Queen The Greatest Live: Is This The World We Created…? (Episode 20)

Freddie Mercury - Is This The World We Created...?
Photo: © 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: Is This The World We Created…? (Episode 20)

Revisiting a memorably moving moment from Queen’s Wembley ’86 concert, where Freddie Mercury’s impassioned vocal and Brian May’s acoustic fretwork made for a performance as mesmerising as any of the band’s stadium-rocking anthems. 

‘Intimate’ isn’t a term typically associated with stadium shows. But while Queen took the stage for their two Magic Tour sell-out Wembley Stadium concerts of July 1986 armed with epic production and grandstanding rock ‘n’ roll anthems, just as powerful were the stripped-back acoustic numbers that made every member of the 72,000-strong crowd feel like the band was performing just for them.

In recent episodes of Queen The Greatest Live, we’ve heard from Brian May and Roger Taylor about the all-important ‘shape’ of a Queen setlist: the art of building and releasing tension, directing mood, and sending fans home walking on air with the grand finale. 

Now, in this archive footage from the band’s 1986 Magic Tour, we see how the explosive opening hits at Wembley – which included One Vision and Tie Your Mother Down – were temporarily traded for a more intimate acoustic section in which Brian accompanied Freddie Mercury on a stunning rendition of Is This The World We Created…?

With Brian writing the music and Freddie penning most of the lyrics – the pair having watched an agonising documentary on the African famine of the ’80s – this contemplative ballad from 1984’s The Works album also proved a live favourite, taking a pumped-up crowd to an entirely different headspace. And as we can see, the audience are just as captivated here, as at any other point in the show.

A year earlier at the same venue, Is This The World We Created…? had been a highlight of the Live Aid benefit concert’s finale. Now, this stunning duet from the band’s own ’86 Wembley show lays the song beautifully bare, with Brian’s deft fingerstyle on a nylon-string classical guitar carrying Freddie’s yearning vocal. 

Queen The Greatest Live: Is This The World We Created (Episode 20)

Next week: Queen The Greatest Live – Adapting Songs.