City: Budapest, Hungary
Venue: Nepstadion
Date: July 27, 1986

Setlist:
One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Another One Bites The Dust, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free, impromptu, guitar solo, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt, Is This The World We Created?, (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care, Hello Mary Lou, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


             
                     
               

Concerts in Czechoslovakia and the USSR were reportedly discussed at one point, but this show in Hungary ended up being the only eastern stop on the tour. A few years earlier the band had tried to get permission to perform in the USSR and failed. In a 1985 interview on Australian TV, Freddie Mercury quipped, "They thought we'd corrupt their youth or something."

At the time, Queen's concert in Budapest was the biggest by a western group behind the Iron Curtain, and is still the largest rock show staged at the Nepstadion to this day. It's been touted that Queen were the first western group to play in Hungary, but AC/DC, Depeche Mode, Elton John, Iron Maiden and Tina Turner did come before them.

Tickets sold out very quickly, although they were available only in selected places, and to selected people. Here's an excerpt from a great article written about the show:

"Sandwiched between the somewhat benign destinations of Vienna, Austria and Fréjus, France was a rather intriguing and intimidating date in Budapest, Hungary. The world was a very different place in 1986. This wasn’t the quaint, Old World treasure of a Rick Steves travelogue. Budapest was firmly entrenched behind the Iron Curtain of Soviet control. Very few Western acts had managed to convince the authorities/authoritarians that they should be allowed to play, though Dire Straits and Elton John had managed to sneak in somehow. The Queen show, though, was much larger in scale. The band were fully prepared to lose money on the venture, but that wasn’t the point. Roger Taylor told the press that they were doing it for "a tremendous feeling of job satisfaction."

The concert was filmed by 17 of Hungary's top cameramen, including the state filming corporation, MaFilm. It was also notably much cheaper to film here than in the west. The gear used (including seventeen 35mm cameras and 25 miles of film) was all the available gear in the country, and the entire operation was approved by the Hungarian government.

The band travelled from Vienna to Budapest down the Danube river on a hydrofoil, apparently the one last used by Mikhail Gorbachev.

Roger Taylor is interviewed before the show, and it is soon shown on Channel 4 on UK TV along with clips of the show (a single camera angle different from what was later officially released - it was shot independent from the Hungarian crew's footage, from the back of the stadium with a zoom). He points out that they'll probably lose money playing the show, but stresses that money isn't the reason why they're here. He says how it's "a tremendous feeling of job satisfaction." The interviewer adds how it's quite good to get job satisfaction after fourteen years. Roger, in his usual unapologetically blunt manner, replies, "Well, it's a pretty good job, isn't it?"

Freddie also has a brief word with the Hungarian press. The interviewer asks if this is the beginning of the band's friendship with Hungary, and if it will last as long as Queen will last. Mercury replies, "If I'm still alive, I'll come back." [In retrospect, this is yet another chilling comment from him.] The interviewer thanks him for his time, and Freddie walks off saying, still on camera, "That's great. I wish all interviews were that short!"

Since rock concerts were so unusual in Hungary at this point in history, newspapers published sections on rock concert etiquette for the days leading up to the show. The band wondered how the audience would react to the show (particularly the pyrotechnics), but they were more or less no different than any other, and they sang along with Love Of My Life like audiences in virtually every other country Queen had played in.

The heavier songs (the opening numbers, Now I'm Here, and Hammer To Fall) are incredibly energetic tonight. The performance is all-around simply excellent.

John and Roger diddle around a bit before Under Pressure, after which Freddie asks, "What the fuck are we doing now?" This line was edited out of the 2012 CD release of the (otherwise) complete show.

Before Who Wants To Live Forever, Freddie says: "Queen have been in Budapest for four days, and I think tonight is the best night for us." He adds, "We will be back, if you'll like us." A small part of this speech was edited out of the 2012 CD release as well.

During the acoustic set, Freddie and Brian perform a traditional Hungarian song called "Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt," before which Freddie admits, "Now comes the difficult bit." Even though he's clearly seen reading the lyrics written out on his hand, the audience are very appreciative of the gesture. After the song, Brian says cheers in Hungarian: "Gészségedre" ["to your health" is the exact translation]. As Brian starts to play Is This The World We Created, Freddie, clearly moved by the moment, remarks, "I'm over the moon."

Freddie does a one-time bit of scat singing during the improv before Tutti Frutti, displaying yet another facet of his diverse talents. He brings the jam to an end by saying, "Enough of this rubbish, come on." The band then offer a killer version of the Little Richard classic, and Brian really lets it rip in the guitar solo.

Not long after the show, Brian was quoted saying "It was the band's most challenging and exhilarating gig."



The film footage was quickly edited, as the "Live In Budapest" video premiered on December 12 at the city's National Congress Hall.

A Kind Of Magic and Under Pressure from this show were released on Live Magic (also in December 1986), and the video was officially released on VHS in 1987 (the mix of the aforementioned two tracks is different on the video). Many songs were edited or omitted altogether. Here is the track listing:

One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down [cut], In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free [cut], guitar solo [cut], Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life [cut], Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt, Is This The World We Created?, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall [cut], Crazy Little Thing Called Love [cut], Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen

The film plays too fast (25 frames per second instead of the usual 24), resulting in the audio sounding one semitone too high (the eye can't tell the difference in movement of one frame per second, but the ear can hear the slight difference in pitch). Needless to say, the show was beautifully filmed. The lighting rig looks spectacular at every moment. Freddie surely stepped up his game a notch for the cameras, and his voice was in phenomenal shape.

For many years a poor quality video of the complete show circulated amongst collectors, with all 16 camera angles being shown at the same time.

Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt was released as a bonus track on the 2003 Live At Wembley CD re-release.

A newly remastered video was released to theatres worldwide in September 2012, entitled "Hungarian Rhapsody." Two months later it was released on blu-ray and DVD. This was still the same edit as the 1987 release, as MaFilm allegedly discarded the footage that didn't make it past the cutting room floor. All Queen Productions could do was clean up the film and do a new audio mix. The video and audio quality are absolutely brilliant. The complete concert was simultaneously released on CD, making Another One Bites The Dust and the two remaining cover songs available for the first time, as well as full versions of many songs that were edited for the 1987 VHS.

There are some overdubs on the official releases. Brian's opening guitar solo in One Vision was either redone in the studio or taken from another show, and there are a few fixes in Under Pressure, on both Freddie's and Roger's vocals. It is also worth noting that different overdubs were done on Under Pressure for the Live Magic LP and Live In Budapest VHS releases. Roger's overdubbed vocal leading into the second chorus of Under Pressure is not heard on the 2012 release.

Video footage of Freddie and Brian rehearsing Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt a day or two before the show has been seen in many documentaries, like Champions Of The World. The first picture, submitted by Fabio Minero, was taken during one of those sessions.

The first three pics of the band in transit were submitted by Alessio Rizzitelli, as were the last six soundcheck pics. Soundcheck pics 3 through 5 were submitted by Janneman. Pic 3, taken during Brian's solo spot, was submitted by Fabio Minero. Pics 6 and 7 were submitted by Valery Oganov (note that someone is holding a tape recorder in the former, which means an audience recording might exist).

Here is a pro pic from the soundcheck.


Recording length: 74 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: Multi-track
Lineage: "Eastern Tits" (EMU) silver

       
Track listing:
One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down [cut], In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free [cut], Now I'm Here, Is This The World We Created?, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love [cut], Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen [cut]


This 1992 bootleg is a mono rip of (most of) the official VHS, one of many bootlegs of it. Two of the acoustic songs are missing and God Save The Queen is cut, leaving the disc at slightly less than 74 minutes, the standard length for a CD at the time.


Recording length: 45 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A
Source: VHS
Lineage: "God Save The Queen" (On Stage) silver

   
Track listing:
Love Of My Life [cut], Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Now I'm Here, Under Pressure, Who Wants To Live Forever, Tie Your Mother Down [cut], In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tutti Frutti, We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You, Radio Ga Ga


This is another Budapest VHS rip, with a very random and incomplete track listing.


Recording length: 2 LP, incomplete
Quality: ?
Source: VHS
Lineage: "Tavaszi Szel" LP

 
Track listing:
One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down [cut], In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free [cut], guitar solo, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Tavaszei Szel, Is This The World We Created?, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love [cut], Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen [cut]


This Italian bootleg LP uses all of the available concert audio from the official VHS release.


Recording length: 2 CD, incomplete
Quality: ?
Source: VHS
Lineage: "Tavaszi Szel" (Leopard) silvers

 
Track listing:
One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down [cut], In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free [cut], guitar solo, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Tavaszei Szel, Is This The World We Created?, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love [cut], Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen [cut]


This Italian bootleg is likely a straight copy of the LP of the same name.


Recording length: 101 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: A
Source: Video
Lineage: Video master > ? > CDR (x)
Track listing:
One Vision, Tie Your Mother Down, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Tear It Up, A Kind Of Magic, Under Pressure, Another One Bites The Dust, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want To Break Free, impromptu, guitar solo, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt, Is This The World We Created?, (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care, Hello Mary Lou, Tutti Frutti, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is a rip of the uncut video.




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