Queen + Paul Rodgers- Return of the Champions (Hollywood)
review by Jim Clark

Track Listing

Disc One
1. Reaching Out
2. 2. Tie Your Mother Down
3. I Want To Break Free
4. Fat Bottomed Girls
5. Wishing Well
6. Another One Bites The Dust
7. Crazy Little thing Called Love
8. Say It’s Not true
9. ‘39
10. Love Of My Life
11. Hammer To Fall
12. Feel Like Makin’ Love
13. Let There Be Drums
14. I’m In Love With My Car
15. Guitar Solo
16. Last Horizon

Disc Two
1. These Are The Days Of Our Lives
2. Radio Ga Ga
3. Can’t Get Enough
4. A Kind Of Magic
5. I Want It All
6. Bohemian Rhapsody
7. The Show Must Go On
8. All Right Now
9. We Will Rock You
10. We Are The Champions
11. God Save The Queen



Why, 14 years after the death of arguably one of the most charismatic and distinctive vocalists of all time, reform?

Why reform without the bassist who wrote some of your biggest hits and as a result, have only two of the four members return?

Why tour without any new material to support?

And why hire a singer if you’re only going to end up singing a lot of the songs yourself?

These are some of the questions I found myself asking upon hearing of Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor reforming for live performances this year, adding former Free/Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers, as well as some of May’s band, in place of the late, great Freddie Mercury and bassist John Deacon.

Perhaps May and Taylor realized that they’ve milked the compilation scene for all that they could. In the last 14 years, we’ve seen the release of Greatest Hits I, II, III, I-III together in one set, Rocks, Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You, and I’m sure I’m missing something.

So inevitably, a live disc has been issued from this tour. Return Of The Champions sees a mixture of Queen classics as well as Bad Company and Free tunes. Even though Rodgers isn’t being considered a member of Queen (it’s being billed as Queen and Paul Rodgers), I think it’s safe to say that most of the people who attended the shows and bought this release would have preferred to skip the non-Queen tunes.

That said, I think Rodgers is a solid vocalist, even though his soulful voice is showing signs of age and overuse. He also has a tendency to oversing in many places – adding vocals to instrumental sections of songs where the vocals really serve as nothing but a distraction. Songs like “The Show Must Go On” and “I Want It All” illustrate this fault perfectly.

May’s voice also isn’t exceptionally strong on this release. I’ve always found May’s voice on some of the Queen studio tracks that he sings to be exceptional, but he’s never been able to transfer that sweet voice over to a live setting.

On the other hand, Taylor’s voice is splendid as he clearly has the strongest vocals of the three, and it makes me wonder why if the band was going to insist on reforming, why not have Taylor as the frontman. Not coincidentally, the best tracks here are the Taylor sung ones – “I’m In Love With My Car,” “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” and “Radio Ga Ga.”

Taylor also shines on the drums – his drumming is extremely powerful and drives along not only the Queen tracks, but Rodgers’ Free and Bad Company ones as well. May doesn’t fare quite as well, though the guitarist is still solid. Danny Miranda’s bass, Jamie Moses’ additional guitar and Spike Edney’s keyboards round out the instrumental lineup. And Mercury even makes an appearance – no, not from beyond the grave. His taped vocals are used for the first part of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a song so closely associated with him that it would be impossible for anyone else to do it the level of justice he did.

So why? Honestly, I don’t know – I guess to help fund the retirement for May and Taylor. But there are some enjoyable moments, especially the Taylor-sung tunes. Now if only he sang some more.

marillion- happiness is the road
tilt- million dollar wound
mickey simmonds- the seven colours of emptiness
ukz- radiation
pain of salvation - scarsick
icon- icon II, icon live
the pineapple thief- tightly unwound
planet p project- levittown (go out dancing part II)
nosound- lightdark
dengue fever- venus on earth
art of all- morgan
marillion- somewhere else
abigails ghost- selling insincerity
blackfield- blackfield II
damien rice- 9
the who- endless wire
the beach boys- good vibrations
the pineapple thief- little man
the killers- sam's town
tom petty- highway companion
hem- funnel cloud
emm gryner- the summer of high hopes
jeremy enigk- world waits
razorlight- razorlight
gps- window to the soul
iron maiden- a matter of life and death
thom yorke- the eraser
richard butler- richard butler
the flaming lips- at war with the mystics
ray davies- other people's live
david gilmour- on an island
nosound- sol29
jackson browne- running on empty 5.1
neal morse- ?
king crimson- 21st century guide to king crimson
shriekback- cormorant
depeche mode- playing the angel
pallas- the dreams of men
my morning jacket- z
riverside- second life syndrome
roger waters- ca ira
various artists- backs against the wall
riverside- out of myself
sigur ros- takk
killers- hot fuss
queen + paul rodgers- return of the champions
journey- generations
yes- the word is live
emmylou harris- heartaches & highways
van der graaf generator- remaster series
rob dickinson- fresh wine for the horses
annie- anniemal
dredg- catch without arms
foo fighters- in your honor
dream theater- octavarium
belle and sebastian- push barman to open old wounds
the go-betweens- oceans apart
porcupine tree- up the downstair (remaster 2005)
coldplay- x & y
nine inch nails- with teeth
aimee mann- the forgotten arm
van der graaf generator- present
christopher o'riley- hold me to this
glen phillips- winter pays for summer
new order- waiting for the siren's call
ben folds- songs for silverman
john doe- forever hasn't happened yet
trashcan sinatras- fez
adrian belew- side one
kaki king - legs to make us longer
longview- mercury
stereophonics- language. sex. violence. other?
for against- echelons
over the rhine- drunkard's prayer
kathleen edwards- back to me
kasabian- kasabian
porcupine tree- deadwing
the wedding present- take fountain
super furry animals - songbook
arena- pepper's ghost
snow patrol- final straw
rpwl- world through my eyes
tori amos- the beekeeper
kino- picture
monarch- the grandeur that was rome
spocks beard- octane
the wonder stuff- escape from rubbish island
richard barbieri- things buried
the pineapple thief- 12 stories down
the pineapple thief- 8 days later
the innoncence mission- now the day is over
zero 7- when it falls
pain of salvation- be
california guitar trio- white water
jelly jam- 2
tim bowness- my hotel year
van halen- the best of both worlds
glen burtnik- welcome to hollywood
charlie mars- charlie mars
porcupine tree- voyage 34 (2004 remaster)
saint etienne- travel edition
lanterna- highways review
hellboys- cha cha with the hellboys review
persona non grata- the fine art of living review
tegan and sara- so jealous review
guadalcanal diary- 2x4 reissue review
voices in the wire- signals in transmission review
roger waters- to kill a child/ leaving beirut review
luna- rendezvous review
jim white- drill a hole in that substrate and tell me what you see review
the drive-by truckers- the dirty south review
the blue nile - high review
lovedrug- pretend you're alive review
twilight singers- she loves you review
keane- hope and fears review
winds- the imaginary direction of time review
kristeen young- x review
asia- silent nation review
macha- forget tomorrow review
crystal method- legion of boom dvd-audio review
kevin moore- ghost book review
marillion- don't hurt yourself singles review
attrition- dante's kitchen review
rush- feedback review
tortoise- it's all around you review
division of laura lee- does not compute review
peccatum- lost in reverie review
iq- dark matter review
bass communion- ghosts on magnetic tape review
the push stars- paint the town review
virgin black- elegant... and dying review
marillion- marbles review
the streets- a grand don't come for free review
the veils- the runaway found review
all about eve- let me go home review
john young band- live review
mary lou lord- baby blue review
the divine comedy- absent friends review
pink floyd- the final cut (2004 remaster) review
prot-kaw- before became after review
jeffrey gaines live review
mocean worker- enter the mowo review
starsailor- silence is easy review
pineapple thief- variations review
lloyd cole- music in a foreign language review
david sylvian- blemish review
spock's beard- feel euphoria eview
guy manning- press pack sampler review
magellan- impossible figures review
the tangent- the music that died alone review
john gorka- live from grace church photos and review
hothouse flowers- into your heart review
charlotte martin- on your shore review
rasputina- frustration plantation review
stellastarr*- stellastarr* review
vast- nude review
sparks- lil' beethoven review
the damnwells- bastards of the beat review
dave gahan- paper monsters review
king crimson- power to believe review
fish- field of crows review
porcupine tree- in absentia dvd-audio review
new model army- great expectations review
antimatter- unreleased 1998 - 2003 review
catie curtis: dreaming in romance languages review
the gathering- sleepy buildings review
twilight singers play blackberry belle review
vienna teng- warm strangers review
opeth- lamentations dvd review
courtney love- america's sweetheart review
blackfield review
anathema- a natural disaster review
nearfest 2003 coverage
neal morse solo photos- metuchen, nj
porcupine tree broadcast
alpha- stargazing review
david sylvian at the tla
emm gryner at the point
barry andrews at the tin angel
tweaker:2 am wakeup call review
cure- join the dots review
fish live from the tla with john wesley
spearhead- everyone deserves music review
miles hunt (wonderstuff) live

full archives coming soon!


Studio M Live
818 North Market St, Suite 2R
Wilmington, DE 19801



Copyright © 1997-2004 Studio M Live, Inc. All rights reserved. All content on studiomlive.com is owned by Studio M Live and may not be reproduced without written permission. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this policy. If you are looking for Custom Injection Molding you are at the wrong site, and should really be at Applied Tech Products.