Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

The iconic Queen concert will hit stores. The team was in outstanding shape

On “Queen Rock Montreal” capturing one of the most iconic rock bands at the peak of their concert powers. Recorded in 1981, the refreshed version of the film was recently shown in IMAX cinemas, and now it will be released on physical media.

The release will be available as both a double Blu-ray and 4K Ultra High Definition version, on two CDs and three LPs. The premiere will take place on May 10.

After huge successes in the 1970s, the band entered the next decade bigger than ever before with the release of the hugely successful album “The Game”, which included two of their biggest American hits – “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (both topped the Billboard), as well as a number 1 hit in the UK – “Under Pressure”.

“Queen Rock Montreal” presents Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in an exciting and joyful way. As Brian May admits, musically they were “dangerous” back then. The band was in great shape when it returned to Montreal for the fourth time in November 1981 to play two large shows at the 18,000-seat venue. viewers of the Forum hall. Both performances were historic moments in Queen’s history.

During the concerts, the hit “Under Pressure” was played live for the first time:

The artists returned to Montreal after touring around the world for almost two years, reaching Central and South America for the first time in their careers. The band played two memorable concerts at the Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo, where they were applauded by over 150,000 people. fans. When the musicians came to Canada at the end of 1981, they were in electrifying form.

“Montreal is one of my favorite cities. The crowd there is great and full of energy,” comments Brian May. “We have played at the Forum several times before and each time the audience reacted extremely enthusiastically, giving us a lot of energy,” he adds.

The concerts that the band gave on November 24 and 25, 1981 were groundbreaking. Everything was arranged with the aim of shooting a full-length concert film. Director Saul Swimmer he planned to record concerts using the then state-of-the-art dual 35 mm anamorphic lenses, which allowed the image to be displayed on a giant screen five stories high. The behind-the-scenes tensions between the band and the director may have caused problems, but ultimately they motivated the musicians, allowing them to reach new heights.

“We were very, very pumped. Some of the tempos are really fast. There was a lot of really sharp, angry playing,” May admits.

“Queen Rock Montreal” shows a raw version of the band that released “Bohemian Rhapsody” only half a decade earlier. Fans get Queen in its purest form and can experience the artists’ unrivaled musicality, powerful vocals and unstoppable energy. “There was no one else on stage but us,” Brian notes.

“It’s fascinating to realize how free we were on the scene in 1981.” – admits Roger Taylor. “It’s just four pieces of a puzzle, just the four of us in Queen, Freddie in great shape. The cameras were of the highest quality for the time, so when you watch this movie you feel like you’re standing on a stage. I’ve never seen anything that made that I would be so involved in the performance,” he adds.

From Freddie’s welcome shout of “Hi Montreal… long time no see. Do you want to go crazy?”, to the thrilling climax of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”, the energy practically does not drop. Even if this happens, it is only with the unique ballad “Love Of My Life”.

Freddie’s impressive vocal performances, Maya’s dazzling, almost pyrotechnic-like six-string playing, Deacon’s rock-solid bass and Taylor’s rhythmic acrobatics, not to mention the unique combination of their four voices – “Queen Rock Montreal” showcases both the individual skills of each musician and and the strength of the monolith that they were in the best period of their career.

The executive producers of the project are Roger Taylor and Brian May, and the recordings were produced and mixed by Justin Shirley-Smith, Kris Fredriksson and Joshua Macrae.

The album includes a 28-song setlist showcasing the craftsmanship and uniqueness of Queen’s style. The group combined classics from the 70s (“Killer Queen”, Now I’m Here”, “We Will Rock You”, “We Are The Champions”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” with hits of the time (“Another One Bites The Dust”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Play The Game”, “Save Me”) and songs beloved by fans from their albums (“Keep Yourself Alive”, “Dragon Attack”, “I’m In Love With My Car”, “Sheer Heart Attack”.

Two songs – “Flash” and “The Hero” are available only in audio formats – two CDs, three black vinyl records and three transparent blue vinyls, which can only be ordered from the official Queen store.

For the first time ever, the concert will be released in 4K and Dolby Atmos sound, allowing viewers to experience rock ‘n’ roll royalty. Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon take the stage to captivate the audience gathered at the Forum in Montreal.

The original 35mm negatives have been scanned to ensure the highest resolution possible. The image was carefully examined frame by frame to remove any dirt or damage and to improve the sharpness and quality of the image.

“I can’t think of any other recording of our concerts that allowed the audience to be in such close contact with Freddie,” notes May. “They can almost see everything that’s going on in his head – his anger, his uncertainty, the knowledge that he can touch people even in the farthest rows. It’s very emotional for me. My God, he was really good,” she adds.

For the first time, the concert will be released in two image formats – full frame and widescreen. The first one is closer to the original shots, while the widescreen one is a carefully prepared alternative version, adjusted to the 16:9 aspect ratio. The Ultra High Definition 4K edition also provides SDR/HDR dynamic range options.

In addition to recording the Montreal performances, the release also includes the most famous 21 minutes in rock ‘n’ roll history – Queen’s electrifying performance at Live Aid, which was upscaled to high definition and mixed in stereo, 5.1 and Dolby Atmos versions. The material was supplemented with “Is This The World We Created…?”, which Freddie and Brian performed on the same evening.

New 2CD/3LP and dual Blu-ray and 4K Ultra High Definition editions add a whole new dimension to this iconic slice of Queen history.

“You see four young guys who have already traveled around the world several times, have sold a lot of records, have a lot of hits and know and can play together. They know how to do it to achieve a synergy effect,” says Brian May about “Queen Rock Montreal” adding: “I’m proud of who we were back then.”

Roger Taylor shares the guitarist’s enthusiasm, adding: “It’s very rewarding to see our younger selves perform so exhilaratingly.”

Proof of the British group’s enduring strength is the fact that the remastered version of Queen Rock Montreal, which was shown in IMAX cinemas, became the best-selling concert film in IMAX history, reaching a record £5.5 million worldwide and surpassing the documentary about “Stop Making Sense” by Talking Heards and “Get Back” by The Beatles.

“Queen Rock Montreal” will be available worldwide on May 10.