BostonGarden77_a

Queen concert on November 12 1977 – Boston Garden

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Published on the Sunday Bulletin Nov. 20 1977. By Matt Dumsker

A Royal Quartet rules the World of Heavy Metal Rock

Boston — By New York or even Philadelphia standards, Boston is a generally sedate town, although an an outsider on hand last week at the Boston Garden would be forced to reassess any such generalization. Indeed, the more than 13,000 young rock fans who packed the Garden on the evening of Nov. 12-provided. an awesome example of mass hysteria, as the British rock group Queen unveiled a new stage show of such epic proportion and sustained excitement that there seems no way to adequately describe its impact.

It was only the second performance of the quartet’s current 27-city American tour (which touches down here at the Spectrum for shows Wednesday and Thursday nights), but it was a clear enough indication that Queen has blossomed into the leading practitioner of heavy-metal rock drama, With British kingpins Led Zeppelin temporarily out of the touring picture (due to the sudden death this past summer of singer Robert Plant’s young son), Queen literally reigns, thanks to ah impressive new album — “News of the World” (Elektra Records) — and the sort of non-stop, three-hour, no-opening-act show pioneered by Zeppelin in the early 1970s.

Queen’s triumph — after about five years of increasing popularity and one smash hit single (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) — derives from a wise and welcome change in musical/theatrical direction. Originally a busily theatrical “glitter” band reliant on a multitude of costume changes, smoke, strobe and fire effects, Queen has considerably toned down its flashy excess. With the exception of one major costume change — from stripes to sequins — on the part of lead singer Freddie Mercury, a modicum of smoke and flare, and a massive, 5,000-pound lighting rig in the shape of a queenly crown, the group’s theatrical impact is almost exclusively tied to its music. Noticeably phased from the current repertoireare the rococo, operetta-like tunes of an earlier period, and in their pIace is a masterfully paced program of eruptive yet polished hard rock
With such boldly articulate new, recent and old Queen songs ” We Will” Rock You,” “Keep Yourseif Alive”, “Liar,” “We Are the Champions”,  ”Tie Your Mother Down,” the group brillantly sates the mass appetite for the  surefire basics of modern pop rock: soaring tenor lead and harmony vocals, pungent electric guitar lines, driving  yet  sophisticated rhythms, evocative Iyric:s and rich melodies.

“I suppose we’ve been leading up to this all long. It certainly feels like the breakthrough  we’d  never quite made”   admitted Freddie Mercury after the Boston Performance. Mercury is tall, dark, muscular yet lean, retiring yet intense in terms of eye contact, and possessed of a rather pronounced overbite which makes him a most unlikely Rock Star. But he’s a gifted showman of genuine grace and relentless energy, a first rate vocalist and songwriter, and quite lucid on the subject of Queen.

“I think it got to the point with us where the theatrical tag began to take over our image, but it was only a matter of time before the musci began to come into its own. That’s what’s making the difference on this tour”, he reflects. In a near chair, bassist John Deacon – quietly amiable – nods in agreement.

“What bothers me so often when people discuss rock ‘n roll is their tendency to label it,” continues Mer­cury. “Either it’s ‘glitter’ or ‘punk’ or progressive’ or whatever, and these tend to obscure the fact that you’re really talking about a kind of entertain­ment that often touches on a lot of styles. The last thing l’d want to do is limit our music to a label.”

Speaking of labels, though — and of “punk” rock in particular — one can’t help but note that one of the group’s new tunes, “Sheer Heart Attack,” affects the piledriving intensity of today’s “punk” sound.

“I suppose it does, now that you mention it,” agrees drummer Roger Taylor, who wrote the song. Blond and blue-eyed, Taylor is very much the pretty boy of the band. “But even so, I wrote it a few years back and we only just got around to recording it. I do think, though, that the punk rock scene is still very nascent, and you’re going to see a lot of these young bands making a lot of crappy music before the good stuff comes along, i suppose it has to be that way”.

The nucleus of Queen — Mercury, Taylor and guitarist Brian May — met up in London in 1970 and rounded out the following year with John Deacon. Previously, Mercury had been with a group called  Wreckage, while May and Taylor had been members of one called Smile. All four are in their late twenties,  and  each  has  a  college degree, Mercury in graphic design and illustration, Taylor in biology, Deacon in electronics and May in astronomy.

The most accomplished academic of the four, May not only taught astronomy but published a few papers in British scientific journal before forming Smile with Taylor in 1968. Tall, leather Jacket and sporting an abundant mane of curly black hair, May could hardly look less a scientist.

“I was doing research on cosmic dust”, he explains, ” and I really did enjoy my work, in fact I still keep up with the latest developments”.

By now, the party has thinned down and it’s quite late – 3 A.M. – as May and I share an elevator to respective floors. he shakes his head, dazed and happy. “You know”, he odfers, “we’ve played a lot of places, but everytime I hear an audience roine crazy like they were tonight before we even got onstage, I get such a feeling inside, and I know I could never feel that way doing anything else…”

Queen Tour in USA 1980 an interview with Gerry Stickells

queenGerryStic_article_1980An article appeared on “The Bulletin”, Friday august 22, 1980, the day Queen were going to play at the Philadelphia’s Spectrum

 

Approximately 18,000 fans will pack the Spectrum tonight to see the British rock band Queen strut its stuff. Most of them will take for granted the regal array of lights, rigging, stage and sound equipment that illumine, frame and otherwise project the quartet’s elaborate aura.

But at a time when only a handful of pop acts can afford to mount ma­jor concert tours, the logistics of moving, staging and re-moving these extravaganzas fall to such fire-tried experts as Gerry Stickells, without whom the Queen fans might have nothing to cheer about.

While Stickells is one of those be-hind-the-scenes rock people who’ll probably never make the cover of Rolling Stone, this soft-spoken 38-year-old Englishman is widely recognized as the top tour and produc­tion manager in the business.

In addition to shepherding the last few Queen tours —- which have em-ployed everything from a 5,000-pound electric crown to new lightings ystems of truly awesome intensity — Stickells’ company has done the same for acts diverse as Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Abba. He’s in steady demand, but can now afford the selectivity that comes with a peerless reputation.

“You do this sort of thing for the money as much as anything, but if \it’s a tour that’s going to make life particularly difficult, I’d rather not,” said Stickells by phone the other day from New York City. He’d reached the mid-point of Queen’s 44-city American tour, and he sounded tired but in good humor. The tour was progressing “pretty smoothly,” or at least as smoothly as any operation that runs almost daily on four 44-foot trailers, two buses, private aircraft, and with 22 technicians and enough lighting and sound equip­ment to suck up “several million watts” of electricity. The ultimate cost of the entire production will probably exceed $1million, and it’s not likely that Queen will do much more than break even financially,   although   major rock tours than  anything else are designed to generate album sales -in this case, for Queen’s latest Elektra disc, “The Game”. With recession forcing virtually everybody’s hands these daysQueen and Stickells had to cut on the sort of lavish show their audiences expect?

“We haven’t cut back in that area at all,” said Stickells. “We’ve just had to spend a little more time pack­aging and planning it. We’ve just cut corners wherever possible in terms of being on the road.” As Stickells tells it, the current Queen show is ac-tually “very revolutionary, very dif-ferent” in its use of lighting. The staging is dominated by a huge swivel arm which features several racks of lighting on one end, spot-lights and their operators on the other. The device can swing in a half-circle around the stage, and the spotlight operators can illuminate the various members of Queen from as dose as 10 and as far as 50 feet away. “It’s impossible to describe, really, but the effect is unique,” said Stickells.

Stickells described his early self as a “drifter” who landed a job in the late 1960s with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. “At that time, no one had any idea how huge Jimi would become,” recalled Stickells, who drove   the   Hendrix   band’s around England for a meager $30 per week. He served as Hendrix’s tour manager until the rock star’s death in the early 70s, then became presi-dent of Hendrix’s Electric Lady Stu-dios in New York, and eventually formed GLS Productions with tour managing partner Chris Lamb.

“I don’t think that the logistical problems are what makes this work hard to do,” reflected Stickells. “After ali, it’s your job to deal with them. The hardest thing is dealing with the personalities involved, but once you become used to artists’ moods, you can usually stay a step ahead. And I don’t spend too much time listening to the music. I’m too wrapped up in the practical matters.”

Queen Live in New York City Madison Square Garden November 16th 1978

Here’s and interesting article about Queen performing in NY in 1978. Enjoy!! From Rolling Stone Magazine, Jan. 25th 1979. Why RS never liked Queen music??

watermarked-01_NY_MSG_1978_article

 

If QUEEN’s Performance lived up to the promise of their entrance, it’d be the biggesr event since the fall of the Roman Empire. Freddie Mercury, clad in storm-trooper black, comes out swaggering, brandishing bis microphone stand like a riding crop, while guitarist Brian May unleashes a Valkyrian ride of power riffs. “Let me enter­ tain you;’sings Mercury; itis-nota request, b.ut a command. For a moment it seems as if we will be swept away by some dark, Diony­ sian rite that leaves nothing in its wake but shattered champagne crystal and deflowered eleven­ year-olds.

The next two hours of Queen’s set, however, don’t match the ex­citement of those first few minutes. Queen is a band with a cleverly construcred,veneer: on the surface their music sounds profound and resonant, but underneath there’s no substance. The group’s studio work maintains this illusion of depth with dense, imaginative pro­duction and arrangements. On­ stage the veneer wears thin.

Part of Queen’s problem is their musicianship. Mercury possesses a strong baritone that could be an expressive   instrument,   but   he locks himself into a caricature. He knows only one theatrical tech­nique: exaggeration. His head ap­pears to be permanently cocked back, his chest swells like an oper­atic buffoon. And when attempt­ ing a ballad like “You’re My Best Friend” (part of an acoustic seg­ ment sandwiched between the electric portions of the set), Mer­ cury tries so hard to act out his emotion that he defeats bis own ability to communicate it. He’s like a rock & roll Enzo Stuarti.

Mercury  comes  across  with more  flair than  the  rest  of  the group. Bassist John  Deàcon  and drummer Roger Taylor are more than adequate players on record, but onstage they are possibly the worst  rhythm  section in rock & rolt Taylor plods. He nor only has • littlegraspoftechnicalnuance,  but also seems to bave only recently cliscoverecl the baçkbeat. (Bis solo spot consists of a lorig drum roll fed through a phase shift:er.) Brian May, apolished , technically aclr:oit heavy-metal guitarist,stands off to one side and plays his parts inde­ pendentof the others. The ensem­ble results are chaotic. “Keep Yourself Alive:’ one of Queen’s best songs, loses ali dynamics in performance. On the record, it builcls from one guitar riff to a multilayered crescendo; live, the band charges into it li°ke four wilcl stallions on the rampage. They don’t build the song, they rush it, and by the end the tempo is nearly twice as fast as when the song began.

Queen’s  staging  is  similarly confused. On this tour they’re using the standard array of arena­ scale effects: smoke, strobes,  a second stage that clescends from above. But instead of comple­ menting the performance, they seem more like elaborate cliver­ sionary tactics. On the second of two nights at Madison Square Garden, the band even dispatched severa! undothed’ women across the stage on bicycles during “Far Bottomed Girls.” How far will Queen go to keep people from noticing that it’s not only the bi­cyling beauties who are bare?

 

Queenmusem.com & Discodays

Al DiscoDays domenica 6 aprile 2014 presso la Casa della Musica di Napoli, Queenmuseum.com organizzerà una mostra ripercorrendo la storia ultra quarantennale dei Queen attraverso i dischi più rari, le edizione più ricercati e le memorabilia da ogni parte del mondo.

Queen exibition next Sunday April 6th at Discodays, music and record fair, in Naples. Records & memorabilia from all over the world.

 

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Sheer Heart Attack LP’s discography

With the help of fellow collectors, Lorenzo Marranci and John Daly, we’re building a gallery dedicated to the 1974 third Queen LP “Sheer Heart Attack”.
click on the link below and enjoy. Of course, all new contributions or missing infos are very appreciated. So don’t hesitate to make your comments.

Sheer Heart Attack Gallery

 

 

The UK issues

UK (3u 3u) Different shade of red Front

The third Queen album was released in UK on November 8th 1974, with the famous cover showing a Mick Rock photo. We will analyze how to tell  first issue from further releases. This means that slightly difference in the cover, Inner sleeve are present. Also to recognize a first issue you always have to check matrix numbers. So please if you already haven’t done yet please read the following article about UK matrix numbers.

A rare Uk white label test pressing copy have surfaced.This has matrix numbers ending, both A side and B side, with 1U and of course 1 G as Mother- Stamper.

UK TESTPRESS

UK TESTPRESS LP

 

But the first reported commercial issue has matrix numbers as follows: A side Yax 4881 3U, B side Yax 4882 3U.

UK (3u 3u) matrix 1a

matrix A side

 

UK (3u 3u) matrix 2a

Matrix b side

Most common versions on the market have 4u/4U matrix and I suppose these being for 1975.

other matrix reported are:

4u/3u

4u/1u

6u/3u

6u/7 (the 80′s cream label reissue)

There are some differences you can find in the lyrics inner sleeve also.

The first inner sleeve, found on the 3u/3u and 4u/3u has three of the four corner cut as shown in the photo below (please note the G&L printed under the Crest Logo).

Uk Inner 1 front

UK inner 1 Back

The back side of the inner reports the “EMC 3061″ catalogue number.

The 2nd version of the inner, widely found in the 4u/4u copies has the following aspect, rounded corner and different print under the crest logo “Crest Design C Queen production ltd 1975″

UK Inner 2nd version

UK Inner 2nd version

Another obscure difference can be found on the early pressing on the glossy laminated sleeve. If you look on the back right corner in most copies you’ll find the trident logo, but some copies haven’t got it!!

UK (3u 3u) Different shade of red Rear 2

There’s also, as you can see fro the photos a different tone of red colour  which differs on the two issues. The one with Trident Logo seems to be more vivid, going almost to orange. Check the two sleeves also compared on the front.

UK (3u 3u) Different shade of red Front

 

and another detail of the cover:

 

UK (3u 3u) Different shade of red Rear 3

 

That’s all for now. Of course, any addition, correction or further information is greatly appreciated so feel free to contact us if you have new details to add to this post.

 

Don’t forget to check the Sheer Heart Attack gallery with issues from all over the world… you’ll find a lot of differences… Did you know that italian LP issue ha no mirror crackles on the bacl photo? And in Argentina and Urugualy the title on front sleeve was translated in “certero ataque al corazon”; some countries as France and Venezuela issued a gatefold sleeve instead of the single one issued in UK.

Rare Share: Queen Collectables

rareshareQC

 

Rare Share : Queen Collectables. You tube Channel

 

QUEEN RARE SHARE is a platform for Queen fans to share and discuss their favourite items of memorabilia. You can watch the short films we’ve created here, covering a multitude of rare and diverse Queen treasures and spanning the band’s entire career, and you can also create your own films/clips/features for this channel. The channel was created and it’s run by Queen experts Gary Taylor and Greg Brooks.

This is THE place to come if you love Queen and the 40 years of wonderful memorabilia this incredible band  your favourite Queen items – be it ‘The Works’ album, or Picture Discs, Box Sets or rare vinyl.

Life On Two Legs: Norman Sheffield, Trident and … Queen

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The book with an original acetate of Seven Seas of Rhye from Trident (Queenmuseum collection)

The Book titled Life on Two legs was out in July 2013. It’s the story of Trident Records told by his founder Norman Sheffield. For the avid Queen fan and collector is really a new fresh point of view of the early period of the band. The most interesting one for me.. because it’s when a band starts to have first achievements, and everything seems electric.

Ok you probably know about the song Freddie dedicated to the author, “Death on two legs” from A Night At The Opera album… but there’s no nasty reply to that song… at all.. opn the contrary you read of course the point of view of the man who actually discovered Queen and brought them to the Stars….

Everything is written very well and you go very fast because want to read facts, stories etc… As was for reading the “Becoming Elektra” from Jack Holzman, this will also let you jump in those)late 60′s/early 70′s when inside Trident Studios some historical recording were made…. Beatles, Genesis,Bowie, Elton John, Queen…..

The Book is published by Trident Publishing LTD and it’s of course available on line!!

 

Queen1973 fullpromoUSALPset copy

“Queen” 1973 – 2013 40 years from their debut LP – USA & Japan

Queen1973 fullpromoUSALPset copy

 

In 1972, Jack Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, wrote an internal memo to his stuff: I have seen the future of pop music, and it is a band called Queen! He was desperate to sign Queen.”I knew in my bones they were it, that Queen would thrive at Elektra and we were the perfect label for them. There was the added thrill of the chase, going up against Columbia. I had been told that deal was completed, but discovered through my own soursec that Queen had yet to see the first draft of the Columbia contract. And there was no deal memo”. Holzman kept up the pressure on the band’s management, visiting them in London, and he slowly began to convince Queen and their manager Jack Nelson, of his commitment.”We offered the same lure that worked so well with The Doors and Harry Chapin: we wouldn’t release any other album the same month as Queen’s debut appeared. Elektra could do that, but Columbia, because of their enormous size and obligations, could not. Altough we were now part of the Warner Music Group we were still flexible. We eventually signed Queen for over 60 percent of the world. Emi had Europe. We sold far more Queen records than EMI.

 

 

One of the earliest promotional Queen related item from USA in 1973 is the following Elektra Records preview book. These kind of items are now very rare; they were given to Music rep., especially resellers. It features all the releases planned for September 1973. That was the month Elektra chose to let Queen debut LP go  to be released in the USA market.

 

elektrapreview73_00

 Promotional information and images to be used in the newspaper ads are included in this book (size 12,5″ x 12,5″).

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This sheet can be found also in the promo LP version of the debut US LP. Here’s in card paper.

elektrapreview73_1

Order form and shiny paper promo sheet with Queen previews with quotes from UK newspapers…

But the Most interesting thing from this book is that it features advance LP covers for these september 1973 releases. The Queen cover is still not completed. Both the crest on the back and the “Queen” written on front are missing!!!

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And of course in USA we have a Test Pressing edition of the LP with the following matrix numbers etched in the run-off groove

Side A: EKS 75064 A-1  ESR-TD 7-20-73

SIDE B: EKS 75064 B-1  ESR-TD 7-20-73

QUEEN_I_USA_TESTPRESSING

The Label of the USA Test Pressing LP

 

Stay connected with this post… I’ll update soon with all vinyls informations about the Queen debut LP in US….. and soon after in Japan….