Monthly Archives: January 2010

Queen At The BBC

This piece was originally written for Queenonline – the official Queen website, circa 2003, as part of an official FAQ project.  When the site was revamped, the FAQ was taken down, and elements of it were incorporated into fansite Queenpedia.  This piece also exists there to this day.

Before they had even released their debut album, Queen were well known to listeners of BBC Radio One’s late night line-up due to their session work for the station. Their sessions for the BBC still sound fresh to this day, and provide stark alternate versions to the more polished album cuts.

A short low budget piece made on video in just four hours to get Queen out of a neccessary appearance on the BBC’s flagship music show, Top Of The Pops, is credited with the birth of the modern day music video. And the links with the Corporation have continued throughout the band’s highly successful career.

Here, we look back at Queen’s work for and with the BBC.

The Recorded Debut

Queen’s first encounter with the BBC came in February of 1973. With their debut album already recorded but no record company attached to it, the band and their management Trident were desperate to win over the already interested EMI, who were on the lookout for new and promising acts.

Trident arranged for Queen to record a ‘session’ for the BBC Radio One programme Sounds Of The Seventies, and given free range to chose whichever four tracks they wanted to record, the band entered the BBC Studios in Maida Vale, London on 5th February with producer Bernie Andrews to record ‘Keep Yourself Alive‘, ‘My Fairy King‘, ‘Doing All Right‘ and ‘ Liar‘.

The session was broadcast ten days later, and was an important factor in EMI’s decision to sign the band the following month. The public response to the show was so great that the band were asked back later in the year by John Peel, long term champion of up-and-coming, ‘underdog’ artists. Read the rest of this entry