'The Champions' documentary

The audio/video recordings often attributed to February 27, 1979 are actually mostly from other dates. These songs (mostly just clips) are from a US TV special entitled "The Champions," broadcast on December 21, 1979.

The edits between the various shows are very professionally done, as they are all seamless. Here is a breakdown of all the concert footage, as I have compared it to audience recordings and other videos. Note that the video and audio aren't always from the same show (the audio often jumps back and forth from the actual concert audio to being dubbed from Live Killers), so in some cases this listing refers only to the visual, not the audio:


Let Me Entertain You - Freddie's speech is from Paris 3-1-79, song is from 2-28-79
Fat Bottomed Girls - stage banter is from Paris 3-1-79, rest is studio version
Get Down Make Love - Paris 2-28-79 and Tokyo 4-24-79
Now I'm Here - Paris 2-28-79 and Tokyo 4-25-79 (some audio is dubbed from Live Killers)
Brian introducing Roger before '39 - Tokyo 4-25-79
Bohemian Rhapsody - Tokyo 4-24-79, 4-25-79, Paris 3-1-79 (some audio is dubbed from Live Killers)
Tie Your Mother Down - mixture of Paris 2-28-79 and 3-1-79
Sheer Heart Attack - 2-28-79, 3-1-79 and 4-25-79 (audio of intro is from Live Killers, rest is from 4-25-79)
We Will Rock You - 2-28-79 and 4-25-79 (some audio is dubbed from Live Killers)
We Are The Champions - Paris 3-1-79
"Merci beaucoup, Paris!" - Paris 2-27-79
God Save The Queen - Tokyo 4-25-79 and Paris 3-1-79


There is also some footage of Sweet Lady from Hyde Park '76 (which actually runs a bit slow), and some backstage footage from Fort Worth '77. There is some interview footage as well, including an amusing clip of Freddie with a Jimmy Carter mask on. Footage from Freddie's day with the famous Royal Ballet on October 7 is seen here (with the end of Bohemian Rhapsody from Live Killers as the audio), and some of the Munich '79 soundcheck is seen before the Paris footage of Fat Bottomed Girls.

There is a clip of Freddie in his silver lurex suit peeling a banana and throwing the peels into the audience while sitting on the shoulders of a crew member dressed as Superman. Filmed from stage left during We Will Rock You (but actually shown during Get Down Make Love amongst some bizarre editing, including footage of Gene Simmons), Japanese audience members can be seen in the background. The footage was recently confirmed by Gary Taylor to be from the April 24 show in Tokyo. Also, at the beginning of Bohemian Rhapsody, there are a few seconds of footage that seem to be from the April 24th show.

Clips of a few promo videos (Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, etc.) are included as well, which weren't often seen in US as there was no music TV station yet. The UK had Top Of The Pops, but the US wouldn't get MTV until 1981.

It's interesting how Tie Your Mother Down and Sheer Heart Attack have the exact same edits on The Champions as they would on the official Rare Live video release ten years later. Also, the Let Me Entertain You edit (speech and song from different nights) is identical on The Champions and The Magic Years. It makes one wonder how much (or how little) footage from these shows exists in Queen's vaults.

See the Paris table and Tokyo table for more details.





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