LONDON (Reuters) – Grounded by the coronavirus pandemic, rock band Queen release a live album on Friday to cheer up “stuck at home” fans that showcases highlights of concerts from Rio to Sydney over the past seven years.
It will be the first live offering to feature singer Adam Lambert, the former “American Idol” contestant who tours with the band as a replacement for flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.
The band’s planned European tour was cancelled this summer due to the pandemic.
“Hopefully it will give people a substitute for the real thing while they are stuck at home,” said Lambert.
“Live Around The World” includes their entire 22-minute set from the Fire Fight Australia charity concert in Sydney in February, where they performed Queen’s original 1985 Live Aid set in full including “Bohemian Rhapsody”,”We are the Champions” and the show-stopping “Radio Ga Ga”.
The band have played to 4 million people since Lambert came onboard.
“You can’t help but get embroiled and immersed in this wonderful world of togetherness which we get on tours…I think people will love it. It is almost like being there,” guitarist Brian May told Reuters.
Drummer Roger Taylor said the idea for a live album came after their backroom staff put together a selection of clips for a watch party on YouTube.
“I had a look at it and thought, ‘this is great. Hang on, we’ve cancelled the tour, why don’t we make a live album out of this.’ It was as simple as that really.”
The band admit they are missing touring.
“One minute we are out in Australia strutting our stuff and interacting with thousands of happy people, next minute we are stuck in the house. It is very, very odd,” said May.
May, who suffered a heart attack earlier this year, said he was using the time to focus on his health.
“I got stricken with a series of medical emergencies and went a long, long way down. My mission in life now is to get fit, which I’m pretty much on the road for, so that when these gigs do come back I will be ready.”
In 2021 the band marks 50 years since they played their first show with their classic line-up.
“We kind of came to the conclusion we didn’t want to make a big noise about having been around for 50 years. It is more important that we are still here,” said May.
(Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Angus MacSwan)