Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Greg Brooks: a real Queenfan and Archivist?

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Queenman!! user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 03:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have red the topic about what future release Queen should put on DVD. I have got the feeling that our friend G.B doesn't even knows what out there. I think he only looks in the Queen archives what is good for use.

For example: A while a go he was asking on BrianMAy.com if anyone had got a copy of the BBC seven seas of Rhye. I think everybody on the HUB, including me, were laughing about his question because the file is on the hub for quite a time.
He could have used rhat one for the greatest video hits dvd 1.

Also the lack of work they put on DVD 2 of the Milton Keynes worries me. If you want to make Queenfans happy, don't put a unrestored version of vienna 82 on it. Do some research, contact companies who tapes this footage all those years ago...

I also feel the same for the upcoming DVD. They use what in the Queen Archive and that's it..




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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 05:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I believe the Queen archive is vast and we will probably get to see a maximum of 1% or so...

I'm crazy, but I would love to hear the first 20 takes of Innuendo for example. Learning how they developed their songs etc


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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 06:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Joma,

But that is EXACTLY the sort of stuff that we ought to be seeing in the box sets.

I'd like to hear a whole disc devoted to the creation of Bo Rhap - the first notes in terms of a demo to the full and complete version before it was pared down and all of the individual tracks that were used to create the final version. A complete history of the song.

The fact is that it's not commercially viable to do anything as interesting or as ground-breaking as that. The lack of ambition within EMI / Queen Productions is clearly visible when the most ambitious thing they have ever done is to clean up (minimally) a concert film shot all thattime ago in 1982 (dripping with sarcasm).


Benn
John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 07:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry to be a party pooper, but the Queen archive is not as big as you guys think it is.

Very little survives from the early sessions, and what does remain - is top heavy (ie more slanted towards newer material).

Do not build up your hopes too highly.


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 09:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

And that's exactly the point - something being better than nothing. Constant outflows of crap from the fan club and Brooksy relating to "proposed" dates etc and then no real admition of the state of play. For 10 years......

Regardless of how big the archive, what is being done to ensure that the archive is as complete as it can be? ave we ever seen any updates regarding the tracking down of missing master tapes? What IS being done to track them down? Have sources been found and negototiations outstanding?

It's a band's history that is as important to the legacy of recorded music as The Beatles ever was. And, frankly, it's being treated like shit.


Benn
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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 10:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I seriously doubt they`ve got "the first 20 takes of Innuendo" or something like that. A lot would get erased once they did the definitive version, except perhaps (keyword) for the jam session that originated part of it in the first place and some not-very-different out-takes. The few that I know about their recording process in the later days is that they would do something like this: for instance, Fred rehearses some x song with the lyrics and sings them. Day after day they change some lyrical and melodic parts until they get the definitve ones. Then Fred makes three or four live takes (all being very good and similar) and then he sits with David Richards and meticulously select the best take for each verse, or even each line. But those three/four "definitive" takes would be everything remaining on the archive. The rest would get erased and the only way to obtain them is if for example one of those "working process" demos was sent to EMI or some friends. Those ones sent to EMI were too short (e.g. Invisible Man with alternative break, I guess, rather than know), those ones sent to friends are now still in their hands, or they were thrown away by those mates, or they`re now owned by elite collecotrs who, of course, wouldn`t provide them (and they`ve got all the right to decide whether not to do so).

Furthermore, about the DVD, I was thinking about that yesterday: whoever controlls which is the next concert released (whether it`s Brian, or Jim Beach, etc) is definitely doing marketting instead of trying to promote the image of the band. Think about it: releasing Hammermisth `75 would be a commercial failure compared to Wembley, of course, because 98% of people who know Queen don`t go further than Ga Ga, Break Free, Magic, Pressure, Crazy, Another, Rockyou and Champions. Xmas `75 only would offer a "weird" (for masses) rendition of Bo Rhap, plus two averagely well-known tracks (KQ and NIH) which I`m afraid aren`t enough for them to risk all the costs involved in such a release. Otoh, it would definitely promote and spread the fact that Queen, in the 70s, were an amazing band, very efficient and very musical. Instead of having a keyboardist and having Fred dancing and playing that non-sense air guitar when he wasn`t doing the stupid vocal warm-ups with the audience, we`d have four excellent musicians working together as one mind, connecting, without an auxiliar bloke, with Fred singing extraordinarily and playing great piano parts (e.g. the White Queen solo), with Brian doing nice background vocals and doing a banjo exhibition, with John playing bass and then suddenly hitting a triangle and a couple of bars later coming back to the bass in perfect timing, with Roger making a wonderful drum solo in Keep Yourself Alive, taking some impressive vocal parts (e.g. his lines in Black Queen) and keeping perfect rhythm in others like Leroy Brown whilst being dynamic at the same time as completely linked with his band-mates. So, in long-term, releasing something like that or full Rainbow would make classic rock circles and fans of bands like Zeppelin or Pink Floyd respect Queen much more and get to know that they could rock as well (Ogre Battle, Liar), they could make progressive/art for some extent, they could set up a more mystique show... all in all, a release like that could make Queen bigger for the immense minority, rather than making it "big in sales, average in respect" for the immature majority as they have done until now by promoting their pop-crap. But everything turns to a big "if"


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 10:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Contrary to popular belief, Greg Brooks doesn't have any control over the release dates of the box sets. His only function is to provide information about what is in the archives, which has been done for years - his job is essentially over. It's up to Queen Productions now to get the ball rolling.

Same thing regarding DVDs, etc.: Greg can look in the archives all he wants, and probably select all never-before-seen stuff, but he doesn't have the final word on what goes on any release. If he wanted to release a box set called "The Evolution of 'Who Needs You'", containing 45 discs of takes and sessions of that song, and it came out as "Greatest Hits IV" the next month with seventeen songs we've all heard before, it wouldn't be his fault.

Not that I'm a Greg Brooks apologist, I just think we should all know that it's not really his fault for the delays of the box set.

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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 11:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I seriously doubt there are many, if any outtakes of the Innuendo tracks unless they chose to radically rework a track. Firstly, it isn't a particularly live album, secondly, it was recorded using "then" top of the range digital recorders with many tracks (46? more?). There will be many takes of guitar lines and vocals but they would have then made one mix out of all these different takes - a patchwork if you will. There are bound to be early rough mixes though ,with guide vocals etc.
There wont be many outtakes from the very early days, as tape was so expensive they would re-record over rejected takes.
I'm sure there are better things to put in such a boxset anyway - such as home demos, studio demos and unreleased songs or jams.

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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 12:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lester: Methinks someone recalls a similar conversation on the alternative channel!

I think that merits a gold star award!




"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 12:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

We know there are at least SOME alternate takes from Innuendo
since one of them is used for the beginning of the musical.

But, as was hinted at before, you really can't tell that much of a difference.


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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 13:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've no idea what is used in the musical as I wouldn't be seen dead going to see that trash, but its likely it is just an early mix or a new mix.

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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Shame on me but I don't want to listen hours of sounds of 'Bo Rhap' making.

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Posted: 08 Mar 05, 23:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

QP is short sighted and has little interest in providing value or keep the core customers happy. We will probably see GHV before we see the box sets.

The QP Motto:

Recycle and recycle some more, and occasionally throw the core fans a bone every few years.


Roger: I like it. If you don't. Sod you!



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Posted: 09 Mar 05, 03:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, unlike The Beatles I imagine Queen erased a lot of their 'stuff'. The Who did the same.


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Posted: 09 Mar 05, 07:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>The Who did the same.....

Err......no they didn't. They didn't actually *RECORD* a lot of what they did in the studio - they would warm up and rehearse around the home demos that Pete (and John) brought into the studio and then they would begin cutting a master for each track - there were very few "takes" actually committed to tape.

The Who's archive is also in the same kind of state as Queens - missing masters etc, but there is a WEALTH of material lying around, tht simply no one within the organisation really cares about. EG - A Quick One (Happy Jack) was re-mastered in 1995 (from memory) using mix-down tapes that resided in the band's archive. It was well-known that the Stereo masters were sitting in the archive of Polydor in Germany but NO ONE COULD BE BOTHERED to have them brought over to Polydor UK. I was working for TNT at the time and even offered for them to be collected from there and delivered to the UK FOC, but had the offer ignored. AQO only received it's Stereo re-mastering last year.

At the end of the day, bands regard this stuff as past history - some times the old material that was discarded is the subject of a lot of bad memories - ie it was rejected, but one member of the band may have felt very strongly about it being taken seriously at the time and caused arguements. That's absolutely fine and natural, but SURELY, this is the kind of thing that needs to be taken well out of the hands of the band and it's management so that fresh eyes / opinions can decide whether it is worthy of a band's name.

My ideal scenario would be for the rejected material / demos / alternate takes to be licenced out to specialist labels like Sanctuary or Castle. They then bring in a team of fans / band historians to then wade through the material and then release the results. These labels often do a FAR better job of this than the bigger labels, but the bigger labels also then receive the reward through the terms of the licence agreement.

But, you then get the labels that are overly protective and would never entertain anything as imaginative as that.....


Benn
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Posted: 09 Mar 05, 09:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

John S Stuart wrote:

Lester: Methinks someone recalls a similar conversation on the alternative channel!

I think that merits a gold star award!



Indeed! I just felt too lazy to sift through the conversations on the alternative channel to find exactly what I had written.

You've got a good memory in yer noggin there, Mr Stuart!

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Posted: 09 Mar 05, 13:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

BTW - the Innuendo track which opens the musical is nothing but a remix of Freddie's vocals , being played back to a well synchronized band.
If you listen to it there's no new voacl part (or harmonies) in this version.
The one thing I regret is the fact Queen didn't let any video cameras in the studio (except the millions times watched One Vision project).
The least the band could do after the tour finishes is to try to get their shit together about anything regards the boxset.

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Posted: 09 Mar 05, 16:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The WWRY Version of Innuendo features vocals that aren't taken from the released version of Innuendo.


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Posted: 10 Mar 05, 06:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great work, Dennis, but '75 box would be criticize too much - most of fans doesn't like things like 'Rare Live'...

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Posted: 10 Mar 05, 06:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Denny-boy!

And you'd be happy with a '75 DVD set like that? What you have there is nothing more than a rough VHS bootleg equivalent but on DVD. It's amateurish and would be a joke in the industry.

I think they're doing pretty well on the DVD front and the stuff about "the big public" (whatever you think that actually means) having to have WATC, BoRhap etc on a release is rubbish. Queen, as a brand, sells. Regardless of the material, they are a huge commercial property - and the DVD format is a wonderful medium for ANY of their live shows that were filmed.

Denny-Boy! You're not WKMahler (Billy-Boy!) in disguise are you?


Benn