REVIEW: QUEEN – HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY: LIVE IN BUDAPEST (Blu-Ray)…

queen budapest

This beautifully restored 1986 concert helps prove one thing: Queen gave 100% at their shows. This show was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and was the first time the band had ever played there. Even though Queen’s Live at Wembley show was from literally 2 weeks before this, there was definitely magic in the air and the crowd has a bit more intimate feel because of it. Not that this was a small show by any means.
From what I gather, this show had been aired on European television and later given a Laserdisc release. But now the show has been lovingly restored. The audio and video both are up to modern Blu-ray standards and preserved for future generations to enjoy. This was filmed towards the end of The Magic Tour which would be the final tour before Freddie Mercury was given the news that he was HIV-positive. This news would push the band to decide to no longer tour, thus making The Magic Tour their last.
There are big doses of the best songs from The Works and A Kind of Magic here, including spirited versions of “One Vision”, “Tear It Up”, “I Want To Break Free”, and “Radio Gaga”. Some of the slower songs steal the spotlight here though, like the haunting “Who Wants To Live Forever”. Of course there are many of the classics here also, including a top-notch version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “Now I’m Here”, a blistering “Seven Seas of Rhye” and the closing triad of “We Will Rock You”, “Friends Will be Friends” and “We Are The Champions”. Not one dull moment in the hour and a half. Freddie even sings a few bars of a traditional Hungarian folk song before “Is This The World We Created”.
If you are one of the fans that only likes the 70s material up through The Game, stick with the Queen Rocks Montreal Blu-ray. But you are missing so much if you do. In fact watching a show like this makes me wonder why so much of their 80s material wasn’t as big in the US. But through modern technology we can relive this show as though we were there.
An extra bonus to the disc is a half hour documentary A Magic Year. This one is well worth the watch. It pieces together interviews and story from the entire stretch between when Queen performed at Live Aid in 1985 and when this concert took place, with a lot of background about the politics and cultural aspects of playing this particular show.
I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Even if you have Live at Wembley ’86, this is an entirely different look at the same period of time, and a higher quality recording.

Check out a sample:
Bohemian Rhapsody (Live in Budapest 1986):

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