Queen has shared “Is This The World We Created?,” episode 20 in the band’s yearlong video series ‘The Greatest Live’, in which they revisit a memorably moving moment from their widely acclaimed Wembley concert in July 1986. You can watch the episode in full below.
In recent episodes of ‘The Greatest Live,’ we’ve heard from Brian May and Roger Taylor about the all-important ‘shape’ of a Queen setlist: the art of building and releasing tension, directing mood and sending fans home walking on air with the grand finale.
“Intimate” isn’t a term typically associated with stadium shows. But while Queen took the stage for their two Magic Tour sell-out Wembley Stadium concerts of July 1986 armed with epic production and grandstanding rock ‘n’ roll anthems, just as powerful were the stripped-back acoustic numbers that made every member of the 72,000-strong crowd feel like the band was performing just for them.
In this week’s archive footage from the band’s 1986 Magic Tour, we see how the band’s explosive opening sequence of songs at Wembley – which included rockers such as “One Vision” and “Tie Your Mother Down” – were temporarily traded for a more intimate acoustic section in which Brian accompanied Freddie Mercury on a stunning rendition of “Is This The World We Created?”
Brian had written the music, while Freddie penned most of the lyric – the pair having watched an agonizing documentary on the African famine of the ’80s – this contemplative ballad from 1984’s The Works album also became a live favorite, taking a pumped-up crowd to an entirely different headspace. As we can see from the live footage, the audience are just as captivated here, as at any other point in the show.
A year earlier at the same venue, “Is This The World We Created…?” had been a highlight of the legendary Live Aid benefit concert’s finale. Now, this stunning duet from the band’s own ’86 Wembley show lays the song beautifully bare, with Brian’s deft fingerstyle on a nylon-string classical guitar carrying Freddie’s yearning vocal creating something transcendent.