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4.0 out of 5 stars Queen - BBC Sessions., 23 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Lost BBC sessions (In the mirror) Japanese Cd. (Audio CD)
I'm not necessarily reviewing this particular release, but just offering some clarity on each of the sessions - I do have all the BBC sessions on a pretty good quality bootleg so I have heard all the tracks. As a previous reviewer has said, Queen recorded six sessions for the BBC between 1973 and 1977. Each session contains four songs. Sessions 1 and 3 were released as 'Queen at the Beeb' in 1989. The same sessions were then re-released by Hollywood Records in 1995 under the title 'Queen at the BBC'. This 'Lost In The 'Mirror' release offers the remaining sessions that were not on 'Queen at the Beeb / BBC'.

Session 2 - See What A Fool I've Been / Keep Yourself Alive / Liar / Son And Daughter. Recorded 25th July 1973.

The band took the master tapes for Keep Yourself and Liar into the studio and re-recorded the vocal tracks. The other two tracks were re-recorded in their entirety. This particular version of See What A Fool I've Been (which was a non-album track that was the b-side to the Seven Seas Of Rhye single) was released on the bonus disc of the 2011 Queen II Remaster release. The most interesting track in this session is Son And Daughter which is twice as long as the album version and includes some improvisation that listeners will recognise as the fore runner to the Brighton Rock guitar solo.

Session 4 - Modern Times Rock N'Roll / Nevermore / White Queen (As It Began) / The March Of The Black Queen. Recorded 3rd April 1974.

The version of Nevermore recorded here is also available on the bonus disc of the 2011 Queen II Remaster release. Whilst a particularly frantic version of Modern Times Rock N'Roll and White Queen are re-recorded here in their entirety, The March Of The Black Queen suspiciously fades into Funny How Love Is (the next track on Queen II) and is another vocal (and possibly guitar) overdubbing of the album master tapes. The highlight of this session is without doubt the newly recorded White Queen.

Session 5 - Now I'm Here / Stone Cold Crazy / Flick Of The Wrist / Tenement Funster. Recorded 16th October 1974.

This is probably the most disappointing Queen BBC session in that all four tracks feature new vocals dubbed over the album master tapes. The versions of Flick Of The Wrist and Tenement Funster were released on the bonus disc of the 2011 Sheer Heart Attack Remaster release. Since on the album Tenement Funster segues into Flick Of The Wrist, the backing tape used for 'Tenement' finishes on a simple power chord.

Session 6 - Spread Your Wings / It's Late / My Melancholy Blues / We Will Rock You. Recorded 28th October 1977.

Following the worst BBC session (although I would point out that Sheer Heart Attack is one of my favourite albums) comes the best session. All four tracks are new recordings. Spread Your Wings is more upbeat than the album version with thundering drums and powerful guitar. The track ends with a superb up-tempo finale. It's Late has a 'Get Down Make Love' middle section similar to that on Live Killers. The most interesting piece is We Will Rock You. The track starts with one verse of the slower album version with Brian then coming in with the live guitar solo and finishing with a power chord. As this fades, there is some dialogue discussing Shiva and Brahma and Hindu deities before the band tear into the 'fast' version of We Will Rock You - the effect is quite dramatic. Apparently, the dialogue was from a late night reading of Siddhartha on Radio 4 that was already on the tape and accidently sat between the slow and fast versions of 'Rock You'. When the band heard the finished recording, so the story goes, they liked the effect and the dialogue was left in! Having not heard this Lost In The Mirror version, I don't know how much of the We Will Rock You track is contained here - hopefully all of it! These versions of Spread Your Wings and My Melancholy Blues are available on the bonus disc of the 2011 News Of The World Remaster. The fast 'bit' of We Will Rock You was given away free by the Sun national newspaper in 2002 to market the We Will Rock You musical at the Dominion Theatre in London. Unfortunately, it doesn't include any of the aforementioned dialogue.

As I said previously, I'm not reviewing this particular release, but giving some details on the BBC sessions. Hopefully, Queen Productions will see fit at some point to release all six sessions together - the music is all already there and it represents an era (for oldies like me) when Queen were at their most experimental and interesting.
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