Queen – Japanese Jewels (Apocalypse Sound AS 141)

 Japanese Jewels (Apocalypse Sound AS 141)

1) I WAS BORN TO LOVE YOU 2) VIDEO MILESTONES 3) JAPAN 1975 4) NOW I’M HERE (Budokan, Tokyo 1975) 5) TEO TORRIATE (Seibu Stadium, Tokyo 1982) 6) KILLER QUEEN (Top Of The Pops 1974) 7) WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS (Olympiahalle, Munich 1978) 8) KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE (Olympiahalle, Munich 1978) 9) WE WILL ROCK YOU (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 10) INTRO : LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 11) INTRO : FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 12) BRIGHTON ROCK (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 13) TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 14) BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 15) SPREAD YOUR WINGS (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 16) WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS (Vorst Nationaal, Brussels 1979) 17) SOUNDCHECK (Ahoy, Rotterdam 1979) 18) BICYCLE RACE (Ahoy, Rotterdam 1979) 19) I’M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR (Ahoy, Rotterdam 1979) 20) SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE (Rock In Rio 1985) 21) KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE (Rock In Rio 1985) 22) LIAR (Rock In Rio 1985) 23) NOW I’M HERE (Rock In Rio 1985) 24) BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Rock In Rio 1985) 25) RADIO GAGA (Rock In Rio 1985) 26) A KIND OF MAGIC (Montreux Festival 1986)

Japanese Jewels, the latest Queen offering from Apocalypse Sound, is a television broadcast from Japanese TV originally titled Jewels. It features a variety of Queen’s performances throughout their career with almost all of the footage in pristine quality. The show was hosted by a man and woman and all their dialogue is in Japanese but luckily most of the show is made up of live performances and interviews in English.

After the opening video of Freddie’s Mercury’s “I Was Born To Love You”, is a nice video montage of promotional videos spanning Queen’s career to further set the mood of the show. The program then focuses on Queen’s first visit to Japan in 1975 and is the common footage previously featured in the Magic Years series of documentaries that were released in 1987 on home video. The time line jumps around a bit after with a live “Now I’m Here” from Tokyo 75 to “Teo Torriate” from Tokyo 82 and back to their mimed 1974 Top Of The Pops “Killer Queen”.

The Munich 1978 segment is from the News Of The World tour and contains complete versions of “We Are The Champions” and “Keep Yourself Alive”. Brussels 1979 is still very good quality but is the thinnest sounding source used here and features quite a few song fragments intertwined with interviews with the band members. Rotterdam 1979 starts with some very cool bits from soundcheck where Brian is seen playing the beginning of “It’s Late”. Freddie warms up with “Death On Two Legs” and the band plays a piece of the track instrumentally before cutting directly to incomplete versions of “Bicycle Race” and “I’m In Love With My Car” from the actual concert. All of this European footage is amazing to see with Queen being in their prime. I have to admit this is the first time I’ve come across this material and hope to see more of this in the future as this was the highlight of the DVD for me.

From 1979, it jumps to 1985 for Rock In Rio and this really shows just how large of an act Queen had become. These tracks are also complete and are stunning quality as well taken from the South American television broadcast. The band is on and Freddie’s voice sounds strong. The program concludes with a lip synched version of “A Kind Of Magic” in front of a live Montreux Festival crowd from 1986 and is rather bizarre. Japanese Jewels is another beautiful production from Apocalypse Sound and for the rare late 70s European clips alone, this is a worthwhile purchase.

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  1. The video quality of the DVD is perfect. This is one of the best AS releases yet. The host of this program is a bit strange, especially when he dons Freddie’s black and white leotards.
    “A Kind Of Magic” is also found on the Wembley DVD and is rather strange. Apparently there was some rule against playing live so that is how they had to do it. It is the same story several years earlier too when Works came out.


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