Crazy Tour of London

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"We will rock you," they insist. "Let me entertain you," Freddie Mercury adds. And, from start to finish, that's what Queen do. They rock you, they entertain you...and it seems almost churlish to point out that the whole thing is so tight, clean, and painstakingly rehearsed that even the audience sing-alongs lack spontaneity. A two-CD collection recorded at the Concert for the People of Kampuchea in London on December 26, 1979, the set is drawn equally from the hit singles stockpile and the increasingly butt-heavy arrangements which were Queen's late-'70s idea of a stonking good time. It throws up no more surprises than you'd expect to be getting the day after Christmas at a charity function. "Death on Two Legs" is touchingly true to its studio counterpart, and "'39" has a charm which manages to scrape through the bombast. But an extraordinarily enthusiastic crowd can't even buy popcorn without clapping along, and if you think Mercury's voice can be a bit much in large doses, wait till you've heard 2,000 people singing along with his every utterance. An excellent recording, a super-slick performance. But it's all so lacking in excitement and buzz that you might as well stick with the studio records.

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