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November 26th, 1976 – Queen Story!
Queen with their manager John Reid and Scott Gorham at reception to promote ‘A Day At The Races’ album, at Advision Studios, London, UK
(Scott Gorham guitarist of Thin Lizzy, hard & heavy Irish group)

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26 November 1984 – Queen released their first and only holiday song, ‘Thank God It’s Christmas’ / ‘Keep Passing The Open Windows’ / ‘Man On The Prowl’ UK ❄️⛄️

In 1984, Queen ventured into the world of holiday songs with the standalone single “Thank God It’s Christmas.” But while Freddie Mercury, a powerful vocalist, it was his ability to pull back for that song that guitarist Brian May recalls so vividly.
In telling the story of its creation, May told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, “Christmas songs are always recorded in the middle of July. You have to, to get them ready in time.”

This was Roger [Taylor]’s composition, mainly, except he didn’t have a chorus,” he said. “So I contributed the chorus and we worked on it together, to cut a long story short. And then, when it was almost finished, we presented it to Freddie, who loved it and did a beautiful vocal. I think it’s just the most understated vocal, and I love it, you know.”

The funny thing is, it doesn’t get that much attention in Britain as a Christmas single, because it doesn’t have a video,” he continued. “Everything’s about video these days and we never made a video for that song. It’s all in your mind. But I’m very fond of it. I think it’s a very different kind of Christmas song.”

But that all changed In 2019, Queen released a touching animated music video for “Thank God It’s Christmas,” depicting a snowy nightime winter scene in a city. Directed and animated by Justin Moon, its concept came directly from Brian May and Roger Taylor.

The video focuses on a nighttime street scene as glittery snow falls across the silent landscape and Mercury sings about the “long hard year” while giving thanks for Christmas. As the camera pans up it peeks into different apartments to reveal how each family is celebrating the season, ending with a group on the roof watching the Northern Lights streak across the sky.

Speaking about his thoughts behind the video Taylor says: “Ironically, Christmas tends to be such a stressful time for so many of us. So many emotions, joyful memories of past Christmas’ as delighted children and responsible adults / parents. It’s just a great relief when it finally happens.”

May adds: “The video goes a little further by including a subtle reminder that we as humans now need to feel a responsibility for the welfare of all creatures on Earth – not just for our own benefit, and that of our grandchildren, but out of respect for the rights of the animals themselves.”

Roger Taylor and Brian May’s composition, “Thank God It’s Christmas,” spent six weeks in the UK charts over the festive period of 1984 and 1985. It made a re-apearance in the charts in 1995 when it was released alongside Freddie Mercury’s “A Winter’s Tale” from the ‘Made In Heaven’ album

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23 November 1973, Queen performed @ The Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 “Queen I Tour”
Supporting Mott The Hoople

This is the band’s first show in Scotland. The Apollo in Glasgow would be the site of many triumphant Queen performances in the 70s.

Instead of ‘Bama Lama Bama Loo’ they play a hyped up version of ‘I’m A Man,’ a blues cover they’d do a few more times in 1977.

John Deacon later stated this to be one of the band’s favourite shows of the tour.

A fan recalls: “Queen had just released their first album, the single ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ was out, and there was already a great buzz about this new band. This was one of the few times where everyone wanted to see the support act, and the hall was full for Queen’s performance. They were excellent, much better than many of the bands who would support major tours, and gave Mott a hard act to follow.”

The beautiful picture of Freddie is from a very early Queen gig

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23rd of November 1983 – Queen spends a second day of three, filming ‘Radio GaGa’ promo video @ Shepperton Studios, London. David Mallet directed the promo. Today, 500 fans from Queen’s exclusive fan club were invited as extras!

The video for the track has since become a firm favourite among both casual and diehard fans alike, and was one of the most expensive Queen ever made. At a cost of more than £110,000, the epic piece was shot by David Mallet and paid homage to Fritz Lang’s 1926 expressionist masterpiece Metropolis.

At the time, famed disco producer Georgio Moroder was reworking what footage still survived of the heavily damaged film (its distributors had edited the film and much of the excised footage was lost until a chance rediscovery of sections of it less than a decade prior), and adding colour filters and a contemporary score – which Freddie had agreed to contribute to.

The ‘Radio Ga Ga’ promo included different scenes from Metropolis, and the rights to these were bought by the band and Jim Beach directly from the German government.

Much of the rest of the video used sets loosely based on those in the film: the machine the film’s hero Freder operates, for example, was recreated in vibrant colours for Freddie to work.

David Mallet turned to members of the fan club, who once again found the required number (500) of more than willing fans at incredibly short notice. The fans became the faceless workers who put on white boiler suits, which were then sprayed with silver paint. They were assembled in regimental rows to await for the arrival of the band. Once Queen arrived, the fans had to stand in line, before the band, their heads bowed, clapping their hands in a manner now familiar to every hardened Queen fan (particularly those who would later perform the same move whenever the band perform the song on tour). They were troopers and spent the whole day on the 23rd November under very hot lights at Shepperton Studios in London

They only took a short break for lunch. Yet as ever, the fans were on top form, and outshone the band, who kept forgetting their timing!

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2 June 1982, Queen performed their second sold-out evening @ The Royal Highland Exhibition Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

“Hot Space European Tour”

This evening was not originally on the itinerary but due to extremely high ticket demand, an additional night was added in Edinburgh.

Freddie sings “Cool Cat” a couple times in the ‘Now I’m Here’ vocal exchange with the audience, the only time he would ever reference the song on stage. Shortly thereafter as Roger does his brief drum solo leading into ‘Dragon Attack,’ like last night Freddie says “Shake”, as if it were the drum solo from ‘Keep Yourself Alive.’

Brian, before ‘Love Of My Life’: “Yes, I realize this is Scotland. Is this Edinburgh? This is the second night, which we’ve never done before here.” He has seemingly forgotten about the two nights in 1976, but he gets a great cheer for his remarks, nonetheless.

Freddie and Brian take many great twists and turns in the outtro of ‘Fat Bottomed Girls.’

At the end of the show, Freddie says, “Thank you for two amazing days. We love ya. You’re real rock and roll. See you soon, Scotland!” In fact, the band would never play in Scotland again.

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