Sean Michaels, Tuesday 17 June 2014 07.46 EDT
Due out this September, Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 will feature the only live recording of The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
Queen are set to bring out a long-lost live album, originally intended for release in 1974. Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74, to be released this September, includes recordings from three gigs at London's 3,000-seat Rainbow theatre.
The first of the Rainbow gigs, on 31 March 1974, was recorded by Roy Thomas Baker, who co-produced Queen's first four albums. At the time, the band had released just two full-length records. According to a press release, they intended to release the Rainbow concert LP as their third album, aiming for something in the tradition of James Brown's Live at the Apollo or the Who's Live at Leeds.
Three-thousand fans attended the sold-out show. It was one of the debut appearances for Freddie Mercury's Zandra Rhodes-designed "eagle suit", and apparently marks the only live recording of Queen's song The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke. The group eventually shelved the proposed concert album, and instead recorded and released Sheer Heart Attack.
Now, Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor have resurrected the archival recordings: remixing and remastering the March 1974 gig and two similar shows from November of that year. The songs will be issued on double CD, double vinyl, deluxe 4XLP, and an ultra-deluxe edition which will include a DVD, Blu-ray Disc, hardback book, poster and a souvenir programme.
"These recordings capture Queen at that time in all their glory," their label said in a press release. "The dramatic stage presence, the highly original self-penned repertoire of songs, high-energy performances coupled with stunning melodic and harmonic content, and the uncompromising perfectionist approach to every aspect of their performance which is still maintained to this day."
The surviving members of Queen, who are currently touring with singer Adam Lambert, recently revealed plans for a compilation of unreleased classic material. "[The tunes] are quite beautiful ... [with] the big, big ballads and the big, big epic sound," May said last month. They have apparently recorded new instrumental tracks to go with Mercury's decades-old vocals.