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AT THE BEEB

Queen

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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars WOW, Queen on the Prog Archives site! You can say that the team is challenging its reviewers and visitors. To me it's OK because first I'm a hugh fan from the early Queen- era, second Prog Archives have to be consequent after putting bands like Radiohead and Talk Talk to the site and third I have the opinion that early Queen is far more progressive than the Eighties Yes and Genesis! After reading that Queen is on the Prog Archives site, I discovered that this CD was not included so I just added it to the site. If you listen to the music on "At the beeb" (BBC studio recordings from 1973) you will discover that most of the songs matches a lot with the definition of progressive rock that you can find on this site. I admit that perhaps half of the songs on this CD are no more or less than great rock songs but if you listen to "Doin' alright", "Ogre battle", "Great king rat" and "Son and daughter", you will discover that these songs have compelling shifting moods and splendid breaks along some excellent piano work from Freddy Mercury and innovative guitar play by Brian May. So in my opinion Queen made progressive rock in the early Seventies. By the way, I'm waiting for The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Santana and Led Zeppelin on this site!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#40825)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars A nice release for fans of Queen's early music! All of the songs on this disc were recorded in 1973, the first half were recorded before the release of the band's debut album, the second half before the release of their second. This is a great way to hear Queen as they were without the studio embellishments, just basically playing live! These songs are very raw and almost give a garage band sound, although the sound quality is quite clean! "Son & Daughter" is probably one of the greatest tracks here, as Brian May introduces almost the entire solo for a song later recorded entitled "Brighton Rock." The band is in fine form and the tracks sound amazing, having not aged quite as poorly as the final studio takes of the same songs!! Also here is a great rendition of "Ogre Battle", recorded some months before it was released on Queen's second album.

To clear up any misconceptions, this was NOT Queen's second album and it was not released in 1973. This remained in the vaults until released on an independant label in 1989. It was re-issued as "At The BBC" by Hollywood Records around 1995 with new cover art and slightly upgraded sound. The original may be a bit hard to find these days anyway, especially on CD, but hell, eBay probably has dozens of them. It's well worth the price to get this great disc!

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Send comments to silversaw (BETA) | Report this review (#40916)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This compilation includes track from the QUEEN's first self-titled album, plus "Ogre Battle", track from the "Queen II". Strange choice, but the record is valuable for collectors because of alternate recordings, and most of them are better than on the original album, although this will add nothing new, except for a few minor changes. "Ogre Battle" lacks fabulous backward-gong intro from "Queen II", and the rest of the songs are almost the same, with more raw guitar power. Progressive rock fans might be interested in the same track that are of interest on "Queen", over here they're only wrapped in more hard-rock ZEPPELIN-like package. However, it's nice to hear these tunes even with minor changes because they are usually not so exploited in QUEEN's catalogue.

Extended version of "Son And Daughter" is new progressive gem, clocking at more than 7 minutes, it includes parts that will be later recognized in excellent "Brighton Rock" on their third album (Brain's trademark playing scales on delay effect). Later the "Brighton Rock/Son And Daughter" will became usual QUEEN's practice on their live gigs, which of you can find fine example on their excellent live CD labelled "We Will Rock You".

Sound quality is better than on "Queen" album, but it lacks just a touch of polishing. I would rather prefer to hear tracks from the QUEEN's first in different, more progressive arrangements. Especially great tracks such are "Doin' Alright" and "Liar" which perhaps lack some development. I always had that impression that between first two QUEEN's albums is some gap. This might be the answer. Too bad that band evolved more exponentially than linear.

Solid 3 stars, perhaps a little bit more.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#96144)
Posted Sunday, October 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Historic but not essential

For those who do not live in the UK, the BEEB is the name affectionately given to the BBC, the nation's prime TV and Radio broadcaster. Up until the late 1970's, there were strict limitations on the amount of recorded material radio stations were allowed to broadcast. In order to work within these quotas, bands would be invited to record sessions in the radio's studios. These sessions, although recorded live would often be performed without an audience, giving the music a raw sound, while lacking the atmosphere of a concert.

In February 1973, having toured for the best part of two years but still without a recording contract, Queen were invited to perform a session for the BBC. The four tracks they laid down make up side one of this LP. All would later appear on their first self titled album in more or less the same form. The versions here lack the relatively refined production of the first album, but the vocal harmonies and Brian May's distinctive guitar are already very much in evidence.

After their first album was released, Queen returned to the BBC for a second session in December 1973. This time, three further tracks from the first release we recorded, plus "Ogre battle", which would be included on "Queen 2", released a few months later. The version of "Ogre battle" here is once again entirely familiar, although it is slightly slower than the one which made it onto the album. Only "Son and daughter" has any real deviance from the album version, May taking the opportunity to demonstrate his guitar prowess a bit further.

This collection is therefore essentially an alternative, demo type version of the first album. It is of interest to fans of Queen for its historic significance. For anyone else, there really is no need to stray from the original album.

(Good to see the BBC's enthusiasm for protecting the listener from hearing naughty words at work, resulting in Freddie having to sing about "shovelling it".)

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#117692)
Posted Monday, April 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I just would have hoped that this live set would be recorded in front of an audience like several other great BBC recordings (Floyd, Genesis, Purple, Bowie, Led Zep, Yes etc.).

I am a deep fan of their first album, and these two performances recorded at the BEEB almost fully cover this great album. As an addition, "Ogre Battle" is featured as well.

Most of the songs don't differ too much from their original recording. Except "Son And Daughter" which is extended to more than the double of its original format.

I really liked "Queen I" when I discovered it (1974). Therefore, I am seriously biased while reviewing this one. A great rock album, for sure. These pop sounds aren't yet invading their repertoire, but vocal harmonies are already top notch and songs as "Liar", "My Fairy King" are just great numbers.

But all the ones featured on this album are great to be honest. "Doing All Right" with its dual theme (slow paced and harmonious combined with a solid hard rock part) automatically reminds me of Led Zep of course ("Babe I'm Gonna Leave You").

This is an excellent snapshot of their early and great work. "Great king Rat" is particularly well played and the version of "Son & Daughter" is exceptional. A great guitar solo is featured which announces the wonderful "Brighton Rock" ("Sheer Heart Attack").

"Queen I" is one of my preferred album from the band (only topped by "Sheer Heart Attack" on my scale). And this "live" one is damned good as well. Of course you shouldn't expect a full live album since there is no audience participation at all (not even a hand clap from an engineer), but it is a great document from a major rock band in the history of music. And since the karaoke style of their later concerts was never a must for me, I can only be pleased by this excellent album.

As usual, you shouldn't expect too much prog in here. Maybe for their next live album?

Four stars for this one.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#160599)
Posted Saturday, February 02, 2008 | Review Permalink

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