I recently came by a purple vinyl Bo Rhap – not the blue one, “only” a purple one. #799 if anyone cares about these things. Anyway, for no obvious reason I thought I’d play it once, fired up the old turntable, turned the volume up and settled back.
Big surprise, I’m In Love With My Car starts. Some idiot had put it on upside down.
However, as I levered myself out of my chair to go and turn it over, there was another surprise – it still sounded different, somehow. Because I wasn’t expecting that track it took me a few seconds to realise what was going on, but then it hit me.
It was a Freddie vocal. All the way through. I’ve no idea how it came to get out this way – it seems unlikely to be deliberate, but it’s hard to see how it can have been accidentally done either. And obviously, it’s amazing – different to Roger’s version but still, in my view, good enough to have been released at the time.
I realise this seems incredible – after all the purple vinyl came out 20+ years ago, and you’d have thought SOMEONE would have noticed – but who plays special editions anyway? Especially given this was originally sold at a Fan Club convention where everybody knew how Bo Rhap went fairly well already!
Knowing that there’ll be a lot of interest in this, I’m working on sourcing a means of digitising the recording – I plan to play it once more to do so. Until then, I can offer phone film of it playing:
Did you notice the way Frederick emphasised 'such a thrill when your radials SQUEAL'? I think it was a nod to his recently-diagnosed nodules, which according to some had been a mistake by the attending physician in charge of his case back in the States. Anyway, interesting performance, definitely unforgettable.
I did, and I loved the way Frederick hit that high E4, absolutely beautiful! You'd told us it was an alternative version, but you didn't mention there was an actual video featuring footage of the band tracking it at Olympic Studios in Barnes. I guess it came with the purple vinyl...
No, that's definitely Roger (the way he sings "jive" is unmistakably him, John doesn't have that phrasing) but I read the songwriting arrangement was like a George Harrison/Ringo Starr situation, where George (John) helped out Ringo (Roger) on his songs, primarily writing them but letting Ringo (Roger) take credit. It wasn't until Journey's End, actually, that Roger finally wrote his first song all on his own without John's help.