Queen ‘The Greatest’ YouTube Series Continues with ‘1978 Independence Day’ (Watch)


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The latest episode of Queen: The Greatest, the English band‘s YouTube series exploring its vaunted history, focuses a key period in the group’s graduation from hit-making powerhouse still beholden to handlers and “the system” to an entity in full control of its financial and creative independence.

Queen: 1978 Independence Day chronicles a milestone moment, for sure.

As a news release lays out:

In early 1978, just before they embarked on recording their Jazz album, Queen finally took full control of their business affairs – setting up three entities to operate and manage their creative endeavors: Queen Productions Limited, Queen Music Limited and Queen Films Limited. This was at the time a highly unusual move for a band, but testament to their belief in their forward musical journey.

For the day-to-day running of the business, Queen turned to Jim Beach, who they had first met in 1975 when the band’s quest for financial independence truly began. It was a meeting that left a lasting impression on Jim…

He recalls that first meeting: “I first met Queen when I was a solicitor at Harbottle and Lewis in London. I was a partner, and I was running what was then a very fledgling music department. It was a show-business firm, and we were used to fairly bizarre clients, but I remember when Queen arrived, the receptionist telephoned me and said, ‘Mr. Beach, Queen are here,’ and I said. Yes, fine, would you like to send them up. And she whispered down the phone, she said, ‘have you seen them?’ 

“And I said, well yes, she said, ‘well one of them’s got nail varnish on.’ And I said, well really? ‘Yes, black nail varnish.’ And I said, well fine, ‘yes, but it’s only on one hand.’ And I said, don’t be silly, come on, send them up. I always remember Freddie walked in first, they sat down, and Freddie kicked straight off by saying, ‘we’ve recorded three albums, our manager’s just bought his second Rolls Royce, and we’re on sixty quid a week, so something’s wrong.’”  

But it wasn’t just the business side where Queen wanted to be masters of their own destiny; their News of The World album had proved that in the studio, they were also ready to take full control. 

As for the previous installments in the The Greatest series, here’s a handy YouTube playlist so you can catch up on what you’ve missed thus far.


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