Path: Queen - Royal Legend - Albums: Sheer Heart Attack

Albums: Sheer Heart Attack

During tour Brian felt ill and recording fortcoming album was very difficult and hard for him. He got jaundice (he had been infected with unclean needle during vaccination before the Australian tour), but he still was able to work in hospital. When he was fit, the work continued in studio, but he felt  ill again. Now it was stomach-furuncle. When he was recovering after chirurgical operation, the next tour has been canceled. Brian was down and out, he felt guilty, and he was scared, if someone will not replace him in the band. But nobody in the group even thought about it. All three members were continuing on recording without Brian at the time. Poor producent had a lot of work with spaces in the song left for Brian solos. When he was ok, he came back and completed the tracks with guitar solos and backing vocals. In the song called 'She Makes Me' were used authentic records from night-city of New York. Now I'm here was idea of Brian in hospital, when he was thinking about touring with 'Mott The Hopple'.

It the beginning of 'Brighton Rock' is 'I do like to be beside the seaside' whistled, and the same line is sung at the end of 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' (Queen II).

The original working title for Tenement Funster song was "Tin Dreams".

'Misfire' is John's first composition which appear on a Queen album.

'Stone Cold Crazy' is credited to Queen but originally has been written by Wreckage (Freddie was a member of Wreckage in autumn 1969).

These images shows the making of an album cover. Roger wasn't satisfied with his hair arrangement, so the photographer Mick Rock had to use fake hairs to change the look. Next picture shows it was really funny then.



Queen about the record:
John
"I have the feeling that the whole things is getting a bit more professional all round. We are, after all, on our third album."
"I've got more confidence in the group now tat ever before.I was possibly the one person who could look at it from the outside because I was the fourth person to join the band. I knew there was something there but I wasn't so convinced of it. Till possibly this album."

Brian
"With 'Sheer Heart Attack', I was able to see the group from the outside, and was pretty excited by what I saw. We'd done a few things before I was ill, but when I came back they'd done a load more, including a couple of backing tracks of songs by Freddie which I hadn't heard like 'Flick Of The Wrist', which excited me and gave me a lot of inspiration to get back in there and do some writing - 'Now I'm Here' was done in that period. That songs about experiences on the American tour, which really blew me away. I was bowled over by the amazing aura rock music has in America. 'Brighton Rock' showed how my style was evolving, particularly with the solo bit in the middle, which I'd been doing on the Mott The Hoople tour and has gradually evolved since. That involved using the repeat device in time with and original guitar phrase, which I don't think had been done before."
"We weren't going for hits, because we always thought of ourselves as an album group, but we did think perhaps we'd dished up a bit too much on Queen II."

Freddie
"Not a collection of singles, dear - although we might draw another one off later for a single. I'm not absolutely sure about that, though. No, not all the numbers last for ages. There were just so many songs we wanted to do. And it makes a change to have short numbers. It's so varied that we were able to go to extremes. I only had about two weeks to write my songs so we've been working f..... hard."

Freddie (about Killer Queen)
"People are used to hard rock, energy music from Queen, yet with this single, you almost expect Noel Coward to sing it. It's one of those bowler hat, black suspender numbers - not that Noel Coward would wear that. It's about a high class call girl. I'm trying to say that classy people can be whores as well. That's what the song is about, though I'd prefer people to put their own interpretation upon it - to read what they like into it.

Brian (about Killer Queen)
"'Killer Qeen' was the turning point. It was the song that best summed up our kind of music, and a big hit, and we desperately needed it as a mark of something successful happening for us."
"I was always very happy with this song. The whole record was made in a very craftsmanlike manner. I still enjoy listening to It because there's a lot to listen to, but it never gets cluttered. There's always space for all the little ideas to come through. And of course I like the solo, with that three-part section, where each part has its own voice. What can say? It's vintage Queen. The first time I heard Freddie playing that song, I was lying in my room in Rockfield [a residential recording studio in Wales], feeling very sick. After Queen's first American tour I had hepatitis, and then I had very bad stomach problems and I had to be operated on. So I remember Just lying there, hearing Freddie play this really great song and feeling sad, because I thought, 'I can't even get out of bed to participate in this. Maybe the group will have to go on without me.' No one could figure out what was wrong with me. But then I did go into the hospital and I got fixed up, thank God. And when I came out again, we were able to fin- ish off 'Killer Queen.' They left some space for me and I did the solo. I had strong feelings about one of the harmony bits in the chorus, so we had another go at that too."

Roger (about Killer Queen)
"Even the harmonies on Killer QUeen took quite a while because we tried all different inversions of versions and they never sounded quite right. We must have re-recorded the vocals four or five times."

Roger (about Bring Back That Leroy Brown)
"That's incredibly complex in terms of instrumentation and arrangements - there were countles hours labouring over that."

Reviews:
Killer Queen
Sounds : Freddie Mercury stars as experienced rock singer and accompaintmen, though it's very complicated sometimes, is loud and perspicuous enough.
NME : Queen group came with music, which clearly argue about the fact, that they are not here for one discotheque.

Sheer Heart Attack
NME : Festive. No garbage, and four song, which you'd like to play on and on: 'Killer Queen', 'Flick Of The Wrist', 'Now I'm Here' and 'In The Lap Of The Gods'. Even the song, which I didn't liked, 'Brighton Rock', leaves permanent experience in listeners, wheter live or from record.
(American music magazine) : It's argue of Queen's great talent, and their versatility. Before the fourth album release, Queen will be playing in Madison Square Garden.

Other versions:
Tenement Funster
BBC Radio Take, 1974
Different to the normal version, guitar and vocals are little bit distorted and at the end of song is missing piano. Song was recorded for Bob Harris with other songs ('Flick Of The Wrist', 'Now I'm Here' and 'Stone Cold Crazy')
Single Version
Appears on Queen's First EP, on 7" and Japan CD3. Many songs from first albums were not stand-alone, so for single release was necesary to make stand-alone edits. That's why this song end after the last chord, closely to the intro piano of the next song 'Flick Of The Wrist'.
CD3 Version
On CD3 version of the Queen's First EP from 1998 is different edit. When the song is fading out, there can be heard piano intro of the next song for few seconds.

Flick Of The Wrist
BBC Radio Take, 1974
From the same session as 'Tenement Funster' with different outro and guitar solo.
Single Version
B-side of the 'Killer Queen' single, only on 7". This 3:36 long version has different intro and outro.
UK CD3 Version
On UK Killer Queen CD3 from 1998. The mix begins very abruptly and fades very fast after "all this time, honey!" line.
US-only Single Mix
On US 7" of Killer Queen did not have the normal single version. This mix is without piano intro and the end fades into the intro of 'Lily Of The Valley' song.

Lily Of The Valley
Single Version
B-side to "Now I'm Here" (usually), on 7" only. 1:38 stand-alone version
US Single Version
One of the two B-sides to the 1975 US-only "Keep Yourself Alive" re-issue 7". Song starts a little bit earlier than single version without last guitar chords of 'Flick Of The Wrist'.
Digital Master Sampler Version
Specially edited for 'CD Digital Master Sampler'. It starts on "Baby you've been had" line.

Stone Cold Crazy
Michael Wagener Mix
Official mix of Hollywood Records. With different drums, othervise seems not changed.
Version "Re-Produced By Trent Reznor"
Faster and heavier with extra drums, Freddie's voice from the studio can be heard sometimes. Features some guitar and drum samples from 'Sheer Heart Attack', 'Dragon Attack' and more.
BBC Radio Take, 1974
Another Bob Harris sessions song, the same to the album version.

Misfire
Demo
Without Freddie's vocals, fake demo, somebody've been playing with stereo channels at home.

In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited
Digital Master Sampler Version
Appears on 'Digital Master Sampler CD', about 8 seconds shorter than usual, the explosion noise is not fading out at the end, but songs lasts until the next song ('Lily Of The Valley').

Now I'm Here
BBC Radio Take, 1974
Recorded with other songs, incorrectly described as 'Alternate version', with Freddie's vocals with echo effects.

In The Lap Of The Gods
Hollywood Records Version
On US release by Hollywood Records.

My opinion:
7/10
First really successful album (as a complete album).
Nice piece, from bombastic rock song 'Brighton Rock' to the 'Killer Queen' hit and 'Now I'm Here' is this work the proper Queen album with all marks.