Monday, February 22, 2010

Queen - Queen on Fire: Live at the Bowl

8/10

It's amazing how good this live album is, considering that it was recorded while they were touring for Hot Space. I think it's a cliche (and frequently not true) that live recordings have more energy than their studio counterparts, but it's definitely true here for the tracks off of Hot Space- they're so much better without the over-glossy production and drum machines. Every one of them is better than the original except Under Pressure, which just isn't the same without Bowie present.
But the Hot Space songs make up just four out of 25 songs, and the setlist is pretty good (although, not surprisingly, there's nothing here from the first three albums). Half the songs from The Game are present here; while I didn't think that particular album was overproduced, it's interesting to hear more stripped-down version of those songs here.
This is a pretty strong live album, although not quite the equal of Live at Wembley. There are a few parts that aren't so great (did Somebody to Love really need to be stretched out as long as it is here?) but not too many, so I give this an easy recommendation.

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