Ultimate Entertainer II
serves somewhat as a sequel to Wardour's Ultimate Entertainer.
Both are from Chicago on consecutive tours made by the same
taper. Just like on the Jazz tour, he was able to
place his mic in such a position to produce a staggeringly clear and
detailed tape. This is the best, most vivid aural document
from Queen's greatest and penultimate tour of North America.
Another tape source exists that is very good but distant and a bit
distorted released on silver discs by Gypsy Eye on The Fly Swatter's
(159/160) several years ago. This tape is superior in sound quality.
The only negatives are the several cuts in the tape. The first cut occurs
4:18 in "Now I'm Here" right between the end of the guitar solo
and Freddie's vocal gymnastics. There are also small cuts after
"Keep Yourself Alive", "Crazy Little Thing Called
Love" and before "We Will Rock You (slow)" missing no music
or talking. The final cut eliminates the spoken introduction to "Another
One Bites The Dust" but no music is lost.
band make the bold decision to open the show with a cover of
"Jailhouse Rock" followed by the fast version of "We
Will Rock You", which opened their shows for three years going back
to the News Of The World tours. Freddie is in great voice
and sounds very upbeat in this show, saying "this is the
first time we've come to here and there's been no snow on the ground"
before singing "Mustapha", the beginning of their early set
medley which is identical to the one played on their previous tour.
This is the first tour where Freddie wore his moustache and at
every stop he asks the crowd their opinion. "Do you think
I should keep this moustache? Did you say no? Fuck off!
A lot of people really hate it. In San Francisco they told me to
shave it" he says before introducing Brian May on the piano for
"Save Me". This song was never released as a single in the
US and it is curious they play it on the tour instead of "Need
Your Loving Tonight" which was a US released single.
May complains about the acoustics at The Horizon before "Love Of My
Life", wondering how a bad design could occur "in this age
of computer acoustic design". None of that affects the
recording or their jolly performance that night. "Keep
Yourself Alive" is played in the arrangement developed on the Crazy
tour with Taylor's drum / tympani solo and May's guitar solo leading into
the final verse of "Brighton Rock". Things get wild with
their first encore "Another One Bites The Dust" where
Freddie gets the audience to move and make some noise.
"Sheer Heart Attack" is appropriately violent. The
Game was Queen's only album to reach number one in the States and
"Another One Bites The Dust" was their biggest hit world wide.
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love", which was released as a single
the previous year was also a huge this tour has attained legendary status.
This is the best recording to surface from this era and Ultimate
Entertainer II is highly recommended. (GS)