Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > What was the original title of Gettin' Smile/Ghost of Smile?

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Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Dec 04, 09:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Does anybody know how Brian, Roger and Tim planned to name their first album?

They recorded 6 songs, released promo-single, so I suppose there was an idea about release whole album. 'Gettin' Smile'? Well, maybe, but who knows (if I ask this that means that there is someone who knows and I need to find that someone).

And why 'Gettin' Smile' and 'Ghost of Smile' weren't released in UK? As I remember only one Queen/Solo album wasn't released in UK - 'Blue Rock' by The Cross, but there were reasons for it (release was cancelled because of Freddie's death, as someone's said) and I can't imagine any reasons for the same situation with 'Smile' records.

PS: If nobody knows the answers then we should try to ask Brian if he remembers all these things.

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Posted: 10 Dec 04, 13:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The only thing the members of Smile had to do with the release schedule of their material would possibly have been the choice of A & B side of the original single. The title of both the LP & later CD was chosen by the record company involved.

At no stage would any of the artists involved had any influence over a decision to release in the UK.

And Blue Rock was not cancelled as a result of Freddie's death. There were no plans stated at the time to release it in the UK, as by that time The Cross were only signed to a German record label. The Life Changes single WAS pulled, but enough copies seem to have got out to satisfy demand anyway.

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Posted: 10 Dec 04, 17:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the info!

John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 10 Dec 04, 20:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

PG is correct.

The only thing I can add is that "Smile" never recorded an album. They recorded a few studio tracks which (apart from the "Earth/Step On Me" single) they thought would never be released.

I recall an interview with Tim Staffell whereby he was surprised by the amount "Smile" actually recorded.

The title "Gettin' Smile" (a Japanese only release) was first issued October 1982 by Mercury Records - and the pun was - hey "Smile" has been lost for years - and we are now finally getting "Smile".
Although a legal and official release, the fan club still claimed this was a bootleg.

The title "Ghost Of A Smile" (a dutch only release - and a title I disagreed with) was a pun on the fact that Freddie was dead - but was still included. (The Man From Manhattan tracks were sheer commercialism in that Freddie, Roger and Brian all appeared on the same disc). This too was another legal and official release, but again the fan club still claimed this was an other bootleg.

BTW: My original idea of a "Smile" only CD was rejected.

So as you can see, there was no thought of an album from the band, therefore no thought of an album title, and as PG has so correctly explained, these subsequent titles were decided by corporate bean-counters and not the artists themselves.





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Posted: 11 Dec 04, 06:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thi is where info about 'Blue Rock' I took: http://www.ultimatequeen.co.uk/Songs/bluerock.htm

And I don't want to discuss, because I don't know, but I think Smile hasn't contracts neither in Japan or Netherlands, though their records were released there... But as John wrote those releases are bootlegs at QFC standards, so maybe this is the answer

To JSS: Thanks John! Can you tell me - why they can't release Smile tracks officialy? Not as bootleg. Problems with contracts or what?

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Posted: 11 Dec 04, 08:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To JSS: Thanks John! Can you tell me - why they can't release Smile tracks officialy? Not as bootleg. Problems with contracts or what?

Sorry Serry, but these are OFFICIAL records - not bootlegs. The only reason they were thought to be bootlegs is because QP and the fan club lied!

Sales have (partially) to do with both ownership and teritories. Mercury Records held the recordings and the rights. So they could legally release - as it was their property.

But EMI could insist that they could not be released in UK or USA as this would be detrimental to their artists. (ie Queen).

No such restrictions were in place in Japan. As a huge consumer of Queen products - Mercury legitimately released the disc to the Japanese market - much to the distain to the official Queen machine. Of course once released in Japan, it was only a matter of time before huge numbers of copies became available as imports. (In fact more copies of the disc sold abroad than inside Japan itself).

This was all legal - but as I have said, this was a huge thorn in the side of QP.

When the Dutch record company Double Dutch wanted to release a CD version - they too legally licensed the tapes from Mercury, and bought the rights to the Holland market only. Again, it was the export sales that made the money, as it was then also legal to traffic in CDs. So a disc essentially aimed at the Dutch market, was in fact a ruse to sell as many copies across Europe and the UK as possible.

Again, QP tried to call foul, but the department of trade and industry were satisfied that these imports were legal - so there was nothing they could do about it.

Once more - the official line was "bootleg". The reason for this was to stigmatise the disc with the associations of poor recodings, bad production and the sales revenues being syphoned into terrorist organisations, in the hope that fans would not link Smile to Queen - and thus reduce the sales of their QP catalogue.

(I know this sounds unbelievable - but think like a record company executive here. First: Smile were not as professional as Queen - therefore Smile sales could negatively reflect on future Queen sales. Second: A customer spending £15 on Smile was NOT spending that on an official Queen product - hence hypothetical loss of revenue. The idea the some Queen fans would still buy both - never entered their thinking).

So sorry about the long-winded answer, but these are indeed OFFICIAL releases but NOT from the Queen/EMI camp.




"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 11 Dec 04, 08:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Then I can hardly understand QFC and QP...

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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 10:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Come Up n See Me - make Me Smile

Almost a Laugh


go deo na h√Čireann
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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 13:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Re: that Blue Rock link.

The fact that someone on the internet says it was cancelled don't make it so. Just looking at that page, I can see "probably on the Live in Germany bootleg tape" - PROBABLY??? Do some fucking research. The inability to identify Terry-Thomas (posh voice on Millionaire) is more understandable, but equally incomplete.

Does the page identify where "Broadsword calling Danny Boy comes from"? I forgot to check. Not that I don't know.

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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 18:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry, John, this should on personal section I guess, but: could I see your name in 'Record Collector' article about releases of 'Bo Rhap' at 1993 or about?

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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 18:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Penetration_Guru wrote:

Re: that Blue Rock link.

The fact that someone on the internet says it was cancelled don't make it so. Just looking at that page, I can see "probably on the Live in Germany bootleg tape" - PROBABLY??? Do some fucking research. The inability to identify Terry-Thomas (posh voice on Millionaire) is more understandable, but equally incomplete.

Does the page identify where "Broadsword calling Danny Boy comes from"? I forgot to check. Not that I don't know.


Sorry, PG, but I can't call this as "someone on the internet says" - that site is very huge and contains some good stuff!

I'm Queen fan since 1991, so you can't call me as a newbie and I've heard about reasons why Blue Rock wasn't released anywhere, except Germany, but if someone's giving another one reason - I can't be sure for 100 per cent that it's the lie, 'cause I ain't former The Cross musician or one of their crew and besides it I've had a bad luck living behind 'the iron curtain' in USSR - so I couldn't get any info about Queen 'till 1988-1989 years!
(Though some of their songs were playing here)

About lyrics: yeah, you're right, it's incomplete.

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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 19:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Philipp Nothaft wrote:

Don't get me wrong, ultimatequeen.com is an excellent site and very useful as a database, but it's not clear of mistakes, as P_G said. For example, they claimed that The Also Rans was never played live until I wrote a short note to them.

In some you COULD argue though that Blue Rock wasn't released outside Germany (and Italy and Japan) due to Fred's death, simply because The Cross called it a day (in terms of continuing to be a really "active" recording and touring group) after Fred's death and so any hypothetical future release of the album in Britain (as far as I know there have been certain vague comments back then that such a release was being "considered") or overseas was bound to be cancelled.
Principally, however, you only really can ascribe the cancellation of "Life Changes" to Fred's death. In the case of Blue Rock, however, EMI Electrola most probably simply didn't get a deal with Parlophone or Capitol, since its predecessor failed to sell in Britain and North America.


Thanks for the info, Philipp!

ultimatequeen.com have a lot of mistakes, especially in lyrics section, that's why I send the corrections to its admin - we could help him to make it absolutely complete and correct.

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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 19:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Philipp Nothaft wrote:

Thank YOU for spelling my name correctly (rare enough these days...) ! :-)


Don't mention it. Your name is not so rare in Russia, so I know how does it spell :)

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Posted: 12 Dec 04, 20:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Isn't that what I said?

Note to self...must be more explicit

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Posted: 29 Jan 05, 19:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"We cut several tracks for that album, including 'April Lady', 'Polar Bear' and 'Blag'", Tim Staffel.

So actually it was recorded for the album production.