Sheer Heart Attack

Recording Sessions

  • 7th - 28th July 1974
    • Venues:
      • Coach & Quad Studios, Rockfield, Monmouthshire (24-track).
    • Recordings
      • Flick of the Wrist (including backing vocals).
      • Happy Little Fuck (including vocals).
      • You're Young and You're Crazy (no vocals).
      • Banana Blues (no vocals).
      • Lap of the Gods Part 2.
      • Stone Cold Crazy. 
  • Early August 1974:
    • Venue: Wessex Sound Studio, Highbury New Park, London, England.
      • Recordings
        • Bring Back That Leroy Brown (pianos, drums, contrabass, castanets, woodblocks, vocals).
        • Flick of the Wrist (tambourine).
        • In the Lap of the Gods (piano, drums, bass, vocals, timpani).
        • Killer Queen (pianos, drums, bass, vocals, triangle, chimes).
        • Lily of the Valley (piano, drums, bass, vocals).
        • Misfire (vocals, tambourine, timbales).
        • Tenement Funster (vocals)
  • Mid-August 1974
    • Venue: Associated Independent Recording, 214 Oxford Street, Westminster, London, England.
    • Recordings: Sundry overdubs (including guitars).
  • Late August 1974:
    • Venue:  Wessex Sound Studio, Highbury New Park, London, England.
    • Recordings:
      • Bring Back That Leroy Brown (banjo, guitars, backing vocals).
      • Dear Friends (piano, vocals).
      • Flick of the Wrist (guitars, backing vocals).
      • Killer Queen (guitars, backing vocals).
      • She Makes Me (guitars, drums, bass, vocals).
  • September 1974
    • Venue: Trident Studios, St Anne's Court, Soho, London, England.
    • Recordings: Now I'm Here.
    • Mixing: All of the album.
  • October 1974
    • Venue: Mastering Lab, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
    • Mastering
Equipment Used
  • Acoustic Drums
    • Ludwig
  • Acoustic Guitars
    • Martin D-18
    • Ovation Pacemaker
  • Acoustic Pianos
    • Bechstein III: Now I'm Here.
    • Bechstein (unknown model): Leroy Brown, Dear Friends, Killer Queen, Lily of the Valley, Lap of the Gods.
    • B√∂sendorfer (unknown model): Flick of the Wrist.
    • Yamaha C-7: In the Lap of the Gods ... RevisitedTenement Funster.
    • Jangle (unknown brand): Leroy Brown and Killer Queen. 
  • Additional Percussion (various brands, mostly New Era):
    • Castanets: Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
    • Tambourine: Flick of the Wrist, Misfire.
    • Timbales: Misfire.
    • Timpani: In the Lap of the Gods.
    • Triangle: Killer Queen.
    • Windchimes: Killer Queen.
    • Woodblocks: Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
  • Electric Bass
    • Fender Precision
  • Electric Guitars
    • Fender Stratocaster: Brighton Rock (only one of the many overdubs at the end).
    • BHM Bespoke: Everywhere else.
  • Organ
    • Hammond C-3: Now I'm Here
  • Other Strings
    • Abbott Monarch Ukelele-Banjo: Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
    • Double-Bass (Unknown Brand): Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
  • Amplifiers
    • Deacon Bespoke (Guitar Choirs)
    • H|H (Bass)
    • Orange AD-200B (Bass)
    • Vox AC-30 (Lead & Rhythm Guitars)
  • Sundry
    • Dallas Rangemaster Effect Unit (Guitar)
    • Dolby A Noise Reduction
    • EMT 140 Plate Reverb
    • fOXX Foot Phaser Pedal (Guitar)
    • JBL D-175 Monitor Speakers (Trident 1)
    • Lockwood-Tannoy Monitor Speakers (Trident 2)
    • Maestro Echoplex (Guitar)
    • Orange PPC-412 Cabinet (Bass)
    • URei LA2A Limiter
    • Vox AC-30 Amplifiers (Guitar)
    • Vox Cry-Baby Wah-Wah Pedal (Guitar)
Creative Personnel
  • Music composed by:
    • Freddie Mercury: 53.85%
    • Brian May: 30.77%
    • John Deacon: 7.69%
    • Roger Taylor: 7.69%
  • Lyrics written by:
    • Freddie Mercury: 48.72%
    • Brian May: 33.33%
    • Roger Taylor: 10.26%
    • John Deacon: 7.69%
Performing Personnel
  • John Deacon
    • Acoustic Guitar: Tenement Funster and Misfire.
    • Double Bass: Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
    • Electric Bass: 12 tracks.
    • Electric Guitars: Misfire.
  • Brian May
    • Acoustic Guitar: She Makes Me and In the Lap of the Gods.
    • Acoustic Piano: Dear Friends and Now I'm Here.
    • Backing Vocals: 9 tracks.
    • Electric Guitars: 12 tracks.
    • Electric Organ (possibly): Now I'm Here.
    • Lead Vocals: She Makes Me.
  • Freddie Mercury
    • Acoustic Grand Piano: 7 tracks.
    • Backing Vocals: 10 tracks.
    • Jangle Piano: Bring Back That Leroy Brown and Killer Queen.
    • Lead Vocals: 11 tracks.
  • Roger Taylor
    • Acoustic Drums: 12 tracks.
    • Backing Vocals: 9 tracks.
    • Castanets: Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
    • Lead Vocals: Tenement Funster.
    • Tambourine: Flick of the Wrist.
    • Timbales: Misfire.
    • Timpani: In the Lap of the Gods.
    • Triangle: Killer Queen.
    • Windchimes: Killer Queen.
    • Woodblocks: Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
Producers:
  • Roy Baker: 50%
  • Freddie Mercury: 24.36%
  • Brian May: 16.67%
  • Roger Taylor: 5.13%
  • John Deacon: 3.85%
Engineers
  • Mike Stone: Chief.
  • Neil Kernon: Assistant (Trident).
  • Geoff Workman: Assistant (Wessex).

BAND/MUSIC TROPES FOUND ON THIS ALBUM
Beyond the impossible:
  • Several 880-Hz a" notes:
    • Bring Back That Leroy Brown (Mercury).
    • In the Lap of the Gods (Taylor).
  • Some very low notes, all by Mercury:
    • 65.41-Hz C on Bring Back That Leroy Brown.
      • It means that, just for that song, Mercury covered a three-octave-major-sixth range (46 semitones)
    • 98-Hz G on Flick of the Wrist, Leroy Brown and Lap of the Gods.
Castling / A day in the limelight
  • Dear Friends
    • Brian May plays the piano instead of Freddie Mercury.
  • Now I'm Here
    • Brian May plays piano and organ instead of Freddie Mercury.
  • Misfire
    • John Deacon plays acoustic guitar and most electric guitars (including the solo).
  • She Makes Me
    • Brian May sings lead vocals instead of Freddie Mercury.
  • Tenement Funster
    • John Deacon plays acoustic guitar instead of Brian May.
    • Roger Taylor sings lead vocals instead of Freddie Mercury.
Foreshadowing
  • In the Lap of the Gods has complex form + harmony, loads of multi-tracked vocals, a guitar choir, classical-influenced piano, just like ... you know, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Octave vocals
  • Flick of the Wrist (verses).
Self-backing vocalist:
  • Bring Back That Leroy Brown: May and Taylor join in for some bits (e.g. 'yeah'), but it's mostly just Mercury multi-tracking himself.
  • In the Lap of the Gods: Taylor sings the very high falsetto bits on the intro and outro, but everything else is just Mercury+Mercury+Mercury+Mercury...
  • In the Lap of the Gods ... Revisited: With the only exceptions of 'free' (Taylor on top) and the outro, it's all Mercury+Mercury+Mercury...
  • Killer Queen: May and Taylor are featured here and there, but the chorus ('she's a killer queen... laser beam') is a four-part of Mercury+Mercury+Mercury+Mercury.
  • Lily of the Valley: No May and no Taylor - it's all a choir of Mercury's.
  • Misfire: Mercury+Mercury+Mercury+Mercury.
  • She Makes Me: May sings his own harmony, in falsetto!
  • Tenement Funster: No May and no Mercury - it's all a choir of Taylor's.

FALSE CLAIMS & URBAN LEGENDS
  • Stone Cold Crazy being a slower version in the beginning: denied by Mr May on his website in 1998.

LINER NOTES MISTAKES & OMISSIONS
  • No mention of the organ on Now I'm Here.