A Night at the Odeon: Hammersmith 1975

A Night at the Odeon: Hammersmith 1975

by QueenQueen

CD

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Overview

The first official release of Queen's 1975 Christmas Eve concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon, A Night at the Odeon finds the legendary British rock outfit performing less than a month after the release of its landmark fourth album, A Night at the Opera. One of the major classic rock recordings of the '70s, A Night at the Opera is perhaps best remembered for being the Queen album with "Bohemian Rhapsody," a fact that helped the record debut at number one in the U.K. and number four in the States. When Queen took the stage at the Hammersmith on Christmas Eve 1975, they were already over 20 dates deep into their tour in support of the album. In fact, they had played the Hammersmith a few weeks previously and just returned from a four-night stint in Scotland. Audibly limber and primed for the show, Queen open the concert by ripping into a swaggering version of "Now I'm Here," and proceed to deliver a relentlessly exuberant set of songs culled fairly evenly from their discography to that point. Included are such Queen concert favorites as "Brighton Rock," "Keep Yourself Alive," and "In the Lap of the Gods." What is most illuminating here is the aggressiveness with which Queen play live. In contrast to their meticulously intricate and sometimes delicate multi-layered studio arrangements on Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, and A Night at the Opera, Queen are raw, loose, and propulsive here. It's invigorating to hear them kick out "The March of the Black Queen," smartly inserted into a medley bookended by "Bohemian Rhapsody" and played with an aggressive, punk-like intensity. Vocally, Freddie Mercury -- the consummate live performer -- seems to pivot with the energy of the moment, choosing to avoid a few of the higher, more crystalline melody notes when it doesn't serve a given song's more bluesy live arrangement, such as on their rendition of "Killer Queen," coloring the song instead with a gritty but warm resonance that better fits the band's in-the-moment physicality. Together with Brian May's sizzling, ornamented guitar operatics, they transform cuts like "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "White Queen" into showstopping tidal waves of glitter-laden pomp. As live Queen albums go, A Night at the Odeon matches the archival 2014 release Live at the Rainbow '74 for raw rock intensity and charismatic stage derring-do from both May and Mercury. The concert has an epic flow and works as a thumbnail sketch of the band from its inception onward. This is classic '70s Queen, four slim longhaired gents in white pearlized satin bell-bottomed jumpsuits, performing with brute energy and swanlike grace; a band in complete control of its sound, able to bend any song or audience to its will.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/20/2015
Label: Hollywood Records
UPC: 0050087329174
catalogNumber: 002236102
Rank: 37019

Tracks

  1. Now I'm Here
  2. Ogre Battle
  3. White Queen (As It Began)
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody
  5. Killer Queen
  6. The March of the Black Queen
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
  8. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
  9. Brighton Rock
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Son and Daughter
  12. Keep Yourself Alive
  13. Liar
  14. In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited
  15. Big Spender
  16. Medley: Jailhouse Rock/Stupid Cupid/Be Bop a Lula
  17. Seven Seas of Rhye
  18. See What a Fool I've Been
  19. God Save The Queen

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Queen   Primary Artist
Freddie Mercury   Piano,Vocals,Group Member
Brian May   Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Roger Taylor   Drums,Background Vocals,Group Member
John Deacon   Bass Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Brian May   Producer
Roger Taylor   Producer
Chris Jenkins   Engineer
Adrian Revell   Engineer
Matt Read   Art Direction
Phil Symes   Producer
Graham Haines   Engineer
David Goatham   Engineer
Martin "Tom" Tranter   Engineer
Greg Brooks   Art Direction
Mark Charnock   Cover Photo
Marmalade London   Cover Art

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