Queen, ‘Live at the Rainbow ’74’ (Hollywood Records)
This box set is a special treat for Queen fans, as it’s the first time that recordings of two of the band’s 1974 shows have been released.
The British rock act originally planned to bring out a live album of a March ’74 date at London’s storied Rainbow Theatre, but the release was shelved in favor of a new studio album. The band also recorded a November gig at the Rainbow the same year.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, a lavish box set came out that includes both shows on CD, DVD, and Blu-ray, a hardback photo book, facsimiles of tour memorabilia and other goodies. A variety of other packages, also released Tuesday, include a single CD of the November ’74 show; a double CD of the March and November shows; a DVD set; and a Blu-ray set.
The box includes the standard ephemera, but the music can easily stand on its own. This is Queen in pre-“Bohemian Rhapsody” days. The look might be glam (all long hair and tight satin trousers), but the sound is powerhouse hard rock.
Among the highlights are guitarist Brian May soloing with himself on “Son and Daughter” and singer Freddie Mercury camping his way through “Big Spender.”