While it took Roger Taylor eight years, and a pandemic, to deliver his sixth and most successful solo album to date – last year’s warmly embraced Outsider – Taylor swiftly returns with another to add to his solo canon of work.
Taylor is to release a live album recorded during his hugely successful October 2021 Outsider UK tour which saw the Queen founding member perform a series of ‘intimate’ shows: “my modesty tour, I just want it to be lots of fun, very good musically”, said Taylor at the time of announcing his first live performances outside of Queen in over twenty years.
Coming on Vinyl, as a 2CD set, and digital release, Taylor’s ‘The Outsider Tour Live’, featuring 22 tracks performed across his 14-date sold out late 2021 tour becomes available today.
Lead single, Surrender, preceded the album and was released on September 8th.
While geared towards highlighting the Outsider album – which Roger Taylor admits being written and recorded under the Covid lockdown shadow resulted in work he describes as “slightly nostalgic and wistful” – when Taylor toured the album across the UK the emphasis was on sheer escapist pleasure.
“I just want everybody to enjoy it, get away from the depressing time we’d been having.” While for some time, as his new songs suggested, we’d all just been trying to get by, Taylor’s Outsider show delivered a roar of release and blasts of euphoric exuberance.
With a smartly gauged set list blending the new material with irresistible Queen classics, and a glorious revisiting of his 6-album strong solo catalogue, Taylor’s gigs proved a masterclass in how to thrill an audience by finding the sweet spot which marries the shock of the new and the hysteria of rock’s history.
As a member of Queen and through his well-received achievements beyond the band, Taylor has blown up musical genres, broken records and been rhapsodised for five decades. Yet these performances come across as fresh, alert and motivated.
And Taylor knows when to introduce a breather into the finely-tuned balance of drum force and power vocals and quiet reflection, delivering genuine lump in the throat moments with the solemnity of Say It’s Not True – his song addressing the terror of a positive HIV diagnosis (recorded to support the Nelson Mandela 46664 AIDS action campaign), and his Electric Fire album cut Surrender, in which he takes on the subject of domestic abuse. Foreign Sand is delivered in a simple acoustic guitar accompanied version.