Something tells me this was a tough call for Apocalypse Sound producers to make with this title but I'm glad they brought these broadcast tapes to us on their label. What we have are two television broadcasts from the grittier, middle years of Queen and I really like the confident but personable nature of the band during this time of the Live Killers-era tour. They had hit the jet stream for a stretch at this point and both performances here are professional and relaxed. The band is in good spirits on both occaisions it seems.
While the stereo broadcast quality of the audio is acceptable, anyone reading this shouldn't expect master quality from the video. These are high generation folks and I'm not completely solid in my rating of an "8" on the video side here. It's marginal at times during the Paris broadcast and there is the tape timer running as a burn-in at the top of the screen for the Paris footage (and a QTV logo in the upper right). But the footage still holds pretty good color and all musicians are clearly visible the bulk of the time but the lighting limits the effect of trying to capture live performances from this era anyway. The Tokyo tape is of higher quality and would rank an 8.5, a 9 at times, out of 10. And as I watch, the question arises yet again...what in the world ever happened to John Deacon? Anyway, Freddie emerges onstage in Tokyo in his full Gay-Black-Leather Biker Captain outfit and is always in full command. He was quite the frontman, no question about that and it's a joy to have these historical pieces to remind us all of how good these performers are. What's nice is that the setlists are similar but vary just enough to provide a nice array of material. The Paris show heavy on the Jazz LP material and Tokyo interspersed with some earlier nuggets, "Killer Queen" is cool. Speaking of cool, they really had the intense lighting arrangement on tour! I caught them live once in '82 and that was the one impression and memory I have is of the wonderful stage design and impeccable and over the top lighting!
If you are a casual collector and are just looking for one or two superb Queen live documents, this probably isn't for you. If your tastes and obsessive compulsion with this hobby has you seeking a souvenir document from each tour - and you tend to lean towards the more serious Queen afficianado than casual Queen fan, you'll like this set. Though the Tokyo show is edited like a primetime TV special and quickly jumps along from song to song- it balances out the much more natural and free-flowing but lower quality Paris show. The Tokyo portion has the song titles onscreen in Japanese (and English occaisionlly) for the first 5 seconds of each track.
The packaging is supreme once again and up to the usual standard Apocalypse Sound has set with their fare. The DVD utilizes easy to navigate interactive menus for making jumping around very efficient. This is a nice set.