Queen TV performances (partially lost appearances by British band on various shows; 1974-1986)

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Queen on TopPop.jpg

Image of a lost Queen performance of Killer Queen on the Dutch show, Avro's TopPop

Status: Partially Lost

Queen is a band from London formed in 1970 with the lineup of John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury, and Roger Taylor. They are known for hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, Killer Queen, We Will Rock You, We are the Champions, and many other unforgettable songs. Shortly after their forming, they would see major success following the chart success of their early hit singles starting with Seven Seas of Rhye. They had a long, successful career lasting until 1991, when their frontman, Freddie Mercury, died due to pneumonia brought on by AIDS. Queen would officially disband in 1997 following the release of the single No One But You and a performance with Elton John of The Show Must Go On.

Queen performing on TV[edit | edit source]

Queen's first TV performance was of Seven Seas of Rhye on BBC's Top Of The Pops after David Bowie cancelled his own performance. They performed in the BBC Weather studio on February 21st, 1974.[1] They would perform on several more TV shows throughout the early-mid 70s, but it would later become rare due to their touring, with music shows instead choosing to play a music video or have a dance group perform.

Song Air/Filming Date Status Notes
Seven Seas of Rhye, Top Of The Pops Feb 21st, 1974 Found Footage is mostly in colour though some bits remain in black in white.
Seven Seas of Rhye, Top Of The Pops Mar 14th, 1974 Found Video is mostly in black and white.
Seven Seas of Rhye, Top Of The Pops Mar 28th, 1974 Found Footage is in black and white.
Killer Queen, Top Of The Pops Oct 11th, 1974 Found Full footage is in colour and uncropped.
Killer Queen, Top Of The Pops Oct 24th, 1974 (unconfirmed) Found Nicknamed "Take 2." Footage is in full colour, later released in cropped 16:9 on the Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD. Uncropped versions not widely circulating until 2022. Unknown if aired on the original TOTP run.
Killer Queen, Top Of The Pops Nov 7th, 1974 Partially Lost Opening is badly degraded or completely missing on all circulating copies.
Killer Queen, Top Of The Pops Nov 21st, 1974 Lost Only photos exist, sometimes mislabeled as being from a lost Now I'm Here performance.
Killer Queen, Avro's TopPop Nov 22nd, 1974 Found Officially released in documentaries and on TopPop compilation DVDs.
Killer Queen, Avro's TopPop Nov 22nd, 1974 Lost Same outfits worn, performed on chroma key stage. Images
Killer Queen, Kid Jensen's Christmas Rock with 45 Dec 25th, 1974 Lost Filmed on Rock with 45's Christmas Special in 1975, people have often passed off the NBC report with soundcheck footage of Now I'm Here as this performance. Images
Now I'm Here, Top Of The Pops Jan 16th, 1975 Found Footage incorrectly dated January 30th, 1975
Now I'm Here, Top Of The Pops Jan 30th, 1975 Lost No information is known about this performance. Only one Photo, the first copy shown coming from an article about the 40th anniversary of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Bohemian Rhapsody, Top Of The Pops Promo Nov 10th, 1975 Found Alternate version of original promo video made for airing on Top Of The Pops. Has been released and re-aired on multiple occasions.
Somebody To Love, Avro's TopPop (Penny De Jager's dance group) Dec 7th, 1976 Found Re-aired on several occasions, later uploaded on official TopPop YouTube channel. Supposedly released on DVD however the existence of this release is unconfirmed.
Somebody To Love, Top Of The Pops (Legs & Co.) Dec 2nd, 1976 Found VHS home recording of the original airing.
Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, Top Of The Pops June 16th, 1977 Found Uses alternate take of original song, has been re-aired and released on multiple occasions. This alternate take was later released in the 2011 edition of A Day At The Races.
We Are The Champions, Top Of The Pops Promo Nov 3rd, 1977 Found Alternate version of original promo video made for airing on Top Of The Pops. Intro was slightly different each airing, sometimes having different colored bars or different letterboxing.
We Are The Champions, Top Of The Pops Promo (Colour Intro) Nov 3rd, 1977 Found An alternate version of the previous promo with the intro in colour. This version was never broadcasted on Top Of The Pops. Now exists in full from a leaked BBC master tape.
Another One Bites The Dust, Top Of The Pops (Legs & Co.) Oct 2nd, 1980 Found Remastered BBC broadcast.
Under Pressure, Top Of The Pops (Zoo) Nov 19th, 1981 Found Remastered BBC broadcast.
Las Palabras De Amor, Top Of The Pops June 17th, 1982 Found Queen's final in-person aired appearance on Top Of The Pops. Taken from a BBC Four rebroadcast.
Las Palabras De Amor, Top Of The Pops (alt take) June 17th, 1982 Lost Alternate take of aired Las Palabras De Amor performance with audience. Unknown if aired. Photo
Crazy Little Thing Called Love & Under Pressure, Saturday Night Live Sept 25th, 1982 Found This was Queen's final performance in America. Under Pressure would later be included on an SNL anniversary collection DVD.
Radio Ga Ga, San Remo Festival Feb 3rd, 1984 Found Queen's first "Live Performance" since 1982. Video remastered by Chief Mouse.
Radio Ga Ga, San Remo Festival Feb 4th, 1984 Found Second night at the festival. Re aired on Rai circa 2019.
Radio Ga Ga, Tear It Up, It's A Hard Life, & I Want to Break Free, Golden Rose Pop Festival May 12th, 1984 Found Queen's first time at the Golden Rose Festival. All videos (excluding part of Radio Ga Ga) were officially released on the Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD.
One Vision, A Kind Of Magic, Friends Will Be Friends, & Hammer To Fall, Golden Rose Pop Festival May 11th, 1986 Found Freddie was allowed a live vocal improv with the audience at the '86 Golden Rose festival. All videos were officially released on the Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD.

[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Although most of the original master tapes of TOTP from the '60s and '70s were wiped, clips of some Queen performances have been shown in some documentaries such as Days of our Lives and From Rags to Rhapsody sourced from found copies owned by the BBC. The majority of the circulating colour Seven Seas of Rhye footage comes from the Blu-ray release of the documentary, Days of our lives, confirming the existence of these performances within the BBC's archives. Each performance of Killer Queen as well as the January 16th performance of Now I'm Here are also known to exist within the BBC archives. For most other shows Queen has performed on, it is unknown if any of the network or the band themselves have the footage.

There was a long search for the March 28th TOTP performance of Seven Seas Of Rhye after snippets from it were included in the 2011 Days of our Lives documentary, as it had never been seen before in full. One collector would post a snippet onto YouTube in 2012 (alongside clips of the other SSOR performances in colour), however, he would disappear in 2014 while trying to sell these full performances to several Queen collectors, deleting his website and no longer replying to any emails[8]. On May 17, 2022, YouTube user Jeffly would post a near-complete version of the performance albeit with a massive watermark (now deleted). In response, The Queen Collector (formerly Kurgan) would post his own non-watermarked copy to YouTube one day later, saying "it's been around a long time and a watermarked copy is NEVER acceptable".

The "Take 2" version of Killer Queen on TOTP only existed in a cropped 16:9 format for many years, being released cropped on Queen's Greatest Video Hits DVD and even re-aired on BBC on several occasions in this cropped format. However on June 11, 2022, YouTube/LMW user spid uploaded a 4:3 version sourced from a 90's edition of the show TOTP2, which would re-air clips from the original TOTP show. Later that same day, The Queen Collector would upload a higher quality 4:3 version from another edition of TOTP2.

The January 16th performance of Now I'm Here on TOTP was long sought after following its appearance in the 2011 Stormtroopers in Stilettos exhibition and 2015 From Rags to Rhapsody documentary due to it using an alternate unreleased recording of the song. Many forum users and collectors claimed to own copies however most of these leads went nowhere. The same collector who disappeared in 2014 while selling the performances of Seven Seas of Rhye had also supposedly had a copy of this Now I'm Here performance[8]. Another collector on YouTube by the name of Gary Jbrum would post a snippet of the Now I'm here performance to YouTube (now privated) as well as a few screenshots, but would refuse to release the entire video in any form[9]. In response to some negative feedback regarding his release of the third TOTP performance of Seven Seas of Rhye, The Queen Collector would upload the entirety of the long-lost Now I'm Here performance on May 23, 2022, followed up with Gary uploading his full copy albeit watermarked (also privated).

References[edit | edit source]