Rare Cuts Vol. 6 (Master Stroke FFMS-010)
(79:51): The Show Must Go On (Vocal Main Remix), Innuendo (Wind And Explosive Version), I Can’t Live With You (US Promo – Brian Malouf Remix), Affairs / Grand Dame (Unreleased Demo), Headlong (Original Version), My Secret Fantasy (Unreleased Demo), Robbery (Unreleased Demo), Self Made Man (Unreleased Demo), Ride The Wild Wind (Remix), Delilah (Early Demo Version), The Hitman (Extended Instrumental), These Are The Days Of Our Lives (Promo Radio Edit), I Was Born To Love You (Instrumental), Too Much Love Will Kill You (Heart-Ache), Heaven For Everyone (Greatest Flix Video Edit), You Don’t Fool Me (Dutch Single Edit), Let Me Live (Original Version), It’s A Beautiful Day (Extended Remix), Tavaszi Szel Vizet Araszt (Live In Budapest 1986. Secret bonus track)
Master Stroke’s sixth (and presumed final) volume of Queen’s Rare Cuts series focuses upon tracks from the final two LPs, 1991’s Innuendo and 1995’s Made In Heaven. Like the other titles, it presents both rarities that have been out before and brand new tracks making their silver debut. Many can be found on the prior release Secret Fantasy (Queen Digital Archives Q-007).
“The Show Must Go On” from Innuendo begins the disc. It lacks the drums and has a new Freddie vocal track compared to the commercial version. It sounds rather bare without the drums. It’s followed by “Innuendo,” the album’s title track. Called the “wind and explosive version,” it’s the same mix that appears on the single with the explosion at the end. The difference is the short interval of blowing wind at the very beginning.
“I Can’t Live With You” is taken from Brian Malouf mix taken from the promo CD single. It contains extra keyboards in the mix and some phasing effects on the vocals.
“Affairs” and “Grand Dame” are two songs tracked together because they originate from the same sessions in 1989 and the recording was presented by Queen producer David Richards during the party to celebrate The Italian Queen Community’s 5th anniversary online. “Affairs” is a slower piano based tune featuring full lyrics with the opening line “Who said that you could go, I’m losing my past / Who said we had to go and learn from our mistakes.” It’s a pretty tune which the band unfortunately abandoned. It segues into a “Grand Dame,” a quicker tempo instrumental rocker. Richards can be heard at the end thanking everyone.
The demo for “Headlong” comes from an early stage in the song’s development. It features Freedie’s vocals (sounding very similar to the final version), Brian’s backing vocals, a drum machine and John Deacon’s bass.
The following three tracks are unreleased, professionally recorded demos. “My Secret Fantasy” is an interesting mid-paced synthesizer based tune with a complex rhythm. Freddie’s lyrics are simple and underdeveloped. “Robbery” is much more energetic. Obviously a Brian May written tune, it’s heavy on guitars and heavy metal style percussion. There are only a few lines in the lyrics where Freddie sings: “There’s been a robbery / I got away Scot free / what a dirty job / round up the usual suspects.”
“Self Made Man” is another May demo featuring himself on lead vocals and Freddie singing the chorus. The synthesizers carry the melody and the bass, drums and rhythm guitars are also present.
“Ride The Wild Wind” is remixed to bring up Roger’s vocals. They’re more prominent than Freddie’s at certain points. It’s followed by a demo for “Delilah.” Clocking in at 4:16, it is the full version of the snippet found on the Hints Of Innuendo promotional cassette issued in 1990. The arrangment is similar to the final version, but Freddie’s vocals are multitracked.
Following is an “extended instrumental” track of “The Hitman.” This is simply the two instrumental tracks of the song taken from The eYe video game edited together into one. May’s backing vocal “fool for your love” is intact, however. The final Innuendo era track is the radio edit of “These Are The Days Of Our Lives.” It’s identical to the album cut except some guitar was removed.
Several years after Freddie Mercury passed the band assembled material for their final album Made In Heaven. They utilize several songs that were demoed after Innuendo was released early in 1991, various outtakes from Queen’s vaults and they rework two of Freddie’s songs from his solo album Mr. Bad Guy into Queen numbers. The album itself, with themes of life, death, and heaven, is a moving experience in context.
The first Made In Heaven rarity is the karaoke version of “I Was Born To Love You.” It is a full band instrumental except for the occasional lyric in the chorus. It’s followed by the “Heart-Ache” edit of “Too Much Love Will Kill You.” Taken from the 2011 UK Made In Heaven iTunes Deluxe download, it’s identical to the commercial cut except for twenty seconds of sound effects of a jukebox before the start of the song.
The Greatest Flix III video edit of “Heaven For Everyone” is taken from the 1999 VHS release on EMI/ Hollywood Records. It is the same as the single except for the addition of Freddie singing “this could be heaven for everyone” instead of “this could be heaven” in the beginning. The other strange edit is the omission of a drum beat in the middle of the song. These changes were probably made to accommodate the visuals.
The Dutch edit of “You Don’t Fool Me” chops out a full minute from the song. It’s followed by the original recording of “Let Me Live” found on the Made In Heaven promo cassette. It’s the same as the commerical edit except the introduction includes the offending line “Take another little piece of my heart now baby,” which the Janis Joplin estate sued because of its similarity to “Piece Of My Heart.”
The disc ends with a nice edit of the two versions of “It’s A Beatuful Day” from the album and the secret hidden track “Tavaszi Szel Vizet Araszt,” the Hungarian folk tune Freddie sang in Budapest on the A Kind Of Magic tour in 1986. It’s out of place in this collection, but still a nice addition.
Rare Cuts Vol. 6 is a valuable volume to have, especially for the Made In Heaven tracks which are not available anywhere else. All of the Master Stroke titles are good to have because the additional tracks on the 2011 remasters were, with some exceptions, not too interesting. And even though there is some overlap, they offer a nice supplement to already existing silver titles and are all worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)