BRIAN MAY (feat Eddie Van Halen) – Star Fleet Sessions [2-CD Deluxe Edition remixed / remastered] (2023)

BRIAN MAY (feat Eddie Van Halen) - Star Fleet Sessions [2-CD Deluxe Edition remixed / remastered] (2023) - full

When Queen took a break for the first part of 1983, guitarist BRIAN MAY put his time to good use. Waking up one morning in Los Angeles, he decided to phone a few friends and invite them to collaborate on some tracks in California’s famous Record Plant studios. The resulting collaboration was a great success, and Brian would later mould the recordings into a unique mini-album, Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Project.
This third release in the “Brian May Gold Series” offers an extensively revisited and expanded box set edition of these now legendary sessions. ”Star Fleet Sessions [2-CD Deluxe Edition remixed / remastered]” is a complete document of the these Record Plant Studio sessions accompanied by top rock music luminaries Edward Van Halen (guitar), Alan Gratzer (drums), Phil Chen (bass) and Fred Mandel (keyboards).
This Deluxe Edition includes a bonus 23-track CD featuring all previously unreleased material: the complete sessions.
Brian May: “It’s all here. ALL of it. Every note we played on those two days is right here, on show for the first time. I will take you behind the scenes into that studio with us.”

That the Queen guitarist and avid astronomer Brian May looked to the stars for his first solo project was no surprise. That the resultant three-track mini-album was inspired by a Japanese kids’ sci-fi TV show starring Gerry Anderson-style puppets and featured fellow guitar hero Eddie Van Halen was more of a curve ball.

Released in 1983 and credited to ‘Brian May + Friends’, the original Star Fleet Project release is an overlooked curiosity in the extended Queen discography. The main song is a faithful, if elongated, eight-minute cover of the TV show’s closing theme, featuring vocals from May and some impressive guitar tag-teaming from the him and Van Halen.
The two other tracks head off in a completely different direction: Let Me Out is a slow-burning bluesy hard rock number that sails close to early Queen song See What A Fool I’ve Been, while Blues Breaker (Dedicated To E.C.) is an exhilarating 13-minute blues jam that sees these two world-famous musicians essentially prostrating themselves at the feet of Beano Album-era Eric Clapton, a mutual hero.

This lovingly curated deluxe reissue elevates Star Fleet Project from charming oddity into a fascinating snapshot of a specific moment in time.
It includes the original Star Fleet EP remixed / remastered 2023, and all sounds bigger. But May has gone to town on the extra material, digging out a full CD’s worth of out-takes from the original two-day sessions.
It’s the kind of candidness that Queen themselves would never sanction – it’s not only possible to hear these songs taking shape, mistakes and all, there’s also a tangible sense of the joy in the room that comes with two massively successful musicians stepping away from their high-pressure day jobs.
There’s a poignancy to it as well, given that both Eddie Van Halen and session bassist Phil Chen passed away in the past few years.

May himself would soon return to the bosom of Queen. Their records, and the solo albums he released after that band ended, would be much more high-profile than his kids’ TV show theme tune cover. But as far as passion projects go, they don’t get much more passionate than this.
Highly Recommended


CD 1
01 – Star Fleet (Edited Single Version / 2023 Mix)
02 – Let Me Out (2023 Mix)
03 – Blues Breaker (2023 Mix)
04 – Cynthia Fox Release Day Interview 1983
05 – Bob Coburn Rockline Interview 1984
06 – Let Me Out (Live at The Palace Theater, LA, 1993)
07 – We Will Rock You (Live at The Palace Theater, LA, 1993)
08 – We Will Rock You (Fast) (Live at The Palace Theater, LA, 1993)
09 – Star Fleet (Complete Version / 2023 Mix)

CD 2
01 – Star Fleet (Take 1)
02 – Star Fleet (Take 2)
03 – Star Fleet (Take 3)
04 – Star Fleet (Take 4)
05 – Star Fleet (Take 5)
06 – Solo Jam
07 – Star Fleet (Take 7)
08 – Star Fleet (Take 8)
09 – Star Fleet (Take 10)
10 – Star Fleet (Take 11)
11 – Star Fleet (Alternative Overdub EVH Solo)
12 – Jam
13 – Let Me Out (Rehearsal 1)
14 – Let Me Out (Rehearsal 2)
15 – Boogie Woogie Jam
16 – Let Me Out (Take 1)
17 – Jazz Police
18 – Let Me Out (Take 3)
19 – Let Me Out (Take 4)
20 – Jam (Let’s Do The Show Right Here)
21 – Let Me Out (Take 6)
22 – Funky Jam
23 – Let Me Out (Take 7 False Start)

Brian May (vocals, guitar)
Edward Van Halen (guitar)
Alan Gratzer (drums)
Phil Chen (bass)
Fred Mandel (keyboards)



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