Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Do the 'album' versions always come first?

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Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 14:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A few songs down the years which have extended versions on the albums that are cut down somewhat for the single release. Just two off top of the head from quite late on are I Want It All and One Vision.

Both versions of both songs sound as if the single version has a much more 'natural' progression to them. In that it sounds as if that version was the one that organically grew out of the studio sessions. Whereas with both songs, the album versions just seem to have extra bits (including a longer guitar 'prelude' before the vocals start on One Vision and in the middle of I Want It All) - seem to have been an after thought just to extend the length of the song. 

Especially in IWIA, it seems as if the singles version where it goes into the guitar solo into the final short-verse, sounds much more likely to have been as it was intended than the album version that deviates and that appears to have Freddie singing in a slightly different, less gravely, tone to the rest of the song.

Now I've always assumed that album versions are what the band intend and the singles are cut down but is it possible, as with these two songs, that the 'natural' version is actually the shorter 'made for distribution' copy whereas the album versions are extended especially, adding bits in that weren't originally intended, just to get it up to album 'length' ?

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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 15:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's no one formula for what comes first. Each release and each song is unique. 

"One Vision"'s single version and extended version came out long before the album was finished, so likely the album version is a re-mix of the original material. Same with "Barcelona," "Love Lies Bleeding," "I'm Scared" and "Save Me," among others.

Sometimes, both are done around the same time, like the two album mixes of "I Want It All," which were *probably* done at the same time as the single version (March of 1989). Which trumps the other? The single version was released first, but is the album always the standard? When I organize my notes and song versions, by default I use the album version as the start point unless another released version clearly preceded it (like the above examples). However, I tend not to called tracks "Album Version" because I'd be listing every track on the album as such. Instead, I called the original the "Original Version" or "Original Single Version," or which ever best describes it.

Most often, I think, single versions and extended versions are done after the album mix is complete.

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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 15:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Listen to I Want It All instrumental demo and you'll find out that the album version is based on this demo, not single one.

So the album mix would be original, as it's closer to demo.


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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is the list of single versions released before album:

-Keep Yourself Alive. US single edit with shortened outro, of course the album mix came first, 'cause it was released on UK single at the very same time.

-Flick of the Wrist. British and US single versions are edits of the album version (moreover, segue with Tenement Funster has appeared in demos). Dutch single contains stand-alone remix.

-God Save the Queen. This track was recorded during Sheer Heart Attack Sessions, and US 1975 Keep Yourself Alive single contains the original version. Track has been remixed for the album (fade-in during intro is added).

-I'm in Love with My Car. It's pretty hard to say which version is "more original", the album one or single mix.

-Fat Bottomed Girls. I believe that single edit came from the album mix, which was shortened because of too long instrumental section near to beginning.

-Save Me. Not very different from album mix, but it's clean that song has been remixed for the album.

-Flash. Album mix is sounds in "Flash Gordon" movie, so it's clean that this version came first, and song was remixed for single release.

-One Vision. Single and extended mixes came for a long time before album version, and you can notice that album version is longer that the single one for the same time as extended version is longer than album one. So I believe that album mix is a compromise between worthwhile for album length and completeness of extended mix.

-I Want It All. Actually album mix was released on 12" and CD singles, so both versions came at the same time. Instrumental demo contains almost all the bits presented in album version but edited out from single mix, so album mix is "more original" than single version.

-Heaven for Everyone. Although single edit seems to be closer to The Cross version than album one, intro on Queen's single version seems to be edited very unnaturaly, so I think that album version came first.


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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 16:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"-Flick of the Wrist. British and US single versions are edits of the album version (moreover, segue with Tenement Funster has appeared in demos). Dutch single contains stand-alone remix."

The British Killer Queen B side is a stand alone.

Apart from I Want to Break Free can anyone think of an album track that was actually extended to make a single. Not just by Queen but by anyone? Its as if they realised its potential after the album came out.

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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 16:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

like this topic loads.
this argument will never truly be resolved. but i'd like to add one thought:

in the case of the lead single - ie the track to promote the forthcoming albumit's imposisble to verify which mix (single or album) came first....all subsequent singles - it's safe to assume were edits from the album tracks..after all...most single edits are done to fit a track to a radio-format

one thing that makes this more interesting is listening to the "unedited" versions of some "deluxe" albums. i've lsitened to some Rainbow and Deep Purple stuff lately...and the deluxe versions show how much longer songs like "since you been gone" and "smoke on the water" actually extended beyond the "fade"....so i suppose most tracks are always much longer than the single edit


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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 17:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>The British Killer Queen B side is a stand alone.

Actually intro is edited, so this is remix/edit, not true stand-alone.


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Posted: 10 Sep 11, 18:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Flick Of The Wrist" UK Single Version is technically an edit of the stand-alone recording. It doesn't feature the segues, but it's also not complete.

As to why they started doing extended versions and single mixes in the '80s, it was really the trend in music in general. Not many artists/record companies were doing it before maybe '78 or '79. I think it had to do with first making these mixes for clubs and discos, then the popularity of "re-mixes" caught on to the single-buying public, so artists said, "Cool, we can play with different mixes, be more creative, the fans get something special on the singles and we make a bit more money." Nothing wrong with any of that.

Queen's first real proper extended versions were "Back Chat" and "Staying Power" (no, I don't count the questionably-official South American re-redits of things like "Bicycle Race" and "Another One Bites The Dust") and after, they would only appear on 12" and CD singles. The 7" inch and Cassette singles didn't see many Single Mix/Versions as you would think that weren't edits.

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Posted: 11 Sep 11, 05:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good thread. I was going to say the IWTBF single version - I wonder what we'd think if that 'new' version had been added to subsequent reissues of the album instead of the shorter single cut? I'd appreciate it and never listen to the album version. Same with Hammer To Fall- the single is far superior.

The reasons are quite clear for single versions - either edited for commercial reasons, or a chance to finished an original mix (Deacon did this with both IWTBF and BC. I guess the 'best' version is down to taste. I can't stand most of the Miracle / AKOM 12" cuts - needlessly extending the tracks for a fuller running time. But then, say, the US Staying Power cut is longer in the same way but adds extra guitar licks, making it far more pleasing than the album cut which by contrast after hearing the 'new' version is a bit limp.

Same with the Flash single version - a great stand alone cut with added samples. I was very disappointed when I heard the album version. Although in that case it makes sense as the single version was essentially an edit of the whole album and thematically wouldn't make sense having dialogue from later in the film.

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Posted: 11 Sep 11, 05:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

double post. FFS.

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Posted: 11 Sep 11, 06:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ref I Want To Break Free, I have always preferred the album version over the single version (which is how they performed it live) I have always hated the extended solo on the single

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Posted: 11 Sep 11, 10:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fair enough. I think it would've added a bit of an epic flourish to an album that is running a bit short. I guess it depends on the version you hear first?

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Posted: 11 Sep 11, 13:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Re: IWTBF
I heard the album version well before I heard the single mix. I like both for different reasons, but the remix takes what is decent album track and turns it into a great single. I thought I read somewhere that John wasn't content with the album mix and personally remixed it for the single around the same time Brian did the Headbanger's Mix.

Also of note, the US promo of "Hammer To Fall" calls the single version a "Special Edit Of The Headbanger's Mix," which I think is important, as it clearly informs us that the Single Version we know is actually an edit of the remix. It's a subtle distinction, but it gives a clear sequence of re-mixing:

First step: Album Mix
Second step: Headbanger's Mix, made by remixing the original album elements (and adding a few new bits)
Third step: single version, made by editing the Headbanger's Mix (rather than re-mixing the original album elements)

That's why I tend to call the 7" single version the "Headbanger's Edit."

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Posted: 12 Sep 11, 03:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Are the versions of Save Me on the greatest hits albums - remasters and previous emi - the original single version or album version. If not does youtube have a true single version? What are the differences between it and the album take.

Cheers.


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Posted: 12 Sep 11, 10:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

On the original single version of Save Me, there are some subtle differences.  The guitars are mixed a bit differently, and there is some phasing on the lead vocal in the second verse.


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Posted: 12 Sep 11, 12:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>First step: Album Mix
Second step: Headbanger's Mix, made by remixing the original album elements (and adding a few new bits)
Third step: single version, made by editing the Headbanger's Mix (rather than re-mixing the original album elements)

I will disagree with you. Name "Headbanger's Mix Edit" sounds much more like mistake/misprint for me.

Headbanger's Mix includes new instuumental parts form another take (that's why they're sounds a little bit unnatural in old-and-new docking parts).

Single mix doesn't includes any of new parts from Headbanger's Mix, but it includes new mixing of vocal & guitar on 'Baby now your struggles all in vain' verse. So the single version is completely new, unique mix which doesn't related with Headbanger's Mix.


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