Queen – First Major Rock (Gypsy Eye GE 045/046)

First Major Rock (Gypsy Eye GE 045/046)

Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, Argentina – February 28th, 1981

Disc 1 (44:37):  Introduction, 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, Need Your Loving Tonight, Rock It, Save Me, Now I’m Here, Dragon Attack 

Disc 2 (43:29):  Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive (intrumental inferno, guitar solo), Flash / The Hero, 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

Queen were one of the first major rock bands to recognize South America as a viable region in which to tour.  The cost of transporting the equipment and entourage from Japan to Argentina was massive, but Queen were rewarded with a wildly successful seven concert tour; five in Argentina and two in Brazil.  The first two shows were at the Estadio José Amalfitani in Buenos Aires, each before a sold out capacity of more than 60,000.  So important was this tour that the first show was broadcast on Radio Rivadavia (the second show was televised).  Unofficial releases of the first show were pressed on vinyl soon after the event, the most well known are The Falklands Are Rocking (ST-Q 231082) 1LP in 1982 with ten tracks and Falklands II – The Sequel (KQ 001) with another ten songs and was copied on Tie Your Mother Down(KQ 001) 1991, one of the last Queen vinyl boots produced.

Early compact disc releases were copies of the recordings on vinyl.  All of the early titles are one disc with just over an hour of the show and they include Waiting On A Death Trip (The Grand Pick Records  TGP 137), My Favorite Dance-Tracks (Make Me Smile MMS 0892), South America (Lollywood Records  LR 61247-2), and the Australian copy Bohemian Rhapsody Vol. 1 (Banana BAN 038 A).

First Major Rock was released in the late nineties and originates from the pre-FM TDK SA90 cassette copied in stereo.  It doesn’t have the radio announcers, lacks part of the introduction, the reprise of “Now I’m Here” and “God Save The Queen.”  The engineer also utilized very long fades at the tape changes which affect both “Dragon Attack” and “We Are The Champions.”  Gypsy Eye runs slightly fast but it really isn’t noticeable.  The tape’s sound is very deep, rich and powerful and is one of the best recordings of Queen from the era, good enough for Wardour or some other silver label to revisit this fantastic tape.  10:49 in the guitar solo in ” Keep Yourself Alive”

The set list remains similar to that utilized in Japan, beginning with the lightening and thunder strikes leading into the double opener of the fast “We Will Rock You” and “Let Me Entertain You.”  Freddie’s first words to the audience are “Hola cantina!!”  “Somebody To Love,” which was normally played after “Play the Game,” is dropped and they proceed straight into “Mustapha,” the beginning of the medley.  The right channel drops a bit during “Killer Queen.” 

A powerful version of “Get Down Make Love” closes the medley and is followed by three songs from “The Game.”  “Need Your Loving Tonight” is the nice John Deacon pop confection played in both Buenos Aires shows.  “Rock It (Prime Jive)” returns to the set list.  Freddie introduces it, saying “we’re gonna do another song from the album The Game.  Listen I’m sure you know all about it.  This is… hola…ola…this is a song written by Roger Taylor.”  After the first stanza Freddie can be heard saying off mic “let’s see if I hit it,” referring to the high note but he avoids it and quips “I’m never gonna make that note.”

The audience know the cues for “Love Of My Life” and sing along and are so enthusiastic that May shouts at the end “you’re the best.”  “Keep Yourself Alive” contains the long guitar solo which segues into their Flash Gordon medley with only “Flash” and “The Hero.”  The set ends with “Tie Your Mother Down.”  The energetic “Another One Bites The Bust” is the first encore and then they get into the News Of The World triplet of “Sheer Heart Attack,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” before the tape fades out.  Overall this is a great recording of a legendary show and is worth having when (hopefully) a definitive version comes out.  First Major Rock is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with artwork containing pictures from about a decade earlier in Queen’s career (from about the Sheer Heart Attack to A Day At The Races era). 

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