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Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 Blu-ray Review

queen-live-rainbow-74-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Performance

[Rating:4/5]

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Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 is Queen young, raw, and ready to conquer the world. Coming off of their supporting tour for Mott the Hoople in 1973 with a moderately successful release of their eponymous debut album, the band hit the stage in London in 1974 in one of London’s premiere venues with a Top Ten hit under their belts, “Seven Seas of Rhye” courtesy of a fill-in appearance for David Bowie on Top of the Pops, with the second album Queen II getting critical acclaim. Although hardly anyone could predict the massive success that was to come, the signs of brilliance were already there. Freddie Mercury’s exquisite white-winged outfit designed by Zandra Rhodes, his incredible vocal range, Bran May’s ripping guitar riffs, and, most of all, Queen’s noticeable desire to push the boundaries of blues based rock ‘n’ roll into something bigger. You can hear it on tracks like “Ogre Attack” and “Bring back that Leroy Brown”

Many of the songs here have never been released on any live Queen release before now.

Track List:

SHEER HEART ATTACK TOUR
Live at the Rainbow, November ’74

  1. Procession
  2. Now I’m Here
  3. Ogre Battle
  4. Father To Son
  5. White Queen (As It Began)
  6. Flick Of The Wrist
  7. In The Lap Of The Gods
  8. Killer Queen
  9. The March Of The Black Queen
  10. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
  11. Son And Daughter
  12. Guitar Solo
  13. Son And Daughter (Reprise)
  14. Keep Yourself Alive
  15. Drum Solo
  16. Keep Yourself Alive (Reprise)
  17. Seven Seas Of Rhye
  18. Stone Cold Crazy
  19. Liar
  20. In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited
  21. Big Spender
  22. Modern Times Rock ’n’ Roll
  23. Jailhouse Rock
  24. God Save The Queen

BONUS TRACKS

QUEEN II TOUR
Live at the Rainbow, March ’74

  1. Son And Daughter
  2. Guitar Solo
  3. Son And Daughter (Reprise)
  4. Modern Times Rock ’n’ Roll

CD:

QUEEN II TOUR
Live at the Rainbow, March ’74

  1. Procession
  2. Father To Son
  3. Ogre Battle
  4. Son And Daughter
  5. Guitar Solo
  6. Son And Daughter (Reprise)
  7. White Queen (As It Began)
  8. Great King Rat
  9. The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke
  10. Keep Yourself Alive
  11. Drum Solo
  12. Keep Yourself Alive (Reprise)
  13. Seven Seas Of Rhye
  14. Modern Times Rock ’n’ Roll
  15. Jailhouse Rock (Medley)
  16. Stupid Cupid (Medley)
  17. Be Bop A Lula (Medley)
  18. Liar
  19. See What A Fool I’ve Been

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

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As an edition in Eagle Rock’s SD/Blu-ray line, Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 is from a standard definition source, and a very old one at that, upscaled to 1080i/60 in an AVC encodement. Given that provenance, the image is not up to the standards of contemporary concerts shot in high definition or even older ones captured on film. This leads to very murky, soft, and often indistinguishable visuals in the darkly lit stage set. But never mind, there are plenty of moments where Freddie and company can be made out, and the star attraction of this release is the audio after all. See below.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

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Two fantastic lossless audio tracks of this concert are included. The show has been remixed and digitally remastered and we a splendidly dynamic and powerful DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz/24-bit) soundtrack that captures the performance space, the rawness of the electric guitars, and, of course, the power of Mr. Mercury’s vocal cords. There is also a very balanced and widely panned LPCM 2.0 stereo (96kHz/24-bit) that is a good companion if one prefers stereo or cannot listen in surround.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

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  • March ’74 – Queen II Tour:
    • Son and Daughter
    • Guitar Solo
    • Son and Daughter (Reprise)
    • Modern Times Rock’n’Roll
  • Booklet with photos and credits
  • CD

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 is a fantastic look at these monsters of rock in their early days. It’s rugged, full of energy, and most all, an excellent look at a band before the superstardom struck. The sound on this Blu-ray release from Eagle Rock is magnificent, so turn it up and let loose.

Additional Screen Captures

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