Reviews

Queen / Live at the Rainbow review

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A Royal Gathering: Queen: Live at the Rainbow in its various formats

Canadian journalist Terry Ott reviews the USA blu-ray+CD combo of the recent Queen Live at the Rainbow release exclusively for SuperDeluxeEdition.


“I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend.” Freddie Mercury

But first, a little back story: By the beginning of 1974, the rock aficionados in The Great White North had begun to hear of this band, this Queen. Yet in most corners, only the most adroit and prescient thought they were more than just another rather obscure Brit glam group among the established English giants like Zeppelin and Bowie who already stood so tall.

In fact, the happy and glorious Queen love would not really arrive in Canada until the first radio station spun Bohemian Rhapsody well into ’75 and then we were collectively longing for the colonial days, such was Queen’s immediate rock glory.

So then, a pity that these amazing recordings from 1974 did not cross the ocean 40 years ago for if they had, Queen’s reign in Canada would have begun earlier….

Now, on with the show:

As noted elsewhere on this blog, the Queen Live at the Rainbow ’74 Blu-ray/CD combo is unique to North America, and at a retail price of 23 Canuck bucks, an outstanding value for your music dollar.

This is the way to win back music money and influence people to continue buying actual, real, hold-in-your-hands product. Hear that, music industry? Well done, Hollywood Records and Eagle Rock Vision.

And pay no mind to the “SD” edition of this Blu-ray, for although the video footage is very well produced for 1974, a full Blu-ray treatment may have exposed the inherent flaws of the ancient source material much more than this disc does and so what you get here is a completely acceptable of the era, non full-screen image.

But the real attraction is the audio.

Although the lavishly illustrated 16-page booklet lists the disc to have been mastered by Mazen Murad at Metropolis Mastering there is no specific notation as to who was actually responsible for the DTS-HD 5.1 mix, but whoever it was knew what they were doing.

Obviously remixed from the original multitracks, this is definitely no ‘faux’ surround sound but rather a true 5.1 experience that puts one right in the seats in ’74. Gobs of bottom end, big and full soundstage that fills your music room, and not just echo, reverb or incidentals coming from your rear speakers, but rather, a full surround sound experience replicating well the live performance of the band in November, 1974.

Oh, and just to fill it out, four bonus tracks from the March 1974 Queen gig at the Rainbow are included on the Blu-ray.

And for those not so multichannel equipped,there is a 24 track companion CD of the Rainbow concert, also given a 21st century audio makeover in good olde stereo.

As for the performance of band on these discs, one can unequivocally say they are absolutely royal.   

Terry Ott is a Canadian journalist who when he first heard Bohemian Rhapsody, insisted it be replayed 7 times. He can be reached at tjo55@yahoo.com when he finishes watching the Rainbow ’74 concert.

Look out for more photo and videos of the Queen boxes next week.


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Super Deluxe Edition box [2CD+DVD+Blu-ray+memorabilia]

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4LP Vinyl box

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CD+Blu-ray (North American exclusive)

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2CD Digi-pack

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2LP Vinyl edition

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Blu-ray

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DVD


Track listings

Queen: Live at the Rainbow ’74 – track listings:

One CD Edition

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

Two CD digi-pack & four vinyl LP boxed set:

CD 1 or LP 1 & 2

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 / Stupid Cupid / Be Bop A Lula (Medley)
  • 16. Liar
  • 17. See What A Fool I’ve Been

CD 2 or LP 3 & 4

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

Standard DVD and SD Blu-Ray:

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

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

Double Vinyl LP Package:

QUEEN II TOUR

Live at the Rainbow, March ’74

LP 1

  • 1. Procession
  • 2. Father To Son
  • 3. Ogre Battle
  • 4. Son And Daughter
  • 5. Guitar Solo
  • 6. Son And Daughter (Reprise)
  • 7. Keep Yourself Alive
  • 8.Drum Solo
  • 9. Keep Yourself Alive (Reprise)
  • 10. Seven Seas Of Rhye
  • 11. Modern Times Rock ’n’ Roll
  • 12. Liar

LP 2

SHEER HEART ATTACK TOUR

Live at the Rainbow, November ’74

  • 1. Procession
  • 2. Now I’m Here
  • 3. White Queen (As It Began)
  • 4. Flick Of The Wrist
  • 5. In The Lap Of The Gods
  • 6. Killer Queen
  • 7. The March Of The Black Queen
  • 8. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
  • 9. Stone Cold Crazy
  • 10. In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited

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Super Deluxe Edition box [2CD+DVD+Blu-ray+memorabilia]

queen_rainbow_vinylbox

4LP Vinyl box

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2CD Digi-pack

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2LP Vinyl edition

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13 responses to Queen / Live at the Rainbow review

  1. Dave says:

    I’ve received the super deluxe boxset a week ago and although it is a bit expensive, it’s a great product. Us Queen fans had to wait for this waaay to long but now finally a 70’s show emerged from Queen productions. Hopefully more 70’s shows will be released like Hyde Park ’76, Houston ’77 and Hammersmith ’75 and ’79. For now i love Live At The Rainbow. There are already a few unboxing video’s online. Thanks for this great review.

  2. LedMan says:

    I have the Northern American edition and agree the sound is amazing. Listening in 2.0 this sounds more like a properly mastered modern recording. Seriously considering ordering the Super Deluxe set so I can experience the total package.

  3. edward says:

    anybody knows if the bu ray is regio A (america) encoded or playable worldwide? (so i can order the unique USA cd/blu ray combo at the other side of the ocerrsn?)

  4. C Feeney says:

    I see the Amazon.com deluxe edition is available for delivery to the UK at $55 (£35)plus postage and tax~£20 extra . Amazon UK are still charging more than £100. Must be all that tax they have to pay!

  5. popy says:

    The package doesn’t say who was responsible for the DTS-HD 5.1 mix? I, Queen fan, am almost sure that Joshua J Macrae and Justin Shirley-Smith are responsible for it. They are responsible for the “5.1” mixes since the first Queen DVD came out, i think it was Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert 10th Anniversary Edition in 2002. I put “” on 5.1 on purpose and i will explain why.

    They are known in the Queen fan base as the 4.1 guys. Not counting Live at Wembley 86 DVD and the Tribute Concert that use 5.1 mixes from a stereo source (they have a 5.1 surround track upmixed from stereo audio, not from multitracks), all other releases that have audio mixed from the multitracks are mixed in 4.1 surround. Yes, 4.1. They don’t use the center channel.

    If you have Queen Rock Montreal DVD/Blu-ray, Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest ’86 DVD/Blu-Ray, Greatest Video Hits 1 and 2 DVD, Queen on Fire – Live at the Bowl 82 they all have surround sound mixed from the multitracks into 4.1.

    Strangely enough, A Night At The Opera (DVD-Audio and Blu-Ray) and The Game (DVD-Audio) have 5.1 mixes from the multitracks.

    Since Live At The Rainbow is mixed from the multitracks and Joshua J Macrae and Justin Shirley-Smith have a history in mixing everything in 4.1 if the source is a multitrack, i have almost 100% sure it’s in 4.1 (missing the center channel) and not 5.1. I haven’t bought my copy yet to confirm this.

  6. AlexKx says:

    So is that a good or bad thing, eh?

    • popy says:

      I’m not questioning the quality of the mixes, specially the GVH collection (for the live releases many Queen fans hate the drum sound, notably on Live At The Bowl or the 2009 mix of Hammersmith’75 broadcasted on BBC).

      The problem is that they sell them as being 5.1 surround sound but, although technically the files are encoded in 5.1, the center channel is muted on most releases.

      This is what Justin Shirley-Smith as to say about the use or not of the center channel http://www.brianmay.com/queen/thegame/technical4.html it’s an technical article about The Game surround mix written at the time of release (2003). If you want the read it in full, just remove the number 4 in the link.

      But yes, i’m against is opinion about not using the center channel.

  7. Hans says:

    Thanks for deleting my posts.

  8. Hans says:

    I wrote that the blu ray is at least region b as it is the german blu ray in the box I received from amazon Canada. This was intended for edward above. This post was deleted as well as my other one of last friday here concerning the queen box some hours before.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I can assure you that I didn’t delete you post(s). I don’t make it my business to delete posts that give out useful information to other readers or answer queries that someone has raised. In fact I don’t delete posts period, unless they are offensive etc. Sometimes posts don’t come through if they have links in them, and then end up in the spam pile unless I spot and ‘unspam’ it. Anyway, I didn’t really think the sarcasm was appropriate.

  9. Hans says:

    It was quite long and took time to write it with my mobile phone. The posts have been online for some time and then disappeared.But ok. As I like your site a lot it’s no big deal. Thanks for your explanation

  10. Mine arrived today, superb package, only watched the DVD so far but totally blown over by the quailty.

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