Queen has shared episode 27 of its yearlong “The Greatest: Live” video series. Watch the video below.
Queen have always been spoilt for choice when it comes to packing setlists with their own crowd-pleasers – but as seen in this special moment from the Magic Tour, the band’s riotous cover version of the Little Richard classic from Wembley ’86 both ignites the stadium crowd and sees the lineup play with the joy of a teenage garage band.
In last week’s episode of Queen The Greatest Live, Brian May and Roger Taylor revealed how curveballs keep the show fresh for band and fans alike. Whether unplugging for an intimate acoustic set on a ‘B’ stage, splicing hits into a quickfire medley or racing through a formative rock ‘n’ roll cover – the only rule at a Queen concert is to expect the unexpected.
Now, in this archive Wembley Stadium footage from 1986’s Magic Tour, the joy is infectious as the lineup put an inimitable Queen spin on Little Richard’s immortal “Tutti Frutti”. As Brian told Total Guitar earlier this year, the song was a fitting choice for a band who cut their teeth on the R&B trailblazer. “When I first heard Little Richard, it was a moment of shock, but there was also the joy of realising that people could actually sing that way – they could scream their emotions.”
Starting the song half-hidden in moody blue lighting, with Freddie supplying finger clicks and falsettos, it briefly seems the band have taken a mellow acoustic approach. Then this cover version explodes into a rocket-fuelled rhythm and blues masterclass, with Roger laying down his tambourine for thunderous drum fills, while Brian slings the Red Special for a ferocious solo. Watch closely, too, for the moment when Freddie mimes a golf swing with his sawn-off mic stand.
The 72,000-strong Wembley crowd’s response says it all, with the entire stadium shouting back “Tutti Frutti”’s gobbledygook-genius payoff: “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a-lop-bam-boom…!”