Houston Rock Night At The Summit (Queen Digital Archives QDA-002DVD)
The Summit, Houston, TX – December 11th, 1977
Introduction, We Will Rock You (slow, taped), We Will Rock You (fast), Brighton Rock, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, I’m In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, The Millionaire Waltz, You’re My Best Friend, Liar, Love Of My Life, ’39, My Melancholy Blues, White Man, The Prophet’s Song/guitar solo, Now I’m Here, Stone Cold Crazy, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Tie Your Mother Down, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, Sheer Heart Attack, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen
Arriving soon on the heels of the complete audio soundtrack released on DQA as A Night A The Summit and on Wardour as Houston 1977, DQA has now made available, for the first time, the complete videotape of Queen’s legendary show at The Summit in Houston at the beginning of the News Of The World tour. This comes from an in house, closed circuit television broadcast which was commonly done by this venue.
A forty-minute fragment had circulated before but this is the first release of the complete show. It looks exactly like what it is: an almost thirty-year-old videotape not intended for public broadcast or release. The colors are faded and there is significant bleeding in dark areas, and there are several lines through the picture which never disappear. It is watchable despite the flaws however.
Whenever a tape surfaces that comes from a venue’s broadcast on large screens or close circuit broadcast there is the concern that the picture will be dominated by extreme close ups. It’s understandable they’d want those shots so people in the nose bleeds can see the performers, but at home on television we don’t need to count Freddie Mercury’s nose hairs and see the dirt under Brian May’s fingernails.
Luckily the cameras capture mid level shots of the band and give generous views of the entire stage. The very beginning of the tape is cut off and the label compensates by playing the sound track over a shot of their audio cd release until Freddie comes in singing “We Will Rock You”.
He’s dressed in the harlequin leotard underneath his black leather jacket just like the DVD cover artwork. What follows in a great show. Perhaps I was too harsh in my review of the audio soundtrack, but Brian’s guitar problems aren’t that noticeable on video. The pause in “Liar” gives Freddie an excuse to affect a very dramatic, Queen-style pose under a single spotlight.
This also gives us probably the only video documentation of a live “Melancholy Blues”, a song played only on this tour. In general this title is a no brainer for Queen fans. Its existence and availability has been discussed ad infinitum for years and it’s finally here. Unless a true master surfaces this is the best we’ll have.