Friday, 17 May 2019

Queen - Live Killers (1979)


  

Live recordings from early 1979

My proper Queen fandom spreads from 1974 to 1978, so this, their first official live album arrived right at the time I was leaving Queen behind as new wave full took over. Although I prefer subsequently-released live albums from earlier periods, such as "Live At The Rainbow" and "A Night At The Odeon", I guess this is a reasonable live document of where Queen were in 1979. They were in a transitional period, about to enter one of their least successful phases at the start of the eighties, but still clinging on to what made them a great band in the 1974-1977 years. This is actually quite a heavy album, and although its tracks are taken from several live shows from early 1979, it plays as if it were one full concert.

It was given a bit of negative criticism upon release and I am not quite sure why, although until this latest remaster, I have always found the sound a bit muffled. Not so anymore, it is solid, clear and powerful and has a raw, authentic live feeling about it, which is always good. In early 1979, it has to be said, though, concerts and material like this were becoming very passé in the face of the punk/new wave onslaught. Queen were already struggling with a relevance problem, only just over three years from ruling the world.

Queen always had an irritating habit of performing three of four songs in a "medley" format in the early part of their shows, so songs like "Death On Two Legs""Killer Queen", "Bicycle Race" and "I'm In Love With My Car" are frustratingly cut short while the awful "Get Down, Make Love", with its pointless and indulgent sound effects, is extended far longer than it should be. "Brighton Rock" is also given a full workout, although I don't mind that. "You're My Best Friend" is also only given two minutes, though. It is interesting to hear the later to be iconic "Don't Stop Me Now" played as just a track from the new album ("Jazz"). Its performance is a bit messy, to be honest. Overall, however, this is not a bad set. You can never get too much of "Now I'm Here" or "Keep Yourself Alive".

TRACK LISTING

1. We Will Rock You (Fast Version)
2. Let Me Entertain You
3. Brighton Rock
4. Death On Two Legs
5. Killer Queen
6. Bicycle Race
7. I'm In Love With My Car
8. Get Down, Make Love
9. You're My Best Friend
10. Now I'm Here
11. Dreamers' Ball
12. Love Of My Life
13. '39
14. Keep Yourself Alive
15. Don't Stop Me Now
16. Spread Your Wings
17. Bohemian Rhapsody
18. Tie Your Mother Down
19. Sheer Heart Attack
20. We Will Rock You
21. We Are The Champions
22. God Save The Queen

B-

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