The “fast version” of ‘We Will Rock You’ will feature on upcoming compilation Queen On Air, which collects together six BBC radio sessions the band recorded between 1973 and 1977. The sped-up take on the song was laid down by the band during a session for John Peel in 1977.
Producer Jeff Griffin recalled: “‘We Will Rock You’, now that was fun, particularly fun for me and my engineer Mark Robinson, because the band said, ‘Look, we need as many voices on this as possible, so we want you two to come in and sing in the studio.’ Mike and I were a bit reluctant at first, not that we minded singing – I sing in a choir and Mike sings old Irish songs – but it’s not quite the same as going in a studio with Queen.”
He added: “It was a great session, and certainly the two Johns [Peel & his producer Walters] were very pleased with it when they heard it and when it went out. When you consider that this was now the era of punk, into which John had bought quite heavily, I think it caused quite a bit of a stir at the time because people were surprised that it would be going out on the John Peel Show among all the other things.”
Queen On Air is available as a 2-CD set and a 3-LP vinyl edition, plus a Deluxe 6-disc edition featuring a CD of live concert broadcasts and 3 CDs of radio interviews. All versions will be released on November 4.