Live at Wembley '86 (1992)


 
Disc One 1. One Vision 2. Tie Your Mother Down 3. In the Lap of the Gods 4. Seven Seas of Rhye 5. Tear it Up 6. A Kind of Magic 7. Under Pressure 8. Another One Bites the Dust 9. Who Wants to Live Forever 10.I Want to Break Free 11.Impromptu 12.Brighton Rock 13.Now I'm Here Disc Two 1. Love of My Life 2. Is This the World We Created? 3. (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care 4. Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart) 5. Tutti Frutti 6. Gimme Some Lovin' 7. Bohemian Rhapsody 8. Hammer to Fall 9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love 10.Big Spender 11.Radio Ga Ga 12.We Will Rock You 13.Friends Will Be Friends 14.We Are the Champions 15.God Save the Queen

 

Although no one knew it at the time, the 1986 tour of the band's A Kind of Magic tour would be their last. In their home country of England, and various other parts of the globe, they were the hottest ticket around at the time, so it's no surprise that they could fill up the entire Wembley Stadium in England. Fortunately, the whole show is featured here, and gives fans a chance to relive this kind of magic over and over again. It's very easy for me to make comparisons to this record and their other live album Live Killers from a show seven years earlier. To be brutally honest, even though this album is one show, and it's the whole show, this experience doesn't quite live up to the prior album's delivery.

Listening to this album really makes you wish that you were actually there, but the recording shows a bit too much flair and a bit too much atmosphere that is great while you're at a show, but doesn't necessarily translate as well on a recording. There are a lot of in between songs banter, a lot of crowd interaction, a lot of song snippets and pieces that you wish weren't there (a song like Impromptu isn't so bad, but Big Spender? Come on guys! What were you thinking?!). But again, it's supposed to be a representation of the whole show.

Then, sadly, some of the band's newer material from the eighties just doesn't quite translate that well to a live setting. A song like Who Wants to Live Forever is beautiful in it's original recording, but it seems to drop several notches when it's performed in front of 70,000 (or whatever) people. Even the classic Another One Bites the Dust just doesn't sound as powerful nor as convincing.

All of these things are perhaps the specific reason why, until the invention of DVDs, artists would never release entire shows as live albums, and that always made me feel like I was being short changed in a way, so I'm glad that they did put out the whole show. I just rarely can listen to the whole thing from beginning to end.

NOTE: Another live album was released in England in 1986 highlighting this tour (Live Magic), but wasn't released in the U.S. until ten years later.

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