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Live At Wembley '86

Live At Wembley '86

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Live At Wembley '86 By Greg Brooks and Gary Taylor Queen’s third concert album, Live At Wembley ’86, was recorded at London’s Wembley Stadium on July 12th 1986 - the second of two nights at this venue - and was part of the UK leg of the mighty Magic Tour of Europe. Produced by Queen and released in the UK on May 26th 1992, the album reached No 2 in the charts and achieved Gold sales status. Like the previous concert album, Live Magic (from the same tour), no single was released from Live At Wembley in the UK and USA, and unlike that album, this was a double disc set comprising the entire show. The album artwork was conceived by Queen and Richard Gray, and features a wonderful image of Freddie on the front cover looking out into the vast London audience. The other band members are pictured on the back cover, with more photos from the tour in the gatefold and inner sleeves. The album was released a week later in the USA, and although only reaching No 53 in the charts it was eventually certified as a Platinum selling album. Live At Wembley ’86 was a big seller in Europe, reaching the top ten in Austria, Holland, Switzerland and climbing to No 2 in France and Spain (where it attained platinum sales). Its biggest success was No 1 in Italy, where it went five times Platinum. This was the first Queen album to be released since Freddie’s tragic passing on November 24th 1991, while the band was still very much in the public eye and with fans eagerly awaiting something new from the band. The Magic tour of Europe started in Sweden on June 7th and culminated at Knebworth Park in Hertfordshire England on August 9th. The two Wembley shows followed dates all around Europe and two more dates in the UK in Ireland and Newcastle, with Manchester shortly following Wembley. The band donated the profits of the show in Newcastle (which sold out within one hour of going on sale) on July 9th to the Save The Children charity, to help the fund’s work in the UK and overseas. The Manchester show on July 16th sold out so quickly that it was reported that more than double the amount of tickets could have been sold for the 35,000 seat football venue, thus making Queen’s concert the fastest selling show in the history of the city. The band played to over 400,000 people in the UK in 1986, with an audience of 150,000 at Wembley alone. These were the first proper Queen shows at this prestigious location, using their own lighting rig, stage and sound equipment, having previously been part of the line up at Live Aid a year earlier, where of course a host of other guests also performed, with everyone sharing the same stage set-up. Originally only one night at Wembley was planned, but as the first show on Saturday July 12th sold out within just a few hours, it was decided a further concert be added on Friday. Thus, Queen became only the third rock act in history to play two successive concerts at the stadium. It is well documented that Queen always staged the most spectacular and extraordinary shows when they toured, and the Magic concerts were no exception. The two Wembley shows broke all previous attendance records, and this had also been the case elsewhere in Europe. The show itself incorporated the largest lighting rig ever assembled for a live show, weighing over nine and a half tons. The stage was the largest ever erected at Wembley Stadium and measured 160 ft wide and over 52 ft high from ground level to the top of the lights. It was capable of filling one entire end of Wembley and was so heavy that supports had to be bored into the concrete foundations of the stadium. The immense sound system was powered by over half a million watts, with revolutionary delay towers, and entailed the use of 180 speakers facing the audience at every show. A 20’ x 30’ Starvision screen made its debut appearance at Wembley and was used again later at Knebworth (for the last ever Queen concert) to bring the stage action to the audience members at the very back of the venue. Due to the tremendous weight of the screen, which was positioned above the centre of the stage, a huge water reservoir was required at the rear of the stage to counterbalance it. Everything about the Magic tour was on a huge scale, and so it became one of the most memorable of the band’s career. This Wembley concert was filmed in its entirety by Gavin Taylor for television transmission at a later date in the UK, and used 15 cameras positioned around the stadium plus an airborne camera in a helicopter. The film was purchased by Channel 4 and on October 25th 1986 an edited version of the show, entitled Real Magic, was broadcast simultaneously on TV and on all independent radio network stations. The television show attracted 3.5 million viewers on its own. Four years later, in December 1990, the footage was released on home video in the same abridged form, with nine of the songs absent, and simply titled Queen At Wembley. Prior to commencing their biggest ever tour, the band spent more than three weeks in rehearsal at Stonebridge Studios near Wembley perfecting the show. This lengthy rehearsal time certainly paid off, because everyone that attended any of those truly magical performances remembers it to this day. This Live At Wembley ‘86 CD is a wonderful representation of those momentous London concerts. The show opens with the pre-recorded intro of One Vision, before the real live version is taken up by the band. In the next instant, the Queen members bound onto the stage amid smoke and dazzling lights to deliver the rest of the song at a fast and furious pace. There is no let-up as the band goes straight into the equally frantic Tie Your Mother Down, which ends with a series of deafening explosions across the front of the stage. Freddie’s introduction to the show of, “Hello again my Beauties! Is it happening? Is everybody Okay? Wanna fool around?” invokes the usual enthusiastic response from the adoring crowd, and then the pace slows somewhat with In The Lap Of The Gods, to begin another of Queen’s much loved medley sections. This is the Revisited version of the song from the 1974 Sheer Heart Attack LP, and is the first time it has been played live since 1977. Then, with Freddie seated at the piano, Seven Seas Of Rhye emerges with its distinctive opening piano run. Next up, after a brief snippet of Liar, from the debut Queen album, the band get heavy again with Tear It Up. As the light show and strange noises take over the stage, and four inflatable figures of the band (based on the four characters on the front of the Magic album) arise from the audience and float high into the London night sky, Freddie begins to sing A Kind Of Magic. Like One Vision, this ends with a blasting finale and already Freddie has the crowd, once again, in the palm of his hand. Freddie’s interaction with his ever-willing audience as he sings his way through various adlibbed vocal phrases, is met as usual with a deafening exchange and roar of approval. Freddie truly was an extraordinary performer, enjoying a unique rapport with fans the world over, whatever their native language, and never more evident is that aspect than on this tour, and at this, the home venue. Under Pressure is next, with Roger joining Freddie on vocals for most of the song, and again the masses join in with the familiar lyrics of the track that was a UK No 1 for Queen five years earlier. “I feel a little boogie coming on!” Freddie explains as the funky groove of Another One Bites The Dust rings out. John Deacon’s 1980 smash hit is also a great concert favourite. This version is among the best you will hear. Another new song of the night, from the recently released Magic album, is next and features Brian on keyboards for his beautiful ballad inspired by and written for the Highlander film. Who Wants To Live Forever begins that way, but soon Brian returns to his beloved guitar for the final part of the song. Spike Edney provides the Keyboard start for I Want To Break Free, and with the audience in good voice throughout, they assist Freddie with another memorable recital. Now, the band get together for what on first hearing could be a new song, but which is actually an impromptu Jam exercise, before Brian takes over with a ten minute Brighton Rock guitar solo. Enthralling the crowd with his one guitar and three echo effects, and vast array of Vox amplifiers, of course, Brian becomes the main showman at this time as he makes use of the long centre stage platform and huge raised side walkways. It is indeed a colossal stage, but like Freddie, Brian makes full use of every foot of it as he stuns the crowd with innovative guitar wizardry. Throughout the tour Freddie wears a selection of striking military/nautical style jackets; yellow ones, white ones, and each with matching trousers. The Wembley shows saw these outfits in all their glory. These yellow/white outfits, with stripes down the outer leg, make all the Magic concerts easily identifiable. The formidable Now I’m Here, again from the Sheer Heart attack album, is next up, and is a song that’s been a Queen concert regular since its conception way back in 1974. The tempo calms a bit after Brian’s manic Now I’m Here, with two acoustic ballads featuring just Freddie and Brian on stage. Love Of My Life is delivered with all the emotion and care as when Freddie first wrote it in 1975, and the crowd dutifully joins in to make it a rousing collaboration. The heartfelt Is This The World We Created follows next, a song that was played to millions at Live Aid a year before, and which never fails to captivate the audience. Freddie and Brian wrote the track together, and it is always a thought-provoking moment of the concert, just as it was at Live Aid. Now, for the first time since 1979, Roger takes up a position at the front of stage with the other three, and on co-vocals and tambourine begins another medley. This time the songs are not written by Queen, and with Brian on acoustic guitar, the band performs as intuitively as ever, with all the joy and fun of four musicians who have been playing together for 15 years. They deliver acoustic versions of (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care, Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart) and a song they sometimes used to play in the very early days, Tutti Frutti. The final part of the song sees Brian on electric guitar and Roger back on the drums for a frenetic finale. This is the band at their concert best, offering greatly powerful songs in their inimitable way, but always with that unmistakable Queen flavour. A brief interlude in the shape of Gimme Some Lovin’ - originally recorded by the Spencer Davis Group - precedes Bohemian Rhapsody, a concert favourite since 1975, is next, and incorporates a taped opera section while the band leaves the stage (and changes costume). The audience is left to sing along and marvel at the operatic vocals and accompanying light show, until the band re-appears amid smoke-bombs to go into the heavy part of the song, concluding with the final segment with Freddie at the piano. By now the crowd is ecstatic, and Hammer To Fall is delivered with the full Queen treatment and with yet more smoke-bombs and lights. The ever-reliable Spike Edney leaves the keyboards to join Brian centre stage, this time playing guitar from the middle section to the end. Spike takes up Freddie’s piano next, for Crazy Little Thing Called Love, while Freddie himself plays electric guitar on this much heavier version than was originally recorded for The Game LP of 1980. After a short break the exhausted band members take to the enormous stage again for Big Spender. It is a shorter rendition than that which Queen often played live in the seventies, but it is every inch as powerful. It really is the perfect song for Freddie, on every level, and of course the great man squeezes every last trace of ‘theatre’ out of its somewhat over the top lyric. The audience are eager to join the band for the hand clapping and singing elements of Radio Ga Ga and We Will Rock You. When Freddie re-enters the stage for Rock You, he now wears a red and white jacket with a long flowing cape, and the fans love it. Moving from Rock You into Friends Will Be Friends, and then with Freddie back at piano, the familiar chords of We Are The Champions start and everybody sings along with the main chorus, knowing that the end of the show is nearly upon them. As the final chorus fills the Wembley air, Freddie leaves the stage and, never a person for understatement, re-appears wearing a crown and red cloak. Freddie truly is the King of Queen – the King of Wembley Stadium indeed! God Save The Queen is played over the PA, the band take their final bows, Freddie raises his crown and bids a final farewell to the masses. “Thank you beautiful people. Goodnight. God bless you”. Another Queen concert is over. The full show would later be released worldwide on DVD in 2003 and re-titled Live At Wembley Stadium. In the same year Hollywood Records in the USA re-released the show on CD with the same packaging as the DVD, and included extra songs from other shows. The same re-packaged CD would be released in the UK and Japan in 2004, omitting the extra tracks contained on the USA version. Only one single was released to promote the album and that was issued in Europe only. We Will Rock You (Live)/ We Are The Champions (Live) was released on 7” single in Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain, while a 12” vinyl disc was also issued in Italy - and a CD single in Germany and Holland. Apart from the Spanish release, these formats also included the studio versions of both songs. Producer: Queen Recording At: Wembley Stadium Date Recorded : 12th July 1986 Artwork Concept: Queen and Richard Gray Award Status: Gold (UK)

Did You Know?

1. Live at Wembley was Queen’s second live album from the Magic Tour - the first being the single album Live Magic. 2. The album was originally released as double vinyl album and double cassette 3. Some European territories released a single from the album - We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. 4. The whole recording was a complete show – it was the first time the band had done this 5. Live at Wembley ‘86 features Spike Edney on additional keyboards, vocals and guitar

Track Listing

Lyrics

3. In Lap Of The Gods…Revisited

It's so easy, but I can't do it So risky, but I gotta chance it So funny, there's nothing to laugh about My money, that's all you wanna talk about I can see what you want me to be, I'm no fool It's in the lap of the Gods sing it Wo wo la la la wo, wo wo la la woh woh wooh I'm no fool Woh woh la la wo wo ooh, wo wo la la la wo Wo wo la la, woh wo woo Woh woh la la la wo, wo wo la la woh woh wooh I'm no fool

11. Impromptu

16. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care

"Okay, we're gonna fool around a bit - come on" You don't like crazy things You don't like rockin' baby You just wanna go to the movie show Sit there holdin' hands You're so square - baby I don't care Do wop, do wop, do wop, do wop I don't ........ (do wop) I don't ........ (do wop) I only wanna love you baby I guess it's just because you're so square Baby I don't care Do wop, do wop, do wop, do wop I don't need ........ dances but I do I do I do I do I don't like crazy things (do wop) I don't like rockin' baby (do wop) I just wanna go to a movie show Sit there holdin' hands You're so square - baby I don't care (do wop, do wop) Baby I don't care (do wop, do wop) baby I don't care (do wop, do wop), hey

17. Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)

"Okay, this is a Ricky Nelson song" I say hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart Sweet Mary Lou I'm so in love with you I knew Mary Lou, we'd never part So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart You passed me by one sunny day Flashed those big brown eyes my way Ooh, I wanted you forever more Hey, I'm not one that get's around Swear my feet stuck to the ground And though I never did see you no more - yeah neah I said hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart Sweet Mary Lou, I'm so in love with you Hey, I knew Mary Lou we'd never part So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart "One more time" Yes, hello Mary Lou (goodbye heart)

18. Tutti Frutti

"Hey, wait a minute, one minute, ah, I need my fucking.... I don't care, let's go. Right, give us the right key for fuck's sake" Bop bam a lu lop a wam bam boo Tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Tutti frutti unruly Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo I got a girl named Sue, she knows just what to do Got a girl named Sue, she knows just what to do She rocks to the east, she rocks to the west She's the girl that I know best Tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Tutti frutti unruly Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo I got a girl named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy Got a girl named daisy, she almost drives me crazy She knows how to love me, yes indeed Boy I don't know what you do to me Tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Tutti frutti unruly Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo - yeah Unruly, tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo I got a girl named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy Got a girl named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy She knows how to love me, yes indeed Boy I don't know what you do to me Tutti frutti unruly, tutti frutti unruly Tutti frutti unruly Wop bam a lu lam a wam bam boo - ey hey

19. Gimme Some Lovin’

Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah Honey You get around In my pocket Stealin' all the time, yeah, hey

23. Big Spender

The minute you walked in the joint I could see you were a man of distinction - a real big spender Good looking, so refined Say wouldn't you like to know what's going on in my mind Let me get right to the point I don't pop my cork for every girl I see Hey big spender, spend a little time with me

24. Radio Gaga

I'd sit alone and watch your light My only friend through teenage nights And everything I had to know, I heard it on my radio You gave them all those old time stars Through wars of worlds invaded by mars You made em laugh, you made 'em cry You made us feel like we could fly - radio So don't become some background noise A backdrop for the girls and boys Who just don't know and just don't care And just complain when you're not there You had your time, you had the power You've yet to have your finest hour - radio radio All we hear is radio ga ga, radio goo goo, radio ga ga All we hear is radio ga ga, radio blah blah, radio what's new Radio, someone still loves you We watch the shows, we watch the stars On videos, for hours and hours We hardly need to use our ears How music changes through the years (radio) Let's hope you never leave old friend Like all good things, on you we depend So stick around coz we might miss you When we grow tired of all this visual You had your time, you had the power You've yet to have your finest hour - radio radio All we hear is radio ga ga, radio goo goo, radio ga ga All we hear is radio ga ga, radio goo goo, radio ga ga All we hear is radio ga ga, radio blah blah, radio what's new Radio, someone still loves you Radio ga ga, radio ga ga, radio ga ga You had your time, you had the power You've yet to have your finest hour - radio radio All we hear is radio ga ga, radio goo goo, radio ga ga All we hear is radio ga ga, radio blah blah, radio what's new Radio, someone still loves you - loves you

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Live At Wembley '86

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