Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Queen: A Night at the Opera - and Rockfield Studios

Queen: A Night at the Opera.  This record - at least the most famous song on it - Bohemian Rhapsody - was recorded at Rockfield Studios, near Monmouth in Walesjust outside the village of RockfieldMonmouthshire are where some of British rock music’s most successful recordings have been made.

I happen to know this first-hard from some very good pals who live down the road in Monmouthshire.   Their daughters come to visit us in the State for July to see Chicago and the midwest of the USA.   Here is a bit more about the studio.   The studios were founded by brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward in 1963, by converting an existing farmhouse. In 1965, they became the world's first-ever residential studio, set up so that bands could come and stay in the peaceful rural surroundings to record. They have two studios, the Coach House and the Quadrangle which are both set up for digital and analogue recordings.  The first big hit recorded in the studios was Dave Edmunds' "I Hear You Knocking" in 1970.  Following that success, the studios were used in the early 1970s to record seven albums by Budgie, several by Hawkwind, one by Hobo, Peter Hammill's second solo album Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night in 1973, Ace's hit single "How Long?" in 1974, (that is one of the great songs of all time) and Queen's album Sheer Heart Attack.  In August 1975, Queen returned to Rockfield to begin recording the album A Night At The Opera, including "Bohemian Rhapsody."  Motörhead made their first recordings at the studios in 1975 and were, briefly, signed to the Rockfield record label.  During a 12-month period in 1996-97, Rockfield sessions resulted in five UK Number One albums, by Oasis, Black Grape, The Charlatans and the Boo Radleys.

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