Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Lester's Album Discussion Thread - Live Albums

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Lester Burnham user not visiting

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Posted: 29 Aug 06, 11:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi everyone. Instead of moving on directly to The Works, I've decided to break with tradition and talk about Queen's live albums instead.

As ever, the rules:

1. If you don't own the album, do not contribute. I want this to be a discussion, and posts by somebody saying only "I like 'Keep Yourself Alive' on Classic Queen, is that on this album?" or something to that nature contributes nothing to the discussion.

2. As most people have been quick to jump down the throats of foreign posters about their English, I can only ask that those not familiar with the language do their best. For those who speak English as their first language, there really is no excuse. Try to formulate your thoughts so that everyone can enjoy them. No speaking in tongues, please.

3. You don't need to like the album - these aren't appreciation threads, these are discussion threads. If you don't like the album, don't be afraid to say so! Everyone should be responsive to constructive criticism, so if the album isn't one of your favorites, explain why in a decent manner instead of just saying, "This album sucks because of X song"

3a. Disagreements are encouraged. Well, okay... not exactly encouraged, but don't be afraid to disagree with someone as long as you disagree in a dignified manner.

Poster A: "'The Kiss' is probably my favorite song off the album."
Poster A: "..."

Poster A: "'The Kiss' is probably my favorite song off the album."
Poster B: "It's not that great, in my opinion, but what do you like about it?"
Poster A: "I like the segue from 'Execution Of Flash' and the orchestration. Freddie's vocalisations are just great."
Poster B: "Hmm. That's exactly what I don't like about it."

*Posters A and B share a beer and become best friends*

4. NO NUMERICAL RATINGS, PLEASE!!! Discussion threads do not equal giving something a grade. If this was called "Let's rate the albums", that would be different, but I want people to discuss the albums. There's no point in listing your favorite songs without giving some kind of insight.

5. These will be posted whenever I damn well please. I know I initially said every two weeks, but sometimes inspiration strikes and you gotta post, man. Or sometimes I get so damn busy, I'll just forget about it and all that.

6. For other discussion threads, check out:
Queen (first album):
Queen II:
Brian May's solo albums:
Sheer Heart Attack:
A Day At The Races:
News Of The World:
The Game:
Flash Gordon:
Hot Space:

So, the albums that should be discussed are QUEEN ONLY live albums - so no Brian or Q+PR live albums. We already did Brian and the Q+PR project will come later.

Just for clarification, Queen's official live albums are LIVE KILLERS, LIVE MAGIC, LIVE AT WEMBLEY '86/STADIUM, and QUEEN ON FIRE: LIVE AT THE BOWL.

Lester Burnham user not visiting

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Posted: 29 Aug 06, 11:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have a soft spot for Live At Wembley Stadium: I bought the video just after I became a Queen fan and watched it every weekend religiously, and pretty much memorized everything about it. So I know where all the horn toots from the audience and feedback squeals are (sad, I know). But it never occurred to me that there was a live album release - I had asked my dad if he could record the sound from the VHS onto a cassette for me, which he duly did. Imagine my surprise when I saw a double disc version of the concert I so loved - needless to say, I bought it and had a further fifteen songs to memorize.

So, while it's certainly not Queen's best live performance, it's the most memorable for me, and it certainly overshadows Live Magic by a large degree. I bought that album when it was released in the US in August 1996, listened to it once, and then promptly re-sold it.

Live Killers is an album that I have to be in a certain mood to listen to - it has some great performances, especially of some of my favorite songs (I'm In Love With My Car, Spread Your Wings, Don't Stop Me Now, Sheer Heart Attack), but the production is muddy and not as good as Wembley's, which, of course, was what I was inevitably comparing Live Killers to. I was disappointed that '39 didn't have Brian on lead vocals (which was what I was looking forward to the most), and, later, I was even more disappointed that Somebody To Love, If You Can't Beat Them, Fat Bottomed Girls, and It's Late were all left off for inexplicable reasons. Had those four songs been included, Live Killers would've absolutely been my favorite live album.

However, my second favorite is awarded to Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl, which is an accurate title for Queen's performance that day. I had watched the Milton Keynes show back in 1995 when VH1 did a publicity blitz for the Made In Heaven album, and I was blown away by the performance of Somebody To Love. But I had no idea that so many extra songs were performed that day (I was young!), so I was pleased with all the songs I'd missed like Staying Power, Action This Day, Save Me, Back Chat, and Sheer Heart Attack.

Sebastian user not visiting
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Posted: 29 Aug 06, 13:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I liked Wembley when I first heard it. 'A Kind Of Magic' sounded brilliant and so did 'Under Pressure', which was at the time one of my favourites. Nowadays I think it was an OK concert but nothing compared to Queen in the 70s. I know the show is good and the stage is big etc, but my first concern in concerts is the music. Needless to say, I prefer Fred at the piano than dancing around the stage, and I prefer Brian switching to banjo, completing the three-part harmonies and doing the wonderful Ogre Battle intro (with roadies adding those excellent light effects) than being constrained to the same solos and his (barely audible) backing vocals. That said, I think CLTCL and the reprise of Bo Rhap sound much better in the Magic tour, more majestic. 'Champions' I still prefer the Jazz tour versions.

Live Killers was ok (thanks to overdubs), I like it but I think they could have chosen much much much better versions of some songs.

Milton Keynes - I only saw it once on VH1 donkey's years ago, back when neither 'Action' nor 'Crazy' had been opened-up to the general public. I thought it was good too, with gains and loses compared to Wembley of course.

John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
Asterik user not visiting

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Posted: 29 Aug 06, 17:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For me, it has to be Wembley. The sheer ferocity of the performance is almost enough to take your breath away- true there wasn't the subtletly anymore but that's the last thing you need at a stadium gig. Freddie was imperious- I love his barking vocal delivery- far more effective than singing- and his stage presence by then was gigantic. The setlist may not have been marvellous and I would have liked to see Fred at the piano a lot more but the noise and power make it a brutally marvellous two hours listen.
AKOM sounds magnificent, as does a furious Now I'm Here and We Are The Champions suits Fredie's later voice far more than on Live Killers.

Live Killers comes second- it's a different era, slightly more subtle because the venues are indoor arenas but the hallmarks are there. I felt it needed another big rocker say it's late but otherwise the performances are hysperspeed, razor sharp and very enthusiastic- especially Sheer heart Attack which is lethal and Keeep Yourself ALive. unfortunately, the recording doesn't suit the quieter songs.

Milton Keynes I have mixed feelings about. Freddie was a far weaker showman in 1982 than he was in 1986 and I don't even think the voice argument carries much weight either. Ok, he may have sang rather than shouted but I preferred his voice ragged, it's more authentic I guess. There were better versions of the HS songs and Play The Game is amrvellous jsut a tad quicker with lovely vocal affectations. However, the band's dishamrony comes through and it jsut sounds a bit flat at times, the reprise of CLTCL is very weak for example, Wembley completely outguns it and TYMD as well.

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Posted: 29 Aug 06, 20:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hahahahah!!! Lestern Burnham you are so funny with all those "rules" stuff, I´ve never laugh so loud in my life.
by the way, "let your heart rule your head"....

Live at Wembley!

Nummer2 user not visiting

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Posted: 30 Aug 06, 05:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Live Killers is THE Live album, by far. Okay, it was the very first Queen album I bought (right after it was released), and it made its impact. But still, after listening to the other live releases, it's the best for me. It has the best song choice, and the performance is extremely energetic, raw and powerful. It's 100% music, while the others, esp. Wembley, pay more attention to show effects. That's okay for a video, but imo it weakns the musical performance.

Live at the Bowl comes next, because Freddie's voice and performance is great. And the setlist is still better than that from Wembley. But Morgan Fisher is annoying.

Very close third, Live at Wembley has too much songs I don't particularly like. Great performances again, esp. Brian, Roger and John, and this time even the keyboard sounds fit in quite well.

Live Magic? Don't really know it.

But: There are many bootlegs, that are much more fun to listen to. Some are even better than Live Killers: Hammersmith 75, 79; Newcastle 79; Frankfurt 82; London 84 ... and lots more.

... I'll be back again before it's time for sunny-down ...
TRS-Romania user not visiting

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Posted: 30 Aug 06, 08:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My favourite one is : Live in Budapest, mainly because Brian's guitar really sounds so much better as opposed to Wembley. On the wembley recording Brian's guitar sounds too crispy , and you can clearly hear some hiss while he's playing on lower volume as well

For me a good sound of Brian's guitar (as also on Milton Keynes) made the difference in choosing my favourite Live Recording/"album"


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Posted: 30 Aug 06, 14:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

1) Live Killers has the best setlist, pure rockpower and energy, but sound quality is poor.
2) Wembley - fantastic show, but setlist is not so special. Their most famous gig after Live Aid.
3) Milton Keynes - shows how the band had changed after the 70's. Great vocals bij Freddie. Has a different setlist, with some great songs from the game and hot space.
4) Live magic. Heavy edited, not very interesting.