April 6, 1973 – Queen signed their first recording contract. Guitarist Brian May explained that they didn’t get noticed the conventional way.
In November of 1972, Queen signed a legal contract with Trident Audio Productions LTD. The deal was that Queen would record for Trident and in turn, Trident would get the best recording deal with a major record label for Queen. Trident was trying to get the band in with EMI. This was the first time an independent record production company had taken on full responsibility for a rock band.
After many negotiations between Trident and EMI, a deal was finally secured for Queen. In April of 73, The band were ushered into the new offices of EMI Records LTD to sign their first recording contract. It was over quickly, but an excited Queen found themselves with a record deal covering the UK and Europe. They were thrilled because they knew their hard work was about to pay off and they were finally getting somewhere.
EMI executive, Tom Featherstone said, “I had been played hundreds of tapes from people’s mothers to their howling dogs and many bands and artists but none of them grabbed me, I was bored! Then I was handed this Queen tape, and I listened. I was knocked out. What stood out for me was the combination of Freddie’s voice and Brian’s guitar on a track called, “Liar.”
Queen’s debut album was completed as of January 1973 and released by their label EMI on July 13, 1973.
Later that same year, Queen received big news – they were going on their first major tour as support band to Mott The Hoople. It began in Leeds in November 1973, and it was said by many people during that tour that ‘Queen were more than a support act!
Even though Queen were delighted with their recording contract and it was the break they were looking for, it wasn’t a great deal and Brian May admitted in the Days of our Lives documentary, the band had actually signed a publishing agreement with Trident Studios, who then sold their records to a record company. “In hindsight it was the worst decision we ever made!”