Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > My last comments on QUEEN SINGLES COLLECTION

forum rss feed
Author

Queen Archivist user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 850 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Dec 08, 18:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've not been here on QZ for several peaceful and conspicuously abuse and death-threat free months, and rather nice it's been too. I came back today and had a quick look around, and sure enough... saw exactly the comments I expected to see, and not many I hadn't foreseen. There was even some tedious Billy-No-Mates moaning on about... get this... the Queen crest colours on the box: white on purple... which he hates.  Jesus!!!  Get a life mate!!

Anyway.... I will say these things one more time and not get drawn into pointless debates about things that were not under my or 'our' control. I will explain 'our' as I go.  I think it best to make these points in a bullet list type form...

1. My original Plan (or Proposal) for QUEEN SINGLES was not a 4-box set: of 52 CDs. It was significantly more than that.

2. My original Plan for QUEEN SINGLES spanned 10 CDs: 156 items. Full Index and Lists.

3. The original Plan included every single Extended Mix (including One Year Of Love, Staying Power, etc), and every Single Remix, Edit, 7" Version.... by which I mean versions/edits actually titled as such on the original vinyl discs... 'Remix', 'Re-Mix', '7" Edit', '7" Version', 'Single Mix', or whatever. We proposed to feature every such item exactly as it appeared back in the day. You lot would have been hard-pushed to pick holes in it, I can assure you.

4. The original Plan included all the live B-sides, non-album B-side tracks, Instrumentals and a Piano Version.

5. The original Plan included a great booklet with details of worldwide singles, full details of all the formats each single was released on, chart positions, worldwide B-side (and A-side) variations, who wrote what and where and when each item was recorded, etc. Gary Taylor and I put together a mass of data (using info gathered from EMI territories that we, and you, will not have seen before). We planned to show fabulous full page trade ads and flyers for singles - MANY of which a lot of you will never have seen before (such as the 1930s-style gangster Bites The Dust Elektra ad, and the Capitol Recs Magic ads, etc - REALLY STUNNING items).  Obviously none of this was used in the Box (1 of 4) just issued. NOT our decision. We spent many long months putting these facts, stats, tables, lists, illustrations, captions and other text together, and getting them checked by other experts. 

6. It was the band that decided not to go with the elaborate 10-CD set, not mine. Queen is THEIR band, not mine or Gary's or anyone else's... as I've said before but it's worth repeating.  They decide what Queen product is released, not me. I am just an Archivist.  I wish this would sink into your collective heads. The band decided that putting out a Singles Collection which effectively offered 60 or 70% of the album catalogue (when you stop and think about it) was not what they wanted to do at this time. They simply wanted to offer a Singles set, not their life's work. Thus THEY gave us the Top 40 criteria, and we worked strictly to that.

7. Singles Collection IS NOT based exclusively upon the UK singles - as some of you obviously believe. It seems that way, but it's not the case. It just so happens that the NON-UK singles relevant to box 1 (Liar, Jealousy, Mustapha, Long Away, It's Late, Teo Torri, etc) were NOT top 40 singles. It was just coincidence that all the top 40 singles relevant to box 1 were ALSO UK singles - issued in many other countries too.  Had Liar or It's Late, and the others, reached top 40, then they too would have featured in box 1, and then I guess the criteria would have been apparent. We chose singles from all around the world, with matching sleeves, to depict the international aspect of Queen's chart successes.

I can easily see why people thought that, however, because there was no booklet and therefore no explanation of the criteria behind the 13 CDs that featured.  No booklet WAS NOT my decision. I wish there were one, but the absence of it was not within my control.  Some or even most of the resulting 'flack' was predictable to Gary and I. We knew when we got the "top 40 only" briefing exactly what would happen and what the fans would say. Of course we did, because we too are FANS.

9. Contrary to some people thinking it.... we DID NOT mix UK singles with non-UK sleeves. Again, it might 'seem' that way, but it's not the case. We chose for example the lovely Hungarian Fat Bots/Bike Race sleeve (a sleeve too expensive and rare for many fans to own on 7") and those two tracks were those released there.... as well as in the UK too obviously.  It ISN'T a Hungarian sleeve mismatched with the UK single tracks. They are both HUNGARIAN.  The same is true of the Portuguese SSOR and so on. They too are NOT mis-matches.

Let me make this clearer... if we had chosen DON'T TRY SUICIDE instead of DRAGON ATTACK as the B-side to DUST, then it would be the USA or Japanese sleeve we'd choose, and not the UK one. We WOULD NOT mix a UK pairing of tracks with a sleeve from Italy or Sweden (or anywhere else) if the tracks issued there were alternative. This will become more evident in boxes 2-4 and again I can understand why it seems that way. The booklet we thought would feature would have explained this of course.

8. Gary Taylor and I, as well as our favoured 'overseeing eyes' of supervision from other experts like Andreas Voigts and Paul Bird, put together a mass of stuff that, just might, have convinced you guys and gals that we cared a lot and put in great attention to detail to this project over 18-24 months which could not ultimately be used.... ask Gary about this at UK conventions if you don't believe me.

10. It really aggravates me to read that I apparently put fuck all effort into this project, AGAIN, when actually I put a ton of work and care into it - as did Gary.  If Queen was OUR band, you'd have got a very different Queen Singles box. It ISN'T.  That said... working within the boundries we were given, I am very pleased with the box. I think it's fine.

It is what it is, and I think it looks great... even the purple and white - ESPECIALLY that in fact.

Go on then... pull this to bits.  But it is at least the ACCURATE facts.

I'm sorry so many of you feel so very hard done by.

PS. Did you spot the numbering error above????    How was YOUR attention to detail?




GB
Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 5870 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Dec 08, 20:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't think anyone was blaming you, Greg, and if they were, they're wrong. It's been emphasized by many, and I hope the people understand, that you didn't have any control in the decision. To be honest, the package that you worked on that you outline above sounds leagues better than the pile of crap that was released, and I would have happily plonked down the money on that set – money that I don't have, but I would have made a concession to get such a beautiful and attractive set. As it is, and I'm sure you're very much aware, what we were left is is not worth the money.

Hell, I'd probably just spend the money on the book – fuck the music, that book sounds amazing.

One thing I would like to know ... are the band aware that fans would rather have had the first proposed set instead of what we ultimately got? Or are they going to put the blinders on as usual and say, "Well, it sold X amount of units, so it's a success"?

Also, 8 comes before 9, ya idiot. Gosh, you'd think they'd give any old jackass a job over at QPL ;)


lalaalalaa user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 841 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Dec 08, 21:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well I thought the Singles Collection was a good idea.  No harm in putting it out on the market.  Buy it or don't, right?

Panchgani user not visiting Queenzone.com
St Peter's Burnt Piano
Panchgani
Deity: 6371 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 00:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



lalaalalaa wrote:

Well I thought the Singles Collection was a good idea.  No harm in putting it out on the market.  Buy it or don't, right?


Wrong ... Every half baked / recycled project reurgitated by the Holy Trinity ... means at least another yearly delay for the release of any archive material.








Roger: I like it. If you don't. Sod you!



Queen song poll: http://home.comcast.net/~vantricers/index.html



B-52's: I, I, I'm lookin for some fun - waitin for the REAL Queen Box Sets to come
Michael Allred user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1704 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 01:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Why in the sam hell would QP allow Greg and co. to waste so much time and energy putting their set together only to come in and say "Nah, that's TOO awesome. Our fans are expecting watered down shit so that's what we must give them!"

For what it's worth Greg, your proposal sounds like the bee's knees. I wish it would have come to fruition.


inu-liger user not visiting Queenzone.com
inu-liger
Deity: 13057 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 02:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I find it hilarious that QPL & EMI would rather choose to promote recycled half-assed garbage over something more recent *cough*

Not that that's any criticism on your part, Greg. It's rather unfortunate, I can tell you were quite involved with the project, at least in its conceptual stages, yet most of that work ended up getting tossed away. I can't honestly understand what would be wrong with a set based on your ideas. Obviously those working in Queen Prod. are quite mental.
I too would have dropped money I don't really have for a set like *that*. Oh well, that's a few quid they won't be getting from me on these crap boxes they put out instead.


on my way up user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 2186 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 04:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Greg,

It's obvious to me you're not too happy with this set either. You worked hard on something else, something MUCH better and then this came out.....
Your assessment of the fans is wrong. No fans blame you for this(except for 1 or 2 people who think you decide what gets released).

But you must understand we're worried!
You have said at verious occasions that you want to make an interesting Live Killers set(DVD+CD). What if the band decide that releasing such a product is not a good idea? You know what I mean.
We're no idiots, we know what great products could happen. But until now, something aimed at the die-hard fan hasn't happened yet(except for FM box, brilliant). Why not releasing a holy grail in between all those crappy Greatest Hits sets? Unheard seventies live stuff, BBC sessions,....


on my way up
inu-liger user not visiting Queenzone.com
inu-liger
Deity: 13057 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 05:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

All I can hope is that this fails to meet their 'expected sales' target, amd that they're left with too much overstock after the holidays. Maybe THEN they might start re-considering their tried-and-phailed marketing strategy >:-)


I'll probably pick this up on eBay brand new . . . when it hits $5 ^_^


cmsdrums user not visiting Queenzone.com
cmsdrums
Deity: 3033 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 06:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks Greg.

I think that with this product, after your initial info about it, most sensible posters here could see this set was not your fault, and that the result is not what you wanted to see, and that you are as disappointed as we are here.  Most of the gripes I am reading are aimed quarely at Queen/QPL and not you for this.

Your factual summary here backs this up, and it is probably the most helpful post you have put here for a long while - we can clearly see the lengths that you had planned to go with this, and the detailed work that you had put in.  The one crumb of consolation with your (hopefully continuing) cataloguing, is that if the work is done then they may get around to releasing it one day!

The most annoying and disappointing thing with ths particular project is that it isn't an open ended thing like an archive set where deliberations are made about which fart from the outtakes to include, but a singles box set is already a defined project, and doesn't need to include anything that the band hasn't released before.  In such a case they don't need to worry that outtakes and unreleased demos aren't good enough for public consumption because they could still have included single edits, 12 inch versions, foreign single releases etc.. that were all deemed good enough to release before and so are not 'new' releases as such but are just rare.

Your efforts in carrying out the extensive work detailed in your post above are appreciated Greg.

Cheers

Queen Collector user not visiting Queenzone.com

Rocker: 32 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 06:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Greg;
  As all said No one blame to you.
  I wish your opinions and decisions would have effected on boxset as different things we've never seen before  for the first time on a Queen issue could have been very exciting for us collectors and fans for all.... I dont want o buy this set as nothing means to me.All songs I have and all fans have too.Why should I buy....???? Just only for being a boxset for the first time ?  Or just to have a first single as a cd single with portugal sleeve.




Crazy little thing to collect QUEEN

www.myqueencollection.com
pittrek user not visiting Queenzone.com
pittrek
Deity: 10070 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 06:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Greg,
we fully understand it's not your fault, just try to understand that this is NOT the product we were expecting.

As I read your plan was wonderfull, honestly. Is there any chance that it gets released one day ? I WOULD buy the 10 CD box and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one


A Word In Your Ear user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1786 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 07:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's simple, people either buy it, or don't. There has been that much info about the set on the net, if they buy it, no point moaning about it after, right??   Don't blame Greg, I think the main problem with this one is Jim B at QP. "I think" the Boys (Queen) have been that busy this year with the tour, that they would have not had time to consider "what was included" fully. Jim tends to take the attitude "Why bite the hand that feeds you, Let's milk my Cash-Cow called Queen"


Joyful the sound
mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
mooghead
Deity: 3662 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 07:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

greg

how does it feel being the archivist and not actually getting the chance to release anything form the 'archive' but the same old stuff we have heard before? Tough job eh? I personally couldn't care about sleeves, its the music that is important.

mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
mooghead
Deity: 3662 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 07:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Queen Archivist wrote



PS. Did you spot the numbering error above????    How was YOUR attention to detail?




Grow up.





FriedChicken user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 10641 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 09:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think Greg's original idea was much better than the actual release.


That's my opinion about most of the re-releases Queen have. The idea is good, but in the end it's always a big dissappointment. Those DVD-A mixes where great. But when the 2 best selling albums are released, the money is in the pockets so they can drop the rest of the albums. It's always like this.

Therefor I wasn't dissappointed that we wouldn't have South American official downloads.

Also the Album Club. That was a very very good idea, unfortunatly we only got 3 video's, where only 1 (the Q&A) was worth watching. And a couple of photo's, and that's it.
They could've made it soooo great, with photo's of the recording sessions, maybe some video's. But no... I guess I keep forgetting that the only thing the hardcore fans want is We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.


I'm not sure about this, but I also think that Brian wants to be involved with everything. He also was involved in the 5.1 mixes of the DVD-A's. If they would just put some work in the hands of mixing studio's we would have all the albums in DVD-A by now. If they actually still planning to do the rest of the albums in DVD-A releases, and if they keep this schedule they will all be released around 2050. When DVDs are as old fashioned as vinyl is now.



Apart from the great tour and the great album. It sucks to be Queenfan.





Question to Greg: I'm interested in what your job is, I know you're an archivist. But what is it you do? Do you have to go through the tapes and lable them or something? I can hardly believe that they didn't keep record of their tapes and so on. Could you perhaps shed a light on that?



"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



(Genesis 1:1)
Marcos Napier user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 622 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 09:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

They decide what Queen product is released, not me. I am just an Archivist.


And it explains it all. How many times we heard about bands making the records of their lives and the so-called managers of their labels just say "fuck it, do it again because this won't sell and we wont release this shit"?

To me a collection of duplicate (or countless of the same...) items is not a collection - it's stupidity. They (the bosses) know that if they sell a certain amount to those hardcore collectors that buy anything it can pay for the production costs, so for them what's the problem? They won't profit, but at least they won't lose money and the fans will be "happy". And then they complain that CDs don't sell anymore. Pffft.

OK, music industry is a business... but it could be a better business.

lalaalalaa user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 841 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 12:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Panchgani wrote:



 



lalaalalaa wrote:



Well I thought the Singles Collection was a good idea.  No harm in putting it out on the market.  Buy it or don't, right?



Wrong ... Every half baked / recycled project reurgitated by the Holy Trinity ... means at least another yearly delay for the release of any archive material.







Well believe me, I'd love to see some seventies stuff out on the market, but haven't we already downloaded it all on the Sharing the music forum[img=/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif][/img]

Maybe there should be a cd for B-sides and demos collection that don't appear on albums.






N0_Camping4U user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 97 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 12:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Greg, how much do I have to pay you for Hangman?

I know you know where it is :]


lalaalalaa user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 841 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 14:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



N0_Camping4U wrote:

Greg, how much do I have to pay you for Hangman?

I know you know where it is :]

I guess you're thinking about a studio version, right?

I'd love to have hangman also.  The live ones are ok but I'd prefer a studio version







Reading Princess user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 89 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Dec 08, 21:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"There was even some tedious Billy-No-Mates moaning on about... get this... the Queen crest colours on the box: white on purple... which he hates.  Jesus!!!  Get a life mate!!"

Excuse me Mr. f..kin Archivist. I pointed out the Queen "word", not the "crest". The crest does not appear on the box. A typical lack of attention to detail which speaks volumes about your apparent enthusiasm for the whole mess.

The original "reversed out" Queen word on the first album works because it is over a photo. Even if it was on solid purple it would have worked because it was 1973.

35 years later the colouring is neither currently relevant or, in the way it has been used, nostalgically relevant or brand-worthy.  

And fifteen exclamation marks back to you, you child.