Forums > Sharing The Music - Announce > 1978.05.13 London - 40th anniversary edition

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The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
The Real Wizard
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Posted: 22 May 18, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen
London, England
Empire Pool
May 13, 1978


The 40th anniversary of this show has just recently passed, and this particular version of it wouldn't have been possible even a week ago. It is compiled from 4 versions of the same audience tape. And there is a hell of a tale to go along with it.

It's an average sounding recording of an excellent performance, the last night of the News Of The World tour. For decades, the only copies to circulate were missing the first two songs and the last ~45 minutes of the show (cutting out part way through Brian May's guitar solo). But now the latter segment sees the light of day for the first time.

Now how did this happen?

Sometimes people just find old tapes in their attic and happily circulate them with the best of intentions, or give them to a well-meaning person to transfer to digital and then post online.

This tale is anything but.

There was a group of hardcore Queen fans called the "Royal Family" who followed the band around the world to most of their shows for years. They sometimes taped the shows, and most of their recordings have remained uncirculated. But recently, someone from the group anonymously went rogue and started letting out the recordings, beginning with Liverpool 79 last year, and continuing now with several tapes from 1978. This person opened up and told stories about the culture within that tightly knit group of fans. While doing one's best not to engage in any character assassination, this person had some pretty lurid stories to tell about their cliquiness, as well as a competitive nature in recording the concerts. That competitiveness got so extreme to the point that they began to steal and destroy each other's tapes that weren't deemed "good enough" quality, while the tapes that did manage to pass the litmus test would then circulate amongst a limited circle of people, usually with any number of adjustments purposely done to the content in order to keep the best versions for themselves. This apparently led to a lot of in-fighting, and people eventually defecting from the group.

The fact that this version of this show comes from four different copies, all of which have seen some sort of quality degradation (far beyond simple tape generation, as I will explain below) and have missing songs in one place or another, attests to this first hand account.


The content (which is exactly as I received it):

The guitar solo is assembled from three different copies, all of which are cut in different places (and it's entirely missing on one of the copies). Brian plays bits of Three Blind Mice and Frere Jacques as he sometimes did in this period, and the sound quality of each segment fluctuates because of the source changes (make of this what you will). The last couple minutes of his solo and the lead-in to The Prophet's Song (reprise) as heard here are the best indication of how nice the uncut master must sound.

Liar has been snipped part way through (just after Freddie holds out the mic to let some audience members sing/shout the parts), with an artificial reverb/delay added to the spot where it cuts out, making it impossible to know what kind of cut it is. And all of the remaining edits on all of these sources have fade-outs while the tape hiss remains, which indicates that every one of the edits was consciously done after the fact, and with analog gear. Yet another indication of zero transparency from whoever initially let these tapes out.

A brief moment of audience cheering at the beginning of Bohemian Rhapsody has been made considerably louder (probably as a watermark, which was a common tactic with some tape traders back in the day who wanted to keep track of who was circulating their copies, as they ultimately didn't trust their recipients even though they were "friends"). Two of the four copies of the show contain this segment, and the inferior of the two doesn't have this volume fluctuation, proving that the adjustment was indeed intentional.


Source info:

* the oldest known transfer of the familiar bulk of the show, in mono sound

** transferred decently, but reduced to mono (the last 9 songs have less bottom end, and are slightly distorted at times)

*** common transfer of the bulk of the show (stereo, but with more tape hiss, and a bit overblown with occasional bass distortion in one channel)

**** stereo but quite an overblown transfer, and it becomes more and more overblown as the show progresses (also, one channel is muffled)


All I did was speed correct the tape wherever necessary, and did seamless cross-fades between the different copies. All four copies should should look something like this:

AUD > Cassette (x) > WAV (GoldWave speed correction and edits) > FLAC level 8


The performance:

Mercury's voice is in excellent shape, and the band are very tight at the end of the tour, with plenty of highlights throughout the show, including a special addition of White Queen for the last night's sake (also its final live appearance). Tonight also sees the final performances of many of the Opera, Races, and News Of The World songs (Mercury absolutely slays in White Man).

This is one of the earliest tapes of Love Of My Life with the singalong. At this stage it's still pretty raw and fresh for the band and audience alike.

This may well be the best live performance of Bohemian Rhapsody from the 1970s.

Jailhouse Rock is more of a 12 bar blues jam than the song proper. They were probably tiring of playing it every night for 8 years by this point, and they finally did drop it after this show.

This is the first time the band closed with We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. They almost trainwreck the end of the former!


It's pretty unfortunate that this entire recording has the fingerprints of people who have intentionally destroyed a tape of one of Queen's greatest performances. But for now it is the best copy of the show yet to emerge, so hopefully you'll all enjoy it for what it is. A giant thank you to this anonymous person for finally letting out these tapes after 40 years.

Furthermore - there have been a number of people operating under fake names in the private messaging section of this forum circulating versions of single songs from this show and others in horribly reduced sound quality, all purposely mislabelled as Stafford 5-7-78. This post is a very cordial "piss off" to those people so that they can no longer waste people's time with their worthless carrot dangling and associated stupidity.

A tape of the previous night's show also exists and will soon circulate as well. Its story is far less complicated than this one, but it also emerged from the aforementioned delightful online mess. So let's leave it on a positive note and something to look forward to.


More info here:

http://queenlive.ca/queen/78-05-13.htm


1) Somebody To Love */**
2) White Queen **
3) Death On Two Legs **
4) Killer Queen **
5) Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy **
6) I'm In Love With My Car **
7) Get Down Make Love **
8) The Millionaire Waltz **
9) You're My Best Friend **
10) Spread Your Wings **
11) It's Late **
12) Now I'm Here **
13) Love Of My Life **
14) '39 **
15) My Melancholy Blues **
16) White Man **
17) The Prophet's Song **
18) guitar solo [cut] ***/*/****
19) The Prophet's Song (reprise) ****
20) Liar [cut] **
21) Bohemian Rhapsody **
22) Keep Yourself Alive **
23) Tie Your Mother Down **/****
24) Sheer Heart Attack [cut] **
25) Jailhouse Rock **
26) We Will Rock You **
27) We Are The Champions **
28) God Save The Queen **


edit:

This is now an inferior copy. See here:

www.queenzone.com/forums/1513688/1978-05-13-london-second-generation.aspx


Enjoy, keep it lossless, and don't bootleg this !



Artists must pass on, but sometimes a mix of passion, good fortune, diligence, expertise, and meticulous labor can capture and restore some of the beauty they left behind.



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Kamenliter user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 May 18, 16:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for this! Your work and detailed information is always appreciated.

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Posted: 22 May 18, 16:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just got back from the link you sent me of their last ever Japan concert to find this! Talk about hitting two birds in one stone!
Damn though, never thought tape trading back then can be a bit hardcore at times.

As I said in the other post, Thanks a million again, Bob and a million thanks to whoever taped and shared this recording! Never thought the rest of that concert would see the light of day!

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Posted: 22 May 18, 16:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes yes yes! Big thanks to this person (and Wizard, of course) :)

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Posted: 22 May 18, 16:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Huge thanks to you, Bob, for your work in putting this together and bringing it here, as always, and also to whoever is providing the new source material.

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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow, amazing. Another NOTW show, can't wait to listen! :D

-Chin


Check out my channel for various goodies! :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/Chinwonder2
Golden Salmon user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks a lot! I appreciate the composite version, truly some work of love.

The Real Wizard wrote:

There was a group of hardcore Queen fans called the "Royal Family" who followed the band around the world to most of their shows for years. They sometimes taped the shows, and most of their recordings have remained uncirculated. But recently, someone from the group anonymously went rogue and started letting out the recordings, beginning with Liverpool 79 last year, and continuing now with several tapes from 1978. This person opened up and told stories about the culture within that tightly knit group of fans. While doing one's best not to engage in any character assassination, this person had some pretty lurid stories to tell about their cliquiness, as well as a competitive nature in recording the concerts. That competitiveness got so extreme to the point that they began to steal and destroy each other's tapes that weren't deemed "good enough" quality, while the tapes that did manage to pass the litmus test would then circulate amongst a limited circle of people, usually with any number of adjustments purposely done to the content in order to keep the best versions for themselves. This apparently led to a lot of in-fighting, and people eventually defecting from the group.


But... why? Seriously.

One of the best things I did as a fan was getting out of the trader / secretive collector world. I understand that the best things come from these circles, but it's so unworthy in the end. Now I just want to enjoy their music.

The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
The Real Wizard
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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Golden Salmon wrote:

But... why? Seriously.

One of the best things I did as a fan was getting out of the trader / secretive collector world. I understand that the best things come from these circles, but it's so unworthy in the end. Now I just want to enjoy their music.


It's unfortunately a common thing with entitled people who would tape shows back then. You find these people in virtually every collecting community.

I, too, have largely withdrawn from those circles. The deeper you dig, the more shady the characters get.

If we could explain why people of all shapes and sizes were selfish and short-sighted, we'd have had world peace by now.

As per tape collecting - all we can do is wait for the little goodies like this to fall from the sky. And 40 years later, for better or for worse (mostly better) it's still happening.



Artists must pass on, but sometimes a mix of passion, good fortune, diligence, expertise, and meticulous labor can capture and restore some of the beauty they left behind.



http://www.queenlive.ca
The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Killer_queenIII wrote:

Damn though, never thought tape trading back then can be a bit hardcore at times.


It was, and still is.

...although this stuff is kind of dying off now, as some people are starting to realize that old tapes don't do much good sitting in the basement. Luckily people tend to mellow out with age.



Artists must pass on, but sometimes a mix of passion, good fortune, diligence, expertise, and meticulous labor can capture and restore some of the beauty they left behind.



http://www.queenlive.ca
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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Real Wizard wrote:
some people are starting to realize that old tapes don't do much good sitting in the basement. Luckily people tend to mellow out with age.


Pretty true. Only a matter of time before their little piece of gold turns to dust.

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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Damn, they were hardcore indeed. It's so odd to think that this all happened, especially coming from the mindset of someone (me) who has grown up in an age where the plethora of cellphone cameras has made actual tapings of concerts not as necessary, since now one can just type in a concert that happened just hours ago and find almost the entire thing on YouTube in probably better sound quality than most of these tapes.

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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you very much!

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Posted: 22 May 18, 17:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It seems to be a huge work...thank you Bob!

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Posted: 22 May 18, 18:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

thisissparta789789 wrote:

Damn, they were hardcore indeed. It's so odd to think that this all happened, especially coming from the mindset of someone (me) who has grown up in an age where the plethora of cellphone cameras has made actual tapings of concerts not as necessary, since now one can just type in a concert that happened just hours ago and find almost the entire thing on YouTube in probably better sound quality than most of these tapes.


Indeed - but that's what makes the old tapes special, the fact that people had to have a game plan. They needed to have a tape recorder and blank tape (the latter of which was pretty expensive back then), new batteries (also expensive), sneak it all in, and avoid security for the whole show.

And to acquire such tapes, you had to read record collecting magazines and respond to ads from fellow collectors, and sent cassettes back and forth through the mail, and you had to wait for them (and sometimes they were terrible copies or fakes). Tapes became CDRs, and CDRs became downloads. Downloads are convenient, but the joy of delayed pleasure was lost in translation.

While this show is average sound, there are plenty of audience tapes from the 70s that have truly excellent sound. Check out the Providence 78 show that just popped up a few months back. When someone who's in their 60s now shows up and says "here's something I taped when I was 20, enjoy it" - it's a pretty beautiful thing.



Artists must pass on, but sometimes a mix of passion, good fortune, diligence, expertise, and meticulous labor can capture and restore some of the beauty they left behind.



http://www.queenlive.ca
thisissparta789789 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 May 18, 18:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Certainly! Providence 1978 was amazing. The amount of work these tapers did certainly is impressive, especially given the state of technology at the time. Nowadays, it's so much easier, as evidenced by the fact that security pretty much has all but given up going after cellphones at most concerts.

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Posted: 22 May 18, 18:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

MERCI BEAUCOUP

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Posted: 22 May 18, 18:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow!
Thank you so much for your hard work with this.


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Posted: 22 May 18, 18:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Having heard and downloaded a lot of live recordings from the 70's-80's from band not limited to Queen, I can only imagine how they managed to record it all while battling dying batteries, tape flips at the wrong time, finding the best spot to record, the drunk guy standing next to you talking or singing obnoxiously loud, often with the wrong lyrics. Gotta tip our hats to guys like Mr. Peach, Mike Millard, and whoever recorded this show for sharing these kinds of rare gems.

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Posted: 22 May 18, 19:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This sounds like a labor of love. Thanks a lot for this one

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Posted: 22 May 18, 19:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great! Thank you very much for your hard work.