Definitive Mannheim (Wardour-100)
Maimarktgelande, Mannheim, Germany – June 21st, 1986
Disc (57:43): One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down, In The Lap Of The Gods … Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Day- O, Under Pressure, Another One Bites The Dust, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free, Impromptu, Guitar Solo, Now I’m Here
Disc 2 (46:54): Love Of My Life, Is This The World We Created?, You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care), Hello Mary Lou, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Love, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
Queen’s Mannheim show on June 21st, 1986 is one of the most well known from the Magic Tour. Broadcast on the German radio station SWR 3, it is the source for countless titles from the vinyl Done Under Pressure and Queen Reigns The World in the eighties to Crowning Glory (Kiss The Stone), Noblesse Oblige (Living Legend), Done Under Pressure In Germany (Gypsy Eye GE141/142) and For Dreamers Only (Godfather GR 58/59)on silver disc in the nineties.
In March 2008 the show was broadcast again on the radio in much upgraded sound quality and was copied on CDR on Monnem Magic (Trial-326). Definitive Mannheim is the first silver pressing of the new tape. Made by the same people who manufacture the Trial label, they claim to have cleaned up the tape and fixed the pitch issues on disc one.
Mannheim was the seventh show of the tour and, before a crowd numbering 85,750, one of the biggest. Opening acts included Craaft, Gary Moore, Level 42, and Marillion.
Early in the show Freddie drops many side comment ad libs. In singing “is this a kind of magic?” he asks, “do you believe it?” In “Under Pressure” he adds “sat on a fence / but it didn’t fucking work!”
During the long instrumental improvisations Brian plays the opening melody to The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” and a nice version of “Gimme Some Lovin’.” At the six-minute mark in the guitar solo May plays the haunting melody of “Golden Days,” a song he had written for Japanese singer Minako Honda. No one in the audience would have recognized it, however, beause it wasn’t released until April 1987.
Brian introduces “Love Of My Life” saying that “Freddie wrote a magical song. It goes like this.” The singer continues with the ad libs, sing “and I love you …. and don’t you forget it!” After “Is This The World We Created” the rest of the band return for the oldies section of the show. Fish, the singer for Marillion, joins the band on stage to add his voice to the fun. Roger Taylor even gives him a big introduction
“We love you. What a corny, shitty thing to say, I know, but we love you anyway” Freddie says before they start “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Their eleven year old classic hasn’t dated at all, still sounding creative and powerful on their final tour. During the final part, while Freddie is singing “nothing really matters,” what sounds like a Mellotron can be heard in the mix, lending a progressive rock feel to the piece.
The ultra-catchy “Hammer To Fall” follows complete with pyrotechnic display. Before the final number “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” Freddie jokes, “this is called a guitar and I can never play it … but I’ll get away with murder. Just watch!” Both Spike Edney’s boogie piano and May’s abrasive guitar solo work very well.
May also plays an intriguing guitar solo in “Radio Ga Ga.” It almost sounds like a slide as if he’s channeling Steve Howe’s work on Relayer. “We Will Rock You,” an emotional “Friends Will Be Friends” and a melodramatic version of “We Are The Champions” (with Freddie taking his time on the piano for the opening notes) close the show.
One could argue that Mannheim is the best show from the tour. It’s a fantastic performance by an enthusiastic band in excellent sound quality. Definitive Mannheim is a great release worth having.