Submitted to Thames Television after Roger was asked to provide a potential theme for the 1988 Olympic Games (Brian was also asked, see Brian's Miscellaneous Tracks for more details). It was never used - Thames chose a piece by Eric Clapton instead. Only one genuine original cassette copy exists, and there are no bootleg copies that I know of. There are no copies in the vaults of Queen Productions or EMI either, as the song was owned solely by Thames. The sole original was sold off (Thames were forced to sell, due to losing their television franchise) and bought legitimately by a private collector, to whom I am indebted for the following (paraphrased) description:
"Musically it is a very strong piece, unsurprisingly dominated by drums and percussion. As a bonus, the bass is played by John Deacon. A good comparison would be the instrumental intro to the extended mix of "Strange Frontier", with elements of "Vultan's Theme" (and probably several other pieces in the "Flash Gordon" mould). A fine recording, that would enhance any Queen or solo album. Time approx 4:30."
I Want To Break Free
Official B-side. Unfortunately not as good as the Queen version, this is only available on the CD single of "Happiness". An average version, but not great, Roger's voice simply does not compare to Freddie's on this occasion, and the arrangement lets him down too. Roger's done far better live versions of this, and its a shame one of them wasn't released instead.
Live Version, Wolverhampton 1995
On the bootleg "It's Not Easy To Define It", taped from the Wolverhampton date of the "Happiness" Tour. Extensively re-worked, this includes some excellent percussion in the middle and a few samples for good measure. Quite different, and worth a listen or two. Other live versions of this are fairly similar, but this is by far the most common (and best sounding) one.
Ride The Wild Wind
Official B-side, on the "Happiness" 7" (not on CD or 12"). Much better than "I Want To Break Free", this has lots of extra percussion in it and was a deserved highlight of Roger's "Happiness" tour. Superb stuff - you'll be surprised and impressed. But why couldn't they have put this on the CD?!
The Mick Ronson Memorial Concert
Broadcast on BBC Radio One on 30/4/94. Roger performs "A Kind Of Magic", and provides a couple of quick quotes. Also introduces Steve Harley, and plays drums on a version of "Make Me Smile (come up and see me)". Not especially different, but rare in this good sound quality. The version of "A Kind Of Magic" has been bootlegged onto "The Ultimate Rarities Collection" CD in good quality, although the whole concert has also been made available officially on a double CD set.
Live In Paris 8/12/94
Broadcast in full stereo on Europe One Radio, this has surprisingly not been bootlegged (yet). The original broadcast featured Roger and other (French) artists, and though the whole show was two hours long, Roger was only in it for about an hour. His contribution was split into four short sections, in which he'd play a couple of songs in the studio, and maybe do a short interview. At the end, questions from the audience were asked.
As some of this is in French, it is hard to follow the interview sections at times (and most of it's pretty banal), but there are a few nice quotes, including a discussion on whether France has more "s**t" newspapers than the UK (re: "Dear Mr. Murdoch"). Most questions are about the "Happiness?" album, although the answers are sometimes hard to make out.
Very interesting musically, in all nine live tracks are featured. All of them are pretty good. The full listing is:
"I Want To Break Free"
"Ride The Wild Wind"
"We Will Rock You"
"These Are The Days Of Our Lives"
"The Show Must Go On"
"We Will Rock You" and "Radio Ga-Ga" are particularly good. Not likely to be available now, but will no doubt be bootlegged at some point. Definitely worth a listen.