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A 50-week YouTube series going behind the scenes to reveal what goes into creating a Queen show, featuring moments from iconic performances and demonstrating why the band is regarded as the ultimate live act.


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Queen The Greatest Live : Stone Cold Crazy (Episode 40)

For aspiring British musicians of the ’70s, all roads led to London’s legendary Rainbow Theatre. In 1974, Queen reached that milestone as they stepped up to headliner status – and as this November 1974 archive footage shows, they seized the opportunity with a searing performance of this hard-rocker from Sheer Heart Attack.

The footage is notable as marking the first time Queen were professionally filmed live in concert.


3 NOVEMBER 2023 (TORONTO, ON) - No rock band is born in a stadium. Back in the early-’70s, when Queen were a hot tip but not yet a national treasure, the Rainbow Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park was an imposing rite of passage, challenging every group of upcoming hopefuls to prove themselves capable of graduating from the club circuit.


Queen had already braved the Rainbow stage once before as support to Mott The Hoople in 1973. But when Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon returned to headline the 3,000-seater venue the following March and November – promoting that year’s breakthrough albums Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack – the lineup were bristling and bent on proving themselves.


“When I see the footage of us from those shows now, I see so much confidence and adrenalin,” Brian told Mojo in 2014. “And I think, ‘My God, we were such impatient boys.’”


The Rainbow shows have gone down in Queen lore as the moment the band announced their ambitions and stepped up to British rock’s top table. And while the band’s setlist ran the gamut that November, perhaps the most rabble-rousing moment is the pummelling rendition of Stone Cold Crazy revisited in this week’s archive footage.


With Roger counting in the band with a bellowed proto-punk ‘1-2-3-4!’, Freddie shooting his rapid-fire vocal without missing a syllable and Brian’s spacey guitar solo scaling the heights of his Red Special’s neck, this highlight from Sheer Heart Attack has never sounded so rocking. “When I listen to Queen At The Rainbow now, I find it extraordinary,” said Roger of the live album released in 2014. “I’d forgotten how heavy we were with things like Stone Cold Crazy and Flick Of The Wrist. We weren’t a pop band. We were like Led Zeppelin with harmonies…”


Queen The Greatest Live : Stone Cold Crazy (Episode 40)

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Freddie Mercury, Brian May. Rainbow Theatre, London, 20 November 1974.

© Queen Productions

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