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Live at the Rainbow (Deluxe Box Set) Live
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Among the unique material contained in this release are over a dozen songs and performances never previously released on any official Queen live album. That concert, being heard live for the first time in the soon to be released Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74, marked the culmination of the band's countrywide tour, their first as headliners - hot on the heels of a tour supporting Mott the Hoople, late in 1973, on which they were widely regarded as having blown the hit band off the stage. Queen got rave reviews, almost unheard of for a support band, and it was obvious that in future they would be top of the bill.
Just before the March Rainbow gig, Queen performed their new single 'Seven Seas of Rhye' on must-see UK TV music show Top of the Pops. The highly coveted slot was a lucky break - they filled in for David Bowie, who was unavailable - and the band made the most of it, delivering a thrilling performance that pushed the song into the Top 10.
Although the group now had a first hit single under its belt, and second album Queen II had just been released to critical acclaim, many felt that playing The Rainbow was overambitious. It was the premier London venue of the time, on a par with L.A.'s Palladium and New York's Fillmore East. But the band had paid its dues, slugging it out in clubs and college halls for four years, and never doubting their own potential. The band's confidence was vindicated when the venue quickly sold out the capacity of more than 3,000 seats.
Queen's performance was spectacular from the second that Freddie Mercury strutted onto the stage in his soon to become trademark white 'eagle suit,' specially made for him by top fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. He pranced and posed, capturing the audience in seconds with his extraordinary voice and stage presence, while Brian May provided the counterpoint with his remarkable ground-breaking guitar playing. The powerful 'engine room' of drummer Roger Taylor and bass player John Deacon completed a sound unlike anything British audiences had previously heard.
That electrifying show was recorded by Roy Thomas Baker, co-producer of Queen's first four studio albums, and slated to be the band's third album (and debut live album) - a career defining release like James Brown's Live At The Apollo or The Who's Live At Leeds. Intended to be a recording that captured the magic of a live band firing on all cylinders, Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 would undoubtedly have been a big success. But Queen's ferocious creative momentum produced a stack of new songs begging to be recorded and instead of releasing the live album the band went into the studio to record what was to become their breakthrough album, Sheer Heart Attack. As a result the completed Rainbow live album was shelved and consigned to the archives.
Later in 1974 Queen had their first chart-topping single, 'Killer Queen,' which encapsulated their brand of driving rock and clever lyrics. It appeared on Sheer Heart Attack, which was released in the autumn, was a massive hit and remains to this day many fans' favorite Queen album. To celebrate this success and crown a remarkable year, Queen returned to The Rainbow in November 1974 for two sell-out gigs that were even more spectacular than the one in March.
1) Two CDs, one CD featuring the March show and the second CD featuring the November show
2) A DVD/SD Blu-Ray of the November show with four “bonus” tracks from March
3) A 60 page hardback book containing lots of previously unseen photographs, and (among other items), reproductions of reviews and features from the time.
4) Reproductions of Brian May’s parents’ tickets from the March concert
5) A reproduction of the tour itinerary folder for the March concert from promoter Mel Bush, including a letter instructing the band not to trash the hotel room or there will be dire consequences!
6) A reproduction of the 8 page show tour program
7) Two button badges – reproductions of items available at the concert
8) A reproduction of the purple and gold March concert poster
9) A reproduction of a fashion shoot in The Telegraph Magazine, featuring the band with fashion models.
10) A reproduction of the sticker stage pass from the March concert
Top Customer Reviews
The first set on "Queen Live at the Rainbow 74" (recorded in March of 1974) was originally intended to be released as a live record to help support Queen's first two albums but was shelved in favor of recording their next studio album (which would eventually become "Sheer Heart Attack").
That said, the material on the CD may not be familiar to many people who identify themselves as Queen fans (and that's completely understandable). It's easy to forget that Queen was a band that produced 15 studio albums and as a result, many fans are simply unaware of the powerful brilliance and dark intensity of Queen's earliest material. Better stated, "old Queen" did not start with "A Night at the Opera"; it started with Queen and Queen II. When haring this material performed live you'll not only realize how rich and diverse Queen's catalog of material is; you'll also realize that Queen was a band that had many different musical incarnations and was constantly reinventing themselves while at the same time retaining the stylistic elements that made their sound truly unique.
In addition to the March concert (which was in support of Queen and Queen II), listeners will also have the treat of hearing (and seeing) a November 1974 performance which includes material from both earlier albums and material from "Sheer Heart Attack".Read more ›
Boy oh boy does this box set do it justice. Two live CDs from March and November of 1974, covering tours for the Queen II and just released Sheer Heart Attack albums. In addition to this, we are treated to an up-scaled standard blu ray of the November show, with a couple of bonus cuts from the March show. In a word, the music on this is ferocious. The band was notorious for being perfectionists, and I have to say, the dedication to their craft really shines through here. Freddie's voice is in top form. Roger and John play as solidly as ever. But Brian is really, truly on fire.
Hearing these guys rip through the set lists with such unstoppable energy is such a joy. And hearing classic album cuts like Ogre Battle, BOTH versions of In the Laps of the Gods, my personal favorite, Flick of the Wrist. This is not the pop Queen that developed over the late 70s and into the 80s. (Don't get me wrong, I love virtually their entire catalog). But this is the much heavier rock based sound from their first few albums that far fewer people are familiar with overall.
Bottom line, the songs are performed brilliantly and sound better than ever, The video definitely shows its' wear and there are quite a few moments where the picture is pretty grainy. But no matter. This is the stuff of legend.Read more ›
If you love Queen, this is possibly one of their finest hours. It's 1974 so they're playing music from the first two albums (March concert, LPs 1&2), as well as introducing songs from Sheer Heart Attack (November concert, LPs 3&4), and a few covers.
The music is thunderous, relentless and breathtaking. By this time the band was already an extremely well-oiled unit, they're firing on all cylinders and they know it (re: Freddie Mercury calling a halt to Ogre Battle after the first verse and asking the audience "What do you think of the show so far?"...). They're possibly rocking harder than on the studio albums. In short, if you love Queen, you'll love this.
SOUND / MASTERING
The sound is quite satisfying for a live recording of this period. There's not a huge stereo separation but the sound is detailed, full, and with great dynamics. Credits to the vinyl edition read: "half speed vinyl mastering by Miles Showell ad Abbey Road Studios" (while mastering of original tapes was made, as per the CD version, at Metropolis Mastering).
The vinyl sounds wonderful, possibly even a bit warmer and fuller than the CD version I had the chance to compare it to.
The four LPs are housed in a sturdy box; each disc housed in a sleeve with a picture of a band member and an inner sleeve with pictures and liner notes not included in the standard 2CD version (which as far as liner notes are concerned features just the credits).
FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
In the LP box there's a card for the digital download of the entire album in mp3 files.
All considered, a must for any Queen fan, in my opinion. The music, the sound and the packaging are all equally beautiful. A high quality live document for a great band.
... and nobody played synthesizer!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely spectacular - a must for any Queen fan who has been with them from the beginning. I actually remember hearing Great King Rat from the first album on Racine, Wisconsin's... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Johnny ICE
I was hesitant to check this out for a little bit because some unreleased material collections lately have been less than satisfying. This isn't one of them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Drew T. '77
This is the second Queen CD I've bought this year (the other being the Queen Forever release) where Disc 1 does not play in my car player. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Daniel P.
What a great rock concert video! Queen before they were a major act but not before they were a tour de force. Dang, they were always great.Published 7 months ago by Jim
I purchased this to see if I could get a good idea of what a young Bruan May sounded like in a live setting back in the day.
Mission accomplished. Read more
One of the best concert cds from the 70s era. The first is hard and rivals sabbath or zeppelin. The second is much of the same but more classic early Queen. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Review number 112. Wow! I thought I was dreaming when I first spotted an ad for this vintage live Queen release. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mike Reed