Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > THE UNRELEASED / UNFINISHED QUEEN ARCHIVES COMPARED TO OTHEER ARTIST

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Posted: 23 Aug 07, 13:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How do you think the Queen archives compare to other artists? I was on one of my other favorite artist, Prince, fansite and was reading about his Vault of unreleased stuff.


http://prince.org/msg/7/240872


His stuff hasn't been baked and is in danger of being lost for ever and he refused to have it archived because he doesn't want people to hear it. (This is a guy with literally, no exaggeration, thousands of fully mixed complete unreleased songs. 5 or 6 vaults full of stuff so it would be a lost). Stevie Wonder also has an extensive vault that he actually said he wanted destroyed when he dies.

Atleast Queen is preserving what they can find and are planning to release a boxset... even though Prince have released two releases 2 extensive complilations of unreleased material in the late 90's (the Vault: old friends for sale and the Crystal Ball boxset) his material is far more vast than Queen, that was just a speckle, not even a full scrape of the surface of what he has. I can understand Queen Productions being more cautious to release what they have at the right time.

I guess you can say Queen were lazy bums compared to other artists if they don't have mountains of unreleased stuff over there existence. Because I really do think what was on the album, was 95% or higher of everything they fully mixed and completed. I don't think theres a ton of gems out there. I was joking about the lazy bums part because Queen were touring extensively and everyone can't be as prolific as a Prince or Stevie Wonder. Especially considering they're single individuals who play multiple instruments while Queen were a band. That theory is proven by all of the Freddie solo stuff he has, which maybe more than the entire Queen archives combine. I'm predicting that Brian has a really extensive collection of lil' odd bits and ideas that were forgotten about for one reason or another.

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Posted: 23 Aug 07, 14:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It is good to hold Queen up to anyone else for comparisons. It is how we all learn and become more aware of things. I thank you for your insights. With that said the Queen archivist has already said that he thinks that there are many things in the vaults though who knows how much compared to some other people. I do think it is a bit unfare to pick the most prolific recording artists such as Prince or Michael Jackson (he does about 60 songs per album and the rest just are put into the vaults with many alternative versions as well) out of the thousands of recording artists. Queen doesn't HAVE to have gems or hits hidden away. The point is their 15 studio l.p.s are so amazing that whatever is left is more than likely (not neccessarily but more than likely) are going to be interesting to say the least. Let's keep things in perspective but try not to turn everyone off of the idea of the vaults may or may not have.

If what you say is true about Stevie Wonder then he is truely crazy and a madman. If there are things he doesn't want out or rid of he should go through them and deal with them but EVERYTHING?! I pray to God that doesn't happen whether with him or whatever other recording artists. That's disasterous on a monumental level.

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Posted: 23 Aug 07, 16:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's hard to say just how much Queen has material in the archives, but it's really not that important since we're never gonna get it anyway... ;) Based on the leaked demos of the latter albums, I wouldn't expect there to be more than an hour of material for any album (and significantly less for the earlier albums.)

Being a fan of Prince, I've come to accept that he won't be releasing any box sets of the earlier material either, because Warner owns the copyright to it. Luckily for me, he's still releasing a new album pretty much every year to compensate for the lack of archive releases. I'll get back to you in ten years time once I know if that continues.

Either way, I think the amount of his unreleased material is exaggerated almost as much as the amount of concerts recorded by Queen... We were expecting there to be hundreds of complete shows, and there are only a few dozen. I would guess that those 300(?) songs available in the Work series are the majority of his unreleased output, which isn't all that bad considering that it almost doubles the available material.


The one thing that both of these artists have in common is the poor (from a fan's point of view, that is) policy of what to release. On Prince's case it has a lot to do with Warner having the rights to his earlier material, and himself preferring the album output instead of anything else. On Queen's case it's a matter of prioritising the cash flow, which means EMI would probably make the artistically better releases if they just were allowed to! :P

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Posted: 24 Aug 07, 05:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Stevie Wonder once said he writes a song a day, now I have to say that if that is the case, and it was well documented at the time, it would mean that 90% of them are not worth releasing.

I remeber Billy Joel commenting on this and saying that even a guy like Stevie will just write rubbish most days and end up with one or two good/great tracks a month/week maybe

Queen have never been anything like as prolific, however there will be a reasonable amount of material in the vaults we will never hear just because it is rubbish and none of the band would sign off on having it released in any form.

I don't think it's a case of being careless with the work when tracks got lost, bands simply don't lock away every single note they record just as artists and writers don't always keep every single scribble or jot, it is work in progress and you only want the finished product to be available for release.

In the early days, nobody would have thought there would be an interest in out-takes, and certainly by the time ADATR came out it would have been pretty well unheard of that a record company might try to streal a tape out of the studio prior to release, however we have all heard stories of that happening as bands got more popular, more money was ridding on the success of an album, so pretty often a record company exec was dispatched to get hold of a copy of the latest offering prior to it being finished to see it it was up to scratch. Hence bits creeping on to the black market.

These days everything is so easy to store in digital format, but in the days of multitrack tape it was pretty difficult to get hold of unmixed work until it was transferred to 1/4 inch

I hope one day new unreleased work will appear but I don't expect it to be vast amounts I highly doubt they will ever put out something like the Beatles have.


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
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Posted: 24 Aug 07, 08:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Star Wars films are a good example of this,
but art should really be confiscated once the artist has made it. The truth is, most unreleased songs probably suck, but the artist usually is wrong about the ones that are any good. Who knows what we're missing out on!


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 24 Aug 07, 08:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Check out Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Not only were they amazingly prolific writers, but they actually leaked the demos themselves, so that fans could enjoy them!


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Posted: 24 Aug 07, 09:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<b><font color = "crimson"> ThomasQuinn wrote:

Check out Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Not only were they amazingly prolific writers, but they actually leaked the demos themselves, so that fans could enjoy them!


Pete Townshend did this too. Demos often sound more raw and unpolished, that's why in some cases I, and maybe other fans, would prefer them to brilliantly, smooth produced 'perfect' versions. The fact that they sometimes are rubbish or are full of errors makes it more human, to me.

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Posted: 24 Aug 07, 09:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cakebox. wrote:

<b><font color = "crimson"> ThomasQuinn wrote:

Check out Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Not only were they amazingly prolific writers, but they actually leaked the demos themselves, so that fans could enjoy them!


Pete Townshend did this too. Demos often sound more raw and unpolished, that's why in some cases I, and maybe other fans, would prefer them to brilliantly, smooth produced 'perfect' versions. The fact that they sometimes are rubbish or are full of errors makes it more human, to me.


Plus, of course, the fact that they can teach you as a musician. For instance, I absolutely love the "Pecos Blues" bootleg by Dylan, which features the complete session for "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid", and thus allows you to hear how the songs developed. Same goes for the dozen-or-so consecutive takes of "Like A Rolling Stone" available, which sees the song grow from a set of staccato piano-chords to the finished version.


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Posted: 24 Aug 07, 09:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<b><font color = "crimson"> ThomasQuinn wrote:

cakebox. wrote:

<b><font color = "crimson"> ThomasQuinn wrote:

Check out Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Not only were they amazingly prolific writers, but they actually leaked the demos themselves, so that fans could enjoy them!


Pete Townshend did this too. Demos often sound more raw and unpolished, that's why in some cases I, and maybe other fans, would prefer them to brilliantly, smooth produced 'perfect' versions. The fact that they sometimes are rubbish or are full of errors makes it more human, to me.


Plus, of course, the fact that they can teach you as a musician. For instance, I absolutely love the "Pecos Blues" bootleg by Dylan, which features the complete session for "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid", and thus allows you to hear how the songs developed. Same goes for the dozen-or-so consecutive takes of "Like A Rolling Stone" available, which sees the song grow from a set of staccato piano-chords to the finished version.


Yeah, that's a good one: I absolutely love the 1 and a half minute demo version of Like A Rolling Stone for some reason. Just piano, bass and some guitar and Bob off course singing. And, as always with Dylan at piano, up a semitone. And indeed to hear it grow to what it is now, it's very remarkable and teaching. It gives real insight.

It's like My Generation: Pete's first demo was almost a 60s bubblegum pop, jumpy, happy tune (it wasn't really of course, I'm exaggerating here). It became quite agressive with its power chords and bass solo and powerful drumming. And Daltrey on vocals of course.

Or the Strawberry Fields Forever demos. The list goes on and on and on.

Demos, and especially home demos, often give more insight and isn't just historical value, sometimes they are just beautiful for being so different to what we are used to.
So some artists really shouldn't be so insecure (or is it just arrogance, as they don't want the public to hear them make a mistake?), and follow the example of other artists, like Dylan, Townshend etc.

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Posted: 01 Sep 07, 23:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is a GREAT thread. I'm enjoying reading it.. especially about the Prince tapes deteriorating, and Stevie Wonder wanting his stuff destroyed.

Are there any specific quotes both these atists on this subject, do you know?????????


GB
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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 10:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen Archivist wrote:

This is a GREAT thread. I'm enjoying reading it.. especially about the Prince tapes deteriorating, and Stevie Wonder wanting his stuff destroyed.

Are there any specific quotes both these atists on this subject, do you know?????????


Well, I would say that the link in the original quote is as directly from the horse's mouth as you can get - how much proof do you want Greg?!!!?

Tom Tucker has been employed as a mixer on Prince's material, and says the following about Prince:- "We tried to talk him into archiving everything when he was still with Warners. We were going to buy a convection oven and bake all the analog tapes, and archive them to digital. But at the last minute he pulled the plug. HE SAID he didn't want anybody to hear all that music."

If David Richards or Josh MacRae were quoted in a printed interview as saying..."Brian said..." or "Roger said...", I would take this as pretty much the truth - why would someone such as Tom Tucker make this up???

In case you're wondering, TOm Tucker's bio is as follows:

Tom Tucker has been engineering and producing recordings since 1974. To date he has received a multitude of gold and platinum credits for artists as diverse as Jonny Lang, George Benson, Prince, Soul Asylum, Chaka Khan, and many more. In addition to his engineering experience, Tom has helped build and operate several of the area’s premier recording facilities including Metro Studios (1985-1990), Prince’s own Paisly Park (1990-1996), and Master Mix Studios (1999-Current). Recently, Master Mix was chosen as the ideal location to track and mix Lucinda William’s Grammy winning album “Essence” which Tom engineered, mixed, and co-produced.

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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 10:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry Greg - I initially read your post as being along the lines of that you didn't actually believe this, and you'd like some sort of proof to back up what was said by Prince.

Having re-read your post, I can see that you are actually genuinely interested, and after additional info by way of any interviews with the artists stating their reasons behind not wanting to keep their material.

As long as Queen aren't thinking along the same lines!!!

As an additional general note, I wonder if Prince could actually have any say over baking and backing up the material owned by Warner Bros? If they own the physical tape, then surely they could bake them, regardless of what material was on it and who owned it?

GREG - In addition, the following topic relates to the Queen Archive, but doesn't seem to have figured on your radar -
http://queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=858678

Are you able to definitively advise if there are 2 different mixes (as oposed to the several remasters) of Wembley 86, and if so whether the Roger remix ONLY features on the second issue vinyl LP versions from the time of release, and wasn't used for subsequent CD releases? Cheers

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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 13:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Stevie Wonder also has an extensive vault that he actually said he wanted destroyed when he dies."

Well I can't speak for Prince, but relax guys : if you want to convince Stevie that his wishes are being complied with, just burn some random shit in front of him, wave it under his nose and say 'it's okay Mr. Wonder, we've burned all the shit you never wanted people to hear'.


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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 13:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

bad joke...If I was a stevie wonder fan I'd be praying each day that his stuff was saved :)

interesting thread....how sad to think of all the times Queen recordings have been erased in order for the tapes to be used again :(
and how sad to think of the video from Cologne 1986 being erased :(

btw Greg; in your opinion; how long will it take for the Queen box set to come out?

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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 15:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's interesting to see the differing views of other artists - does anyone know what Jean Michel Jarre has said on the subject, given that he allegedly once pressed one copy of an album then stuck it in a bank vault...

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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 16:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

btw Greg; in your opinion; how long will it take for the Queen box set to come out?



GB" I would say it's likely to be in another 9-12 years. That would be my guess.


GB
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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 16:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Penetration_Guru wrote:

It's interesting to see the differing views of other artists - does anyone know what Jean Michel Jarre has said on the subject, given that he allegedly once pressed one copy of an album then stuck it in a bank vault...


Didn't he first broadcast this on the air, for everyone to record and didn't he then auction the only pressed copy of it for charity?

Music For Supermarkets I think it was called ?

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Posted: 02 Sep 07, 17:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Penetration_Guru wrote:

It's interesting to see the differing views of other artists - does anyone know what Jean Michel Jarre has said on the subject, given that he allegedly once pressed one copy of an album then stuck it in a bank vault...


From memory, the only copy was sold as someone pointed out on here. The only thing I can add to this is that he destroyed the masters of this recording so that no other copies could be made. For the life of me though, I cant remember where I read that.


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