On this day
  • 1973: Queen live at Leciester University JCR Hall, Leicester, UK. John\'s...
  • 1975: Queen live on A Night At The Opera Tour at Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland.

Read all 6 events for 15 December at diary.QueenSongs.info

Queen II

Documented Timeline:

  • 1973:
    • 28th July: An interview with Brian May and Frederick Mercury is published. They reveal the second album is planned to feature a 'Good vs Evil' theme.
    • Early August: Album sessions begin at Trident. Roy Baker has, at this point, a double role as producer and chief engineer, assisted by Nicholas Bradford.
    • Monday 6th August: Takes 12 to 16 of 'Seven Seas of Rhye' and takes 1 to 4 of 'Father to Son'. Team is still Roy Baker and Nicholas Bradford.
    • 7th - 31st August: Most of the album is recorded, with Roy Baker and Robin Cable taking turns producing (Roy left the country for a week or so to work with his other client, Gasolin', in Copenhagen).
    • Thursday 13th September: First documented use of 'Procession' as a taped intro for a concert. The version is definitely not the same one as on the album.
  • 1974:
    • Early: Presumably, that's when 'Procession' is overdubbed and re-mixed. It's also possible that other final touches for the album are done here, as well as the B-Side of the single.
    • February: The first Fan Club Newsletter is published, informing subscribers of the upcoming album and single and reporting 'See What a Fool I've Been' wouldn't be on the album.
      • Friday 22nd: The lead single, 'Seven Seas of Rhye' / 'See What a Fool I've Been', is released in Britain.
    • March:
      • Friday 1st: The promotional tour for the album kicks off in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
      • Saturday 2nd: Concert in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. A paper article written a few days later by Peter Makowski confirms they'd already incorporated yet-to-be-released songs into their setlist (namely, 'Ogre Battle' and 'Father to Son') as well as their current single, 'Seven Seas of Rhye' - which means either the 1st or the 2nd of March 1974 marked the first instance of Frederick playing piano on a Queen concert.
      • Friday 8th: The album is released in Britain.
    • April:
      • Tuesday 2nd: Headlining tour finishes with a concert in Birmingham, West Midlands.
      • Tuesday 16th: Queen's first concert in the USA, at Regis College in Denver, Colorado, supporting Mott the Hoople.
    • May:
      • Saturday 11th: Queen open for Mott the Hoople at the Uris Theatre in New York, but are forced to return to England soon after this concert because of Brian's illness.
      • Saturday 25th: Billboard, quoting Telemoustique, confirms the album has made it to No 1 in the Belgian charts, being the band's first record ever to get to No 1 somewhere on the planet.
    • December: The second Official Fan Club Newsletter is published, including a short biography and questionnaire for every band member. One of the questions is 'favourite album': Frederick chose John Lennon's Imagine (and that was long before he died so it wasn't out of hype); Brian chose The Beatles' Abbey Road and Hendrix's Band of Gypsys; Roger chose Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Beatles by ... well, The Beatles; and John chose Queen II.
  • 1975:
    • Sunday 1st of June: The album is certified both Silver and Gold in Britain, after having sold £100,000 and £250,000, respectively. The fact both accolades took place the same day suggests a sudden increase in sales, possibly due to news of how successful their Sheer Heart Attack tour had been in Japan.

Documented Recording Venue:

  • Trident Studios on 17 St Anne's Court, Soho, City of Westminster, London W1F 0BQ, England. The album liner notes only mention these studios, though it doesn't necessarily guarantee they didn't record anywhere else.

Documented Personnel:

  • Performers:
    • The band:
      • John Deacon: Electric bass, acoustic guitar.
      • Brian May: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic piano, tubular bells.
      • Frederick Mercury: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic piano, harpsichord.
      • Roger Taylor: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic drums, additional percussion (gong, tambourine, marimba).
    • Guest musicians:
      • Roy Baker: Castanets, stylophone.
      • Uncredited: Additional backing vocals.
  • Studio Crew:
    • Head Producers:
      • Roy Baker.
      • Robin Cable.
    • Engineers:
      • Roy Baker: 'Father to Son' and 'Seven Seas of Rhye'.
      • Nicholas Bradford: 'Father to Son' and 'Seven Seas of Rhye'.
      • Neil Kernon.
      • Michael Stone.
  • Technical Crew:
    • Jonathan Harris: Equipment supervision.
    • Michael Rock: Photography.

Documented Instruments:

  • Keyboards:
    • Bechstein III 7' 8" Acoustic Piano (five tracks).
    • Dubreq Bass Stylophone ('Seven Seas of Rhye').
    • Goff Bespoke Harpsichord ('The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke').
    • Unknown Jangle Piano ('Seven Seas of Rhye').
  •  Percussion:
    • Ludwig Bespoke Drums.
    • Paiste Symphonic 60" Gong ('White Queen', 'Ogre Battle').
    • Premier New Era Castanets ('Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke').
    • Premier New Era Marimba ('The Loser in the End').
    • Premier New Era Tambourine ('Father to Son', 'Seven Seas of Rhye').
    • Premier New Era Tubular Bells ('The March of the Black Queen').
  • Strings:
    • BHM Bespoke Electric Guitar (possibly all of the tracks).
    • Fender Precision Electric Bass (all of the tracks except for 'Procession').
    • Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar (possibly used as spare).
    • Hallfredh Acoustic Guitar ('White Queen').
    • Martin Acoustic Guitar (possibly 3-4 different tracks).

Documented Studio Equipment:

  • Analogue Tape Recorders:
    • 3M M-56 16-Track.
  • Mixing Consoles:
    • Trident A 3224 (Studio 1).
    • Sound Techniques 2408 (Studio 2).
  • Monitors:
    • JBL 4350 Speakers in Lockwood Cabinets driven by HH Amplifiers (Studio 1).
    • Tannoy Red Speakers in Lockwood Cabinets driven by Radford Amplifiers (Studio 2).
  • Microphones:
    • AKG:
      • C-12 and C-12A: Possibly used on bass, especially if/when they were after a Beatles-esque sound.
      • C-28: Tom-toms and electric guitars.
      • C-451: Possibly used for drum overheads.
      • D-12: Main bass-drum mic.
      • D-202: Percussion and bass (the signal coming directly from the amp).
      • D-224: Hi-hats.
    • Electrovoice RE-20: Possibly used occasionally on the bass-drum and for electric guitar.
    • Neumann:
      • KM-54 and KM-56: Snare and tom-toms.
      • U-67: Main mic for vocals and piano, and also occasionally for drum overheads.
    • Sennheiser MD-441: Hi-hats and perhaps also occasionally for vocals.
    • Sony C-38B: Snare drums.
  • Outboard Signal Processors:
    • Astronics A-1671 Graphic Equaliser.
    • Dolby Noise Reduction.
    • EMT 140 Plate Reverb.
    • Pultec EQP-1A Tube Equaliser.
    • Teletronix LA-2A Compressors.
    • UREI 1176 Limiters.
    • UREI LA-3A Limiters.

Myths, Legends & Ongoing Debates:

  • Discarded Material: Every once in a while stories come regarding alleged songs which were written and possibly recorded for this album but ultimately left out. However, whenever said 'sources' have been asked for evidence, they get needlessly aggressive, which doesn't help their credibility...