Jul 27

Queen – On Air (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:41:04 minutes | 2,09 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Hollywood Records

Queen’s meteoric ascendancy during the 1970s has been well documented. From their gloriously ambitious self-titled debut album of 1973 through to the album that put them in the superstar bracket, 1975’s A Night At The Opera, and beyond, this unique group carved out a singular path as the most visionary, inventive and charismatic band of that epic decade.

But there is another side to Queen’s rise that has been largely overlooked. Between February 1973 and October 1977, the band recorded six radio sessions exclusively for the BBC. The twenty four 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 Queen studio release.

Now, for the very first time, all six Queen BBC sessions – meticulously restored by Queen engineer Kris Fredriksson and mastered by Grammy Award winner Adam Ayan – have been brought together on Queen On Air

Back in 1989 — or 1995, if you’re an American — Queen released a collection called At the Beeb, which featured two BBC sessions recorded in February and December, 1973. The 2016 compilation Queen on Air trumps this by adding a July 1973 session along with two sessions from 1974 and one from 1977, all adding up to the band’s complete appearances on the BBC. Comprehensiveness is a feather in the cap for Queen on Air for collectors, but the additional material reveals that Queen got better as they stuck around. Those early 1973 performances have a couple of classic songs — namely, two different versions of “Keep Yourself Alive,” and maybe “Great King Rat” — but these sound thin and tentative compared to the recordings from 1974 and 1977 on disc two, where the band feels bigger and bolder, recognizing the value in space. Queen can still wander into amorphous territory — “It’s Late” descends into echoing mush — but their muscle seems defined, as does their camp: by ending the set with “My Melancholy Blues,” there’s no question that Queen is arch, delivering each of their tunes with a wink. Such revelations are interesting, but the relatively limpness of Queen on Air does mean it’s an archival release designed only for fans. ~~ AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tracklist:

CD 1

1 My Fairy King (BBC Session / February 5th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:04:08
2 Keep Yourself Alive (BBC Session / February 5th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:03:50
3 Doing All Right (BBC Session / February 5th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:04:13
4 Liar (BBC Session / February 5th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:06:30
5 See What A Fool I’ve Been (BBC Session / July 25th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:04:21
6 Keep Yourself Alive (BBC Session / July 25th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:03:51
7 Liar (BBC Session / July 25th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:06:30
8 Son And Daughter (BBC Session / July 25th 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:06:04
9 Ogre Battle (BBC Session / December 3rd 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:04:41
10 Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll (BBC Session / December 3rd 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:02:03
11 Great King Rat (BBC Session / December 3rd 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:05:57
12 Son And Daughter (BBC Session / December 3rd 1973, Langham 1 Studio) 00:07:09

CD 2

1 Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll (BBC Session / April 3rd 1974, Langham 1 Studio) 00:02:47
2 Nevermore (BBC Session / April 3rd 1974, Langham 1 Studio) 00:01:29
3 White Queen (As It Began) (BBC Session / April 3rd 1974, Langham 1 Studio) 00:04:54
4 Now I’m Here (BBC Session / October 16th 1974, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:04:19
5 Stone Cold Crazy (BBC Session / October 16th 1974, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:02:17
6 Flick Of The Wrist (BBC Session / October 16th 1974, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:03:27
7 Tenement Funster (BBC Session / October 16th 1974, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:03:00
8 We Will Rock You (BBC Session / October 28th 1977, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:01:35
9 We Will Rock You (Fast) (BBC Session / October 28th 1977, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:02:47
10 Spread Your Wings (BBC Session / October 28th 1977, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:05:24
11 It’s Late (BBC Session / October 28th 1977, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:06:37
12 My Melancholy Blues (BBC Session / October 28th 1977, Maida Vale 4 Studio) 00:03:11