Perhaps if I were more of a George Michael fan, this EP would rate higher than three stars. While George does have some wonderful songs, I was never a diehard fan of his work. On this _Five Live_ EP, he teams up with Queen on the fantastic cover of “Somebody To Love,” which was taken from the Freddie Mercury tribute concert (along with one other song here), and is hands down the main reason to get this EP, especially if you’re a diehard Queen fan like myself. This rendition of the song gives me the goosebumps, and nearly sends me to tears — just like the original version does. As a bonus, there’s Queen’s “Dear Friends,” (from their 1974 offering, _Sheer Heart Attack_) which closes out the EP on a touching note. The rest of the tracks, however, aren’t as affecting, and are okay at best. “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” has more of an updated dance/club-mix flavor, as opposed to the original psychedelic-soul flavor of the original done by The Temptations. George’s version of Queen’s “These Are The Days Of Our Lives,” also taken from the Mercury tribute concert, is somewhat affecting in regards to the purpose of the performance itself, but not much beyond that, and the other songs I won’t even comment on. In short, Queen fans will probably want to own it for the commemorative purposes, the goosebump-inducing performance of “Somebody To Love,” and maybe for “These Are The Days of Our Lives” (excluding “Dear Friends”), but will probably not care much for the rest of the album. George Michael fans will probably soak this up.
Bigger-than-life and proud of it, Queen’s tongue-in-cheek pomposity was ironically one of its most endearing charms. This double-disc live album recorded at the band’s typically massive 1986 Wembley Stadium stand in support of its A Kind of Magic album is a perfect distillation of the band’s overarching intentions–and virtually every ’70s/’80s rock cliché punk rebelled against. The tracks may reverberate with the boominess of the punter’s paradise they were recorded in, but it’s an ambience that underscores the shows’ propulsive, populist intent. Latter day hits like ”Under Pressure” and ”Another One Bites the Dust” may have their nascent club-beat savvy hammered into conformity with thumping rockers like ”We Will Rock You” and ”Tie Your Mother Down,” but then this is as unapologetic as stadium rock gets. Mercury, May, Deacon, and Taylor are in top form throughout, shrewdly building the show into what, given its relatively late recording date in their career, might as well be an emblematic greatest hits live (especially on its brisk-paced second disc) experience. –Jerry McCulley
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A fantastic account of George Michael’s stunning performance at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert. Well, only two of these songs were from that show….”Somebody to Love” was the best perfomance of the night, bar none. He hit every note to perfection and the surviving members of Queen backed him up with pure exuberance. “These Are the Days of Our Lives” has George dueting with the soulful Lisa Stansfield and the resulting product makes your head sway.The other tracks on here are just George (no Queen or Lisa) but they are fun to listen to. His pairing of “Killer” (a hit for Seal) and “Papa Was a Rollin Stone” was brilliant, the lyrics for the last fit the beat of the first exactly.George would make a fine lead singer for Queen, if that ever happens.
Exciting, and energetic live concert that I could listen to over and over again. George Michael and Queen are a wonderful combination. Lisa Stansfield is the icing on the cake.
The 2 people (or is it 1 double posting) on here who say George Michael can’t sing are talking nonsense. OK, you’re Queen fans and in your eyes and mine nobody can ever replace Freddy, fair enough, but to say George Michael can’t sing is like saying Posh Spice CAN!! It’s absurd. I am a massive fan of Queen and on the day of the Tribute Concert it became all too apparent that none of the artists performing could hold a candle to Freddy for sheer vocal ability and performance, then right near the end of the concert George Michael took to the stage. WOW!!! Is all I can say, he nailed it. George sang his butt off that day and you could see and sense the crowd at Wembley appreciating someone who could actually pull it off. They loved it, I loved it and if you don’t own this CD you will love it too. This is a fine performance from a fine singer. End of story.
This is a fun live cd. This is not just Queen. George’s version of Killer/Papa was a Rolling Stone is great. Lisa Stansfield and George’s duet is good. If you are a George fan, it’s worth the 12 bucks. If you’re not…check out the track listings before purchasing.