Melbourne 1985 (Killing Floor KF98020/21)
Sports & Entertainment Centre, Melbourne, AU – April 19th, 1985
Disc 1 (50:29): 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, Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here, Is This The World We Created?, Love Of My Life
Disc 2 (52:37): guitar solo, 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 pommy bastards in Queen could have been forgiven for completely ignoring Australia after their disastrous appearance at the Sunbury Festival in Melbourne in February 1974. Queen returned two years latter during the Night At The Opera tour for several successful dates in April 1976, but waited almost a whole decade before returning.
Queen didn’t tour much in 1985, only stops in Brazil, Japan, and nine dates down under starting with a show in Auckland, New Zealand on April 13th. Melbourne 1985 is a rare silver pressing of the third of four show played in Melbourne. Released in 1998, Killing Floor use a very clear but thin audience recording. There is a cut at 2:20 in “Is This The World We Created?” cutting out the latter part of the song. It is otherwise complete.
The setlist is the same as in all of the shows on this tour, starting with the taped “Machines” introduction to the “Tear It Up” bit and “Tie Your Mother Down.” After the introductions and “Under Pressure” the medley begins with “Somebody To Love.” Most of the song is played before a serious piano bridge into “Killer Queen. “
Two verses and the guitar solo give way to the spectacular piano flourish of “Seven Seas Of Rhye.” Only ninety seconds of the Queen II track is played before the abrasive guitar riff of “Keep Yourself Alive” makes its appearance. Their first hit is played almost in its entirety before Brian May plays the famous “Son & Daughter” riff as an introduction to “Liar.”
After “Liar” Freddie says, “It’s nice to be back in Melbourne after nine years. Did anybody see us nine years ago? After a small smattering of applause he jokes, “You fucking liars!” The impromptu improvisation, which is normally tracked separately, is included with “It’s A Hard Life.”
May plays a lyric little melody under Freddie’s scat vocals. When they finally do start “It’s A Hard Life” Freddie’s voice sounds very deep, strange and disturbing. Afterwards Freddie plays his “day-o” vocal games with the audience. The band play a long and unique introduction to “Dragon Attack.” May plays the wild introduction of “House Burning Down” by Jimi Hendrix before they get into the dance tune which in turn segues into “Now I’m Here.”
May introduces “Is This The World We Created?” by saying “we’d like to change the mood radically” and mentioned how “this song just happened late one night in Munich.” Freddie gives a gorgeous rendition of the piece. “Love Of My Life” is unique because it lacks the audience participation it enjoyed for many years. Either the Australians were too shy to sing or didn’t know they were supposed to sing along, but Freddie sings the entire song alone.
Afterwards he gets the audience to clap in rhythm, getting them excited for May’s guitar solo. He starts in the slow and contemplative sound scape section before playing “Frère Jacques” and aggressive heavy metal riffing. He leads the band into the final verse of “‘Brighton Rock,” not noted on the artwork.
The set ends with “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Radio Ga Ga” and “I Want To Break Free” start the encore set. The show closes with great versions of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.”
Melbourne 1985 is packaged in a double slimline jewel case. The artwork is printed on only one side. The reverse of each insert is simply white paper. Several years ago an upgrade was posted online. The silver labels who regularly press Queen shows have ignored the Australia tapes. This show is worth an upgrade perhaps in the future as well as the other Australia shows deserving to be pressed onto silver (perhaps in a box set). Barring future releases, this is still a good title for the collection.