Queen as a legacy act

Discuss current and upcoming Queen projects.

Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby Kes » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:46 pm

Apart from being decent musicians, the four of them, they also brought diversity to each and every album. Had Freddie been made to write an entire album, it would have unfortunately gone along in a much more limited plane, than having four different minds contributing, and also critiquing a person's individual contribution.

And yes, I know it was often Fred that put the icing on the cake of the other's previously maybe not so good songs, Radio Ga Ga, A Kind Of Magic and Another One Bites The Dust, to name but three.
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby Leigh Burne » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:15 am

Steven wrote:Together they were phenomenal, but individually nothing could compare to the greatness of Queen.

Which is more than borne out by the fact their solo work never compared.

Don't get me wrong, there's some really great stuff among the band members' solo material, but none of it matches what they produced as a group.

Having said that, I do think KingOfRhye raises a valid point when he says Brian's solo work easily sounds the most like Queen.
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby BitterTears » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:11 pm

One of the recent documentaries, can't remember if was Days or Great Pretender, they made out like Freddie's heart wasn't in it when he did Mr Bad Guy. I wonder what a Freddie solo album would have sounded like in the 70s.
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby soxtalon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:34 pm

It was Great Pretender...and it wasn't as easy as that....It was more that at first he was feeling his way in the studio not used to having complete sole control and it wasn't easy to wrap his head around it. IIRC without going back to it, By the END of the making of Mr. Bad Guy was when his heart wasn't as much in it because he was already focused on Montserrat Caballe's voice and his next project.

Really it was like Mr. Bad Guy was like a guinea pig...to see what it was like. He never did put the full panache into finishing it up which is why at the end of the day there are some nice pieces on there but overall it does sound more like a collection of mostly finished demos...

A Freddie solo album in the 70s would have been interesting but I can't help feeling that he would have been a bit more lost about being solely in charge. I actually would have liked to have seen where a Freddie solo album would have gone post Barcelona.....
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby musicalprostitute » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:47 pm

BitterTears wrote:
musicalprostitute wrote:
Ming119128 wrote:
Brian was the main musical force in Queen, Fred was a great songwriter and the best front man, but Brian had the energy.


No.

Freddie was the main musical force in Queen: quite simply, without Freddie we would have all been saddled with Smile - a good enough band, musically competent, talented, but nothing exceptional. Freddie catapulted Queen to levels they never would have reached without him (Bohemian Rhapsody and Live Aid being two from the top of my head that changed their careers hugely).


Sure. But that goes both ways, doesn't it? What would any of them achieved without the other three? The idea of Freddie playing with a band half as good as Brian, Roger and John makes me sad.


I agree to an extent: yes, every band member was an integral part of Queen and each brought something different to the table; but, I still maintain that it was Freddie who catapulted them to greatness and without him they would have been a good band - a fine band - but I do not feel they would have reached the heights they did without him.
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby musicalprostitute » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:04 pm

Echoplex wrote:
musicalprostitute wrote:
Ming119128 wrote:
Brian was the main musical force in Queen, Fred was a great songwriter and the best front man, but Brian had the energy.


No.

Freddie was the main musical force in Queen: quite simply, without Freddie we would have all been saddled with Smile - a good enough band, musically competent, talented, but nothing exceptional. Freddie catapulted Queen to levels they never would have reached without him (Bohemian Rhapsody and Live Aid being two from the top of my head that changed their careers hugely).


Which is why Wreckage were the biggest band in the world!

If you think about it, Freddie was less successful before Queen than Brisn and Roger were. Yes he added something to what they had, but you could also legitimately claim that they added to what he did and with them and their talent he would have achieved little.

It goes both ways and the four of them were indeed bigger than any one on his own. If you want further proof if Freddie was the ultimate talent without which Queen would have failed why was Mr Bad Guy so badly recieved and why did most of it sound like a very polished bemo of possible Queen songs.


I still disagree. To use Wreckage as part of this disagreement does not work for me: He was barely starting out and had not found his feet, so to speak.

As for Mr Bad Guy? Yes, it did not receive critical acclaim (like virtually everything Queen ever did) and its sales were nothing to write home about, but I thought it contained some very classy moments (LMLTNT, MMP, TMBMTLTT, MIH and IWBTLY); ok, there was some weak pop shite too (LTIO, MLIS, FA), but, on the whole, I think it was a pretty fine album.

As far as I am concerned, Freddie's finest moments shot Queen into another realm and turned them from a great band to a legendary band: Killer Queen introduced their originality to the wider public; Bo Rhap catapulted them into the big league; Live Aid cemented their live reputation and made people fall in love with them all over again; and, finally, tragic and awful as it was, Freddie's death - and, more importantly - the way he dealt with his dying (his braveness, his fight, his living his final moments to make his last recordings) showed the world what a remarkable talent he and Queen were and definitely resurrected the band once more and made many realise how exceptional they were.
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby Pingu » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:47 pm

Everyone talks about chemistry in a band but I don't know everyone really knows what that means.

Take/replace anyone out of the band and obviously there's gonna be musical changes, some fundamental and drastic, others less so.

But there's more to it than that.

Freddie watching Smile clearly triggered something in him. Possibly no more than "I reckon I could do that, and there's ways it could be better". If he's only ever watching Hendrix (or Free, har har), perhaps that sets the bar too high. But hanging out with musicians he admires and gets on with, but also are his peers, gives him the feeling that he could be one of them on musically equal terms.
I've seen this happen first hand- it is much, much more likely for someone to seriously take on an artistic project if they are with and around people who are already doing it. It's the way artistic/cultural movements happen - everything from grunge to punk to skiffle to bebop.

Also, look at the songs that start to get written AFTER Queen is formed. This IMO is when he starts to find his voice and becomes very prolific, even moreso than Brian (who as we know takes his time with things). Fred knows that he has a vehicle now.

Brian starts to see that suddenly they have a frontman who can become the group's focal point. This is new and exciting. To the extent that Brian designates the solo shot of Fred for the album cover. He now has a voice to write for and someone who can really deliver the songs.. and who is also writing his own songs. Does this affect Brian's writing? Focus his craft? I should say so.

What about Rog? Anecdotal evidence says that Roger was particularly ambitious and really drove the group forward in the early days. He books them a mini tour in Truro for example. Along with Freddie, it seems Roger was the real driver and champion of the group, with an all-or-nothing attitude to success, in contrast perhaps to Brian who was still considering returning to his studies even as Queen were gearing up.

This is what chemistry means. It's about people having their own skills and expertise but also how they feed off and inspire each other. Yes, without Freddie Mercury, there's nothing post Smile. But without Brian May and Roger Taylor, Bohemian Rhapsody does not exist. In fact, without Brian May and Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury does not exist. John brought his influence to bear in his own way later on, but also initially acts as a steadying influence, where a more volatile,vocal character (a more upfront player who also wants to write his own material for example) may well have destabilised things.

Would John Lennon have started writing if Macca had not one day said 'here's something I wrote myself'? Quite possibly not. No the Beatles without Lennon are nowhere near the phenomenon they were. But as someone once put it, without McCartney, Lennon would still be in bed. Perhaps without Brian May, Freddie Bulsara would still be painting his nails.
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby musicalprostitute » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:51 pm

Pingu wrote:Everyone talks about chemistry in a band but I don't know everyone really knows what that means.

Take/replace anyone out of the band and obviously there's gonna be musical changes, some fundamental and drastic, others less so.

But there's more to it than that.

Freddie watching Smile clearly triggered something in him. Possibly no more than "I reckon I could do that, and there's ways it could be better". If he's only ever watching Hendrix (or Free, har har), perhaps that sets the bar too high. But hanging out with musicians he admires and gets on with, but also are his peers, gives him the feeling that he could be one of them on musically equal terms.
I've seen this happen first hand- it is much, much more likely for someone to seriously take on an artistic project if they are with and around people who are already doing it. It's the way artistic/cultural movements happen - everything from grunge to punk to skiffle to bebop.

Also, look at the songs that start to get written AFTER Queen is formed. This IMO is when he starts to find his voice and becomes very prolific, even moreso than Brian (who as we know takes his time with things). Fred knows that he has a vehicle now.

Brian starts to see that suddenly they have a frontman who can become the group's focal point. This is new and exciting. To the extent that Brian designates the solo shot of Fred for the album cover. He now has a voice to write for and someone who can really deliver the songs.. and who is also writing his own songs. Does this affect Brian's writing? Focus his craft? I should say so.

What about Rog? Anecdotal evidence says that Roger was particularly ambitious and really drove the group forward in the early days. He books them a mini tour in Truro for example. Along with Freddie, it seems Roger was the real driver and champion of the group, with an all-or-nothing attitude to success, in contrast perhaps to Brian who was still considering returning to his studies even as Queen were gearing up.

This is what chemistry means. It's about people having their own skills and expertise but also how they feed off and inspire each other. Yes, without Freddie Mercury, there's nothing post Smile. But without Brian May and Roger Taylor, Bohemian Rhapsody does not exist. In fact, without Brian May and Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury does not exist. John brought his influence to bear in his own way later on, but also initially acts as a steadying influence, where a more volatile,vocal character (a more upfront player who also wants to write his own material for example) may well have destabilised things.

Would John Lennon have started writing if Macca had not one day said 'here's something I wrote myself'? Quite possibly not. No the Beatles without Lennon are nowhere near the phenomenon they were. But as someone once put it, without McCartney, Lennon would still be in bed. Perhaps without Brian May, Freddie Bulsara would still be painting his nails.


Well stated. And I agree with many elements of your post. Queen definitely gave Freddie the vehicle to do just as he wished, etc. But I still maintain that it was those Freddie moments that made Queen as well-loved and popular as they are. I know they all played significant parts, but Freddie (with the security of the band behind him of course) took them to another level.
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby BitterTears » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:03 pm

I really don't think Queen was a vehicle for Freddie 'to do as he wished' and that's kind of the point for me. Freddie, I could imagine him being the only songwriter and 'leader' of most other bands. Maybe not so much Roger and Brian but all the same, I think them being in bands where they could have everything their own way wouldn't have been such a great thing too.
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby Kes » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Been listening to Mr Bad Guy a lot recently, it isn't actually THAT bad when you compare it to a lot of stuff coming out in recent years.
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby eiricd » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:07 pm

I only managed to get a hold of mr bad guy quite a few years after I had gotten into Queen.
By that time I listened to all Queen albums countless times over. This was roughly 20 years ago, and before you could easily pick up most albums by anyone anywhere. Also, the album was out of print until the solo box set. So for me, the idea of a whole FM album I hadn't heard was extremely exciting and promising.

anyways; I had very high expectations, considering what I was used to Freddie delivering in the format of Queen. I was also starving for anything "new" with Freddie's voice on it.

My first impression was disappointment. Although I've grown to like it more, I still think it's a weak effort as an overall album. Thinking about it now, I draw the following conclusion;

A: Working within the context of Queen has no doubt made Freddie's material stronger. (isn't there a quote on this topic by jim beach in the GP documentary? arguments etc fine tune ideas / songs...)

B: The production of the album is terrible. Perhaps it was fashionable for a brief time in the period it was made, but listening to it now it dates the album, and not in a good way. Some of the later remixes are superior to the album versions. And some of them are not very good either...

Case in point, I think both the " live rock mix" of Love Kills (on the 3 cd set from 2000) and the new Queen version is better
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby Leigh Burne » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:04 pm

Mr. Bad Guy is a bit like Hot Space for me - some superb songs on there, but I generally dislike the way they were recorded.
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby musicalprostitute » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:22 pm

Leigh Burne wrote:Mr. Bad Guy is a bit like Hot Space for me - some superb songs on there, but I generally dislike the way they were recorded.


Well said.

I think there is something really kooky and original about Mr Bad Guy, but it just sounds so bloody cheap in places - a real shame, because it could have been a classy album. I still play many of the songs on there to this day - and love them as much as I once did all these years ago.

It always amazes me that Freddie was happy with the results on that album, recording-wise. But maybe he had other things on his mind at that point in time...
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby soxtalon » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:14 pm

Mr. Bad Guy is what it is...an album full of demos that went unfinished because Freddie seemed to lose interest and move on before it was truly completed....almost like Ok that test run is over, let's move on...
 
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Re: Queen as a legacy act

Postby musicalprostitute » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:31 pm

soxtalon wrote:Mr. Bad Guy is what it is...an album full of demos that went unfinished because Freddie seemed to lose interest and move on before it was truly completed....almost like Ok that test run is over, let's move on...


It was more than that, to me anyway. Yes, he seemed like he rushed things, etc. but some of those songs still stand the test of time and are quite beautiful. Shame, really; it could have been a really wonderful album.
 
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