Live Crazy 1979 (Digital Queen Archive DQA-001V DVD)
December 26th, 1979 AT THE HAMMERSMITH ODEON, IN LONDON, ENGLAND: Opening, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs/Killer Queen/ I’m In Love With My Car/Get Down Make Love/You’re My Best Friend, Save Me, Now I’m Here, Love Of My Life, ’39, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You (slow), We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
GERMANY TV SPECIAL 1979 – LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH AND PROMO + INTERVIEWS: Now I’m Here, Another One Bites The Dust (video), You’re My Best Friend, Flash (video w/ alternative beginning), We Will Rock You (fast version), Let Me Entertain You, Don’t Stop Me Now, Killer Queen, I’m In Love With My Car, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Somebody To Love, Sheer Heart Attack, Save Me, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions
When Paul McCartney got together with Kurt Waldheim of the UN to present the charity concerts for Kampuchea, he wanted to assemble talent representing both the old (The Who, et al) and the new (Ian Drury, The Clash). Queen were approached initially to play with other bands and participate in the Rockestra finale, but they offered instead to donate the final night of the Crazy tour for the cause and this show at the Hammersmith Odeon on December 26th is the first of four concerts which have subsequently lapsed into relative obscurity. All four nights were taped and professionally recorded and except for the official live compilation (currently out of print) and bits of the video, not much has surfaced. The audience tapes of these shows reveal spectacular performances by all involved however.
The first half of this new dvd release is most of the footage that has surfaced in the Queen collecting community. It represents about two thirds of the complete performance. Some of the signatures that mark this show are unfortunately absent like the audience reprise of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and May’s rendition of “Silent Night” in “Brighton Rock”.
What do have is the rest of the incendiary show including Freddie kicking over speakers and Roger Taylor kicking over his drum kit at the end of “We Are The Champions”. The audio is very clear and powerful making it a treat to listen to. However the video definitely is not the master as promised on the cover. Being several generations away it’s plagued by wash outs and the occasional line through the screen.
Further there is some sloppy editing like the silent footage of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the very end of “Crazy Little Thing” and the repeat of the middle section (although with different footage) of “Get Down Make Love.” There are times when the picture is nice and clear but the quality as a whole waves from being good to excellent. The second half of the disc contains a British TV special called “The Queen Special” that was taped from the German ZDF station.
It looks like it was produced in 1980 or 1981 with the clips from Flash Gordon included. It basically uses the same footage from the Hammersmith Odeon performance with “man-on-the-street” candid interviews of people telling the camera how much they love Queen. Among those interviewed are Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach, John Cleese speaking at a bar (and the German overdub is even in his distinctive speech), and Roy Kinnear (Veruca Salt’s dad from Willy Wonka).
Even Klytus from Flash Gordon makes an appearance saying that “Queen sind Boese” in front of the Parliament building. If it sounds silly, it is! The musical differences between the first and second parts are the inclusion of “Don’t Stop Me Now” (complete), and the different beginning to the video “Flash Gordon”. Queen Digital Archives made a nice overall production with animated menus for the individual tracks. It is packaged in a plastic dvd case with attractive photos from the Jazz tour on front and Crazy tour on the back.
Since the band do not own the rights to this footage the chances of seeing an official release are almost nil which is unfortunate because Queen’s Kampuchea concert is one of their all time best performances that is rarely mentioned with other famous concerts like Live Aid and Rock In Rio. Live Crazy 1979 is probably the best we’ll ever see and Queen Digital Archives really produced a title worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)