|Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl|
|Live Album by Queen|
|Released||October 25, 2004|
|Recorded||June 5, 1982 in Milton Keynes|
|Label|| EMI/Parlophone (EU)|
|Producer(s)||Brian May, Roger Taylor, Justin Shirley-Smith|
|Queen Live Chronology|
|Preceding||At the Beeb (1995)|
|This Album||Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl (2004)|
|Succeeding||Queen Rock Montreal (2007)|
It was recorded live at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, on June 5, 1982. The concert took place as part of Queen's Hot Space Tour, with the entirety being filmed and some broadcast on the BBC at the time.
A DVD was also released of the concert along with bonus material, such as band interviews and tour highlights. In 2005 the album was also released as an LP, like all Queen albums. In the UK the CD made #20 and DVD #1 in the album and DVD chart respectively. In the US, neither the album nor the DVD charted.
During the show, lead guitarist Brian May had a few minor problems with his homemade Red Special guitar. During both the fast version of "We Will Rock You" and "Dragon Attack", a couple of guitar strings snapped and he had to switch over to his Birch Red Special backup for almost all of "Action This Day" and for the entire second half of "Dragon Attack" and all of "Now I'm Here (Reprise)".
During May's guitar solo, the pickup switches on his guitar were switched off and May's guitar solo stopped for 20 seconds (as seen on the DVD but that time was reduced to 3 seconds on the album version of the performance). A roadie had to help him switch his guitar on again.
Also, drummer Roger Taylor did an impromptu 30-second drum solo before "Under Pressure" whilst May got his guitar fixed. Taylor had stopped doing drum solos (he last performed one in November 1981) so this was the only time he did a drum solo post-1981 with the original lineup of Queen. The next did not occur until the Queen + Paul Rodgers Return of the Champions Tour in 2005.
During "Back Chat", Freddie Mercury flubbed one line, singing "'Cos you're walking in your sleep" instead of "'Cos you're talking in your sleep". Furthermore during "Fat Bottomed Girls", Freddie Mercury's voice briefly slipped into an off-key falsetto during the lyric "in this locality" (which was noticed on the original BBC TV, Channel 4, MTV, and radio broadcasts of the MK concert) but the error was fixed for release of the DVD and CD. In the same song, Mercury sang "Oh but I still got my treasure, still got my greatest pleasure" instead of "Oh but I still get my pleasure, still got my greatest treasure". In addition, the line, "Hey big woman, you made a bad boy out of me," was improvised as, "Hey big woman, you made an asshole out of me." On Somebody To Love, during the line "I work hard- every day of my life", he sings "I work hard- every day of my bloody life".
Mercury performed without his trademark bottomless microphone stand for "The Hero" (on the Live in Japan bonus footage on DVD), "We Will Rock You (Fast)" and "Now I'm Here". Apparently this allowed Mercury to more freely scale and walk along the raised wings on either side of the stage. Although it is noticeable that he is using a cordless microphone which were becoming available around the time and appears to be relatively larger than a standard microphone.
Track List Edit
|Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl Track List|
|2||The Hero||1:44||Brian May|
|3||We Will Rock You (Fast)||3:17||Brian May|
|4||Action This Day||4:52||Roger Taylor|
|5||Play the Game||4:30||Freddie Mercury|
|6||Staying Power||4:03||Freddie Mercury|
|7||Somebody to Love||7:53||Freddie Mercury|
|8||Now I'm Here||6:18||Brian May|
|9||Dragon Attack||4:16||Brian May|
|10||Now I'm Here (Reprise)||2:20||Brian May|
|11||Love of My Life||4:22||Freddie Mercury|
|12||Save Me||4:00||Brian May|
|13||Back Chat||5:00||John Deacon|
|1||Get Down Make Love||3:39||Freddie Mercury|
|2||Guitar Solo||6:22||Brian May|
|4||Fat Bottomed Girls||5:25||Brian May|
|5||Crazy Little Thing Called Love||4:15||Freddie Mercury|
|6||Bohemian Rhapsody||5:38||Freddie Mercury|
|7||Tie Your Mother Down||4:09||Brian May|
|8||Another One Bites the Dust||3:49||John Deacon|
|9||Sheer Heart Attack||3:25||Roger Taylor|
|10||We Will Rock You||2:08||Brian May|
|11||We Are the Champions||3:28||Freddie Mercury|
|12||God Save the Queen||1:24||Arr. May|
DVD Bonus Material Edit
- MK Bowl backstage interview
- Freddie Mercury interview
- Brian May and Roger Taylor interviews
- Songs from concert at Wiener Stadthalle|Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria on May 12, 1982
- Songs from concert at Seibu Lions Stadium, Tokyo, Japan on November 3, 1982
- Photo gallery (Calling All Girls)
- Freddie Mercury – vocals, piano, acoustic guitar on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
- Brian May – guitars, vocals, piano on "Save Me"
- Roger Taylor – drums, percussion, vocals
- John Deacon – bass guitar, rhythm guitar on "Staying Power", additional backing vocals on "Somebody to Love"
- Morgan Fisher – keyboards
- Justin Shirley-Smith – mix producer
- Kris Fredriksson – pro tools hd
- Mack – recording engineer
- Mick McKenna – second recording engineer
- Kevin Metcalfe – mastering
- Richard Gray – artwork
- Denis O'Regan – photography
Chart Performance Edit
Chart performance template under construction.
Chart performance template under construction.
BBC Review Edit
When Live Aid rocked the world in 1985, Queen shared an audience of 72,000 people at Wembley. Undeniably, they stole the show. It was inevitable, really; after all, by that stage the band were eating crowds of that size for breakfast and still finding room for an encore. Three years earlier, they had filled the Milton Keynes Bowl with 65,000 of their own adoring fans as part of the Hot Space tour.
Luckily, the camera crews were there to record the event for posterity. Partially broadcast by the BBC in 1982, a bootleg has been circulating ever since. For the Queen completist, therefore, Queen On Fire will make a great stocking filler this Christmas; digitally remastered on DVD and double CD, it features the 25-song set in full.
With hindsight, Hot Space isn't one of Queen's best records; in truth, it's an ill-advised funk/disco album that they and their fans would probably rather forget. Thankfully, it only provides four of the songs on offer here. Otherwise, Queen On Fire is practically Greatest Hits I in concert, give or take a few tracks. All the live favourites are here: "Love Of My Life", equal parts graceful lullaby and football terrace chant, but as charming as ever; "Now I'm Here", spliced cleverly with The Game's "Dragon Attack", and "Fat Bottomed Girls", sounding fatter than ever. And of course, it wouldn't be a Queen gig without a little of Freddie's playful crowd mastery.
As promising as the track titled "Guitar Solo" on the second disc here will sound to fans of Brian May and his 'Red Special', those familiar with "Brighton Rock" from 1974's Sheer Heart Attack will find it more than a little disappointing. Whereas the latter is a virtuoso masterpiece showcasing May's flair for riff juggling, his somewhat directionless solo escapade on this album pales in comparison.
It's almost a relief, then, when the rest of the band return for "Under Pressure" (sans Bowie) and proceed to rip through nine of their biggest hitters, during which Brian makes up for his earlier lack of lustre with a blistering rendition of "Tie Your Mother Down".
The set finishes predictably but majestically, with Queen's pomp-rock coup de grace: "We Will Rock You", followed by "We Are The Champions" and "God Save The Queen". If you need a reminder of just how invincible Queen were in concert, look no further.