Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois – September 19, 1980
Disc 1 (52:06) Introduction, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Mustapha, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, I’m In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You’re My Best Friend, Same Me, Now I’m Here / Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here (reprise)
Disc 2 (56:02) Fat Bottomed Girls, Brian Speech, Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive / Roger Taylor Timpani Solo / Brian May Guitar Solo / Brighton Rock (finale), Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
This new Queen title from Golden Eggs features the band’s performance at The Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois during the band’s tour in support of The Game LP. There have been a couple previous releases of this concert, The Fly Swatters (Gypsy Eye GE 159/160) and The Ultimate Entertainer II (Wardour-014). The latter was a significant upgrade over the older Gypsy Eye title and until now the definitive version of this concert.
This new Golden Egg title is a significant upgrade over the Wardour, it took several listens of this title to determine what I was hearing. First off the sound is louder, fuller dynamics, cleaner and since this was claimed to be directly from the master tape it could be the better tape generation as well as superior transfer. What threw me for a loop was the recording between the music, first off the introduction sounded different, on the Wardour there are many hand claps as well as a fan who comments “tremendous”, none of this was on this new version. So I sat and listened to the between song crowd and again Wardour has the clapping noticeable where this new Egg title does not. During Freddie’s vocalization for Mustapha you get the same person saying something like “Irihito” on both titles. So I checked out the cuts, the first being in Now I’m Here, same place on both, although the EGG cut has been perfectly edited with the Freddie crowd interaction. The other cuts are there as well although the editing job is superior and other than the one before Crazy Little Thing, you would not know they were there. I surmise that Golden Eggs sound engineer was able to remove the loud claps making for a cleaner listening experience.
Queen live in 1980 were incredible visually with the massive lighting rig and drum riser and musically were on top of their game so to speak. In his assessment of the Wardour title Gerard describes opening the concerts on the tour with Jailhouse Rock as being bold, it is in fact the band making a statement of solidarity with the audience who they are “locked” into a room with for the next two hours. In fact the opening of Jailhouse Rock into the fast version of We Will Rock You then Let Me Entertain You is one of the best opening segments in Rock. I dig Dragon Attack being in Now I’m Here, the audience does too as they react positively. The ending portion of the concert from Tie Your Mother Down is simply brilliant, Sheer Heart Attack just nails the vibe of the band and concert in four minutes. As the poster says on the inside cover…”Queen is the # 1 Game in town”…sums it up.
The band is in a defiant mood, Freddie giving his stance on reaction to his mustache, Brian’s comments about the acoustics of the Rosemont Horizon but one would not know it from the superb recording, it seems like there were some really good tapers in the Chicago area, would be great to know about the gear and remembrances of taping back then. Simply a well paced and enjoyable concert, don’t be afraid to turn this one up as it sounds great loud, oh yeah click on a link to GS’s review of the Wardour, he sums up the performance quickly yet perfectly at the same time.
The tri-gatefold sleeve is adorned with live shots of the group from The Game tour with Freddie gracing the cover. A fitting presentation for this title, massive upgraded simply superb sound and mastering by Golden Eggs and a real joy to listen too. It’s hard to believe it’s been 27 years since his passing, the statement could be made on how well his legacy has fared, for me I only need to hear recordings and performances like this to know it is alive and well.