Live at the Rainbow Import
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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