Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions

by Kevin Wierzbicki

For all the great songs in the Queen canon, perhaps the one that will endure the longest is "We Will Rock You," a cut that besides continuing to get regular airplay on classic rock radio has also reached iconic status as a rev-'em-up anthem at sporting events and countless other gatherings where the energy level needs a kick in the pants. One of the real treats of this 2-CD collection is a version of "We Will Rock You" that most fans probably have never heard; a fast and punchy punk rock-tinged rocker that sounds nothing like the rhythmically-thumping original. As with everything here, the cut was recorded for BBC Radio in 1973-75 and is otherwise unreleased. Of the 24 songs in the collection, "We Will Rock You" is the only one presented in a radically reworked version, but fans will appreciate the tight live takes on early favorites and deep album cuts like "My Fairy King," "Ogre Battle," "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll," "White Queen (As it Began)" and "My Melancholy Blues." This same set of songs is available as a 3-LP vinyl package but fans who really want to stock up on rarities will want to look into getting the deluxe 6-CD edition of Queen On Air; it includes music from three live shows (London 1973, Sao Paolo, Brazil 1981 and Mannheim, Germany 1986) as well as three full discs of interviews, including the last interview the four band members ever did together. The late Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury shouts "Alright!" at the conclusion of the previously-mentioned "fast" version of "We Will Rock You;" fans taking home any version of Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions will likely be doing some joyful shouting too. Order the various versions here.

Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions

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