Friday, September 1, 2023

Queen revisit Sheer Heart Attack classic on The Greatest Live

Queen revisit their 1974 classic, “In The Lap Of The Gods”, on the latest episode of the weekly series The Greatest Live.

Opening (and closing) the second side of the band’s third album, “Sheer Heart Attack”, the two versions of "In The Lap Of The Gods" were wrenched from the emotional depths by Freddie Mercury.

"In the beginning, a lot of his writing was very fantastical, but underneath, I think he was pouring his heart out," Brian May told Uncut. "Freddie was struggling with various things and we all know his sexuality was quite fluid. It was hard for him to express. I think you can hear him in this song, struggling with his relationships, putting them into words and music."

While "Killer Queen" and "Now I'm Here" would be cherrypicked as singles from “Sheer Heart Attack”, the Queen hardcore always kept the yearning refrain from "In The Lap Of The Gods... Revisited" close to their hearts.

And as the band's Christmas Eve 1975 concert at Hammersmith Odeon hit the home straight, the crowd took no persuasion to join Freddie in a chorus that ached with wordless emotion ('Whoa, whoa, la, la, la, oh!').

Fast-forward a decade to 1986's Magic Tour and the song had lost none of its power to unite, with 144,000 fans at Wembley Stadium swaying in unison as they roared the hook, and the singalong effortlessly crossing the language barrier as the band lit up Budapest's Népstadion in Hungary.

But as Brian told Uncut, it might never have flown without a choirmaster of Mercury's calibre: "That song is Freddie being magnificent and being a god - which he was quite good at."

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

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