Live at the Rainbow ’74 recalls Queen on the verge of greatness
Queen was in high gear in 1974. The group was basking in the success of the band’s first two hit singles ('Seven Seas Of Rhye,' 'Killer Queen') and the release of two albums (Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack). They had also just completed major tours across the U.S., U.K., and Europe, highlighted by three sold-out shows at the legendary Rainbow Theatre in London's Finsbury Park. The first show in March 1974 was in support of the Queen II, while a return engagement in November 1974 followed the release of Sheer Heart Attack. Hollywood Records is marking the 40th Anniversary of these shows with CD, vinyl, digital, DVD, and Blu-ray editions of Live at the Rainbow ’74.
Live at the Rainbow ’74 is “lovingly restored, re-edited, mixed and digitally mastered,” reads a Hollywood Records news release. The DVD and Blu-ray discs also include previously unseen footage. The main show is from November with the only surviving footage from the March added as a special bonus. The press statement goes on to declare, “This is Queen dazzling their audience with an unforgettable show delivered with a skill and confidence which belied their youth.”
In addition to the aforementioned hit singles, fans can compare live versions of songs that were performed each night including ‘Procession,’ ‘Father to Son,’ ‘Ogre Battle,’ ‘Son and Daughter,’ and the ‘Jailhouse Rock’ medley. UltimateClassicRock.com reports the performance recorded by legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker was originally planned to be the band’s third album, but the idea was scrapped once work had begun on Sheer Heart Attack.
Video highlights from the concerts were first made available in 1992 on a video that was only available in England as part of a set titled Box of Tricks. A Super Deluxe Collector’s Edition of the new reissue features all of the available formats as well as a 60-page hardback book, miscellaneous memorabilia, concert program, poster, and other collectibles.
Queen recently announced Queen Forever is a new album release that includes three previously unreleased Queen tracks that feature late lead singer Freddie Mercury. The Hollywood Records project also includes a 1980s collaboration between the band and the late Michael Jackson called, ‘There Must Be More to Life Than This.’ In addition, Queen Forever features a previously unfinished Mercury-Queen track titled, ‘Let Me In Your Heart Again,’ which originated during the band's recording sessions for 1984’s The Works album. There’s also a new, stripped-down ballad version of ‘Love Kills.’ The remainder of the album focuses on the band's hits and new takes on other well-known songs.
Founded in 1970, Queen is best known for its songs ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘We Will Rock You,’ ‘We Are the Champions,’ ‘Under Pressure,’ ‘Somebody to Love,’ ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’ In 1991, original lead singer Mercury died at age 45 after battling complications from AIDS. Queen is currently touring North America with American Idol finalist Adam Lambert handling vocal duties.
Watch a video trailer about Queen’s multi-format Live at the Rainbow ’74 audio, video, and digital sets.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Queen initially formed in London in 1971 before regrouping permanently in 1973 and signing to EMI. A self-titled debut album was released the same year followed by a major U.K. tour. In 1974, Queen II resulted in the band’s first U.S. tour, and third album Sheer Heart Attack became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
* The 1975 breakthrough release of A Night at the Opera crowned Queen as rock and roll royalty with the 5.5-minute ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ The song would take its place among the greatest singles of all time, staying at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart for nine weeks and peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
* Queen toured the U.S. and Japan in 1976, releasing A Day at the Races as the band’s fourth straight Top 20 album. The album was accompanied by a free concert in London’s Hyde Park that drew an estimated crowd of 200,000 fans and pushed advance order album sales to more than 500,000.
* News of the World is Queen’s sixth studio album, marked by the 1977 smash singles ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions.’ The album went quadruple platinum in the United States, double platinum in the U.K., and achieved even higher certifications around the world.
* In 1978, the album Jazz included two more Top 10 singles with ‘Bicycle Race’ and ‘Fat Bottomed Girls.’ More touring followed into 1979 along with the release of Live Killers, Queen’s first live album. The band also composed the score for the 1980 film Flash Gordon along with issuing The Game, another multiplatinum gem that spawned No. 1 pop favorites ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’
* Queen had already sold 45 million albums worldwide when the band launched an international stadium tour in 1981, becoming the first band to perform in stadiums around South America. A crowd of more than 130,000 people attended one concert in Sao Paolo, Brazil, alone.
* The single ‘Radio Ga Ga’ became an international hit in 1984 with the release of The Works, and the band’s show during 1985’s Live Aid from Wembley Stadium is an historic moment in rock. Between 1986 and 1991, Queen released three more albums including Innuendo, the original band’s 14th studio album. The February 1991 LP is the band’s final studio album with Freddie Mercury, who died the following November. The album is also the group’s last to be composed entirely of new material.
* In October 2002, Queen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, joining the Beatles as only one of a few non-U.S. bands to receive the honor. Queen was voted into the Rock and Roll Walk of Fame in 2004, and were voted by the public into the first U.K. Music Hall of Fame.