1 CD

Label: Digital Queen Archives  Q 002 
Country: Japan
Released: May 2004
Recorded: Various early studio recordings. 
Sound: Excellent stereo soundboard recordings.   
Comments: A MUST for every Queen fan & collectors. Tracks by 'Smile', early out-takes, demo tracks etc... Nice cover and interested tracks, including Queen version of 'Polar Bear' + 'Silver Salmon'. Both NEVER before out on the marked.
Roots: Various, 'Smile' from Japanese (1982) LP.
Time: 74:12

Front cover

 Step On Me
 April lady
 Polar Bear
 Doing Alright
 (SMILE feat. Brian May, Roger Taylor & Tim Staffell. 1969-70)

 Polar Bear  (take 2. Queen demo version ca. 1970 with Barry Mitchell on bass.)
 Silver Salmon  (Queen w/John Deacon. Early demo. Track is written by Tim Staffell)
 I Can Hear Music  ('Larry Lurex' 1973 feat. Freddie, Brian & Roger + others. a-side single)
 Goin' Back  ('Larry Lurex' 1973 feat. Freddie + others. b-side single)
 Keep yourself Alive  (De Lane Lea studio autumn 1971, demo)
 The Night Comes Down  (De Lane Lea studio autumn 1971, demo)
 Great King Rat  (De Lane Lea studio autumn 1971, demo)
 Jesus  (De Lane Lea studio autumn 1971, demo)
 Liar  (De Lane Lea studio autumn 1971, demo)
 The Night Comes Down  (instrumental)
 Modern Times Rock'n Roll  (instrumental)
 Liar  (instrumental)
 Mad The Swine  (early song, b-side only of 'Headlong' 1991 single)
 Keep Yourself Alive  (long lost retake, bonus track from 'Hollywood' QUEEN cd)

        back of front sleeve                                 inside sleeve

Back cover

Review by Collectors music reviews
n The Beginnings
is another release on the brand new Digital Queen Archives label.  Their aim is to release the most comprehensive collections in the best possible sound of Queen outtake, rehearsal and B-side material that are scattered over countless titles.  This documents material from pre-Queen up to the release of their first album.  The opening tracks are reprints of songs from the group Smile.  Smile consisted of Brian May, Roger Taylor and Tim Staffel.  The latter handles the vocal and bass duties and is an interesting slice of obscure late sixties British pop.  Of particular note is the first song “Earth”, a Brian May penned tuned with thematic links to songs like “‘39″ and ”Who Wants To Live Forever?”  ”Blag” is a Zeppelinesque heavy rocker and the first recorded reference of Brian May’s famous “Son & Daughter/Brighton Rock” guitar solo.  And “Doing Allright” is the same track that appears on Queen except with Staffel’s singing.

The following two tracks have long been rumored and hoped for and have finally been released.  If taken at face value, these are the earliest Queen recordings in existence and pre-date the arrival of bassist John Deacon.  “Polar Bear” is a straight cover of the Smile song with Freddie Mercury saying “take 2″ and Roger Taylor saying “it was so slow and it was getting slower.”  “Silver Salmon” is a bombastic, drum heavy song that, although very interesting, loses steam by the end.

The rest of the disc contains well known material.  The De Lane Lea demo is presented here at the correct speed.  DQA tacked on the “Mad The Swine” outtake that was recorded for Queen but only appeared in 1991.  This is the strangest Queen song in their entire catalogue and I don’t think the band ever knew what to do with it.  The final “Keep Yourself Alive” has a great drum interlude not present on the original single.  A great job and auspicious beginning for this new label.  They are releasing the long rumored and long delayed Queen anthology box set which will be released in late 2005 at the earliest.  These releases will only whet our appetite.  (GS)

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