On this day
  • 1981: Queen released Greatest Flix VHS in the UK. It was the first time...
  • 1981: Queen took a publishing company to court to prevent unauthorised...

Read all 9 events for 19 October at diary.QueenSongs.info

A Day At The Races

Documented Timeline:

  • 1976:
    • May/June: Rehearsals at the Ridge Farm.
    • Summer: Recording sessions at The Manor. Confirmed tracks partially recorded at The Manor in July 1976:
      • 'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy'.
      • 'The Millionaire Waltz'.
      • 'You Take My Breath Away'.
      • 'Simple Man' ('White Man').
      • 'Drowse'.
      • 'Somebody to Love' (shorter version - probably some sections were added later).
    • September:
      • Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd: Queen play two concerts in Scotland, then return to England to keep working on the album.
      • Friday 10th: Queen play a concert in Wales, then return to England to keep working on the album.
      • Saturday 18th: Free concert at the Hyde Park in London. They resume recording afterwards.
    • Autumn: Album completed at various London venues.
    • October:
      • Friday 22nd: Single mixed at Sarm in London.
      • Tuesday 26th: Monitor mix of 'Brian's 12 String Thing' (working title for 'Long Away') at Wessex in London. Backing vocals (not necessarily the definitive ones) had already been recorded at this point.
    • November:
      • Tuesday 2nd: 'You Take My Breath Away' copy-mix at Wessex.
      • Friday 5th: Compilation mixes for the album done at Wessex. Different running order at that point.
      • Tuesday 9th: Copy-mixes for 'Long Away', 'Drowse' (three different versions) and 'Tie Your Mother Down' at Wessex.
      • Friday 12th: 'Somebody to Love' / 'White Man' single released in the UK.
      • Tuesday 16th: 'The Millionaire Waltz' and 'You and I' copy-mixes at Wessex.
    • December:
      • Wednesday 1st: Even though the album hasn't been released at this point, it's been pre-ordered enough times in Britain to qualify for Silver and Gold certifications for having reached the necessary monetary thresholds (£100,000 and £250,000).
      • Friday 10th: A Day at the Races is released in the UK.
      • Wednesday 29th: The album is certified Gold in the USA for having earned a million dollars in sales in that territory.
  • 1977:
    • Saturday 8th January: The Official Charts Company reveals A Day at the Races was the best-selling album of that week, having overtaken Glen Campbell's 20 Golden Greats. A week later, it'd be replaced by ABBA's Arrival.
  • 2002:
    • Thursday 14th November: The album is certified Platinum in the USA for having sold a million copies in that territory.
  • 2017:
    • Friday 3rd November: Over three decades after having been released, 'Somebody to Love' is certified Silver in Britain after finally having accumulated 200,000 sales.

Documented Recording Venues:

  • Advision Studios on 23 Gosfield Street, Fitzrovia, City of Westminster, Greater London W1W 6HG, England.
  • The Manor in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Kidlington, Oxfordshire OX5 1JL, England.
  • Sound and Recording Mobiles (aka Sarm Studios) on 9 - 13 Osborne Street, Aldgate, London E1 6TD, England.
  • Wessex Sound Studios on 106 Highbury New Park, Islington, Greater London N5 2DR, England.

Documented Personnel:

  • Performers:
    • The band:
      • John Deacon: Electric bass, acoustic guitar.
      • Brian May: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic and electric piano, electric harmonium.
      • Frederick Mercury: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic piano.
      • Roger Taylor: Lead and backing vocals, acoustic drums, additional percussion (gong, tambourine, timpani), electric guitar.
    • Guests:
      • Michael Stone: Lead vocals.
      • Unknown Uncredited: Backing vocals.
  • Studio Crew:
    • Timothy Friese-Greene: Assistant engineer (Wessex).
    • Gary Langan: Assistant engineer (Sarm).
    • Gary Lyons: Assistant engineer (Sarm).
    • Michael Stone: Deputy producer, chief engineer.
  • Technical Crew:
    • Richard Anderson: Equipment supervision.
    • Jonathan Harris: Equipment supervision/coordination.
    • Peter Hince: Equipment supervision.
    • Christopher Taylor: Equipment supervision.

Documented Instruments:

  • Keyboards:
    • Bechstein IV 7' 2" Acoustic Piano: The Manor (presumably).
    • Bechstein C 7' 4" Acoustic Piano: Wessex.
    • Bösendorfer 200 6' 6" Acoustic Piano: Advision.
    • Steinway (possibly B 6' 10.5") Acoustic Piano: Sarm.
    • Vox Electric Piano: 'Teo Torriatte'.
    • Unknown Harmonium'Teo Torriatte'.
  • Percussion:
    • Ludwig Bespoke Drums.
    • Ludwig Ringer Timpani: 'Drowse'.
    • Paiste 60" Symphonic Gong: 'Overture'.
    • Premier New Era Bell-Tree: 'Long Away'.
    • Premier New Era Tambourine: 'Teo Torriatte'.
    • Premier New Era Triangle: 'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy'.
    • Premier New Era Woodblocks: 'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy'.
  • Strings:
    • Baldwin Double-Six Guitar: 'Long Away' (rhythm).
    • BHM Bespoke Guitar: Brian's main.
    • Birch Bespoke Guitar: Brian's spare.
    • Fender Precision Basses: John had two, he could've used either, or both.
    • Fender Stratocaster Guitar: Possibly 'Drowse' (rhythm).
    • Martin D-18 Guitar: Likely 'You and I', possibly 'Drowse'.
    • Tokai Hummingbird F-120 Guitar: Possibly 'Drowse'.