As Queen prepared for their follow-up album to ‘A Day at the Races’, the musical landscape was changing in the UK. The Punk scene was starting to takeover so Queen decided to adapt to the times. No, they didn’t make a punk album, but what they did was drop the grandiose ideas of the previous albums and strip it all back to their rock roots and made it a little more raw. As a result, the band put out their most popular album they ever released.
It was released on October 28, 1977 and the band saw the album go to #4 in the UK and #3 in the US and the album went quickly to platinum status. In fact, the album has sold over 10,000,000 copies around the world marking it as their best selling studio album. With 3 official singles (4 if you count the B-side success of “We Will Rock You”), the band was ready to take over the world
The band was still in tact with Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. However, Brian and Freddie didn’t write the majority of the songs as usual. John and Roger both contributed 2 songs each this time around instead of their usual 1 song (well not usual for John as he had only one credit prior to this album). The band worked more as a band this time around. As a result, we get an album that completely feels like a full band contribution and we get a beast of an album.
When I heard Queen + Adam Lambert were releasing alive album, I was quite excited. I had seen them live together and thought it was a wonderful show. They were here in Charlotte back on August 23, 2019 and you can read about it HERE. Sadly, this show wasn’t part of this release. But there were many others as the band chose from over 200 shows to come up with the 22 song set. The release came in both the CD and a Blu-Ray with the actual clips from the shows they used including the Fire Fight Australia appearance where they performed the full Queen set from 1985’s Live Aid and yes, that included the famous “Ay-Oh” actually done by Freddie.
The CD is missing two tracks that you only get on the Blu-Ray and those are the “Drum Battle” and the Brian May Guitar Solo / “Last Horizon”. The “Drum Battle” was really awesome because Roger was dueling with his son, Rufus Tiger Taylor. And Tiger is a pretty great drummer in his own right. What a proud moment that must be for Roger. The Brian May guitar solo was similar to what I saw at my show, but the difference was instead of riding an asteroid into the rafters, Brian was being lifted in the palm of the hand of the robot from ‘News of the World’.
On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour. Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.
There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us. We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up. People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.
When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…
A giant crown wrapping the stage. It looked so real and like it was made out of metal. Impressive. Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen. The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive. It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.