Queen: In the Mirror – The Lost BBC Sessions
You want old Queen, you want Queen from the BBC archives. You want heavy Queen, well In the Mirror: The Lost BBC Sessions will satisfy your need for this rock royalty.
Disk one opens with an Alan Black intro for the band playing at Golders Green Hippodrome in London during 1973 . “Procession” into “Father To Son” sounds pretty much note-for-note as they appear and roll into one another on the band’s infamous (and my fave) Queen album, Queen II. (At the time of this show recording, it was not yet released.) The vocals might be a little far off, and things might get more than a bit static-y at times but these are ‘”lost tapes,” so beggars can’t be choosers. There’s a sloppy, loud “Jailhouse Rock/Stupid Cupid/Be Pop A Lula” melody here which the band would soon drop (thankfully) from their set.
Tracks 15-22 of this first disc are from a show recorded just weeks after Queen II was released at the Rainbow Theatre in London (one of the legendary Queen shows) and the band gets a decidedly warmer reception to songs (and better sound) on songs like “Procession,” “Father To Son,” “Ogre Battle” (featuring some amazing John Deacon bass playing), “Seven Seas Of Rhye,” and on tunes like their early hit, “Liar.”
Disk two is Queen playing in-studio first in 1973, opening with a tight blues “See What A Fool I’ve Been” into the chunky strut of “Son And Daughter.” Then, drummer Roger Taylor sings “Modern Times” and then there is some great piano playing from Freddie Mercury (the underrated piano player that he was) on “Nevermore” and his interplay with Brian May’s guitar wailing on “White Queen” (As It Began).” This disk ends with four tunes from an October 1977 recording and specifically with a shortened regular “We Will Rock You” mixed with a much faster reprise.
For Queen fans, this double CD set is a gem. For the causal rock fan, it’s a freaking education!