City: London, UK
Venue: Rainbow Theatre
Date: November 19, 1974

Setlist:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Father To Son, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


           

This is the first of two nights at the Rainbow Theatre. Both shows were recorded and filmed by the band. The 2014 "Live At The Rainbow" release chronicles the shows in a most definitive way.

Roger Taylor, always wearing his opinions on his sleeve, introduces Seven Seas Of Rhye: "This is a good one."

Afterward, Freddie declares, "We'd like to do some rock and roll. How do you feel about that? Good, you've gotta join in. This is the last time. Tell you what, this a number on the Sheer Heart Attack album, Stone Cold Crazy." After a killer rendition of the speed-metal predecessor, Brian is faintly heard saying, "Pretty gentle, that one."

In the extended instrumental section of Liar, Brian and Roger hint at flavours of Great King Rat.

On this tour Freddie has sung the first verse of In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited in falsetto as on the record, but he opts for the lower octave tonight.

Brian May's mother attended this show and even taped it from the audience.

In the December 7th Record Mirror, Brian states how the band didn't enjoy this show, mainly because of the film production getting in the way of their performance.



Before leaving for the US tour in early 1975, Brian May wrote in the spring 1975 issue of the Queen fan club magazine that the band had been very busy working on the Rainbow film. He says they're "mixing and editing to a suitable form for the [Old Grey] Whistle Test," but such a broadcast would never materialize.

A half-hour film, a compilation of both nights, simply entitled "Live At The Rainbow," was first seen in 1976 as an opener for Led Zeppelin's film "The Song Remains The Same" in some US theatres, for Jaws II in UK theatres in 1978, and for Pink Floyd's "Live At Pompeii" in 1979 and "The Wall" in 1982. This is the video's track listing, with the italicized tracks having been edited into a fake "medley":

Procession, Now I'm Here, White Queen, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Father To Son [cut], Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Liar [cut], Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, God Save The Queen

Now I'm Here was seen in a 1977 Italian TV special on the band filmed by BBC7. The special was narrated by Roger Taylor.

In 1989, Stone Cold Crazy from this video was released as the B side of The Miracle - on the 7" single in the UK and Australia, the UK 12" single, the UK cassette single, and the CD single in the UK and Austria.

A 52-minute version of the video was later officially released on VHS in 1992 as part of the "Box of Trix" (a mail-order item released by a company called Star Direct), with many obvious edits and vocal overdubs. Sometimes the audio and video are taken from the two different nights, although the overwhelming majority of both come from the second night - yet there are many moments where the audio and video are out of sync, which ultimately comes down to poor editing (some of this remains even on the 2014 release). And for some inexplicable reason the audio is mono. Here is the track listing (the fake medley is now bookended by Son And Daughter and its reprise, which normally came after the guitar solo):

Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, guitar solo, Father To Son [cut], Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Liar [cut], Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Jailhouse Rock [cut], God Save The Queen

Now I'm Here (in excellent quality and with most of the vocal overdubs excised) was released on the Greatest Video Hits 1 DVD in 2002.

In November 2009 the band posted some concert videos from the 70s on their website in conjunction with the release of their "Absolute Greatest" compilation, including White Queen from the Rainbow. In 2011, great quality videos of White Queen, Stone Cold Crazy, and Liar (the same versions as on the 1992 VHS release) were made available on iTunes in conjunction with the re-releases of the first five Queen albums. Stone Cold Crazy was also released on the extras of the Japanese DVD and UK blu-ray of the "Days Of Our Lives" documentary in 2011, but with a new stereo mix (Brian's guitar has a delay digitally added for the entire song in place of the analog delay that was used only for its guitar solo live).

The entire first night at the Rainbow was shown at the "Stormtroopers in Stilettoes" Queen exhibition in London in early 2011. The audio was mono and had a few slight inconsistencies, and many who saw it recalled Freddie wasn't in particularly great voice.

In 2014 a proper Live At The Rainbow release hit the shelves, in numerous formats - CD, DVD, LP, and a box set. Most of the vocal overdubs present on the 1992 version remain, but for the first time all the songs performed were included. While it is still a compilation of both nights, there are many spots, both in audio and video, where the 2014 and 1992 versions differ, most notably Freddie's lead vocal in In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited. Also interesting is Freddie mentioning Brian's illness after Son And Daughter.

This excellent analysis by Tom Christie details the edits and overdubs in as great detail as possible, using all the raw materials available to the fanbase. And this video by Juan Gonzalez highlights the difference between the 1992 and 2014 versions.

Additional footage to what has been officially released apparently exists in the hands of collectors.

Brian May has stated that the shows were properly filmed, but this may be due to the fact that the Live At The Rainbow film was stored on 16mm or 35mm film to be shown at cinemas in the 70s. The shows were actually shot on 2" tape. This picture reveals a typical TV camera from the time. The only concerts Queen properly filmed were the two nights in Montreal '81 and Budapest '86.

The pictures seen above could be from either night at the Rainbow. The bulk of them were submitted by Luis Flores, Fabio Minero, and Alessio Rizzitelli.

At this website there are pictures from many dates, including many taken backstage before this show. Many thanks to Lukáš Bosík for the link.


Recording length: 22 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Multi-track
Lineage: Soundboard > ? > Trident acetate
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Father To Son [cut], White Queen


 

This acetate labelled as February 13, 1976 is a working version of the audio for the Live At The Rainbow film.

The fake "medley" idea is already afoot in the production process, as there is a cut in Father To Son just after the point where it would be cut on the final film. It cuts back in at the tail end of the song for the speech before White Queen, which would feature on the film.

The second verse of Father To Son would be cut from both the 1976 and 1992 film versions, and the version heard here has a different second verse than would be heard on the 2014 official release.

There are also bits of between-song dialogue different from the 1976 and 1992 film versions. On close inspection, the dialogue reveals various edits in the audience reactions on those versions, as it is all uncut here.


Recording length: 22 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Multi-track
Lineage: Soundboard > Trident reel tape > pre-FM cassette > cassette > CDR (1) > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
Son And Daughter, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar


Three tracks exist from the first night in stereo sound from the Trident reel-to-reel. They first saw the light of day in the 90s, but in 2010 a superb quality version emerged. The tracks were intended to be broadcast on the radio in the 90s, and this copy comes from the tape that was given to the radio station. Earlier copies that circulated had more tape generations, and thus less clarity in the sound and more tape hiss.

For over 15 years these tracks were labelled as the second night, but bearing in mind the Liar power outtage story from the second night, it seemed logical that the tracks would be from the first night, since the song is uninterrupted here. As of 2011, this has been confirmed.


Recording length: 22 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A-
Source: Multi-track
Lineage: "The Ultimate Collection Volume 3" (Royalty Music) silver

     
Track listing:
Son And Daughter, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar


The three board tracks were first bootlegged in 1995 and incorrectly labelled as Adelaide '76.


Recording length: 22 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A-
Source: Multi-track
Lineage: "He Made It On His Own" (Gypsy Eye) silver

     
Track listing:
Son And Daughter, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar


The tracks were bootlegged once more in 2000, and again with the wrong date attached. Also on the disc is the Live Aid '85 and three of the four tracks from Queen's fifth BBC session.

Gypsy Eye added their hiss reduction as usual, resulting in a crackling noise.


Recording length: 1 CD, incomplete
Quality: ?
Source: Multi-track
Lineage: "Majestic Wintertime" (Godfather) silvers

 
Track listing:
Son And Daughter, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar


Godfather bootlegged the three soundboard tracks as part of a 2-disc package released in May 2013.



                                 

A plethora of vinyl bootlegs of the "Live At The Rainbow" VHS were released in the early 90s. This was to be expected after Freddie Mercury's death in 1991, especially with this new material being in such great quality.

Musically these titles are all identical.

A set of bootlegs called "Freddie's Boys At The Peep" (volumes 1 through 4, ten copies of each) contain the same material.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: "Cinema Cut" silver

     
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Father To Son [cut], Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Liar [cut], Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods.. Revisited, Jailhouse Rock [cut], God Save The Queen


This bootleg CD was released in 1997.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: "In The Lap Of The Gods" (Splat Cat Music) silver

   
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Father To Son, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods.. Revisited, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


This bootleg was released in the 90s.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: "A Night At The Rainbow" (LMP) silver

 
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Father To Son [cut], Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Liar [cut], Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods.. Revisited, Jailhouse Rock [cut], God Save The Queen


This 2001 bootleg contains some filler at the end, some of which is London '74 and '77 with incorrect dates printed on the cover.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: "In The Lap Of The Gods" (QUE) silver

 
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Father To Son, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods.. Revisited, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


This is another 2001 rip of the video. Although there is another bootleg of the Rainbow material with this same name from the 90s, it was pressed by a different company.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: "As It Began" (Ultimate Sound) silver

       
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Father To Son, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods.. Revisited, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


This 2002 bootleg contains the Rainbow VHS rip, with the 1971 De Lane Lea demo tracks tagged onto the end.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 DVD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: "Hail To Majesty" (Wardour) silver

Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, White Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Father To Son, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, Son And Daughter (reprise), Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods.. Revisited, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


The video was bootlegged in 2008 by Wardour.

Disc 1 of the two-disc package contains audio from Portland and London from earlier in the year.




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