LAST CONCERT IN JAPAN
the Masterport edition and Last Concert In Japan, the new release
on Wardour, perfectly edit the older source with the newer tape to give as
complete a show as possible. Not having heard the Masterport release
I can't tell what the difference is between the two besides the missing
definite article in the title. The timing on the first disc on
Wardour is identical to Masterport and the second disc is
thirty-three seconds longer. The first tape source is a very good
and clear, slightly distant complete stereo audience recording. The
second source used for a majority of this release is superior to the
first in every way, being more clear, detailed and powerful. Wardour
did a masterful editing job between the two and every second of the
concert is preserved on this release.
the final show of their long Works tour which began the
previous September. During Queen's touring career from the
early seventies to the mid eighties they pretty much followed the same
general pattern of recording an LP during the summer followed by a tour of
the States, a tour of the UK and Europe and finally Japan. By
the time they hit the far east they were very well rehearsed and
tight, but oftentimes Freddie's voice suffered as a result. The
tapes from the Jazz tour are a very good example of this. Freddie's
voice sounds pretty good after several months of touring but he sounds
a bit ragged and struggles to hit some of the high notes. He
always wanted a roughness
to his voice and perhaps this is the intended affect.
band are very loose in this show and throw in several extras.
Most notable is Freddie playing several bars of "My Fairy Queen"
from the first album before "Killer Queen". This is the
only hint of a live performance of the piece. Freddie sings the
beginning of "Mustapha" as an intro to "Hammer To
Fall" with mixed results. His voice really strains on the
first "Ibrahim" but it is a nice touch and the audience responds
with the appropriate "hey!" Finally this show
contains an impromptu "Saturday's Alright For Fighting" before
"Bohemian Rhapsody" and turns out to be their longest attempt of
the Elton John piece.
Wardour have utilized for the first time on a Queen release the thick glossy inserts used also on the Sirene and Beano titles of late. The inside contains the picture from the "Hammer To Fall" video shoot that was also used for the front of Last Stand Budokan. This is a great document not only of Queen's final show in Japan but also one of their final shows ever. After this they did Live Aid and then the two month long Magic tour in the summer of 1986. Hopefully Wardour will release some of those documents in the future. Last Concert In Japan is definitely worth having and is a worthy upgrade to all previous releases of this essential show. (GS)