"First of all, it is not live! This is definetly for fans of the first two albums. This album should more properly be titled "BBC Sessions 73-74". These are different versions of some of the best songs from the first album (with one from the second). THIS IS PURE QUEEN, THE ROCK, THE FOLKLORE, THE RIFFS, FREDDIE'S VOICE, IT's ALL HERE!!! Freddies voice eve Here's a track-by track analysis:1. My Fairy King: The Best Version I've ever heard, slightly different from the album version in that everything seems to be a lot more clearer and crisp (as in the original album version where it seemed only the overbubs were crisp). RECCOMENDED2. Keep Yourself Alive: not too much of a difference, a little heavier.3. Doin Alright: Pretty much the same as the album version except that Roger sings in the 2nd or 3rd verse, the gituar is a little more heavier too.4. Liar: That's right, the best track ever on the fisrt album at studio quality but performed as it it WERE live!!!! It's unable to put in words how much better this is than the album version (which totally kicked)!!!!!5. Ogre Battle: Another Awesome performance of a great song just believe me on this one, seems heavier also.6. Great King Rat: Not too much different, except Freddie's voice is MUCH clearer in this verision, and almost sounds juvenile at the beginning.7. Modern Times Rock And Roll: Roger is stil on vocal, just as hard and heavy as before, a lot clearer though.8. Son And Daughter: Not one of my favorites, but it's still pretty awesome. There is definetly some Queen history in this piece, as those of you familiar with Brighton Rock (from Sheer Heart Attack) will probably notice several of the riffs used in there...IN HERE.All in all a FANTASTIC BUY. I think that when Queen performed on the BBC, they treated it as a live performance, so many of the older songs that can only be found live on BOOTLEGS in bad quality, are found here in great quality. Also about it being more clearer, I think it's because they used an echo effect in the studio albums that sometimes made Freddie hard to hear over the Instrument, where here It's all very balanced!Good Day!"
K. Steckfus | Philly | 11/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is strong from start to finish. I've never been a fan of Queen's later music (post Jazz), but this recording is the closest I've ever heard a classic rock band sounding like Led Zeppelin. The Mercury-May combo really reminds me of Plant-Page, except Freddie adds some brilliant piano work and Brian May gets a cleaner sound from his guitar than Jimmy Page. Sure these tracks are primarily from their highly underrated debut, but I like these recordings better than the originals. Plus, you can't go wrong with Roger's "Modern Times Rock n Roll," which sounds like Jimmy Page doing some serious axe-grinding with Rod Stewart on vocals after chain smoking a pack of Marlboros. It simply rocks. If you thought Queen was some pop band from the late seventies with a few hits, think again. Their earlier stuff rocks and blows all their hits out of the water.......and this hidden gem simply proves it!!"
Superb, but for devoted fans only
Itamar Katz | Ramat-Gan, Israel | 11/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the heavy Queen fan, one who owns all the records, including the live albums and the Flash Gordon soundtrack, 'Queen At The BBC' (or 'Queen At The Beeb', as it was originally called when released in the UK; the title was changed upon its released in the US because nobody there knows what the beeb is) will make an excellent purchase, especially if they're fans of the band's early material like myself. The album provides fascinating never-before-heard versions of some of Queen's finest songs, with the energy of a live performance but with the quality of radio studio recording... how can you go wrong?Unfortunately, the album has some serious problems, the worst of which being that almost all the songs in it are from the band's first album. In fact, it has all the best songs from that album (except for Brian May's fantastic 'The Night Comes Down'), as well as one from the second album. However, it does not make a decent replacement for the actual album, and therefore dosen't make much sense for the average listener to buy. If only it would have featured one or two lesser known songs, like the forgotten b-side 'Mad The Swine' or a song from the smile period, it could have been much better.True, some of the songs are very different, often better than the album version. 'Modern Time Rock n' Roll' has been wonderfuly performed, and an excellent though slightly misplaced guitar solo was added. 'Keep Yourself Alive' is slightly heavier than the album version, as is 'Liar' - which makes this already superb song even better (although Freddie seems to have some sort of trouble with his microphone...) Most of all, the heavy rocker 'Son and Daughter' was extended by four minutes of guitar jamming. The riffs there will seem familiar to most Queen fans from 'Brighton Rock', but in fact they originate even earlier than this recording, to the Smile song 'Blag'. Some of the songs though, especially 'Great King Rat' and 'Ogre Battle', are slightly pale when compared to the album versions.Needless to say that this CD is a must for the true Queen fans - they'll get it anyway. For the casual listener, get 'Queen' first, and decide for yourself if you reall need another version of the same album."
The FIRST, not a LIVE album
jag80q | The US of A | 02/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would first like to clear up what seems to be a common misconception among my fellow reviewers; this album is NOT LIVE and no where on the album does it even suggest this. The tracks were laid down in Feb. 1973 at the BBC in order to be played on air at a future date; they were NOT played live on air. Even simply listening to the music reveals this - the marvelously layered and echoed sounds could not have been achieved solely by Freddie, Brian and Roger on three different mics (John never sang) or by Brian on one guitar - a studio recording system assisted. Secondly, this was a precursor to all Queen's future albums - all the songs on this album were later polished and placed on either Queen I (Jul. '73) or Queen II ('74). For a band who, before recording these songs, had only been on the live circuit for two years and had yet to sign a major recording deal, this album is an unbelievably incredible one. "At the BBC" presents Queen as a band with an ability to deliver epic-style songs and sounds. And that's all I have to say about that!"
Brian Ogilby | Worcester, VT USA | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Queen took to the BBC and recorded these versions they did for the most part an even better job then on the originals. For example the production of the songs from the debut is clearer. My Fairy King manages to properly display Freddies piano playing which was lost mostly under the din of Brian Mays overdubbed guitars, not so here. The vocals all around are clearer too and the songs sound different enough to make this a worthwhile investment for any Queen fan."