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Live at Wembley '86

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★★★★½
(30 Reviews)

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Queen released several worthy live albums, but what makes Live at Wembley ’86 special is the thrill of hearing the band recapturing its powers and its huge audience simultaneously. In the early ’80s Queen put out their weakest albums, but their performance in 1985’s Live Aid concert reminded them of what they were capable of and of how much their public still loved them. This extended live disc has it all–a nice selection of hits (”Bohemian Rhapsody,” ”Under Pressure,” ”We Will Rock You,” and ”Radio Ga Ga,” among others), quality album cuts (”Now I’m Here,” ”I Want to Break Free”), displays of instrumental wizardry (Brian May’s ”Brighton Rock” guitar solo), and even some goofing on ’50s and ’60s rock & roll classics (”Tutti Frutti,” ”Gimme Some Lovin’”). There’s a chilly premonition in Freddie Mercury’s declaration that ”we’re gonna stay together until we die” but some comfort in the fact that his statement was essentially true. Wembley ’86 is a fitting last hurrah. –Daniel Durchholz

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  • Culled from the band’s final tour, Wembley was to have been the last show but it ended up at Knebworth Park (which should’ve been released instead of this one, for pure historical value.)Regardless, this is a pretty damn fine show featuring a good mix of (then) new songs and (very) old ones.As part of the ever popular Queen medley, the band decided to incorporate several 50’s-era tunes (Brian was heavily influenced by Buddy Holly.)This tour marked the first time in which Queen broke up the now famous pairing of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”.”Another One Bites the Dust” gets an even funkier coat of paint here with the band grooving along with John’s bass line.Certainly a slicker package than “Live Killers” and a FAR site better than “Live Magic”, it’s worth listening to knowing Queen were coming to an end sooner than they (and us) ever thought.

    Posted on January 12, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THIS LIVE DISC ROCKS. One of the best live albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. The band just blazes thru this amazing set with all the power and volume you would expect. And they brought a *few* thousand friends along for the ride. This is the lasting testament to the live power of Queen. Do not miss this album…Essential.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I was never a huge “Queen” fan growing up but as I got older I learned to appreciate this band. We all know the “hits” as we here them on the radio everyday. But, the “live” show? This is an excellent cd release and puts no doubts that Queen could rock any size stadium from start to finish. Highly recommended!

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Queen have churned out a few excellent live albums in their time but I didn’t expect this box set to be so special. No matter what kind of music you like (and I’m not counting R&B or classical here) you’ll find something you’ll listen to again and again in this compilation. From the first juicy riff of the immaculate ONE VISION, used as a sort of flamboyant intro and quite possibly the best live adaptation of a song ever to have been recorded, to the final few chords of GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, the concert is a trip through the very heart of rock n’ roll and captures the spirit of Queen. The best songs by a street are ONE VISION, as mentioned above which leads into TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN, a sort of mood-setter which gets the stadium rocking with that catchy quitar rhythm and superb vocals by Freddie, A KIND OF MAGIC featuring solos for all four members of the band in an all-out seven minute wonder of a song, WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER, a heartfelt ballad that somehow made it on to the stage (where it sounds a whole lot better than on record let me tell you), BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY that needs no introduction as Queen’s best-known song ever, HAMMER TO FALL where Brian excels himself in several stunning solos and where Roger Taylor cements his status as one of the world’s greatest drummers, CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE, a catchy little ditty that develops into a pedal-to-the-metal hard rock chant halfway through, RADIO GA-GA involving the ritualistic hand-clapping of all 72000 spectators, and of course WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. Add to that the sublime rendition of ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, the bone-crunching guitar solos on WE WILL ROCK YOU, the superb and all-too-shor SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE, the live staple NOW I’M HERE, a few golden oldies (TUTTI FRUTTI et al), a crackling atmosphere and some hilarious and eerily prophetic comments from Freddie and you have what is surely the best live performance ever caught on tape. This is an absolute must-have for anyone remotely interested in Queen or even just rock music on the whole.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This two-disc set is the perfect antidote for those who think that Queen’s studio canon was overproduced and a little fussy-sounding. Performing live, this band could ROCK! Every cut here is a winner, and some are the definitive versions of the songs, blowing the studio renditions out of the water. Mercury sounds great, May’s guitar work is impeccable, and the back-and-forth synergy between the crowd and the band energizes the entire set. Standouts include the rip-roaring renditions of cover tunes “Tutti Fruitti” and “Hello Mary Lou,” along with spirited performances of classic Queen tunes such as “Under Pressure,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” and “We Will Rock You.” I can’t think of a more deserving band for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and this album showcases why. A must-own for Queen fans or live-album lovers.

    Posted on January 11, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now