Live At Wembley is a souvenir of the last tour Queen did with Freddie Mercury in 1986 to promote the A Kind Of Magic album.
It’s sad to think that the group who had stolen the show at the Live Aid concert, the year before weren’t to tour again for nineteen years (2005) when they had Paul Rogers as the lead vocalist.
Their last concert was at Knebworth on 9th August 1986 and Mercury was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS the following year and died 24th November 1991.
Queen Live At Wembley Overall Rating – 22/30
Set List Rating – 6/10
One Vision – 5:50 (from the album A Kind Of Magic)
Tie Your Mother Down – 3:52 (A Day At The Races)
In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited – 2:44 (Sheer Heart Attack)
Seven Seas of Rhye – 1:19 (Queen 2)
Tear It Up – 2:12 (The Works)
A Kind of Magic – 8:41(A Kind Of Magic)
Under Pressure – 3:41 (Hot Space)
Another One Bites the Dust – 4:54 (The Game)
Who Wants to Live Forever – 5:16 (A Kind Of Magic)
I Want to Break Free – 3:34 (The Works)
Impromptu – 2:55 (only performed live)
Brighton Rock Solo – 9:11 (Sheer Heart Attack)
Now I’m Here – 6:19 (Sheer Heart Attack)
Love of My Life – 4:47 (A Night At the Opera)
Is This the World We Created…? – 2:59 (The Works)
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care – 1:34 (cover)
Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart) – 1:24 (cover)
Tutti Frutti – 3:23 (cover)
Gimme Some Lovin – 0:55 (cover)
Bohemian Rhapsody – 5:50 (A Night At The Opera)
Hammer to Fall – 5:36 (The Works)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – 6:27 (The Game)
Big Spender – 1:07 (cover)
Radio Ga Ga – 5:57 (The Works)
We Will Rock You – 2:46 (News Of The World)
Friends Will Be Friends – 2:08 (A Kind Of Magic)
We Are the Champions – 4:05 (News Of The World)
God Save the Queen – 1:27 (A Night At The Opera)
Bonus tracks on the 2003 Hollywood Records remaster that are tacked on at the end and aren’t on my version are:
A Kind of Magic – 7:10
Another One Bites the Dust – 4:27
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – 5:55
Tavaszi szél vízet áraszt – 1:53 (from a 1986 gig in Budapest, Hungary)
With only four tracks from A Kind Of Magic, this set list is very much a Queen’s greatest hits. That seems very appropriate given its position in their history.
My interest in Queen reduced from 1977 onwards when I thought they became a parody of themselves and my tastes moved elsewhere so my ideal set list for a Queen live album would stop with the A Day At The Races, coincidentally the only tour I saw them. I think the later stuff’s classy pop if I hear it on the radio but I don’t have any urge to choose to listen to it.
I’m giving this set list for Live At Wembley 6/10 but I can imagine that plenty of fans would give it the full 10 out of 10. I suspect that there are others who picked up on Queen from their first three albums that agree with me.
Performance Rating – 8/10
Live Aid showed the world that Queen are an outstanding live act, almost designed for performing in stadiums.
Led by Freddie Mercury, they warm up even cold hearts.
But how much is down to how they look and interact with the crowd… and how much is down to the quality of the music they play?
I don’t enjoy listening to this album as much as I thought I would and I don’t think it’s entirely down to the set list issues.
Individually I can’t pick holes in the performances but sometimes the sum of the parts adds up to much more… and sometimes less.
In this case it is less.
Atmosphere & Authenticity – 8/10
Normally I like my rock hot and sweaty and believe it’s better in a small, intimate venue than a huge stadium.
But Queen are the stadium band par-excellence.
It’s where they belong.
By 1986 Queen knew they had built a musical repertoire that would last for decades but their success made them much less relevant to me.
The bigger Queen became, the less I wanted to know them.
Perhaps it’s a show business thing.
The crowd respond well as Freddie Mercury is a master audience conductor.
Total Rating For Queen Live At Wembley – 22/30
A score of 22 is going to upset many Queen fans but I feel very lukewarm about this album.
I hardly ever play it. I don’t think it’s just the set list that’s stacked with their later songs.
I was one of those who had thought Queen were great in 1975 & 76, then they lost relevance as punk emphasised the simple side of music but I was amazed at their Live Aid performance.
But I feel as if they sold out for corporate success and became a hits factory. The songs sound good on the radio but in a large dose, it’s too much for me.
There are rumours that we will see and or hear some live Queen fro 1975 or 76 and I am excited about that. It’s a chance to get the Queen live album I’ve always wanted.
What Others Say About Queen Live At Wembley
It seems that other people are much more excited about this album than me.
In the lists of greatest live albums, it had the following ratings:
Planet Rock – 26nd
NME – 36th
DigitalDreamDoor.com – 40th
Planet Rock is interesting because the other big Queen live album, the earlier Live Killers is listed as the 18th best live album ever.
Buying Queen Live At Wembley
To help you to find the album quickly and easily, I’ve given you the following links::
- Amazon.com as a CD or mp3
- Amazon.co.uk as a CD or mp3
- iTunes as a digital download
- eBay as a CD
I don’t think I’d bother getting it in a music only form.
To get the best of Queen (even late Queen), I think you need to see them as well as hear them.
If you’re really keen, treat yourself to the DVD version.
Amazon.com – Live At Wembley
Amazon.co.uk – Live At Wembley
What Do You Think About Live At Wembley?
This is one of my more controversial reviews but I’d like to know what you think about this album.
Do you agree with me or is this one of the best live albums and one of the best Queen albums ever?
I’m not anti-Queen but just have a big preference for their early songs.
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
Please help me to find the best live albums ever by voting in my readers polls
Because there are so many excellent classic rock live albums I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.
You may be interested in the polls for other classic rock artists like Bad Company – The Beach Boys – The Beatles (group & solo) – Dave Matthews Band – David Bowie – Dire Straits – Bob Dylan – Elton John – Fleetwood Mac – Jethro Tull – Pink Floyd – Queen – Rush – Sting & The Police – The Rolling Stones – Bruce Springsteen – Thin Lizzy – U2 – The Who – Wishbone Ash – Neil Young –
You may also be interested in the polls to find the Best AOR albums and Best power pop albums
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls