Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Queen live at Wembley ; the best live album in the world ever!

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Bigfish user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Mar 09, 09:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi,

I was a bit surprised about this to put it politely.

As a first generation Queen fan i.e; I grew up with their music in the 70's and saw them 3 times in the 80's, I have to say that Queen were a brilliant live act. Their stage shows were always second to none and a Queen show was always an event and not another night on the tour. However I always say that you had to be there. In isolation, a Queen live album is not even half the experience. You had to feel the energy and excitement of the show, be there to feel that rapport with Fred when he led the audience or feel the affection of the audience as Brian stepped forward for a solo.

The Band above all understood this. Understood that the show was multi-dimentional and that, of course, they could not hope to reproduce on stage the multi-layered, complex and incredible quality of their studio perfection. How typical, then, of them to leave them to leave the stage during the Opera section of 'Rhapsody' in the knowledge that they could not hope to do it justice with just four people on stage.

With all this in mind; my conclusion is that Queen were never at their best in the isolation of a recorded live performance. Many other bands; The Who, Thin Lizzy to name but two, have recorded seminal live albums. Queen, in my humble opinion, did not. THeir considerable contribution lay elsewhere. In the incredible body of work they recorded, particularly the 70's albums and the EXPERIENCE of their live shows.  

Ultimately, Live at Wembley isn't even QUEEN's best live album let alone the best live album of all time. I was at the show all those years ago and it was wonderful but when re-living it on CD or DVD you begin to notice that Fred's voice was far from it's best, Brain's playing was a little patchy as were Roger's drums and the overall sound of the show seems a little below quality. Added to that there are some quite obvious vocal overdubs, particularly during 'One Vision'. It was a marvellous event but, like I said, you had to be there and 'Rock Montreal', 'Live at the Bowl' and even 'Live Killers' are all vastly superior.


Big Fish
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Posted: 25 Mar 09, 20:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My quick two cents:

Half the Queen live experience, as you put it, is at least as good, if not better than most of the other bands you mention there, and I like the Who, and think Lizzy's Live and Dangerous is awesome. That said, I genuinely think On Fire at the Bowl generally rivals, and in places betters ANY live album - its a great and energetic performance by all four of the band, and has a long, varied and relatively interesting setlist - what more do you want? Rock Montreal, although not really that exciting a live release to everyone who had it four times or more already from previous releases, is also fantastic in places.
Live at Wembley is a decent Magic tour document, but I agree its not THAT brilliant as live albums go, and I think subsequent releases like those I've mentioned have greatly surpassed it. It was the scale and importance of that show which has secured its place as the foremost Queen live album, plus the fact it has elements of both Greatest Hits sets.

The likes of the Who, whilst awesome, didnt have to worry to anywhere near the same level as Queen about reproducing their sound live, as Queen went to some real extremes in adding layers and complexities not found on a Thin Lizzy album etc. Instead Queen opted to play slightly different, scaled down arrangements of their tunes, which if you ask me were often just as good as, and sometimes better than the recorded versions - e.g. Love Of My Life - I love the acoustic guitar live version.


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thunderbolt 31742 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 25 Mar 09, 21:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Upon seeing this topic, my immediate reaction was "You haven't heard too many live albums, have you?"

Wembley was a great show from an atmosphere point-of-view, but if you take that away and focus on the band's performance, it certainly had its shortcomings--almost certainly because the band let their nerves get to them.



"Do you think I should keep this mustache? Did you say no? F--- off."
Bigfish user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 26 Mar 09, 05:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Very unlikely that the quality of the show had much to do with nerves. They played live Aid the year before infront of a non partizan audience and the whole world on TV and delivered brilliantly. 
I was at wembley in '86 - about 20 metres from the stage. they seemed pretty chilled to me.


Big Fish
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Posted: 26 Mar 09, 08:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



Bigfish wrote:



Very unlikely that the quality of the show had much to do with nerves. They played live Aid the year before infront of a non partizan audience and the whole world on TV and delivered brilliantly. 
I was at wembley in '86 - about 20 metres from the stage. they seemed pretty chilled to me. 


Great! It's wonderful to have this kind of input. Thanks a lot. Needless to say that my jealousy and envy for the fact that you have been there hurt me: I wish I had been to any of their gigs with Freddie! Only once. But I can't complain too much, because I got to see the guys here last year and it was so beautiful and great, it was magical. Brian is such a wonderful, tender and dedicated human being apart from an exceptional musician. Great, great!
 
Well, I don't think that Queen's performance at Wembley is bad - no, by no means. It's overall a great gig. Musically and technically-wise, it's vastly superior to any Who live release - any. It's enough to say that while Freddie had an absolutely powerful voice and fine tuning, Roger Daltrey could hardly stay in tune and had a very cracking, weak voice - even their most celebrated release, the one in Leeds, is unbearable, apart from some songs, such as their cover of Summertime Blues, cause Pete Townshend does deliver there, including the vocals. Keith is not playing very well there and, by his standards, and he was quite a good drummer, it was a kind of off-night. Roger is doing fine at Wembley - in fact, Roger's drumming during the 80's with Queen is nothing short of brilliant at times, and this is one of the reasons why they sound so good, for instance, in Live Aid.

I absolutely agree with you about Live Aid. It's hard to exaggerate the sheer brilliance of that performance. It's not overated by any means: that was simply a blistering performance, and the guys were playful throughout and really got the audience going, the nerves didn't get the best out of them, it's true.

There are downsides to Wembley 86, no doubt, I think especially Brian could have done better in some key songs, like One Vision, but Freddie is great, joyful, sounding good, powerful and with a very fine tuning. They deliver a beautiful rendition of Under Pressure there, Freddie and Roger's vocals are great, and Freddie adds such a dramatic spin to the verses that it makes it really a special moment in the concert - and I'm not, let's say, a fan of Queen live performances of Under Pressure, but there Freddie really took the song to its dramatic potential.

In terms of showmanship, well, it's such a great gig. It's beautiful, fun, it's been watched over time by hundred thousand people from all over the world, to the point of making Wembley '86 a kind of trademark for Queen: it's like a logo, so successfull it was in promoting the band over time. It became a logo, a symbol of the band.

See, there's much to discuss about these things. Of course one can always make the point for another live performance, because there as great live albums as one could wish. But by no means I think it's unfair, absurd or out of place to place Wembley among the very best - "better" here meaning technical proficiency, showmanship, the sound and visual effects, and its popularity not only as sound, but also as image, which is important, and how it was spread all over the world and helped make Queen one of the most popular bands ever.

And Live Aid, yes, is just brilliant, I agree.

It's always good to see this, isn't it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfYcKNqQoJo

Roger drumming is just ridiculous and Freddie's vocals...well. Isn't 2:22- 2:39...cute? :))) It's so brilliant: the tuning, the choice and color of the notes, the power to deliver and sustain it, the poignant melodic take on the verses, the charisma...it's so damn beautiful.

Yeaahrow! Queen!






Yara
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Posted: 27 Mar 09, 15:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

In terms of sound production (not performances!) "Queen On Fire" and "Return of the Champions" are many times better, but I guess "Live at Wembley" wins on grounds of popularity.

Anyways, I'm glad the guys won. I got everyone I know voting for them :-D

V.




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Bigfish user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Apr 09, 08:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Big....it's big here,

Don't think Queen were or have ever been a forgotten band since their inception.

Them being a living breathing entity creating new and exciting music is a different question altogether and probably an extremely well trodden one on these pages.

I'll just say this; from 74 to 78 they made 5 of the best albums by ANYBODY and by that definition they were prolific AND brilliant. They then spent the best part of the 80's taking the music to the planet with a brilliant live show.

Hope this helps..

B.


Big Fish
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Posted: 10 Apr 09, 05:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

tra lalalalaalaaa..Queen the best,Freddie everlasting ...vow


aiza
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Posted: 13 Apr 09, 08:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



fmarsong wrote:

tra lalalalaalaaa..Queen the best,Freddie everlasting ...vow


Did you just call my name :D






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Posted: 17 Apr 09, 18:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Live"????

Was get yer ya ya's out second?