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Queen II

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Alternate Versions


"The Eye" Version
From "The Eye" computer game. Disc 2, track 14. The normal version. Time 1:14

White Queen (As It Began)

BBC Radio Take, 1974
Features some extra piano from Freddie. More similar to the better live versions than the album take, this is one of the undisputed highlights from the BBC sessions (on a par with the 1977 session even). Sadly never bootlegged. In truth the changes are not that many, but they are effective.

Smile Version (Possibly)
The existence of a home demo recorded by Smile has been reported by Royal Vision, although this claim seems rather dubious. Tim Staffell has stated it doesn't exist, and it does seem very unlikely (it would mean the song was written around 1969!). However Brian is known for taking years to write/release anything, and if it is a "home demo" (i.e. it didn't get as far as the studio) then its possible it wouldn't have been given to Mercury Records - hence no official mention of it. But when does conjecture become wishful thinking?! If it does exist, given the sometimes similarity between Tim Staffell's vocals and Freddie's (though I doubt Tim could quite reach the high notes!), and the likely poor quality of this recording, I doubt it would sound radically different from the Queen version anyway; just a lot rougher.

Live Version, London Rainbow 1974
Included as it's my favourite version, and for no other reason. Slightly reworked guitar and some superb extra piano. The full concert at the Rainbow includes some of the best early performances, and I strongly recommend it over the many rubbish bootlegs from this time. From the video in "Box Of Tricks". Time 5:08

Ogre Battle

Hollywood Remix 1991
Remixed by Nicholas Sansano. Another bonus track on the US "Queen II" CD remaster. Reasonable, and better than Record Collector magazine will have you believe. Seems to feature some extra guitar, but possibly not by Brian. One of the more tasteful Hollywood remixes.

Forgotten Intro
On both "The Ultimate Collection" and "Golden Demos", in poor condition and less than a minute long. Fairly pointless on its own too. Originally this was the intro to the version of "Ogre Battle" on "At The Beeb", although "At The Beeb" didn't actually include it (see later). Mostly echo effects from Brian, this is similar to the intro they occasionally played live and is frequently described as a demo on bootlegs. Time approx 1:00

BBC Radio Take, 1974 (full version)
Officially released on "At The Beeb", but in an edited form. The full version has a long intro (the "Forgotten Intro" mentioned above) before the song starts, but is otherwise identical. This intro was omitted from "At The Beeb" because the original master tape of that session was damaged, and so the intro was not available in good enough sound quality. The intro is usually bootlegged on its own, but recordings of the complete song do exist. Its not too hard to edit this together from the intro and "At The Beeb", but expect to notice the difference in sound quality.


BBC Radio Take, 1974
Unreleased and unavailable. The master tape for this entire session was erased by the BBC, so don't expect to ever see this on an official release. Bootleg tapes of "White Queen" and "Modern Times Rock'n'Roll" (from the same session) do exist though, so its not impossible that some recordings of this track exist. If anyone has this, let me know!

The March Of The Black Queen

BBC Radio Take, 1974
From the same session as "Nevermore" (see above), and also unreleased and unavailable. Again, its possible a recording of this exists but it has yet to appear on any bootleg I've ever heard of. I'd love to know if anyone really does have this!

Funny How Love Is

Digital Master Sampler Version
On the "Digital Master Sampler" CD, a very nice promo-only release in a tri-fold digipack. This version has been specially edited as a "stand-alone" version, and unlike most other CD versions it doesn't start with the last 30 seconds of "The March Of The Black Queen". Instead it fades in on the very last set of "Ah's" before the guitar starts up. It works surprisingly well too, and its nice to hear this outside the segue. Time 2:51

Japan-only CD3 Version
The Japanese "Seven Seas Of Rhye" CD3 from 1988 also has a "stand-alone" version, but with the "Ah's" edited out completely. This makes it the only true stand-alone mix, and very good it is too. No faded intro here - the start is a solid wall of sound. Note that it is only on the Japan CD3 though, as the UK (and everywhere else) CD3 has the album version instead, i.e. including the end of "The March Of The Black Queen". Time 2:50

Seven Seas Of Rhye

Hollywood Remix 1991
Remixed by Freddy Bastone. A very long dance mix, from the US remastered CD of "Queen II". Features samples from several other Queen tracks (incl "Mustapha", "White Man", and the infamous "Yeah"). Definitely one of the better dance mixes, though the first listen is a shock. Also featured on a couple of bootlegs under a different name, usually referred to as the "Freddie In The House Mix". Time 6:36

B-sides & Bonus Tracks etc.

See What A Fool I've Been

Original B-side
The B-side to "Seven Seas Of Rhye", on 7" and CD3. Also on the US CD remaster of "Queen II". Very much a Brian track, with some nice heavy blues and mildly tongue-in-cheek. There are some unsubstantiated rumours that this is a cover version, or at least a very similar copy of something. However, Brian is officially credited as writer and the lyrics are certainly his, else copyright lawyers would have noticed by now. Any similarity the music has to other blues tracks is just a consequence of the genre, as many blues songs are based around the same few familiar guitar riffs. Time 4:32.

BBC Radio Session Take, 1973
Noticeably different to normal, some of Freddie's vocals are a bit subdued in this take, and the whole track has a much more "basic" feel to it. Most commonly found on "Tribute" (CD) and "Rarities 1973-77" (LP). Also commonly credited as a "demo" on bootlegs, as the lyrics are slightly different, but no genuine "demo" has ever surfaced.

Live Version, Hammersmith 1975
From the heavily bootlegged Christmas concert. A good version, similar to the radio take mentioned above, but with a more powerful performance by Freddie. Very nice and quite "fun". On "Rhapsody In Red" (CD), not to mention several others.

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