Live at the Rainbow '74
Forty years after Queen’s legendary performances at London’s 3,000-seat Rainbow Theatre, the shows are finally seeing official release in excellent fidelity. Although some material has seen issue as part of the U.K.-only Box of Tricks release, 15 tracks have never been officially released, including the only known live version of “The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke.” This set first includes a performance from March 31, 1974: the final show of their tour in support of Queen II. The show was recorded by their producer Roy Thomas Baker and originally scheduled to be the band’s third album. The set adds recordings from their two sold-out shows in November 1974, which were part of their Sheer Heart Attack tour. Aside from featuring Freddie Mercury commanding the stage with authority, the shows demonstrate the brilliance and innovation of Brian May’s peerless guitar work and the overall heaviness of the power trio of May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. Even a ballad such as “White Queen (As It Began)” illustrates Queen's early mastery of dynamics and drama.