Queen are releasing a special edition boxed set entitled The Ultimate Studio Collection on September 25. The box will contain all 15 Queen studio albums on 180g coloured vinyl, remastered by famed engineer Bob Ludwig. All 15 albums will also be available individually on black vinyl. To celebrate the release, turntable manufacturers Rega are also producing a limited edition turntable featuring a screen-printed Queen logo. 2000 turntables will be available worldwide, with 400 reserved for UK buyers.
Three of the albums included in the set are being issued as doubles for the first time. Innuendo and Made In Heaven (the original white vinyl edition of which currently sells for well over £100) were both originally released as single discs despite having CD-length track listings, and are now available as two disc editions. Meanwhile, Queen II expands on the original’s black side/white side theme and is available as a black vinyl/white vinyl double, with a custom etching on one side of each disc. This edition is only available as part of the boxed set.
Five years in the making, compiling the collection necessitated a great deal of tape research, during which better source tapes of six songs – Under Pressure, plus five tracks from the Innuendo album — were located.
The task of mastering the new releases was given to engineer Bob Ludwig, who was handed the task after a series of double-blind comparison tests were carried out with a number of candidates. Because some of the original analogue tapes had deteriorated and now featured speed errors, missing audio and unwanted noise, the band elected to create new high quality digital masters using 24-bit samples and a sampling rate of 96 kHz.
After this work was completed at Ludwig’s Gateway Mastering suite in Portland, USA, the new digital masters were sent to Abbey Road in London, where the vinyl cut was carried out — at half-speed, to ensure accurate groove cutting — by Mike Showell, who did the same job on Queen’s Live At The Rainbow ‘74, and has worked on other major projects with Genesis and Roxy Music.
The boxed set is completed by 12 x 12 inch 108-page hardback book, which features notes on each album alongside quotes from Queen themselves, hand-written lyrics, rare photographs, memorabilia, plus information on singles and videos.
The Queen Studio Collection
Queen Queen II Sheer Heart Attack A Night At The Opera A Day At The Races News Of The World Jazz The Game Flash Gordon Hot Space The Works A Kind Of Magic The Miracle Innuendo Made On Heaven
The Ultimate Studio Collection is released on September 25. For more information or to pre-order the set, head to the Studio Collection microsite, or visit uDiscovermusic, where stories relating to each album will be unveiled over the coming weeks.