The Queen Studio Experience in Montreux gives fans of the British rock band an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Queen. This studio is located in the former Mountain Studios inside the Fondation Casino Barrière Montreux. With the Queen Studio Experience, visitors have the opportunity to see where some of the band’s most famous songs were recorded. It’s like walking into a piece of history as Queen fans step inside the studio.
What is the Queen Studio Experience?
The Queen Studio Experience includes a self-guided tour of the studio, which has been preserved to look as it did during the rock band Queen’s recording sessions. As one of the world’s most successful bands with over 300 million record sales worldwide, 25 years in the UK album charts, and 18 No. 1 albums, Queen is regarded as one of the best bands out there.
Visitors can see memorabilia and artifacts from Queen’s career such as handwritten lyrics, costumes worn by Freddie Mercury, and photographs. Music is played in various areas, and a film about the band and its connection to Montreux is screened in a small room. You can also experiment with their music on the mixing console in the studio room by making various instruments louder or softer.
The Queen Studio Experience offers an interactive way to connect with one of the most legendary bands in rock history. As a result, fans can gain a deeper understanding of some of Queen’s most beloved songs and how they were created in Montreux. The Queen Studio Experience is unforgettable for those who love the band.
The History of the Queen Studio Experience
The story behind the studio begins on the 4th of December 1971. When Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, a fire tore through the Montreux Casino due to a fan’s flare gun. Upon opening five years later, the Montreux Casino contained a state-of-the-art recording studio called Mountain Studios.
Designed by American studio designer Tom Hidley, Mountain Studios quickly became a favorite destination for music stars such as AC/DC, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones. The Mountain Studios was used by Queen in July 1978 for the first time to record their seventh album Jazz. It would be a year later, in 1979, that they would come back to Montreux to purchase the studios. Relocation of the Mountain Studios facility took place in 2002 near Chatel St. Denis in Attelens.
In Montreux’s peaceful surroundings, they were able to focus and create some of their most memorable last songs. The studios were owned by Queen from 1979 until 1993.
After months of planning and preparation, the Queen Studio Experience opened its doors to the public in 2013. Nowadays, the Queen Studio Experience is a unique attraction in Montreux that brings fans of the legendary rock band Queen closer to their music. The experience takes visitors on a journey through the band’s history, allowing them to learn more about the recording of some of Queen’s most famous last songs.
Since then, it has become a popular destination for fans of the band from all over the world. Visitors can explore the studios and learn more about the band, including the mixing desk used to create their iconic sound.
The Mountain Studios Sessions
Listed below are some of Queen’s albums recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreux.
|Jazz||Queen’s seventh album, Jazz, was recorded in Mountain Studios in July 1978. Later in the year, the album was completed at Super Bear Studios in Nice, France. As a result of the release at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans, and its iconic video, it became almost iconic.|
|Live Killers||Live Killers, Queen’s first live album, was recorded between January and March 1979 during the band’s world tour. Mixing took place entirely at Mountain Studios.|
|Hot Space||The tenth album by Queen, Hot Space, was recorded at Mountain Studios between September 1981 and March 1982.|
|Kind of Magic||A portion of Queen’s twelfth album, Kind of Magic, recorded between September 1985 and April 1986, was recorded at Mountain Studios.|
|The Miracle||Between January 1988 and January 1989, Queen recorded part of their thirteenth album The Miracle at Mountain Studios. All the songs on this album were credited to the band as a whole.|
The UK Brit Awards awarded Queen for Outstanding Contribution to British Music on 18th February 1990. It was Freddie Mercury’s last public appearance.
|Innuendo||Due to Freddie’s deteriorating health, Queen did not tour and instead focused on recording music. Between March 1989 and November 1990, recordings for Innuendo were made at Mountain Studios and Metropolis in London. It would be the last album of Queen that Freddie Mercury would hear completed.|
|Made in Heaven||Freddie Mercury’s final album with Queen, Made in Heaven, was the band’s fifteenth.|
It was tragic that he was not able to see it completed because he passed away on November 24, 1991. In 1993, the three remaining members of the band Brian, Roger, and John began working on completing the album they had begun. Made in Heaven was dedicated to Freddie Mercury.
What to Expect: Queen Studio Experience
The Queen Studio Experience offers an immersive journey through the legendary rock band’s recording sessions in Montreux, interactive booths, and mixing consoles. Here is a look at what you can expect at the Queen Studio Experience in Montreux, Switzerland.
At first glance, the Queen Studio Experience is a small room, but if you take the time to listen to the songs, read the information, watch the short documentary, and mix some music, you should spend about one hour there. It’s something you shouldn’t miss if you’re already in Montreux. The best part is that it’s free!
Visitors can see memorabilia and artifacts from Queen’s career such as handwritten lyrics, costumes worn by Freddie Mercury, and historic photographs. Besides the memorabilia, you can also hear tracks in various parts of the room.
Recording and Mixing Console
In the recording and mixing console room, visitors can try their hand at mixing their own version of a couple of Queen’s classic hits. While most part of the console is a full-scale representation of the desk, visitors at Queen Studio Experience can still experience what it’s like to record and mix in a professional studio since some of the controls are interactive.
Queen Short Documentary
In the small room after the memorabilia, there is a short documentary worth checking out. The documentary consists of interviews with band members about their time working with Freddie Mercury, especially in Montreux. Additionally, there are interviews with others who were key to their success, as well as footage from Queen.
Freddie Mercury Statue
The statue, which was created by sculptor Irena Sedlecka, was unveiled in 1996. Along the Montreux promenade near Queen Studio, it depicts Mercury in his signature pose, arms extended and microphone in hand. Tourists and fans alike love taking pictures of the bronze statue of Freddie Mercury, and they even leave flowers in front of it as a tribute.
How to Get to Queen Studio Experience
The Queen Studio Experience is located inside Fondation Casino Barrière Montreux. Take the main entrance to the casino and turn left after entering. You can get inside for free.
|Address||Casino Barrière Montreux|
Rue du Théâtre 9, 1820 Montreux
|Bus||Montreux, Casino (2-minute walk)|
|Train||Montreux (9-minute walk)|
Final Thoughts: The Queen Studio Experience
For Queen fans or anyone who loves rock music, the Queen Studio Experience should not be missed. Visitors can learn more about the band’s history, particularly during their time in Montreux, and see some of the equipment that helped make some of the most iconic music ever recorded.
The Queen Studio Experience is a must-see for anyone who loves music or is a fan of the iconic British band Queen. The studio itself isn’t huge, but if you find yourself in Montreux anyway, you should still check it out. Visitors are welcome to visit for free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
- Queen The Studio Experience. The Mercury Phoenix Trust and Fondation Casino Barrière Montreux.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.