In the course of her career, Queen released 18 albums, landed 18 singles at number 1 on the charts and sold more than 300 million records worldwide. Founded in the 1960s by Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and later supplemented by bassist John Deacon, the band initially played a number of sessions for the BBC. Only after Trident producer Robin Cable Queen invited her to studio recordings, the debut album Queen was released in 1973. May’s opening track Keep Yourself Alive became an early anthem for the band.
The UHQCDs of the Queen titles are based on an earlier digitization, which was carried out in 24 bit and partly in 88.2 kHz, partly in 96 kHz sampling rate. Accordingly, the encoded MQA signal is only contained in this way. In terms of sound, the UHQCDs differ from the earlier MFSL Gold CDs, for example, in that they have a more open, gripping sound that now also represents depth and not just width. The bass range seems drier and more driving than in previous editions and you can clearly see that the Queen was a rock band.
UHQCD stands for Ultimate High Quality Compact Disc and is a joint development of the Japanese CD replication company Memory-Tech and the Audio Quality CD Company from Hong Kong. Unlike conventional CDs, UHQCDs are not pressed from polycarbonate, but rather cast from a photopolymer and cured with UV light. Another layer of high-purity polycarbonate is applied to protect the softer photopolymer from scratching. The combination results in a significantly reduced reflection of the laser light inside the CD and an unmatched precise edge transition between pits and lands of the CD. UHQCDs are 100% compatible with normal CD players. Musically, the result is a sound that is strongly reminiscent of analog master tapes.