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Tie Your Mother Down

Composer: Brian May

Album: Day at the Races (1976)

So how did we choose the song? Firstly, we needed to see if our idea would work and for this we needed a song with a fairly straightforward structure - so that ruled out Bohemian Rhapsody! Secondly, it had to be a song we were all very familiar with, in fact Simon’s band, HMV, were regularly playing Tie Your Mother Down at the time with Simon on lead vocals and this leads into the third reason for the song choice. HMV were in the midst of recording some demos and were able to lay down the backing tracks very quickly during this process. As a result, the drums were provided by Virtual Queen’s first guest musician, Steve Eastment. The first recording took place in late September 2005, although it was a few months before logistics allowed the rest of the track to start forming.

Although Virtual Queen makes songs using our own arrangements rather than following the originals too closely, we decided to stick to the original structure for our first song, Tie Your Mother Down. As it turned out, Paul's guitar work really elevated the song beyond a “carbon copy” cover version.

After hearing Paul's guitars in place, and hearing where we were taking the project, with the song to be released for sale on the internet, Steve chose to re-record his drums. The original recording was only ever intended as a guide and Steve knew he could improve upon his performance. This was completed in July 2006 and it was time to start the final mix.

Steve has a Pro Tools set up in his garage (where the drums were recorded) and it was felt that this would present a better option for mixing than Simon’s Cubase set up, primarily due to better monitoring and effects. It also meant that Steve could offer a fresh pair of ears and opinions, as well as his talents in this area.

The final song features more than 50 tracks of audio, including 4 rhythm guitars, 6 lead guitars and ten backing vocals! Give the track a listen to hear just what that many tracks sound like – you won't be disappointed!

Listen to Tie Your Mother Down

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We Will Rock You

Composer: Brian May

Album: News of the World (1977)

This classic anthem was the second song we decided to tackle. Simon had an idea for an arrangement and Paul put a demo together around this idea, with a few added touches! The drums were once again recorded by Steve Eastment in July 2006.

Listen to We Will Rock You

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You Take My Breath Away

Composer: Freddie Mercury

Album: A Day at the Races (1976)

This is the first song where the arrangement idea has come from someone outside of Virtual Queen. Inma Villarrubia, a classically trained pianist, contacted the band while it was still in the planning stage and offered to record the piano for this beautiful love song. Inma recorded her part and e-mailed it over, with the apology that there was a bit of background noise as she couldn't record in an isolated room. This led to experimenting with different ways to hide or eliminate it. Eventually we came up with the idea of adding crackles as if the song were on vinyl.

For a while, the plan was to record Simon's future sister-in-law playing a cello solo, but time constraints meant that his fretless bass guide tracks were used instead.

Listen to You Take My Breath Away

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Feel Like Makin' Love

Composers: Paul Rodgers / Mick Ralphs

Album: Straight Shooter (1975)

The version featured on this site is an instrumental as the master file with vocals has been lost. Simon recorded a twin bass line for this song, although at the mixing stage it was decided to use the two lines separately and mix them in at different points throughout the song.

This song was mixed by Paul and features him on keyboards.

Listen to Feel Like Makin' Love

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Wishing Well

Composers: Paul Rodgers / Simon Kirke / Tetsu Yamauchi / Paul Kossoff / John Bundrick

Album: Heartbreaker (1973)

This is the song that began it all. Following a comment from Matthew on the Queen Online forums about recording the son, Simon e-mailed him asking if he could be of service as a bass player. This track uses elements recorded by Matthew and his friend, Tom Walker, for that original version.

Simon listened to the tracks and decided on an arrangement utilising Tom's acoustic guitar track as an intro, before bursting in to the full band track.

Listen to Wishing Well

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Who Wants To Live Forever

Composer: Brian May

Album: A Kind Of Magic (1986)

Although an arrangment was put together for one of Queen's greatest ballads, the project ground to a halt without the song being attempted.

Who knows, maybe one day...?

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