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Posted: 04 Sep 12, 14:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Manchester Magic (Wardour-102)
Maine Road, Manchester, England – July 16th, 1986
Disc 1 (61:17):  One Vision, Tie
Your Mother Down, In The Lap Of The Gods … Revisited, Seven Seas Of
Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Another One Bites The
Dust, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free, Impromptu,
Guitar Solo, Now I’m Here, Love Of My Life
Disc 2 (41:31):  Is This The
World We Created?, You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care), Hello Mary Lou,
Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing
Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We
Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
Disc 3 (56:39):  One
Vision, Tie Your Mother Down, In The Lap Of The Gods … Revisited, Seven
Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Another One
Bites The Dust, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free,
Impromptu, Guitar Solo, Now I’m Here, Love Of My Life
Disc 4 (46:27):  Is This
The World We Created?, You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care), Hello Mary
Lou, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little
Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be
Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen 
Queen’s final tour hit an emotional and commercial peak with two sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium
in London.  Four days later they played what was originally scheduled
to be their final gig in the UK on July 16th in Manchester in Maine
Stadium, “The “Wembley Of The North” years before it was demolished in
2003.  
That didn’t pan out when a final gig was scheduled for Knebworth in August.
Manchester is one of the most
well documented of the UK gigs.  Three audience tapes plus amateur-shot
video all exist and have been released before in the past.  The  most
high profile release is Trick Master on the CDR label Trial, a four CDR set with two audience sources and a DVDR with the video.
Manchester Magic is similar two
the old Trial title.  It also presents two audience reocrdings.  The
first two discs cover the so-called “Rubble” tape.  It is a clear and
dynamic stereo recording with multiple comments from audience members to
lend “atmosphere” to the gig.  Discs three and four contain a second
recording that is clear but distant and dry.  
I’m never sure exactly what is gained when two tape sources are presented in toto in
one title.  This could have been a nice two disc title with the first
tape source only.  This is the one that collectors will pop into the
player when the want a fill of Manchester magic.  
Before a capacity 35,000, Belouis Some (who had a minor hit that year with “Round, Round” from the Pretty In Pink
soundtrack) and Status Quo opened the show before Queen hits the stage
with “One Vision” and its segue into “Tie Your Mother Down.”  
Freddie yells “Hello everybody!
 Is it happening???”  With the already rowdy Manchester crowd riled up,
he exaggerates the tempo to the beginning lines of “In The Lap Of The
Gods…Revisited,” offering a melodramatic spin to the already maudlin
piece.  The Sheer Heart Attack tune melts perfectly into “Seven Seas Of Rhye,” one of his more demanding songs.   
Freddie’s voice sounds very weak
and painful to listen to in the two Wembley shows.  But the four day
break was a great benefit to the singer and he gives perhaps his best
vocal performance of all the UK gigs.  
The two boogie numbers, “Under
Pressure” and “Another One Bites The Dust” get the audience
so rambunctious that they start singing a football chant while Freddie
is introducing “Who Wants To Live Forever?”  He scolds them ”This is not
a picnic!” 

Brian May’s guitar solo lasts over seven minutes before seguing into “Now I’m Here.”
The Manchester crowd behave
themselves during the long acoustic section of the show, singing along
with “Love Of My Life” and humming to “Is This The World We Created?”
 The classics end with Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.”  The band are
joined by Spike Edney on piano and Nicci Gable.  She was a minor star
who sang back up to Belouis Some that time.
Before the
final song of the night “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” someone in the
audience sounds an air horn.  Deacon duplicates the sound on the bass
right before Freddie plays the opening notes.  

The
encore set with “Radio Ga Ga,” “We Will Rock You,” “Friends Will Be
Friends” and “We Are The Champions” also move the audience close to
tears.  Everyone in the stadium (it seems) sing the words to “God Save
The Queen” as the band are waving goodbye to the crowd.  So ends the
band’s final show in Manchester with Freddie.  
Manchester Magic is
packaged in a fatboy quad jewel case with Wardour’s expected tasteful
graphic design.  There are the usual Magic Tour photos including
an interesting fish eye view from behind the stage in the middle.
 Although this could have worked as a two-disc set, this is still a nice
production worth having.

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