In 1971, four college students got together to form a rock band.
Since then, that certain band called Queen have released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever 40 years on. On November 6, 2011, in front of an estimated TV audience of 1.2 billion they were honored with the Global Icon Award at the 2011 MTV EMA.
But for Queen the journey was no bed of roses. No pleasure cruise. Queen had their share of kicks in the face, but they came through – and this is how they did it.
Set against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe, Queen: Days of Our Lives – available in both Blu-Ray and standard DVD formats, brings Queen’s 40th Anniversary year to a close in suitably regal style.
Days Of Our Lives began as a two-part documentary produced by long-term Queen collaborators and life long fans Rhys Thomas (the comedian who famously broke the Mastermind all-time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen) and Simon Lupton, and directed by the renowned director Matt Casey. After 10 years of making Queen DVDs, Lupton and Thomas were asked by the band to produce the definitive 40th Anniversary documentary and after almost a year of painstaking research and editing, this was the result.
Split over two episodes, Part One covering 1970-80, Part Two 1980 – present day, the documentary is a genuine rollercoaster of rock and roll history.
In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story. Featuring brand new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor and unseen archive footage – including their recently unearthed first ever TV performance – it is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humor and painful honesty.
Rhys Thomas comments, “We set out to make the definitive Queen documentary. It’s a funny, honest, inspiring and ultimately tragic account of ‘a certain band called Queen‘, as told by the band themselves. We tell the story of four students who met in West London, slogged hard and conquered the world, ultimately changing rock music forever.”
When originally broadcast in the UK on BBC 2 across two nights in May of this year, Queen: Days of Our Lives was the highest rated TV show on in its slot, beating every other channel and peaking with 3 million viewers. It has been widely regarded as one of the finest rock documentaries made and the critical reaction was outstanding. “Funny that,” says Thomas, “considering Queen were always denounced by the press!”
“The Boys did a fantastic Job on this documentary … with little interference from us! I think this one will set the bench mark for years to come,” said Brian May.
Thomas explains the transfer of the original BBC documentary to DVD release: “When originally making the series it wasn’t easy condensing 40 years of Queen down to just two hours. In fact, there was so much more to be said and so much more to be seen. Thanks to Blu-Ray and DVD, so much more of that story can now be told…As the two documentaries worked so well, we resisted the idea of making an epic 3-hour ‘Extended Cut’. They are always boring, and as Freddie said to his manager Jim Beach in his last days: “Do anything you want with my music dear, but never make me boring!
“So rather than simply dump a load of ‘deleted scenes’ onto the DVD and Blu-Ray, Simon and I decided to edit them all with as much love, time and care as we put into the main documentary. What we have as a result is a great companion to the main story and some real gems, most notably covering the formation of the band and the making of the last three albums which was only touched upon in the televised version. For instance, we learn from Brian how John Deacon made a cut in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the record company and Freddie‘s reaction; the revelation that Freddie was not sober during the making of ‘Spread Your Wings’/'We Will Rock You’ in Roger‘s back garden, and a hilarious sequence about Queen and their love of Scrabble.
“As well as the new sequences, there are 7 new videos. Excerpts were featured in the main documentary, but we have completed them, and here on DVD and Blu- Ray they appear in full.”
The Blu-Ray format allows for additional bonus material and therefore differs in content to the Standard DVD release. Please check credits for each release.
‘Queen: Days of our Lives‘ Blu-Ray & Standard DVD content descriptions:
Documentary Part 1 – 59 mins Documentary Part 2 – 59 mins.
ADDITIONAL VIDEOS – Blu-Ray and Standard DVD (24 mins):
Seven Seas Of Rhye 2011:
A compilation of all four Top Of The Pops and Rainbow Live performances from 1974 – all unseen
Killer Queen 2011
A compilation of two Top of The Pops performances, one the familiar 1974 Christmas Special, the other – discovered in the late British comedian Dick Emery‘s private collection, hasn’t been seen since 1974, the original master tape wiped from the BBC archives.
Somebody To Love 2011
This is a new edit of the video using the four takes shot on the day, most of which has never before been seen.
We Are The Champions 2011
In 1977, cameras filmed Queen recording a new version of the song for the promo video. This video shows the band performing and mixing this unreleased version in two live takes. An instrumental version of this closed Part One of ‘Days of our Lives‘. Here for the first time the video can be seen in its entirety.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love 2011
A new edit of the video compiled from the rushes including outtakes and unseen angles.
Under Pressure 2011
A new video intercutting Queen‘s first live performance of the song in Montreal 81 and Queen + David Bowie at the Freddie Mercury Tribute.
Radio Ga Ga 2011
This new video includes unseen color footage from the 1984 Radio Ga Ga video shoot plus rushes and outtakes.
BONUS SEQUENCES – Blu-Ray (59 mins) / Standard DVD (21 mins only):
Queen: The Beginning
A detailed look at how Queen formed in 1971. Covering Smile, finding John Deacon, and the early struggles of the band.
Queen On Tour 1974-5
Featuring Queen at the Rainbow and unseen footage of the band touring Japan for the first time. Includes excerpts of ‘Now I’m Here‘, ‘Killer Queen‘ and ‘In The Lap Of The Gods‘ live.
Brian reveals how John Deacon made a cut in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ for the record company, only to be dismissed by Freddie: “Either it’s released in it’s entirety or not at all!.”
The Band discuss their working relationship, including unheard archive of Queen having a ‘creative discussion!’
Leaving John Reid
An in-depth account of how the band left manager John Reid and set up Queen Productions – plus the revelation that Freddie was not sober during the making of ‘Spread Your Wings’/'We Will Rock You‘ in Roger‘s back garden.
Don’t Stop Me Now
Brian and Roger discuss ‘Don’t Stop Me Now‘ and the ‘Guitar Version‘ discarded by Freddie.
A short sequence on the making of Queen‘s first film soundtrack, ‘Flash Gordon‘, plus an alternate promo video.
The band discuss the video making process, featuring lots of unseen outtakes.
A hilarious sequence about Queen and their love of Scrabble. You will just have to watch!
From Magic to The Miracle
In the three years between A Kind Of Magic and The Miracle, the members of Queen went through some life changing experiences in their working and personal lives. This chapter sheds light on what went on behind closed doors.
Going Slightly Mad: The Making of Innuendo
In 1991 Queen hit the charts with a No.1 album and single, “Innuendo.” Creatively the band were reinvigorated, their material better than ever, but beneath the surface, they all had to face the fact that Freddie was seriously ill and time was running out.
Made In Heaven
Roger and Brian talk about the making of the last Queen album, Made In Heaven, working with Freddie in his final weeks, as well and working with the material he had recorded after he had passed away and the emotional distress it caused.
Return To Imperial
Brian returns to Imperial College and shows us around the college where he and Roger first met, formed Smile and ultimately Queen.
BONUS INTERVIEWS – Blu-Ray (19 mins). Not included on Standard DVD:
The Bonus Interview section contains various interesting, funny and insightful footage that didn’t fit into any particular sequence but was too great to leave on the cutting room floor.
For more QUEEN click here.
In what stands as a major global music relief effort to benefit those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, over 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music have joined together for the worldwide release of “Songs for Japan,” an unprecedented compilation of 38 chart-topping hits and classic tracks, available worldwide on the iTunes Store for $9.99 ON SALE NOW. Proceeds from the album’s sale will benefit the disaster relief efforts of the Japanese Red Cross Society.
The “Songs for Japan” track listing features an all-star lineup:
1. John Lennon “Imagine” (Remastered)
2. U2 “Walk On” (Radio Edit)
3. Bob Dylan “Shelter From The Storm”
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Around The World” (Live)
5. Lady Gaga “Born This Way” (Starsmith Remix)
6. Beyonce “Irreplaceable”
7. Bruno Mars “Talking To The Moon” (Acoustic Piano Version)
8. Katy Perry “Firework”
9. Rihanna “Only Girl (In The World)”
10. Justin Timberlake “Like I Love You”
11. Madonna “Miles Away” (Live)
12. David Guetta “When Love Takes Over” (feat. Kelly Rowland)
13. Eminem “Love The Way You Lie” (feat. Rihanna) [Clean Version]
14. Bruce Springsteen “Human Touch”
15. Josh Groban “Awake” (Live)
16. Keith Urban “Better Life”
17. Black Eyed Peas “One Tribe”
18. Pink “Sober”
19. Cee Lo Green “It’s Ok”
20. Lady Antebellum “I Run To You”
21. Bon Jovi “What Do You Got?”
22. Foo Fighters “My Hero”
23. R.E.M. “Man On The Moon”
24. Nicki Minaj “Save Me” (Clean Version)
25. Sade “By Your Side”
26. Michael Buble “Hold On” (Radio Mix)
27. Justin Bieber “Pray” (Acoustic)
28. Adele “Make You Feel My Love”
29. Enya “If I Could Be Where You Are”
30. Elton John “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”
31. John Mayer “Waiting On The World To Change”
32. Queen “Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)” [Remastered]
33. Kings Of Leon “Use Somebody”
34. Sting “Fragile” (Live In Berlin)
35. Leona Lewis “Better In Time”
36. Ne-Yo “One In A Million”
37. Shakira “Whenever, Wherever”
38. Norah Jones “Sunrise”
For more SONGS FOR JAPAN click here.
Proceeds from “Songs for Japan” will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) to support its disaster relief efforts. The society will use the funds for the ongoing provision of immediate relief and for eventual recovery support to the affected population. The artists participating on “Songs for Japan,” the music labels and music publishers have waived their royalties and proceeds from the worldwide sales of the album to ensure that the JRCS receives as much support as possible from this global initiative. iTunes will also donate its proceeds from the album’s worldwide sales to the benefit of the JRCS, and has prominently featured the project throughout its stores worldwide.
Queen’s 40th anniversary is now upon us, and the band plans to pull out all the stops to celebrate this historic occasion. “2011 is an important year for Queen,” said Brian May “and there will be a lot of activity.” Adds Roger Taylor, “I can’t believe it’s been that long and that we are still around in such a big way. I’m amazed and grateful!” This yearlong event will be marked by a series of releases, re-releases, special limited-edition items and events around the world.
As the centerpiece in the 40th anniversary celebration, Queen’s entire 15-album studio catalog is being reissued in a series of deluxe editions. Every note is being tweaked, every piece of artwork is being cleaned, freshened up and resourced, wherever necessary, with the legendary Bob Ludwig doing the remastering, working from the original source material. The albums will be released in three waves, staggered over the next year, with the first wave—comprising the first five LPs—coming this spring.
Each studio album will be released in a new two-CD edition, the first containing the updated, remastered original LP, the second disc packed with rarities—and we don’t use the term lightly. Some of these gems have never before seen the light of day, even in crappy bootleg form. To cite a particularly fascinating example, five first-album demos recorded at London’s De Lane Lea Studios in December 1971 were pulled from the only existing copy on the planet—an acetate from May’s personal archives. Not even his bandmates had a copy.
In other anniversary activity, the gallery exhibition “Storm Troopers in Stilettos” opens in London on Feb. 25, with plans in place to tour the exhibit around the world. According to May, this unprecedented event “will highlight in some innovative ways the growth of the ‘Early Queen.’” On April 12, Hollywood will reissue Queen’s debut single, “Keep Yourself Alive” b/w “Son and Daughter,” on seven-inch vinyl in a limited edition coinciding with Record Store Day. And on April 19, the label will issue the band’s Greatest Hits II for the first time in North America. This classic collection includes the rock standards “Under Pressure” and “Radio Ga Ga,” plus many other classics from the second half of Queen’s run, including the worldwide smashes “I Want It All” & “Innuendo.” Additionally, the “Queen on Vinyl” reissue program will be completed this year with the release of the final five studio albums.
Bonus Tracks on the First Five Studio Albums:
1. Keep Yourself Alive (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)
2. Great King Rat (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)
3. Jesus (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)
4. Liar (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)
5. The Night Comes Down (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)
6. Mad The Swine (June 1972)
QUEEN II (1974)
1. White Queen (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, December 1975)
2. See What A Fool I’ve Been (BBC Session, July 1973 – 2011 Remix)
3. Seven Seas Of Rhye (Instrumental)
4. See What A Fool I’ve Been (B-side Version, February 1974)
5. Nevermore (BBC Session, April 1974)
SHEER HEART ATTACK (1974)
1. Now I’m Here (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, December 1975)
2. Flick Of The Wrist (BBC Session, October 1974)
3. Tenement Funster (BBC Session, October 1974)
4. Bring Back That Leroy Brown (A Cappella Plus)
5. In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited (Live at Wembley Stadium, July 1986)
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1975)
1. Keep Yourself Alive (Long-Lost Retake, June 1975)
2. Bohemian Rhapsody (Operatic Section A Cappella)
3. I’m In Love With My Car (Guitar & Vocal Version)
4. You’re My Best Friend (Backing Track)
5. ‘39 (Live at Earl’s Court, June 1977) TBC
6. Love Of My Life (Live Single Version, June 1979)
A DAY AT THE RACES (1976)
1. Tie Your Mother Down (Backing Track)
2. Somebody To Love (Live at Milton Keynes, June 1982)
3. You Take My Breath Away (Live in Hyde Park, September 1976)
4. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (Top Of The Pops, July 1977)
5. Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) (HD mix)
For more QUEEN click here.
Rock producer and historian Denny Somach today announced the establishment of the Classic Rock Society of America. The organization will be devoted to the preservation, promotion and celebration of classic rock music by the artists, musicians, producers and fans of the most popular musical category of the past fifty years.
Somach is a recognized expert on Classic Rock and considered one of the architect’s of the Classic Rock radio format, which has become dominant in broadcasting and attracts millions of listeners. He has produced over 7500 hours of classic rock programming and maintains one of the largest archives of audio, video and data related to the topic. Somach has also authored numerous articles and books on the subject and appeared as an authority on shows including Today, Larry King , CBS Early Show, Dateline NBC, CNN, CNBC, MTV and others.
“The appeal of classic rock artists like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Doors, Moody Blues, Yes, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Aerosmith, Styx, Deep Purple, Queen, the Allman Brothers and many, many others has never been more popular,” said Somach. “Classic rock has become cross-generational and is the most popular rock music format not just in the US and Canada, but around the world.”
The Classic Rock Society of America (CRSA) is an organization where people from all over the world can experience and commemorate their favorite music. Many colleges and universities have classes about this music and it is being taught everywhere. The CRSA will act as a resource center for students and teachers, enabling them to further enhance their study of classic rock.
CRSA was inspired by the UK’s Classic Rock Society, with a membership of thousands, and Classic Rock magazine, a publisher, recording label and music promoter. Both organizations are dedicated to the growth of all classic rock music. The UK’s Classic Rock Magazine presents a number of live shows, including the recent High Voltage Festival, which featured ZZ Top, Foreigner, Asia, Bachman-Turner, Uriah Heep, Argent and a reformed Emerson, Lake and Palmer to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Rick Wakeman is the honorary Chairman of the U.K. Classic Rock Society. “When I contacted him about the Classic Rock Society of America we were launching, he immediately lent his support and thought it was about time something like this was established in America.” Subsequently the other founding board members including John Wetton of Asia and Dave Cousins of the Strawbs have publically announced their support.
“I have also spoken to over fifty musicians, producers and managers who are more than happy to not only lend their name but become actively involved in the Classic Rock Society of America,” stated Somach.
The Classic Rock Society of America will debut as an interactive web site and its own radio channel. It will also include marketing and promotion entities. The virtual society will eventually have a physical location where musicians and fans can visit and enjoy the many facets of the musical genre. Somach said, “We have already been contacted by a couple of municipal development organizations about locating a facility in their communities.”
For more CLASSIC ROCK SOCIETY OF AMERICA click here.
According to Dean Goodman from Reuters, Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen is set to play flamboyant rocker Freddie Mercury in a dramatic feature focusing on his glory days as the frontman of QUEEN, its producers said Thursday.
Shooting will begin next year, said producer Graham King, whose GK Films is partnering on the project with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal‘s Tribeca Productions, and Queen manager Jim Beach.
The project has the cooperation of Mercury‘s estate and the three surviving members of Queen, a spokeswoman for GK Films said. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor will oversee the musical content of the film, which will feature both original Queen music and Mercury solo music. (Bassist John Deacon has retired from the music industry.)
The film will focus on a period of a few years leading up to what was arguably Queen‘s greatest moment: its performance at the Live Aid charity concert in 1985, when the band mesmerized London’s Wembley Stadium and a worldwide TV audience.
For more QUEEN click here.