In 1971, four college students got together to form a rock band.
Since then, that certain band called Queen have released 26 albums and sold over 300 million records worldwide. The popularity of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon is stronger than ever 40 years on. This past month in front of an estimated TV audience of 1.2 billion they were honoured with the Global Icon Award at the 2011 MTV EMA.
But for Queen the journey was no bed of roses. No pleasure cruise. Queen had their share of kicks in the face, but they came through – and this is how they did it.
Set against a backdrop of brilliant music and stunning live performances from every corner of the globe, Queen: ‘Days of Our Lives’ – available in both Blu-Ray and standard DVD formats, released 28th November through Universal Music, brings Queen’s 40th Anniversary year to a close in suitably regal style.
‘Days Of Our Lives’ began as a two-part documentary produced by long-term Queen collaborators and life long fans Rhys Thomas (the comedian who famously broke the Mastermind all time record points score with a specialist subject of Queen) and Simon Lupton, and directed by the renowned director Matt Casey. After 10 years of making Queen DVDs, Lupton and Thomas were asked by the band to produce the definitive 40th Anniversary documentary and after almost a year of painstaking research and editing, this was the result.
Split over two episodes, Part One covering 1970–80, Part Two 1980 – present day, the documentary is a genuine rollercoaster of rock and roll history.
In this film, for the first time, it is the band that tells their story. Featuring brand new interviews with Brian May and Roger Taylor and unseen archive footage – including their recently unearthed first ever TV performance – it is a compelling story told with intelligence, wit, plenty of humour and painful honesty.
Rhys Thomas comments, “We set out to make the definitive Queen documentary. It's a funny, honest, inspiring and ultimately tragic account of ‘a certain band called Queen’, as told by the band themselves. We tell the story of four students who met in West London, slogged hard and conquered the world, ultimately changing rock music forever.”
When originally broadcast in the UK on BBC 2 across two nights in May of this year, ‘Queen: Days of Our Lives’ was the highest rated TV show on in its slot, beating every other channel and peaking with 3 million viewers. It has been widely regarded as one of the finest rock documentaries made and the critical reaction was outstanding. “Funny that,” says Thomas, “considering Queen were always denounced by the press!”
Say Queen’s Brian May: “The Boys did a fantastic Job on this documentary … with little interference from us! I think this one will set the bench mark for years to come.”
Thomas explains the transfer of the original BBC documentary to DVD release: “When originally making the series it wasn’t easy condensing 40 years of Queen down to just two hours. In fact, there was so much more to be said and so much more to be seen. Thanks to Blu-Ray and DVD, so much more of that story can now be told.
“As the two documentaries worked so well, we resisted the idea of making an epic 3-hour ‘Extended Cut’. They are always boring, and as Freddie said to his manager Jim Beach in his last days: “Do anything you want with my music dear, but never make me boring!
“So rather than simply dump a load of ‘deleted scenes’ onto the DVD and Blu-Ray, Simon and I decided to edit them all with as much love, time and care as we put into the main documentary. What we have as a result is a great companion to the main story and some real gems, most notably covering the formation of the band and the making of the last three albums which was only touched upon in the televised version. For instance, we learn from Brian how John Deacon made a cut in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the record company and Freddie’s reaction; the revelation that Freddie was not sober during the making of ‘Spread Your Wings’/’We Will Rock You’ in Roger’s back garden, and a hilarious sequence about Queen and their love of Scrabble.
“As well as the new sequences, there are 7 new videos. Excerpts were featured in the main documentary, but we have completed them, and here on DVD and Blu- Ray they appear in full.”
The Blu-Ray format allows for additional bonus material and therefore differs in content to the Standard DVD release. Please check credits for each release. (hangout.altsounds)
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