Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Roger's SF USA track listing

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Posted: 30 Aug 10, 09:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Since there have been comments on alternate track listings.....well.....here is the ultimate

My USA Capitol LP, purchased in '84:

 Man On Fire / I Cry For You / It's An Illusion / Racing In The Streets / Masters Of War
 Strange Frontier / Beautiful Dreams / Abandonfire / Killing Time / Young Love

It was not until I purchased the import CD around '97 or '98 (with sleeve autographed by Roger in Hwood 2002),
that I heard it in its intended order:

Strange Frontier / Beautiful Dreams / Man On Fire / Racing In The Streets / Masters of War 
Killing Time / Abandonfire / Young Love / It's An Illusion / I Cry For You

I'll assume the latter is what Roger wanted.  Yet, Capitol did OK (was that his idea as well?)

As with 'Shove It', curious as to the changes in the track listings (and with this release...deletions and additions and different versions)

I still listen to it as I originally heard it.  Pavlovian instincts et al.  Very good side one.  After hearing 'Masters of War', the title track is such a fitting opener for side two.

Whoever decided on the change for the USA, it made sense.  A strong opener (should have been on 'The Works', along with 'Illusion'....they replace RTs tracks on my version), though 'I Cry' and 'Young Love' are rather out of whack, but work.   The 'I Cry' BVs are annoying, but it is a pretty damn good track.  The 'Killing Time' lyrics.....ugh.  Also, purchasing a solo effort from a drummer, one expected, well...some sort of 'drum extraveganza.  None exist.

All in all........leaps and bounds better than 'Fun In Space'.  A great cover and artwork throughout.  I still like it better than what came from the mothership months earlier.  Would have loved to have heard Freddie sing LV on all or part of 'Strange Frontier', 'Illusion' and 'Killing Time'.

(my alt 'Work's..........Tear It Up/Man On Fire/It's A Hard Life (ext)/Man On The Prowl/I Go Crazy
It's An Illusion/I Want To Break Free (45)/Keep Passing The Open Windows/Hammer To Fall/Is This The World We Created   bonus track   Thank God It's Christmas)


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Posted: 30 Aug 10, 11:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The US record companies seemed to favour heavier material for their releases when it came to Queen and their solo work. "Man On Fire" was the most 'rock' song on the album, and the lead off single, so they started the album there and loaded side one with heavier songs, probably delighted that two songs by American artists (Dylan and Springsteen) were there to use too. The synthier and poppier numbers were on side two, so it appears.

As you point out, Shove It got similar treatment a few years later, which a re-arranged track listing, with the first single, "Cowboys And Indians" as the first track.

It happened with Queen, too.

Feb 1974
UK = The Seven Seas Of Rhye
US = Liar (Edit)
(TSSOR would get released in the US in June, two months after Q2 was released in the US)

May 1977
UK = Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
June 1977
US = Long Away

Feb 1978
UK = Spread Your Wings
April 1978
US - It's Late

June 1979
Love Of My Life (live)
August 1979
We Will Rock You (fast - live)

June 1982
Las Palabras De Amor
July 1982
Calling All Girls

And those are some the exclusive singles, only released in one territory or another, or two, but at much more staggered points. Kind of shows that the record companies had a bit of say in the release of singles. I wonder how much say the band had in that, especially re-arranging a whole album.

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Posted: 31 Aug 10, 04:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote




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Posted: 31 Aug 10, 04:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am aware of the 45 differences (20% of our trivia preliminaries deal with them over here).  This happens to most artists.

And that Capitol loves different LP formats (just ask The Beatles pre-Sgt. Pepper).  Or go against the artists wishes.  Again, just ask Paul, as they included 'Helen Wheels' onto 'Band On The Run' for the US version, against his wishes.

When I bought the German import CD, I initially thought the running order was the German/European version, not the official version.  I didn't have those thoughts with 'Shove It', as I purchased both LP and CD on the same day, knowing of the differences.  That, and the fact that there are some pretty weak offerings on this, so a handful simply went on to my best of version.

Just curious as to what you and others think of what works best or of the album then and now.  As silly as it is, wish that 'Two Sharp Pencils' was added on to the CD, eliminating the need to hunt for another couple of years before getting ahold of it.


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Posted: 31 Aug 10, 15:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Rolling Stones and Small Faces had that issue too, with their albums getting mangled across the border.

I read a bit about how and why The Beatles' albums were handled that way. It came down to something like the cost of each track and what the record company was willing to pay for, especially in the early days. The original UK releases had 14 song albums and a bunch of non-album tracks. Capitol Records (after the fiasco with VeeJay) thought, "well, 12 tracks is more than enough, so we're only going to pay for that many at a time." Albums as we understand them, as complete works representing an artist/band's vision, didn't real exist in the early '60s. Most artists released the best songs as singles, and whatever else was left as an album.

So, Capitol would buy 12 songs, including some hits and b-sides, and create their own albums. Then, a short while later, they buy another 12 (album tracks and hits and b-sides) and issue another album. It was always out of synch with the UK because the UK were doing, roughly: Album (14 songs)...singles (4 to 6 songs)...album (14 songs)...singles (4 songs)...EP (4 songs)...album (14)...and so on.

The US was doing, with the same songs (and exclusives: "Bad Boy", a Larry Williams cover, plus two german version songs) as: album (12)...album (12)...album (12)...album (12).

All the nonsense pretty much ended at Sgt. Pepper, when the band said, "Release this EXACTLY as it is!"

Anyway, as for re-issues, yes, I too wish Strange Frontier's re-issue had "Two Sharp Pencils" as a bonus track. The extended versions or the unreleased tracks ("Keep On Running" etc) would have been nice inclusions too.

I always view Fun In Space and Strange Frontier as sequel albums. FIS was done in a hurry, as Roger said once he thought he'd lose his nerve if he stopped. It was recorded, I believe, in about a month. Then, during The Works sessions, Roger took a year to record SF, which explains the greater dynamics.

That said, I like Fun In Space. I think there is some great stuff on there. They occupy the same place futuristic place in my imagination.

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Posted: 31 Aug 10, 16:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting. I didn't know Roger had recorded Fun in Space in about a month and Strange Frontier in a year. I can hear a more polished and elaborate production on Strange Frontier and both singles (and even the videos) were great, but still, I think Fun in Space is the better album.

I love Man on Fire, Strange Frontier and Beautiful Dreams, and I think these songs are better than almost all of Fun in Space... but... the rest of Strange Frontier really bores me. I can't listen to it more than once and then I put it in the shelf for 6 months or so.

On the other hand, I can listen to Fun in Space for days in my car stereo. It's my favorite Roger album, and knowing he played almost all the instruments there makes it a bit more special.

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Posted: 31 Aug 10, 17:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

From Modern Drummer magazine, October 1984

RS: In 1981 you released a solo album, "Fun In Space". From a drummer's point of view, what was the solo record experience like for you?

RT: That album was a bit of a rush job, actually. I thought I'd run out of nerve if I didn't move on it quickly. And I did it much too fast. I spent most of last year when we weren't making "The Works", making another solo album. It's in a much different class than the first one. It's a much, much better record.

RS: In what ways? Can you be specific?

RT: Well, for one thing, I took a year making it. I made sure the songs were stronger and simply better. I threw out a lot of songs in the process. I also did two cover versions of other people's songs that I'm quite happy with. I did a version of "Racing In The Street" by Bruce Springsteen. I've always loved that song. I did it kind of mid-tempo. hopefully the way he would have done it, if he would have decided to do it mid-tempo. His version, of course, is very slow. The other cover tune is a very old Dylan protest song which I did sort of electronically. The song is "Masters Of War." Strangely enough, a lot of the lyrics hold up quite well today. This one is done slower than "Racing In The Street," but it's very electronic. I use a Linn on it. It works quite nicely.

RS: What prompted you into solo recording in the first place?

RT: Well, I felt I was getting more creative, and I wanted a bigger outlet for it than Queen gave me. I wanted, I suppose, to be more than just a member of the band.

RS: When you write a song, how do you decide if the song should be a Queen song or one that belongs on a solo album of yours?

RT: It depends on what we're doing at the time. If I get a song on paper and the others like it, it'll go to Queen.

RS: Have you ever agonised over, say, giving a song to Queen which you knew would have been perfect for a solo record?

RT: That sort of thing hasn't really affected me yet because I've only had two solo albums thus far. My output has never been that big with Queen. I've never had more than a couple of songs appear on any one album. I try to keep the more personal songs for myself, I suppose. "Radio Ga Ga" would definitely have been on my own album if that's what I was doing at the time.

(Thanks again to Queen Archives for this)

I'll try to find the interview where he said FIS was done in about a month. All he says here is "rush job".

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Posted: 01 Sep 10, 02:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote: From Modern Drummer magazine, October 1984

RT: Well, for one thing, I took a year making it. I made sure the songs were stronger and simply better. I threw out a lot of songs in the process.

Interesting to read that he "threw out of lot of songs in the process" or writing and recording Strange Frontier.  We do have some floating around on the hub and in here, but I wonder how many a "a lot" really is?

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Posted: 01 Sep 10, 09:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, cmsdrum, as you say, the ones we know of are:

"Two Sharp Pencils" (Strange Frontier 12" B-side) Not sure it counts as "threw out"
"Keep On Running" (Unreleased)
"I Can Take You Higher" (Unreleased)
"I Wanna Take You Higher" (Unreleased)

I guess we're left to imagine if there were others, possibly some being used for later Roger/Cross/Queen projects. At one point he says "if the band liked it, it became a Queen song," so maybe some of the songs he didn't like, the band did and were 'improved' beyond what he felt he could do with the song.

It's also possible these "threw out" songs were barely started or never completed, unlike the tracks above, which are pretty much finished songs.

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Posted: 03 Sep 10, 08:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking:  I've owned the Mark Lewisohn 'Beatles Recording Sessions' book since '88 (my 'bible', and something I wish an archivist would do on Queen), have a Bruce Spizer book or three to reference, plus some websites, ....but thanks for posting the info for the uninitiated.

and for the best Beatle link that cuts to the quick..............http://www.jpgr.co.uk/i_beatleslp_date.html

In the UK, for the most part, one did not include a single release on an album.  But they would be on an EP.  In the USA, Capitol sucked as much out of the golden goose as they could.  The best thing they did, and finally copied ten years later in the UK, was creating the 'Magical Mystery Tour' LP.   

Changes in albums:  Sweet's 'Give Us A Wink'.  One of my favorite albums, found the CD a couple of years ago, and 'Lady Starlight' was not included.  Once again, it was on the USA vinyl, but not on the German import.  Bonuses were added, but, oy, the frustration.  And since my vinyl is overly abused, ticked me off due to it's being excluded.

Back to Roger.......SF and Fun In Space are similar to Happiness and Electric Fire:  combine each together with their best tracks, and well.......

FIS just suffered from the rush and poor mixing.  And 'Good Times Are Now' did sound better in its original release as 'Coming Soon' on The Game (listen to the instrumental bridge).

Another note..........why no change in Freddie's 'Mr. Bad Guy'.  Of all solo releases, this could have benefitted from an 'American' Capitol touch.


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