Tokyo '79 video footage

There are many videos with pro footage from the April 25 show in Tokyo, as well as a few short clips from the April 24 show. The audio and video quality is generally very good or better. 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) Japanese TV - a 32-minute TV broadcast, likely in 1979. The footage is in excellent quality, and there are many complete songs.

3) "The Magic Years" - a 1987 official release of 3 VHS tapes containing plenty of great footage of the band.

4) "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.

5) A Night At The Opera 30th anniversary DVD - an excellent documentary about the making of the classic Queen album, including various clips from the past and present.

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 We Will Rock You (fast) and Let Me Entertain You from Tokyo. While it is still mono audio, the picture and sound quality are better than ever before.

Tokyo 4-24-79

Song The Champions Magic Years Rare Live Compilation ANATO Absolute Greatest
Now I'm Here          
Bohemian Rhapsody          
Tie Your Mother Down          
We Will Rock You          

Tokyo 4-25-79

Song The Champions Japanese TV Magic Years Rare Live ANATO Absolute Greatest
We Will Rock You (fast)   (full song)       X (full song)
Let Me Entertain You         (full song)
Death On Two Legs          
Killer Queen   (full song)        
Bicycle Race   (full song)        
I'm In Love With My Car   (full song)     X  
Now I'm Here          
Teo Torriatte   (full song)        
Don't Stop Me Now   (full song)        
Dreamers Ball          
band intro          
Brighton Rock          
Keep Yourself Alive   (full song)        
Bohemian Rhapsody        
Tie Your Mother Down          
Sheer Heart Attack      
We Will Rock You        
We Are The Champions   (full song)        
God Save The Queen (full song)          

There are four short clips from the April 24 show in "The Champions" documentary, but the audio is from either the April 25 show or the Live Killers album (although the clips seen above have the audio from the correct date synced to them). The clip of We Will Rock You also has segments from Champions Of The World and Rare Live. The rest of these notes pertain to the April 25 footage.

About a minute of Let Me Entertain You was cut from the Japanese TV broadcast, but it was seen in all its glory for the first time when released by the band on the official Queen website.

Bits of I'm In Love With My Car, Dreamers Ball and '39 from Tokyo were shown on the A Night At The Opera 30th anniversary DVD. The latter two are mere few very short clips in black and white during the Good Company montage. There are also some small snippets of Death On Two Legs from Tokyo on this DVD, as part of a collage of clips including Earls Court '77, Houston '77, and London '79, synced to the studio version of the song.

Part way through Freddie's vocal exchange with the audience in Now I'm Here in "The Champions" documentary, the footage switches from Paris to Tokyo. The audio of this section is dubbed from Live Killers.

In "The Champions" documentary there is a brief clip of Brian's band intro before '39. "Ladies and gentleman, on drums and screams, Mr. Roger Taylor!" is seen here.

The footage of Brighton Rock on the A Night At The Opera 30th anniversary DVD is a short shot of Roger during his tympani solo, used at the end of the barrage of clips for God Save The Queen.

The first half of Bohemian Rhapsody is found on the Japanese TV footage. On "The Champions", the slightly distant footage leading into the guitar solo is from Tokyo, but from a different angle than the version broadcast on Japanese TV (but the audio comes from Live Killers). "The Champions" also contains the tail end of the rock section through the end of the song, but this time with the genuine Tokyo audio. However, there are a couple shots during this segment from Paris.

Only a brief snippet of Tie Your Mother Down from Tokyo is seen on "The Champions", as the footage is predominantly from Paris.

Although there are only 5 seconds of Tokyo footage on Rare Live during Sheer Heart Attack (Houston 77, London 79, and Buenos Aires 81 footage precede it), the remainder of the audio is from Tokyo while the footage switches back and forth between London, Buenos Aires, and Tokyo, with unrelated Tokyo 85 footage thrown in at the end. Fortunately, for simplicity's sake, most of the Tokyo 79 version is seen on "The Champions" (although, for some reason, the first 20 seconds of audio are from Live Killers). Some of the footage is also from Paris (see the Paris table for details).

The footage of We Will Rock You from "The Champions" documentary switches back and forth between the Tokyo audio and the Live Killers audio. Possible reasoning for the edits is that the Japanese audience's voices are thousands of girls, and so the editor of the footage thought he'd improve this for the US TV audience. The Tokyo vocal adlibs from Freddie remain, but only when the camera angles show Freddie at those particular moments. The editing is brilliant - definitely a professional job. Also noteworthy is that some of the camera angles are different from the Japanese TV version.

We Will Rock You on the Japanese TV version is almost complete - they edited out some of the guitar solo.

On "The Champions", the audio of God Save The Queen (and the speech from "You've been a beautiful audience" onward) is from Tokyo, but the footage is from Paris.

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

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