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Queen – At Last Budokan (Wardour-007)

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At Last Budokan (Wardour-007)

Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – May 9th, 1985

Disc 1:  Machines, Tear It Up, Tie Your Mother Down, Under Pressure, Somebody To Love/Killer Queen/Seven Seas Of Rhye/Keep Yourself Alive/Liar, vocal improvisation, It’s A Hard Life, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here, Is This The World We Created?, Love Of My Life

Disc 2:  guitar solo/Brighton Rock, Another One Bites The Dust, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

Disc 3:  Machines, Tear It Up, Tie Your Mother Down, Under Pressure, Somebody To Love/Killer Queen/Seven Seas Of Rhye/Keep Yourself Alive/Liar, vocal improvisation, It’s A Hard Life, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here, Is This The World We Created?, Love Of My Life, guitar solo/Brighton Rock

Disc 4:  Another One Bites The Dust, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

At Last Budokan is the latest Queen release on Wardour, limited to only 300 copies.  The performance is the May 9th, 1985 concert at the Budokan in Tokyo on Queen’s final tour of Japan in support of Works.  “We were so jaded by this point.  We didn’t think we’d tour again for five years if at all – we’d just had it” Roger Taylor is quoted in Mojo magazine from the summer of 1999.  I couldn’t tell by listening to this show.  This is one of the better shows from this era.  Beginning with the taped intro “Machines” and “Tear It Up” the band put on a stellar show with many high points. 

The medley with “Somebody To Love/Killer Queen/Seven Seas Of Rhye/Keep Yourself Alive/Liar” is great with even a hint of “My Fairy Queen” thrown in for good measure (and that will be greatly expanded upon in the final night of the tour in Osaka).  The sing along in “Love Of My Life” even has Freddie confessing how impressed he is. The best of the show is reserved for the finale with “Radio Ga-Ga” and the first encore “I Want To Break Free” with the audience clapping loudly along.  Brian May goes solo crazy in “Jailhouse Rock” and the ”We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions” are always a great way to end a show.

The label has chosen to offer two versions of the same tape.  The third and fourth disc are the show as released by Masterport on At Last Budokan (Masterport-014) several years ago.  Discs one and two are the original master cassette that has not been tampered with.  I have to say that the first two discs really could have stood on their own.  It is superior to the Masterport version sounding more natural and dynamic.  The Masterport version sounds too compressed with some high end distortion – the usual results with too much EQ.  I think the first two discs will be the ones that will be listened to with more frequency. The show is complete with two minor tape flips in “Now I’m Here” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.  Overall the sound is absolutely stellar and highly recommended. 

Wardour has even included a four-page insert with many pictures from this very show.  It brings one into the show like few releases do.  At Last Budokan is the final release from 2004 and I hope they continue to produce quality Queen releases as they have been doing.  This is definitely a title that if you see available, don’t hesitate to pick up and enjoy.  It’s a great show with a great audience recording with fantastic atmosphere.  In April Wardour released the first two discs alone under the same title but with the catalogue number Wardour-007S.  This is a more affordable alternative to the big four disc set.

CMR Music Store

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