Queen – Best Of Montreal (Wardour-022)

Best Of Montreal (Wardour-022)

The Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada – December 1st, 1978

Disc 1:  Intro., 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, Spread Your Wings, Dreamer’s Ball, Love Of My Life, ’39, It’s Late

Disc 2:  Brighton Rock (includes Roger & Brian solo), Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

The tape of Queen’s Montreal concert first surfaced back in 1993 with the release of Live In Montreal Continental Sounds  (CS CD 10-005/006).  The next silver release was in 1998 out of Japan as Live Achievements on Gypsy Eye (GE-090/91).  Both releases were problematic, utilizing a high generation tape that ran too slow.  Given its excellence and potential, it was always hoped a definitive version from a lower generation would appear.

Wardour’s Best Of Montreal comes close.  Using a lower generation tape, this release sounds much better and is closer to the actual speed although it still sounds a bit too slow as the show really seems to drag.  Maybe the band was sluggish at the beginning of the Jazz tour? 

Whatever the case may be, this tape does sound very dynamic and detailed and is one of the best sounding tapes from this era.  The recording is only affected by the taper (or someone close by) clapping along incessantly during the performance.  It isn’t loud enough to detract from the music but can be annoying during clap along portions of the show like “Keep Yourself Alive”.

The actual performance is one of the better ones.  “You’re terrific…It’s gonna be a good night tonight” Freddie spiels after “Somebody To Love”.  It is good to hear a complete Killers performance and the band play both “If You Can’t Beat Them” and “Fat Bottomed Girls” on this night.  “Don’t Stop Me Now” wasn’t played until the European leg later on. 

They also play the longest acoustic set with three numbers, and Freddie is very self-conscious about boring the audience.  The crowd sounds like they really enjoy the tunes, especially the fun of “Dreamer’s Ball”.  Both “It’s Late” and “Brighton Rock”, the latter with the tympani solo, sound massive in this recording.  In general the limitations of this release do not detract enough and I’d recommend this release.

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