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Ghost Canyon

'Queen - Live at the Rainbow '74' [SD Blu ray]
(Queen / SD Blu ray / NR / 2014 / Eagle Vision)

Overview: In the UK back in 1974, Queen performed three sold-out shows at the legendary Rainbow Theatre in London's Finsbury Park, one in March on the 'Queen II' tour and two in November following the release of Sheer Heart Attack. To mark the 40th Anniversary of these shows, fans can finally enjoy Queen 'Live At The Rainbow 74', lovingly restored, re-edited, mixed and digitally mastered and including much previously unseen footage.

DVD Verdict: Yes, I'm a HUGE Queen fan! And yes, on April 19th, 1982 I traveled from the UK to France on a coach of sweaty oiks to see them play at the Palias des Sports on their Hot Space tour! So watching this, and thereafter actually listening to the limited edition vinyl album set that came out recently also, has put me in musical Heaven today!

Here on Queen - Live at the Rainbow '74 the main show is from November with, as a bonus, the only surviving footage from the March show. This is Queen dazzling their audience with an unforgettable show delivered with a skill and confidence which belied their youth.

Now, it has to be said that Queen fans of today's ilk might sit back and furrow their collective brows over some of the songs on this 28 live hit wonder. Remember, this was 1974, the band were just getting started and so the tracks they perform - 'Ogre Battle,' 'Father To Son,' 'The March of The Black Queen,' 'Son And Daughter,' 'Liar' and 'Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll' - may simply not be familiar to many people who identify themselves as said Queen fans.

Completely understandable, seriously, as 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 early material. Having waited 40 years for this first live album to surface, Live at the Rainbow is a showcasing of a band that would arguably become one of the world's most successful rock bands.

Listening to the rich and diverse early Queen catalog of material here, watching as Freddie, Brian, John and Roger show us youthful expressions and yet powerhaus performances, it soon strikes you that seemingly every song on this live set is a cracker! Drummer Taylor is the back bone to the quartet; bassist Deacon the ever present train track the Queen express rides along; May's guitar work is thunderous, simply rip roaring and he manages to glide Mercury's vocals along each and every verse so smoothly; and Mercury himself, well, aside from his raging vocal turn he is nothing short of a young, yet full-on Liberace showcase, bless him.

Combining their homegrown stylistic elements - the ones that made their sound truly unique - aside from those mentioned above that might have people reaching for the Net, their big hits of the time are free flowing also, of course.

Songs like 'Now I'm Here,' 'Flick Of The wrist,' 'Killer Queen,' 'Keep Yourself Alive,' 'Seven Seas of Rhye,' 'Stone Cold Crazy,' 'God Save The Queen' and also 'Jailhouse Rock' all bring forth happy memories of a band in their prime - even this early in their career! And for those looking for a little something special, well, not only is there a single CD of this show, but a wicked double CD, DVD, and aside from the SD Blu-ray I'm reviewing here today, quadruple vinyl formats; as well as a deluxe box-set including reproduction tour memorabilia! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Tracks from the Queen II Tour in March, 1974:

Son And Daughter
Guitar Solo
Son And Daughter (Reprise)
Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll