City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Nippon Budokan
Date: April 24, 1979

Setlist:
We Will Rock You (slow/fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Teo Torriatte, Don't Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen



 
     

After briefly retiring the We Will Rock You slow/fast introduction of the show, the band revive it for this concert and stick with it for the remainder of the tour.

A few shots in the Love Of My Life promo video come from this show. Before the song, Brian introduces it in his well-rehearsed Japanese that he usually uses before Somebody To Love (although not on this night), and corrects himself part way through it. He then starts playing the song in the wrong key, and soon corrects that as well.

Brian, during the usual band introductions: "On tambourine, Mr. Freddie Mercury." The tambourinist sings a very powerful version of It's Late tonight. His range remains limited, but he gives his all. Roger Taylor, on the other hand, almost trainwrecks the song in two separate spots - a very rare blunder from the otherwise rock solid drummer.

Brian plays an extended guitar solo in Brighton Rock, more like he did in 1975-77. Roger and John join in more sporadically instead of engaging in a long jam as they had done throughout the last few months. By the end of the tour, the rhythm section would only join in at the end of Brian's solo.

Footage of the encore of We Will Rock You has been seen in a few documentaries, with Freddie in his silver lurex suit throwing bananas into the audience while sitting on the shoulders of a crew member dressed as Superman (as seen in the photos above). Filmed from stage left, Japanese audience members can be seen in the background. The footage was confirmed to be from April 24 (thanks to Gary Taylor for that). There are other brief clips in various documentaries from this show as well (see this table for details), but the entire show shot by a crew member at stage left (along with more footage from the 23rd and 25th totalling 140 minutes) is circulating amongst a select few.



The famous photo for the front cover of Live Killers was taken by Koh Hasebe in Tokyo. Three outtakes are seen above (the second of which is from a 1979 Japanese book called "Queen 02 Archive Book Guide"), snapped split seconds apart from that moment.

An interview with the photographer (from the book "Queen in Japan," translated from Japanese by "deathtoming") reveals this story: "The concept for the cover was up to the band, and before a show the four of them would go back and forth with ideas backstage. I thought Freddie was the one who would decide these things, but I was wrong. Freddie actually didn't say much. He'd use gestures to communicate what he wanted to say. I asked Roger, "Is there something wrong with Freddie's throat?" And Roger responded, "Freddie's always like that before a show." I then realized that Freddie took great care of his throat and voice, as a vocalist. We decided that the band would go to the front of the stage at the end of the concert to wave, bow, and so forth, but they'd forget to do that. They would just forget and quickly go backstage. What a pain that was. I was below them at the front of the stage, so I did my best to get their attention, but they were so caught up in the moment that they wouldn't notice me. Afterwards, I would go to them backstage and say, "Hey, you didn't do what we had discussed," and they'd just say, "Oh, we forgot." By the third attempt I got something close to what I wanted. Personally, I wasn't too thrilled with it."

A Japanese fan with an incredible recall has accurately stated on his blog that an eggplant and bananas were thrown on stage at this show (the same bananas Freddie threw into the audience a couple songs earlier), and the third photo from the bows captures both up close. In the pro shot video the bananas are seen being thrown on the stage by an audience member, which confirms that this is indeed the correct date for the iconic cover photo.

It wasn't just the Live Killers album's musical content that was heavily edited, as the final version of the photo is actually a composite of two shots. Brian May included a photo (seen above, and horizontally flipped from the original) in his "Queen in 3D" book that he admits was flown in after the fact (possibly from the following night). As much as everyone involved wanted the perfect photo, it took a bit of extra magic for it to happen - a mighty impressive bit of technical handiwork for the time period.


Recording length: 116 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > CDR (x)
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (slow/fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend [cut], Now I'm Here, Teo Torriatte, Don't Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This audience recording is average quality.


Recording length: 99 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > CDR (2) > FLAC
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (slow/fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Teo Torriatte, Don't Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life [cut], Brighton Rock [cut], Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This alternate source is missing '39 and It's Late. It's more distant than the first source, but the sound is less muffled.


Recording length: 123 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: A
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Frenzy At The Budokan" (Tarantura) silvers

 
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (slow/fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Teo Torriatte, Don't Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


Tarantura released an excellent sounding third source of this show in October 2016, taped by Mr Peach, and with their usual compression added. It is part of a 3-disc package including a partial recording of the April 13th show at the same venue.


Recording length: 111 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B-
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Up Field Tapes" (Soldier's Things) silvers

 
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (slow/fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Teo Torriatte, Don't Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This 2019 bootleg debuts a fourth audience source. It was encoded to mp3 at some point.

The running time is so much shorter because the tape runs too fast and all the cheering between encores is absent.


Recording length: 114 minutes (incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > SONY BDZ-ET1200 > DVD Audio Extractor > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (slow/fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Teo Torriatte, Don't Stop Me Now, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life [cut], Brighton Rock, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


Source 5 is distant but still listenable.




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