Tenement Funster

Written by Roger Taylor

Recording information by Philipp (PraxisNothaft@t-online.de)

Recorded in summer 1974 in Wales and England.
Released in November 1974 on the album Sheer Heart Attack as well as in June 1977 on Queen's first EP.

A dark song by Roger,which is quite difficult to explain as it doesn't seem fit properly into any stereotype or genre. However, this makes it even better as the fact that it sounds so unique is a good example for Queen's sense of variety and Roger's song-writing-skills. It is a well written piece, full of good ideas and with a great atmosphere.

Roger's kit consisted of bass-drum, snare, hi-hat, three toms and two crash cymbals (left and right).
The kit was placed into the middle of the room and reverb was added.
The hi-hat is panned right and the toms are stereo, as well as the cymbals.

John played a Fender Precision Bass, which was played directly into the desk and is panned into the center.

Played by Freddie and appears at various points and plays chords.
It was picked up with two mics, to get a stereo-panning.
Like in almost all Queen-songs (though I don't mention it always) drums, piano, bass and/or one guitar were record live together as backing-track.

All in all there are five rhythm-guitars.
Two of them are acoustic-guitars. One of them is panned left,the other one's on the right side. Then there's a clean electric guitar (in the middle), which is playing quite the same as the acoustics and giving the sound more edge and treble. It doesn't play all the time, though.
After the intro two further electric guitars are joining (distortion) and playing rhythm-parts for the rest of the song (together with the others). They're -just like the acoustics - panned left and right.
In the instrumental after the chorus there's a totally weird lead guitar, which is producing an incredible wall of noise (my ears are still hurting). This guitar also plays some fills later in the song. There's lots of panning (see later).
At 1:52 there are two guitars playing an harmony-fill (panned right).
The acoustics had steel strings and were picked up with mics.
The clean electric went through a treble-booster, a chorus and then into the VoxAC30 (the bright channel maybe).
The other two electric rhythm-guitars have some dirty distortion. They also went into the VoxAC30.
The noisy solo-guitar went through the treble-booster, the chorus and Brian's tape delay machine. The two signals (the original and the delay repeat)then went into two separate Voxes for two separate tracks, so that they could be panned individually (there's some wild panning, but for most of the time the original is left, the repeat is right). The signals were heavily flanged.
The harmonies at 1:52 also went through the treble-booster and then into the small transistor by Deacy.
All guitars have lots of reverb!

All voices are by Roger.
The lead-vocals are in the center and have a small delay and reverb.
In the chorus there are backing-vocals, consisting of three Rogers.
At 1:59 and 2:10 these three voices are panned left and two additional voices are appearing on the right side.
At 2:19 there's a funny overdub.
Lots of reverb for all voices!

By the way:
Almost all Roger-songs till the 80's are sung exclusively by Roger.
He probably still likes this song, as he even played it on his tours in the 90's.