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Smile

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There seem to be three bandsw (at least) with the name Smile. While two are still existing, Japanese pop groups, the other one can be called „founding fathers“ of Queen.

Smile was formed in October 1968 by Brian May and Tim Staffell. They placed an advert for a ‘Ginger Baker / Mitch Mitchell type drummer’ and among the applicants was Roger Taylor. At the audition, Brian was impressed by watching Roger tune a snare drum, and Roger became the group’s drummer.

The group spent the rest of 1968 and the early half of 1969 playing concerts in England. Most concerts were either at Imperial College, London, where Brian was at University, or in Roger’s home town, Truro. They played as support act to groups such as Pink Floyd, The Troggs and Yes, and performed at the Royal Albert Hall alongside Free, Joe Cocker and the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band.

In June 1969 Smile recorded three tracks at Trident Studios in London. ‘Earth’ and ‘Step On Me’ would later be released as the group’s only single, albeit a USA promo-only in August 1969. The third track, ‘Doing Alright’, was written by Tim and Brian, and would later be re-recorded by Queen for their debut album in 1973.

In July 1969, Smile played another concert in Truro, before going into De Lane Lea Studios in London in September 1969 to record three more tracks. ‘April Lady’, ‘Polar Bear’ and ‘Blag’, the latter of which was primarily a Brian May guitar showcase. This track later evolved and became ‘Brighton Rock’ from ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ in 1974.

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