A Night At Nagoya (Wardour-065)
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya, Japan – March 23rd, 1976
Disc 1 (48:02): Intro., Bohemian Rhapsody, Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen (As It Began), Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (Conclusion), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Guitar Solo, Son And Daughter
Disc 2 (42:38): Member Introductions, The Prophet’s Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, (Bonus Track): Interviews 1, Interviews 2
Queen started their second tour of Japan on March 23rd, 1976 in Nagoya. A Night At Nagoya is the silver pressed debut of the show using the incomplete. It is a good to very good, somewhat flat mono recording capturing most of the show before cutting out after a minute of “Liar” eliminating most of the song, “In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited,” “Now I’m Here,” “Big Spender,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “God Save The Queen.”
According to the Queen Live website: “Wardour … may have used a different source tape/copy, as the last couple seconds of ‘Liar’ do not distort before the recording cuts out. They have EQ’d it so it’s not so bass-heavy, corrected the speed, and smoothed out the edit for the tape flip at the beginning of ‘The Prophet’s Song.'”
The band took a two week break between a tour of the US and this visit to Japan. Their excitement in visiting Japan again is very much evident in this enthusiastic performance. Freddie in particular takes the effort to speak complete sentences in Japanese past the expected “arigato” and “konichiwa.” The tape picks up with the taped “Ladies and gentlemen…a night at the opera” spoken introduction followed by the “opera section” of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The band hits the stage with the hard rock third section of the piece with segues into “Ogre Battle.”
“It looks like it’s gonna be a fun night tonight” Freddie shouts before the new song “Sweet Lady,” as song that doesn’t quite work on record but is a fantastic live piece. The medley is referred to as “a medley of four songs from four of our different albums, and we’re gonna start with a number, I think you know this one, it’s called ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.'” It is one of the stranger Queen arrangements since it is the opening and closing of “Bohemian Rhapsody” with snatches of “Killer Queen” and ninety seconds of “March Of The Black Queen” thrown in the middle.
Afterwards Freddie says: “What can we do for you my little darlings. It’s time we featured Brian May on the guitar. Yes, I think you’re gonna like this. This is a song that we didn’t do last time but we’re gonna do it for you right now. It’s a number called ‘Brighton Rock.'” The middle guitar solo is seven minutes long and the track ends with “Son & Daughter.”
“The Prophet’s Song” contains the earliest known live reference to “Death On Two Legs” during the harmonized middle section, singing “death on two legs, you’re tearing me apart, kill joy, bad guy.” The piece segues into “Stone Cold Crazy.” Afterwards Freddie gives his salute to the audience, saying: “Queen would like to drink a special toast to Nagoya. May you all drink champagne tomorrow for breakfast. Right now we’d like to do a number … Oh, you understood that one. Cheeky little thing!”
“Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon” is “a song that lasts one minute six seconds” (and Freddie is very close). And finally “Liar” is a song that “we do everytime we come to Japan” and Freddie encourages Taylor during the drum introduction, saying “come on blondie!” Wardour supplement the second disc with two rare interviews taken from Queen’s first trip to Japan. The normal questions are asked regarding Brian’s guitar and their favorite musicians. It’s great when labels include rare and hard to find material like this and include them as bonus. Wardour has effective use of period photographs on the artwork and overall this is a very solid effort by the label and is worth having.