Queen The Greatest Live – Ep 19

Queen: Hot Space Tour, Milton Keynes Bowl 5 June 1982 ©Queen Productions Ltd
Queen: Hot Space Tour, Milton Keynes Bowl 5 June 1982 ©Queen Productions Ltd

Queen The Greatest Live” The Greatest series returns with a year-long celebration of Queen Live. 

A 50-week YouTube series going behind the scenes to reveal what goes into creating a Queen show, featuring moments from iconic performances and demonstrating why the band is regarded as the ultimate live act.

Queen The Greatest Live: Dragon Attack (Episode 19)

Queen might have countless hit songs to choose from, but when it comes to building the setlist, the band has always stirred in a few surprises to keep the audience on their toes. In this latest episode, we revisit a pulsating performance of Dragon Attack that unexpectedly segues into a crowd-pleasing classic.

Some songs are non-negotiable on a Queen setlist. A concert without such stone-cold anthems as Another One Bites The Dust, Radio Ga Ga and We Will Rock You – to name but three – would be unthinkable. But with a vast discography and wealth of deeper cuts at their disposal, the band have always thrown curveballs into the setlist for the Queen hardcore – often segueing effortlessly between numbers in the heat of the moment.

In this latest episode of Queen The Greatest Live, we catch up with the band at the Milton Keynes Bowl, Buckinghamshire, on June 5th, 1982 – a legendary show that saw Brian May’s jaw-dropping guitar showcase Dragon Attack transformed on a (silver) sixpence into a second crowd-pleaser.

Released as the B-side of the Another One Bites The Dust single – and a highlight of 1980’s The Game album – Dragon Attack’s fiery, funky fretwork was flavoured by the long nights the lineup spent at Munich’s downtown discotheque Sugar Shack while recording at Musicland Studios. The club is even referenced in the Dragon Attack lyric (‘Take me to the room where the black’s all white and the white’s all black/Take me back to the Shack,’ sings Freddie Mercury).

“It was done very late one night, or early one morning, probably very drunk,” explained Brian of the recording. But perhaps Dragon Attack was always most suited to the stage, with the song performed consistently between 1980 and 1985, and its elastic format often thrillingly jammed out by the band.

For this particularly memorable performance – and to the delight of the Milton Keynes crowd –Dragon Attack suddenly flows into a reprise of fan-favourite anthem Now I’m Here, from 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack. And for the eagle-eyed, look out for the moment right at the start when Brian breaks a guitar string on his Red Special – but switches to a spare and soldiers on.

Queen The Greatest Live: Dragon Attack (Episode 19)

Next week: Queen The Greatest Live – Is This The World We Created

Photo © Queen Productions Ltd