Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Houston 77...!?

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Yara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 17 Jan 08, 20:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I guess here is the right place for me to discover what's the deal with this concert. If time allows, and anyone is patient enough to explain such things for a newbie like me, I'll be greatful. I'm already grateful for being so kindly welcomed in the community, in fact. So, here's the thing:

What's all the problem surrouding this concert? There's so much discussing about it. I admit to never having listened to it, I guess(?)... (it's from 1977, isn't it?) and, really, I knew people in the past who came across with bootlegs of "Houston 1977", I heard some songs in a party I attended some time ago and...frankly, what's all the fuss about this concert? I remember liking two songs and the other 4 were quite bad, Freddie's voice was failing and cracking sistematically, it was really an off-putting recording.

Did I listen to the real thing? The recording was so sharp (the frequency was way up) that you couldn't even turn the volume up without hurting your ears.

I have always been puzzled by this because I know people who'd make a tatoo of this concert on their arms. lol

Was it oficially released anywhere in the world? I'm confused!

Help me, Quenn fans!


Yara
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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 04:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Yara!

Well, it must be something else you have heard, because the Houston'77 I know has a superp quality. The concert itself was around for years, while the audio (video feed) was excellent, the picture was not. Annoying stripes, wrong colors..the reasons have been discussed many times. Last year Queenzoner pow wow shared a second generation copy of his VHS tape , so finally we all have a clean&crisp Houston'77 now :-)
What makes this concert so special? Well, a complete pro-shot of a 70's Queen concert in excellent quality IS something special, besides that, the band laid down a blistering performance. Only Brian had bad luck that night, he blows the solo in "Somebody to Love" and broke a string in "Liar", but the overall performance is just great. I highly recommend you to download that concert:
http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=1029072
This one still have lossy audio, but a lossless synched version is in the making....


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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 05:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello Yara! I'm glad to see you have a new topic. I look forward to hearing your full review of Houston once you've acquired a good copy.
Don't forget the marvellous musical union of the band during 'The Millionaire Waltz' between 1.53-2.09
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh7hwAo8L68



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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 09:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you all!! I think I'll take some more time to download it because, believe it or not, I'm listening to Stockholm 1982, about the time my computer was fabricated, I guess. lol

Many thanks for the answers!

I really didn't know that the whole concert had been filmed. Well, that makes it really special, no doubt. I'll look out for it later.

Well, now reading your answers, it's quite possible that I didn't hear a good copy of it or it wasn't this concert at all!

I'm so late in the wagon. I say I'm still listening to Stockholm 1982, but, in fact, I have been listening to "Let me show in" (Milan, 1984) for almost a year since I got it and I couldn't get "rid" of it yet. I find myself constantly returning to this bootleg. lol

I'm as sluggish as my computer, I guess. :)

Many thanks again!



Yara
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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 10:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You're right Yara, in the Houston show there are a few moments where the band are a bit sloppy, but overall, it's still a fantastic document of Queen live, if only for the sound quality. It's a perfectly clean mono video feed.



"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 11:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara wrote:


I have been listening to "Let me show in" (Milan, 1984) for almost a year since I got it and I couldn't get "rid" of it yet. I find myself constantly returning to this bootleg. lol


It's a great boot for shure, but get this version shared by SirGH ^, much much better soundquality:
http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=1028673

Greetings,
Olli

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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 13:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Yara,

if you get hooked on Queen by listening to a 1984 concert, maybe you should be careful what show you listen to (or watch) next ;-)

I strongly recommend a handful of concerts, all easily available for free here on QZ or maybe at some other sites:

26.12.1979 London, Hammersmith Odeon (Concert for Kampuchea) – this is available on video in 2 or 3 versions, the longest one is still incomplete, but it's nonetheless a breathtaking show. There's a complete audio recording in excellent quality. A must have!!

13.4.1978 Kopenhagen – great sound, great performance, all in all a fantastic concert!

1.5.1975 Tokyo – one of the best shows ever, simply fantastic sound and performance.

20.3.1981 Sao Paulo – great show, a video exists also.

Get them all!



... I'll be back again before it's time for sunny-down ...
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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 13:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara, I think you should definetely download a better quality version of this show than the one you have. That may be what is spoiling your enjoyment of that show. In my opinion the performance is very good indeed - maybe even one of the best from that period. Sure Brian makes a couple of mistakes but that doesnt even detract from the show for me either. He more than makes up for it during the shortened version of Brighton Rock, like I stated in my other thread recently.


"Normally i can't dance to save my life.

But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 14:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

saltnvinegar wrote:

Hello Yara! I'm glad to see you have a new topic. I look forward to hearing your full review of Houston once you've acquired a good copy.
Don't forget the marvellous musical union of the band during 'The Millionaire Waltz' between 1.53-2.09
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh7hwAo8L68



I'll second all of that.Houston 77 is brilliant,mistakes an' all.


Memories my memories

How long can you stay

to haunt my days.
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Posted: 18 Jan 08, 23:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I can hardly add something of interest to those who either like or dislike the concert! I can just express my feelings about the songs and what kind of impact they had on me, that's all...! Nothing worth paying too much attention to, I guess. Just an informal talk to have some fun and learn more about Queen. : -)

I listened, very carefully, to one song: "Tie your mother down".

1) Brian is making noise. He's not playing the riff - you can barely distinguish a chord from the other and he fails to break the chords and do the necessary cadenzas to follow John's steps who, judging from this song, was really on fire that evening.

John is great throughout: he does his bass lines and keeps the quite brisk excecuted bars going while affording to do jazz-like improvisations and deviating from the strict rythm to do some interesting variations or little solos when Taylor allows him to.

John&Taylor are good as a duet here. They are the secret behind the song's appeal. You can listen to it thousands of times, you're unlikelly to notice any significant asymmetry between them: they match each other's playing very well and apart from keeping the rythm tight throughout the whole song, Taylor allows John some freedom to do interesting variations, progressions and little solos.

Brian is stubborn in this song. When it comes to soloing, he makes noise most of the time and, in fact, if you pay attention to John, he's the one doing some kind of recognizable solo there while trying to keep the rythm with Taylor. Brian here fails miserably when it's time to do his solo: he's lacking ideas, he plays noisy chords which are outstretched and take too many beats of the bar without adding nothing interesting, so you can't avoid...paying attention to John!

In my most humble opinion, Brian should have broken some chords and done much more arpeggios to match John's quite sophisticated approach to the song. He could have kept the rock n roll going in full swing without compromising the creativity. There are whole bars during which he lacks ideas or, you know, just do what he's supposed to do in a very conservative way.

2) I don't know whether you agree with me, but one of the most interesting features of Tie Your Mother Down is, of course, the harmonizing vocals in the two lines full of long notes "give me all your love tonight"/"Or you ain't no friend of mine" just after a lot of stacatto-like singing: the reiteration of "tie your mother down" in shorter and shorter notes, very distinct from each other.

They fail. You can barely listen to anything. You listen to Taylor taking the highest step and that's it, the rest is all blurred and, in fact, Taylor should not stand out so much as to destroy the whole harmony.

Caveat: it could be, however, that most of the problems with the vocal harmonization are related to the fact that the concert was recorded in mono.

Freddie's voice is wasted. Not only wasted, but strangely thin, frail and sharp. It's so frail that you fear for the coming of each line, you don't want him to spoil his muscles, it seems he'll tear apart like a crystall. By the time he gets to Bohemian, as I'll try to discuss later if people are still interested in it, his voice cracks and fails throughout the whole song and the grand finale is clearly disastrous. I think, only speculation, that Freddie didn't work out some time before the concert all the muscles involved in singing as he should have done and really did in a lot of occasions.

Of course, I still have to listen to the other songs, but these two - quite important songs - are really unpleasant to listen to.







Yara
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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 04:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like reading your reviews, but why do you call the guys John, Brian and TAYLOR ? I would understand "John Brian and Roger" or "Deacon, May and Taylor", but why "John, Brian and Taylor" ?

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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 04:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Stunning review Yara! You have high expections about Queen on stage..so defenetly avoid the Tokyo 04-24-79 Video ,where Freddie's Voice is completly wasted!

I'm not good in writing reviews, but Houston is John's night! Like the beginning of "Get Down.."..is this John slapping????

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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 06:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Cygnus X-1 wrote:

Stunning review Yara! You have high expections about Queen on stage..so defenetly avoid the Tokyo 04-24-79 Video ,where Freddie's Voice is completly wasted!

I'm not good in writing reviews, but Houston is John's night! Like the beginning of "Get Down.."..is this John slapping????

You mean Tokyo 04-25-79 ?

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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 08:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pittrek wrote:

I like reading your reviews, but why do you call the guys John, Brian and TAYLOR ? I would understand "John Brian and Roger" or "Deacon, May and Taylor", but why "John, Brian and Taylor" ?


lol

The worst of all, is that there's a "why". There's a reason, yes! Freddie, John, Brian and...Taylor, because he's the man behind the scenes who's actually making much of the show happen. So I use his surname instead of the first one, just to make fun. lol I think he'd like it himself: "Are you there, Roger?" "I think I am, I think it's me...", one hears him saying to Brian in the their comments on the Montreal gig. lol

Sorry.


Yara
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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 08:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Cygnus X-1 wrote:

Stunning review Yara! You have high expections about Queen on stage..so defenetly avoid the Tokyo 04-24-79 Video ,where Freddie's Voice is completly wasted!

I'm not good in writing reviews, but Houston is John's night! Like the beginning of "Get Down.."..is this John slapping????


Many thanks for the kind words!!!! It's just how I feel about it, that's it! IT DOESN'T QUALIFY AS A REVIEW, PLEASE!!!! I'm no musical expert.

You know, it's funny to read that "Houston is John's night" because that's also what I felt listening to these two songs. So maybe I'm no sooooooo weeeeird....hahahaha. You agree with me on this, at least. I liked John's performance in the two songs. : -)

Why am I derranged? I like when things go wrong, I love "Let me show in" - concert in Milan, I guess...1984!? - (the...works tour, isn't it the worst of all?)and am in fact still listening to it. That's the major reason why I didn't make many downloads here yet.

And, by the way, that Stockholm 1982 bootleg, believe it or not, has tightened its grips on me!!!

I'd really like to THANK YOU ALL for sharing views in a such good atmosphere, for kindly welcoming me and I'd also like to thank those who upoloaded the Stockholm 1982 bootleg which has been really instructive and entertaining to me.


Yara
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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 12:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pittrek wrote:

Cygnus X-1 wrote:

Stunning review Yara! You have high expections about Queen on stage..so defenetly avoid the Tokyo 04-24-79 Video ,where Freddie's Voice is completly wasted!

I'm not good in writing reviews, but Houston is John's night! Like the beginning of "Get Down.."..is this John slapping????

You mean Tokyo 04-25-79 ?


I mean the 30min. Video from Tokyo'79. I got it labelted as 04-24-79, so it is from 25th?

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Posted: 19 Jan 08, 18:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Houston '77.....I remember sneaking in my little mini-cassette player to Cleveland at the first 'official' North American convention to tape the audio of the gig. And all of us being mesmerized at the video. And then making copies for friends.

Good grief, we were desperate to hear this.

That's why it is still held in high esteem. Plus that, it's a USA concert.

Now it's out for all to hear and see. Wish they'd add some crowd noise to it, polish it up a bit, and release it officially in full form (no bits and pieces by DoRo please).

And Freddie during his 'change', from glam rock to the leather side. A great concert.



"Ladies and gentlemen... I guess that takes in most of you..." Groucho Marx, 'A Night at the Opera'



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Posted: 21 Jan 08, 02:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Cygnus X-1 wrote:

pittrek wrote:

Cygnus X-1 wrote:

Stunning review Yara! You have high expections about Queen on stage..so defenetly avoid the Tokyo 04-24-79 Video ,where Freddie's Voice is completly wasted!

I'm not good in writing reviews, but Houston is John's night! Like the beginning of "Get Down.."..is this John slapping????

You mean Tokyo 04-25-79 ?


I mean the 30min. Video from Tokyo'79. I got it labelted as 04-24-79, so it is from 25th?

Yes, it's indeed from the 25th.