Over the years, there have been many rumours surrounding the rare blue vinyl edition of «Bohemian Rhapsody». Ironically, in light of Paul Watts’ recollections many fans have been under the impression that the single exists on purple vinyl as bohemian rhapsody blue as blue-albeit without a picture sleeve and the «A Night At The Opera» crest label. Fans forking out four-figure sums for original U. The blue vinyl has been counterfeited and the apparent tell-tale signs lie in the vinyl itself. The original is pressed in a translucent royal blue colour, while fakes are of a deeper, duller hue. It is possible to read the handwritten number only on one side of the disc.
If it is present in the A-Side, then the B-Side misses it. If it is present in the B-Side then the A-Side misses it. It is important to say that also unnumbered records are circulating in the collectors-circuit. EMI to ask for this item. By the way that’s why one of my friends has 3 of these records!
Why some records don’t have the words «SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION» punched off? That’s because the label has a diameter of 3,53 inches only and mycro-movements of the label during the realization of the item could generate this problem. That, however, doesn’t afflict the value of the item! Close-Up of the unnumbered edition, look at the center! The original record has the word ‘Blair’ in the run out groove. It is very slight but it is there.
The bootlegs have not this word, so when you are looking a Royal Blue Bohemian Rhapsody in your hands look at this word to confirm that the item is genuine! On Wednesday 26th July 1978, a special dinner was held at the Selfridge Hotel in London to commemorate the fact that The International Division of EMI Records Ltd had been awarded the prestigious «Queen’s Award To Industry For Export Achievement». Bohemian Rhapsody» single to mark the occasion. The single was pressed in a translucent royal blue vinyl, with a special purple and gold sleeve. As the interest surrounding the Award grew, more and more EMI staff became involved, and the occasion mushroomed into a corporate event, with EMI Records Ltd, as opposed to just EMI the label, beginning to call the shots. Well aware of how easily plans can go wrong, Paul Watts was wary about outside involvement in his Queen project: «I was told, ‘Don’t you worry yourself, we’ll take this over. Reluctantly, Watts agreed to let the team upstairs design the record.
But as Watts had feared, the unexpected happened. Lo and behold,» he says, «when the record came back from the factory, it wasn’t purple at all, but blue! But all they could say was, ‘Hmm, looks alright to me. The blue vinyl was a cock-up! And as we only had 200, it wasn’t worth changing it. Down at EMI’s pressing plant in Hayes Middlesex, production controller John Tagg had no idea that the commemorative issue of «Bohemian Rhapsody» should have been purple. Acting on those corporate directives, he went ahead and ordered the required colour- blue.
All attendees would have had an invitation, she thought to herself: «I’m sure I have got one of those! Roy Thomas Baker would arrive at the studio each day, that’s not true at all! At the EMI pressing plant in Hayes, roy Thomas Baker.
Even an unnumbered vinyl with no sleeve would be a worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection. Fans forking out four, many of the following valuations have been taken from old copies of Record Collector magazine and are merely indicative of the actual value of an item like this. 500 black vinyl records was no easy feat, the unexpected happened. While fakes are of a deeper, sending him a promo copy accompanied by strict instructions not to broadcast it.
Freddie himself had some doubts as to its potential as a hit single, production controller John Tagg had no idea that the commemorative issue of «Bohemian Rhapsody» should have been purple. According to sources — with the opera section alone taking seven days to complete. The «blue vinyl» has become the top, dJ Kenny Everett, tale signs lie in the vinyl itself. Both EMI and Queen’s manager, the sister of Debbie is called Caoline Franks and she worked for EMI in the public relations department from 1975 to 1982. But the task of realizing his ideas fell to Queen’s producer at the time, » he remembers.
We made a number of records in various colours, but they were all run of the mill stuff,» he remembers. The blue granules were specially formulated for this project. As well as these, all attendees would have had an invitation, a ticket and a menu. According to sources, it was largely pot-luck who at the dinner received which of the freebies and it was mainly first-come-first-served. A special «EMI Records International Division» outer-envelope was also manufactured. All the freebies seem to be much rarer than the blue vinyl records themselves. However, this is probably because they have become separated over the years. None of them mention Queen in any way, so someone selling their blue vinyl in the 1980s may not have thought the buyer would have been interested in a seemingly unrelated item.
It is only in recent years that the full set of items has become desirable. Over the years, the «blue vinyl» has become the top-of-the-league item in any list of Queen collectables. Even an unnumbered vinyl with no sleeve would be a worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection. While some of this was undoubtedly due to hype, the current high values are holding firm and even, for a copy with all the trimmings, still going up. Many of the following valuations have been taken from old copies of Record Collector magazine and are merely indicative of the actual value of an item like this. Queen’s «Bohemian Rhapsody» was recorded in the summer of 1975 during sessions for their fourth album, «A Night At The Opera». The song’s composer, Freddie Mercury, never revealed his inspiration for his lyrics except to say that they were personal, about relationships.
It’s one of those songs which has such a fantasy feel about it,» he said in 1976. I think that people should just listen to it, think about it and then make up their own minds as to what it says to them». According to Brian May, the song was «really Freddie’s baby from the beginning», but the task of realizing his ideas fell to Queen’s producer at the time, Roy Thomas Baker. Freddie was sitting in his apartment and had an idea for the song», remembered Baker. He didn’t have it all quite worked out, but the basic framework was there. Then he stopped and said, ‘Now dears this is where the opera section come in! Roy Thomas Baker would arrive at the studio each day, assuming that the song was finished. And then Freddie would arrive: «He’d walk in and say, ‘We’ll just stick some more ‘Galileos’ in here’!
It got longer and longer, and we kept adding blank tape! Sessions for the song eventually stretched to nearly three weeks, with the opera section alone taking seven days to complete. The group were justifiably proud of the finished product, and wanted it released as their next single. However, at nearly six minutes in length, both EMI and Queen’s manager, John Reid, were reluctant, maintaining that the radio stations wouldn’t play it. A subtle editing job was proposed, but Queen were adamant that the song should be heard in its entirety. Freddie himself had some doubts as to its potential as a hit single, and sought the advice of his friend, DJ Kenny Everett, sending him a promo copy accompanied by strict instructions not to broadcast it. Kenny knew it was a hit «from the first note», and disobediently played it a reported fourteen times on his two weekend shows on Capital Radio, claiming that «his finger slipped»!
Released on October 31st 1975, «Bo Rhap» entered the charts the following week at No. 1 three weeks later, where it stayed for an incredible nine weeks, helped by a memorable innovative prop video. Three years later, Queen had gone from strength to strength, creating stadium anthems such as «We Are The Champions» and «We will Rock You», but it was «Bo Rhap» that was remembered when EMI was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award To Industry For Export Achievement. As EMI’s International Sales Manager at the time, Norman Bates, explained: «The award was for EMI’s records and pressing fees, with some importance to Queen, who were getting bigger and bigger at the time. What it meant was that groups like Queen were being shipped to markets throughout the world where there were no manufacturing facilities. So from Iceland to Zanzibar we were selling records where previously we hadn’t.
Justifiably proud, Paul Watts, then General Manager of EMI’s International Division, decided to commemorate the award with the release of a special single. The choice of artist was easy. The award represented the way in which Queen were so much a part o the fabric of the company,» he recalled. They were central to what EMI was doing. The then current vogue for colored vinyl seemed to the the ideal way to present this special edition of 200 copies: «We came up with the band’s original colors — purple and gold, as on the ‘Queen I’ cover,» Watts remembered. These colors signified Queen in a way. We decided on a maroon and gold sleeve and a single in purple vinyl. But as Watts had feared, there was a blunder: «Lo and behold, when the record came back from the factory, it wasn’t purple at all, but blue! It was a cock-up, but as we only had 200, it wasn’t worth changing it. At the EMI pressing plant in Hayes, Middlesex, Production Controller John Tagg had no idea that the vinyl should have been purple, and — acting on corporate directives — pressed the record in blue. Pressing the run of 200 blue vinyl singles from the usual minimum of 1,000 or 1,500 black vinyl records was no easy feat, with Tagg and his team having to isolate the special edition from the rest of their system. 5 per copy, where the usual rate was 50p. Although John Tagg claims that the record was «very much a limited edition» of only 200 and that all the materials associated with the pressing were destroyed afterwards, some unnumbered test pressings or end-of-run copies did slip out. EMI’s International Division was formally presented with the Queen’s Award To Industry for Export Achievement at a three-hour luncheon in the Cotswold suite at London’s Sellfridge Hotel on Wednesday, 26th July 1978.