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Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl
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Live Album by Queen
Released October 25, 2004
Recorded June 5, 1982 in Milton Keynes
Length 01:42:11
Format CD
Genre Rock
Label Parlophone (EU)

Hollywood (US)

Producer(s) Brian May, Roger Taylor, Justin Shirley-Smith
Queen Live Chronology
Preceding At the Beeb (1995)
This Album Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl (2004)
Succeeding Queen Rock Montreal (2007)


Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl is a double compact disc live album by British rock band Queen released on October 25, 2004 in Europe and on November 9, 2004 in the US.

It was recorded live throughout Queen's performance at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, on June 5, 1982. The concert took place as part of Queen's Hot Space Tour, with the entirety being filmed and some broadcast on the BBC at the time.[1]

A DVD was also released of the concert along with bonus material, such as band interviews and tour highlights. In 2005 the album was also released as an LP, like all Queen albums. In the UK the CD made #20 and DVD #1 in the album and DVD chart respectively. In the US, neither the album nor the DVD charted.

Concert Trivia Edit

During the show, guitarist Brian May had problems with his homemade Red Special guitar. During both the fast version of "We Will Rock You" and "Dragon Attack", a couple of guitar strings snapped and he had to switch over to his Birch Red Special backup for almost all of "Action This Day" and for the entire second half of "Dragon Attack" and all of "Now I'm Here (Reprise)".

Futher problems with the guitar become apparent during May's guitar solo. The lead on his guitar became disconnected and the guitar solo stopped for 20 seconds (as seen on the DVD but that time was reduced to 3 seconds on the album version of the performance). A roadie had to help him get his guitar working again.

Also, drummer Roger Taylor did an impromptu 30-second drum solo before "Under Pressure" whilst May got his guitar fixed. Taylor had stopped doing drum solos (he last performed one in November 1981) so this was the only time he did a drum solo post-1981 with the original lineup of Queen. The next did not occur until the Queen + Paul Rodgers Return of the Champions Tour in 2005.

Prior to "Love of My Life", May played a segment of the intro to "Las Palabras de Amor", which he called "a little fiddle around".

During "Back Chat", Freddie Mercury flubbed one line, singing "'Cos you're walking in your sleep" instead of "'Cos you're talking in your sleep". Furthermore during "Fat Bottomed Girls", Freddie Mercury's voice briefly slipped into an off-key falsetto during the lyric "in this locality" (which was noticed on the original BBC TV, Channel 4, MTV, and radio broadcasts of the Milton Keynes show) but the error was repaired for release on the CD and DVD. In the same song, Mercury sang "Oh but I still got my treasure, still got my greatest pleasure" instead of "Oh but I still get my pleasure, still got my greatest treasure". In addition, the line, "Hey big woman, you made a bad boy out of me," was improvised as, "Hey big woman, you made an asshole out of me." On Somebody To Love, during the line "I work hard- every day of my life", he sings "I work hard- every day of my bloody life".

Mercury performed without his trademark bottomless microphone stand for "The Hero" (on the Live in Japan bonus footage on DVD), "We Will Rock You (Fast)" and "Now I'm Here". Apparently this allowed Mercury to more freely scale and walk along the raised wings on either side of the stage. Although it is noticeable that he is using a cordless microphone which were becoming available around the time and appears to be relatively larger than a standard microphone.

The Hong Kong & China version of the CD release does not contain either "Get Down, Make Love" or "Fat Bottomed Girls" due to censorship laws.

Track List Edit

Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl Track List
Disc One
1 Flash 1:54 Freddie Mercury
2 The Hero 1:44 Brian May
3 We Will Rock You (Fast) 3:17 Brian May
4 Action This Day 4:52 Roger Taylor
5 Play the Game 4:30 Freddie Mercury
6 Staying Power 4:03 Freddie Mercury
7 Somebody to Love 7:53 Freddie Mercury
8 Now I'm Here 6:18 Brian May
9 Dragon Attack 4:16 Brian May
10 Now I'm Here (Reprise) 2:20 Brian May
11 Love of My Life 4:22 Freddie Mercury
12 Save Me 4:00 Brian May
13 Back Chat 5:00 John Deacon
Disc Two
1 Get Down Make Love 3:39 Freddie Mercury
2 Guitar Solo 6:22 Brian May
3 Under Pressure 3:47 Queen/Bowie
4 Fat Bottomed Girls 5:25 Brian May
5 Crazy Little Thing Called Love 4:15 Freddie Mercury
6 Bohemian Rhapsody 5:38 Freddie Mercury
7 Tie Your Mother Down 4:09 Brian May
8 Another One Bites the Dust 3:49 John Deacon
9 Sheer Heart Attack 3:25 Roger Taylor
10 We Will Rock You 2:08 Brian May
11 We Are the Champions 3:28 Freddie Mercury
12 God Save the Queen 1:24 Arr. May

DVD Bonus Material Edit

Personnel Edit

  • Freddie Mercury – vocals, piano, acoustic guitar on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
  • Brian May – guitars, vocals, piano on "Save Me"
  • Roger Taylor – drums, percussion, vocals
  • John Deacon – bass guitar, rhythm guitar on "Staying Power", additional backing vocals on "Somebody to Love"
  • Morgan Fisher – keyboards
  • Justin Shirley-Smith – mix producer
  • Kris Fredriksson – pro tools hd
  • Mack – recording engineer
  • Mick McKenna – second recording engineer
  • Kevin Metcalfe – mastering
  • Richard Gray – artwork
  • Denis O'Regan – photography

Chart Performance Edit

Album Edit

Chart performance template under construction.

DVD Edit

Chart performance template under construction.

BBC Review Edit

When Live Aid rocked the world in 1985, Queen shared an audience of 72,000 people at Wembley. Undeniably, they stole the show. It was inevitable, really; after all, by that stage the band were eating crowds of that size for breakfast and still finding room for an encore. Three years earlier, they had filled the Milton Keynes Bowl with 65,000 of their own adoring fans as part of the Hot Space tour.

Luckily, the camera crews were there to record the event for posterity. Partially broadcast by the BBC in 1982, a bootleg has been circulating ever since. For the Queen completist, therefore, Queen On Fire will make a great stocking filler this Christmas; digitally remastered on DVD and double CD, it features the 25-song set in full.

With hindsight, Hot Space isn't one of Queen's best records; in truth, it's an ill-advised funk/disco album that they and their fans would probably rather forget. Thankfully, it only provides four of the songs on offer here. Otherwise, Queen On Fire is practically Greatest Hits I in concert, give or take a few tracks. All the live favourites are here: "Love Of My Life", equal parts graceful lullaby and football terrace chant, but as charming as ever; "Now I'm Here", spliced cleverly with The Game's "Dragon Attack", and "Fat Bottomed Girls", sounding fatter than ever. And of course, it wouldn't be a Queen gig without a little of Freddie's playful crowd mastery.

As promising as the track titled "Guitar Solo" on the second disc here will sound to fans of Brian May and his 'Red Special', those familiar with "Brighton Rock" from 1974's Sheer Heart Attack will find it more than a little disappointing. Whereas the latter is a virtuoso masterpiece showcasing May's flair for riff juggling, his somewhat directionless solo escapade on this album pales in comparison.

It's almost a relief, then, when the rest of the band return for "Under Pressure" (sans Bowie) and proceed to rip through nine of their biggest hitters, during which Brian makes up for his earlier lack of lustre with a blistering rendition of "Tie Your Mother Down".

The set finishes predictably but majestically, with Queen's pomp-rock coup de grace: "We Will Rock You", followed by "We Are The Champions" and "God Save The Queen". If you need a reminder of just how invincible Queen were in concert, look no further.

References Edit

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/6wn8

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