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Queen
Old 16th June 2005
  #1
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Queen

Just listening to some Queen before mixing.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Save Me
Somebody To Love
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions

1. Incredible performances from lead singer
2. Amazing arrangements delivering huge uncluttered sound
3. Fantastic mixes

These are 100% song driven emotional rollercoasters. Queen grabs your attention and doesn't let you press fast forward. The songs go where they're going and take you with them, which is what all music did before most people got stuck in the four-bars-of-this eight-bars-of-that monotony.

Since the sad departure of Freddie Mercury, has any performer or band even come close to this? When I hear this music, I become emotional. I want to rock. I want to play air guitar and go to a live gig.

When I listen back to this stuff I suddenly remember what any kind of music is meant to do - move me. Suddenly I don't want to mess around with a drum mix or click on a plug in. I want to start again and never forget that unless music evokes an emotional response it has failed, and that all I am doing is contributing to the world of wallpaper that I and others have helped create.

Ironically, after listening to Queen for an hour before mixing, I find the last thing I want to do is mix. Freddie has left my head full of posture, performance and stage presence and my computer just stares back at me coldly.

Queen has laughed in the face of my arrogance and trumped me with pure talent and genius.

Ever had that feeling?

Bev
Old 16th June 2005
  #2
Gear Addict
 
BrianK's Avatar
 

I think the Freddie Memorial Concert at Wembley was a good indidcation: Bowie, Axl, Elton, Annie Lennox, Gary Chaerone etc could not sing Freddie's parts well. Only George Michael could hit the parts and he only STOOD there, something Fred would never have done - he put on a show too!

Your mention of the uncluttered arrangements is perceptive - people think of Queen as over-arranged, but that's largely due to the stacked backing vocals. The basic tracks are often three or four instruments, played well and arranged to give dynamics and space.

I am also fascinated that each album had 6 or 7 distinct STYLES on it - pop, hard rock, vaudeville, folk, ballad, funk. Only the Beatles had such a widespread approach. And both bands WERE very popular... a lesson to labels and artists today.
Old 16th June 2005
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BevvyB
Ironically, after listening to Queen for an hour before mixing, I find the last thing I want to do is mix. Freddie has left my head full of posture, performance and stage presence and my computer just stares back at me coldly.

Queen has laughed in the face of my arrogance and trumped me with pure talent and genius.

Ever had that feeling?
I know exactly what you mean. And I'm not even that big a fan.
Old 16th June 2005
  #4
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usamike's Avatar
 

You think of Queen's 'stacked' backgrounds. A friend said he got to hear tracks off the reel (transferred into a pro tools sesison). I can't remember what song it was unfortunatley- but he said the BVs were either 3 or 4 of them standing aound a mic and then doubling that. That's it and it sounded huge. FWIW. I'll try to find out what song it was.

-Mike
Old 16th June 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
zimv20's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by usamike
he said the BVs were either 3 or 4 of them standing aound a mic and then doubling that.
i'd heard that john deacon never participated in the BVs. can anyone confirm or deny?
Old 16th June 2005
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Queen made some of the best records ever. Totally inspiring.
Old 17th June 2005
  #7
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
It may not apply to all the songs, but I know of early Queen material where all the BGV were just Freddy, stacking and stacking, then flying the vocals in from 16 trk. The person I know who witnessed this (at Trident I believe), said that Freddy was rarely doing any retakes, and nailed each track perfectly. As I recall, the person also got the impression that Freddy was making up the harmonies in his mind as he sat there and tracked them. The person who told me this was a main or assistant engineer on that album at the time, I don't recall all the details.
Old 17th June 2005
  #8
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Apart from Queen's recordings, which are brilliant, I must admit that it's 'them' as a band in general which made me wonder if there's been anything that good or exciting since that's stood the test of time.

So my question is, since the start of the Eighties, which bands would you say come even close to something that can grab you this much?

Sure we all sit here trying to get 'the perfect drum sound' and all that, but it seems that a lot of our bother is misplaced when the material isn't grabbing your attention or the performance is just something that we overdub a bit.

Where are the 'unique' bands?

You know, I'm a U2 and Aerosmith fan and all that kind of thing. But still, after hearing Queen, sounds average.

Again, stuff the recording, where are the bands with real character? Where has the performance gone?
Old 17th June 2005
  #9
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Renie's Avatar
 

Bevvy

An emotional response is such an individual thing, we all come to music with such different landscapes. For you Queen is an ultimate, not for me.

I hear what you are describing and I can feel it too, but your first post moved me as much if not more than "We are the champions" because you're talking about the difficult stuff.

It's not arrogant to make your music, it's sad though when creatives attack themselves with negative comparisons, something I don't expect Freddie wallowed in too much...though maybe he did and fought back.

maybe more fruitful questions to ask ourselves are 'where can I find current music that touches me?' and 'how can find ways to express the best of me?' instead of 'where are the best bands?'.

Rene
Old 17th June 2005
  #10
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Queen just happened to hit me that morning and I saw clearly what made them great after not having listened to any for ages. I like it when that happens.

I'm not saying there isn't good music out there. But perhaps in the 'rock music' niche there haven't been many great bands since the late 70's. There's been some great music, and some good individual tracks and some fantastic solo artists, but not bands.

I guess the thing that struck more than anything was the performance.

I guess Prince in his day was a great 'performer'. Unfortunely, his records rarely matched his onstage presence.

Renie, I'd like to know YOUR moments, and what the music was. That was some of the point of this thread. Guys, what bits of music have knocked you for six in your life?
Old 17th June 2005
  #11
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BevvyB

I guess Prince in his day was a great 'performer'. Unfortunely, his records rarely matched his onstage presence.
First... piss on Queen ... ******s... if it wasn't for them, i'd have probably gotten a real job instead of trying to become a musician/studio lab rat...

2nd... "in his day?" I saw Prince live 2 months ago and, it's STILL his day. Truth is, he plays keys better than Freddie, guitar better than Brian, drums better than Roger, and does the splits better than John.

Third, Queen was not a great live band, imo. I saw them in '81... sure they had the light show.... but you would never see Prince run off the stage while the background tape to his biggest hit played for the audience...

Queen was mostly a studio creation... true the live aid set was very good, but Freddie was guilty of some "hey, is that guy's monitor on?" live vocals...

And don't forget, Queen went thru a lengthy period of phoning it in... after "The Game" up until and excepting their last proper studio album, "Innuendo" they put out a lot of mediocre material, far below "Night At The Opera" and "News of the World" standards... which is why they all but disappeared from US charts...
Old 17th June 2005
  #12
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Queen was my first 'fave' band when I was a teen and I saw'em live and up close about 4 times back in the day... I was up so close that on the 'acoustic set' they used to do with the 'Bicycle Races/Jazz' tour, I and some others wound up INSIDE the floating stage that descended for the set. I stuck my fingers through the ventilation holes to 'dance' along with 'Dreamer's Ball" and Freddie stepped on my fingers. I was pretty happy about that, actually. Nowadays all anybody'd be thinking about are the lawsuits.

I think Queen totally rocked live, and it's hard to think anyone who saw'em would care to debate it. Sure they ran off stage for the operatic part of BoRhap. But to me that's a smart decision - would you rather see a scaled down a cappella 3-part harmony version? Not me. And then they run back on stage in new outfits, flashpots blazing as they launch into the hard rokkin' finale... It was damn awesome. I remember being so close one time I got sunburn from the 'splosions.

Freddie was a consummate entertainer, but the one disappointment in their live show was that he couldn't really sing most of his studio parts. He'd split octaves all over the place to save his throat, and sometimes Roger Taylor would chime in here and there for a single high note to finish a line. That said, it didn't much matter. With songs, arrangements and a band that good you could forgive a little reworking of the melodies. I'd much prefer it to the sterile 'sounds just like the CD!" experience the Eagles always put on.

For me, the most impressive part of the show was seeing how valiantly Brian May recreated his multi-tracked guitar parts live using a variety of stomp-boxes, echoes, and good ol' fashioned virtuosity. And as a drummer, I was more than happy to watch Roger Taylor like a hawk, trying to figure out everything I could about his kit, his technique, and how his hair never caught fire with all those aircraft landing lights right behind him...

I've been to plenty of concerts since then, but Queen still stand out as the absolute pinnacle. Prince was a close second (especially the LoveSexy tour). Sure he can play his diminutive purple butt off; but nobody worked a crowd like Mr. Mercury. And somehow flashpots just don't have the same impact on 'Lil Red Corvette'....

As for all the jumbo-tron assisted, sequencer enhanced vari-light choreographed stadium shows to come along since, well -
Old 17th June 2005
  #13
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soultrane's Avatar
crushed fingers and sunburn?

that's entertainment!!!

seriously, tho... i knew every note of every queen song before i went to see them... i thought they emphasized flash and volume over substance... and they didn't do the acoustic bit with '39 and love of my life etc...

it was not one of the best concerts i've seen/heard, even tho they did make some of the best records...
Old 17th June 2005
  #14
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AlphaDingo's Avatar
 

Quote:
I guess Prince in his day was a great 'performer'. Unfortunely, his records rarely matched his onstage presence.
I saw him last summer. Bets concert I'Ve EVER seen. He ruled the Hartford Civic Center like it was his living room. Nobody tops him.
Old 17th June 2005
  #15
I always thought Freddy Mercury looked like Goofy meets the Village People...

BAD clothes all round

Add to that - my first girlfriend and her best friend were sweet on the drummer and he had a better feather cut mullet than I could muster

They have been on my sh!t list for decades..!!

But I cant begrudge them their radio hits..

Just BAD to look at! YUK!

So keep em on the radio and OFF the TV!

Thank you...



P.S. Saw them live in the 70's (broke in via a side door of the stadium, didn't pay) Freddy did a stunning accapella 15 min solo spot with echo / tape delay.. Thankfully they didn't have big video screens back then
Old 17th June 2005
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Til Linderman of Rammstein is a very intense, true bass, vocalist with a dramatic and almost operatic style. Listen to their song "Morgenstern" off their last record "Reise, Reise" and you will see what I mean.
Old 18th June 2005
  #17
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max cooper's Avatar
 

When I first started hearing Queen, I was about 13, 14 and I had just started playing the guitar. I was (and still am) learning Keith Richard's stuff etc. Since I only had a modest rig, I couldn't imagine how to make a sound like Queen did. There was something magical about the songs, the way they sounded. Almost cinematic in scope. Really captured my imagination, though. Their intervals would hit me like they were songs I'd heard before (which is an amazing thing!) yet they were new songs. And they were about great stuff! Even if I didn't get some of the entendre (They did call a later record 'Innuendo' which is absolutely hilarious) the lyrics were really imaginative. They were damn cool!


re: Prince

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaDingo
I saw him last summer. Bets concert I'Ve EVER seen. He ruled the Hartford Civic Center like it was his living room. Nobody tops him.
Yeah. I've seen a LOT of shows in my life. THAT dude, I can find no words to describe.
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