'Queen - A Night At The Odeon' [Blu-ray]
(Queen / SD Blu-ray / NR / 2015 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: This Hammersmith Christmas concert was the culmination of the 26-date 'Queen invite you to A Night At The Opera UK tour of 1975, and was the last show of a very eventful and exciting year for Queen. Oh, and Queen performed 'Bohemian Rhapsody' for the first time during this tour!
Blu-ray Verdict: Well, the truth is, and for those that know and love the work of England's beloved Queen, this is one of the most incredible "finds" that has been unearthed by those in the know for many a year! 'Queen - A Night At The Odeon' [Blu-ray] - although there are other various incarnations of this show now, from CDs to an INCREDIBLE Box-Set - is the filmed live broadcast of Queen playing a full set on Christmas Eve, 1975 at Londonís legendary Hammersmith Odeon.
I have been there many times, the Odeon, to see shows (Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, Meat Loaf, etc) and so know exactly what a venue this was for bands to come to play. Never a bad seat in the house, and cleverly entitled A Night at the Odeon - because their landmark album, A Night at the Opera was released a month prior to the show; and is now celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year - this show captures the mighty glam-pop-rock band playing to a packed house of deliriously happy Queen fans.
Oh, and a little bit more about that INCREDIBLE Box-Set, as I'm busting to get ahold of a copy, trust me! Well, it houses 1 CD, 2 Vinyl LPs, 1 DVD, 1 Blu-ray, and an actual 12' Vinyl Single of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'! I mean, come on now, who in their right I-Love-Queen minds wouldn't want to own that for Christmas?! Seriously, I mean it. Who?!
Moving on, and the actual concert is dynamite and still so good to hear today, for sure. Filmed by a smattering of BBC cameras (the show was simulcast live on both BBC Radio 1 and 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' television show on BBC 2) beaming their show into living rooms across the United Kingdom that Christmas Eve (as the pubs shut at around 6pm, so there's nowhere to go, believe me), once out on stage (the programmer's host, Bob Harris introduced the band on stage just beforehand) to a massive warm reception, Queen kick things off in flying style with both 'Now I'm Here' and the lesser-known 'Ogre Battle.' Soon we get what would ultimately become their anthem, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' which is backed by tracks such as 'Killer Queen,' 'Brighton Rock,' and both 'Keep Yourself Alive' and 'In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited.'
In between those tracks are some never-usually-played cuts such as 'White Queen (As It Began),' 'The March Of The Black Queen,' and both 'Son And Daughter' and 'Liar.' In fact, one of their traditional show things to do was to use a quick reprise of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to intro the cover of 'Bring Back That Leroy Brown.' Then later, and having witnessed a stellar Brian May guitar solo, we get more covers, this time in the form of 'Big Spender' which leads perfectly into the medley of 'Jailhouse Rock / Stupid Cupid / Be Bop A Lula.' The show, as always, is brought to a close with the always-amazing to hear, let alone watch "live," 'God Save The Queen,' but if you are anything like me, you simply went back to the first song and started the watching/listening process all over again!
But that's not all that is contained on this bursting-at-the-seams Blu-ray, because you will also find Bonus Items such as a Live In Japan '75 three track segment - 'Now I'm Here,' 'Killer Queen,' and 'In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited' - and, INCREDIBLY, a never-before-seen (by, supposedly the band either) Looking Back At The Odeon, previously-unreleased 2 minute documentary that even includes soundcheck workings of their songs!
[FYI: Their second encore started with the early single 'Seven Seas of Rhye' and Mayís slow-grinding faux-blues number 'See What a Fool Iíve Been'. Sadly, and weirdly, the cameras were allegedly switched off by this point, so video footage of this second encore doesnít exist. Upset much?! I know I bloody well am!] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'Queen - A Night At The Odeon' [Blu-ray] Purchase Link
'Queen - A Night At The Odeon' [BOX-SET] Purchase Link