Queen – The Ultimate Entertainer II (Wardour-014)


The Ultimate Entertainer II (Wardour-014)

The Horizon, Chicago, IL – September 19th, 1980

Disc 1: Intro, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Mustapha/Death On Two Legs/Killer Queen/I’m In Love With My Car/Get Down Make Love/You’re My Best Friend, Save Me, Now I’m Here/Dragon Attack/Now I’m Here (reprise)

Disc 2: Fat Bottomed Girls, Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive/drum solo/guitar solo/Brighton Rock (reprise), Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

Ultimate Entertainer II serves somewhat as a sequel to Wardour’s Ultimate Entertainer. Both are from Chicago on consecutive tours made by the same taper. Just like on the Jazz tour, he was able to place his mic in such a position to produce a staggeringly clear and detailed tape. This is the best, most vivid aural document from Queen’s greatest and penultimate tour of North America. Another tape source exists that is very good but distant and a bit distorted released on silver discs by Gypsy Eye on The Fly Swatter’s (159/160) several years ago. This tape is superior in sound quality. The only negatives are the several cuts in the tape. The first cut occurs 4:18 in “Now I’m Here” right between the end of the guitar solo and Freddie’s vocal gymnastics. There are also small cuts after “Keep Yourself Alive”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and before “We Will Rock You (slow)” missing no music or talking. The final cut eliminates the spoken introduction to “Another One Bites The Dust” but no music is lost.

The band make the bold decision to open the show with a cover of “Jailhouse Rock” followed by the fast version of “We Will Rock You”, which opened their shows for three years going back to the News Of The World tours. Freddie is in great voice and sounds very upbeat in this show, saying “this is the first time we’ve come to here and there’s been no snow on the ground” before singing “Mustapha”, the beginning of their early set medley which is identical to the one played on their previous tour. This is the first tour where Freddie wore his moustache and at every stop he asks the crowd their opinion. “Do you think I should keep this moustache? Did you say no? Fuck off! A lot of people really hate it. In San Francisco they told me to shave it” he says before introducing Brian May on the piano for “Save Me”. This song was never released as a single in the US and it is curious they play it on the tour instead of “Need Your Loving Tonight” which was a US released single.

Brian May complains about the acoustics at The Horizon before “Love Of My Life”, wondering how a bad design could occur “in this age of computer acoustic design”. None of that affects the recording or their jolly performance that night. “Keep Yourself Alive” is played in the arrangement developed on the Crazy tour with Taylor’s drum / tympani solo and May’s guitar solo leading into the final verse of “Brighton Rock”. Things get wild with their first encore “Another One Bites The Dust” where Freddie gets the audience to move and make some noise. “Sheer Heart Attack” is appropriately violent. The Game was Queen’s only album to reach number one in the States and “Another One Bites The Dust” was their biggest hit world wide. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, which was released as a single the previous year was also a huge this tour has attained legendary status. This is the best recording to surface from this era and Ultimate Entertainer II is highly recommended. (GS)

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