By 1979, Queen
was considered among rock's elite class, and rightfully so. With a string of hit albums, singles, and sold-out tours to their credit, the group was about to enter a new musical phase of its career with 1980's mega-hit The Game
. And since bootleg copies of their concerts were fetching exorbitant prices among their fans, what better way to close phase one but with their first official live double album, Live Killers
. For reasons unknown, the record was criticized harshly when it was first released, but listening to it today, it is an excellent document of Queen at the height of their '70s arena rock powers. Including selections from their debut, 1973's Queen
, up until 1978's Jazz
, the album is a solid mix of early hits and forgotten album tracks, all given new life in the concert setting while the zealous crowd often sings along. A different, more up-tempo version of "We Will Rock You" opens the album, starting things off in grand style. Other hard rock highlights soon follow, such as "Keep Yourself Alive," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Now I'm Here," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Spread Your Wings," "Brighton Rock" (complete with an outstanding Brian May
guitar solo), and a medley that contains such tracks as "Killer Queen
" and "Bicycle Race," among others. The band also shows its softer side with such material as "Dreamer's Ball," "Love of My Life," and "'39," while ending things on a triumphant note with "We Will Rock You"/"We Are the Champions."