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Soundfreak user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 13 May 10, 08:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There are several so called BBC Sessions from Queen exsisting. But what is really known about them?

Most recordings - even the very early ones like "Liar" and "Keep yourself alive" turn out to be just remixes of the originals.
The songs from "Sheer Heart Attack" sound exactly like the original backing tracks with slight vocal changes or a different solo.
The ones from "News of the World" sound much to elaborate to be BBC sessions. "WWRY" uses the original backing track, "It's late" has all those harmonizers Brian May needed for "Get down make love". It would have taken a lot of time just to install it and make it sound right in the BBC studio. Also the so called BBC-version of "WWRY" was given to the american Radio network including a cd release - quite unusual for BBC sessions.

When you look at the history of the BBC Sessions in general, the bands had little time to record their songs.
And the results always sounded very stripped down and also different to their regular studio stuff. When it comes to Queen this is only the case for few songs from "Queen 2" era.
Also I never ever saw photographs from Queen recording at the BBC. Usually events like that are documented.

What is the truth about these sessions? Anyone knowing more?

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Posted: 13 May 10, 17:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Pretty much everything you posted is not true.

http://queenpedia.com/index.php?title=BBC_Sessions

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Posted: 14 May 10, 01:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think MOTBQ was the only song not re-recorded in any way for the BBC Sessions. It's exactly the same as the album version, only it fades out when it comes to the FHLI segue, and I pointed that out to Mr. Brooks actually.

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Posted: 14 May 10, 09:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Soundfreak wrote:

"Most recordings - even the very early ones like "Liar" and "Keep yourself alive" turn out to be just remixes of the originals.
The songs from "Sheer Heart Attack" sound exactly like the original backing tracks with slight vocal changes or a different solo.
The ones from "News of the World" sound much to elaborate to be BBC sessions. "WWRY" uses the original backing track, "It's late" has all those harmonizers Brian May needed for "Get down make love". It would have taken a lot of time just to install it and make it sound right in the BBC studio. Also the so called BBC-version of "WWRY" was given to the american Radio network including a cd release - quite unusual for BBC sessions."

I'd say you're pretty bang on overall.  And Inu is right about MOTBQ being the only untouched song.  Here are the details as best as I can hear them:

Session 1 (Feb 73) was the studio versions with new lead vocal tracks, mixed a bit differently.
Session 2 (July 73) was a mixture.  Liar and Keep Yourself Alive were the studio versions with new lead vocals and new mixes.  See What A Fool I've Been and Son And Daughter were new recordings.
Session 3 (Dec 73) was new recordings.
Session 4 (Apr 74) was new recordings, except for March Of The Black Queen with a fade-out as Inu has already pointed out.
Session 5 (Oct 74) was the studio versions with new lead vocals, new mixes, and a new guitar solo in Flick Of The Wrist.
Session 6 (Oct 77) was new recordings except for the stomp-stomp-clap of WWRY.  The effects in the Get Down Make Love section of It's Late weren't that difficult to create (technically, anyway - being an innovative genius is a whole other thing), as Brian did it live every night for years.  He used an eBow and a harmonizer pedal, which takes seconds to plug in, like any other guitar pedal.

Many people have suggested that everything was redone, but it's simply not true.  Certain things like the feedback in the end section of Doing All Right simply couldn't be reproduced exactly as they were during the Queen I sessions.  But this song is worth hearing for Roger's vocal in the third verse.

In summary - here we have 24 songs, 23 of which have differences from the studio versions, 13 of which are completely different from the studio versions.


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Posted: 14 May 10, 15:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Doctor wrote: Pretty much everything you posted is not true.

http://queenpedia.com/index.php?title=BBC_Sessions

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Pretty much of what is offered on that site is not true. Like "Freddie's voice sounds harsher than usual, perhaps hinting at the throat problems" on "Flick of the Wrist". Or songs are described as "reproduced almost note-for-note to the album versions" - when it's in fact the same recording!!!

Many of these versions are available on sources where they play at false speed. But when you bring them to the right speed they turn out to play in sync with the regular versions - just with slight changes. 

Many bands in the 60s and 70s used to simply sent outtakes and remixes to the BBC to avoid really recording there. And yet those recordings were announced as BBC Sessions on the radio shows. So this was common practice to keep the musician unions happy.  

So my question is - how many of the Queen BBC sessions were really recorded there? And how many are actually outtakes or just slight remixes for the BBC ?

And how could a BBC-Recording like "We will Rock you" appear on a sampler from the american "King Biscuit Flower Hour"? The BBC is known for a very strict policy of not giving anything away ....

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Posted: 14 May 10, 21:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That link was on old article from Record Collector btw.

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Posted: 19 May 10, 11:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So now we have "Spread your wings" from a so called "BBC sessions" on an EMI acetate - see other topic. 

This adds further proof to my theory, that these BBC sessions never took place and what we hear are actually outtakes from the regular recording sessions.

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Posted: 19 May 10, 12:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Soundfreak wrote: So now we have "Spread your wings" from a so called "BBC sessions" on an EMI acetate - see other topic. 

This adds further proof to my theory, that these BBC sessions never took place and what we hear are actually outtakes from the regular recording sessions.

Except your theory has been answered in this topic!

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Posted: 20 May 10, 03:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

bitesthedust wrote:

Except your theory has been answered in this topic! <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Where? My theory is, that most of these "recording dates" are simply made up, they never happened. They were made up by the BBC to disguise the fact, that Queen actually sent outtakes to them.

I have several radioshows from the 70s where the BBC announces "Live in the studio recording" of famous bands and then they play a slight remix of the regular versions....

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Posted: 20 May 10, 04:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Actually, this is a pretty good theory.

Given just how radically different the "BBC" versions of the NOTW material are from the versions that appear on the album, and the intricate production behind them, I have to agree that they do APPEAR to have had much more work done on them than any other BBC Session material I have ever heard.

But, then again, the amalgamation of It's Late and Get Down Make Love is just too experimentary and "live" to be anything other than a stand-alone session, recorded AFTER the event.  That just doesn't sound like a Queen album session.

Perhaps the BBC just allowed Queen to send them whatever they wanted to send in for the kudos of having the band on the show......

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Posted: 20 May 10, 11:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Benn Kempster wrote: Actually, this is a pretty good theory.

Given just how radically different the "BBC" versions of the NOTW material are from the versions that appear on the album, and the intricate production behind them, I have to agree that they do APPEAR to have had much more work done on them than any other BBC Session material I have ever heard.

But, then again, the amalgamation of It's Late and Get Down Make Love is just too experimentary and "live" to be anything other than a stand-alone session, recorded AFTER the event.  That just doesn't sound like a Queen album session.

Perhaps the BBC just allowed Queen to send them whatever they wanted to send in for the kudos of having the band on the show...... <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

"It's late" is not as "live" as it may seem. It has multitracked voices in the chorus and also there is an audible edit between the "Get down" section and the returning of the band. It gets audible when you remove parts of the tape hiss. 

In this case I have the feeling, that this might be the early version of "It's late", a Brian May song featuring his latest guitar experiments. And then they came to the conclusion, that this middle part does not really fit into the song and Freddie wrote an own song around those "guitar noises" picking up the words he already used. 

Maybe this sounds strange to some, but from a musicians point of view this would be the more logical way instead of combining two completely different songs. Also they never ever did that again...

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Posted: 20 May 10, 12:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Who said there were no overdubs? As with all BBC radio sessions then, the band would record the backing track live to multitrack with or without the lead vocals and then do a few overdubs and then mix it. They weren't performing live on air or recording straight to two track. They're fairly basic recordings though - not "intricate" in any way. Next.....

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Posted: 21 May 10, 03:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Negative Creep wrote: Who said there were no overdubs? As with all BBC radio sessions then, the band would record the backing track live to multitrack with or without the lead vocals and then do a few overdubs and then mix it. They weren't performing live on air or recording straight to two track. They're fairly basic recordings though - not "intricate" in any way. Next.....
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Next??

If you go really deep into the history of BBC sessions you will find out, that the "real ones" are pretty much "live in the studio" recordings with little or no overdubs. 

Just a quote from the recent BBC album by Slade: "Each session lasted no longer than three hours, and that included unpacking your gear, recording four or five songs and getting all the gear out again. When the clock stopped you were out of there."

Next....

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Posted: 21 May 10, 06:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Soundfreek, re:

>If you go really deep into the history of BBC sessions you will find
out, that the "real ones" are pretty much "live in the studio"
recordings with little or no overdubs.

What you really mean here is "the EARLY ones".  But here, you're getting yourself worked up over nothing.  The early BBC sessions for bands like The Beatles and The Who etc were just that - live, in-the-studio "sessions" which were broadcast straight.  Bear in mind here though, that the LISTENER only ever had very modest equipment on which to listen to this kind of stuff.

Fast forward to 1977 and you have much more advanced consumer equipment on which to hear radio broadcasts and, as a result, the BBC had to be that much more technical in delivering a quality product.  Bands were also very aware of this and, as a result, PRODUCED their BBC sessions to a higher level.

The first example of this is on The Who's material from 1968 that came from their The Who Sell Out album; the BBC were presented with re-mixes of material from the album and it was broadcast clean.  The Who also did this for the rest of the sessions that they gave to the BBC with their Tommy and Whos Next-era material because they simply did not trust the BBC's engineers and studios to present a good sound on air.

So, my guess is tha Queen produced astand-alone session themselves and simply gave the BBC what they wanted broadcast - therefore, having full control over how their material went out.

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Posted: 21 May 10, 06:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Benn Kempster wrote: Soundfreek, re:

What you really mean here is "the EARLY ones".  But here, you're getting yourself worked up over nothing.  The early BBC sessions for bands like The Beatles and The Who etc were just that - live, in-the-studio "sessions" which were broadcast straight.  Bear in mind here though, that the LISTENER only ever had very modest equipment on which to listen to this kind of stuff.

Fast forward to 1977 and you have much more advanced consumer equipment on which to hear radio broadcasts and, as a result, the BBC had to be that much more technical in delivering a quality product.  Bands were also very aware of this and, as a result, PRODUCED their BBC sessions to a higher level.

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I have a double CD "25 years of Radio One" that is a sampler of BBC recordings from the mid 60s to the mid 80s. There is a lot of late 70s studio stuff by "Dire Straits", Iron Maiden, UB40 etc. And they all have this typical "live in the studio" sound, nowhere near to what we hear on "We will rock you" or "It's late".

Your idea of a session under their own control would also make sense. When it comes to "Spread your Wings" and "Melancholy Blues" I would not hesitate to believe this. But "We will rock you" contains too much production to sound like the result of a session just for radio. Wasn't the fast part of WWRY also released years ago on some newspaper promo CD? Was there any mention of "BBC"? The "King Bisquit" CD featuring the full track in highest quality doesn't mention the BBC at all...

I think this is a point, where we need input from those who were involved...;-)

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Posted: 23 May 10, 04:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sounds to me like you're just here to start an arguement.

These sessions are well documented, the problem here is your lack of knowledge and need to be 'right'

please continue, i just needed to point this out.


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Posted: 23 May 10, 05:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Dane wrote: Sounds to me like you're just here to start an arguement.

These sessions are well documented, the problem here is your lack of knowledge and need to be 'right'

please continue, i just needed to point this out.
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You misunderstand me completely. I'm not trying to start an argument - with whom and for what purpose???

I'm just looking for more information about these sessions as many things I read in those few "documentaries" are simply wrong. Even in the booklets of the official cds. Quote: "Four tracks are laid down on February 5th, viz "My Fairy King", "Keep yourself alive", "Doing alright" and "Liar".
In fact they are more or less just alternate mixes of the regular versions....

I also never saw any photographs of those sessions. I find this interesting and was hoping that others might as well.

I wasn't there - nor were you (I guess), so it's definitely not about "being right".

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Posted: 23 May 10, 06:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Benn Kempster wrote:

So, my guess is tha Queen produced astand-alone session themselves and simply gave the BBC what they wanted broadcast - therefore, having full control over how their material went out.

If you're talking about the '77 session, then they were definitely recorded at Maida Vale. The session was documented in Record Collector some years ago where engineers were interviewed. Why would you think there's any mystery to the session? In no way do they sound too polished for the band to have recorded the tracks live and added a few overdubs (in fact, they sound typical of recordings from Maida Vale in 77) - as was the norm by that period.
And regarding recording dates for earlier sessions that WERE based on album versions - what's wrong with that? They're not claiming to give details on the actual recordings - they're the dates the band entered Langham/Maida Vale Studios and added new vocals and guitar overdubs to existing recordings to create new masters for the BBC.

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Posted: 23 May 10, 08:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH wrote:

Soundfreak wrote:



"Most recordings - even the very early ones like "Liar" and "Keep yourself alive" turn out to be just remixes of the originals.
The songs from "Sheer Heart Attack" sound exactly like the original backing tracks with slight vocal changes or a different solo.
The ones from "News of the World" sound much to elaborate to be BBC sessions. "WWRY" uses the original backing track, "It's late" has all those harmonizers Brian May needed for "Get down make love". It would have taken a lot of time just to install it and make it sound right in the BBC studio. Also the so called BBC-version of "WWRY" was given to the american Radio network including a cd release - quite unusual for BBC sessions."


I'd say you're pretty bang on overall.  And Inu is right about MOTBQ being the only untouched song.  Here are the details as best as I can hear them:

Session 1 (Feb 73) was the studio versions with new lead vocal tracks, mixed a bit differently.
Session 2 (July 73) was a mixture.  Liar and Keep Yourself Alive were the studio versions with new lead vocals and new mixes.  See What A Fool I've Been and Son And Daughter were new recordings.
Session 3 (Dec 73) was new recordings.
Session 4 (Apr 74) was new recordings, except for March Of The Black Queen with a fade-out as Inu has already pointed out.
Session 5 (Oct 74) was the studio versions with new lead vocals, new mixes, and a new guitar solo in Flick Of The Wrist.
Session 6 (Oct 77) was new recordings except for the stomp-stomp-clap of WWRY.  The effects in the Get Down Make Love section of It's Late weren't that difficult to create (technically, anyway - being an innovative genius is a whole other thing), as Brian did it live every night for years.  He used an eBow and a harmonizer pedal, which takes seconds to plug in, like any other guitar pedal.

Many people have suggested that everything was redone, but it's simply not true.  Certain things like the feedback in the end section of Doing All Right simply couldn't be reproduced exactly as they were during the Queen I sessions.  But this song is worth hearing for Roger's vocal in the third verse.

In summary - here we have 24 songs, 23 of which have differences from the studio versions, 13 of which are completely different from the studio versions.


This thread should end after this reply, it sums up the facts pretty correct.

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Posted: 23 May 10, 15:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To Soundfreak:

In that case, my appologies.
As far as I am aware Queen used a basic backing track of the original recording and then laid down one take of vocals and guitar in the BBC studios, then when on the air they just sang and played along this backing track. Thus making it sound very identical to the original version but with some live elements.
Innovative as they were not all the songs were done like this. Especially the later BBC sessions, they were done mostly live, but in a very controlled environment.

There is always the possibillity they recorded these songs before they were aired to have more control over the final product. But the way they were done was most likely like I described above.


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