Queen
Live Killers


4.0
excellent

Review

by Non-contributor USER (42 Reviews)
May 31st, 2013 | 11 replies | 1,320 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Is "Live Killers" really that much of a "Killer", or does it fall flat of being one?

What do you get when you combine Freddie Mercury’s vocal nodule ridden voice with tons of overdubs? Is it a messy mix of horror? No! You get “Live Killers”! That’s not a bad thing though, as when this album was recorded during the 1978-79 “Jazz” tour, Freddie wasn’t doing too well when it came to vocal ability. Queen had set out on the tour just weeks after they finished recording “Jazz”, and to make matters worse, it was a worldwide tour that lasted for several months. During the recording of “Live Killers” however, Freddie’s voice was gradually recovering, but not at top shape. So when recording “Killers”, the band had overdubs in mind, as usual when recording live albums. Queen manages to deliver a great performance (or performances considering the notorious search for the sources of “Live Killers”), but even with the overdubs, Freddie’s voice isn’t in top shape. The set-list is a good one, with it being diverse, something common during the “classic-era” of the group, and showing how different the band’s set was before it would be smothered with hits (Take the 1986 “Magic” tour for example).

The first side of the record doesn’t really showcase the band’s skill, and fails to really gain any momentum until “Get Down Make Love”, with the use of the Red Special, makes for a somewhat trippy listen. From there-on out, “Live Killers”, doesn’t fail to amaze and manages to stay consistent, making the listener feel as they are actually at a Queen concert (albeit, with loads of overdubs and the censorship on “Death On Two Legs”). Side One focuses on what I call the "Death On Two Legs" medley. As mentioned before, this particular medley compared to previous tour's medleys, is lacking in both consistency and momentum, and simply fails to spark any interest.

Side two, consisting mainly of the acoustic set, shows the unity of the band and how good they work together despite the songs being stripped down to mostly acoustic instruments. Side three is simply a Brian May showcase, with a great solo on "Don't Stop Me Know". The grand highlight of the side (and the album) has to be "Brighton Rock", featuring a blistering solo by May. Utilizing the Red Special to its full capabilities, he manages to layer notes upon notes upon notes to make an absolute and utter feast for the ears. Side four, like side two, is a full band effort, with all of them giving their all. Despite that, it happens to also be a chance for the rhythm section to shine, with Roger Taylor and John Deacon's abilities put to their fullest.

While not the greatest live record out there (Yessongs comes to mind…), “Live Killers” is an essential record for a Queen fan and/or anyone who loves listening to classic live acts performing, especially in their prime.



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user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
gblackman (3)
Although admittingly there are better live albums by Queen, I would recommend this definitely for ha...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ZackSh33
May 31st 2013


295 Comments


Props for giving Deacon credit on the triangle

FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet, more Queen on the front page!

Good review, man! Very concise but very descriptive. This is a pretty underrated live album in my opinion

FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah, I'm only doing studio stuff. I want to move on to other albums now, but thanks for the review! We need to push every gblackman review out of the flagged spots, haha

manosg
May 31st 2013


6070 Comments


Good job Frip. It's a shame that there isn't a live album containing more songs from Queen II.

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

dannyboy89
June 1st 2013


11960 Comments


Good review, as usual.

When discussing rock bands, I think it's highly relevant that you cover
ALL the band members. Queen wasn't just Mercury you know!

I mean, Brian May doesn't get a mention?!

But as I said, the review is good, just bear in mind that all rock bands
are teams. Ray Manzarek passed away recently, and he was just as
relevant to The Doors as Morrison was. Just my two cents. Cheers ;).

dannyboy89
June 1st 2013


11960 Comments


And a correction to my previous statement: most rock bands are teams. Geoff Tate's incarnation of Queensyche is a horrid example of an exception.

There are bands centered around one person, but rock is generally characterized by the combined performances of musicians. I could go on talking about how there are shades of gray with regards to this but I don't want to insult anybody's intelligence.

manosg
June 1st 2013


6070 Comments


Danny has a point. Another example is Axl Rose's modern GnR.

FiveLeavesLeft
June 1st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"When discussing rock bands, I think it's highly relevant that you cover
ALL the band members. Queen wasn't just Mercury you know!

I mean, Brian May doesn't get a mention?!"

I completely agree. Every member contributed so much to this particular band. They were sorta like the next-gen Beatles in that regard

dannyboy89
June 1st 2013


11960 Comments


Much, much, much better. Kudos :D.

deslad
April 1st 2014


356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of Queen's best live albums.

Digging: Nina Simone - Pastel Blues

manosg
June 23rd 2014


6070 Comments


Stoked! At last, tracks from Queen II live.



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