A Night at the Odeon-Hammersmith 1975
Eagle Vision (DVD)
by David Chiu
The perfect companion to last year’s Live at the Rainbow, this new long-awaited Queen archival recording — first broadcasted on the BBC–is notable because it features one of the earliest performances of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the song that catapulted the group to superstardom and became a beloved classic 40 years later. To be fair, it’s not the full performance of “BoRap” as it’s part of a medley with “Killer Queen” and “The March of the Black Queen” (given the complexity of “BoRap” with its opera section, it was impossible to do the entire track at the time; eventually the band was able to play the whole thing for future tours). Still, the early appearance of “BoRap” as featured on A Night at the Odeon is of historical importance as Queen was en route to solidifying its worldwide fame. Overall, it’s a blistering set of the band’s material from the first four albums (including tracks “Keep Yourself Alive,” “Seven Seas of Rhye,” “Liar” and “White Queen”) along with some cover tunes (“Big Spender” and “Jailhouse Rock”) towards the end of the show. The sound quality especially on the DVD is pristine; the DVD also features an interview with Roger Taylor and Brian May reflecting on the show, as well as bonus performance footage from Japan. After a period of several live Queen concert releases recorded during the ’80s, it’s refreshing and great finally to see and hear some the band flexing its rock and theatrical muscle early on its career in the ’70s. A Night at the Odeon is no exception.