In all the years I have collected Queen my aim has always been to acquire material, official or otherwise, that is not on the albums; in other words all those edits, remixes and alternative takes. Needless to say it’s a long, expensive and frustrating hobby; Queen have a huge amount of material out there from all over the world, meaning there is a lot to collect.
One source of a lot of non-album material is the promo CD’s released by Hollywood Records. I’m sure most Queen fans will be aware of the album bonus tracks on the Hollywood releases, but during the early 90’s when Queen first went to the label a fair number of promo CD’s were issued as well. This makes perfect sense of course; Hollywood would have wanted to promote their new act; so in addition to the usual promos released for singles/albums Hollywood releases several other promos as well.
In this post I’ll run through various Hollywood promo CD releases with non-album material. Stone Cold Crazy
This CD features the excellent Trent Reznor remix, which is only available on this and the ‘Freakshow’ promo (See below). Also features the Michael Wagener remix found on the Sheer Heat Attack CD and We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions. One Year Of Love
Features a unique edit of One Year Of Love that loses some of the instrumental ending. Also on this CD are We Are The Champions and Barcelona. Hammer To Fall
Features two exclusive remixes of Hammer To Fall by Brian Malouf; one remix of the album version and one of the single version, although neither are that different. Also has Bohemian Rhapsody on the CD. I Can’t Live With You
Another remix from Brian Malouf and also an edit of that same remix. Basic Beats Sampler
Released on the Hollywood Basic label this has an exclusive remix of Another One Bites The Dust, the Long Dusted B-boy Version. A mammoth 10 minute remix with a ton of samples from Queen and elsewhere, it is surprisingly good.
Many other artists feature on this promo and it also has the Rick Rubin version of We Will Rock You. Freakshow
Another promo with multiple artists and another exclusive mix of Another One Bites The Dust, the Dave Ogilvie Alternative Mix. Also features the Trent Reznor remix of Stone Cold Crazy. Headlong
Featuring the radio edit of Headlong, this really is one to avoid. Very jerky and poorly mixed edit. Also contains the album version and Under Pressure. These Are The Days Of Our Lives
The two track promo feature another rather pointless and awful edit of These Are The Days Of Our Lives. Cuts out part of Brian’s guitar solo. Also has the album version. We Are The Champions
Queen + George HW Bush! This was a promo released to members of the American military who served in the first Gulf War. It features We Are The Champions with parts of George Bush’s victory speech overdubbed. Quite weird to listen to. Somebody To Love
This ‘Five Live’ promo features an edit of the Queen + George Michael performance. Also has the complete live version. Queen Rocks – Volume 3
This is not the album we are all familiar with but a series of four promos released by Hollywood. Only volume 3 features anything you can’t find anywhere else, in the shape of Flash’s Theme. The explosion at the end is a fade out as opposed to merging into the next track as it does on the album. About as small a difference as you will find. Too Much Love Will Kill You
Features an edit that removes a couple of lines from the second verse; ‘How would it be if you were standing in my shoes… ‘etc. Also has the album version. The Cosmos Rocks interview disc
Released to promote the album the cover says ’20 Questions with Brian May, Paul Rodgers and Roger Taylor.’ This is totally wrong as it is 21 answers (You don’t get to hear the questions) with the boys. An interesting listen and if want to hear it I shared it here: http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1219070/announce-the-cosmos-rocks-interview-disc.aspx Breakthru
Ok, this one isn’t a Hollywood release but I’d thought mention it anyway. Released on Capitol to promote the single it features two unique edits of Breakthru. The Now Edit and the Almost Now Edit, although both are pretty pointless.
If you want to read more detailed descriptions on these tracks I suggest the excellent Queen Vault site: http://www.queenvault.com/
Here is a picture of these CD’s from the front. Missing is the ‘I Can’t Live With You’ promo, as I don’t have it (So if anyone has a copy for sale please get in touch.)
Most of the CD’s are pretty rare now and will set you back a bit, if you can find them; but do keep an eye on eBay as they come up from time to time.
Contact me, I'm no Darth Vader: firstname.lastname@example.org