“Live Killers”: 45 Years On…


"Live Killers" album

“Bring out the champagne and roses, this is a triumph. Listen and you’ll not be disappointed.” Record Mirror

Queen’s first live album was recorded at various venues on the European tour of 1979, between January and March. It was produced by the band and engineered by John Etchells, who also recorded the concerts. Live Killers was the first Queen album to be mixed at the band’s recording studios, Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland. It was also their first double album.

The front cover features a photo of the band taken by Koh Hasebe during the Japanese tour of April 1979, and shows the band at the end of the night almost in silhouette, against the massive Pizza Oven lighting rig as it descends to the stage and faces the audience.

The ’79 European tour – Queen’s biggest up to that point – began in Hamburg Germany on January 17th and comprised twenty-eight shows in seven countries over a six-week period, concluding with three shows in Paris on February 27/28 and March 1st (all of which were filmed).

“Thank you. Goodnight everybody. You’ve been a tremendous audience… See you soon!”

Freddie signs off, the British National Anthem God Save The Queen rings out, Queen leaves the stage, the concert is over and so too Live Killers.

It is no secret that some of the Queen band members were not entirely happy with the final mix of the album, but even so, the fans loved it and it was a significant hit when released in the UK on June 22nd, 1979. It reached No. 3 in the UK charts and achieved Gold sales status. Elektra Records released the LP four days later in America, where it peaked at No. 16 and also gained Gold sales status.