The Night Comes Down (4:23)

Cover of Queen

From Queen and 7 other releases

Brian May wrote “The Night Comes Down” shortly after the band’s formation in 1970, following the break up of his previous band Smile. It was first recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in September 1971, when the band was hired to test the studio’s new equipment in exchange for being allowed to record proper demos for their attempt to find a record company. The agreement was mutually beneficial and Queen took full advantage of the state-of-the-art equipment to put five of their tracks to tape.

In 1972, Trident Studios signed Queen to a recording contract which limited them to only down-time studio access (when paying artists weren’t recording) and they began working with producer Roy Thomas Baker. Baker and Studio owners/management Norman and Barry Sheffield insisted on re-recording the five De Lane Lea demos. A new studio version of “The Night Comes Down” was recorded, but in the end, it was decided that the De Lane Lea version was still superior, and this was the version which appears on the debut album. As of 2006, the unused Roy-Thomas-Baker-produced version remains unreleased and has not surfaced even on bootlegs.

Bootleg recordings of the original De Lane Lea demos are in circulation, and the difference in quality of “The Night Comes Down” is noticeable compared to the 1973 LP and even more noticeable compared to the latest series of digital remasters of that album from Parlophone and Hollywood Records.

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