Queen – Not Fade Away (Gypsy Eye GE 175/176)

Not Fade Away (Gypsy Eye GE 175/176)

Wembley Arena, London, England – September 4th, 1984

Disc 1 (50:51):  Machines (tape), Tear It Up, Tie Your Mother Down, Under Pressure, medley:  Somebody To Love – Killer Queen – Seven Seas Of Rhye – Keep Yourself Alive – Liar, improvisation, It’s A Hard Life, Staying Power, Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here, Is This The World We Created?, Love Of My Life 

Disc 2 (55:23):  Stone Cold Crazy, Great King Rat, Machines (keyboard improvisation), guitar solo – Brighton Rock (ending), Hammer To Fall, Another One Bites The Dust, 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

Not Fade Away documents the first of four nights at the Wembley Arena in London on the Works tour.  Gypsy Eye utilize what is a very good and clear audience recording of the event.  However, they remastered it too hard and it sounds very brittle, crispy and distorted.  It produces tremendous amount of listening fatigue and it winds up being one of Gypsy Eye’s worst efforts. 

It’s a shame too because this is a very enjoyable performance.  The first show in London sees the band playing with a tremendous amount of energy.  This is one of the best shows from the Works era on tape with gutsy performances of “Tear It Up” and “Tie Your Mother Down.”

“Somebody To Love” starts off the medley very quiet.  Freddie prolongs the intro and encourages the audience to sing along.  It is played up until the gospel middle before segueing into “Killer Queen,” and bits of “Seven Seas Of Rhye,” “Keep Yourself Alive” and finally “Liar.”  Just like in the previous evening in Birmingham, Freddie jokes around before attempting the high notes at the beginning of “It’s A Hard Life,” saying:  “I’m gonna try the fucking thing.”  He tries but the results are painful to hear.  

Before “Staying Power” Freddie addresses the break-up rumors, saying they are “unfucking true…if you want us to be here, we’ll be here every night.”

Brian becomes chatty before the acoustic interlude.  Before playing “Is This The World We Created?” he tells London:  “It’s very nice to be back. We spend a lot of our time going all around the world, to all the four corners of this strange place that we live in, and when we come back here it’s … feels something special. I don’t know what it is. It’s home. We’re kind of more exposed and naked than anywhere else. I don’t know what it is, but it’s great. So this is something to listen to if you wanna cool down for a sec.”

During the guitar solo the lights malfunction and after “Brighton Rock” Freddie says:  “Something happen to our lights or something? Are the lights okay?  These million-dollar lights are fucked up! The honest truth, can you believe it, we pay all this million pounds, or whatever you read about, for the lights, and there’s one plug that works the whole damn thing. And that’s got a fuse or something.”

Loose enough to improvise, Freddie gets into a bit of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” while tuning his guitar for “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”  He sets the rhythm and Roger Taylor joins in on drums.  Freddie doesn’t remember all the words and ends by singing:  “I’m gonna get you, I don’t know the words.”  Overall this is another very effective show before they began to run out of enthusiasm in early 1985.  Not Fade Away is a good choice for a silver title, but Gypsy Eye truly dropped the ball on this one and ruined what would have been an excellent release. 

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