“We were in Super Bear in the summer of 78, late summer

We were met at the Negresco Hotel in Nice, one of the best hotels in the world. And we followed them up into the hills, an hour outside Nice where the studio was, in Berre-les-Alpes. By that time most of the backing tracks had already been done so it was vocals, guitar overdubs that kind of thing. I just remember it being the same as most other recordings: it gets a bit dull when you’re not involved. Just sitting there, making a cup of tea or changing guitar strings or whatever. I know the producer got ‘creative’ and didn’t like the studio room. We’d got all the equipment in, but we couldn’t get the tractor-trailer up the hills. It was one of those tiny Provence roads, so we had to ship it into a little Citroen van and move it up in stages.

And then they’re all these steps in the studio, and we finally got it there, and got it in on it set up and the producer said, “I don’t like floor”. So we had to take everything out again get the carpet rolled up, taken outside and we moved all the equipment outside and then there was one of these torrential rain storms that you have in the south of France, and that was one of the days that we weren’t too happy……

There was a big swimming pool, which was great and we ate in, and as you can imagine, had quite reasonable food – being in France. I think John was living in the studio place, Fred had a villa down the road. We were sort of dotted around. It was a tiny village so… But like all recording you start at strange hours and work strange hours and yeah basically it was just like another recording session, it just happened to be in the South of France. It was just a little nicer when you came up for air than being in some of the rough places in London where we were, so yeah, it was nice.”

Peter Hince

*Super Bear Studios: recording studio located in Berre-les-Alpes (a small medieval village, located in the foothills of the Alpes Maritimes). As early as 1978, artists could find peace and tranquillity in order to focus on their work, while still being close to Nice and Monaco. With state-of-the-art acoustic design by Tom Hidley (Eastlake Audio). It was sadly destroyed by a forest fire in 1986. A restaurant owner has bought the place since then and rebuilt it in 1989.

Queen’s seventh studio album ‘Jazz’ was recorded between July – October of 1978. Because of the band’s massive wealth, they were advised to spend a year outside England and take up temporary residency elsewhere, namely the tax exile of Montreux. This was the bands first album recorded outside England. Sessions for ‘Jazz’ began at Mountain Studios in Switzerland, in July 1978, and later moved to Super Bear studios in Nice, France, concluding in October. While new atmospheres were being explored, a familiar face was brought back: after a two album absence, Roy Thomas Baker once again became Queen’s co-producer. It would prove to be the last Queen/Baker production.

The pictures are of the boys relaxing and swimming while on break during ‘Jazz’ sessions at Super Bear Studios (in the village of Berre-les-Alpes in the hills 23k north of Nice.

“We were in Super Bear in the summer of 78, late summer because we’d started the Jazz album in Montreux, and I was driving an old van through Italy to France and it was great again. It was an adventure. At that time there’s only two of us roadies and the studio engineer and we were kind of like the Three Amigos in the front of this van, and hitting the South of France to Monte Carlo and all the lights, great fun.

We were met at the Negresco Hotel in Nice, one of the best hotels in the world. And we followed them up into the hills, an hour outside Nice where the studio was, in Berre-les-Alpes. By that time most of the backing tracks had already been done so it was vocals, guitar overdubs that kind of thing. I just remember it being the same as most other recordings: it gets a bit dull when you’re not involved. Just sitting there, making a cup of tea or changing guitar strings or whatever. I know the producer got ‘creative’ and didn’t like the studio room. We’d got all the equipment in, but we couldn’t get the tractor-trailer up the hills. It was one of those tiny Provence roads, so we had to ship it into a little Citroen van and move it up in stages.

And then they’re all these steps in the studio, and we finally got it there, and got it in on it set up and the producer said, “I don’t like floor”. So we had to take everything out again get the carpet rolled up, taken outside and we moved all the equipment outside and then there was one of these torrential rain storms that you have in the south of France, and that was one of the days that we weren’t too happy……

There was a big swimming pool, which was great and we ate in, and as you can imagine, had quite reasonable food – being in France. I think John was living in the studio place, Fred had a villa down the road. We were sort of dotted around. It was a tiny village so… But like all recording you start at strange hours and work strange hours and yeah basically it was just like another recording session, it just happened to be in the South of France. It was just a little nicer when you came up for air than being in some of the rough places in London where we were, so yeah, it was nice.”

Peter Hince

*Super Bear Studios: recording studio located in Berre-les-Alpes (a small medieval village, located in the foothills of the Alpes Maritimes). As early as 1978, artists could find peace and tranquillity in order to focus on their work, while still being close to Nice and Monaco. With state-of-the-art acoustic design by Tom Hidley (Eastlake Audio). It was sadly destroyed by a forest fire in 1986. A restaurant owner has bought the place since then and rebuilt it in 1989.

Queen’s seventh studio album ‘Jazz’ was recorded between July – October of 1978. Because of the band’s massive wealth, they were advised to spend a year outside England and take up temporary residency elsewhere, namely the tax exile of Montreux. This was the bands first album recorded outside England. Sessions for ‘Jazz’ began at Mountain Studios in Switzerland, in July 1978, and later moved to Super Bear studios in Nice, France, concluding in October. While new atmospheres were being explored, a familiar face was brought back: after a two album absence, Roy Thomas Baker once again became Queen’s co-producer. It would prove to be the last Queen/Baker production.

The picture are of the boys relaxing and swimming while on break during ‘Jazz’ sessions at Super Bear Studios (in the village of Berre-les-Alpes in the hills 23k north of Nice.

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