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Thread: Remembering Queen

  1. #1
    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    Remembering Queen

    I can recall clearly my reactions to Bohemian Rhapsody, when seeing the video before ever hearing the song on radio, and thinking "well, now this changes things" and mentally put Freddie Mercury in common territory with the late great David Bowie. When Under Pressure was released as a colab between Queen and Bowie, I thought it was one of best rock collaborations ever done, as well as remaining one of my all time favorite songs. I also recall feeling extremely sad after hearing Who Wants to Live Forever? just a few minutes after hearing of Freddie Mercury's passing.

    What memories do have of Queen be it old or new?
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  2. #2
    Queen were one of the first rock groups I remember hearing when I was little, specifically We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. I was a fan immediately.

    I probably would have wanted to see the Flash Gordon movie anyway, because sci-fi was always one of my things, but having Queen do the music, was like the cherry on the top. Love the guitar orchestra arrangement of The Wedding March, and The Hero is still one of my favorite songs from them.

    Dr. Brian May has always been one of my favorite guitarists, and one of the people who made me want to play guitar. 50 years after building it, he still uses his original home made guitar as his main axe. Now that's what i call an endorsement. And his amazing guitar work on so many great songs still takes my breath away (as does practically everything else about the arrangements, vocals, etc, particularly on the 70's era records).

    I remember seeing the Calling All Girls video on MTV, and immediately recognizing it as a THX-1138 homage (though I gather the band were more or less unwilling participants, it apparently being the video director's idea). When I see the I Want To Break Free video, I still get a good chuckle out of seeing Freddie in that halter top and leather skirt, doing the Hoovering as he sings the first verse, as well as seeing Roger dolled up as the schoolgirl.

    I pre-ordered the Live At The Rainbow boxset as soon as it was announced. It was awesome finally getting to see the unedited concert, after years of seeing the heavily chopped up version that was put out on VHS in the early 90's (and then subsequently bootlegged on DVD).

    If there was any rock group I could go back and see, Queen probably be the first one I would pick.

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    A trivia fact I remember from back in the day is that the video for Bohemian Rhapsody was the very first video made for a specific song and with the band singing that song and specifically made for TV usage.

    Prior to that stock gig footage of bands was used with no sound, so it didn't matter what was being played OR a band was filmed doing none musical stuff like Floyd walking along the beach clowning around, while their song played.

    Oh and by the way, I saw Queen once, at Live Aid in 85.

  4. #4
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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  5. #5
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I everything up and including News Of The World.

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    Member hFx's Avatar
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    My first favv band! Saw them live a few times - first in 1977 (A Day at the Races Tour). Brian remains one of the big five for me, for his tone and voicings (and yes, I did get a Vox AC30 TB and dreamed of a wall of them)

    ...and I still claim QII is prog
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    A trivia fact I remember from back in the day is that the video for Bohemian Rhapsody was the very first video made for a specific song and with the band singing that song and specifically made for TV usage.

    Prior to that stock gig footage of bands was used with no sound, so it didn't matter what was being played OR a band was filmed doing none musical stuff like Floyd walking along the beach clowning around, while their song played.
    Not even close to being true. The basic concept of a music video, ie a short film made to accompany a piece of music, dates back to the 1920's. Disney's Silly Symphonies and Warner Brothers' Merry Melodies cartoons were more or less music videos. Fantasia also could be looked upon as several videos strung together (even to the point of creating films that had nothing whatsoever to do with the actual music, thus presaging the MTV era, where such actions became rampant). There were also people like Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, and Spike Jones who made what would now be called videos, in the 30's and 40's.

    And of course, one could look upon musicals as being a bunch of videos linked together by extended dialog sequences.

    As far as something that was specifically meant to be shown on a TV show like American Bandstand, Tony Bennett did a video for Stranger In Paradise in 1956.

    There was also the Scopitone, which was sort of a video jukebox, which was developed and France, and presented videos mostly by French artists. The clip of These Boots Are Made For Walking by Nancy Sinatra that VH-1 used to show a lot back in the 90's, I believe was said to have been created for a type machine.

    Bands like The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Procol Harum, and others made videos during the 60's. And don't forget about The Monkees, where most of the musical numbers were either presented with the band miming the songs as a mock onstage performance, or accompanying a ridiculous "romp" sequence (no doubt largely inspired by the Can't Buy Me Love sequence in A Hard Day's Night).

    As far as bands miming songs on a soundstage (or some other more "scenic" location), The Who did that with Substitute, I Can't Explain, The Kids Are Alright, and I think possibly a couple of their other early singles.

    The Beatles made lip synched videos for We Can Work It Out, Day Tripper, Hello Goodbye, All You Need Is Love, and possibly others. The Hey Jude and Revolution videos have the band singing live to play back, ie the vocals are live but everything else is on tape.

    The Stones lip synched to 2000 Light Years From Home (or at least Mick did, I'm not sure about the rest of the band), Jumping Jack Flash, It's Only Rock And Roll (But I Like It), and probably some others.

    Other lip synched videos that predate Bohemian Rhapsody include Thin Lizzy's The Rocker and Bowie's Space Oddity.

    Hell, even Queen had made lip synched videos before Bohemian Rhapsody, specifically for Keep Yourself Alive and Liar. There were actually two different videos done for Keep Yourself Alive, one with them performing before a brightly lit backdrop, and the other they're performing a darker lit stage. But I'm not sure how much distribution any of those got at the time.

    Those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. It was a lot more common for bands to lip synch to a song in the early days of music videos, because not many had latched onto the idea that you could do some sort of "conceptual" film or to do a light hearted "romp" style video (as per the Can't Buy Me Love sequence in A Hard Day's Night). There were of course exceptions (such as The Who's Happy Jack and Open My Eyes by The Nazz), but by and large, I think a lot of "video directors" (if you want to call them that) in the 60's and 70's, just weren't clever enough to come up with anything other than, "Let's have the band pretending to play the song".

    Now, one thing I recall reading is that Bohemian Rhapsody was one of the first instances were a video put a song over the top in the charts. As I understand it, the single was doing well already in the UK, but it didn't shoot to number until after it was shown on Top Of The Pops. And it's been said that Bohemian Rhapsody ushered in the era of music videos being a key tool to promote new singles upon release.

    For what it's worth, it's been said the reason the band made the Bohemian Rhapsody was because they were sick of having to do Top Of The Pops each time a single came out. I think Tom Petty used similar logic to explain why he made his first video, "to get out of doing the Mike Douglas Show". Though to hear Roger Taylor tell it, apparently, making a music video was just as much a pain in the ass as actually making a personal appearance at a Top Of The Pops taping.

  8. #8
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I remember first hearing Bohemian Rhapsody on the car radio in Miami, while we were parked as my Mom had gone into a t-shirt shop. I guess it was 1975. She bought this cool alligator t-shirt which we shared for years then I took over, and it lasted till about 10 years ago.

    Good times - love Queen, they were one of a kind and their music still is.

  9. #9
    Why do these threads always go off the rails into an "l'm right and you're wrong" direction? Anyway Queen is one of my favorite all time bands. Thanks for starting a thread dedicated to such a unique PROG band!

  10. #10
    My first major musical discovery. A friend showed me Bohemian Rhapsody back when I was 11 or so, and it absolutely blew my mind. It was something about the almost classical sounding/baroque-ish arrangement with the rockier parts that really struck me. I spent the next years listening to as much Queen as possible regardless of the era and I loved nearly every second of it. Because of Queen, I went out looking for more music that had wider influences, and without them I would have never listened to the bands talked about daily on this site.
    A vie, a mort, et apres...

  11. #11
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    !) Is Queen and Queensryche the same band? Only answer if you know the correct answer please.

    2) I have always loved "Get Down, Make Love". There is a very twisted middle section that I think is brilliant.

    3) My mom placed band-aids over the bloody parts on the News of The World vinyl cover my old man had. Still on there to this day.

    4) FZ always referenced Brian May as one of the guitarists worth listening to. I think I read it in an interview in Guitar Player.

    5) Freddie has one of the best voices in rock, prog or otherwise (imo).

    6) Get Down, Make Love.

  12. #12
    Marklar Jimmy Giant's Avatar
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    Night at the Opera was the first album I ever bought (1976). I didn't like Day at the Races except for Tie Your Mother Down, but I loved News of the World. Picked them up again with A Kind of Magic. The 70's stuff is still some of my favorite rock ever.
    JG

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  13. #13
    An incredible band from start to finish. One of the few bands that was essentially their own genre--they could incorporate a multitude of influences and still retain their own identity. Hot Space might have been pushing it, though.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    2) I have always loved "Get Down, Make Love". There is a very twisted middle section that I think is brilliant.
    Probably one of the first (and perhaps one of the best?) uses of a Harmonizer. Brian had a pedal built so he could do those sweeping effects with his foot when they did the song live.

  15. #15
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    3) My mom placed band-aids over the bloody parts on the News of The World vinyl cover my old man had. Still on there to this day.
    That's really all that made the cover interesting.

  16. #16
    Saw them around 1980. Brighton Rocks with the mobile lights following Brian May and Get Down Make Love were a couple of highlights of the show. My favorite Queen song is probably 39. For a light acoustic ditty, the lyrics are pretty cool (relativistic travel)

  17. #17
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post
    I everything up and including News Of The World.
    you should at least go until jazz... it is an inherently superior album to NofW
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  18. #18
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Don't care for A Day At The Races. Only good songs are Tie Your Mother Down and White Man. The rest is boring.

  19. #19
    For me, it was the Sheer Heart Attack album in freshman year of high school. Stone Cold Crazy! Then A Night at the Opera hit the next year, and the rest is history. I remember Mott the Hoople and Bowie being really big then also. I mean besides, Zeppelin, Yes, Tull, Floyd, Sabbath and ELP, of course.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    you should at least go until jazz... it is an inherently superior album to NofW
    Beg to differ. I think Jazz was where the quality started to slip. There's still a lot of great music on that record, but I thought Fun It, Dead On Time and If You Can't Beat Them were all weak songs.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Fun it!

  22. #22
    I'm a Queen fan since "A Night in the Opera". Queen was my first big band as many others mentioned. I like very much all before "Hot Space". Even when "The Game" was released it was too pop to me.
    But there 2 albums that I rediscovered after many years for which I didn't pay too much attention on those days: "Sheer Heart Attach" & "Jazz". I was surprised on how good Jazz sounds on these days. Perhaps I was not ready for "Jazz" on that time and did not appreciated it but now it sounds so so good.

  23. #23
    It is funny for me, because Queen kinda hung out on the periphery of my musical awareness for a long time, and I only really got into them after Freddie's death. I mean, when I was a kid, they were the band that did "Another One Bites The Dust". Then there was Flash Gordon, where I didn't really connect the dots until later. Then when I lived in Germany, I heard a whole different side of them with "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen" on Armed Forces Radio. (and, like most music I discovered on there, they never did tell me the artist.

    It really wasn't until college, with the combination of discovering Highlander, the Wayne's World movie and Freddie's death that got me to pick up a greatest hits album. Then "A Kind Of Magic" Then I picked up "Live At Wembley Stadium". And I found "Innuendo" in a cut out bin. (For me, a very underrated album.)

    I actually still need to go back and pick up a lot of back catalog stuff from them when they were at their best. I only have "The Works" and "A Night At The Opera"

  24. #24
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Here is an alternate view:
    When Queen came out with their 1st album, I was around 14, and was way into music, Yes, Genesis, Amon Duul I & II, Can, Eloy, TD, Hendrix, BOC, CCR, Cream, Deep Purple, Led Zep, Doors, Tull, ELP, and I recall actually liking "Keep Yourself Alive", had some tasty guitar licks, but that was probably only Queen song I would admit to actually liking!

    I did like Bowie and as a young male had some issues understanding the whole Ziggy Stardust thing (although that remains my fav Bowie release). I was not anti-gay, in fact, I am not sure I paid much attention to just what "gay" was (well except for Liberace) at that age.

    But I liked blues, rock and male dominated rock and prog-rock, I did not listen to soul music, to country music, to female singers and I pretty much hated Chicago and any bands with horns! So when Queen started with songs like "Another One Bites The Dust", "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen", "We are the Champions" etc, etc, I found them much to feminine and their music did not align with what I was listening to, so I stayed far away from them.

    Later in life I can look back and admit that they have a lot of catchy songs, but I am still not running out and buying any CD's.

    The only thing I own by Queen is the poster from the nude female bicycle race thing they put out (not sure what album it came it)...

  25. #25
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    I'll take their debut, II and Jazz as their top three releases

    distant seconds are SHA & Night: both have some excellent stuff, but the pastiche things are fun a couple of times, then once the novelty wears off, it's plain old boring (this is valid for 10 CC pastiche stuff as well).

    And the good thing of the CD is the "skip track" button on the remote control... It's a very useful thing on Queen albums.


    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Beg to differ. I think Jazz was where the quality started to slip. There's still a lot of great music on that record, but I thought Fun It, Dead On Time and If You Can't Beat Them were all weak songs.
    I'd name three other tracks as the "Jazz weaker stuff", but to each his own. >> Dreamer's Ball & Leaving Home are two of them.

    But I can double that amount on NotW and DatR.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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