THIS is an event. Not merely the release of more 'product', but a major milestone
in the annals of Rock. What you hold here are eight songs recorded in 1973 by
Queen, one of the great names of post-war international
music. Moreover, these are version of well-known numbers that you have never
have heard before! FACT. February 1973. Queen have been on the live circuit for
barely two years. But they've yet to sign a major recording deal. However, the
enterprising folk at Radio One book vocalist/pianist Freddie Mercury, guitarist
Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor for a session with
producer Bernie Andrews. It is to be broadcast on 'Sounds Of The `70s' and four
tracks are laid down on February 5th, viz. 'My Fairy King', 'Keep Yourself Alive',
'Doin' Alright' and 'Liar'. All of these songs were eventually to turn up on the
band's self-titled debut for EMI (released in July of that year), but these versions
have never been heard before on vinyl before... not even on bootleg form!
COMMENT. It's amazing to hear the stunning renditions the band explore herein.
'Liar's dramatic, thundering Metal extravagance. 'My Fairy King's lushness and
orchestral bravura. 'Keep Yourself Aleve''s responsive, momentous Metal-Pop
ebullience. 'Doin' Alright's combination attack of blazing riffs and delicate
tinctures of melody.
FACT. On December 3rd 1973, Queen recorded a second session for 'Sounds Of
The '70s', performing the songs 'Ogre Battle', 'Great King Rat', 'Modern Times
Rock 'N' Roll' and 'Son And Daughter'. With the exception of 'Ogre...', all the
songs here were featured on the 'Queen' LP. 'Ogre Battle' is to emerge on the
'Queen II' LP, released in March 1974. COMMENT. Once again the quality of
performance and recording are breathtaking. 'Ogre Battle' is a panorama of
virulent grandeur and broadsword clashing mania. 'Great King Rat' has a seismic
bite and flaring, cascading incandescence. 'Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll' boasts
rousing, glinting rhythms. 'Son And Daughter' is suffused with individual Blues
and dramatic cloisters. Magnificent.
As I said earlier, this isn't a release, but an event. Captured here is the essence of
early Queen. The style that would help shape two generations of Rock 'N' Roll.
The sound that would conquer the world. This is vital, valuable, inexorable. An
historical affair that still maintains a contemporary resonance.Rare indeed.