2 March 1979 – Queen flew to Mountain Studios in Montreux to begin working on “Live Killers” album.

1979 was considered a year of temporarily suspended activity for Queen. They had been working virtually non-stop since 1970, and they had weathered quite a lot together: financial woes, managerial disagreements and harsh words slung by none other than the press.

Brian later admitted, there were times when the band thought about packing it all in, but by this time, they had established themselves as canny businessmen with a keen eye on the music industry market. They still believed they were a studio band more than anything else, and found the prospect of releasing a live album tedious. Queen’s live shows were more about presentation and theatrics than actual performances; they weren’t masters of improvisation, but their live performances were best seen in person, or, at the very least, on a cinema screen. No wonder, then, the band were less than thrilled about releasing a live album.

“Live albums are inescapable, really. Everyone tells you that you have to do them, and when you do, you find that they’re very often not of mass appeal, and in the absence of a fluke condition you sell your live album to the converted, the people who already know your stuff and come to your concerts. So, if you add up the number of people who have seen you over the last few years, that’s very roughly the number who will buy your live album unless you have a hit single on it.” ~ Brian May

Queen decided 1979 would be an off-year from the studio, consisting almost entirely of live shows. They have journeyed over much of the world (excluding North America) during the year.

‘Live Killers,’ as it was eventually titled, was culled from their three-month odyssey across Europe, though they never documented which songs derived from which shows. However, recently, it’s been speculated that most of the recorded material came from Frankfurt (2 February) and Lyon (17 February) performances, and that the segments from those shows were selected and spliced to create the perfect end-product. As a result, though there may not be many overdubs. (Brian vehemently claims that there are absolutely none), most of the errors – and we know there isn’t a single band that can perform perfectly night after night – were patched up with superior segments to the point that any one song may have originated from more than one show.

However, considering that this is Queen’s first live album, there is a lot to applaud and appreciate.

It is no secret that some of the Queen band members were not entirely happy with the final mix of the album, but even so the fans loved it and it was a significant hit.

The album sold swiftly as Queen’s live shows were now legendary and millions of fans wanted to re-create that awesome sound in their homes. The band’s already famous reputation as one of the world’s greatest rock attractions was finally on record for all to hear!