LATR ’74 – A review of key musical box sets


26 November 2014 by Wayne Parry

LATR cover


Queen, “Live At The Rainbow ’74” (Hollywood)

This CD box set cover image released by Hollywood Records shows “Live at the Rainbow 74” by Queen. (AP Photo/Hollywood Records)

WHO’S IT GEARED FOR? Fans of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, tired of hearing or watching crappy, incomplete bootleg versions of these shows that have circulated over the years. In less than one year, Queen brought two different tours to London’s famous Rainbow Theatre with their “Queen II” and “Sheer Heart Attack” albums, a fascinating transition from their first three harder rock albums to the more melodic and operatic songs that would become rock and pop classics.

MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS: Soaring, dramatic vocals from Freddie Mercury, the most dynamic, dramatic singer ever to grab a microphone stand in anger. The heavy metal crunch of “Ogre Battle,” ”Stone Cold Crazy,” ”Son and Daughter,” and “Liar” can all make eardrums bleed, yet the unexpected live goodies like the “Killer Queen” medley, “Bring Back That Leroy Brown,” ”Big Spender,” and “Jailhouse Rock” are true unreleased nuggets.

THE EXTRAS THAT MAKE IT WORTH IT: the deluxe version includes CDs of two full 1974 Rainbow shows, from March and November; the DVD has the full November show and four tracks from the March one; there are also souvenir reproductions of pin-on buttons sold at the shows, tickets that guitarist Brian May’s parents used to enter the show; a backstage pass sticker; a 60-page hardcover photo book; a concert poster for the March show and a reproduction of the eight-page concert booklet; reviews of the shows from British press.

WHAT IT WILL SET YOU BACK: $80 (super deluxe version)