A 1981 concert film depicting legendary British rock band Queen at the top of their game is getting the IMAX treatment.
Previously released in 2007, the movie, Queen Rock Montreal, will be shown in IMAX in theaters around the world this coming January. It featured the classic Queen lineup – singer Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon – performing two nights in November 1981 at Montreal’s Forum between the triumph of their 1980 smash album The Game and the release of their 1982 dance-oriented record Hot Space.
“Showcasing the group in their pre-Hot Space album era, before keyboards would find a place in the band’s touring line up, this classic concert film shows these talented musicians in total cohesion while finding space to demonstrate their individual strengths,” per a press statement issued Tuesday announcing the theatrical film release via a partnership between IMAX, Pathé Live, Mercury Studios and Queen Films.
Directed by Saul Swimmer, the concert movie was previously distributed under the original title of We Will Rock You. In 2007, it was later renamed as Queen Rock Montreal, which saw a release on DVD and Blu-ray. An audio version of Queen Rock Montreal also became comercially available that featured two songs from the shows not included in the original film release, “Flash” and “The Hero,” both from the Flash Gordon soundtrack.
The setlist from the concerts essentially showcased the greatest hits by the band up to that point in their career — among them “Somebody to Love,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Killer Queen,” “Now I’m Here” and “Play the Game.” Queen also performed the then-relatively new song “Under Pressure,” originally a collaboration between the band and David Bowie that later appeared on the Hot Space album.
“I don’t think we quite realized it at the time, but this film has preserved one of the highest peaks in Queen’s touring life, on stage in the old glory days,” Brian May said in the press statement. “The director was very much focussed on Freddie, and this now stands as probably the most precious intimate capture ever of Mr. Mercury at his full awesome power.”
“Enjoy. We were young!” followed Roger Taylor.
According to the announcement, the concert film will be screened in more than 450 IMAX locations for four days starting January 18. For theater and ticket information, visit IMAX.COM/QUEEN.
The news about the film coincides with a special milestone as the band’s self-titled debut album turned 50 this year.