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The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 Dec 11, 15:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's that time of year again - Baker's Dozen time! Hope everyone's enjoying the holiday season.

Here are what I think are the thirteen best unofficial recordings of Queen to come out in 2011.


1) BBC Session 2 master
It may not be the multi-track master, but it is a stereo mix from it. These tracks have circulated for years, but not quite like this. They are an excellent snapshot of Queen in 1973, and highly recommended listening in this quality.

2) London 9-13-73 - quadrophonic restoration
Fans discovered that some of the Golders Green Hippodrome radio broadcasts were actually done in quadrophonic sound, and thereby concluded that the reason why Freddie's voice was so buried on the circulating recordings of this show is because the stereo mix focused on two channels where Freddie's voice wasn't prominent. A restoration process resulted in a glorious new listen to this show with the vocal much closer to the forefront of the mix.

3) London 3-31-74 - reel-to-reel tape
Four of the seven tracks from the Rainbow Theatre soundboard emerged in late 2011 in absolutely superb quality. They were broadcast on the radio in 1975, but this recording discovered is from a reel-to-reel tape intended for broadcast. This may well be the best-sounding recording of Queen on stage in the 1970s.

4) Providence 4-27-74 - master
Dan Lampinski's superb audience recordings from November 1974 through 1980 (including Queen in Boston '76) took the music collecting world by storm in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, his earlier recordings taped with average gear began to emerge, and amongst them was Queen in Providence '74. It is the second-earliest Queen tape from a US show known to exist, and it offers great insight into Queen's second (and last) tour as a support act. Mott The Hoople's headlining set was recorded as well.

5) Tokyo 4-19-75 - alternate source
The year began with a bang when the (almost) complete first show in Japan was heard for the first time. A breathtaking listen, even in average sound quality.

6) Tokyo 3-22-76 - "Get Your Knickers Off" (Tarantura)
For the first time, a Mr. Peach recording introduced a new show to the Queen canon. The opening night of the Japanese 'A Night At The Opera' tour was heard for the first time, although the recording is a bit more distant than Peach's Himeji and Fukuoka recordings. Nonetheless, collectors can only hope there are more shows like this on Tarantura's "to do" list.

7) London 6-6-77 - audience recording
This audience tape of the first night at Earls Court confirms that Freddie had mic problems throughout the show (unlike the Hyde Park '76 mic dropouts that exist only on the video). This is a much-welcomed alternative to the dry-sounding video feed, even if the quality isn't great overall. The taper finally took the recorder out of his pocket by the encore, so a couple tracks sound pretty good.

8) New York 12-2-77 - Super 8 footage
This distant video emerged in September, the first 8mm video to be seen from this tour. It is only three minutes of footage (a single 8mm reel), but any 70s footage of Queen is invigorating upon initial viewing.

9) Tokyo 4-14-79 - "Bootleg Race" (Tarantura)
Even though much compression was added, it is still the best-sounding audience tape of Queen in 1979. The quality of the recording makes the flaws in Freddie's voice painfully clear, but overall it is still an excellent performance well worth hearing.

10) Tokyo 2-17-81 - "Teo Torriatte" (Tarantura)
This is another great-sounding Mr. Peach tape, but this one was absolutely mauled by compression added after the fact. The recording is still one of the best of the year, but one can only wonder how glorious the unaltered master tape sounds. I'd add the "Need Your Loving Tonight" bootleg of the 2-13-81 show to the list, but it suffers from the same issues. Since there are six other sources from that show (two of which sound just about as good), it didn't make the cut.

11) Kassel 5-18-82 - upgrade
This is a very underrated Hot Space show, and a substantial upgrade appeared in 2011. Freddie Mercury was arguably at his creative peak on stage in the spring of 1982, and this performance from him and the band is at least as good as the offically-released Milton Keynes show. Sheer Heart Attack being the second song in (not part of the encore, where it usually sat) also makes this a very interesting recording for the collection.

12) Providence 8-26-80 - upgrade
This is a great copy of the Providence audience tape. Unfortunately it's missing the first couple minutes of Jailhouse Rock, but it's by far the best recording from August 1980. The first known (albeit sloppy) performance of Dragon Attack is contained herein.

13) Tokyo 5-9-85 - "Last Stand At Budokan"
Nearly every Japanese show was taped, and half of them have more than one audience source. In March, a fourth source from Queen's last show at the Budokan emerged. It is a close second to the source Wardour bootlegged, but it is still a great recording in its own right.


Thanks especially to the tapers - without you, most of this joy simply wouldn't exist !

Looking forward to seeing everyone's lists and opinions.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 Dec 11, 16:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Honourable mentions:

1) Stormtroopers in Stilettoes exhibition, London

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the band held an exhibition in London focusing on their first five studio albums. Plenty of memorabilia was seen, as well as previously unseen video footage of the band. Highlights included November '77 pre-tour rehearsal footage from Shepperton Studios in London, soundcheck footage from Houston '77 (including a bit with Freddie Mercury on drums and Roger Taylor playing Brian May's Red Special), and concert footage from Hyde Park '76 and Earls Court '77 with better sound than ever before.

New footage from Tokyo '75 was also seen (a much longer version of footage seen in the 2004 'Killer Queen' documentary that was previously said to be from Preston '73). Any or all of this material may have come from thousands of tapes dumped on the band by EMI after they left the record label and signed a deal with Universal.

2) Queen re-released most of their back catalogue in 2011, and many of the studio album bonus tracks are noteworthy. The De Lane Lea demos from 1971 and BBC material sound better than ever before, and live versions of You Take My Breath Away from Hyde Park '76 and '39 from the second night at Earls Court '77 knocked the socks off many. As with the exhibition footage, the hope of the faithful is that these live tracks are teasers for DVD releases to come.

Many unheard studio takes/demos from the 1977 to 1980 period were also included, such as the original demo of It's A Beautiful Day (a track that was eventually finished for Made In Heaven in 1995), and demos for some of the Flash Gordon soundtrack compositions.

3) "Days Of Our Lives" documentary, BBC Two

Hands down, this is the best Queen documentary ever produced. Plenty of unseen footage was included, such as alternate angles from Houston '77 and colour footage from the These Are The Days Of Our Lives video shoot. Equally interesting were the new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor, as they spoke very candidly and openly about many things they had never previously touched upon.

The documentary was released on DVD and Blu-ray with many extras (a few more on Bluray), and a Japanese Blu-ray is pending for 2012 with even more extras than the UK/US Blu-ray.

4) "Live At Wembley Stadium" disc 2

The 2011 re-release of the famous Wembley '86 concert included the uncut first night. After 20+ years of seeing and hearing the second night on a plethora of official releases, this was a very refreshing inclusion. A much more relaxed (and rain-soaked) band are captured here than was seen on the legendary second night.



"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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MadTheSwine73 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 Dec 11, 18:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great job doing this, once again.


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Val Lurex user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 Dec 11, 19:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I totally agree with you, Bob. Great list.


"I really feel like being evil tonight."
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Posted: 27 Dec 11, 13:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fantastic list and description.
I fully agree;-)

For me the mistreatment of the 1981 Budokan tapes by Tarantura is a huge disappointment. I prefer the other recordings of those shows.

I adore the Kassel'82 recording because of the great performance. 1982 was indeed FM's live peak in terms of creativity on stage and it's certainly apparant in Kassel:-)

Happy to hear the Earls Court audience....Hopefully more such surprises in 2012...

I'm crazy about the 14/04/1979 show (I like Jazz tour a lot and would like to hear some more Mr. Peach recordings from that year).

Tokyo '76 first show was a nice surprise, FM's voice was pretty good (compared to Himeji and stuff) but the best shows during that tour are the later ones, hoping for one of those Budokan shows by Mr. Peach for 2012:-)

Official: documentary = awesome and I'm very very happy with having the Wembley first night...

Providence '80 is lovely but I'm hoping for an even better august '80 tape for 2012 haha.




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Posted: 28 Dec 11, 07:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is quite a stretch here, but should we also add an honourable mention for the Cowdray Ruins 1993 show featuring Roger and John (technically billed as "Queen"!) FINALLY showing up online in lossless quality and in marginally better quality at that?

The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 28 Dec 11, 14:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Of course, feel free to make your own list or append the existing one.  That tape from 1993 is certainly a significant one, as it's one of the last gigs Deacon played.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Posted: 17 Aug 14, 16:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Did you do a 2012 and 2013 Baker's Dozen? I can't find them.

The Real Wizard user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 18 Aug 14, 01:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Here are the others:

http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1253025/2010-bakers-dozen.aspx
http://www.queenzone.com/forums/1334236/2012-bakers-dozen.aspx

Ha, you even posted in the 2012 one !


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



http://www.queenlive.ca