVD release of 'Queen On Fire - Live From The Bowl'. But this beats it, and the audio quality on that release is breathtaking as well. I had no idea that so much punch, bass, and kick could be lifted from a concert of this time.
The DTS 5.1 mix is unbelievable! It feels like I'm taken back in time and am right there in concert watching the show. The instruments are so crisp and clean! The music is not flat and lifeless. It is full, wide, and alive! These guys rock!
The picture is beautifully restored as well. In fact, it is hard for me to imagine that this concert was recorded in 1981. It simply does not show it's age, and now I understand why Queen Productions have taken technology further yet with Blu-Ray and HD DVD issues of this release as well. The picture is magnificent! No grain, lines, or darkness whatsoever! The picture glows and shines! Is it really this old? You won't believe it!
Since I do not own the original 'We Will Rock You' DVD release from a few years back I cannot do comparisons. All I know is that this is the best-sounding and best-looking Queen DVD concert in my collection. Overall, it is simply one of the best DVD releases in my collection.
The addition of the 'Live Aid' material on the second DVD is a nice treat for those fans who do not already own the material on the previously released 2004 Live Aid (4 Disc Set) DVD box. Even if one already owns this live set an interview with rehearsal footage is exclusive to this release. Furthermore, a 1982 news feature from US TV series PM Magazine is a bonus.
Queen has never sounded and looked better! These guys were incredible! Highly recommended!
on December 28, 2007
It doesn't matter if you like Queen or not. This DVD is a must-have. That's my first Amazon review of a rock'n'roll item. I never cared too much about Queen but the DVD release seemed to me so awkward - I thought: why would they bother to release a concert from 1982 and a live performance in Live Aid which is in everybody's collective unconscious? - that I decided to give it a chance. I was prone to hating the item because Rock'n'Roll and Queen are not my cup of tea.
There I go, an innocent man inserting the beautifully boxed DVD in the player. I turn on the TV. I let the show run while I'm in another room studying and doing other stuff: I could barely listen to the music.
I grabbed a bottle of wine, sat on the sofa and started to look at the screen heedless of the music and the images. I laid down and was bound to sleep just when the player got to the chapter of Under Pressure. And man...
It's beyond description. Freedie Mercury delivers a performance that is perfect from beginning to end. In fact, Under Pressure is so wonderfully played and sung that it alone makes the DVD worth buying. The sheer power of his gutural voice constantly changing its register from bass and tenor is otherwordly in its beauty and sophistication. About the middle of the song his voice goes through a very logical and beautiful recitation of short, brief syllables, as if he were teaching you to sing, and then turns in a wonderfully executed falsetto as he faces the drummer - "these are the da-a-ys - just to get smoothly back to his powerful gutural voice: "it never rains but it pours". Then he starts to teach us to sing again beautifully ascending and descending in the scales by reciting very brief, distinct notes: there are legati and stacatte, all in a very short period of time, beautifully arranged and organized.
Suddenly, he threats to shoot us: his hands are clearly symbolizing a revolver shooting each note with accuracy. Then he goes out of his way to deliver a perfect progression from his natural register to a long high tenor-like note: "higher, high and hiiiiigh". He starks asking "why" in a vibrant, touching and thrilling way before the band develop the song to its climax. By then, you're already either crying or standing upright on your sofa. You're in for the final jewel: his desperate, almost dreadful questioning - "why can't we give ourselves one more chance... - and then the powerful, loud, but sofly and gently executed last verses: "cause Love is SU-ch an Ol-ld Fa-shion Wor-rd And LOve Dares YOU to CA-re FOR the PE-ople...". It's pure poetry. The guy rocks.
If there were just this song in the DVD, it'd already be magical. But the whole thing, once I started to listen carefully to it, is wonderful. His performance in Live Aid beggars belief. The stage is just an extension of his body: he moves freely, beautifully, and delivers what's likely the greatest feat in the history of live rock and roll concerts. Play the Game, Hammer to Fall, Radio Ga-Ga and We are the Champions are given their most incredible performances in Live Aid. He commands the crowd, the stage, and, above all, his voice.
But the real treat is the Montreal gig DVD. It's perfect every step of the way. Therein is probably one of the most impressive versions of "Bohemian Rhapsody". In Montreal, he's much more elegant in his moves and dances than in Live Aid: he throws his fist in the air as he opens and closes his hands; he gets his arm in a hook-like disposition, the muscles all strained, and lifts it as if he were trying to break some barrier.
I give up. The band is wonderful and the guy is just a genius. I can't watch people singing just after listening to him: it's dull. The way he commands the stage, his beautiful presence and his jaw-dropping vocal technique are peerless in Rock and Roll's history. Maybe Robert Plant in his good old days could match him, I don't know.
Buy this cd. It's too cheap for the treasure that's in it. It really doesn't matter whether you like Queen or not.
on December 5, 2007
What can I say?
The picture quality is better than any other concert I have seen on blu-ray.
Shooting on 35mm film was definately the right choice. There is something about film and the way it captures the lights. The colors are all highly saturated and the detail is amazing. You can see the dust and finger prints on the monitors, the uneven texture on the surface of Brian's guitar and all the little details in Roger's drum kit. I have never seen a more beautiful concert video; and to think this was shot 25 years ago.
The sound is excellent too. But I found myself switching back and fourth between surround and stereo a number of times. The surround soundtrack provided a very open and spacious sound; but it was a little too reverberant. I found the stereo soundtrack to be more clear and direct.
Musically the band is in great form. Freddie's vocal performance is top-notch. He is in full voice and clear as a bell.
The reason's I only gave this DVD 4 stars are minor. Even though Queen were at their peak in popularity when they filmed this performance, in my opinion this was not their artistic peak. If only they could have filmed a performance 5 or so years earlier during their Night at the Opera and Day at the Races period. Also, even though the band sounded great, it seemed like their performance was somewhat lackluster. Compared to some of their other concert videos, this outing was not quite up to par.
on November 14, 2007
I've listened to the Rock Montreal concert and noticed how they cleaned up a few mistakes from the WWRY DTS version like the sour guitar note in Somebody to love during the "work till' I ache my bones" part etc. Also, the video seems to match the sound this time around(two nights were shot and often one video was substituted for the others sound and vice versa). I also noticed the overall mix on Rock Montreal has less midrange than the prior WWRY and sounds slightly more clean and less angry/raw which is a good and bad thing. It definitely sounds cleaned up though.
However certain things didn't sound as good, like the "thunderstorm intro". I always used to stick the prior WWRY disc in to show off my sound system to friends, and the new version lacks the intensity of the sound of the prior release. It sounds so much more intense on the WWRY DTS version because that mix cleverly makes much more use of the rear surrounds which create this *big* atmosphere/ambiance for the bands grand entrance. Instead, they chose to mix the crowd noise in the rear surrounds. Try to A/B both disc if you have them and you will see what I mean. I guess this was done to be more realistic from a concert seat standpoint(band- front speakers, crowd- rear speakers). I should mention that the sequences done with delay(or echo) do make use of the surrounds.
I believe the drums are mixed a little bit louder on the newer release and they sound very good. The guitar is low at points like on the lead on the fast version of WWRY, but the fading of the guitar volume up and down found on the prior release seems more cleaned up on Rock Montreal. Less of a swishing sound.
I liked the commentary by Roger and Brian as well. It's not overly entertaining, but it's quite informative at times. Queen fans will enjoy it, but the average person would probably find it boring due to a few gaps in commentary.
This probably is my favorite live dvd release though, especially since it lack the snyths found on the later releases, and doesn't have any additional players. I think more could have been done with the surround mix, but this is probably the best one out right now. If your looking to buy your first live Queen dvd, this one is probably the best. If you have WWRY DTS, this isn't all that different and might want to rent it first. If you have the original VHS or DVD(not DTS), you will enjoy this one much more. Plus this one has the bonuses of Brian/Roger commentary and Live Aid.
I rented this first since I already own the WWRY DTS, but the bonuses alone make this worth buying, not to mention the cleaned up audio.
on November 5, 2007
When I first saw this being released, I'll admit, my first opinion was "oh no, now they're releasing stuff to make money". But, as usual, like any true fan, I bought it! And how happy I am!
To anyone with a home theatre, who owns the previous release, this is NOT a waste of money. There is a definate improvement in sound. A HUGE improvement in sound. Much more low end, more even sound. I really enjoy this release, unlike the previous version, where I felt I wasn't part of the concert. This puts me right in the middle. An important record of this era of the band.
Queen have been releasing very special concerts representing important eras of the band, and this is no less important. Keep up the great work Brian and Roger! (and John? where are you John!)
on October 9, 2011
This remains one of my favorites. I really love the look they had at the time they did rock Montreal. One of the things that is so interesting about Freddie is that he changed his look throughout his singing career. He was younger and really into it in this video. It is enjoyable start to finish. Makes me feel like I'm there in the audience. He was very loose and spontaneous in this concert. I have several different ones and to me this one is special. You'll love another one bites the dust and the reaction of the audience. They give their all and you can see that they are genuinely enjoying giving it their all. Live aid is a separate DVD. To see that entire queen famous gig is priceless. To see it anytime you want to is even more priceless! I chose the video duo for my grown daughters 47th birthday. She and I are the queen lovers in the family. My other most favorite is singer of songs video with the bonus untold story of Freddies life from beginning to end. It is a must have also. I recommend this as a vitally necessary set for all Queen lovers and if you're not already then you will be after you see what's on these 2 videos. Thank you for making these. They are a true treasure that I have watched many times and will watch always. This is the best!Queen Rock Montreal + Live Aid
on October 4, 2011
When I first saw Gimme Shelter, I knew no other concert film could be better. The circumstances, the performance, the music, and the cinematography conspired to create a work of art that cannot ever be topped. If Gimme Shelter was 5/5, everything else would be less. And sure enough, everything else was less. A few 1/5, many 2/5, and an occasional 3/5. As I waded through these many bad to mediocre concert films, a thought formed in my brain, "Once you've seen the best, what's the point of seeing anything more?" And so I gradually stopped watching concert films. Until this week when my wife insisted on seeing a movie of Queen in concert. It was this one or Queen Live at Wembley. Being a high def addict, I voted for this and boy am I glad I did. The performance is electrifying. The music is better than the studio recordings. The cinematography is truly outstanding by every technical, artistic, and editorial measure. The blu ray transfer is excellent. I've always enjoyed Queen, but this concert footage gave me a new deeper appreciation for their talents and most especially for Freddy Mercury, consummate musician and performer. At the end of the concert, I cried that Freddy Mercury is no longer with us. No, it's not as good as Gimme Shelter, but it is outstanding on its own merits and richly deserves a 5/5.
on September 23, 2007
I was in London last night with my partner and saw (quite unexpectedly) that the Empire Leicester Square were showing a Digital Presentation of this concert...I saw it and I have to say, the picture and sound for this "re-release" is nothing short of awesome.
Having already seen many far older films and concerts being transferred to high definition, This version ranks among the best I've seen, with perfect colour reproduction and image resolution. The source is meticulously free of dirt and scratches and doesn't suffer from artificial removal of natural grain on the 35mm stock, preserving the concert's filmic look.
Tim Young at Metropolis Studios is on top form and has really outdone himself with the sound mix...It's quite front heavy which is the way I like it with the surrounds only adding to the illusion of actually being at the concert. The bass is deep, fast, clean and tight (and any other words you'd like to describe good bass) and had that real "kick in the chest" gravitas.
The Empire has long been my favourite cinema for picture and sound, so I was surprised when, at one point during the concert, the sub bass distorted rather alarmingly. In their defence, the bass on that particular section was insane, but if Empire want to reclaim their "most spectacular cinema in the world" title, they need to update their sound system to PMC speakers and Bryston amplification, as used by Metropolis and Brian May himself.
I'm expecting great things from this one...and the fact it's coming out on Blu-ray with (hopefully) a HD sound mix means we probably won't see it 're-released' for a good few years to come.
On a side note, the inclusion of the Live Aid tracks is fantastic news for me as it's my favourite Queen performance...followed closely by this one.
on June 19, 2012
This is a pretty great Queen live performance with some rare gems like Dragon Attack and Jailhouse rock, plus some incredible improvisations and solos by Brian May and Roger Taylor that can be found nowhere else. Taylor breaks into a 3 minute drum and tympani solo which leads to an incredible 5 minute guitar solo by Brian May, while everything else is silent. Queen like usual, is a very fun band to watch live because Freddie Mercury keeps the show exciting. He is constantly goofing around on stage and making weird body motions, while placing the microphone in awkward positions. Plus for a few songs, Freddie Mercury strips down to nothing but tight booty shorts and a scarf. This alone, is worth checking this performance out, its hilarious, especially how he goes right the the edge of the stage with all his fans starring at him. The songs Queen performs are all performed very well, and some songs even get improvised and have solos added to them that can't be found anywhere else. Some of the songs do feel a bit rushed, and some songs aren't as memorable as the studio version, and this performance is nowhere near as incredible as Wembley but So if you are a Queen fan, you will definitely want to check this out, as it includes some rare solos and versions of songs, but it isn't something you'll want to watch over and over, just something to take out once a year or so and get a few laughs out of Freddie's antics and fashion, plus its always fun to watch this around girls and older adults.
on June 13, 2011
I have seen a few other Queen DVDs and have a penchant for concert Blu Rays in general so I had high expectations going into this. Queen Rock Montreal not only lived up to my expectations but in many areas exceeded them. Not only is the concert filmed just before the synthesizers-period, with the band absolutely playing the hell out of their instruments, but the technical aspects of the concert recording are top notch too, leaving the whole thing great in all departments.
The sound quality is absolutely superb, crystal clear and very big, which really brings to attention all the skill and virtuosity with which Queen played the gig, and that's not just the mix but the recording quality itself too.
The video, which is of course excellent in the main concert, has been scrutinized and cleaned up on the original 35mm prints before being re-scanned for maximum quality, there is even a fairly detailed description of the process in the linear notes. Consequently, the concert looks amazing and clear in a way no other Queen concert does as of yet.
In terms of the concert itself, there is no question of quality whatsoever. Queen are absolutely electric and deliver a wide array of some of their hardest and heaviest material in about as energetic and impressive a performance as has been captured on film, and mix it up with a few quieter numbers for balance and variety, leaving a full and complete Queen concert experience.
The band don't even just stick to the big radio hits either, playing material such as 'Dragon Attack,' 'Get Down Make Love,' and 'Sheer Heart Attack,' that you wouldn't necessarily expect in with the 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' and 'Under Pressure,' level songs.
The highlights for me were the excellent performance of 'I'm In Love With My Car,' with Roger both singing masterfully and nailing the drum fills to perfection as well as their fast and hard rendition of early number 'Keep Yourself Alive.'
The band's performance is excellent, the track listing is excellent and the audio visual quality is excellent. What more could you possibly ask for in a concert Blu Ray ?
In terms of extras, you get commentary from Brian and Roger, A hilariously bad 80s TV special on Queen, An interesting rehearsal/interview for Live Aid and of course the excellent Live Aid performance itself, which doesn't even require describing it is that well regarded.
Overall I highly recommend this product, I enjoy a lot of Live Concert DVDs and Blu Rays and this is definitely one of the finest I've come across, especially if you like the harder rock side of Queen.