Monday, May 11, 2020

Queen - 2020 - A Night In The Metropolis

Queen
2020
A Night In The Metropolis
The Complete Tokyo Tapes
Tour '76



Empress Valley Supreme Disc
EVSD-1105/1106/1107/1108/1109/1110/1111/1112


March 22, 1976
Nippon Budokan

101. Opening Introduction - Bohemian Rhapsody
102. Ogre Battle
103. Sweet Lady
104. White Queen (As It Began)
105. Flick Of The Wrist
106. Bohemian Rhapsody
107. Killer Queen
108. The March Of The Black Queen
109. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
110. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
111. Brighton Rock
112. Guitar Solo
113. Son And Daughter
114. Band Introduction
115. The Prophet's Song - Vocal Solo
116. Stone Cold Crazy

201. Doing All Right
202. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
203. Keep Yourself Alive - Drum Solo
204. Liar
205. In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited
206. Now I'm Here
207. Big Spender
208. Rock 'n' Roll Medley
209. God Save The Queen

This is the first show of Queen's second tour of Japan. The band arrived a couple days earlier, and the next day they did a press conference followed by a reception held by Elektra Records.

Freddie is in great voice tonight, but it is a bit of a difficult night for Brian. First, he breaks a string in the first chorus of White Queen, and has to struggle through the next verse of the song before he take a quick break to switch to a spare guitar for the solo. Later he has a tough time getting into the guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody, perhaps out of nerves for performing their biggest hit in Japan for the first time. He does, however, offer some nifty guitar work in the coda of Doing All Right.

Brian, after White Queen: "Thank you, it's good to back. It's been too long. We've been away too long. You might remember this one from Sheer Heart Attack. This is Flick Of The Wrist."

Freddie, after the medley: "I hope you're all having a good time! I bet you are. If I could do it in Japanese I could say, right now we'd like to feature Brian May on the guitar." The audience responds very enthuasiastically nonetheless. "This is a song that we didn't do last time, but we're gonna do it now. A song called Brighton Rock."

March 31, 1976
Nippon Budokan

301. Opening Introduction - Bohemian Rhapsody
302. Ogre Battle
303. Sweet Lady
304. White Queen (As It Began)
305. Flick Of The Wrist
306. Bohemian Rhapsody
307. Killer Queen
308. The March Of The Black Queen
309. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
310. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
311. Brighton Rock
312. Guitar Solo
313. Son And Daughter
314. Band Introduction
315. The Prophet's Song - Vocal Solo
316. Stone Cold Crazy

401. Doing All Right
402. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
403. Keep Yourself Alive - Drum Solo
404. Seven Seas Of Rhye
405. Liar
406. In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited
407. Now I'm Here
408. Big Spender
409. Rock 'n' Roll Medley
410. See What A Fool I've Been
411. God Save The Queen

Freddie has rested his voice after the Osaka gigs, and delivers a much more solid performance. His voice would remain strong for the rest of the Japanese tour.

Freddie, after the medley: "Now, then, my little cuties. It's now time to feature Brian May on the guitar. Old curly over there. And this is a song, I think we did it, yes, we did it when we were here last, a couple of weeks ago. It's the same old song, so get on your feet and do something. Brighton Rock!"

Freddie, after a blistering Doing All Right: "Arigato. Arigato very much. Now then, let's have some hanky panky, eh? This is called Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon."

Tonight's appearance of Seven Seas Of Rhye is a nice surprise on this tour (with gorgeous vocal harmonies in the bridge), along with the rare encore of See What A Fool I've Been. Before Roger speaks to introduce Seven Seas Of Rhye, a cheeky Mercury introduces him. "Our brilliant Roger," he says from the piano.

This would be the final performance of Seven Seas Of Rhye for many years. It would be revived for the Works and Magic tours as an abbreviated version, always part of a medley.

One of the audience recordings of the show provides some insight into one of the intricacies of the show. Since it was taped from far off on stage left, the stage right speakers aren't audible. At the end of Liar, when Roger is doing his cymbal swirls, they disappear and then return, indicating that they are being panned from left to right by the front of house guy, Jonathan Harris - a detail surely missed by most but appreciated by the few.



April 1, 1976
Nippon Budokan

501. Opening Introduction - Bohemian Rhapsody
502. Ogre Battle
503. Sweet Lady
504. White Queen (As It Began)
505. Flick Of The Wrist
506. Hangman
507. Bohemian Rhapsody
508. Killer Queen
509. The March Of The Black Queen
510. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
511. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
512. Brighton Rock
513. Guitar Solo
514. Son And Daughter
515. Band Introduction
516. The Prophet's Song - Vocal Solo
517. Stone Cold Crazy

601. Father To Son
602. Doing All Right
603. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
604. Keep Yourself Alive - Drum Solo
605. Liar
606. In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited
607. Now I'm Here
608. Big Spender
609. Rock 'n' Roll Medley
610. See What A Fool I've Been
611. God Save The Queen

Freddie, after greeting the audience in Japanese: "Ok, it's nice to know you're doing fine. I'm sure that was what you said. It's really nice to be back here for the third show in Tokyo [with March 22 being the first], so let's have some fun, right? This is a song called Sweet Lady." Mercury almost goes into the first chorus a bit early, but he recovers well.

This is an excellent performance by the band. The backing vocals are absolutely spot on tonight, particularly in Flick Of The Wrist.

Freddie, afterward: "That song was about a very nasty man. Now we're gonna do a song about two nasty men, about two murderers. A song that we did last year when we were here in Nippon, in Japan. It's a song called Hangman." This is the last known live airing of the non-album track.

Freddie, before Brighton Rock: "Okay, all you cheeky things, we're now gonna feature Brian May on the guitar. Yes, and to feature him this is a song called Brighton Rock."

Freddie, after Stone Cold Crazy: "Are you having fun? Are you having a good time? Yes, I'm sure you are. If only I could speak a little bit more Japanese." He then begins to introduce a song that hasn't been played in nearly a year.

"Right now we'd like to a number that we haven't done for a long, long time. This is a song called Father To Son." Unlike versions from 1973-75, Freddie actually plays the intro on the piano (too fast, actually, and the band gradually slow it down before the vocal enters), instead of having the album version on playback as they had done before. This and the following night are the only two known instances of the song performed this way. At the end of the song, Freddie happily says (possibly referring to some rehearsal during soundcheck): "Yeah, we finally got that together!"

Freddie's piano intro to In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited includes the part he'd play in I'm In Love With My Car on later tours.

The extra drawn out ending of See What A Fool I've Been heard tonight is very effective in ending a concert.


April 4, 1976
Nihon University Auditorium

701. Opening Introduction - Bohemian Rhapsody
702. Ogre Battle
703. Sweet Lady
704. White Queen (As It Began)
705. Flick Of The Wrist
706. Bohemian Rhapsody
707. Killer Queen
708. The March Of The Black Queen
709. Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
710. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
711. Brighton Rock
712. Guitar Solo
713. Son And Daughter
714. The Prophet's Song - Vocal Solo
715. Stone Cold Crazy

801. Doing All Right
802. Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
803. Keep Yourself Alive - Drum Solo
804. Liar
805. In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited
806. Now I'm Here
807. Big Spender
808. Rock 'n' Roll Medley
809. God Save The Queen

his is the final show of Queen's second tour of Japan. The Sendai show was intended to be the last night, but this show in Tokyo was added due to ticket demand. The Budokan presumably wasn't available, so another venue was found.

In Ogre Battle, the scream sample lifted from the album is played near the end of the instrumental section for the last time.

Freddie does a few interesting improvs at the end of Sweet Lady: "I'm gonna leave you baby; I'm gonna take you home; you're beautiful; just too much." He's clearly enjoying himself on the final night. After the song he says, "What a rowdy bunch."

Later, Mercury does some wonderful things with the echo in The Prophet's Song.



In the spring of 1975 Queen set foot as a band for the first time in Japan much to the delight of their legions of fans there. The band played their first of many gigs at Budokan after the release of 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack and the footage from the show is truly something to behold as are the images of the then 29-year-old Mercury sitting along with his bandmates and a few lovely geishas at a formal ceremony on the grass in front of the Tokyo Tower.

Queen would return the very next year to Tokyo in support of their 1976 album A Day at the Races and were photographed hanging out with Sumo wrestlers, drinking sake and greeting a group of fascinated Japanese children who likely had no idea what to make of Freddie Mercury dressed in a multi-colored knit coat sporting long hair and dark sunglasses. The photos are as charming as they are gorgeous to look at. I’ve also included fantastic footage from Queen’s very first press conference in Tokyo (that includes lots of other footage such as their arrival at the airport and the ceremony in front of the Tokyo Tower) as well as a stellar performance of the single from Sheer Heart Attack “Now I’m Here” from the band’s debut show at Budokan that is going to blow your socks off.

Queen’s inaugural performance at Budokan was of course bootlegged and can be tracked down on various Internet sites but as a huge fan I remain hopeful that the performance will get a proper official release as did Queen’s legendary show at the Odeon in London on Christmas Eve in 1975 Queen- A Night At the Odeon (which just so happens to include a bit of footage from Queen’s Budokan gig—three songs specifically “Now I’m Here,” “Killer Queen,” and “In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited”).

Freddy in Tokyo, painting I made for a friend's birthday a couple of years ago.

Well, since anything worth doing, is also worth overdoing, and that has been sort of out moto in the past, I dug deep in the external files and found the rest of the recordings of the Japanese 1976 tour. I hope you guys and girls have a great time with all these shows, 1976 is my favorite period of the band live, so I personally can't get enough from all these recordings.





March 23, 1976
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
Nagoya, Japan

Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet's Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen

Despite a strong start to the show, Freddie's voice is a bit rough in a few spots throughout.

Freddie, after Flick Of The Wrist: "And now we're gonna do a medley of four songs from four of our different albums, and we're gonna start with a number, I think you know this one, it's called Bohemian Rhapsody." Technically he wasn't right about that, as no songs from the first album were part of the medley.

After the medley: "It's time we featured Brian May on the guitar. Yes, I think you're gonna like this. This is a song that we didn't do last time but we're gonna do it for you right now. It's a number called Brighton Rock."

After he does his usual toast to the audience, Freddie adds, "May you all drink champagne tomorrow for breakfast." He goes on, "Right now we'd like to do a number," but his attention is then diverted. "Oh, you understood that one. Cheeky little thing!" he says to someone close to the stage, as he knows how rare it is for a Japanese audience member to be fluent in English. He then says how he wishes he could speak more Japanese after he asks them for song requests from their debut album and gets none! They then play Doing All Right as usual, during which Brian has much fun in the coda with his delay.

In the a cappella vocal section of The Prophet's Song, Freddie references Death On Two Legs as he often would during this era. While he would usually only sing the lyrics "Death on two legs, you're tearing me apart" this year, tonight he adds "kill joy, bad guy." He and Roger harmonize beautifully throughout the song.

As Roger plays the drum intro to Liar, Freddie says, "C'mon, blondie!"


March 24, 1976
Kosei Kaikan
Himeji, Japan

Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet's Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen

Roger Taylor's day at the office gets off to a tough start, as he flubs a couple backing vocals in Ogre Battle.

Brian, after White Queen: "We'd like to continue with a particularly vicious song by Freddie Mercury. This is Flick Of The Wrist."

Freddie isn't in his strongest voice early in the Japanese tour, but the end of Bohemian Rhapsody is gorgeous tonight.

Brian plays his Bring Back That Leroy Brown banjo solo in the wrong key - the only time he'd mess this bit up in the song's three years on stage. He soon makes up for it by offering a very tasteful Brighton Rock solo with many musically wonderful moments.

Freddie's middle section of The Prophet's Song is excellent tonight. Even with his limited vocal range, he manages to craft some very interesting vocal lines.

For the first verse of Doing All Right, Freddie uses his voice to the best of his ability to give a unique delivery of the debut album song. Afterward, "This is one minute six seconds of a song called Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon," followed by a huge roar from the audience.

Brian May is on fire in the improv section of Liar.

Freddie is a bit disoriented in In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited. He sings the first verse again in place of the second verse, and treats the second chorus like the first, singing "I can see what you want me to be" instead of continuing with the "Wo wo la la la" part, but he quickly corrects himself. But he was aware that it was the second chorus, because just before it he notes, "Here it comes again," possibly suggesting he isn't particularly looking forward to the chorus, as it is a challenge for him when his voice isn't in its best shape.



March 26, 1976 - late show
Fukuoka-shi Kyuden Kinen Taiikukan
Fukuoka, Japan

Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet's Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen

Queen play two shows today, and this listing highlights the evening show.

It's a pretty rough night for Freddie, as the two-show day leaves his voice sounding pretty strained.

Freddie speaks to the audience in Japanese after Sweet Lady, a moment which always receives a cheer wherever they play in the country. He says to himself, "Ah, I love how that works." Great versions of White Queen and Flick Of The Wrist follow. Brian introduces the latter as "a dirty little number."

Freddie: "We'd like to do a medley for you, about four songs from.. I think you've heard most of these before, except for the first one, and it's gonna be a slightly different version. Anyway, this is a song.. we're gonna start off with a song called Bohemian Rhapsody."

Freddie, after Son And Daughter: "Now, let's have some more fun, eh? We're going to do a new number from our album A Night At The Opera. That's the album, which you've all got by now, and this is a song that's written by Brian May. It took about six minutes I think, or nine minutes, a song called... a number called The Prophet's Song." He corrects himself, as he feels the formal classification of "number" is more appropriate for this epic piece of work.

After Stone Cold Crazy, he says, "Ahh, they're all sitting down. They must know what's coming next." He drinks his usual champagne toast to the audience with "Kampai!" which is cheers in Japanese. He adds, "That's the one that gets them every time." He then introduces Doing All Right. Freddie is careful with the higher notes, but he still delivers the song very effectively. Their vocal harmonies are exquisite.

Freddie nails the piano intro to Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, although Brian messes up the solo at the end of the short song. Both Freddie and Roger are audibly amused.

Roger Taylor's drum solo in Keep Yourself Alive is simply manic.

Brian: "From Liar to something which was on Sheer Heart Attack. Something very near the end, as this is. This is In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited. Thanks a lot."



March 29, 1976 - early show
Kosei Nenkin Kaikan
Osaka, Japan

Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet's Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen

Queen play two shows today (notably the last time they would have a two-show day). This is the early show, at 2pm.

After a couple days' rest, Mercury sounds pretty strong overall.

A Night At The Opera was (not so arguably) Queen's creative peak, and this ensuing tour may have seen them at their musical best on stage. Their vocal harmonies particularly stand out this afternoon. Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady and Now I'm Here are flawlessly executed, both musically and vocally.

Brian speaks after Liar: "To finish off, we'd like to do something from Sheer Heart Attack. Thank you for being really nice. This has been a good afternoon performance, I think. Ok, this is In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited."

The band omit Big Spender, effectively combining Now I'm Here and Jailhouse Rock into a single encore. Perhaps they always did this on double show days, as the same thing happened in Manchester last year. Freddie throws a verse of Jerry Lee Lewis' Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On into Jailhouse Rock.


March 29, 1976 - late show
Kosei Nenkin Kaikan
Osaka, Japan

Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet's Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen

This is the evening show, at 6pm.

Freddie's voice isn't in the greatest shape tonight, after having already sung the afternoon show followed by a party between the gigs. He forgets a few words in the first verse of Bohemian Rhapsody, and barely manages to mumble his way through it. But he settles down by The Prophet's Song, where he throws a bit of Frère Jacques into the a cappella section, much to the delight of the audience. The vocal harmonies in the song sound great.

Brian has some tuning problems a few minutes into his solo spot in Brighton Rock, but he does manage to fix it up (with the added bonus of having the delay on). Later, he crafts some very nifty sounds in the Stone Cold Crazy solo.

The ever-underrated John Deacon's bass work is brilliant in Flick Of The Wrist and Doing All Right.

The band have a bit of trouble getting into the first verse of Keep Yourself Alive. A few bars after they fall apart, Freddie cues everyone together by shouting, "Now!"

Brian, near the end of the set: "Thank you for being a really nice audience. We'd like to finish up with something from Sheer Heart Attack. This is a song by Freddie, who'll be tinkling ivories. This is In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited."



April 2, 1976
Miyagi-Ken Sports Centre
Sendai, Japan

Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet's Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Father To Son, Doing All Right, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


Freddie delights everyone on hand by introducing The Prophet's Song in Japanese. The audience are very enthusiastic tonight, and apparently borderline rowdy, as Freddie has to tell everyone to "take it easy" during Jailhouse Rock.

During Liar, the frantic audience shout "liar" and "all day long" in unison at all the appropriate times.

The band play Father To Son again tonight. This would be the final performance of the Queen II gem.