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Queen / Studio Collection 18LP coloured vinyl box set

queen_box

Universal Music will issue Studio Collection, a new Queen 18LP vinyl box set this September. It will contain all 15 studio albums released by the band pressed on vibrant 180g coloured vinyl in hues sympathetic to the original artwork.

This set stretches to 18 records is because a few albums span two LPs. Queen II has been cut to two separate black and white vinyl records for this box, reflecting the ‘Side White’ and ‘Side Black’ on the original pressing. In addition, the reverse sides of each record come complete with a custom etching. Innuendo and Made In Heaven were primarily made for a CD market and were previously edited to fit on two sides of a vinyl record. Here for the first time they are cut at full length as double vinyl LPs.

coloured

The new vinyl records are remastered by Bob Ludwig (after the Queen team did some ‘blind testing’ of the work of a few different engineers!). Analogue mastering was apparently considered, but ultimately ruled out due to issues with some of the original tapes (a few are over 40 years old, of course) such as speed errors, missing audio, newly developing clicks etc. What has happened is that high quality digital masters were created (24bit/96kHz), with necessary restoration then performed in the digital domain. The vinyl was then cut – at half speed – by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios from these files. Universal are assuring fans that the restoration was carried out with the lightest of touches, with “a profound respect for the originals”, and claims the resulting masters are “the finest ever” in terms of sound.

Queen Studio Collection Exploded Product Shot WHITE
Studio Collection: 18 coloured vinyl records (click to enlarge)

The records are being pressed for the world at Optimal in Germany, where an exhaustive QC program was put in place involving test-pressings of every disc, in black and coloured vinyl, were laboriously checked to minimise unwanted noise with finished results compared with original pressings of the LPs, on a top quality modern turntable.

queenbook

 

The Studio Collection also comes with a 108-page 12 x 12-inch hardback book that has mined Queen’s own archive along with the personal archives of Brian May, Roger Taylor and fans to display hand-written lyrics, rare photographs, memorabilia, and information on singles and videos.

SDE has been lucky enough to see one of these Studio Collection boxes in the flesh and the quality in terms of presentation is stunning – it’s up there with the Beatles Mono vinyl box set. It’s that good. In fact, the outer box was created by the same team. The album packaging is replicated exactly (including posters, where applicable), and all albums come with transparent outer sleeves, poly-lined inner sleeves AND additional inner sleeves as per the originals.

These vinyl records will be made available separately but only on black vinyl. The coloured vinyl is exclusive the Studio Collection box, as is the double Queen II (separately it’s one single black LP).

The Studio Collection 18LP vinyl box is released on 25 September 2015 and will be priced around the £300 mark.



Albums in the box:

Studio Collection

queen

  • Queen

queen2

  • Queen II *

sheer_heart_attack

  • Sheer Heart Attack

nightopera

  • A Night at the Opera

  • A Day at the Races

news

  • News of the World

jazz

  • Jazz

thegame

  • The Game

flash

  • Flash Gordon

hotspace

  • Hot Space

theworks

  • The Works

magic

  • A Kind of Magic

miracle

  • The Miracle

innuendo

  • Innuendo

heaven

  • Made in Heaven


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102 Comments

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Sam

I have been listening to my boxset for the last few days and indeed these sound really good. The only minor point is that “Jazz” has some weird stain on side 1 and it affects playing, so Amazon is kindly soon sending me replacement boxset so I can exchange the error item on my set. Luckily they will fully refund the return-postages (which will more likely be high due to weight and size of the package).

Jeremy

Interesting info below direct from Bob Ludwig on the great vinyl website analogplanet.com (USA). Has anyone heard these? What do you think please? Thanks! :-)

“The people from the Queen camp were the most fastidious listeners I’ve ever encountered. No one I’ve ever worked with has shined a light like this on a project.

The Queen camp wanted to: fix all ticks, fix “bad” edits that couldn’t be re-spliced to correct them with a razor blade, have me change eq if necessary note by note.

They hired an engineer JUST to listen to everything at half-speed, and BACKWARDS as well, to see if the slightest tick or anomaly could be perceived and fixed.

Most importantly to my mind- in addition, there were first generation mixes of certain songs which were mixed at a different studio from the majority of the album and thus they had different alignment tones etc.

Sometimes they were recorded using the CCIR curve instead of the NAB curve, or they were using Dolby instead of non-Dolby and, for the remastering project, Queen used those first generation tapes instead of the former album masters of those certain songs which of course had to contain a COPY of those mixes in order to cut from them.

They ended up having literally countless fixes to make for the most perfect sound they wanted.

I mastered everything from the original master tapes, but the final product, in order to sound like they wanted it to sound, HAD to be cut from the high resolution EQ masters. The difference between some of the first generation mixes and the tape copies of them that had to be inserted into the original cutting album masters was sometimes staggeringly better, for SURE it made for a better final product.

Believe me, they spared NO expense on doing it as perfectly as they thought they possibly could.

Best regards,

Bob Ludwig”

Read more at http://www.analogplanet.com/content/bob-ludwig-issues-statement-re-queen-studio-collection-box-set#5V0rPXDARspTO64y.99

Keith Lambert

I had a pre-order in with Amazon.ca but then realised that the import duty was going to negate the savings. I then ordered with Amazon UK only to see that, as posted above, What Records are selling the box for £249 + £8 shipping (+ another £1.35 for tracked shipping).

Zongadude

Well I’m not really sure about Flash Gordon. The japanese paper sleeve CD edition from 2004 sure is embossed, and since this collection is modeled around the UK pressings, I’m thinking it should be. But I’m not 100% sure the original Lp sleeve was like that as I don’t own one yet.

There’s a guy showing “unboxing” videos of the new Lps from the boxset on Youtube. He’s up to “News of the world”. Apparently Queen II is laminated, but Queen I and Sheer Heart Attack are not. Maybe it was the same in the UK in the early 70s. Another small difference is there is no cut-out center on the inner sleeve of News Of The World. (I guess crazy maniacs like me can always cut it out themselves if they want to make it look even more like an original ;) ).

Zongadude

Thanks for the update.

“The album packaging is replicated exactly”. Does that mean that A night at the opera, Jazz and Flash Gordon have embossed sleeve like the originals ? That’s what will me make me decide to buy this very expensive box set or not. :)
For this price, I’m expecting the sleeves to be exactly like the UK originals.

Fred

Hi, just saw it and ordered it 360 for Euro.
I think it is a good price – 20 Euro for one
LP is good.
Can’t wait to have this box and the – really big book –
Are May/Taylor and Deacon on the other hand so in trouble that deacon didn’t have photos for the book? Very sad!

All the best, btw these are pressed at optimal. The Dire Straits were pressed at G.Z. vinyl in Poland. Which isn’t always that bad.

Fred

Alan Fenwick

The Amazon UK price looks to have come in at £375.99 now which is way over the mark considering all the other European Amazon options, What Records or the Queen Official store itself (all considerably cheaper)

It’s almost as though Amazon UK don’t want your business on this one.

Kevin

It’s actually listed twice on Amazon (at two different price points, both overcooked!). I agree about not wanting my business, and they won’t get it (which I’m sure won’t exactly keep them awake at nights….).

progwardy

‘What Records’ have this set advertised for £249.99:
http://www.whatrecords.co.uk/items/67331.htm
There is also an option to pay a £25 deposit and the remainder on dispatch. I have emailed them to confirm how much shipping will be but their website states £8.00 maximum for other orders. I have no affiliation with them and have never ordered from them (although I have a very full ‘wish list’!)

progwardy

‘What Records’ have confirmed £8.00 postage making the set £257.99 including shipping.

Kevin

My first reply earlier today appears to have disappeared….just to say that this does a price on Amazon now of £438. This is, supposedly an import, but given that all the sets are from the same source I struggle to imagine what on earth this might mean. I’ve emailed Amazon but they have not responded, so have given up on that. Can anyone shed any light on whether this is down to some dispute with UMG and if so, when we might see a resolution so we can order some records from this seller of records?

Alan Walters

Anyone know why this isn’t avialble on Amazon UK? Seems a bit strange.

Alan Fenwick

It is on Amazon UK site now, but it’s not the most competitive of prices at the minute, £403.83 (August 8th)

Kevin

The links above don’t seem to work now. I wanted to see where the UK link to me to…..I can get to the page where it is listed for £403 when I Google it, but searching on Amazon’s site (and I think I’ve tried every possible combination of ‘Queen…studio….collection…box set….vinyl’ produces nothing at all. I’m trying this in the belief thata mistake in the listing has been made (not least of all the price). I’ve emailed them telling them of cheaper prices elsewhere but nothing has changed.

Kevin

Apologies for all the typos above. On an ipad, on a bus…that’s my excuse!

[…] the lavish and impressive Queen Studio Collection box set is beyond your budget, then don’t forget you do have the option to pick up vinyl editions of […]

John Smythe

So doesn’t feel particularly exclusive…

R.naud

working now :)

John Smythe

Repeating my comment above. I understand from an industry source that the pressing run is likely to be a minimum of 10,000 units of the box set.

R.naud

nope, same result. tried work address, friend’s address, even Parents in france. still says: This item can not be sent to the selected address . Learn more. You can either change the delivery address or delete the item from your order . Oh well…

R.naud

Thanks Paul. I’ll try that :)

R.naud

Question: You’re all saying it’s cheaper to order from the German or Italian Amazon sites but they won’t deliver to the UK when I try to order. It says there is a problem because of the destination address. Any way to bypass that? I was trying to order McCartney’s Venus & Mars Deluxe Box set is is much much cheaper on the German Amazon site than anywhere else but no way! :(

VinylSassoon

Paul – any pointers on getting a vinyl Ogdens reissue? Ive never figured out how to ship to the UK from Amazon or the Immediate site? :(

[…] as you’ve justified spending over £250 on the Queen vinyl box set Universal Music go and announce another lavish and expensive vinyl box. The Complete Island […]

AlexKx

Oooohhh! :)

Adrian Robson

Does anyone know what the pressing limit is for this set

[…] Read more on this Queen vinyl box, or just get on and secure it at this great pre-order price. The box is out on 25 September 2015. […]

steve

Um, gonna be a tough one to decide on.Already own the 15 Album double 30 disc sets.But this really does look a lovely item to own too.
I’m just a sucker for these Super Deluxe sets.
Maybe will wait to see if it is a Limited edition run and see if the price drops to somewhere a bit more affordable…watch this space

Dave

How many of the box set are being made?

dave

hey there paul. any chance you might secure either albums or a rega turntable as a prize for me !

B57

re comment about paul’s clout amounting to dick, surely you jest!

AlexKx

Whoa, horsey! The Beatles “Mono Collection” vinyl box set WAS from a digital source! As a matter of fact it was stated from whoever at the record company that the reason it was o.k. that it was from a digital source was because on order for someone to be able to distinguish as to whether or not it was sourced digitally or analogue one would have to be super human to tell the difference.

Greg

From TheBeatles.Com — In an audiophile-minded undertaking, The Beatles’ acclaimed mono albums have been newly mastered for vinyl from quarter-inch master tapes at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY®-winning engineer Sean Magee and GRAMMY®-winning mastering supervisor Steve Berkowitz. While The Beatles In Mono CD boxed set released in 2009 was created from digital remasters, for this new vinyl project, Magee and Berkowitz cut the records without using any digital technology. Instead, they employed the same procedures used in the 1960s, guided by the original albums and by detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers.

LedMan

David Anderson I was wondering the same regarding if these are numbered and how many are being pressed. Of course I would want everyone who wants and can afford a copy to have one however numbered limited edition is more appealing at least to this collector and music fan. I was talking to a friend last night and told him I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually a Zep set including all studio albums were released on colored vinyl including lavish packaging including additional tracks not released officially to date.

Paul Kent

– in regard to your reply to Edward’s comment, the vaults aren’t empty. The band themselves (well, Maylor, specifically) have alluded to anthology-type releases many times over the last 10-15 years. In fact, a Queen rarities set is referred to explicitly in the book which accompanies the 10-CD/2-DVD Freddie Mercury Collection. In reference to a Queen recording of a Freddie solo cut, the text states that the recording was not included as it will feature in a forthcoming Queen box set. Greg Brooks, the band’s archivist has confirmed such a collection exists but there has been no official line as to it’s continued non-appearance. So, Edward, and other fans, can be rightly ticked off at the endless repackaging when a carrot has previously been so cruelly dangled!

rosegirl

Frustrating. I would love 24/96 downloads of the albums, but have no interest (or space) for that vinyl box.
Fingers crossed that the files are released at some point

David Anderson

This looks beautiful. Does anyone know if it’s a limited run? And if so, how many?
So many amazing vinyl sets being released. Serious amounts of money. I’m finding it hard knowing where to draw the line!

John Smythe

I understand that the pressing run is likely to be a minimum of 10,000 units of the box set.

Darren

I only buy CDs now because I stopped collecting vinyl years ago. But this box set is such a thing of beauty.

Alan Fenwick

I personally only have a smattering of poor quality 2nd hand Queen records that I’ve found in bargain bins, or had donated to me over the years and nothing on CD either, so to say my collection has a shortfall of Queen items is a bit of an understatement.

So this set has massive appeal to me, much in a similar way for the 2 Beatles Vinyl sets over the last few years as it’s a great way to get a complete album collection without having previously purchased several versions over the years so this is a bit of a win win for me.

It looks fantastic, and I think the price isn’t too bad either when you break it down for what you get (around £18 an album) and that’s not taking into account any money for the box, book etc, who knows we might see more reductions before it gets released.

I’ve also just agreed in principal to have this as a Christmas present from my wife, however she’s set a very tough challenge and that is to find it for £200 or less. Challenge accepted!

patjoller

totally agree with the “collector” side of it, it won’t be worth a lot of money in a few years time. That said, I’m gonna have to buy it because I’m simply a coloured vinyl fanatic, I’m buying old Queen coloured singles and picture discs and this is a nice way to have all the albums in one go….

Kyle

I’m a sucker for coloured vinyl & picture discs too, queen have a fantastic back catalogue – the picture disc for ‘Im Going Slightly Mad’ is brilliant…

Greg

I know that I am going to be called a curmudgeon for this but I must say it. The only value of vinyl today is if the music starts from an analog source and ends at the cutting lathe without digital intervention. Once the digital domain is introduced, vinyl no longer serves a purpose. Blu-ray or SACD should be the end product for music once it become a “high quality digital master.” Any sonic advantage of vinyl is a result of no digital processing. That said, the only reasons that this set is being released on vinyl are financial and trend. The Beatles Mono vinyl collection made musical sense because it was analog – start to finish. This Queen set is not. We all love great packaging, books, etc., but is it not the music that matters? Do the record companies think we are stupid and think we are getting the best sound because Bob Ludwig cut this from a digital source? Do they think we do not realize that this would sound BETTER on Blu-ray or SACD? Had this been a Blu-ray or SACD set, with or without fancy packaging, I would have bought it. Collectability, forget about it. Our estates are not going to get millions for our recent album purchases. The only collectables are those that were not meant to be collectable. An original Butcher cover, a script cover on Born to Run, or a release that not enough were made to meet market demand, is what makes a “collectable,” not a self proclaimed manufacture’s statement. Anything new sold as a collectable with or without a numbered edition is a marketing ploy. Spend you music money wisely. Let the record companies know that this is there last chance to get the best sound to you and you will not settle for trend or marketing hyperbole.

Darren

You missed out some key words.

You said:
“The only value of vinyl today is….”

It should say:
“The only value of vinyl today FOR ME is…”

You can’t speak for everyone, because different people have different ideas.

Francis

Fans of music today (not proper fans of yesteryear) seem to be quite happy with low quality throw away mp3 files. Sad to think the now generation and future generations will probably kill collecting music because downloaded files can not be stored nicely on shelves and packaged in such a attractive ways to present the music as it should be, so as to be enjoyed when listening to it with its artwork, lyrics, books…etc. I am just so glad I grew up through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when music was treated as something special to be played on a hi-fi through speakers, rather than earphones out in a noisy street. So, to proper music fans this collection is gold, but to a lot of todays music listeners this is just too much to bother with or care about as it involves having to store vinyl and not simply downloading files on to a computer (files than can become corrupted and no good).

Straker

“I am just so glad I grew up through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when music was treated as something special…”

That’s because we paid for it and cherished it subsequently partly because of that. These days music is consumed by the young as if it is fresh air or tap-water – At no cost. As a result they just don’t value it in the same way and an excess of it leads to none of it being that “special” to them. They don’t have to struggle to find that rare 12″ by digging through dusty racks in a dingy back-street record shop on a wet Wednesday afternoon nor do they then have to decide if they want it enough to pay £10 for it.

Darren

I feel the same as you. Music takes centre stage in my life, so I fully appreciate it. It is a shame that for so many people music is a background to something else happening. It becomes incidental.

I guess years ago some people said the same about having a group sing-along around the piano.

In some ways we are the dinosaurs now. But the march of “progress” isn’t really progress when the subtleties of life are overlooked. I’m just glad that I have appreciation for these things and that there are enough people around still to appreciate it also.

I can understand why some people don’t appreciate music fully though. If all you have experienced of music is in the background on the TV or on your tinny laptop speakers then it isn’t going to be a great experience. Also, if your access to music is jumping through the advert-laden hoops of YouTube then it isn’t going to be the all-consuming experience of genuine satisfaction.

Kyle

Agree with a lot of what you say…but vinyl can become corrupted and no good too (warping, scratching, even with the best care accidents happen, or an unforgiving hot summer, or moving house etc..)…so can CDs (scratching, degrading of the readable surface over time). Nothing lasts forever! There’s a hunger for high digital quality, with the availability of high volume storage media…what’s really missing is the depth of information you get with more physical media, a lot of digital media has no context now, unless you go digging and researching yourself.

In response to your slightly barbed comment about music fans of today compared with the older generations, and to Straker below: plenty of ‘young’ people do treasure the music experience and buy into the analogue experience (vinyl sales are up, home hifi sales still healthy), or at least take care with a decent hifi and decent resolution digital music (though with CDs obviously no point in reoslution above 16/44.1), whilst conversely plenty of ‘old’ music fans ‘of yesteryear’ threw away their vinyls when they couldn’t be bothered to lug them around anymore and CDs were seen as the more convenient and long-lasting solution. In truth, most consumers of music are casual fans, always have been and always will be, so will go for the most convenient options available, with smaller proportions of people investing more in higher quality equipment and less convenient but more collectible media; I’m among that category. So it’s only effectively the same evolution path that saw CD replace vinyl which has brought about portable digital music and streaming to the fore of music consumption. But people still buy CDs, and vinyl is more popular than it has been for a long time, though realistically probably more as a collector’s item than for practical listening. High quality digital media is becoming more and more mainstream though, the kind of quality that even with the best will in the world, vinyl can’t duplicate, so the digital age has also done some good for those seeking the best in sound (though you’ll always get the analog vs. digital arguments). Just irritates me a little when whole generations blame each other for ‘killing music’, obfuscates any productive discussion. Of course I’d hate to see the quality & collectible media be consigned to history, but I believe there will always be enough of a calling for high quality that options will be available.

Edward

How much I do like queen (mine very very very first 7” was Bohemian, I have all the 7”, 12” cd’s, remaster 2cd’s, the 90 usa releases and the occasional vinyl album from the 70’s), I think this box, how impressive it might be, is nothing more then a new cash cow. I am waiting and waiting and waiting for the faults to be opened, but every release the last 10/15 years are just the same songs, re-re-remastered. And when a gem (duet with michael jackson) is finally released it’s again filled with tracks I have now purchased over and over again.

I have a few bootlegs called the the majesty’s secrets in mine collection, good audio and such, why can’t those tracks not get a properly release, there is appereantly enough in the fault…..

Darren

@Edward

You just have to face the fact that Freddie Mercury has been dead for over 23 years and if there was anything really worth having it would have been released by now. Largely, what is out there is all there is, so it will be more of the same repackaged. You can view it as a “cash cow” if you wish. But something like this is a beautiful collector’s item.

Also, if you have all the music already then it will feel different to you than it will to people who haven’t got it all already and to the new generations of fans who weren’t around at the time.

Francis

Music Companies must think money grows on trees for us all. Unlike their bank accounts, mine is not that full. LOL

Francis

I prefer to listen to Queen in beautiful rock glory CD quality rather than vinyl which over the years will develop noise, although the LP box set does look nice.

Steven

Bit of a curate’s egg, this release. On the one hand, it looks a very handsome box set. But…

The mastering seems certain to be the same as that used (controversially) for the recent CD/SACD remasters.

The pressing plant has had some criticism, too – IIRC, Optimal took some flak over dodgy pressings of the recent Dire Straits box set…

And in terms of it being called a studio collection, it clearly isn’t complete – no B-sides or 12″ or other mixes/edits, and no Cosmos Rocks. Surely a more fitting title for the box would have been ‘Studio Albums 73 – 95’?

Paul Kent

Massive Queen fan but no interest in vinyl. Looks lovely, though. The PR is a bit flowery, though – “finest ever”? What, until Bob Ludwig mixes them again for the third time?

Francis

Not more Queen! Give poor Freddie Mercury some peace and stop making money out of him.

probablyrustin

Ironic and sad that “rigorous quality control” is a selling point for vinyl sets. It should be a standard practice! Seems almost like a tongue-in-cheek criticism of the current quantity over quality trend…

VinylSassoon

It’s like marketing speaker placement in room corners as a special feature. Gutting about the downloads only being mp3 quality, but presumably ‘Innuendo’ will sound better by having more wax to play with.
Lovely, despite the draw backs, and at £240, worth it if you want most of the collection in an updated form. Still, can’t beat Queen II on analogue vinyl and if the new one actually had one side white and one side black on specially sealed together 90g vinyls, I wouldn’t think twice. Also – they could’ve included a flute of Moet & Chandon…

Friso Pas

I don’t have anything on vinyl from Queen, but have purchased all the remasters and previous cd’s, and I will buy this for sure. What a lovely set.
I think the price is quite fair, considering the packaging, a book, and exclusive coloured vinyl. Hopefully the mastering is top notch. But I’m getting this definitely. Too bad Live Killers isn’t in there.

Presley Spigot

Don’t want a Queen boxset, but agree that it’s a thing of no small majesty.

Would snap up a complete Cure set though. Given the rate these things are being produced these days, it shouldn’t be too far away.

Michel Kempes

First good price in Holland…. GBP 240,00! By Velvet

Tom

Impressive! However, very expensive…but, I”m sure I”ll order it!

LedMan

I’m planning on pre ordering this! Even though these are sourced from digital I hope Bob Ludwig creates the definitive versions for this set. The colored vinyl and packaging is gorgeous!

Guido Hoffmann

This is amazing – impressive box set promising highest quality in every aspect of production. Just ordered from JPC

Justin

I knew they’d give me a reason to buy the 9th copy of each album. That thing is a work of art.

Piotr

I just love these PR write ups: “a profound respect for the originals”, and claims the resulting masters are “the finest ever” in terms of sound. They are hardly going to write that the sound is NOT the finest ever are they.

Ravi

Amazon Canada has the box available for pre-order as well as the individual albums.

Bill

Thanks Ravi! If only they had the Bowie vinyl box available for pre-order…

Kiki

that sounds great but for me this is really too late after the deluxes reissues on CD… also the point is about the 12″ and alternative versions ! some of them still didn’t get the release on CD, and a 12″ collection on LP would be great… finally, where are the “unreleased” track that were put on the various compilations?

To me, this kind of “album only” box is not worth the price…