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Queen – The Pleasure Chest (Wardour-081)

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The Pleasure Chest (Wardour-081)

International Exhibition Hall, Nagoya, Japan – April 28th, 1979

Disc 1 (70:39):  We Will Rock You (slow), We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, If You Can’t Beat Them, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I’m In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You’re My Best Friend, Now I’m Here, Teo Torriatte, Don’t Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, ‘39 

Disc 2 (52:09):  It’s Late, Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

Several years ago the final undocumented show on Queen’s Killer’s tour in Japan surfaced when a poor but listenable tape surface for the April 28th Nagoya show and was booted on Mr. Fahrenheit (Wardour-060).  Several weeks ago another audience recording surfaced and pressed by Wardur on The Pleasure Chest.  This one, unlike the first, is closer to the stage and much more dynamic.  There is still some distance, meaning it’s at best very good, but it is a considerable improvement.

The tour was uneven because of Freddie’s tired vocals.  The nadir came on the April 25th show in Tokyo which is almost unlistenable.  But after taking two days off, he returns in this show with more strength, but he still conserves his voice by not hitting the high notes and voiding the vocal gymnastics.

The beginning of the Jazz shows is a bit strange with the slow arrangement of “We Will Rock You” segueing into the fast arrangement followed in turn by “Let Me Entertain You” from the new album.  It is almost as if there are three openers.  “If You Can’t Beat Them,” which alternated with “Fat Bottom Girls” in the set list, makes a return on this night.  

Freddie narrates the lyrics to “Death On Two Legs,” the opening song in the medley.  One of the virtues of tapes from this tour is to hear the brilliant “Bicycle Race” in the live setting.  It was only played in the Jazz and Killers tours and only in medley.  It is amazing how Mercury could fit all of the highlights of the complex song into a ninety second clip.  The middle section of “Get Down, Make Love” has bird chirps thrown in for good measure over the orgasmic moans.

“Teo Torriatte” is played at all of the Japan shows and is played a bit earlier in the set than on other nights.  The audience sing along in their native tongue to offer a touching moment.  “Dreamers Ball” starts off the three song acoustic set.  “I used to be a baby / I used to be a proud and joy…I sure was” Freddie ad-libs.  

After “Love Of My Life,” Brian May mentions that Freddie is “skulking in the background.”  ”‘39″ is the final acoustic song and Freddie says, “that finishes the so-called acoustic set. We’re gonna do something a bit heavier – with this dreadful voice. This is from an album called News Of The World, and the song is called It’s Late.”

“Brighton Rock” is thirteen minutes and includes spooky shouts at the beginning.  The tape has a hard time picking up the echo bouncing around the arena, but Taylor’s tympani solo is very well recorded and sound massive.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the final song of the night and “Sheer Heart Attack” sounds like a testosterone driven attempt to assert their dominance. 

The sight of Freddie on the shoulders of Superman at the beginning of “We Will Rock You” (making its third appearance in the set) sends the audience into a shout, and they sing along to “We Are The Champions.”  The latter songs on the tape, especially the encores, sound a bit more distant the rest.  Perhaps the taper moved? 

The Pleasure Chest is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with several photos from the tour on the artwork.  It joins Dreamer’s Ball (Wardour-006), Pride And Joy (Wardour-047) and Ultimate Dreamer (Wardour-020) as great silver pressed titles from Queen’s longest tour of Japan.   

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Queen - The Pleasure Chest (Wardour-081), 2.3 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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