We’ll Give You Crazy Performances (Apocalypse Sound AS-135)
Pavillion de Paris, Paris, France – February 28th & March 1st, 1979: We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Fat Bottomed Girls, You’re My Best Friend, Now I’m Here, Don’t Stop Me Now, If You Can’t Beat Them, Spread Your Wings, Dreamers Ball, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack
Seibu Lions Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – April 25th, 1979: We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I’m In Love With My Car, Teo Torriatte, Keep Yourself Alive, Don’t Stop Me Now, Bohemian Rhapsody (cut), We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions
We’ll Give You Crazy Performances on Apocalypse Sound collects two excellent quality video documents from Queen’s Jazz tour. And even though they are separated by less than two months, views one after the other they present a stunning contrast. The first half of the DVD is devoted to the final shows on the European tour in Paris. This footage was released previously on DVDr on Rhapsody In Paris (Videosmash VS-010R), but AS use a new source that surfaced several months ago. This comes from either a first or second generation copy of the master VHS and is the best this footage has ever been. There is minor deterioration during the opening verse of “Now I’m Here” and there is a little cut in the guitar solo in “If You Can’t Beat Them.”
All three Paris concerts were videotaped by QTV and edited together with some footage being used for a documentary. AS list this as being from March 1st. Many of the tracks are but “Somebody To Love,” “If You Can’t Beat Them” (with the “Mustapha” introduction coming from the March 1st show), “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Tie Your Mother Down,” and “Sheer Heart Attack” come from the February 28th show. It is strange that, for a professionally videotaped concert, only one camera was used and sometimes the one manning the camera didn’t know how to tape them. During “Now I’m Here” the camera follows Freddie around the stage during May’s guitar solo and during “Don’t Stop Me Now” the camera is trained on May through the verses, only capturing Freddie while singing the middle part and end.
The performances are fantastic with the fast “We Will Rock You” and “Let Me Entertain You” being among the strongest openings for a Queen concert. “If You Can’t Beat Them” with the short “Mustapha” introduction sounds much more exciting live than in the studio and turns out to be an underrated number. “Don’t Stop Me Now” is dedicated to the road crew who have been so good during the tour “but don’t let it get to your heads, girls.” The final song on the tape is “Sheer Heart Attack” taken at what seems double time. May busts a string early in the song but doesn’t let that stop him, playing guitar lines that are unique to this show.
The second half of the DVD contains a thirty-two minute television broadcast from the April 25th concert. Fifteen minutes of this footage was broadcast in Japanese television in the ’80’s but in 2002 almost double the amount was broadcast on television. This first surfaced on silver DVD in the Pride And Joy(Wardour-047) set that also has audience recordings for the April 14th and 23rd Tokyo shows. The video quality is extremely good and the sound quality is excellent and it is great to have such rare footage commercially available. The songs are mostly edited in one way or another but what is present is great. The most spectacular visual is seeing Freddie sitting on the shoulders of Superman dressed in a campy red-rhinestone studded short suit!
It is unfortunate that by this point in the tour Freddie’s voice was almost completely shot and every song suffers as a result. The rest of the band play great though, and both of these documents convey the dark nihilism that is Queen’s Jazz tour. Apocalypse Sound did a good job in pairing these two shows together into one package since footage from this era is hard to come by. This is presented in the NTSC format region zero to be compatible with all DVD players. The packaging is a cardboard DVD digipack with many photos from the Killers era and a photo from the “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” video shoot (Deacon wearing the Bike It T-shirt!) This is worth having for all Queen collectors.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)