A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Serious discussion about the band known as QUEEN.

A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:16 pm

INTERVIEW:

A Day The Races Is A Self Made Masterpiece by Wesley Strick (Circus, 31 January 1977)

http://www.queenonline.com/en/the-band/ ... the-races/

Quote:

"A Day At The Races (Asylum), Queen's fifth, is the band's first self-produced record. "We finally got that organized," Freddie nods, to explain the absence of veteran Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker: "We just felt that, for this one, we needed a bit of a change. We were quite confident in doing it ourselves. The other albums we really co-produced, actually we always took a very keen interest."

"It was all very amicable," drummer Roger Taylor is quick to explain. "Roy's been in and out of the country. He's heard some rough mixes. Who knows? Maybe he'll be back producing the next one! It's been tremendous pressure recording this album." Mercury, meanwhile, is quite happy with Queen's first attempt at studio self-sufficiency. "I think it turned out for the better," he insists. "Taking more responsibility has been good for us. Roy's been great, but it's a progression. really - another step in our career. We simply felt that it was now or never."


-----------------------------------

When thinking it over, in my opinion this particular album has the best sound, the best drums, bass, vocals.. everything! I love this album for the great production!
 
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby P.T » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:08 am

By far the most interesting comment in that was Freddie saying that they want their next album (News Of The World) to be fully orchestrated, because they think they've done all they can with guitars....
 
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:41 am

P.T wrote:By far the most interesting comment in that was Freddie saying that they want their next album (News Of The World) to be fully orchestrated, because they think they've done all they can with guitars....



The Millionaire Waltz had a few guitars indeed. Then came We Will Rock You along
with their most legendary guitar riff, stripped down and drastically different from their
trademark songs of complexity. Continuing to surprise with a mock punk rock track in SHA.
 
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Echoplex » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:30 pm

As for A Day At The Races being their best sounding album, I'm not sure. It's certainly better than "Opera" which has quite a brittle top end to it. Races has a fuller sound with more natural powerful sounding drums.

Personally I think Sheer Heart Attack, Races, News Of The World and The Game are all great sounding albums. All are different from each other and have different production qualities.
 
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Kes » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:55 pm

Don't know if you're into this kind of thing, but if you bear in mind which studios, what was done in, when and where, this site might help you understand why the sound on some things is the way it is.

The acoustics of the studio, the studio gear that was available, including pianos (like it was probably the same piano used on Hey Jude, as Life On Mars, as Killer Queen, and a few other classics.

Have a read, I find it fascinating. :-) Mind the spelling, it goes a bit haywire in places, and some of the facts might be a bit open to argument, if you know your onions like Sebastian does.

http://philsbook.com

Think of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin... Well, that went through some of the same machinery that bits of Live Magic did, on their ways to their respective albums. Not counting Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple!!!

What's relevant to Queen? The first two albums were recorded at Trident, with the exception of 'The Night Comes Down', a lot of Sheer Heart Attack was also recorded there. Elements of ADATR were recorded at Richard Branson's The Manor and Wessex. Most of News Of The World at Wessex. The Rolling Stones Mobile, and The Manor mobile were used for Live Magic. Flash Gordon was done at Advision. ANATO at Sarm, Olympic, Scorpio, Landsdowne, and Rockfield. The bits of A Kind of Magic, not recorded in Montreux and Munich were done at The Townhouse. I think The Miracle had bits recorded at Olympic and The Townhouse, and a lot of Innuendo was recorded at Metropolis. Oh, I almost forgot... CTS studios Wembley, aka The Music Centre, was one facility that DeLane Lea evolved from, and that was pretty much where recording started for Queen.

I should add that bits of One Vision were recorded at a place called Maison Rouge, though most of it was done at Musicland, Munich. I couldn't find a link to it on Phil's page, but low and behold when I searched the studio I dependently, this came up http://www.philsbook.com/maison-rouge.html No credit on either the AMOM album or Phil's site, but I'm sure it mentions it on the single itself.
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:25 pm

The in-house piano at Trident was a Bechstein Grand, No. 44064 with 'Ebonized' metal frame, seven octaves with ivory naturals and ebony accidentals. Trident Studios purchased the piano in 1986 after having rented it from Samuels from the mid 1960s. Along with the Trident desk, the piano got a name for itself for having a great sound and this attracted many top musicians of the period to record using the instrument. The piano was used on amongst many others, the following famous compositions:-

The Beatles White Album – including 'Hey Jude'. David Bowie's albums, 'Space Oddity' 'Hunky Dory' 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'Aladdin Sane'. George Harrison's 'All things Must Pass' Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' 'Blue Moves' ' and 'Single Man' . Carly Simon's 'You're so Vain'. ' Mary Hopkins 'Those Were the Days' and Harry Nilsson's 'Without You'. Queen - 'Queen' 'Queen II' 'Sheer Heart Attack'. Supertramp's 'Crime of the Century'. All recorded at Trident.


Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me :D


In May 2011 the piano went up for auction with a guide price of between £300,000 and £400,000.

Well, that's truly a **ll of a legendary piano too..


Quite interesting to see the actual room where they recorded Queen I and Queen II. Fascinating stuff :D

When you listen to March Of The Black Queen, that piano is the one on that photo!

http://philsbook.com/trident.html
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Kes » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:33 pm

I occasionally have my uses. :-)
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:39 pm

As always :)
 
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Kes » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:04 pm

If you haven't done the Montreux Studio Experience, this is quite educational, for that matter, it is EVEN if you have been there!

phpBB [video]


I absolutely "love" playing with those faders, especially on Mother Love. That bit in the middle blows me away, EVERY TIME, especially when you kill everything else and just have Fred's vocals blasting out, nothing else.
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Haven't been there, but it is tempting. Queen studio, swiss triangular shaped chocolate, beautiful nature, quality watches.. sounds like a good place to rest the soul.



Roger is showing his comedy talent here :

- ..and don't forget, the drums should be extremely loud, probably louder than anything else, and in a perfect World; so you can't hear anything else. Thank you.

:lol:


Made In Heaven, such a great track! I still remember in 1995 when I bought the CD, and played it for the first time.
 
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Kes » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:33 pm

As a coincidental, I've been there about half a dozen times, and I'm still not 100% certain how the set up actually was when it was a working studio.

When you look inside the Jazz sleeve, the bit where they have their gear set up, was not the normal studio, but a large section of the casino floor. The control room is located approximately where you see a balcony rail in the picture. The bit where they recorded Under Pressure, and "most" of the stuff they recorded there since, was a long (but thin) room located directly ABOVE the control room.

Those who saw the Queen Extravaganza there in September would know it as the area that was to the right of the stage.

I think the backing track to the song Innuendo was recorded downstairs on the casino floor space you see in the Jazz sleeve.
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Kes » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:03 pm

TheHero wrote:Haven't been there, but it is tempting. Queen studio, swiss triangular shaped chocolate, beautiful nature, quality watches.. sounds like a good place to rest the soul.

.


It "really" is a beautiful place. As lovely now as it was twelve-thirteen years ago when we first went there. Just for perspective, last year we had two weeks in a villa/flights/hire car/food in Cyprus at high summer for about the same as it cost us for two nights in Montreux flights/hotel/rail fares/food.

Saying that though, the Studio Experience is completely free, in a place where everything else is probably twice as dear as it is anywhere else.
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby Kes » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:16 pm

If you want comedy value, then to me, this is by far, the funniest thing Brian and Roger have ever done.

phpBB [video]
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:32 pm



So the control room is right above and behind that drum kit, and that room is now also the Queen Experience? And today the Casino is down on the floor on this picture ?

That room shown on the pic above, was that a concert hall back then, and not normally used as a recording studio?

I have also heard they played Innuendo live there, as a band, and Freddie sang too.

I don't think I have ever have seen a photo from the Innuendo recording sessions there.. I wonder what it looked like then, compared to 1978.

Quite weird that people are playing Casino today, in the same room as they recorded the last Queen album.
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Re: A Day At The Races - A Self Made Masterpiece

Postby TheHero » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:40 pm

So the Queen Experience is free? .. that is... rare .. :shock:

I thought they sold tickets and let the money go to the Mercury Phoenix Trust..

That video is great, Brian surprises with his actor skills. Great product as well.

The funniest bit is when Brian denies Roger to have his lunch. Good fun.
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