This was one of the most ambicious components of my late website, so it's time to try to resurrect it here. Queen [I]
Late 1971 (possibly before winter): The five released demos + some unreleased things. Self-produced.
(ca.) April 1972 to (ca.) June 1973: Sessions for the first album, except TNCD. Produced by John Anthony & Roy Baker.
---- Queen II
4th to 6th August 1973: 16 takes of SSOR + 4 takes of FTS. Produced and engineered by Roy, with Nick Bradford as assistant.
Some point later on: Other songs produced by Roy, engineered by Mike and possibly featuring Neil Kernon as assistant.
Some point later on: Roy working with Gasolin' in Copenhagen, leaving Queen with Robin Cable.
Mix-down stage: Presumably with Roy.
------- Sheer Heart Attack
7th (possibly) to 28th July 1974: Preliminary recordings in Wales. They tracked Flick of the Wrist (including backing vocals), Happy Little Fuck (including vocals), You're Young and You're Crazy (no vocals), Banana Blues (no vocals), Lap of the Gods Part 2 and Stone Cold Crazy. Four of those songs most likely required Brian for the backing track, so he probably wasn't too ill at that point.
August 1974: A week of May-less recordings at Wessex Sound. Those may have included backing tracks for Killer Queen, Lily of the Valley, Lap of the Gods and Leroy Brown. A lot of time was spent on percussion overdubs - in fact, this was the band's album with the most percussion overdubs ever.
One week later: Overdubs at AIR Studio 4 (the control room, IIRC). Brian was there.
One week later: A second session at Wessex, this time with Brian. They probably recorded Dear Friends and She Makes Me at this point as well as having some bits redone with him (e.g. some, not all, of the harmonies on Killer Queen).
Final stage (September): Now I'm Here + mixing at Trident. The album was then sent to the Mastering Lab in Los Angeles.
-------- A Night at the Opera:
27th October 1974: God Save the Queen.
June 1975: KYA retake at SARM. The tape would still be owned by Trident and the mixed would be labelled on 2nd July.
Early-to-Mid August: Rehearsals at the Ridge Farm.
24th August: Sessions begin at Rockfield in South Wales. For this album, the band would use many studios simultaneously so it's really hard to establish a timeline. According to one of the many books on Freddie (I read it in Heathrow two weeks ago), Bo Rhap was already being mixed at SARM by the time of Freddie's birthday (which would debunk the whole 'three week' legend).
----------- A Day at the Races:
Sessions began in June (not July) somewhere in England.
Manor tapes dated July list six songs: Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (same length as the album), Millionaire Waltz (ditto), You Take My Breath Away (N/A - by the way, that also debunks the myth that they hadn't recorded it by the time they played it at Hyde Park), Simple Man (slightly shorter - they possibly overdubbed the outro later), Drowse (slightly shorter as well - they possibly looped the intro for the outro later) and Somebody to Love (a minute and a half shorter - they probably added one or two sections later).
Roger was quoted on Music Life ('82 IIRC) that they'd started Teo Torriatte at The Manor as well... I don't know if it was a mistake on his part or if there were sessions later on (both strong possibilities).
London sessions were at SARM, Wessex and Advision. Those include overdubs for the seven aforementioned songs, plus the whole of You and I, Tie Your Mother Down, Long Away and the famous intro/outro. The STL video was at Wessex.
----------- News of the World:
July/August at Basing St, August/September at Wessex. Champions was part of the early bunch, Rock You the later one. All Dead ... possibly a bit of both.
Sessions began in Montreux in July 1978 and lasted at least until Freddie's birthday (5th September). The Tour de France passed by Montreux on Brian's birthday (19th July), so they possibly recorded Bicycle Race in late July or early August, which means that's a Swiss song, not French.
Sessions finished in France in October, but they could've started at any point between early September and ... one or two weeks before the whole thing was put to bed. Apparently, DSMN is part of those later sessions.
--------- The Game:
If and I mean *IF* the accounts on CLTCL are true (it being recorded on the very first day of the sessions and Ratty having to take Freddie to Munich on the day of a Heathrow strike), then sessions began on 22nd June 1979 and lasted a couple of weeks which spawned CLTCL, Save Me, SASS and Coming Soon. Venue was Munich of course.
Then there was another two-week or three-week run between February and March during which they tracked the rest of the album and put down some ideas for Flash Gordon as well. There's nothing official on A Human Body. Beautiful Day apparently comes from April. Album mastered in NYC, possibly during the spring.
----------- Flash Gordon:
Early sessions (produced by Mack and the whole band, not just Brian) in Munich in February/March 1980. The album was NOT begun in 1979 despite numerous sources claiming that.
They'd apparently finished recording it by June, and they did so in London, using Advision, Town House and Music Centre. Orchestra bits recorded in July at Anvil in Denham. The band re-did some bits in October (and that's the part Brian produced) at Utopia.
-------- Hot Space:
Sessions began in June 1981 at Musicland and the first batch ended in July. What was done at that point? No idea. Possibly bits of Cool Cat?
August was basically a holiday for them, John staying in London and the other three going to America (Maylor to LA, Fred to NYC). It may have been during these days that Fred wrote Life Is Real.
Early September was at Mountain in Montreux. Songs begun there were Las Palabras de Amor, Calling All Girls, Put Out the Fire and Under Pressure. Note that, at that point, they weren't using drum machines yet.
At some point between 15th and 20th September: Freddie, Mack and Bowie finish the song in NYC.
21st September to 5th December: No recordings. Band travelling around Venezuela, America, Mexico, Canada and England.
6th to 21st December: Sessions in Munich. This was possibly the first time they used drum machines. Songs they may have begun in those days include Back Chat, Staying Power, Dancer, Action This Day, Life Is Real and Body Language.
18th to 22nd January: Sessions in Munich by John and Roger only.
23rd Janury to late February: Sessions by the four of them, plus mixing.
August to October/November: Sessions in LA. They include preliminary works on Ga Ga, Break Free, Piece of My Heart and possibly many other things.
November 1983 to January 1984: Sessions in Munich, including World and the final vocal on Ga Ga, plus mixing.
August 1985: Sessions in Munich, produced by Mack. One Vision possibly stems for those days, as do other things. OV would be finished at Maison Rouge in London.
September 1985: Work on the Highlander OST begins at The Town House. It'd finish in January 1986. That includes nearly half of the album. David Richards produced those ones (partly). Fred not present in some of the October recordings as he was doing In My Defence and Time, partly in London, partly in Munich.
March 1986: Album finished. Presumably, they used several studios simultaneously: SARM, Maison Rouge, The Town House, Mountain, Musicland and Abbey Road. Possibly Milo as well.
January 1988: All four in London (perhaps Town House, but it could've also been Olympic).
February: Three of them recording in London (Roger absent as he was touring).
March: No work on the album - John was in France, Brian in LA, Roger was
John hated Hot Space. Fred's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Wales is not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.