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Queen The Greatest Live : Friends Will Be Friends (Episode 43)
Anyone attending a concert during Queen’s record breaking Magic Tour in 1986 could be forgiven for thinking the grand finale of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions was cast in stone. The band, however, always had a few surprises up their sleeve, and the encore on this tour was no exception.

08 DECEMBER 2023 (TORONTO, ON) - When Queen brought the curtain down with We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions on their News Of The World tour in 1977, they knew they had found a triumphant finale that sealed the connection between band and audience. And so the template was set for every subsequent show…or so it seemed.

It would take a special song indeed to drive a wedge between those two precision-tooled, audience-igniting encores.

Always with an eye on surprising their fans, on the 1986 Magic Tour, as Brian’s thunderous guitar solo from We Will Rock You reaches its crescendo, rather than wait for the melodic piano entry to Champions, Roger counts in an unexpected twist to the set list that delights the crowd…as Queen introduce “Friends Will Be Friends,” the band’s ode to comradeship.
Step up John Deacon, the band’s virtuoso bassist and secret weapon, whose soft-spoken manner belied his writing of such Queen classics including I Want To Break Free, Another One Bites The Dust and You’re My Best Friend. As John said: “If I'd just been a bass player all my life with the band, I wouldn't be as satisfied as I am because I only consider that as part of what I do. The songwriting and being involved in the decision-making means I've been able to have a part in the band’s destiny.”

Co-written with Freddie Mercury, Friends Will Be Friends was another highlight from the Deacon songbook, its glorious opening swoops of guitar settling into a tender lyric catching the human need for companionship (‘When you’re through with life and all hope is lost, hold out your hand, ’cos friends will be friends’).

Released as a UK single on June 9th 1986 – and joining the Magic Tour setlist two days later at Leiden’s Groenoordhallen in the Netherlands – this week’s footage finds the Wembley Stadium crowd blissfully blindsided in July ’86, as the anticipated piano intro of We Are The Champions is hijacked by Roger Taylor’s count-in and a twist in the tail. The audience reaction was unanimous, and the retooled encore featuring Friends Will Be Friends would endure right through to Queen’s final Freddie-era show at Knebworth that August.

Queen The Greatest Live : Friends Will Be Friends (Episode 43) BELOW

December 8, 2023 2:38pm ET by Pressparty  

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