The Works Tour was a concert tour by Queen. Following the release of the band's 1984 album The Works, Queen went on the tour to promote the album throughout Europe and Asia. This was the first concert tour by the band to not to feature a US tour leg, as the commercial failure of Hot Space led to dwindling sales in the United States.
The tour was notable for the grand stage designs, large venues, and a diverse setlist. Songs like Great King Rat, Keep Yourself Alive, and Liar — all of which had been left off the band's setlist for years— would appear in shortened forms during the tour.
Several concerts from the tour saw release in various formats. A recording of the band's concert at the Rio de Janeiro was released as Rock in Rio on vinyl and DVD formats. Another DVD was released from a concert in Tokyo titled We Are the Champions: Final Live in Japan.
The stage design was based on a scene from Fritz Lang's Metropolis with huge rotating cog-wheels at the rear of the stage and a brightly lit cityscape and a mural based on the background from the Radio Ga Ga music video. The huge wheels behind the stage (modelled after the ones on The Works album cover) rotate at mostly random times - usually because they are turned manually by various crew members such as Roger's tech Chris "Crystal" Taylor whenever they have a free moment.
The lighting rig was one of the largest that Queen would use throughout their career, featuring a bird-like design adorned with red, green, white, blue, and yellow lights. The top portion moves up and down resembling the pizza oven from the Jazz tour. This was the first lighting rig used by the band that was controlled via a computer system.
The Works, although not one of Queen's most diverse albums, proved that the band still had it's rock and pop sensibilities that went virtually unseen during the commercial failure of the Hot Space album (and subsequently the Hot Space tour). This combination of chart-dominating songs like Radio Ga Ga, Hammer To Fall, and I Want To Break Free made the album a worldwide success when it released on 27 February 1984.
On the 12th of May 1984, Queen appeared at the Golden Rose Pop Festival in Montreux, miming 4 songs from their recently-released album. The tour proper began in Brussels on the 24th of August 1984.
Initially, at the start of the tour, the band were all in good form, especially Freddie, as this night in Brussels is often referred to one of his best post-prime performances (AKA any outstanding performance post-Milton Keynes). He's in great form, nailing songs like Seven Seas of Rhye and It's A Hard Life. Unfortunately, his voice would quickly wear out, due to his frequent partying, smoking/drinking habits and his poor singing technique, which took a toll on his voice for this tour, resulting in his voice practically being worn out by the third night in Birmingham, even remarking before It's A Hard Life, "If I don't hit this first note, I'll kill myself!" He hits the note, although strained, prompting a quick switch to falsetto for the rest of the intro. Speaking of the third night in Birmingham, it is on this night that the band switches from Sheer Heart Attack to Jailhouse Rock as an encore.
Compared to Freddie, John, Roger and Brian are still in great form. However, Fred's vocals are still in for a rough time, especially on the four London concerts. After the second night, which was on Fred's 38th birthday, a massive party is held, and Fred gets trashed. This leaves his voice almost completely shot for the third night, where he even skips lines in Staying Power. His voice starts to recover by the first night in Milan, however, two notable things happen on this night. First, Staying Power sees it's last performance tonight, and Fred does alright with it. However, it is also here that the band start losing steam, and start playing more "by-the-books".
As unfortunate as it seems, Queen were going through a jaded period in 1984, and this almost certainly worsened in 1985. Fights between the band members were never more common and if Live Aid didn't happen, it's almost certain they'd have split up.
Unfortunately, the band's cycle of mediocrity continues until Leiden, on the 20th, where they sound more reinvigorated, and Freddie, for the tour at least, sounds good. Brian plays a verse and chorus of '39 on his acoustic guitar, with Freddie throwing the few words in he remembers, as he hadn't sung it in 5 years. However, this would soon change. The next night, a second night in Brussels, Freddie is once again in poor shape. This is ironic, considering on the first night, he sounded the best he had since Milton Keynes. And it would soon worsen on the next night, in Hanover. The band were going through the motions here, and Freddie sounds pretty bad too. However on this night, a major incident takes place at this show.
Due to prior damage in his knee, it was tough for Fred to navigate the stairs and platforms of the stage. At the end of Hammer to Fall, Freddie falls down the stairs of the stage. This injures his leg and he and the rest of Queen convene and they axe Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga-Ga, I Want to Break Free, and Jailhouse Rock. Brian flubs his We Will Rock You solo out of anxiety, presumably to get Freddie to the hospital as soon as possible.
After this incident, Freddie is fitted with a leg brace, and the tour picks up again at Berlin's Deutschlandhalle on the 24th. From this night onwards to Stuttgart on the 27th, the band seem to be putting in more effort, with Freddie making a definite improvement. However, this resurgence in vigor is lost on the two nights in Vienna on the 29th and 30th respectively. While only Freddie sounds monotonous on the first, everyone sounds uninspired on the second night. After this, Queen would go to play 9 controversial shows in Sun City.
|24 August 1984||Brussels||Belgium||Forest National|
|28 August 1984||Dublin||Ireland||RDS Simmonscourt|
|29 August 1984|
|31 August 1984||Birmingham||England||NEC Arena|
|1 September 1984|
|2 September 1984|
|4 September 1984||London||Wembley Arena|
|5 September 1984|
|7 September 1984|
|8 September 1984|
|10 September 1984||Dortmund||West Germany||Westfalenhallen|
|14 September 1984||Milan||Palasport di San Siro|
|15 September 1984|
|16 September 1984||Munich||West Germany||Olympiahalle|
|18 September 1984||Paris||France||Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy|
|20 September 1984||Leiden||Netherlands||Groenoordhallen|
|21 September 1984||Brussels||Belgium||Forest National|
|22 September 1984||Hanover||West Germany||Europahalle|
|24 September 1984||Berlin||Deutschlandhalle|
|26 September 1984||Frankfurt||Festhalle Frankfurt|
|27 September 1984||Stuttgart||Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle|
|29 September 1984||Vienna||Austria||Wiener Stadthalle|
|30 September 1984|
|5 October 1984||Sun City||Bophuthatswana (South Africa)||Sun City Super Bowl|
|6 October 1984|
|7 October 1984|
|12 October 1984|
|13 October 1984|
|14 October 1984|
|18 October 1984|
|19 October 1984|
|20 October 1984|
|12 January 1985||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||Cidade do Rock|
|19 January 1985|
|13 April 1985||Auckland||New Zealand||Mount Smart Stadium|
|16 April 1985||Melbourne||Australia||Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre|
|17 April 1985|
|19 April 1985|
|20 April 1985|
|25 April 1985||Sydney||Sydney Entertainment Centre|
|26 April 1985|
|28 April 1985|
|29 April 1985|
|8 May 1985||Tokyo||Japan||Nippon Budokan|
|9 May 1985|
|11 May 1985||Yoyogi National Gymnasium|
|13 May 1985||Nagoya||Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium|
|15 May 1985||Osaka||Osaka-jō Hall|
|The Works Tour|
|Europe • Oceania • Japan|
|South America • Africa|
|Concert Tours by Queen|
|Queen I Tour • Queen II Tour • Sheer Heart Attack Tour • A Night at the Opera Tour|
|Summer Gigs 1976 • A Day at the Races Tour • News of the World Tour • Jazz Tour|
|Crazy Tour • The Game Tour • Hot Space Tour • The Works Tour • The Magic Tour|