OMG, I like totally can't decide what I'm more psyched about: the Royal Wedding on Friday, or the first box set of brand-new, 40th anniversary Queen remasters (out May 17 on our side of the pond).
I well remember, exactly 20 years ago, the first Queen remasters -- actually the first domestic CDs of Queen's Elektra albums -- coming out, along with their bittersweet studio swan song Innuendo, on Disney's Hollywood Records; what an odd fit that seemed, but I was so glad that one of my all-time favorite bands might again get some shred of recognition and even respect in the benighted U.S. of A. at last!
Little did I realize at the time how Freddie's death late in 1991, coupled with the high silliness of the hit Wayne's World movie, then the massive Tribute Concert in April '92 (of which I was a lucky and proud attendee), would bring the boys roaring back to American and even greater global consciousness. 20 years later, they've still never left, long since universally acclaimed and beloved as one of the very top British bands of all time.
(However, the latest slab of printed pomposity from Mount Rolling Stone, its new "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list, slights the band as always by placing them no higher than number 52. That's behind both Run-DMC and Public Enemy, which can only be called a bad joke. While hip-hop's inexplicably enduring popularity is an unfortunate given, Rolling Stone's tiresome insistence on placing this shallow, monotonous, artless genre on the same level of historical -- not to mention musical -- importance as rock, blues, soul and jazz is at once hilarious, pathetic, and reeking of middle-aged desperation to appear "down with the kids." Alrighty! End of digression.)
Anyway: 1977. In pop culture terms, I recall that long-ago-and-far-far-away year as being entirely about three things for me: Star Wars, KISS and Queen. Having recently graduated from Sesame Street and Disney 45s to my first rock record, the gift of Elton John's Greatest Hits LP, I was now, at age eight, striking out on my own, and in 1977 that meant KISS' monstrous Alive II and Queen's expansive, eclectic News of the World, which were released only two weeks apart.
This brilliant 28-track behemoth of a bootleg comes from that tour, and is widely esteemed as a quintessential Queen concert. The sound is rip-roaringly great and it features all the hits and deep cuts you could want, everything from punk slammers "Stone Cold Crazy" and "Sheer Heart Attack" to gossamer delights "The Millionaire Waltz" and "My Melancholy Blues." If you're as tickled as I am by the idea of Freddie trilling the outrageously queer "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" to 16,000 fans deep in the heart of Texas, then this is most assuredly the show for you.
Here's to a right Royal weekend, my darlings!
The Summit - Houston, TX - December 11, 1977
(SBD @320 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2
(Also: .wma @192 kbps)
DOWNLOAD 1 / DOWNLOAD 2
Note: Top links are 320 kbps MP3s, bottom are the .wma files I orignally posted. This is such a sweet-ass boot that I will leave both sets active for you all.
PS -- The reason I posted the "Definitive Edition" DVD cover above is that since I've heard the pro-shot tape of the complete concert is one of the absolute best Queen video boots ever -- which might explain why it's proven impossible to purchase so far, and I don't download video -- I'm hoping that somehow it'll magically manifest one of these days. Anyone...anyone...any way the wind blows...?