Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > To GB. Queen Boxsets: The untold Story. (What we are NOT supposed to know)

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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
John S Stuart
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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 19:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Greg, you are so correct. I used to be a proper little "Stepford" and groveller and slide my tongue along any ar*se with a QP tattoo.

Then one day, the penny dropped. There are as many (if not more) rarities OUTSIDE QP - than there are inside. So I went for those instead.

This world is an evil place. Everything is available. Dancing bears, loose women, drugs, pills, uppers, downers, penis-extensions, (hope you like the link here) cannons, arms, spent uranium... and in that context, a few Queen tracks become small and irrelevant.

Then suddenly, one day - MINE was the ars* being kissed, and re the "Hangman" acetate - we both know there is a world of difference between "can't be found - and does not exist".

So the thing is (and this is NOT "holding a grudge" or a "shoulder chip") I don't care anymore.

Below is what I have to say about the box-sets. I know that you may not be interested - but I think it is worth saying anyway.



"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 19:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This will have to take place over a few mails so I will start with Part one:

"The bottom line is - nice, but nothing special".

Do not pin your hopes on the magical boxsets – as they will only disappoint.

The proposed “Queen” boxsets are not a new idea. Possibly the best example of such an archived anthology would be the seminal “Beatles Anthology” DVD and CD sets. However, as we all know “Queen” are not the “Beatles”. To start with - the proposed “Queen” anthology stretches over twenty years of material, while the “Beatles” collection barely covers twelve (1958 – 1970), and while the “Beatles” remained faithful to EMI and it’s subsidiaries, “Queen” (and their solo works) – especially abroad - are a logistic nightmare.

For example: Have you ever asked yourself why there are NO “Solo Flix” DVDs? Roger Taylor alone worked with two “bands” over many labels - EMI, Electrola, and Virgin. All have separate territories, and separate rights – so even if he wanted to release Solo/Cross material, it would be a very difficult project to legally undertake. (Not impossible – but very difficult). Add to that the works of Brian May, The “Immortals”, and numerous collaborations and guest appearances – and you really do create an impossible task.

Like the “Beatles”, the “Queen” box would cover four main periods (Excluding interviews and live performances), namely: Pre-success, At The BBC, Alternative versions and Unreleased demos.

Following the same pattern, let’s begin with pre-Queen.

Pre-success:
“Smile” and “The Left Handed Marriage” have previously been released. A pre-Queen Freddie has also been released with the “Ibex” and “Wreckage” material appearing on the 10 CD “Freddie Mercury: Solo Collection”. We already know that further pre-Queen Freddie will NOT feature as part of a “Queen” collection, but no matter, as this has been heavily bootlegged anyway. Unless both Brian and Roger have a change of heart – there will be NO “Reaction” or “1984”, and as for John, I can not see him coming out of retirement to plug an “Opposition” acetate. The bottom line is - nice, but nothing special.

At The BBC:
Unfortunately, unlike the “Beatles” massive BBC collection, “Queen” by comparison recorded a small number of tracks for the Beeb. Besides, all the “Queen” BBC sessions have also been “released”, (two of which are still officially available). The remaining sessions have been heavily bootlegged, and I believe, exist in the “Queen” Hub, so no surprises there either. Again, the bottom line is - nice, but nothing special.








"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 19:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Alternative versions:
Forgive me if I return to the mammoth 10 CD “Freddie Mercury: Solo Collection” as an example, because this success has raised unattainable expectations for the “Queen” equivalent. Simply, this is because we are not comparing “like for like”, it is like comparing apples not with other apples (notice the return to the “Beatles” reference) but apples with oranges. Let me explain.

First: Material. The Freddie set was not crammed with as many rarities as people think. Dismissing the “David Wigg Interviews” CD and the “Video Collection” and the “Untold Story” DVDs - “Mr Bad Guy”, “Barcelona”, “Great Pretender”, “Singles 1973 – 1975”, and “Singles 1986 – 1993” had all been previously available - nice, but nothing special.

From the disc entitled “Rarities 3 (Other Sessions)”, “Rain” (Ibex), and “Green” (Wreckage), and “Have A Nice Day (Fan Club Message)” had all been bootlegged, while “Man From Manhattan”, “Love Is The Hero EC 12” Extended”, “Hold On”, “Heaven For Everyone (Cross Version)”, “Love Kills (Rock Mix)”, had once again been in their time, official releases - nice, but nothing special.

Of the three remaining CD’s, one was a dedicated disc of Instrumentals: (Not that there is anything wrong with instrumentals – but - perhaps it’s worthwhile noting that because of the process of recording vocal and instruments separately ALL “Queen” tracks would exist as purely instrumental and acapella versions). Some of these Mercury karaoke versions like “Ensueno” had also been available previously - while others like the “Great Pretender” were a welcome addition. From the remaining “Rarity Discs” other instrumental fillers (again the official version with the vocal channel removed), included tracks like “Foolin’ Around”, and “Love Kills”.

Now while these instrumental sets may have worked with Mercury, they would not work so well with “Queen”. This is because we are ALREADY swamped with official “Queen” instrumentals. We have a two CD/DVD set of “Karaoke Greatest Hits”, and a five CD set of “The eYe”. I concede that I would love to hear instrumental versions of “Killer Queen” or “Love Of My Life”, but they are hardly going to release every Queen track recorded as an instrumental variation. Again nice - but nothing special. (Unless it was a disc of never issued anywhere tracks).

Second: chronology. Much of the early “Queen” masters have been stolen, destroyed or erased. This means most of the pre 1980 “Queen” material is missing. Therefore, in terms of chronology, the “Queen” box set would be “top heavy” – that is very little representative from the early years, but a glut of material from the latter. (A bit of a famine and a feast really). Even the De Lane Lea demos would have to come from either an enhanced copy of the “In The Beginnig” bootleg, or a copy of Brian May’s home acetate, either way – very little from the period survives.

Third: Official Alternatives: Many Queen alternatives (non-CD “B” sides like “A Human Body”, “Box Of Tricks” 12” collection, and Hollywood releases and remixes) have already been released as official product.

Returning to the Freddie set many of the alternatives were variations of the same track. Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow, (Early Version), Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow (2nd Early Version), Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow (3rd Early Version), Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow (Live Take), Your Kind Of Lover (Earlier Version), Your Kind Of Lover (Vocal & Piano Version), Idea (Barcelona – Garden Lodge Extract), Idea (Barcelona – Garden Lodge Extract II), Barcelona (Early Version), Barcelona (Freddie’s Vocal Slave), Barcelona (Later Version), Golden Boy (Early Version), Golden Boy (2nd Early Version), Golden Boy (Acapella).

Of the “Top heavy” end, bootlegs of “Convention Greatest Hits” (NOT my titling) are also popular in the hub. “Robbery”, I Guess We’re Falling Out” “My Secret Fantasy” and “Self-Made Man” – to name a few (tracks never heard of


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
wstüssyb user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 19:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*chew some popcorn*


MY GOD spell it write.
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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 20:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

wstüssyb wrote:

*chew some popcorn*


Pass the popcorn, I've got some artificial butter topping.

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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 20:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So...you're saying the boxsets will be nice but nothing special since bootleggers and die-hard collectors already have heard it all?

Umm...OK.

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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 20:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah joeyjojo, I'm thinking the same thing.

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Posted: 21 Oct 04, 21:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well it's a good thing you posted about it!

Penis - Vagina user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 00:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey, you took out the underaged boys comment. That was funny! You edit too much John :-P

John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 00:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's Adam's and Lester's fault.

Lester Burnham: "How dare you inject a bit of personality into your posts, John"!

"All we want is information! Nobody asked you to be a standup comedian! Just deliver the facts, John!!"

These bigger boys threatend me with a wedgie!!!




"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 00:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

And don't you forget it! I'll steal your lunch money next.

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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 04:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Don't worry about Lester John. He's as tame as a brumby.


...this kettle is boiling over...

...one dump...one turd...two tits...John Deacon...

...one prawn...one shrimp...one clam...one chicken!
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 07:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't understand why they couldn't include the complete Ibex concert and all the Wreckage out-takes to the box.


Not those are losers who fall, but those who don't stand up.
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 17:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

People, people. This guy has some interesting comments but is comming off as a spoiled little brat. Claiming all this stuff is already out there as bootlegs or what have you. Well guess the hell what? The rest of us here on earth don't have or know where to get these magical mystery bootlegs so a proper good sounding nice packaged set is welcomed. I find it hard to believe that Queen are somehow lying that they don't have good stuff to release as many box sets or making the catelog into double c.d. sets.

I also would like to say forget the FM Solo Collection box set for what it was or attempted to be. Compilations can always be deleted if so chosen if they are so "terrible" like this guy is saying. For god's sake dude don't buy them!!! They won't bite you in the night when you are not looking!!! For those who can't figure it out on their own since the FM Solo Colleciton box set didn't sell so well the first time don't be surprised if a more apropriate version is released some day and what material did not need to be on the box set is just released again with the actual single c.d. releases perhaps making them into double disc sets too...

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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I also would like to say that there is an appropriate way to release material like this. Some of the timing depends on what the rest of the industry are doing, the upcomming technology, or what is best to get the public interested over time so it doesn't flop unnoticed when it is released. As it is there is more on the market than the public can even be aware of at this time. Just about every artist or movie out there has more to be released whether they would like to admit it or not. Just give them some time!

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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 20:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*Picks an orange from Richard's Orchard*

How silly...



Comprende muchacho.
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 21:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Who? Me or the original poster? Or both?

John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 22:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Part Two:

"The bottom line is - nice, but nothing special".

Do not pin your hopes on the magical boxsets – as they will only disappoint.

It was my intention to write another "feature-length" article, but with the events of the day (The "100 Greatest Bootlegs" rip-off) being uppermost in everyone's mind - why spend my precious time providing an academic point of view, when Queen Productions have already expressed my position for me? As they say "actions speak louder than words".

Let's cut to the chase. What I am actually saying is "do not pin your hopes on the magical boxsets – as they will only disappoint". Here's why:

Of the over-bloated 10 CD “Freddie Mercury: Solo Collection” only two discs worth of material were of any real value. That means that many, many people (not just collectors) payed well over the odds for the few (2/10 CDs = 20%) unreleased tracks.

Why for example, include the easily available "Mr Bad Guy" and "Barcelona" CDs - if it was blatantly obvious at the start of the project that the set could NOT be complete, and that a number of tracks from "Wreckage", "Ibex", and "Time" (to name a few) would NOT be included?

Ofcourse it was very handy to have most of Mercury's music collection in the one place and on a few shiny discs. (Previously the collector had to gather veritable armfuls of multi-sized vinyls, tapes and CD singles). It was also a very handsome book and beautifully presented, (and very handy for the first time collector). All in all, a very impressive package - but the bottom line was still - nice, but nothing special, because like thousands of other fans around the globe, I was FORCED to re-purchase, for the third time (first vinyl, then CD) discs which I did not want or need - if I desired access to those exclusive two discs!

If we again return to the "Beatles", when they first released their complete back catalogue on CD - they sold each disc separately. They also compiled two discs of rarities (again they could be purchased independantly) called "Past Masters Volumes One & Two". They also sold a black wooden box container to hold all 16 discs, and an accompanying glossy book (written by "Beatles" expert Mark Lewisham) providing additional linear notes and triva for the tracks from each album.

The catch? There was none. As a "Beatles" fan you could either purchase (like the Freddie Box Set) the complete package - or you could buy the component bits seperately. MGM followed suit with a similar collectable James Bond DVD set. You could either buy the complete package as a whole, or order the box and discs independently from each other. Makes sense whether you are a long-time collector, or a fresh-faced newbie.

Similarly, when the "Beatles" released their Anthology trilogy of double CD sets, NONE of the massive 152 tracks were previously released, and very few proved to be muliple variations of the same track. Add to this - that no repeat purchase of back catalogue product was necessary - and that the set was released at a very affordable c£25.00 over a six month period (that's one set every two months), one can begin to see how the "Beatles" worked with their fans, rather than foist unwanted products upon them, and at the same alient poorer residents of the "Beatles" community.

However as I said earlier, we are discussing "Queen not the "Beatles" - but as a postscript one wonders how the "Beatles" could get it so right, while "Queen" (trailing behind in their manufacturing wake) get it so wrong - considering that essentially they are both EMI flat-mates.

So what of the proposed Queen box-sets? Forget the hype. Forget the seduction of big packages (a bit Freudian if you ask me) and colourful glossy pages. The "Queen" box will be yet another &qu


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 22:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So it basically means we get nadda
Figures > >


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Posted: 22 Oct 04, 22:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'd really like for you to be proven wrong, John (don't take that as an offense!), because I want these box sets to be special. However, they're quickly turning into a mystical thing that will eventually just drizzle away.

QP's best decision would have been to not announce something like this happening, or at least saying "it's possible this may happen sometime in the future" without giving any specific dates. I've heard "Christmas 2002", "Spring 2003", "Christmas 2004" so many times that it's just becoming boring now.