The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

No Hate, No Fight, Just Excitation: Classic Queen Concert Coming to Theaters, Home Formats

with 6 comments

Queen are bringing their unique kind of magic to movie theaters everywhere with a recently resurrected European concert, and it’s no surprise that the project is coming to audiovisual formats this November.

Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest captures Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor on the famed Magic Tour that surged through Europe in the summer of 1986. Having proven their live energy still knew no bounds the summer before, at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid, the tour – designed to promote the A Kind of Magic album (a companion of songs for the film Highlander) – was something of a victory lap for the band. (The Live at Wembley ’86 touchstone is another testament to this era, which was unfortunately the last hurrah for Queen in a live setting; Mercury would be diagnosed with AIDS the year after and would never appear onstage with Queen in his lifetime.)

The band’s July 27, 1986 show at Budapest’s Nepstadion was not only Queen’s first date in that country, but one of the first arena rock shows conducted behind the Iron Curtain. As such, filming was commissioned by the Hungarian government itself; even they couldn’t resist the hard-driving charm of the band, it seemed.

That footage, originally released on VHS and laserdisc in England in 1987, is going to be exhibited (newly remastered in HD and 5.1 surround, at that) in theaters worldwide between tonight and Sunday (check your local listings!), but it’s also going to be made available for fans and collectors on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray later this year. And after the jump, we’re going to tell you all about it!

The Hungarian Rhapsody footage shows 22 numbers performed by Queen, including familiar hits (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”), new tunes (“One Vision,” “Who Wants to Live Forever”) a solo by Brian May and a few covers (“Tutti Frutti,” the Hungarian children’s tune “Tavaszi Szel Vizet Araszt”).

But the video omitted some performance footage, namely “Another One Bites the Dust” and two more ’50s covers (Lieber and Stoller’s “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care,” recorded by Elvis Presley, and “Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart),” made famous by Ricky Nelson). The full set will be made available as part of a double-CD set, which will be available on its own or packed with the Hungarian Rhapsody feature on DVD or Blu-Ray. Lest you think there’s nothing new to offer on the video front, however, Hungarian Rhapsody will be augmented with A Magic Year, a newly-created 25-minute mini-documentary set between mid-1985, right after Queen’s Live Aid triumph, to the Hungarian set. According to the press release, A Magic Year will “[use] archive footage from rehearsals, [and] interviews with the band in the studio and on the road during the Magic Tour – some of which has never been seen before.”

Hungarian Rhapsody, available as either a DVD or Blu-Ray set with the two audio CDs, a deluxe edition combining all three formats or a digital download, will be available worldwide on November 5 (with Eagle Rock handling the distribution in the U.S.). Pre-order links are forthcoming, but the track lists are right below.

Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest (Island (U.K.)/Eagle Rock (U.S.), 2012)

Disc 1: DVD/Blu-Ray (originally released as PMI VHS MVN 9911462 (U.K.), 1987)

  1. One Vision
  2. Tie Your Mother Down
  3. In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited
  4. Seven Seas of Rhye
  5. Tear It Up
  6. A Kind of Magic
  7. Under Pressure
  8. Who Wants to Live Forever
  9. I Want to Break Free
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Now I’m Here
  12. Love of My Life
  13. Tavaszi Szél Vizet Áraszt
  14. Is This the World We Created…?
  15. Tutti Frutti
  16. Bohemian Rhapsody
  17. Hammer to Fall
  18. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  19. Radio Ga Ga
  20. We Will Rock You
  21. Friends Will Be Friends
  22. We Are the Champions

Extra: A Magic Year documentary

Disc 2: CD

  1. One Vision
  2. Tie Your Mother Down
  3. In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited
  4. Seven Seas of Rhye
  5. Tear It Up
  6. A Kind of Magic
  7. Under Pressure
  8. Another One Bites the Dust
  9. Who Wants to Live Forever
  10. I Want to Break Free
  11. Looks Like It’s Gonna Be a Good Night – Improv
  12. Guitar Solo
  13. Now I’m Here

Disc 3: CD

  1. Love of My Life
  2. Tavaszi Szél Vizet Áraszt
  3. Is This the World We Created…?
  4. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care
  5. Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)
  6. Tutti Frutti
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody
  8. Hammer to Fall
  9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  10. Radio Ga Ga
  11. We Will Rock You
  12. Friends Will Be Friends
  13. We Are the Champions
  14. God Save the Queen

Written by Mike Duquette

September 20, 2012 at 11:45

Posted in News, Queen, Reissues

6 Responses

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  1. One of my favorite groups but I don’t know if I can buy it with that cover…why are the band members always left out? “Featuring Freddie Mercury with his solo back up band Queen!”. Rrrrr.


    September 20, 2012 at 12:00

  2. Mercury was the face of Queen, plus he’s dead and there’s an overt attempt to market him as a legend, so yeah, they use his image more than is probably fair.

    But I’m here to talk about Queen’s popularity in Hungary. There are a lot of reasons for it. First of all, they honestly represented big league rock, but without any real cohesive political message that was threatening. And they were “safe” to export from Hungary to other Communist nations, which made them lucrative to their Hungarian label . . . who couldn’t have gotten away with exporting records by more rebellious bands.

    Hungarians have a big love of rock spectacle, and bands that are grandiose or almost operatic; Queen certainly suits the aesthetic of a country where native rock operas from the early 70s are still performed on national holidays! A love for pomp and ceremony dating from the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire live on in this way.

    There were actually many “arena rock” concerts held in Hungary prior to this Queen one. Hungary was one of the freer and more liberal of Communist nations, but the reason Queen may be getting credit is because there weren’t many *foreign* arena rock bands playing there. But that probably has much more to do with the economic reality of a foreign-band touring there than anymother factor. Hungarians made a tiny bit of money in Western terms in a month, and by the scale of prices in Hungary, it was enough to live pretty well – books, for instance, cost what would be pennies in American money – but the expenses of a band like Queen needed to be paid in Western currency, and that would normally have been far too expensive for the average Hungarian rock fan to dream of paying. The government’s filming of this show probably allowed for the price to be leveraged down somewhat. Still, I doubt your average working Magyar could have afforded it. I het the crowd at this show was really one of compartive luxury.


    September 20, 2012 at 13:39

    • John, thank you so much for this. It’s too rare we hear about rock music in other countries from someone with insight into the matter. I’m as guilty as anyone else of taking artists’ popularity in other parts of the world for granted – but it’s refreshing to hear perspectives like yours!

      Mike Duquette

      September 21, 2012 at 14:39

  3. Freddie was the face, the voice, and the front man… Everyone knows who he is. Brian, Roger, and John? By comparison, not as many do.

    Anyhow, were those missing (from the video) songs not filmed for reason? If they were filmed, why not include them now? I don’t get leaving off one of the band’s biggest hits, plus a couple of classic covers. Well, at least they’re on the CD.


    September 20, 2012 at 20:00

  4. Which is exactly why the other members should be included. It’s all the wrong emphasise. The other members wrote the music and sang at times as well. You all probably don’t know any of Freddie’s solo stuff anyways.


    September 21, 2012 at 10:29

    • Hey Alex,

      We actually recently reported on the deluxe box of Freddie’s solo “Barcelona,” recently expanded for its 25th anniversary.

      As for the cover, it certainly is a shame that Brian, Roger and John – three of the best instrumentalists of their time – get short shrift on many Queen live packages (Queen Rock Montreal is a particular recent example). But with a frontman as charismatic as Freddie was, I’m sure the three of them are used to it – and I’m sure the set itself will give everyone their due!

      Mike Duquette

      September 21, 2012 at 14:42

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