Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Queen - Live At Wembley (1986)


Recorded live at Wembley Stadium in 1986

This was Queen one year after storming the same Wembley stage at Live Aid returning to greet thousands of their new-found fans and many of those who had stuck with them through thick and thin from back in 1973. This was moustachioed, yellow-jacketed, white-trousered Freddie Mercury and Queen at the height of their "phase two" powers and, contrary to as portrayed (deliberately) erroneously in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Mercury had not received his AIDS diagnosis at this point. His, and the band's performance is full of vibrancy and vitality. It is largely a good set (save the early set "medley" that blighted Queen gigs throughout their career, this time cutting short Seven Seas Of Rhye and Tear It Up). It is great for old fans like me to hear In The Lap Of The Gods (Revisited) given an outing, but this is all that is really there for 1973-74 fans apart from the brief burst of Rhye and the ubiquitous, glorious Now I'm Here.

I have always been firmly in the "Queen are better when they rock" camp and in this respect I am catered for in the magnificent heavy rock of One Vision, the afore-mentioned Tear It Up, Tie Your Mother Down and Hammer To Fall. The recent chart converts are kept more than happy with A Kind Of Magic, played far heavier than on the hit single, the singalong, hand-clapping Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free and Friends Will Be Friends.

It is a sad moment to hear Mercury tell the crowd the band will "stay together until they well die" and then sings Who Wants To Live Forever. This statement also gives the lie to the biopic's story that the band split up in 1984, before Live Aid. As Mercury said, they never split up and they never would, darlings.

It is pretty much a joyful romp from beginning to end as Queen command the huge stadium crowd with ease. The one negative is the sound, which has always been slightly muffled, although the most recent remaster has alleviated this somewhat. It still has that sound that outdoor concerts always have,  taken away a bit by the wind. I only had the privilege of seeing Queen live once, at Earl's Court in 1977. I always regretted not seeing them in this period. This album makes up for that.


1. One Vision
2. Tie Your Mother Down
3. In The Lap Of The Gods (Revisited)
4. Seven Seas Of Rhye
5. Tear It Up
6. A Kind Of Magic
7. Under Pressure
8. Another One Bites The Dust
9. Who Wants To Live Forever
10. I Want To Break Free
11. Brighton Rock
12. Now I'm Here
13. Love Of My Life
14. Is This The World We Created?
15. Baby I Don't Care
16. Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)
17. Tutti Frutti
18. Gimme Some Lovin'
19. Bohemian Rhapsody
20. Hammer To Fall
21. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
22. Big Spender
23. Radio Ga Ga
24. We Will Rock You
25. Friends Will Be Friends
26. We Are The Champions
27. God Save The Queen