Queen On Air: The Complete BBC Radio Sessions Set For November 4th Release
October 3, 2016 at 2:15 PM (PT)
Between FEBRUARY 1973 and OCTOBER 1977, QUEEN recorded six radio sessions exclusively for the BBC. The 24 recordings these landmark sessions produced include alternate versions of the debut single, unique takes of classic album tracks and even a radically reworked reimagining of one of their best-known anthems that has never previously appeared on any studio release.
Now, for the very first time, all six QUEEN BBC sessions - meticulously restored by the band's engineer KRIS FREDRIKSSON and mastered by GRAMMY winner ADAM AYAN -- have been brought together on "QUEEN On Air," which will be released on NOVEMBER 4th by VIRGIN EMI. NORTH AMERICA through HOLLYWOOD RECORDS. Available as a two-CD set and a three-LP vinyl edition, plus a deluxe six-disc edition featuring a CD of live broadcasts and three CDs of radio interviews,
"QUEEN On Air" offers a rare snapshot of the growth of a legendary band.
QUEEN’s very first session for the BBC, which opens the album, dates from FEBRUARY, 1973, five months before the release of the band’s debut album and single. JOHN PEEL plays "My Fairy King," the very first QUEEN song to be broadcast on radio anywhere. He follows with "Keep Yourself Alive" (the song which later became their first single), the laidback "Doing All Right" and the epic rock operetta "Liar" – all of which serve notice of the arrival of a major new musical force.
The band returned to the BBC for their second session in JULY 1973, the same month their debut album was released. This time, they also covered the heavy-as-lead "Son And Daughter" and the bluesy "See What A Fool I’ve Been." The latter, which has never appeared on any QUEEN studio album, would later be re-recorded and become the B-side of their breakthrough hit single "Seven Seas Of Rhye" in 1974.
By the time QUEEN recorded their third BBC session in DECEMBER, 1973, they had already begun work on their second album, "QUEEN II" (eventually released in MARCH 1974). The band premiered a new song which would feature on that album, "Ogre Battle," alongside three classics from its predecessor, the galloping "Great King Rat," the ROGER TAYLOR_sung "Modern Times Rock’n’ Roll" and a new version of "Son And Daughter."
QUEEN’s second-to-last session for the BBC took place in OCTOBER 1974, a month before the release of their classic third album, "Sheer Heart Attack." The session saw the debut of four songs from that record: the dazzling "Now I’m Here," the proto-heavy metal attack of "Stone Cold Crazy," the caustic "Flick Of The Wrist" and "Tenement Funster," their celebration of the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.
It would be another three years before Queen returned to the BBC for their sixth and final session, by which time the success of "Bohemian Rhapsody" had turned them into a global phenomenon.
On OCTOBER 28th, 1977, they recorded some radically different versions of four songs from the brand-new "News Of The World" album: the epic power ballad "Spread Your Wings," the steel-plated rocker "It’s Late," the dusky jazz number "My Melancholy Blues" and two significantly contrasting renditions of the global hit "We Will Rock You" – the "regular" version and the "fast" version, a full-tilt guitar-heavy take on the song. The accelerated version on "QUEEN On Air" is the only known studio recording of this live favorite.
To complete the full picture, the sic-CD DELUXE EDITION includes QUEEN Live On Air – a single disc featuring highlights of three live concert broadcasts: QUEEN live at the GOLDERS GREEN HIPPODROME in SEPTEMBER 1973, their first concert to be transmitted on radio anywhere in the world. Also, QUEEN performing in BRAZIL at SAO PAULO’s gigantic MORUMBI stadium to a record-setting audience of 131,000 originally relayed live on radio and TV in MARCH, 1981. Finally, QUEEN’s penultimate live concert radio broadcast. Aired less than four weeks before their last show with FREDDIE MERCURY, this was a live emission from the show in MANNHEIM, GERMANY, in JUNE, 1986, during the mighty MAGIC TOUR.
The set further offers a captivating selection of radio interviews with both the whole band and the individual members at various points between 1976 and 1992. "QUEEN On Air: The Interviews (three CDs) delivers a compelling three and a half hour distillation of revealing encounters recorded for the BBC and CAPITAL RADIO in LONDON between 1976-1992.
"QUEEN On Air" also includes the very last interview the four original members would give together. Being interviewed for a "QUEEN For An Hour" special with BBC RADIO 1’s MIKE READ to promote the new album, "The Miracle," and broadcast during the MAY BANK HOLIDAY weekend of 1989, READ cajoles all kinds of details from his guests and covering significant and often enthralling ground.
The DELUXE EDITION also comes with a meticulously assembled booklet containing rare photographs and sleeve notes lovingly compiled by band archivist GREG BROOKS, featuring memories from the band and BBC producers JEFF GRIFFIN and BERNIE ANDREWS, plus comments from legendary RADIO 1 DJs JOHN PEEL and BOB HARRIS from the time of the original broadcasts.