Nobles Of Rock is
the very first Queen release on the prolific and enduring Tarantura
label. This title
contains a new tape source for Queen’s May 1, 1975 show at the
Budokan in Tokyo. Several
older sources exist with the first appearing on a rare Japanese
vinyl titled Kimono My Place Live (Marc TC-75122) released in
1976 and copied on Stunning Live In Tokyo on Rodan Records.
tape source is very good but incomplete, covering only forty-minutes
of the two hour show and containing “Procession,”
“Now I'm Here,” “Great King Rat,” “Killer Queen,”
“Seven Seas Of Rhye,” “Hangman (Shag Out),” “In The Lap Of
The Gods...Revisited,” “See What A Fool I've Been,” and “God
Save The Queen.”
Three songs from this source, “Jailhouse Rock,” “See
What A Fool I’ve Been,” and “God Save The Queen” was
released on compact disc on Great King Hangman in 2000 along
with a fragment from Queen's April 19 show at the Budokan.
complete audience recording was used for First Live Attack
(Private Masters PM-007/008). The
sound quality of this is fair to good, very distant with the screams
of the girls in the audience frequently drowning out the music.
Private Masters packaged this in a slimline double jewel case
with a replica of the concert ticket.
Wardour released Killing Me Softy (Wardour-004) in
2004 and contains a better sounding mono recording.
“Now I’m Here” and “Ogre Battle” are incomplete and
the source from First Live Attack was used to complete the
songs. The concert was
also professionally videotaped and three songs, “Now
I'm Here,” “Killer Queen, and “In The Lap Of The Gods…
Revisited” were broadcast on television.
new tape source found on the Tarantura release is a virtually
complete stereo audience recording produced by "Song
Brothers." He was very close to the stage and was able to
capture the dynamics of the performance in detail making this one of
the very best audience recordings for the early Queen.
This is the final live show on the Sheer Heart Attack
and the end of their first very successful visit to Japan.
“Killer Queen” was number one on the charts and the band
played eight sold out shows throughout the country.
The tape begins when the lights go down and records the
entire taped introduction “Procession” which leads directly with
their travelogue “Now I’m Here.”
Freddie sounds a tad self-conscious afterwards as he speaks
to the audience in Japanese. “It
looks like we’re gonna have some fun tonight.”
After the live staple “Ogre Battle,” the band play
“Great King Rat,” a real rarity.
Except for the BBC sessions, there are only a handful of
early live references to this song including the April 21st, 1974
New Orleans and the May 4th 1974 Waterbury, Connecticut tapes.
It would be resurrected ten years for the Works tour,
but it is great to have such a great sounding recording.
“White Queen (As It Began),” a song described Innuendoes
author Sylv as pure poetry, emotion, and the beginning and end of
“March Of The Black Queen” in the story of Lily and the Phoenix,
follows and features a lyrical guitar solo from May.
gonna do a number we haven’t done in a long long while.
But as this is our last show on the world tour, it’s very
nice to end it in Tokyo, and we’ll do it especially for you” is
Freddie’s introduction to the still unreleased song “Hangman.”
This again appears on a small number of early tapes but not
in this sound quality. A
studio recording has been rumored to exists, but have been
constantly denied by the band and such a recording has never
“Doing All Right” the band play a medley of the songs mostly
from the last two albums. The
“early medley” first appeared about this time and is a feature
of the set they would retain until their final tour.
Three songs from Sheer Heart Attack are included
beginning with “In The Lap Of The Gods.”
There are few live recordings of this song since it was
dropped after this show, never to return again.
The studio recording relies upon the treated, slowed down
vocals which are absent from the stage version.
“Killer Queen” follows and despite being their biggest
hit at the time isn’t played complete, ending after the guitar
solo with the final verse dropped.
“The March Of The Black Queen” is simply the final heavy
section (“I rule with my left hand / I rule with my right / I’m
king of all darkness / I’m Queen of the night”) and is segued
with an instrumental reduction of the fun track “Bring Back That
first disc ends with an extended version of “Son And Daughter.”
The early showcase for May’s solo, he plays for ten minutes
and includes a reference to “Sakura Sakura” in the middle.
“Keep Yourself Alive” contains a short drum solo by
Roger, who afterwards introduces Freddie Mercury as “Fredrick”
before “Seven Seas Of Rhye.”
“In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited” is the last song of
the set. With its
apocalyptic chorus and communal spirit, it remains one of their most
effective closers which would be dropped in the future only to
reappear on their last tour as part of the early medley.
This is followed by two minutes of audience applause as they
wait for the encores. The
mc speaks in Japanese over the PA system, telling the crowd to put
out the candles. The
first encore begins with “Big Spender” and includes Taylor’s
Black Sabbath inspired “Modern Times Rock And Roll” in an
undifferentiated medley with the oldies.
None of the tunes lasts for more than a minute and a half and
are played with the same furious tempo, but it’s great fun to hear
Freddie work the crowd as the show reaches the two-hour mark.
The final song of this long show is a live performance of
“See What A Fool I’ve Been,” one of Queen’s rare blues
songs. Young Nobles
Of Rock is packaged in a cardboard gatefold sleeve and is
limited to one hundred un-numbered copies.
It is hoped there are more Queen tapes in the cache of tapes
being issued by Tarantura. But
this stands as the best sounding early tape in existence and is the
most important Queen release of the year so far.