The Magic Tour took in 26 dates around Europe's stadiums, in support of their newest album 'A Kind of Magic'. The tour commenced in Stockholm on June 7th, made its way back to London in July and then finally finishing in Spain on August 5th, before heading home again for their last concert at Knebworth. The Magic Tour was the biggest and final tour by Queen with their lead singer Freddie Mercury. In 1987, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS and the band together made the decision to cease touring, making the concert at Knebworth on 9 August 1986 the last time the four members of Queen would perform on stage together.
Large as it is, Wembley Stadium is not the biggest stadium in the world, but in many ways it's the most important, the 'Wimbledon of rock' so to speak. There aren't that many groups who can fill it once, so the knowledge that it was full for two consecutive nights was a proof and a demonstration to the four members of Queen of their power. Attendances on each night were 72,000.
If it's of any interest, the architect's plans for Wembley Stadium are wrong. They are, in fact, four feet out. This may not matter much to a fan, but it nearly spelt disaster for Queen. Working to the plans, a special stage had been built, designed to fill one complete end of Wembley, and working against the dock the crew found it was precisely four feet too long. This wasn't the only problem at Wembley. The local authority are famous for their stringent regulations, and they refused permission for the gas torches that when lit flared out from the side of the stage (to make sure that Queen didn't use them on the second, and final concert, they even posted a guard on the gas cylinders all night!)
But God must be a Queen fan. On the Saturday it poured all day, drenching the 72,000 crowd and Status Quo as well. But it miraculously stopped for a while when Queen came on (not permanently, though - He doesn't like all their numbers). Freddie got wet as well as the band moved out from the covered part of the stage, to the front, as the lights were turned on the crowd. Four huge inflatable dummies of the group were released into the air. Two were hauled down by fans but two floated up to land in someone's garden miles away.
If the atmosphere at the concert was special because it was Wembley, the party afterwards was special because it was after Wembley. The group took over the Gardens night club, high over London with a huge roof garden filled with exotic food and strange sights. Members of the band joined other rock stars in impromptu jam sessions, and John Deacon didn't leave for home until 9 in the morning. [extract from Queen: A Magic Tour, Queen Productions Ltd, 1987. page 15]
The second night at Wembley Stadium is probably the most famous and well-documented concert of Queen's career. It was filmed by 15 cameras with the initial intention to air it on TV in October. David Bowie was rumoured to join the band on stage for Under Pressure, but it never materialized. Mick Jagger was in the audience, and hung out with the band before the show.
The band, particularly Freddie, seem to be a bit nervous at various points tonight, knowing well that this was the big show that was being filmed to be seen by millions of people throughout the ages. His voice is in not quite as good shape as it was last night, which led to many vocal overdubs being done for the TV/radio simulcast and official releases. Brian's nerves also reveal themselves early on, as he messes up the tapping solo in the middle of One Vision (the only time he ever missed it), and later he completely omits the first half of the Hammer To Fall solo (which he also did in Brussels).
Pictured above is a great shot of one of the blow-ups of the band members released into the sky during 'A Kind Of Magic'. One of them was found by an old lady in her back yard the next morning.
After the impromptu, Brian May puts on a clinic of how to construct a guitar solo. A polar opposite of last night's mediocre solo spot, tonight's rendition is simply magnificent, and perhaps the definitive example of his musicality in the spotlight.
This is another one of those shows where Freddie shouts "Go Johnny!" during the instrumental part of Now I'm Here, referencing 'Johnny B. Goode' by Chuck Berry. The band attempt a couple more covers tonight, both for the last time - Gimme Some Lovin' and Big Spender. The songs had been tried out earlier in the tour, and the latter had been performed often throughout the 70s (unfortunately neither of these tracks appear on this bootleg release).
After the show, billed as "Dicky Hart And The Pacemakers" for fun, Queen and some other stars, including Cliff Richard and Samantha Fox, had a jam session at the Kensington Roof Gardens Night Club. Tutti Frutti and Sweet Little Rock And Roller were among the songs played. Short video clips have turned up in documentaries, like The Magic Years. The picture above shows Brian May and Roger Taylor moonlighting under the name of "Dick Hart And The Pacemakers".
The first lengthy official release of this show was a 1990 VHS, missing eight songs. The studio version of Brighton Rock is heard at the beginning while showing the stage and rig being set up by the crew. Vocal overdubs were present on this release and all future releases: One Vision, A Kind Of Magic, Who Wants To Live Forever, and We Are The Champions (at least) were patched up, and backing vocals for the bridge of Hammer To Fall were added as well. The usual level adjustments were done on vocals and all instruments, but many of Spike Edney's synth parts are notably much lower than they were at the show.
The radio and TV broadcasts, as well as the official releases, have led to dozens of bootlegs released over the years - many of which were disguised as other shows [extract from queenlive.ca]
This post consists of MP3 rips (320kps) taken from the 1997 AMCOS Bootleg and features approx 75% of the original concert - the recording originating from a Radio Broadcast most likely. Included is full album artwork for this Australian bootleg, but I have also included some additional covers from alternative bootleg releases. Also included are an extensive number of concert photos taken from queenlive.ca and their Magic Tour booklet. The sound quality on the bootleg is exceptional and will not disappoint.
Note: Support bands at the Wembley concert were Australia's very own INXS, Status Quo, and The Alarm.
01 - Brighton Rock
02 - One Vision
03 - Tie Your Mother Down
04 - In The Lap Of The Gods
05 - Seven Seas Of Rhye
06 - A Kind Of Magic
07 - Under Pressure
08 - Another One Bites The Dust
09 - Who Wants To Live Forever
10 - I Want To Break Free
11 - Is This The World We Created
12 - Tutti Frutti
13 - Bohemian Rhapsody
14 - Hammer To Fall
15 - Crazy Little Thing Called Love
16 - Radio Gaga
17 - We Will Rock You
18 - Friends Will Be Friends
19 - We Are The Champions
20 - God Save The Queen
Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano, electric guitar),
Brian May (electric guitar, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards),
Roger Taylor (drums, backing vocals, tambourine),
John Deacon (bass guitar),
Spike Edney (keyboards, piano, electric guitar, backing vocals)
Queen Link (177Mb) New Link 25/10/2015