Queen spent the summer of 1986 doing what amounted to a victory lap. More popular than ever due to their Live Aid performance in July 1985, they now filled stadiums to capacity, and Freddie Mercury truly was in his element before the adoring crowds, working the huge stages like a master. Mercury was the band’s secret weapon; aside from some “atmospheric” smoke and flashing lights, Queen needed no other special effects.


These stadium shows must have been quite a spectacle even if you weren’t right down front. And Hungarian Rhapsody largely conveys the grandeur of the event. The July 27, 1986 show was the first stadium concert by a western act held behind the Iron Curtain — a major reason reason why Queen wanted to play there (according to the set’s liner notes, it’s still the largest show ever held in the Nepstadion). The band pulls out all the stops. You get the hits: “Under Pressure,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions.” But they also dip into their catalogue, all the way back to a bit of “In the Lap of the Gods,” and “Now I’m Here.” There’s a short rock ‘n’ roll section (“Hello Mary Lou,” “Tutti Frutti”). And in a nice touch, they add a Hungarian folk song, “Tavaszi Szei Vizet Araszt,” which gets a huge response from the crowd.

If you like Queen, it’s worth springing for the CD/DVD set, largely because the DVD doesn’t feature the entire show, and the two CDs do. As well as being incomplete, the concert film is further marred by occasional cutaways to off stage footage of the group roaming around Budapest, which only serves to break the show’s momentum. This is most irritating when the film cuts away during an extended, improvised guitar solo by Brian May to shots of him riding in a hot air balloon — a major disappointment if you’re someone that enjoys watching May getting a good workout with his ax. Also missing is Mercury’s interplay with the crowds, getting them to sing back at him, which would’ve been fun to watch (though these sections may be missing because the footage no longer exists).

Have been re-mastered in high definition and with a 5.1 surround sound mix, it all looks and sounds beautiful. There’s also a half hour bonus documentary on Queen’s “Magic Year.” This concert is also historic because it was one of Queen’s last. Just over two weeks later, they performed their very last show.


1) One Vision
2) Tie Your Mother Down
3) In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
4) Seven Seas Of Rhye
5) Tear It Up
6) A Kind Of Magic
7) Under Pressure
8 ) Who Wants To Live Forever
9) I Want To Break Free
10) Guitar Solo
11) Now I’m Here
12) Love Of My Life
13) Tavaszi Szél Vizet Áraszt
14) Is This The World We Created?
15) Tutti Frutti
16) Bohemian Rhapsody
17) Hammer To Fall
18) Crazy Little Thing Called Love
19) Radio Ga Ga
20) We Will Rock You
21) Friends Will Be Friends
22) We Are The Champions /

Disc 1:
1) One Vision
2) Tie Your Mother Down
3) In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
4) Seven Seas Of Rhye
5) Tear It Up
6) A Kind Of Magic
7) Under Pressure
8 ) Another One Bites The Dust
9) Who Wants To Live Forever
10) I Want To Break Free
11) Looks Like It’s Gonna Be A Good Night
12) Guitar Solo
13) Now I’m Here

Disc 2:
1) Love Of My Life
2) Tavasi Szel Vizet Araszt
3) Is This The World We Created?
4) (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care
5) Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)
6) Tutti Frutti
7) Bohemian Rhapsody
8 ) Hammer To Fall
9) Crazy Little Thing Called Love
10) Radio Ga Ga
11) We Will Rock You
12) Friends Will Be Friends
13) We Are The Champions
14) God Save The Queen


Label: Eagle Rock (to purchase this item, click here)