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The closest we’ll get to a live show: watch perfectly restored footage of Queen from 1981

Live concert film from Queen’s 1981 Montreal Live Aid show has just been digitally restored, and the result is stunning.

The restoration was directed by Brian May, using an original release that chopped footage over two shows in Montreal. The original film was directed by Saul Swimmer, the documentarian responsible George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh.

May said the the restoration has made for more captivating film, claiming it is “much more true to what actually happened at any given moment… And I do find that once I’m five minutes into the film, I’m caught up in it as a real live show.”

The original film was shot on high-quality 35mm film but then badly edited, with issues in the way the sound and video were matched from different performances. A version of the footage was released as on VHS titled We Will Rock You in 1984, and then in 2001 as a DVD, yet both were allegedly worse than the original. Queen protested, and eventually bought the rights to the film, but were unable to restore the footage.

Now, all songs from the 24-track audio, which had been edited, have been restored to their full length, and the footage that wasn’t cut and discarded has been rejoined into full performances using “modern digital artistry”.

Watch some of the film below.

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March 14, 2019

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