A Danish Race (Golden Eggs EGG126/127)
Broendby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark – May 12, 1977
Disc 1 (48:42) A Day At The Races (Intro), Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You’re My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Brighton Rock incl. Guitar Solo and Brighton Rock reprise
Disc 2 (51:22) ’39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet’s Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Sweet Lady, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited, Now I’m Here, Liar
It’s been twelve years since Gerard wrote his review of the Wardour Queen title Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse, a release documenting the band’s first concert in Copenhagen in 1977. In his review he tells the tale of the tape and the fellows who recorded the concert and subsequently pressed it onto vinyl, their tale is an interesting one and I implore you to follow the link to this review. On looking up information on this recording’s history and the bootleg label Stoned Records, I was interested to find out this same duo recorded the Black Sabbath concert in Lund 1977 that became the famous Killing Yourself To Die bootleg. Sadly the duo was busted, one could only imagine what they could have went on to record, yet thankfully the few they did are sterling examples of live concert field recording.
Back to the Queen recording, it was first pressed onto LP as Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse (Stoned Records Stoned 5) followed by Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse (Mini Music QUO 012) five years later. The first version on CD had its origins in Japan, Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse (Stoned Records Stoned 5) and the last title was Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse (Wardour-056).
For this new title from Golden Eggs they have taken the singular source for this concert, certainly from an excellent version of the vinyl, and with a more modern transfer and some slight mastering have brought out more clarity with better dynamics. After listening to the Wardour title (thanks WGPSEC), I find that this new title has improved frequencies in both the upper and lower range giving this title a bit more punch. The clarity is much improved, there is more definition to the instruments especially during what I refer to as heavy songs like Ogre Battle and Freddie’s voice is brought to life. They have also increased the volume just a bit, they have done a nice job and this title sounds really great in both quiet and loud listening. The disc times on this release and the Wardour title are almost similar, and to date this is the only recording to surface from this concert so it is sadly incomplete but after you listen to this recording, it makes no matter, quality over quantity (quality in terms of sound and performance quality!).
Gerard states that the setlist is a “schizophrenic roller coaster ride through an entire range of emotions”, his assessment is spot on. The group’s growing sophistication in song writing and musicianship is directly translated to the stage. This is directly heard on Somebody To Love, the melding of Freddie and Roger Taylor’s voices brings the Gospel inspired choruses to life, I actually prefer these early live versions to the recorded version. The medley early in the concert has a much lighter feel, gone is the heavy March Of The Black Queen, instead the band play newer numbers like Good Old Fashion Lover Boy, Millionaire Waltz, and You’re My Best Friend, the songs flow effortlessly together.
There are many standout songs on this tape, I love the aggressiveness of Ogre Battle and as Gerard also noted, Brian’s solo in White Queen is simply sublime. I also prefer the stand alone versions of Death On Two Legs. Much of my enjoyment of 1977 Queen is certainly Brian May’s guitar “opuses”, beginning with Brighton Rock. I can remember hearing the song when I first got Live Killers back in the early 80s. Not only did he have such a unique tone but his use of certain effects gave him his own identity in the world of guitar virtuosos. The second is the melding of White Man and Prophet Song, just incredibly heavy and Freddie’s layered vocal section must have been amazing to hear live. As Gerard stated, the pacing on the concerts make for a great listening experience, as a listener you are on the edge of your seat.
The packaging is nice, featuring live shots of Freddie in his Harlequin body suit and the entire band, I like the one on the interior of all four members at the front of the Stage certainly singing ’39. The interior also has the UK / European tour dates listed. The improved sound on this release is a nice upgrade to the Wardour title, improving the sound while honoring the integrity of the original recording, this is an all around excellent release by the Golden Eggs label.