Regal Rock (Tarantura TCDQ-21-1,2)
Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA, USA – January 30, 1976
Disc 1 (44:12) Introduction, Bohemian Rhapsody (Opera & Reprise), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock / Guitar Solo
Disc 2 (56:05) The Prophet’s Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive / Drum Solo, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited, Now I’m Here, Rock “N” Roll Medley: Hey Big Spender / Jailhouse Rock / Be Bop A Lula, God Save The Queen
It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since the Dan Lampinski audio archives were released to the world, for those who need a re-freshener, Dan was a taper who recorded around 100 concerts from 1974 to 1978 in the Providence RI and Boston MA area of the United States. The artists he recorded were a virtual who’s who of the Rock world, The Who, Yes, Genesis, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Rush, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Bruce Springsteen…the list goes on and on. He used high quality equipment and media which lead to incredible sounding field recordings. These recordings were a revelation and soon his name was spoken in the same breath as Mike Millard, Jerry Moore, Mr. Peach, Steve Hopkins, Jared Houser, and Stan Gutoski, The Mount Rushmore of tapers.
Certainly one of his best recordings is the Queen set from the Boston Music Hall on January 30, 1976. Dan was in the 5th row right center section, his rig at the time was a Sony TC-152SD Tape Recorder with a Sony ECM-99 Stereo Microphone and he used Maxell cassettes to capture one of THE most vivid Queen audience recordings ever. This recording has seen its share of releases, Wardour has released it four times on the titles A Night At Boston (Wardour 067), A Night At Boston Definitive Edition (Wardour 103), Definitive Boston 1976 2nd Night (Wardour 317), and most recently A Night At Boston 2020 Remaster (Wardour 430). Other labels have gotten in on the action with Rhapsody In Boston (HSD-002), God Knows What I’m Doing (The Godfatherecords G.R.492/493), and Boston Crazy Night (Moonchild MC-155).
I have had the God Knows What I’m Doing from The Godfatherecords title since it came out and have been quite happy with it but was told this release by Tarantura sounds incredible so I got a copy. Many of the recent Tarantura titles have been mastered by Enigma, his notes on the rear of this new title state only speed correction and gentle mastering were done to it. When I compare this to the Godfather title I find that title to be a tad brighter and just a hair louder, this new Tarantura title sounds fuller with a better bottom end while still maintaining nice upper frequencies, it seems to have a wider sound range and to my ears the sound is superior to the Godfather. It should be noted I do not have any of the Wardour titles for comparison, if anyone out there does have any of these titles and can comment, please do.
While Dan had high quality recording equipment to use, that was not the only thing leading to such an incredible recording, the other factors are certainly the acoustics of the intimate 2,700 seat venue. The last factor is the date, this was the second of two nights at the Music Hall, the front of house technician had the sound dialed in perfectly, this is evident at the very beginning of the concert. Many times during the few couple of numbers you could hear slight sound adjustments, on this recording the sound is virtually the same throughout the concert. The balance is near perfect, all instruments and vocals just perfectly captured with the power of the band coming over clearly without losing the subtle aspects of the sound and performance.
The performance is sublime and as a voyeur to the event, you are pulled in so much you can do nothing but listen as the band plays….45 years ago seems like you are present to the proceedings. The recording starts proper with the complete “introduction”….the sounds of orchestra tuning then an announcer “Ladies and Gentlemen…A Night At The Opera” which is followed by the taped middle Operatic portion of Bohemian Rhapsody followed by the full band kicking in with “So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye” section that leads into the proper opening song a devastating version of Ogre Battle. The version of White Queen is simply perfection, the sound envelops you, the tone of Brian’s guitar as he takes his solo is stunning, a thing of beauty.
For me, other highlights are March Of The Black Queen during the medley and Brian May’s echoplexed perfection of Brighton Rock with its Son And Daughter reprise followed by his equally as brilliant Prophet’s Song with its wonderful vocalization from Freddie. In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited is drama at its best and Now I’m Here is pure joy. There are a couple reviews of earlier releases by both Gerard and WGPSEC, both are excellent and worth reading. The equally excellent Queen Live site calls this tape “Essential listening for any fan of Rock Music”…I can only agree.
Tarantura packages their releases using a gatefold style sleeve, this one is wonderfully adorned with artwork similar to the event poster. There are brief notes on the rear by Enigma, whose mastering work is featured on this release. The interior has a reproduction of a new paper review of the concert which also provides the title for this set, the event poster, and the recording rig used for the recording. CDs have pictures on them, Freddie on Disc 1, Roger on the second and let’s not forget the OBI. A flawless release by Tarantura.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)