I've been listening carefully to this bootleg and I wanted to share some views on it.
Few days ago, I started out a topic asking whether Freddie had tried to sing a certain verse of Under Pressure (these are the days it never rains but it pours)in falsetto again, as he did it in the Montreal gig beautifully.
I liked also the spin he added to the line much, much later, in a concert broadcasted by a German radio station. He replaced the falsetto for a cry full of drama and fragility. It was, again, fantastic and suited the verse just fine.
Well, but does Freddie ever stops? No! He's like these modern HDTVs that display the whole gamut of shades of a certain color. He does afford to copiously address the verse and convey its various plausible meanings.
In Drammen 82 bootleg, if you ever care to get to the track 14 of the first part, you'll notice that he doesn't sing the verse at all. Don't get me wrong, it's not that he lefts blank spaces there - he says the line, he speaks it as if he were uncomplaining, resigned with the whole situation. "Yes, these are the days it never rains but it pours, and so what? That's just the way it is". That's how the verse feels like in the bootleg. It was a minimalist approach to the line - who could ever exepct such a thing from Freddie...!????? He's great.
That's just to say that Freddie was indeed a huge talent. All the talk about range is just twaddle: fact is that he knew how to make the whole song, and each line, meaningful and in accordance with the song's basic structure.
I guess Taylor was being facetious about playing Under Pressure live badly. Taylor, I noticed, is often too much worried about the pitch asymmetry between the studio recordings and the live performances. Pitch is just one aspect of the song - there's much more aspects to it other than pitch.
Freddie rarely sings out of tune, even when he's wasted, as it's clearly the case in this bootleg: he must have had a hell of a night the day before the concert! His voice may even fail and show clear signs of waste, and he's always sung at least two octaves lower than the studio recordings, but he rarely goes out of tune. Most importantly, since Queen was a band which did a lot of concerts and Freddie didn't live exactly a healthy life, Freddie did tend to get wasted about the middle of the concert from the 80's on, but he used the waste to his advantage, that is, to create drama and he knew quite well how to hide it with a lot of clever techniques.
The more I listen to Queen, the more I'm convinced that Freddie was off the spectrum as a popular rock'n'roll singer. There's hardly anyone who has ever come close to what he's able to do on stage. Maybe Mick Jagger nowadays, but that's it.
Anyway, thank you very much for sharing the bootleg!!! I loved it and it's a hell of a document about Queen's live performances. I'd like to comment more on it but people realize that Queen was in very bad shape that night. Freddie was good, as usual, because he was the one who knew how to take the waste of his voice and his occasional failures to his advantage, but the band is really awful. John is great, but Taylor and Brian really ruined the concert. Harmonizing vocals live is a problem for Taylor: after years playing with Freddie, he just wouldn't go along with Freddie's more conservative register. He takes some very high notes while Freddie is singing three octaves lower and the result is ugly.
Now Taylor speaks about "how talented" Freddie was. It took Freddie's death for him to say it, I guess.