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Queen – Live At Leeds (Breakdown-118A/B)

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Live At Leeds (Breakdown-118A/B)

Elland Road Football Stadium, Leeds, England – May 29th, 1982

Disc 1:  Flash, The Hero, We Will Rock You, Action This Day, Play The Game, Staying Power, Somebody To Love, Now I’m Here – Dragon Attack – Now I’m Here, Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive (intro) – Save Me, Back Chat

Disc 2:  Get Down Make Love, instrumental inferno, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

Live At Leeds in the unimaginatively titled release on Breakdown of Queen’s May 29th show at the Elland Road Football Stadium in Leeds on the Hot Space tour.  The tape is very good to almost excellent being very close to the stage.  During the beginning melee the audience are very loud drowning out the music somewhat but by “Action This Day” it is very clear and enjoyable, one of the very best from the UK.  Small cuts at the very end of “Somebody To Love” and “Tie Your Mother Down” (where another source is used to for the gap) are the only imperfections on the otherwise complete recording. 

They began their world tour for the new album in early April and spent two months on the continent.  This show was originally scheduled for Old Trafford in Manchester but was changed to Leeds.  This was the first of only four shows in the United Kingdom (this, two in Edinburgh and Milton Keynes) making this their shortest ever tour in this region.  Three bands, Heart, Teardrop Explodes and Joan Jett And The Black Hearts opened for Queen on this night.  Brian May said this is not only one of the best shows from 1982 but one of his all time favorite concerts during Queen’s career.

It is indeed a hot performance in front of a hip, sold out crowd of more than forty thousand.  Only four news songs are performed but thankfully “Staying Power” is included.  After the introduction and a crowd lead version of “We Will Rock You”, Freddie says, “You are a wonderful crowd.  A fucking wonderful crowd and you have no idea what that means to the performer.” 

Queen received such negative reviews for the new LP and was extremely sensitive.  Some claim that Freddie actually apologizes for Hot Space at Milton Keynes.  He really doesn’t, but does come across as very defensive of the new material and happy to hear the applause although it is obvious the new songs don’t go down that well.  He plays his vocal games with the audience before the band launch into “Staying Power”. 

He says at the song’s conclusion  “that thing was a fucking motherfucker to sing I tell ya…”   An a cappella version of “Keep Yourself Alive”, with Freddie singing along with the audience, is an introduction to “Save Me” and ends when Brian plays the opening notes on the piano.  “Fat Bottomed Girls” is about  “all the dirty things I’ve done in my life. I won’t go into details but you know what I mean. The bigger the tit, the better it is..”  This is a fantastic tape that really deserves to be released on silver someday.  This version on Breakdown is worth seeking out. 

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