The March of the Black Queen

1974 - Rockfeld Studios

Queen had always recorded at Trident, the central London studios owned by their management company, also called Trident. But the relationship was becoming fraught, mostly concerning money, and in 1974, the band splitted with Trident, signing a new deal with Elton John's manager John Reid. In the meantime, Queen switched recording studios too. Only part of their album 'Sheer Heart Attak' was recorded at Trident. They also worked at Wessex and AIR (both owned by Beatles producer George Martin). Then they drove down to Rockfield Studios, the world's first residential recording complex, in the Wye Valley, in Monmouthshire, Wales. On 'Sheer Heart Attack' Queen began to move away from their early progressive sound and towards traditional rock and pop. Brian was still struggling with this health: "The first time I heard Freddie playing 'Killer Queen', I was lying in my room in Rockfield feeling very sick... and feeling sad, because I thought, 'I can't even get out of bed to participate in this. Maybe the group will have to go on without me'. But [then] we were able to finish it. They left some space for me and I did the solo. It was a big hit and we desperately needed it as a mark of something successful happening for us". Photos by Chris Walter.
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