Forums > Queen - General Discussion > 4/25/1979 isn't Freddie's worst gig/vocal shape

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Posted: 24 Mar 11, 01:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

While I adore Bob's site, and the information provided, I have to disagree with him on 4/25/1979 being Freddie's worst vocal gig:

I was listening to concerts from the Japanese 1979 leg, and I heard many versions of songs that are worse than 4/25's. An example is the Bohemian Rhapsody performances. 4/23's is MUCH more strained, and has phrasing that doesn't make sense, 4/28's has some of the worst cracks ever, 4/30 is the worst version ever (complete with random note breaks, cracks, voice gives out in the middle of notes, and SQUEALING to the 6th octave), and 5/1 has this awful mono-tone voice, with notes that don't fit in the key. On 4/25, Freddie just sounds tired and weak.

Most of the worst versions of songs (from this leg), are on 4/23, 4/28, 4/30. and 5/1--not 4/25.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 06 Jun 11, 23:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree! 5/1/1979 is the WORST concert ever!

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Posted: 06 Jun 11, 23:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gregsynth wrote: While I adore Bob's site, and the information provided, I have to disagree with him on 4/25/1979 being Freddie's worst vocal gig:

I was listening to concerts from the Japanese 1979 leg, and I heard many versions of songs that are worse than 4/25's. An example is the Bohemian Rhapsody performances. 4/23's is MUCH more strained, and has phrasing that doesn't make sense, 4/28's has some of the worst cracks ever, 4/30 is the worst version ever (complete with random note breaks, cracks, voice gives out in the middle of notes, and SQUEALING to the 6th octave), and 5/1 has this awful mono-tone voice, with notes that don't fit in the key. On 4/25, Freddie just sounds tired and weak.

Most of the worst versions of songs (from this leg), are on 4/28, 4/30. and 5/1--not 4/25.

4/30 is bad but it definitely isn't the worst version ever.

Worst version ever has gotta be 4/23 and this is something completely objective. He sounds so strained that it sounds like someone raped his throat. Then to top it all off, there's all these weird notes and speak singing and the ending's gotta give you a laugh...4/30 has a couple of squeals but nothing that comes close to 4/23. For me the worst versions on the Japan 1979 leg are:

1. 4/23
2. 4/25
3. 4/14
4. 4/28
5. 4/24
6. 4/21
7. 4/30
8. 5/1
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11. 4/19

There are also some awful Live Killers versions like Berlin, Brussels, and Rotterdam 1st night which are worse than some of the Japan versions.


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 06 Jun 11, 23:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jamster1111 wrote: Gregsynth wrote: While I adore Bob's site, and the information provided, I have to disagree with him on 4/25/1979 being Freddie's worst vocal gig:

I was listening to concerts from the Japanese 1979 leg, and I heard many versions of songs that are worse than 4/25's. An example is the Bohemian Rhapsody performances. 4/23's is MUCH more strained, and has phrasing that doesn't make sense, 4/28's has some of the worst cracks ever, 4/30 is the worst version ever (complete with random note breaks, cracks, voice gives out in the middle of notes, and SQUEALING to the 6th octave), and 5/1 has this awful mono-tone voice, with notes that don't fit in the key. On 4/25, Freddie just sounds tired and weak.

Most of the worst versions of songs (from this leg), are on 4/28, 4/30. and 5/1--not 4/25.

4/30 is bad but it definitely isn't the worst version ever.

Worst version ever has gotta be 4/23. He sounds so strained that it sounds like someone raped his throat. Then to top it all off, there's all these weird notes and speak singing and the ending's gotta give you a laugh...4/30 has a couple of squeals but nothing that comes close to 4/23. For me the worst versions on the Japan 1979 leg are:

1. 4/23
2. 4/25
3. 4/14
4. 4/28
5. 4/24
6. 4/21
7. 4/30
8. 5/1
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11. 4/19

There are also some awful Live Killers versions like Berlin, Brussels, and Rotterdam 1st night which are worse than some of the Japan versions.

But as far as Freddie's weakest gig, Bob is right. At 4/25 he really hit the basement and he really could barely make it through the songs...even songs with low notes were a struggle. He doesn't even sound like Freddie there. At least as the others, especially the ones after 4/25 he has that Freddie tone but just sounds incredibly weak.


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 00:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



This is worse than any vocal performance from 4/25. Least on 4/25 he's ON KEY.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 00:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

4/23 is the worst "vocal" version of the song.
4/30 is the worst "band" version of the song.

My order for the "vocal" versions (worst to least worst)

1. 4/23
2. 4/28
3. 4/25
4. 4/30
5. 4/14
6. 5/1
7. 4/24
8. 4/21
9. 5/6
10. 4/20
11. 4/19

That's only Freddie's vocals.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 00:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jamster1111 wrote:

But as far as Freddie's weakest gig, Bob is right. At 4/25 he really hit the basement and he really could barely make it through the songs...even songs with low notes were a struggle. He doesn't even sound like Freddie there. At least as the others, especially the ones after 4/25 he has that Freddie tone but just sounds incredibly weak.
=====================

4/23 he sounds worse (tone is shot), and 4/28 through 5/1 have much worse phrasing and his intonation is far worse.

Just because his range hit the basement doesn't make it the worst. Least at 4/25 he stays ON KEY (mostly), and mostly stays in ranges he can hit. He tries to hit higher notes on the later gigs, and often fails (or hits multiple notes).

The later gigs (and 4/23) are technically worse.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 10:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gregsynth wrote: 4/23 is the worst "vocal" version of the song.
4/30 is the worst "band" version of the song.

My order for the "vocal" versions (worst to least worst)

1. 4/23
2. 4/28
3. 4/25
4. 4/30
5. 4/14
6. 5/1
7. 4/24
8. 4/21
9. 5/6
10. 4/20
11. 4/19

That's only Freddie's vocals.
Ok to compromise here's an updates version of my list.

1. 4/23
2. 4/14
3. 4/25
4. 4/28
5. 4/30
6. 4/24
7. 4/21
8. 5/1
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11. 4/19


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 13:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

4/14 needs to move down like 5 spots.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 13:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

After listening some more I've concluded that 4/21 is actually the second worst there's cracks galore, wrong notes, voice gives out, off rhythm...so it goes like this:

1. 4/23
2. 4/21
3. 4/14
4. 4/25
5. 4/28
6. 4/30
7. 4/24
8. 5/1
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11.  4/19


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 14:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jamster1111 wrote: After listening some more I've concluded that 4/21 is actually the second worst there's cracks galore, wrong notes, voice gives out, off rhythm...so it goes like this:

1. 4/23
2. 4/21
3. 4/14
4. 4/25
5. 4/28
6. 4/30
7. 4/24
8. 5/1
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11.  4/19
=========================

There's no way 4/14 is worse than 4/25 or the other versions. You're just putting that there because he's unstable--but that's not enough to put it that high:

This is more accurate:

1. 4/23
2. 4/21
3. 4/25
4. 4/28
5. 4/30
6. 5/1
7. 4/24
8. 4/14
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11. 4/19

5/1 is the borderline version (separating the "better" and "worst" versions). Every version above 5/1 has stuff worse, every version below 5/1 has some "better" stuff.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gregsynth wrote:

There's no way 4/14 is worse than 4/25 or the other versions. You're just putting that there because he's unstable--but that's not enough to put it that high:

This is more accurate:

1. 4/23
2. 4/21
3. 4/25
4. 4/28
5. 4/30
6. 5/1
7. 4/24
8. 4/14
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11. 4/19

5/1 is the borderline version (separating the "better" and "worst" versions). Every version above 5/1 has stuff worse, every version below 5/1 has some "better" stuff.
Ok that is probably the most accurate list i've seen. But I would just put 4/14 above 4/24 and that's it.


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 17:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

1. 4/23
2. 4/21
3. 4/25
4. 4/28
5. 4/30
6. 5/1
7. 4/14
8. 4/24
9. 4/20
10. 5/6
11. 4/19

I was debating 4/14 and 4/24 for awhile (couldn't decide)! But I think that list is the most accurate now (until we either get more recordings, or more opinions!


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 17:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Going off the topic name, we can add these songs for being worse than at 4/25.

Sheer Heart Attack (5/1/1979)
Teo Torriatte (4/28/1979)
Get Down Make Love (5/1/1979)
We Will Rock You (5/1/1979)
We Are The Champions (5/1/1979)
'39 (4/23/1979)
Don't Stop Me Now (4/28/1979)
It's Late (4/23/1979)
Somebody To Love (5/1/1979)
Bicycle Race (4/23/1979)
Tie Your Mother Down (5/1/1979)

These are probably the worst versions I've heard on the tour.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 17:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gregsynth wrote: Going off the topic name, we can add these songs for being worse than at 4/25.

Sheer Heart Attack (5/1/1979)
Teo Torriatte (4/28/1979)
Get Down Make Love (5/1/1979)
We Will Rock You (5/1/1979)
We Are The Champions (5/1/1979)
'39 (4/23/1979)
Don't Stop Me Now (4/28/1979)
It's Late (4/23/1979)
Somebody To Love (5/1/1979)
Bicycle Race (4/23/1979)
Tie Your Mother Down (5/1/1979)

These are probably the worst versions I've heard on the tour.
Let me add to that Synth :)

Killer Queen (5/2/1979) - worst version ever
Love of my Life (4/23/1979) - though they didn't play it at 4/25, this version was probably the worst
Death on Two Legs (4/21/1979) - comes close to 5/1's. 
We Will Rock You Regular (4/14/1979) - Worst version ever because it's the only one on the leg where he attempts to get an A4 and squeals.


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 07 Jun 11, 18:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jamster1111 wrote:

Killer Queen (5/2/1979) - worst version ever
Love of my Life (4/23/1979) - though they didn't play it at 4/25, this version was probably the worst
Death on Two Legs (4/21/1979) - comes close to 5/1's. 
We Will Rock You Regular (4/14/1979) - Worst version ever because it's the only one on the leg where he attempts to get an A4 and squeals.
==================

Yeah, that Killer Queen is quite the version! 5/1 is also bad (though 5/2 is actually worse--I can't even believe it). For Love Of My Life, the version's cut--I want to hear the full version!


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 09 Jun 11, 01:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

4/21's Boh Rhap is dreadful!

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Posted: 09 Jun 11, 02:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh boy...

This Japanese part of the Jazz-tour in 1979 must have been the collection of worst ever performances Freddie gave.

It's unbelievable they actually went for that tour as his voice is so out of order that it should clearly have been cancelled alltogehter.

And a couple of months after this tour starts the best live-vocal period of his life. How weird is that?

I think he had just found the cigarettes, cocaine and big partying at this stage and overdid it in Europe, thus wrecking his voice for Japan... :-(


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Posted: 09 Jun 11, 03:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Quote: It's unbelievable they actually went for that tour as his voice is so out of order that it should clearly have been cancelled alltogehter.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
The financial pressure is enormous when bands go on tour. To cancel a show or even a sold out tour is the worst case for any artist. You have no idea how many shows actually see ill musicians taking the stage. "The show must go on" is the rule....

You will find tours with bad performances with many artists. For example U2. They once had three sold out shows in Dortmund around "Rattle and Hum". Fans from all over the world at that time had to travel to Dortmund to buy the tickets exclusively there and nowhere else - months before.
And when the event was there Bono had lost his voice. They played the shows with very little singing of him, long instrumental parts and exactly after 60 Minutes they said goodbye.......since then I never ever went to see them again.

But in comparison Freddie tried to play full shows in Japan and you should ask the people who were there, what they think. An audience tape may just sound terrible, but does not give the full picture. And even when the singing results sound poor he may have worked harder there than in many other shows that people here rate as his best....

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Posted: 09 Jun 11, 13:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Exactly.  Which is why I don't ever want to label the Japan 79 shows as poor.  There are so many more elements in what make a great show - but most of them don't translate to these audience recordings.

4-25-79 may have been his worst gig ever, but not because of his voice.  Maybe he gave up overall and let it affect his showmanship.  But judging by the video, it's unlikely.  And I'm sure that goes for the other shows on the tour when his voice was ailing.


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