QUEEN ‘CRAZY TOUR’ and the Long Drought of Queen Bootlegs 1978 – 1983

Queen Crazy Tour of London

Queen Crazy Tour of London b

Japan: 1980

Somebody in Japan decided to end the drought of Queen bootlegs (see below) and manufacture this double album out of a tape they managed to acquire – unfortunately, a tape many generations removed from the master.  The finished product received a “vgs” rating in HOTWACKS.

Source: Hammersmith Odeon, London, 26 December 1979 as part of the Concert For Kampuchea benefit concert series

For space reasons, the segment between ‘ ’39’ and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ containing ‘Keep Yourself Alive / Guitar Solo (with Silent Night)’ and ‘Brighton Rock’ was not included.

Complete set list:

00 – Intro
01 – Jailhouse Rock
02 – We Will Rock You (fast)
03 – Let Me Entertain You
04 – Somebody To Love
05 – If You can’t Beat Them
06 – Mustapha
07 – Death On Two Legs
08 – Killer Queen
09 – I’m In Love With My Car
10 – Get Down Make Love
11 – You’re My Best Friend
12 – Save Me
13 – Now I’m Here
14 – Don’t Stop me Now
15 – Spread Your Wings
16 – Love Of My Life
17 – ’39
18 – Keep Yourself Alive
19 – Guitar Solo (with Silent Night)
20 – Brighton Rock
21 – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
00 – Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Audience singing)
22 – Bohemian Rhapsody
23 – Tie Your Mother Down
24 – Sheer Heart Attack
25 – We Will Rock You
26 – We Are The Champions
27 – God Save The Queen

Fan comment regarding the master tape: “There are 2 existing sources for the Queen gig from December 26. The first one is this audience recording. It has really excellent sound quality and it’s virtually complete (there are a few cuts between songs, but musically it’s complete)
The main problem is that it was recorded from a distance, so most of the time you can hear the audience much louder than the band. The speed is also fluctuating, it’s nothing major as 99.99% of the people wouldn’t notice it. The only reason why “I” noticed the speed issues is that I synced it to the “other” source 🙂 . “

The second source is the video source.


1978 – 1982: Just Press Copy – Drought Years for Queen Bootlegs

Queen ABA L

If the comment on queenlive.ca is correct – and I have no reason to doubt it – this was the first ever Queen bootleg, released around May of 1975 on Japan’s OG label (OG-860, Aprilfool label version).

Queen The Royal American Tour 1975

Wizardo 307 was the first U.S. manufactured Queen bootleg, released around June/July of 1975.


Another Japanese bootleg, the black/white label pressing of LIVE IN KOVE (sic) was probably the third.

Queen Live Kove RE


Queen Sheet 3

This TAKRL release (“1957) was the second U.S. release and sold from early 1976 onwards. An analysis of the other TAKRL titles and the dates of the material they featured indicates that this probably did not come out in 1975, TAKRL 1951: Bad Company’s SCRAPBOOK featured tracks from their March ’75 Japan tour, which likely came out in mid-1975. Then, there were six more TAKRL titles until SHEETKICKERS. Further clues are provided by the recording dates of two immediately following titles: 10 CC’s GOING PINK ON PURPOSE (late November 1975) and Steve Miller THE MIDNIGHT TOKER (7 May 1976).

The rest of 1976 and 1977 then saw a lot of activity. In Japan, MARC records and an unknown producer put out four titles from their second Japan Tour, with two of them getting copied several times in the U.S. and Europe.

FREE IN THE PARK came out in the last quarter of 1976 in Japan.

Queen Free In The Park


COMMAND PERFORMANCE, containing the London Christmas Eve 1975 broadcast, ended up being one of the final regular TAKRL titles (#1997) in 1977.

Queen Command Perf

1978 saw the release of CROWNING GLORY, a copy of LAZING ON A SUNDAY EVENING

Queen Crowning Glory

Queen Lazing On A Sunday Evening Marc


In 1979 Vicky Vinyl released several copies of earlier Japan titles: MERCURY POISONING, a copy of the Japanese MARC title INVITE YOU TO A NIGHT AT THE BUDO KAN and GEISHA BOYS, yet another copy of LAZING ON A SUNDAY EVENING

Queen Merc Poison full

Queen invite BK b

Queen Geisha Boys IMP


U.S. bootleggers had skipped Queen’s North American leg of their ’76 A Night At The Opera tour. After the next U.S. tour, an excellent quality tape of the first night in Seattle, recorded on a Tandberg Model 11 R2R deck with a Sony ECM-22P mic made it’s way into the hands of those responsible for the ODD label (John Wizardo and Vicky Vinyl). The taper had previously recorded a number of other artists in the Seattle area from the summer of 1972 – 1979. 

Tandberg model-11

The first part of this concert was released as P.N.W.  {odd-3} slightly mis-identified as coming from the second night on the 14th of March and listing titles that weren’t even on the record.

Queen P.N.W.

Side A:  Ogre Battle / White Queen / Medley: Killer Queen – The Millionaire Waltz – You’re My Best Friend – Bring Back That Leroy Brown
Side B:  Brighton Rock / White Man / The Prophet’s Song

A second part was issued in 1978 as Duck Soup – continuing the Marx Brothers movie titles series started with Queen’s official albums – on Vicky Vinyl’s Rodan Records.

Queen Duck Soup

Side A:  Somebody To Love / ’39 / You Take My Breath Away /  [cut] Bohemian Rhapsody / [cut] In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
Side B:  Now I’m Here / Big Spender / Medley: Jailhouse Rock – Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting / Liar

The first four tracks run too slow on this release. In anyway, combining both releases would not result in the complete show.

Setlist from the 13th:
01. Tie Your Mother Down
02. Ogre Battle
03. White Queen
04. Somebody To Love
05. Killer Queen ->
06. The Millionaire Waltz ->
07. You’re My Best Friend ->
08. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
09. Brighton Rock ->
10. Guitar Solo ->
11. Brighton Rock (Reprise)
12. ’39
13. You Take My Breath Away
14. White Man ->
15. The Prophet’s Song
16. Bohemian Rhapsody
17. Stone Cold Crazy
18. Keep Yourself Alive
19. Liar
20. In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
21. Now I’m Here (cuts in)
22. Big Spender
23. Jailhouse Rock Medley*
* includes Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Stupid Cupid and Be Bop A Lula


And that was it – although in a way, Queen were just getting started and toured North America again in 1878, 1980 and 1982, this was the last U.S. produced bootleg of a North American Queen concert performance. The early 1980’s would see European and Japanese releases fill the void.

One major contributing factor is certainly that the first generation bootleggers who would either record shows themselves like Dub from TMOQ and Contraband had already gone out of business and the second were about to (Wizardo, Vickie Vinyl, Hoffman Avenue Records). The second reason might have been that none of these operators were big fans of the band and they were content re-issuing older titles well into 1979.

The situation was even more dramatic in Japan when, unlike their first two tours, their extensive third tour in April of 1979 and their fourth tour in February of 1981 did not produce a single vinyl title. As stated elsewhere on this blog, I suspect that Japan having signed the Phonogram Protection Convention in 1978, which made bootlegs finally illegal in Japan, was too blame and led to a generally quiet period until the third wave of bootleggers started from around 1982. Queen’s 1982 fall Japanese tour enjoyed pre-1977 “bootleg attention” again with three releases in total; as if a switch had been flipped.

Even in Europe, as far as Queen were concerned, there seems to have been a gap following the famous Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse double and 1981/2 releases, such as Flash Alive (London, 8 December ’80) and The Falklands Are Rocking.

  1. John said:

    Wasn’t Duck Soup the first release of the Seattle tapes?…and PNW March, – pacific north western march – the second?
    As my memories don’t fool me…i’d bought the Duck record way before the PNW march. It is indeed strange that bootleggers..in the hightime vinly bootleg age , didn’t take notice of one of the most famous bands..if not the biggest , band, in the world and release only a few titles.
    The same goed with vinyls for the Doors tapes..that is even a bigger question. Only 1 title came out in the half 70’s..and still even years after Jim died, the most live recordings came out in the cd age.( vinyls in the late 70’s and early 80’s..

    • I go by what’s stated on Queenlive.ca – have a chat with him :).

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