Saturday, July 22, 2023

Queen revisit surprise cover songs on The Greatest Live

Queen revisit surprise cover songs on the latest episode of the weekly series The Greatest Live.

Throughout their touring career, Queen always sought new ways to thrill and surprise their audiences; fans quickly came to learn to expect the unexpected.

Offering ‘the unexpected’ in this episode is rare footage of the band performing a rock and roll tribute to their own personal early music heroes - Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Ricky Nelson, taken from the band’s history-etched Magic Tour July 1986 pair of London Wembley Stadium concerts, the very last concerts the band would perform in the city.

Interacting with their audience has always been a vital part of the Queen's live experience. An early innovation into the Queen live show which has evolved over the years to still be an integral part of the band show to this very day, sees Roger Taylor step down from the drum riser and join the rest of the band as they go acoustic at the front of the stage, to give the crowd an up close and personal experience.

“We've done that in a number of ways for a long time,” says Taylor. “We used to have a completely separate stage at the front, which would then actually descend with a little mini bass drum kit on it. So we'd come down to the front and it just formed one of the more intimate parts of the show. These days, with this sort of set-up, you can reach out with this long catwalk and really get out into the audience with people, which is very good in arenas. You're surrounded by an audience then, and it's great. You really feel like you're in touch with people you know, and you can actually look at people.”

In addition to those moments, and with the intention of giving the crowd full value by packing as much into a show as possible, Queen found a well-constructed medley would keep the audience on their toes as one song suddenly takes a very different direction into another, as seen in this episode as "Bohemian Rhapsody" segues into "Killer Queen".

“There's a moment when you think, ‘Oh, isn't it a shame? Can't do this song, this song, this song'. It's hard to know what to leave out, the thing of too many hits,” explains Brian May. “So what if we could just do a little piece of this and a little bit of that, just little hints of stuff, so people feel like they heard the song. So we used to do quite a long medley of Killer Queen and all sorts of other stuff.”

Get your copy of Queen’s “Greatest Hits” here.

See also:

Queen guitarist Brian May streams Star Fleet video
Queen revisit 1974 performance of Queen II classic
Queen revisit 1982 performance of Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Queen evolve Another One Bites The Dust on The Greatest Live
Search Queen at hennemusic