King’s Favorite (141 RC)
Forest National, Brussels, Belgium – September 21st, 1984
Disc 1 (60:54): Machines (tape), Tear It Up, Tie Your Mother Down, Under Pressure, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, It’s A Hard Life, Mustapha (intro), Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here, Is This The World We Created?, Love Of My Life, Stone Cold Crazy, Great King Rat, Brighton Rock
Disc 2 (43:58): Another One Bites The Dust, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
The Works was Queen’s eleventh studio album and was released in February 1984. It took several months before they began the tour to support the album, but it began on August 24th at the Forest National in Brussels, Belgium. The demand for tickets was so high that a second night in Brussels was booked. But because the Forest was occupied on August 25th Queen had to schedule the second show a month later on September 21st.
King’s Favorite was pressed on 2LPs in 1985 in Italy. It utilizes a very good and atmospheric audience recording of the complete show. King’s Favorite (141 RC) is a two pressed CD copy from the vinyl. Whoever manufactured this title used a clean vinyl copy, but slight pops and surface noise is audible. They also reduced the hiss in the upper frequencies. The volume on the second disc is much higher than the first for some reason. It is packaged in a miniature reproduction of the LP jacket and even getting the date wrong. The manufacturers are also responsible for several other copies of classic vinyl Queen boots, but this is the best of the lot.
“Machines” from the new album is used as the taped introduction before the band begin with a heavy versions of “Tear It Up” and “Tie Your Mother Down.” Freddie greets the audience, saying “Hello again Brussels, you feeling happy? You ready for some rock and roll? Okay, ‘Under Pressure!'”
Several medleys are played in the setlist on this tour. The first oldies begins with “Killer Queen” and continues with “Seven Seas Of Rhye,” “Keep Yourself Alive,” and “Liar.” At the beginning of the tour the first half of “Staying Power” was played, segued with “Dragon Attack.” But this was dropped and replaced with a quick reference to “Mustapha.” A two song acoustic set with “Is This The World We Created?” and “Love Of My Life” are played early on in the set.
“C’mon, let’s do a jam,” Freddie says afterwards when Brian, John and Roger are playing a mid tempo heavy metal riff. It goes on for close to two minutes before they start “Stone Cold Crazy.” That song segues into a (too) brief reference to “Great King Rat.” “Machines” from the new album is played and is followed by Brian May’s guitar solo which ends after six minutes with the final verse of “Brighton Rock.” Of the three medleys in the set this one is more effective by blending together various song that don’t really seem to fit.
“Another One Bites The Dust” is very funky in this recording. “Hammer To Fall,” whose video was filmed in this venue the previous month, shows Freddie’s weakening vocals as he struggles to hit the high notes. This is heard further in the set closer “Radio Ga Ga,” the big hit off of the new album. He manages to hit some of the higher notes but sounds weak and May is slopping during this number as well. The Brussels audience sing along to “I Want To Break Free.” The encores continue with “Jailhouse Rock” and end with “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.” King’s Favorite is a very nice release although, given the quality of the performance and recording, should be given a definitive release.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)