Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > "Sail Away Sweet Sister" Recording dates

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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 05 May 11, 20:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

On The Game sleeve, it notes that "Sail Away Sweet Sister," "Save Me," Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Coming Soon" were recorded between June and July of 1979. This fits with CLTCL being released in October of 1979 and "Save Me" released in January of 1980. The rest of the album, it notes, is recorded in various sessions between February and May 1980.

The Deluxe Edition bonus tracks note the version of "Sail Away Sweet Sister" (Take 1 with Guide Vocal) dates from February of 1980.

I guess this means the track was started in June or July of '79 and not completed until Feb. '80?

The description: Take 1 with Guide Vocal, seems to imply that the guide vocal was recorded in 1980 and the backing was recorded earlier, possibly.

I guess we'll know more when we hear it.

Thoughts?

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Posted: 05 May 11, 22:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Poor quality control by QPL. Ever seen the fuckers they hire for certain posts?


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: 05 May 11, 23:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That's a possibility, too!

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Posted: 06 May 11, 05:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

By the way... A couple of months ago, I found a Rap song with samples from "Sail Away Sweet Sister".
Das EFX - "Change"


Chuck Norris never sleeps, he waits...
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Posted: 06 May 11, 07:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To be honest, I never know what to beleive now with regard to when, where and how things were recorded. There's been so many errors on audio and video releases over the years, from The Torpedo Twins constantly labelling video with wrong dates, to the (otherwise excellent) FM Box Set giving incorrect song titles, to the Stormtroopers In Stilletoes exhibition saying that Queen II came out in 1975.

I'd always interpreted The Game sleeve notes to mean that those songs were done and completed in June/July 79, and as those were written contemporaneously to the recordings I'm still tempted to go with that. 

I would interprete a 'guide vocal' as one of the earliest pieces put down, in order for the band to play along too, or see how things may work etc...Especially as Brian wrote and sang this so there would be no waiting around for Freddie to complete it, and I'd reckon that Brian would have at least the melody and partial lyrics in his head at the same time as the music.  Either that, or they it isn't actually a 'guide vocal', more just an 'alternate vocal take' - just an alternate one that was scrapped, but not what I would describe as a 'guide vocal'.  I could see 'alternate' vocals possibly still being worked on in Feb 80 as now claimed, but any 'guide' vocal would surely have been present from June/July 79 when the song was already being worked on intensely (if not finished).

Anyways, I'm presupposing, so we'll have to wait and see!

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Posted: 06 May 11, 08:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, but also it's quite possible the track was laid down instrumentally and no vocal was added until sessions reconvened - look at the amount of instrumental tracks that were never revisited for a guide vocal (Sandbox,  for example) Of course, a guide vocal is different to a rough vocal (one that has the melody but different or unfinished words) - perhaps the lyric weren't ready for a proper guide vocal so it was left until a later vocal sesison. Although if they were thinking Freddie was going to sing it so Brian added a guide vocal for him - perhaps that is what ended up on the final version when they decided against it?

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Posted: 06 May 11, 09:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

cmsdrums wrote: "I'd always interpreted The Game sleeve notes to mean that those songs were done and completed in June/July 79, and as those were written contemporaneously to the recordings I'm still tempted to go with that."

***

As did I, which fits with CLTCL and "Save Me being finished and released within months after.

I also agree that more contemporary sources, such as liner notes, may be more accurate, having been noted when the information was fresh. 

Still, we'll want to hear the forthcoming demo before we can draw any reasonable conclusions. It's possible Freddie intended to record a full vocal version that was started and abandoned by February of 1980 and thats what this recording is. He does have the verse: "Hot child, don't you know you're young..."

Aren't Queen mysteries fun?

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Posted: 06 May 11, 16:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

All in all we've got three options, IMO:

* The original liner notes were wrong --> Wouldn't be the first time.
* The current liner notes are wrong --> Wouldn't be the first time (probably).
* They're both wrong --> Wouldn't be the first time.

Of course, there's also a fourth option: 'they're both right', regarding a hypothetical re-make started off in 1980 and then aborted. Beatles did that occasionally (though of course not in 1980!).


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: 06 May 11, 18:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree with the three (four) possibilities presented by Sebastian.

As noted, we know safely two of the four tracks attributed to June/July '79 are correct (CLTCL and "Save Me" because of their single releases) and the dates listed are very specific on the album sleeve. I've been wrong about details before, but these seem to me to support the accuracy of the liner notes as originally attributed on The Game.

And that's taking it at face value. I'm willing to believe "recorded" could mean "started," "partially recorded" or "begun," rather than completed, if we're to accept both sets of sleeve notes (from the original Game album and the Deluxe Edition).

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Posted: 04 Aug 11, 16:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Going back to this after hearing the early take in question, it seems to me to be a very early version, totally different in structure and melody to the final version, and no real lyrics. SO - which sleeve notes are wrong; those on the remaster or the ones on the original The Game release???

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Posted: 04 Aug 11, 17:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Indeed, which are incorrect?

My money is on the original liner notes being correct, as it cites two of the four songs (CLTCL & SM) accurately as dating from the 1979 sessions. SASS is one of the other two and given how early this take is, I'm working on the assumption that the 2011 remaster liner notes date this recording incorrectly. 

It's possible the tape this came from was dated wrong on the label, or perhaps the track was revisited in 1980, but that this is not that recording (or something in this recording was altered, added or removed in 1980).

Like the earlier KYA Long Lost Re-take mystery, we're presented with specific contradictory evidence on different releases.

I have yet to pick up the 2011 remaster of The Game, so can someone who has it tell me if the latest liner notes retain the information that SM, CLTCL, SASS and CS date from June - July 1979 and the rest date from February - May 1980? If so, the contradicting evidence appears on the same release!

I'm going to put together an analysis of the evidence and will present it in a future post for our collective consideration. I'd love to hear from anyone with period interview comments from the band or information issued in publications like the Fan Club magazine dating from 1979 to 1980, even if it doesn't specifically address SASS, it might mention other songs and that helps create a timeline.

I'll report back shortly.

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Posted: 04 Aug 11, 18:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

sail away written on 79 and sweet sister in 80


...
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Posted: 04 Aug 11, 20:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote:

I have yet to pick up the 2011 remaster of The Game, so can someone who has it tell me if the latest liner notes retain the information that SM, CLTCL, SASS and CS date from June - July 1979 and the rest date from February - May 1980? If so, the contradicting evidence appears on the same release!
=========================

Yes, those are the liner notes on the remaster.

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Posted: 04 Aug 11, 22:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good to know. Thank you!

I'm reading through some period interviews at the moment. Interesting stuff, though it's hard to say if it will help.

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Posted: 04 Aug 11, 22:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

QPL and their quality control ... it'd take them two minutes of reading QZ or QOL and/or asking people here to verify liner notes. But no ... they don't bother ... it's such a big effort to type a couple of sentences right.


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: 04 Aug 11, 23:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The liner notes for the Bonus EP say, with regard to SASS, "Although the tape from which this recording comes is dated February 7th 1980, it is possible this item dates back to the previous year."

And speaking of quality control, when I ripped the NOTW remaster to my computer 'Sleeping on the Sidewalk' ended up labelled 'Sleep on the Sidewalk'.  Not sure if that info is embedded on the CD or comes from some online database somewhere, but somebody made a mistake.

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Posted: 05 Aug 11, 03:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The inner notes on any of the album will only be as accurate as the person who first wrote the notes in the studio, given that this is one of the last things you think about when recording it's no surprise to me that come the time of printing the cover when someone goes back to see what they can print many of the notes will be either lost or inaccurate and relying on the band to remember when they started work on a track will never work.I suspect these dates originally come from scribbled notes made by Mack.


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
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Posted: 05 Aug 11, 05:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote: The liner notes for the Bonus EP say, with regard to SASS, "Although the tape from which this recording comes is dated February 7th 1980, it is possible this item dates back to the previous year."

And speaking of quality control, when I ripped the NOTW remaster to my computer 'Sleeping on the Sidewalk' ended up labelled 'Sleep on the Sidewalk'.  Not sure if that info is embedded on the CD or comes from some online database somewhere, but somebody made a mistake.

----------------------------------------------------------------
I agree - It seems bloody stupid to put in the notes that they're not sure when it comes from then, and then to name the track, and put the CD Text to match, as definitively from Feb 80!!!

With the CD text, there's also inconsistencies between both the GH remasters in that some tracks feature the band name and track title, and others just the track title.  Bloody annoying.

My understanding is that The Game was released in June 1980?  If so, I very much doubt that this early version of SASS was from Feb 80.  Common sense tells you that the fact that it is so different, and is clearly not that familiar yet to the band, it would have been recorded a lot earlier, in order to give time for the natural developments to occur for the track to become the final version we are all familiar with.  I'd like to know what else was on the tape that was labelled Feb 80, as this would really help to determine a better timeframe to the recording sessions.

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Posted: 05 Aug 11, 08:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, you can hear Freddie screaming 'I know it completely now!" (or something like that) from behind the piano. Which indicates that this was one of the first times they played it.


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



(Genesis 1:1)
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Posted: 05 Aug 11, 11:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good point. So it must be from June/July 1979. Feb 1980 could be the mixing/mastering/pressing date.


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.