The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

The Show Must Go On: Queen Plan “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” Blu-Ray, Vault Tracks with Michael Jackson

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Freddie Tribute BDQueen and Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a newly-expanded edition of their unforgettable Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert this fall, on DVD and, for the first time, Blu-Ray Disc.

Five months after the tragic passing of one of rock’s greatest frontmen from complications due to AIDS, surviving Queen members Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor gathered dozens of famous collaborators and famous fans at London’s Wembley Arena on April 20, 1992. Some 72,000 people were in attendance, and worldwide broadcast audiences hovered around the billion mark. David Bowie, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Elton John, Tony Iommi and Robert Plant were among the set’s many highlights, with proceeds of course going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust in Freddie’s memory.

The newly remastered edition of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, released over three DVDs or one Blu-Ray, features the program and extras featured on the 10th anniversary release of the concert in 2002, including rehearsal footage and a documentary on the concert. New features include, for the first time, performances from the first half of the concert, which featured acts paying solo tributes to Mercury before Queen took the stage. Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Def Leppard and Extreme were among the featured performers during this portion of the program.

But The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert isn’t the only archival Queen product in the pipeline for the near future, if recent reports are to be believed. After the jump, learn how the band’s performance with a certain King might finally see the light of day soon.

It’s one of the great what-ifs of rock and soul music: Freddie Mercury, bombastic, energetic frontman for Queen, and Michael Jackson, juvenile Motown star turned arresting grown-up entertainer, met sometime in 1982, while Jackson was working on magnum opus Thriller. A partnership formed that yielded a handful of tantalizing tunes, committed to tape in the studio. While many of the songs were released, they were ultimately scrubbed of each others’ participation due to label restrictions. So “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” from Mercury’s Mr. Bad Guy album, was solely credited to Mercury, with none of Jackson’s instantly recognizable vocals present – and Mercury’s co-lead vocal on the song “State of Shock” was replaced by Mick Jagger when released on The Jacksons’ Victory LP in 1984, ultimately a Top 10 hit. (Mercury received songwriting credit under the pseudonym “Randy Hansen.” A third song, “Victory,” was likely have meant to end up on Michael’s final album with his brothers.)

Now, reports are coming in that the collaborations could be out sooner rather than later. Michael Jackson’s estate reportedly gave May and Taylor permission to rework the tracks with producer William Orbit, the sessions of which May described as “exciting, challenging, emotionally taxing. But cool.”

While we await to hear more from Freddie and Michael, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert is available on September 3. Pre-order links and the expanded concert program are listed below.

The Freddie Mercury Concert (Eagle Rock, 2013)

Amazon U.S.: 3DVD / 1BD
Amazon U.K.: 3DVD / 1BD

Opening Acts (previously unreleased)

  • Intro
  • Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon Introduction
  • Enter Sandman – Metallica
  • Sad But True – Metallica
  • Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
  • Freddie Mercury montage
  • Queen Medley: Mustapha/Bohemian Rhapsody/Keep Yourself Alive/I Want to Break Free/Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race/Another One Bites the Dust/Stone Cold Crazy/Radio Ga Ga – Extreme
  • Freddie Mercury montage
  • Now I’m Here – Def Leppard & Brian May
  • I’m Going Slightly Mad (video) – Queen
  • Too Late God – Bob Geldof
  • Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses
  • Speech by Elizabeth Taylor

Main Set

  • Tie Your Mother Down – Queen + Joe Elliott and Slash
  • I Want It All – Queen + Roger Daltrey and Tony Iommi
  • Las Palabras de Amor – Queen + Zucchero
  • Hammer to Fall – Queen + Gary Cherone and Tony Iommi
  • Stone Cold Crazy – Queen + James Hetfield and Tony Iommi
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen + Robert Plant
  • Too Much Love Will Kill You – Brian May
  • Radio Ga Ga – Queen + Paul Young
  • Who Wants to Live Forever – Queen + Seal
  • I Want to Break Free – Queen + Lisa Stansfield
  • Under Pressure – Queen + David Bowie and Annie Lennox
  • All the Young Dudes – Queen + Ian Hunter, David Bowie and Mick Ronson
  • “Heroes” – Queen + David Bowie and Mick Ronson
  • ’39 – Queen + George Michael
  • These Are the Days Of Our Lives – Queen + George Michael and Lisa Stansfield
  • Somebody to Love – Queen + George Michael
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen + Elton John and Axl Rose
  • The Show Must Go On – Queen + Elton John and Tony Iommi
  • We Will Rock You – Queen + Axl Rose
  • We Are the Champions – Queen + Liza Minnelli and Ensemble

Bonus Features

Rehearsal Performances:

  • Under Pressure – Queen + David Bowie and Annie Lennox
  • These Are the Days of Our Lives – Queen + George Michael and Lisa Stansfield
  • Somebody to Love – Queen + George Michael

-10th Anniversary Documentary
-Photo Galleries
-Mercury Phoenix Trust Facts

Written by Mike Duquette

July 29, 2013 at 11:16

3 Responses

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  1. This three and a half hour version of The Freddie Mercury Tribute concert(minus the rehearsal performances added for the 2013 edition) WAS available before; on the original EMI UK & Japan 2-VHS & 2-Laserdisc sets. At the time, Hollywood Records(who had the U.S.A. license) trimmed the program down further, to facilitate a 1-VHS or 1-Laserdisc set. A subsequent worldwide DVD release cut the program down further.
    But, even the three & half hour version to be presented on the September 2013 DVD & Blu-ray releases, falls approximately 30 minutes short of being the complete concert. Apparent artist permission or record company permission issues mean that no release of the concert has the Metallica, Extreme & Def Leppard performances in their entirety. And Robert Plant’s performances of Queen’s “Innuendo” has always been omitted, marred as it was by lyric errors by Plant. It was deemed by Plant or Queen to be an unsatisfactory performance.
    This 21 year old concert video predates high definition T.V., so the Blu-ray will be unconverted from vintage 625-line UK PAL video. This means that the Blu-ray edition will have slightly better resolution than the 525-line U.S.A. DVD. The Blu-Ray will also have the advantage of full-uncompressed DTS-HD, better-than-CD audio quality, versus the lossy Dolby Digital or DTS audio on the DVD edition.

    Philip Cohen

    July 29, 2013 at 13:12

    • Spinal Tap played at this event as well, but their performance has always been cut; they played “The Majesty of Rock”, but botched the intro.

      Hank

      July 29, 2013 at 15:21

  2. What’s left out of Metallica’s set? My memory of watching the event on PPV is admittedly a bit fuzzy, but I only recall those three songs being performed.

    Also, the 2-LD set was available domestically on Hollywood in the US. I’ve got it. The only things on the Blu-Ray that weren’t on that are Bob Geldof and Zucchero, I’m pretty sure. (Well, and the 10th anniversary documentary thing, of course.)

    Sadly, Spinal Tap is once again left out. “We’ve cut our usual 43-song set down to one for this occasion, because Freddie would have wanted it that way.”

    Ryan S.

    July 29, 2013 at 13:45


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