Volume 1, the first box contains 13 CD singles, dating from the beginnings of the band's recording career in 1970, to Don't Stop Me Now in 1979. Box 2 will continue the story into the mid 1980s, and so on. Ultimately, the four boxes will offer every one of Queen's singles to have made the upper reaches of the charts anywhere in the world. Naturally the set will take in all of the band's UK singles, but it will also feature many that were only released abroad.
The Singles Collection will also include various rare non-album B-sides, including some live tracks, and some seldom-heard alternative mixes. It will trace the band through four decades, and many musical styles; every top 40 Queen single heard on the radio anywhere across the world will be found in this collection.
The set begins with the July 6th 1973 EMI release of the first Queen single Keep Yourself Alive. In the UK it was the first and only track to be taken from the band's debut album Queen. While attracting some interest, the song received almost no radio support, and consequently never made the UK singles chart. EMI's promotion team received feedback from radio programmers claiming the song didn't fit play-lists formats because, "It takes too long to happen�" � referring to the song's 30-second guitar intro, now widely regarded as one of its most innovative features!
Determined to avoid this problem on the second time around, in shaping their next single, Seven Seas Of Rhye (from Queen II), Queen deliberately made everything happen in the opening seconds of the track� "Everything including the kitchen sink," as Brian May would later relate. This tactic proved to be their ticket to singles success: from this point on, hit singles became a virtual certainty, escalating to that historic locked-in-time moment when "Bohemian Rhapsody" dominated the No.1 chart position for nine weeks and turned into Britain's favorite rock song for every decade that followed.
In documenting the band's diversity in their singles material, the box set Collection highlights the fact that all four members of the band wrote massively successful hit songs. While Freddie takes ownership of Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Don't Stop Me Now, Bicycle Race, We Are The Champions, Play The Game and Somebody To Love, Brian May takes credit for such rock perennials as We Will Rock You, Fat Bottomed Girls, Now I'm Here, Hammer To Fall, Tie Your Mother Down, Flash and classic ballads as Who Wants To Live Forever. John Deacon enjoyed worldwide hits with You're My Best Friend, Spread Your Wings, I Want To Break Free and of course the monster smash Another One Bites The Dust. Roger Taylor chalked up No.1's with Radio Ga Ga, A Kind of Magic and rock classics such as I'm In Love With My Car. Queen are the only group in history whose members all have written No.1 songs.
Then there are the collaborations: John & Freddie co-wrote Friends Will Be Friends; One Vision was a truly collaborative composition credited to Queen collectively. The 1981 chart-topping Under Pressure was of course co-written with David Bowie. Many of the group's later hits were, as a band policy decision, credited to "Queen" collectively, regardless of who had the original idea. These include Innuendo, The Show Must Go On, Breakthru, I Want It All, These Are The Days Of Our Lives, The Miracle, Headlong and Scandal.
Much care has been taken in the preparation of these discs to offer the exact single versions, rather than the corresponding album tracks, which in many cases are different mixes, or different edits, or were cross-faded into other tracks. This is truly a collection made up of The Singles, each in their original form.
Few could have imagined that from such modest beginnings in 1970 when four student band members formed themselves into Queen, that by 2005 they would surpass even the Beatles' world record for the longest time spent on the British album charts, as well as holding the record for the UK's best selling album ever. Elsewhere around the world, in territories too numerous to list and far exceeding the 28 countries in which they toured, Queen enjoyed spectacular success; the many picture sleeves reproduced in the box set are a reminder of how the band literally conquered the world.
Queen: The Singles Collection 1.
Packaged in lift off top box, the 13 CD singles feature a selection of faithfully reproduced cover artwork from around the world. Released by EMI/Parlophone November 17, 2008.
1. A. Keep Yourself Alive
2. B. Son And Daughter
1. A. Seven Seas Of Rhye
2. B. See What A Fool I've Been
1. A. Killer Queen
2. A. Flick Of The Wrist
1. A. Now I'm Here
2. B. Lily Of The Valley
1. A. Bohemian Rhapsody
2. B. I'm In Love With My Car
1. A. You'er My Best Friend
2. B. '39
1. A. Somebody To Love
2. B. White Man
1. A. Tie Your Mother Down
2. B. You And I
CD9: Queen's First EP
1. A. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
2. Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...)
3. B. Tenement Funster
4. White Queen (As It Began)
1. A. We Are The Champions
2. B. We Will Rock You
1. A. Spread Your Wings
2. B. Sheer Heart Attack
1. A. Bicycle Race
2. A. Fat Bottomed Girls