Paris '79 video footage

There are many videos with pro footage from the Paris shows. The audio and video quality is generally very good or better.

After comparing the various videos to audience recordings, and to each other (particularly, observing the band members' apparel to differentiate one show from the other), we can now be exactly sure what footage is currently circulating from each night in Paris and what its official and unofficial sources are. This page is a lengthy breakdown of the sources. Note that the YouTube clips linked to contain the genuine audio of the show in question, not the mish-mashes that often are presented in documentaries.

1) "The Champions" - a US TV special on the band, broadcast on December 21, 1979. While it appeared to be a few simple fragments of songs from 1979, it was actually full of edits of various kinds (some of the audio was even dubbed from Live Killers), which often made it difficult to pin-point where the footage was from. There are many fragments of footage from the three nights in Paris and two nights in Tokyo, among other things. Click here for a detailed breakdown of the footage seen in this documentary.

2) "The Magic Years" - a 1987 official release of 3 VHS tapes containing plenty of great footage of the band. The Paris footage of Let Me Entertain You is identical to what was seen on "The Champions", although they don't include the whole song. While most existing Paris footage at our disposal is only a single camera angle, this song is a wonderful multi-cam shot (although a bit of the footage is from the April 25th show in Tokyo).

3) "Rare Live" - a 1989 official VHS release; a mish-mash of live footage from over the years. Many of the given dates for footage were wrong, much of the editing was downright horrible, and the quality of the footage varied.

4) The unofficial "compilation" video containing footage from all three nights. Sixty-five minutes in length, it is definitely a pro shot, although only a single raw camera angle. We can be sure that other cameras were also filming, as there is multi-cam footage on The Champions, The Magic Years, and Rare Live. It was edited together like this for some reason from more complete master tapes. Many versions have floated around over the years, but they all have the same content. Most copies have a little clock running in the top-left corner, which has helped in identifying which concerts the songs come from. About 45 minutes are from the third night, 20 from the second night, and a few seconds from the first.

For instance, the footage of Somebody To Love from the second night clocks in at 17 hours and 24 minutes, and Freddie saying "Merci beaucoup, Paris!" at the end of a show clocks in at 17 hours and 9 minutes, leading me to conclude that this short clip is from the first night. Also, Freddie's final farewell to the audience does not match other recordings of the second and third nights.

5) "Champions Of The World" is a 1995 documentary released on VHS. There is a lot of great concert footage, including a few snippets of the second night in Paris.

6) Absolute Greatest - In November 2009, the band posted some concert videos from the 70s on their website in conjunction with their "Absolute Greatest" compilation, including Dreamers Ball from this show. While it is still the single camera and mono audio, the picture and sound quality are exquisite.

Paris 2-27-79

Song The Champions Magic Years Rare Live Compilation COTW Absolute Greatest
God Save The Queen X        

Paris 2-28-79

Song The Champions Magic Years Rare Live Compilation COTW Absolute Greatest
We Will Rock You (fast)        
Let Me Entertain You        
Somebody To Love       (full song)    
If You Can't Beat Them          
Get Down Make Love          
Now I'm Here          
Bohemian Rhapsody       (full song)    
Tie Your Mother Down X     (full song)    
Sheer Heart Attack     (full song)    
We Will Rock You        

Paris 3-1-79

Song The Champions Magic Years Rare Live Compilation COTW Absolute Greatest
We Will Rock You (fast)       (full song)    
"Bonsoir, Paris!" X X   X    
Let Me Entertain You       (full song)    
Fat Bottomed Girls X     (full song)    
You're My Best Friend       (full song)    
Now I'm Here          
Don't Stop Me Now       (full song)    
Mustapha (intro)          
If You Can't Beat Them          
Spread Your Wings       (full song)    
Dreamers Ball       (full song)   (full song)
Bohemian Rhapsody          
Tie Your Mother Down   X    
Sheer Heart Attack          
We Are The Champions          
God Save The Queen          

Brief clips of the fast We Will Rock You from the second night were seen in The Magic Years and Champions Of The World documentaries, in the We Will Rock You montages. They were later seen in a similar montage on the Queen Rocks video. The mish-mash videos for Too Much Love Will Kill You and Freddie's solo song In My Defence also used this footage.

The footage of Get Down Make Love from the second night in "The Champions" is just some snippets of the middle section of the song. The audio eventually cross-fades into some other sound effects that are not from a Queen concert.

Only the first verse of Now I'm Here on "The Champions" documentary is fully from the second night in Paris. The video remains from Paris, but the rest of the audio is dubbed from Live Killers. There are two camera angles.

The versions of Now I'm Here and If You Can't Beat Them on the compilation video are cut. Now I'm Here is from the third night and is missing about 75 seconds of the improv section, while If You Can't Beat Them is a merge of the second and third nights. It switches to the third night during the guitar solo near the end of the song. The footage of Now I'm Here on "The Champions" is mostly from the second night in Paris, switching to Tokyo footage during Freddie's vocal exchange with the audience. The audio alternates back and forth between Paris and Live Killers.

A few bits of the first half of Bohemian Rhapsody from the third night in Paris are seen in "The Champions" documentary, but the Live Killers audio is used. The tail end of the song is also shown, and the footage is mostly from Tokyo - but there are a few shots of Freddie in his red suspenders, making the footage from Paris, again the third night. The audio of this segment is from Tokyo.

The first 4 bars of Tie Your Mother Down on "The Champions" are from the second night. It switches to the third night until the middle of the first chorus (during which there are a couple brief shots from April 24 in Tokyo), where there is an edit into the second chorus of the second night. Interestingly enough, these exact same edits were made for the version of Tie Your Mother Down on "Rare Live. The sound quality of this clip on Rare Live is worse than it was on "The Champions."

The footage of Sheer Heart Attack on "The Champions" is mostly from Tokyo (see the Tokyo table for details about additional footage of this song). The first ten seconds of Roger at the beginning of the song are from the second night in Paris, as is the first line of the first verse. A few seconds of footage at the beginning of the first chorus are from the third night. Freddie is seen in his red suspenders, John is playing his '55 P-bass, and Brian is in different attire. The audio of the intro of the song is from Live Killers, and from the first verse onward it is from Tokyo.

The footage of Roger in the first few seconds of the slow version of We Will Rock You on "The Champions" documentary is from the second night in Paris.

There is footage in the "Champions Of The World" documentary during the We Will Rock You montage, briefly showing Freddie with a yellow towel on his shoulders (the captions mislabel it as both Munich and Saarbrucken). This footage is actually from the second night in Paris.

Most of the last chorus of We Are The Champions from the third night in Paris is seen on "The Champions." Freddie's "Thank you, good night, see you soon" is from Paris, but the rest of the speech is from Tokyo, and then the God Save The Queen footage is from the first night in Paris. While the audio switches back and forth between Paris and Tokyo, the video for this entire section is from Paris.

The bulk of the promo video for Love Of My Life was filmed in Tokyo '79, but additional footage from the second and third nights in Paris was used.

Many thanks to Mariusz Neugebauer, Valery Oganov and Jordan Sheaffer for all their help in identifying this footage.

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