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Press release: Queen+ Paul Rodgers "Return of the Champions" live CD

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Press release: Queen+ Paul Rodgers "Return of the Champions" live CD

Old 09-08-05, 05:04 PM
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Press release: Queen+ Paul Rodgers "Return of the Champions" live CD



It was a return that began with a small fan-based Brixton set and ended in a powerhouse Hyde Park 65,000 crowd finale which also managed to frame a moment in UK history.

Rock band Queen had returned to the road close on 20 years after a retirement imposed on them by the impending tragic loss of lead singer Freddie Mercury and one which had appeared to signal the end of a recording and touring career that had marked the band out as rock champions of the world’s concert arenas.

Pairing with Paul Rodgers the legendary vocalist, songwriter and founding member of Free and Bad Company, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor surprised many earlier this year with the announcement that they were returning to ‘business as usual’ and taking on more than 32 live dates throughout the UK and Europe.

Any initial doubts about whether the band still retained the potency to recreate some of their finest live moments was dispelled immediately. The low-key warm up date at London’s Brixton Academy back in March silenced the cynics, defied the doubters. “The band closes with ‘We Are The Champions’, and how could it be otherwise? I have to admit they’re not wrong” (The Observer)….”ranks as one of the gigs of the year” (The Guardian)”…”New Queen line-up is all right now” (Daily Mirror)…“A triumphant return for rock and roll royalty.” (The Northern Echo).

From there there was no stopping Messrs May, Taylor and Rogers, as the Queen + Paul Rodgers powder-keg rolled through Europe touching over a dozen countries in seven weeks, coming to rest finally at London’s Hyde Park on June 15.
Along the way, Queen and Paul Rodgers had remade old fan friendships, and made many new ones. Over half a million people had seen and celebrated the return of the mighty force that was Queen, and realised the added rock/blues edge that Rodgers had brought to one of rock’s best loved song catalogues.

Delayed by a week, Hyde Park came at a time when London was recovering from one of the worst outrages committed against its citizens. Queen opened their show to all the heroes of the day – London’s emergency service workers, and on one of the most stunning summer evenings the city had seen, celebrated the spirit of London with a concert that united 65,000 people for one very magical day.

The energy, the extraordinary musicianship, and the return to form for Queen with the added presence of Paul Rodgers, which marked everyone of those European dates is evident in the 27 tracks which make up the 2-CD set “Return of the Champions”, set for UK release September 19.

The recording, captured live during the band’s sold out Sheffield Hallam Arena show back in May, delivers a virtual greatest hits collection from both the Queen and Paul Rodgers song catalogues, mixing perennial crowd pleasers such as Queen’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions’ with Rodgers’ own million sellers ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’, ‘Wishing Well’ and ‘All Right Now’. Here also for the first time we get we get live versions of some of the classic hits recorded after the band stopped performing in1985 and consequently never before available on disc, among them ‘The Show Must Go On’, delivered in a scorching version by Rodgers.

The album serves also as a reminder of what fine stand-alone musicians and vocalists Brian May and Roger Taylor are; Taylor roars his way through ‘I’m In Love with My Car’ and adds new poignancy to the Mercury latter-day signature tune, ‘These Are the Days of Our Lives’. Taylor also provides the one brand new song on the set, his thought-provoking ‘Say It’s Not True’, a song especially written to help highlight the message behind Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Aids campaign launched by Brian May and Roger Taylor along with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart in 2003.

May meanwhile delivers rock to make you smile on ‘39’, sings Freddie’s torch song ‘Love of My Life’ with the entire audience joining in, and delivers the mother of all guitar solos, which segues seamlessly into the haunting riffs of the delicate-guitar work on ‘Last Horizon’.

As a companion piece, the same Sheffield show also comes to DVD a month later; with “Return of The Champions” filmed on an 18 camera shoot by award-winning director David Mallet released October 24. As a record of that special Hyde Park night, the DVD features the bonus track, Queen + Paul Rodger’s fine version of Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ which provided May, Taylor and Rodgers a moment to reflect on that moment of time in London.

Having reclaimed their positions as Champions of rock in Europe, Queen + Paul Rodgers now head West to the USA and Japan for a quick stop off either side of the USA with dates in New Jersey (Meadowlands, October 16) and Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl, October 22) before half-a-dozen massive arena dates across Japan. It is 23 years since they played the USA and over 20 since Japan, but that has not stopped their forthcoming dates selling out well ahead of time.

And if this year hasn’t been busy enough for the band, the end of the year Queen will commemorate the 30th anniversary of their twice-hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which first went to No. 1 on November 25, 1975 with a special anniversary DVD and CD of the band’s classic album, A Night At The Opera to be released exactly 30 years later on November 25, 2005.
The show goes on, indeed!
Glad to hear the DVD will feature "Imagine", can't wait to hear that! NOTE: The CD's US release is September 13th.

Last edited by Michael Allred; 09-08-05 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 09-11-05, 02:49 PM
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Apparently, the CD will be sold with an exclusive 2 track bonus DVD at Best Buy! I don't know what the two tracks are though, perhaps a preview of the companion DVD?
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Old 09-11-05, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Allred
Apparently, the CD will be sold with an exclusive 2 track bonus DVD at Best Buy! I don't know what the two tracks are though, perhaps a preview of the companion DVD?
BB exclusive bonus DVD has "Reach Out/Tie Your Mother Down" and "We Are the Champions."
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