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Queen - At The Beeb CD (album) cover




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3.51 | 59 ratings

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Easy Livin
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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".)

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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