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. Here is the breakdown of the sources:


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.

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
"Merci beaucoup, Paris!" X     X    



Paris 2-28-79


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



Paris 3-1-79


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



Brief clips of the fast We Will Rock You 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 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 missing about 75 seconds of the improv section, and 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 on "The Champions" documentary, but the Live Killers audio is used. The tail end of the song is 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 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, where there is an edit and it is the second chorus of the second night again. Interestingly enough, these exact same edits were made for the version of Tie Your Mother Down on "Rare Live," which may be an indication that there is limited footage from the three nights in footage. That, or the fact that the work had already been done for a previous documentary made the cut and paste job for Rare Live that much easier. 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 and God Save The Queen are from Tokyo. While the audio switches back and forth between Paris and Tokyo, the video for this entire section is from Paris. The footage of Freddie saying good night seems to be from the first night, as it is from the same camera angle as the "Merci beaucoup" footage from the compilation video.

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

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




Back to first night

Back to second night

Back to third night

Back to 1979 Concerts