City: London, UK
Venue: Earls Court Exhibition Centre
Date: June 6, 1977

Setlist:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar, Lucille, Jailhouse Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, God Save The Queen


     
       
       

Queen capped off the A Day At The Races tour with two shows at London's Earls Court Arena. According to the tour programme there was only supposed to be one night at Earls Court, on June 5. The itinerary was amended due to ticket demand. The proceeds from this show went to the HRH Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal.

The band dropped £50,000 on a new lighting rig for these shows, which was a giant crown - 25 feet tall by 54 feet wide, weighing two tons. Queen were pioneers of many rock concert spectacles, including this very first mobile lighting rig.

The music of Chopin (Freddie's choice) plays as the audience enter the venue. At this point, one can barely see the stage, as the crown is only a few feet above it, with black drapes below it - thus hiding everything on stage, and causing some audience members to wonder where the band will be playing! Procession is heard (revived only for the Earls Court shows, and never to be used again), and then the A Day At The Races overture rings through the speakers. Part way through, the crown slowly begins to rise, and out comes the dry ice (the first picture above was taken during this moment). Queen then burst onto the stage to perform Tie Your Mother Down, and the show goes on as usual.

According to Freddie, perfume came naturally "from London" tonight during Killer Queen. He changed the lyric at many shows in the past month, and he would again do this in Tokyo in 1979.

Playing to the hometown crowd seems to presents a slight tension in the air for the band. Still, there are many incredible moments throughout. Brian's Brighton Rock guitar solo is epic (even incorporating bits of Frère Jacques and Three Blind Mice), and he really shines with his delay technique at the end of Doing All Right. Freddie's voice is in pretty good shape tonight, but he has problems hitting a few of the higher notes, unlike the Bristol and Glasgow shows in previous weeks. Still, he puts in great performances of Doing All Right, White Man, and In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited. To lighten things up, Roger often screams things in the background between songs, not to mention his duck quack before '39, heard at this point in the set at many shows during this period.

During this time period, Freddie wasn't heard singing "I see a little silhouetto of a man" on the tape of Bohemian Rhapsody's opera section. In 1975 and '76, Freddie sang this line live, so it was muted on the tape. The band continued to use this version of the tape through November 1978, with the exception of the Earls Court shows because the promo video for the song was shown on the big screens during the opera section.

Tonight the band cover Elton John's "Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting" during the Jailhouse Rock medley. Sporting his dazzling silver lurex outfit, Freddie emerged from a trap door for the second encore, but the videos from both nights unfortunately don't focus on him at that moment. The whole band (especially Roger) are a joy to watch during the medley. At the end of the show, the lights continue to sparkle as the crown descends to its original position.

Since Queen used the two video screens on either side of the stage at Earls Court (as confirmed by a review of the second night) like Led Zeppelin did in 1975, the shows exist on film. This most likely indicates that the shows weren't filmed with the intention of releasing them. Footage from both nights has popped up in various documentaries.

Shortly after the shows, the band must have listened to the recordings and realized how awful John Deacon's voice sounded in the harmonies of Somebody To Love. His microphone would never be turned up again (except for in Buenos Aires '81, but for an entirely different reason).

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 You Take My Breath Away from this show. An amp blows up during the song, but it has been muted for this release, although Freddie is still seen somewhat startled by it. The song was also made available on iTunes in conjunction with the re-releases of the first five Queen albums in 2011.

Some footage from this concert was shown at the "Stormtroopers in Stilettoes" Queen exhibition in London in early 2011. While the picture quality was the same as in the old documentaries, the sound was a new stereo mix from the master tapes. Footage from the show was seen in a 2015 BBC documentary called "From Rags To Rhapsody," using this same stereo mix. Freddie's voice crack on "school boy" in Death On Two Legs was patched up presumably with the second night's audio. Part of '39 was also shown, but the audio is a hybrid of the two nights (instrumentally it's the first night, but the lead and backing vocals are from the second night, with the exception of Freddie's "all together" connecting the final two choruses). However, the issue remains that Freddie's piano vocal mic track is apparently blank on the multi-track master tapes for both nights at Earls Court.

The pre-show pictures were taken in front of the newly-built crown lighting rig. Queen's crew is seen in the fourth picture. The second pic in the second row was taken by Watal Asanuma. The last row of pics could be from either night as well, the fourth of which was submitted by Valery Oganov. The last one was snapped by Gillian Parry, who ultimately wasn't able to get tickets to the show.

These pro pics could be from either this show or the following night: 1 2 3



Here is the noteworthy stage banter from the show. Freddie sure has a lot to say to the hometown crowd:

Freddie: "Good evening everybody. All you ladies and gentlemen, how are you feeling tonight? Are you ready for some rock and roll? Some more rock and roll? We're gonna do just that. Thank you for coming to our first show in London after such a long time. Thank you for giving us such a nice welcome. Thank you. Ok. This is the right carnival, isn't it? Did you see in the front? I shall have to have a look at it tomorrow, right? We have a... I must carry on... We have a lot of music to play for you tonight from all our various albums. So, just stick around. We like to carry on straight away with a number entitled White Queen."

Freddie: "Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen and everybody else. As you know that was from an album way back, from... I hope you remember the album Queen II, do you remember it? Nice. I think we shall be doing some more from that. It's also recently introduced on the new EP, for those of you who don't know (which also included Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, Tenement Funster, and Death On Two Legs). Ok, enough of that. Right now, we'd like to do something from the new A Day At The Races album. And this... I must tell you about this, listen. The song is called Somebody To Love, and we require your cooperation. As you know that on the record there are a lot of voices and everything, and there's only four of us on the stage tonight. We'd like you to join in the choruses, don't be shy."

Brian, before Killer Queen: "Thank you. Good evening. Thank you for welping (Brian stuttered, as he was nervous!), welcoming us back home. I know a lot of you have been with us for a long time, right through the Marquee and the Rainbow, and the Hammersmith Odeon and things. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do this ridiculous place. I hope you can hear, I hope you can see. We're gonna get as close to you as we can. This is this is a kind of medley. We're gonna loosen up a little in this. It goes like this."

Freddie, after doing a few formal bows: "I love posing. That's for the press. Ok, what should we do for you now? Let me see... Would you like something a bit softer, something quieter or something heavier? Something a bit heavier. Ok. Let me see. I must tell you there times when we get a lot of requests to play songs and introduce them." Some people up front get a bit restless. "Listen to me lovelies, listen!" Freddie bows once again. "I can do this all night if you like! I'll just tell you what it's called. It's called Death On Two Legs. It's about a nasty old man that I used to know, anyway." Freddie wouldn't start slamming their old manager Norman Sheffield (whom the song was written for) until 1979.

Freddie: "Ok, we'd like... This is my champagne time. Cheers everybody. I was gonna make a nice long speech, but forget it. Cheers. Have champagne for breakfast tomorrow. Just go out and buy it. Ok, right now we'd like to feature a very well-known fireplace that hangs around Mr. May's neck. It's also known as his guitar. We'd like to feature Brian May in this next song. It's called Brighton Rock."

Brian: "Thanks a lot, you're very kind. Thank you for indulging me once again. I'll play some sweet soft things for you." He briefly fiddles around on his 12-string acoustic, then continues: "I just have to make sure that works, because we don't often use these things, you understand. We haven´t brought the orchestra tonight, 'cause we have brought you the band at the front of the stage, showing their virtuosity on various instruments. This is called '39. If you want to sing along to this and jump up, please do." Roger shouts: "Sing along!"

Freddie: "Thank you my darlings, you load of tarts. Thank you. I think it's really interesting doing those acoustic things, don't you think? I think in the future we might really think about introducing it some more. So Brian's gonna have to go and write some, 'cause I can`t. Ok. Before we tease you with a bit of, sort of, heavy rock and roll and things towards the end, I'd just like to slip in a little, well I'd like you to listen carefully to a simple little song. This is me on the piano, it's called You Take My Breath Away."

Freddie: "Thank you. And maybe next time we will bring back an orchestra, bring with us an orchestra, what you think? Costs more money. I really feel like being evil tonight." He clenches his fist while he says this. "Ok, we have two songs now for you, two songs rolled into one. They're both written by Brian. I must tell you that every night that we've done the song, these two songs on the tour, they seem to getting better every night, depending on the practice of course. But it really depends on the audience as well. Now, you've been a bit cool and sophisticated up to now, but get your asses going, ok? We can all be nice and cool, but I mean you've got to give out some time. So this a song, it starts off with White Man."

Brian: "Ok, we'd like to bring back some more memories for you now, because we're getting old, see. We'd like to bring back some stuff which we did for Sheer Heart Attack, and the first thing... thank you... the first thing we're gonna do is In The Lap Of The Gods... Revisited."


Recording length: 119 minutes, complete
Video/Audio quality: A / A
Source: Pro
Lineage: Pro > ? > VHS (x) > DVD-R (x)

       
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar, Lucille, Jailhouse Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, God Save The Queen


The first copies of this video emerged in the 90s in black and white. The best circulating copy is likely a second generation from the master. The audio is a mono feed from the board, and the mix is generally good.

It's worth noting that there are actually at least two different video feed mixes. One of them has a tape stretch a few seconds into White Queen, and the other one has some slight differences in the guitar, as Brian's delay barely comes through in songs like Doing All Right and White Man. Some versions have had only one or the other issue present, but this could be due to editing.


Recording length: 15 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "Lazing On A Night At The Galileo Opera" LP

     
Track listing:
A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right


Another few tracks from the video made it onto this 1992 compilation bootleg, also including songs from Glasgow '77, Copenhagen '78, and New York '78.

The third scan is the outside of a 20-page booklet (the inside of which is black and white). The bootleg also includes a poster and artwork for a CD release that never materialized.


Recording length: 15 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "News Of The 77/78 World Tour" LP

           
Track listing:
A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right


The same bootleggers who produced "Lazing On A Night At The Galileo Opera" released two other titles around the same time with identical musical content: "News Of The 77/78 World Tour" and "By Overwhelming Popular Demand." There are 75 and 100 copies respectively.

The 75 copies of the former were pressed in three sets of 25 blue, red and yellow inserts. They all had the same back insert.


Recording length: 2 LP, incomplete
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "Make Me Feel Like A Millionaire" LP

   
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar


Keep Yourself Alive is included on this LP from the early 90s. Despite the given date of June 7, only the second encore is from the second night.

There are 75 numbered copies of this bootleg. The two discs are white and black respectively, perhaps as a nod to Queen II being sides white and black rather than the more conventional A and B.

The two discs are white and black respectively (perhaps as a nod to Queen II being sides white and black rather than the more conventional A and B). The pictures on the inside of the artwork are screenshots from the video, and are likely exactly as they appeared on the video - early copies of the video were in black and white. A 12-page booklet is also included.


Recording length: 2 LP, incomplete
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "Make Me Feel Like A Millionaire" LP

           
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar


The LPs were also released in a gorgeous boxed set including a book, a pin made of real silver, a VHS copy of the video, two cassettes, a t-shirt, certificate, and a couple stickers.

A similar second box was later released, of which only ten copies exist.


Recording length: 2 LP, incomplete
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "Make Me Feel Like A Millionair" LP

 
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar


The seven advance copies of the LP had the title misspelled. The white vinyl has some black spots on it.


Recording length: 2 LP, incomplete
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "Make Me Feel Like A Millionaire" LP

     
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar


Overstock copies had the added text "no news" and "good news" on the front and back covers. The former was pressed on white vinyl.


Recording length: 97 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "A Night At The Court" (Tarantula) silvers

     
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar


This 1994 release is the first time the bulk of the show was available on bootleg. Keep Yourself Alive is missing, and the second encore is from the second night (the decreased length of 97 minutes reflects this).

There are two versions of the bootleg, the second of which has a gray background on the inside of the artwork. It is this artwork that an Italian bootleg label used in their re-release of this title three years later.


Recording length: 97 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "A Night At The Court" (Spank) silvers

     
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar


A Night In The Court was re-released in 1997 by an Italian bootleg label.


Recording length: 119 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B+
Source: Video
Lineage: "The Prophet's Queen" (Gypsy Eye) silvers

     
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar, Lucille, Jailhouse Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, God Save The Queen


This late 90s release is the first time the complete first night was bootlegged.


Recording length: 119 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: A-
Source: Video
Lineage: "A Day At The Court" (Wardour) silvers

     
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar, Lucille, Jailhouse Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, God Save The Queen


After much digital processing, Wardour's version sounds like it's in a tin can.

Here's a link to the GS review of it: http://www.collectorsmusicreviews.com


Recording length: 2 LP, incomplete
Quality: ?
Source: Video
Lineage: "Top Fax, Pix and Info" LP

   
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive


This 2009 vinyl bootleg contains the first two thirds of the show.


Recording length: 2 CD, complete
Quality: ?
Source: Video
Lineage: "Carnival At The Court" (Masterstroke) silvers

 
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar, Lucille, Jailhouse Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, God Save The Queen


This 2011 bootleg package (two CDs and a DVD) included nearly all of the (at the time) publicly available audio and video from the two Earls Court shows.

The complete first night is included, as well as a few tracks from the second night.


Recording length: 120 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette (BASF LHSuperSM 120) > WAV (Audacity) > CDR (0) > WAV > FLAC level 8
transfer: Rotel RD185 cassette player > PC
Track listing:
Procession, A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Doing All Right, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Liar, Lucille, Jailhouse Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, God Save The Queen


This is an average-sounding audience recording from the first night at Earls Court.

It seems the taper took their tape recorder out of their pocket at the beginning of Now I'm Here, as the last 25 minutes of the show sound quite good compared to the rest (although there are some tape problems during the second encore).




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