Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Freddie's last recording...

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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 01:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmm...thumbing through and article on QueenArchives.com. This one is from 1995, Q Magazine... 

"Mercury was fully aware of what lay in store for him by the time Queen finished recording ‘Innuendo’ in the summer of 1990. His practical response was to move away from the big city bustle of his home in Munich to the calm of Montreux, where Queen had acquired their own Mountain Studios, and to keep working as and when his health permitted. With touring out of the question and promotion of ‘Innuendo’ kept to a minimum, the band were free to work in the studio as much as Mercury was able. The singer kept going on and off, right up until September 1991 when he recorded his last track - an untypical sombre and moving song called ‘Mother Love’. "

I'm curious about both dates cited here: a) Innuendo album finish in the "summer" of 1990 (I thought it was October, which would be fall/autumn of 1990); b) "Mother Love" recorded in September 1991.

Thoughts...?

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 06:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Innuendo was finished in November. Simply a matter of journalists not doing their homework and/or the producer misremembering.

Mother Love in September: It's actually quite likely.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
Mercury Roadrunner user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 08:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Actually Brian told me himself in 2004 that "Mother Love" was recorded at around the end of spring, May, 1991...


Oh, dear...
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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 11:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There isn't much in the way of straight answers on this one.   People who should know the definitive answer have given contradictory ones in the past.

Near as I can tell, it's entirely possible that he recorded right up until the end, but that maybe what he was recording simply wasn't used.


"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
cmsdrums user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 16:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

On the 'Phenomenon' documentary David Richards chats in Mountain studios and shows the studio track sheet for Mother Love.  It is dated 22 May 1991, and so recording of this song certainly is in line with Brian's comments.  In theory recording on that could have started earlier and finished on that date, but geneally the date on the track sheet would be completed on the day the studio is first booked and so it probably started that date and went on later.

It's possible that recording of parts of the song went on until a lot later, but bearing in mind the time constraints on the band due to Freddie's illness, coupled with the relative simplicity of this songs (just synths, drum machine, lead vocal and some guitar), I doubt it. 

Basd on that I'd be happy to deduce that this was Freddie's last recording (at least that has been released), and that it was recorded mostly, if not all, in late May 1991.

Interestingly there are notes on the track sheet alongside (Freddie's vocal I think) to say 'down 1/2 a tone'. I wonder if the more musically minded amongst us (hey, I'm just a drummer! :-)) can comment on whether this means that Freddie's vocals may have been sharp, and so needed 'tuning' down (no shame in that in his physical state at the time).

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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 18:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I hate to be pedantic, and I'm not trying to be funny or insensitive either - but surely Freddie's last recording was the statement he made the day before he died?  To some collectors or purists, this would be something they'd want archived even if it was more than a little morbid.


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 20:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That was a press statement issued by him, NOT an audio recording, which is what we're discussing here.

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Posted: 14 Oct 10, 23:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I always heard that the recording sessions of A Winter's Tale and Mother Love overlapped and that Freddie recorded the last verse of A Winter's Tale last. But people have said a lot of contradictory things about it.

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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 03:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thistleboy 1980 wrote: I hate to be pedantic, and I'm not trying to be funny or insensitive either - but surely Freddie's last recording was the statement he made the day before he died?  To some collectors or purists, this would be something they'd want archived even if it was more than a little morbid.

Whilst it's very possible that Freddie put that press release together a lot earlier whilst his health enabled him to, I am tempted to suggest that Jim Beach was certainly at least partially responsible for that statement

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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 07:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cmsdrums wrote: Thistleboy 1980 wrote: I hate to be pedantic, and I'm not trying to be funny or insensitive either - but surely Freddie's last recording was the statement he made the day before he died?  To some collectors or purists, this would be something they'd want archived even if it was more than a little morbid.

Whilst it's very possible that Freddie put that press release together a lot earlier whilst his health enabled him to, I am tempted to suggest that Jim Beach was certainly at least partially responsible for that statement

I agree, but Freddie was the one who put it across to the press, I think this would make it his last recording.  And, to rhyeking, I gathered you meant music but spoken word is also audio and it was recorded so, as far as the completists/archivists whatever would be concerned, this was his last recording.


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 08:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thistleboy 1980 wrote: cmsdrums wrote: Thistleboy 1980 wrote: I hate to be pedantic, and I'm not trying to be funny or insensitive either - but surely Freddie's last recording was the statement he made the day before he died?  To some collectors or purists, this would be something they'd want archived even if it was more than a little morbid.

Whilst it's very possible that Freddie put that press release together a lot earlier whilst his health enabled him to, I am tempted to suggest that Jim Beach was certainly at least partially responsible for that statement

I agree, but Freddie was the one who put it across to the press, I think this would make it his last recording.  And, to rhyeking, I gathered you meant music but spoken word is also audio and it was recorded so, as far as the completists/archivists whatever would be concerned, this was his last recording. ========================

Freddie never put this to the press himself. it was a statement written by himself and Jim Beach. I think it was then read by Roxy Meade.

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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 10:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The "down half step" would probably refer to them recording it a semitone lower than initially intended, rather than "tuning down" any vocals already recorded. To pitch shift something in 1990 without altering the tempo would have been pretty sci-fi :) (Look for instance at Noone But You, where Brian pushed up the tempo post-recording, which also resulted in the song's key ending up being somewhere between A and A# - I'm pretty sure he would have preserved concert pitch if it was possible, and that was 1997).

Hope that clarifies :)

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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 12:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I heard somewhere it was A winters tale.
I heard it was wrote a week before freddies death, n even recorded the song, although I'm not 100% of this correct.


Paul Prescott
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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 13:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Strident wrote: To pitch shift something in 1990 without altering the tempo would have been pretty sci-fi :)

Not so, Strident. In fact, the earliest vocal corrections (Manually done) were being made with pitch shifting hardware back in the 80's. So, not really a SyFy concept after-all :P

Adam.

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Posted: 15 Oct 10, 18:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A fair point, but weren't those phrase, (or word)-specific corrections? I know that it was fairly common to pitch-correct in small doses, but wouldn't re-pitching an *entire* song's vocals down a half-step at that time would have altered the feel drastically, even if done in small sections? On account of deviations in tempo? Would love to know more about the hardware you're referring to. Could it alter pitch without affecting tempo and timbre? I've never worked with analogue personally, so it would make interesting reading :)

*Edit: Just had a "D'OH!" moment when looking casually across the room at my early-90s guitar pitch-shifting pedal. Sigh...*

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Posted: 17 Oct 10, 10:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJLm_x9ZWBk


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 17 Oct 10, 13:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Four songs, 'maybe' five he says.  Hmmm!  So much for a straight answer.

As he says though, those latter recordings (Winter's Tale, Mother Love) were going on at sort of the same time.  Obviously one of them had to come last.

Anyone feel like rummaging through the recordings and getting some dates off of them?


"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: 17 Oct 10, 17:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bad Seed wrote:

Freddie never put this to the press himself. it was a statement written by himself and Jim Beach. I think it was then read by Roxy Meade.

I stand corrected and humbly apologise - sorry guys!

James


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
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Posted: 18 Oct 10, 04:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

according to peter freestone (as seen in "Queen's London" dvd), Freddie was in montreux recording at the end of october 1991. what was recorded and if it was used is of course another question.

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Posted: 18 Oct 10, 09:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Indeed.  He might've just been doing some rehashing of something they already had.


"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