Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Record Collecting (Queen acetates)

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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
John S Stuart
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Posted: 10 Apr 12, 16:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This thread is for those who are interested in Record Collecting as a hobby - and not for those interested in MP3 Downloads.

Often I get asked "what is an acetate anyway"? (and as we have seen recently) some even think this constitutes anything from murky mafioso underbelly dealing - to out and out downright theft.
In reality buying and selling acetates is a very respectable and acceptable hobby - anyone can do; without legal problems or reprisals, UNLESS the owner of the artefact disc wishes to publish his/her recording without the band's consent.

Before jumping in feet first; why not read this excellent article on "The Velvet Underground" (OK - a different band, but the same priciple).
This should answer many questions and clear up a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions. Besides, it is very interesting and educational in itself.

Acetates often carry unreleased tracks or rare demo recordings, and it this is that makes them so collectable, and so valuable.

Enjoy the read; feel free to comment afterward; especially Holly2003, Vocal Harmony and CMSDrums (amongst others) who have so vocally argued that this type of collecting must constitute some sort of theft.

http://realitystudio.org/bibliographic-bunker/velvet-underground-acetate/


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Posted: 10 Apr 12, 21:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi John - i really enjoyed your article in Record Collector all those years ago (in it I believe you mentioned 'lost' songs such as Hangman and Silver Salmon waaaay before it was common knowledge) - any chance of you doing an update one of these days?

Off-topic I know, but hey...


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Posted: 10 Apr 12, 21:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote




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Posted: 11 Apr 12, 00:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"what is an acetate anyway"

I remember asking you if an acetate was made from some kind of soft shellac years ago.
If i remember you didn't know for certian what they were made from.

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Posted: 11 Apr 12, 12:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

acetates are usually the way record companies do a one-only test press of an album. it's usually done onto an acetone-coated hard material, sometimes hard plastic, sometimes aluminium.
they're made by dubbing from the master tapes.

they give the studio an idea of what the final pressed LP would sound like, almost like a final quality control check before pressing off thousands'millions of copies.

they also don't last very long - due to the "coated" nature of the surface, applying the stylus to the acetate actually wears the disc out.
wherease most vinyl records - if looked after can outlive the owner, acetates are usually only good for upto 50 or so plays

ps - this is the record industry use of acetates, which differed from the caribbean DJ use (as a dj demo plays)
hope this helps


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Posted: 11 Apr 12, 14:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A while back I wrote a post on Queen acetates, but I can't find it now in the search.

Pity, I seem to remember it was rather good.


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Posted: 11 Apr 12, 15:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

In addition, they are used in much the same way CDRs are used in recording studios now - an acetate can be used in lieu of cassettes to run off of a work in progress / finished tracks etc for the musician to take home. Hence, we get lots of unofficial stuff in this form - see the Queen demo one.

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Posted: 11 Apr 12, 21:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Look JSS. You have a right to own the acetates but it is unethical to not give the creators of the music a lossless copy of the audio. To prevent thousands of Queen fans from hearing "Hangman" or any other Queens tracks makes you a selfish asswipe. Don't give them the acetate but give them a copy of the audio in wave format. You would still have a rare "acetate". It would still have great value

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Posted: 12 Apr 12, 06:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YetAnotherFreddieFan wrote:
Look JSS. You have a right to own the acetates but it is unethical to not give the creators of the music a lossless copy of the audio. To prevent thousands of Queen fans from hearing "Hangman" or any other Queens tracks makes you a selfish asswipe. Don't give them the acetate but give them a copy of the audio in wave format. You would still have a rare "acetate". It would still have great value


Oh, really?

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Posted: 12 Apr 12, 06:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I found that Velvet Undies link fascinating, thanks!
I notice the highest selling LP on the eBay links was The Beatles White Album with the embossed No.5 - the first four were given to each Beatle, so I guess that makes sense!
It's a bit sick thinking someone spent half a milllion to get Chapmans copy of Double Fantasy, yuk!!

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Posted: 12 Apr 12, 07:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"who have so vocally argued that this type of collecting must constitute some sort of theft"

Unless the story of how it came to be in your hands begins and ends with "a member of the band gave it to someone and said they were allowed to sell it", then it's morally fishy to be buying or selling it.

I know Fuller screwed you, but all this posturing about the ethics of collecting isn't really doing you any favours because it is a grey area whether you like it or not. You might be able to give everyone assurances that every single item in your possession was purchased with the approval of a member of Queen, but I bet you anything that not everyone you've traded with could make that claim. As a member of what could be judged as a slightly parasitic community, you might sleep easier if you learn to like the mantra : 'easy come, easy go'.


"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: 12 Apr 12, 07:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

PS. That Velvet Underground thing was a good read!


"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: 12 Apr 12, 07:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Zebonka12 wrote: "who have so vocally argued that this type of collecting must constitute some sort of theft"

Unless the story of how it came to be in your hands begins and ends with "a member of the band gave it to someone and said they were allowed to sell it", then it's morally fishy to be buying or selling it.

I know Fuller screwed you, but all this posturing about the ethics of collecting isn't really doing you any favours because it is a grey area whether you like it or not. You might be able to give everyone assurances that every single item in your possession was purchased with the approval of a member of Queen, but I bet you anything that not everyone you've traded with could make that claim. As a member of what could be judged as a slightly parasitic community, you might sleep easier if you learn to like the mantra : 'easy come, easy go'.

I must say upfront that I just want to learn what is the concern about this issue.  Is it to advise people that they should not buy or trade in music pieces/shows, or if they had bought/recorded they should not share it, or if they had bought it they should return it to the band or what should be done ?

In another thread a number of people keep talking about this.  Since you mentioned it here again, I just thought of asking it.

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Posted: 12 Apr 12, 08:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So this Velvet underground one is the most expensive, most rare of all acetates on the net.

And after clicking a few times I was able to download the entire acetate content.

So only physical media carying objects have value.. digital copies of their contents, however great for listeners, do not hold their value.

So.... when will I get a PM with a 192kb MP3 of 'Hangman'?
I promiss the acetate will nót decrease in value!


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Posted: 13 Apr 12, 02:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@john

I have a Freddie Mercury Acetate of "Excercise in Free love". On it it says the duration of the track is 3:58 min and they wrote Freddie as Freddy ;-)

This acetate has never been played and has been framed behind a tin layer of glass for over 10 years.

Here is the picture I just made.
http://i42.tinypic.com/rjnwn5.jpg

Does it have any value? (I wouldnt care that much, just wondering). And does the duration as mentioned on the acetate match up with official versions? Could it be possible that this acetate has a different version than the original recording?

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Posted: 13 Apr 12, 05:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

TRS.. there is always a possibility that an acetate has a different version. The 3:58 on yours matches with the released version. You cant say if it is different until it has been played and compared with the released version. My guess is that this is an acetate for the Great Pretender 7" release and you have the B-side.

The spelling error on the label makes it interesting as either the writer had no clue, was not paying attention or maybe this is a pirate issue and thus the creator was not well informed (or once again, he did not pay attention to what he was doing).

It ofcourse has a value. I for instance would probably cough up between 150 and 200 euros for it. Others might pay more or less.


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Posted: 13 Apr 12, 05:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

TRS, that pretty much matches up with the official length, which is around 3:56 anyways. There COULD be the odd chance that the mix itself might be different, but one can only find out by playing the acetate (I'd recommend whilst digitally archiving at the same time, if you're going to do that).

I'm just a tad envious you have that othewise. That's a great rarity to have :-)

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Posted: 13 Apr 12, 08:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@inu-liger

This acetate used to be stored in Garden Lodge for a number of years. It is one of those acetates that was brought home by either Freddie (or his entourage, Jim-Phoebe-Joe) after a Townhouse session and probably ended up in the loft of Garden Lodge.

In 1992 (when some of Freddie's stuff was being devided among his staff) this acetate left Garden Lodge and remained in the UK and then Ireland (where JH moved back to).
In the end I got it from JH in 2001 as a present and it has always been behind a protective cover and never been played.


@RonB PS: I would not mind to sell this at all as I am not a collector anymore.

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Posted: 13 Apr 12, 09:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

TRS-Romania wrote:
I have a Freddie Mercury Acetate of "Excercise in Free love".
Does it have any value?

TRS-R: The simple answer is yes it does; however like Ron I would say this is the B-side, and that the A-side should be "The Great Pretender".
I don't think this has any special mix or unreleased versions because they really had to dig deep for the Freddie-box set and vitually everything of any musical value has been extracted from the session.

Nevertheless, it is a nice artefact, and is worth owning even if just to keep in the frame, and on the wall.
I would suggest if you want to sell, it seems Ron has made a very decent offer, and that you two should work some sort of private deal between you outside the glare of Qz publicity.


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."