Approximately a decade before they were one of the biggest bands in the world and headlining huge stadiums, Queen were an up and coming rock group that had just started to dent the charts with their hard hitting music that mixed glam with the early heavy rock/metal sound. Their sophomore release Queen II was released in March of 1974, and their third just a few short months later in November of that year, and to coincide with both releases the band played their first headlining gigs at the famous Rainbow Theater in London, both of which were recorded for an official live album release that never happened...until now that is. Now, both full Queen performances are included here in this lavish 2 CD set Live at the Rainbow '74. If you are a casual Queen fan and only have had exposure to perhaps their later Live Killers or Live at Wembley releases, this one here is a completely different beast altogether. With the band still sporting the long hair, platform shoes, and flowing robes, the heavy rocking early Queen is in full force throughout these two concerts, the first highlighting songs from the then recently released second album as well as the debut, and the November performance takes the best tunes from both of these as well as the new Sheer Heart Attack album and gives an even more expanded set. Both are absolutely killer shows that reveal Queen in all their early glam rock & heavy metal glory.
It's just so great to hear early classics like "Great King Rat", "Liar", "Ogre Battle", "Keep Yourself Alive", and the ultra heavy "Son and Daughter" in a live setting, as Brian May's crushing guitar work and Freddie Mercury's charming yet devilish vocal delivery take center stage on these old favorites. Though they were played for many years to come, popular tunes like "Killer Queen" , "Stone Cold Crazy", "In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited", and "Seven Seas of Rhye" sound magnificent here, and rock very hard. The metallic nature of "Flick of the Wrist", "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll", and especially the brutal "The March of the Black Queen" show a band that were as heavy as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Uriah Heep when they wanted to be. John Deacon & Roger Taylor, perhaps one of the most underrated rhythm teams in rock history, create a thunderous bottom end throughout these shows, allowing May & Mercury to create the drama and tension above those heavy grooves. The sound quality on both concerts is quite good, so if you are a longtime fan of Queen, this new live album of a vintage & historic set of shows will be a revelation for you.
Hollywood Records has included a very nice little booklet jammed with photos from the concerts, and it's all housed in a double digipack case. Also available is the November show (with snippets from the March performance) on Blu-Ray & DVD, as well as a deluxe set that contains the video & CDs together. Enjoy folks...this is as good as it gets!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
Disc One: Live at the Rainbow, March '74
2. "Father to Son"
3. "Ogre Battle"
4. "Son and Daughter"
5. "Guitar Solo"
6. "Son and Daughter (Reprise)"
7. "White Queen (As It Began)"
8. "Great King Rat"
9. "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke"
10. "Keep Yourself Alive"
11. "Drum Solo"
12. "Keep Yourself Alive (Reprise)"
13. "Seven Seas of Rhye"
14. "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll"
15. "Jailhouse Rock (Medley)"
"Stupid Cupid (Medley)"
"Be Bop A Lula (Medley)"
17. "See What a Fool I've Been"
Disc Two: Live at the Rainbow, November '74
2. "Now I'm Here"
3. "Ogre Battle"
4. "Father to Son"
5. "White Queen (As It Began)"
6. "Flick of the Wrist"
7. "In the Lap of the Gods"
8. "Killer Queen"
9. "The March of the Black Queen"
10. "Bring Back That Leroy Brown"
11. "Son and Daughter"
12. "Guitar Solo"
13. "Son and Daughter (Reprise)"
14. "Keep Yourself Alive"
15. "Drum Solo"
16. "Keep Yourself Alive (Reprise)"
17. "Seven Seas of Rhye"
18. "Stone Cold Crazy"
20. "In the Lap of the Gods. . . Revisited"
21. "Big Spender"
22. "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll"
23. "Jailhouse Rock"
24. "God Save the Queen"