Queen - "Hungarian Rhapsody" CD/DVD Review (Eagle Rock) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, November 09, 2012

Queen - "Hungarian Rhapsody" CD/DVD Review (Eagle Rock)

Queen - 'Hungarian Rhapsody' CD/DVD Review (Eagle Rock)
With the flood of “deluxe edition” reissues and archival releases over the last few years, I’m convinced that most major labels don’t have a clue about the artists on their label or the demographic that they are attempting to target as many of these releases look like poorly designed cash grabs. With all the great Queen archival material that has been “floating around” as bootlegs over the last few decades, who thought releasing a full-priced DVD/CD set of Queen’s show in Budapest, Hungary from July 27, 1986 was a good idea…especially since this show took place just over two weeks after the well documented (and cheaper priced) Live at Wembley Stadium show?

Those who didn’t grow up in the era of stadium rock may not know this – but stadium rock show were highly polished, heavily rehearsed productions. With any stadium rock band, there are just minimal differences in the set and stage banter on any given night of a tour. Given this – you may be wondering what’s the difference between Live at Wembley Stadium and Hungarian Rhapsody. In short – the key difference is that the Budapest show features what is probably Queen’s only performance of the Hungarian children’s song “Tavaszi Szél Vizet Áraszt”. Unfortunately – the record company already released this song as a bonus track on the reissue of Live at Wembley so…there really is nothing new here. Completists may grumble that I’m (intentionally) ignoring the DVD Bonus Feature “A Magic Year” but there is similar ‘behind the music’ footage on Live at Wembley (both are amusing to watch once but not much more). My other reservation is that the DVD portion of Hungarian Rhapsody doesn’t include the full show (lost footage, blah, blah, blah).

On a positive note – Freddie Mercury was a brilliant front man and he is one of the few singers who could hold a full stadium in the palm of his hand. For anyone who has only been exposed to Queen through the dreadful ‘Queen + Paul Rodgers’ or ‘Queen + Adam Lambert’, you really owe it to yourself to see one of these two video from Queen’s final tour (with Freddie).

Major labels rarely listen to the fans but long-time fans should try to put pressure on the label to release one of the brilliant pro-shot live shows from 1981.