Modern Times Rock ‘N’ Roll (Godfather Records GR 664)
Uptown Theater, Milwaukee, WI – March 7th, 1975
(78:17): Procession, Now I’m Here, Ogre Battle, Father To Son, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Medley: In The Lap Of The Gods / Killer Queen / The March Of The Black Queen / Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Guitar Solo, Son And Daughter (reprise), Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock’n’Roll, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen
When the tape for Queen’s March 7th, 1975 show in Milwaukee first surfaced in 2003 it immediately became the definitive live statement of the era. Their first tour of the US the previous year has several documents in circulation, but their second, in support of Sheer Heart Attack, is pretty much shrouded in mystery. This is the only almost complete show in circulation.
It is a very good audience recording taped by some enthusiastic fans. There are some pauses between songs to conserve tape, but all the music is present. It lacks a bit in dynamics, sounding slightly flat. But it is very clear and enjoyable.
It was quickly bootlegged on In The Lap Of The Queen (GE-257), one of Gypsy Eye’s final releases, and as a bonus disc with Pop Spectacular (Wardour-016). Gypsy Eye was slightly more loud and clear than Wardour and was the preferred version. Modern Times Rock ‘N’ Roll on Godfather is the third silver pressing and is much closer to Gypsy Eye than to Wardour. It is not as loud as Gypsy Eye, but it is very clear and has a nice live sound.
Queen were on the same bill as Styx, Mahogany Rush and Kansas, the headliners. A review states the show was a sell out in the 1,700 capacity theater. “The group’s stage presence was dynamic but the music was mundane. The songs, which came from Queen’s latest album ‘Sheer Heart Attack,’ as well as two other releases, were monotonous, chaotic sounding hard rockers.” Glad does point out Queen’s strong harmonies before praising Kansas, the headliners.
The person responsible for this tape is a die-hard Queen fan. He brought along a friend of his to convert him to the magic of Queen and he adds commentary throughout the show. Right at the end of “Procession” he says, “Father To Son, isn’t it?” in anticipation of the Queen II running order. Instead the band play “Now I’m Here” from the new album Sheer Heart Attack, recounting their journey supporting Mott The Hoople on their previous tour of the States. “Thank you and good evening Milwaukee!
“Are you ready for a little rock and roll Queen style?” are Freddie’s first words before “Ogre Battle”. “I would like to make a toast to Milwaukee. This is a delicate little number called ‘White Queen’” before the number described as “pure emotion” from a well known Queen commentator.
Brian May’s ukulele in “Bring Back That Leroy Brown” receives a great reaction as does his solo in “Son & Daughter”.
The encores begin with the “stripper” beat of “Big Spender” and also contain a great version of “Modern Times Rock And Roll.” The only negative to this concert is the lack of “Seven Seas Of Rhye” which was unfortunately not played in this show.
Godfather use rare photographs from the era on the artwork. The tape is deserving of another release given its rarity, sound quality, and the scorching performance Queen give that night. Their intent was to blow the other bands off the stage and make a big impression on Milwaukee, and they most likely did. Modern Times Rock ‘N’ Roll is a title worth having.