Deacon/Mercury

Serious discussion about the band known as QUEEN.

Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby sebastian » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:56 pm

Snackpot wrote:As for HS, I think there's a difference between being someone who was keen on the project from the outset and someone pleased with it in retrospect.


Indeed. Consider what Freddie said (you can find the actual video on TGP documentary):

I like to try out different things every time, I'm more into the black kind of thing, I like, you know, modern disco, and that's why on something like 'Hot Space', we went off on a limb, and I said 'let's just do some of this black stuff that I like,' and I forced the other three to do it. They hate me for it now, because it didn't sell that much.


So there you have it: it wasn't Jeddie vs Maylor, it was Freddie vs Mayconlor.

Snackpot wrote:Much of the album is certainly different to what Brian and Roger would be expected to like and a lot of it is in the area/tone that John and Freddie had previously gone down.


Not really. Both Roger and Brian contributed more than John to the songwriting of that album, so they're more 'guilty' than he is. They wrote 'Dancer' and 'Action', after all.

Snackpot wrote:Brian might be more retrospectively protective of it but I don't think that necessarily means he was supportive of the concept at the time the album was being made.


Queen didn't do concept albums, as they often stated. The album's shape would be dictated by the songs. So, the person who wrote more songs would influence the album more. Freddie, Roger and Brian all wrote more songs for 'Hot Space' than John did. Moreover, his role as bass-player suffered the most from the new approach, as 'Body Language', 'Staying Power' and 'Dancer' all had him replaced by a synth.

Snackpot wrote:It's very possible that it was Brian/Roger vs Freddie/John at least initially


Consider what Freddie said (you can find the actual video on TGP documentary):

I like to try out different things every time, I'm more into the black kind of thing, I like, you know, modern disco, and that's why on something like 'Hot Space', we went off on a limb, and I said 'let's just do some of this black stuff that I like,' and I forced the other three to do it. They hate me for it now, because it didn't sell that much.


So there you have it: it wasn't Jeddie vs Maylor, it was Freddie vs Mayconlor.

Snackpot wrote:A few of John's songs reduced guitar to absolute minimum (if at all on some)


Really? Let's see:

* Misfire: Loads of guitar, including a solo.
* You're My Best Friend: Multi-tracked guitars, including a solo.
* You And I: Multi-tracked guitars, including a solo.
* Spread Your Wings: Multi-tracked guitars, including a short solo and a long one.
* Who Needs You: Multi-tracked guitars, including an acoustic solo.
* In Only Seven Days: Multi-tracked guitars. Not a solo, but still, not by any means 'absolute minimum.'
* If You Can't Beat Them: The last third of the song is a very very long guitar solo.
* Need Your Loving Tonight: Prominent role for guitars, including the solo (a great one, by the way).
* Another One Bites the Dust: No solo, but still guitars appeared on most of the song. So not an 'absolute minimum.'
* Execution of Flash: Guitar's actually the only instrument there.
* Arboria: No guitar.
* Cool Cat: No solo, but still guitars appeared on most of the song. So not an 'absolute minimum.'
* Back Chat: Killer solo (which allegedly Brian had to persuade John into allow, but still), loads of rhythm guitar work.
* I Want to Break Free: No solo, but still several guitars in most of the song's sections. Not an 'absolute minimum' at all.
* One Year of Love: No guitars.
* Pain Is So Close to Pleasure: Prominent guitar work, including a great, and very underrated, solo.
* Friends Will Be Friends: Loads of guitar work.
* My Baby Does Me: No solo, but loads of guitar work, so not an 'absolute minimum.'
* Rain Must Fall: Prominent guitar, including a great solo.
* My Life Has Been Saved: Prominent guitar at some points, not a starring role but not an 'absolute minimum.'

So, out of 20 songs John wrote or co-wrote for the band, 2 (10%) have no guitar and 18 (90%) have a hell of a lot more than 'absolute minimum' of guitar. In fact, guitar's the most frequently featured instrument on John's songs: out of twenty:

* 18 (90%) have guitar.
* 17 (85%) have bass.
* 15 (65%) have keyboards.
* 12 (60%) have acoustic (not programmed) drums.

jimbo wrote:Roger now keeps going on about the fact he is a rocknroller, and he likes Rock music more than Pop etc. But if you look at Roger's songs throughout his career with Queen, his songs followed fashion more frequently than any of the others.


Roger's also the one who introduced them to synths.

Kes wrote:Out of the four of them, probably John was the most limited in terms of things like melody construction, key changes, and stylistic deviation.


Agreed on melody construction and stylistic deviation, but in terms of key changes he wasn't any more limited than Roger.

Kes wrote:A weird statement considering how many REALLY big hits he wrote.


How many REALLY big hits did he write? Two. Hardly a world record.

*** Edited to rectify EOF and Arboria, which I'd got backwards before. Thanks Georg for the correction.
Last edited by sebastian on Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby Lester Burnham » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:11 am

Seb, Execution of Flash has all guitar, and Arboria is only synth.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby merceauroix » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:15 am

sebastian wrote:
Snackpot wrote:A few of John's songs reduced guitar to absolute minimum (if at all on some)


Really? Let's see:

* Misfire: Loads of guitar, including a solo.
* You're My Best Friend: Multi-tracked guitars, including a solo.
* You And I: Multi-tracked guitars, including a solo.
* Spread Your Wings: Multi-tracked guitars, including a short solo and a long one.
* Who Needs You: Multi-tracked guitars, including an acoustic solo.
* In Only Seven Days: Multi-tracked guitars. Not a solo, but still, not by any means 'absolute minimum.'
* If You Can't Beat Them: The last third of the song is a very very long guitar solo.
* Need Your Loving Tonight: Prominent role for guitars, including the solo (a great one, by the way).
* Another One Bites the Dust: No solo, but still guitars appeared on most of the song. So not an 'absolute minimum.'
* Execution of Flash: Guitar's actually the only instrument there.
* Arboria: No guitar.
* Cool Cat: No solo, but still guitars appeared on most of the song. So not an 'absolute minimum.'
* Back Chat: Killer solo (which allegedly Brian had to persuade John into allow, but still), loads of rhythm guitar work.
* I Want to Break Free: No solo, but still several guitars in most of the song's sections. Not an 'absolute minimum' at all.
* One Year of Love: No guitars.
* Pain Is So Close to Pleasure: Prominent guitar work, including a great, and very underrated, solo.
* Friends Will Be Friends: Loads of guitar work.
* My Baby Does Me: No solo, but loads of guitar work, so not an 'absolute minimum.'
* Rain Must Fall: Prominent guitar, including a great solo.
* My Life Has Been Saved: Prominent guitar at some points, not a starring role but not an 'absolute minimum.'

So, out of 20 songs John wrote or co-wrote for the band, 2 (10%) have no guitar and 18 (90%) have a hell of a lot more than 'absolute minimum' of guitar. In fact, guitar's the most frequently featured instrument on John's songs: out of twenty:

* 18 (90%) have guitar.
* 17 (85%) have bass.
* 15 (65%) have keyboards.
* 12 (60%) have acoustic (not programmed) drums.
I'm not sure I agree with this. In the beginning Queen was mainly guitar, bass and drums. They added piano later on and from that moment on, it was kinda 50% with piano and 50% without. I mean, mainly. The band got used to this, it became some sort of personal trademark, having these instruments and managing to do new stuff with only these tools. So even if the song didn't include guitar, it would still have a guitar solo or something, like on Don't Stop Me Now.
Maybe it's a matter of not leaving this behind, some sort of "reminder". Like the backing vocals. They weren't ALWAYS necessary and there are some cases in which the band included some because they didn't want to use synths and didn't want to put guitar harmonies all over the place.

So having this in mind, I think it's a bit relative. Maybe John wanted less prominent guitars on his songs (maybe he didn't), and that's okay. But the band didn't really worked that way, mostly. I mean, I don't think that they all wanted a guitar solo on every damn song. But as they moved forward, it sort of became a trademark. You know, you can choose to write a song without an instrumental section, no solo, no whatever. They liked to develop some ideas, and that's great. But they mostly used very few instruments, so I don't think they had a lot of options in some cases.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby sebastian » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Yeah, certain things are relative, indeed. Others aren't. We can't know the intention behind including guitar on all but two songs, but we can know that, well, guitar was included on all but two songs out of those John wrote or co-wrote.

Even within the somewhat limited options they had when it came to instrumentation, they did have a lot of variety: with backing vocals, without backing vocals, vocal duets, with piano, with synth, with piano and synth, without keyboards, with or without orchestra, with or without guest musicians, with or without drum machines, with or without synth bass, with or without live backing track, etc.

Backing vocals are interesting: Freddie included them on almost every single song he wrote or co-wrote (the exceptions being Bijou, Is This the World We Created, It's a Beautiful Day and some of what he wrote for the Flash OST), while John wrote a few songs that either exclude them completely (SYW, IOSD) or have only unison or octaves (AOBtD, BC) or appear only for a few bars and that's it (NYLT, OYOL). That can be measured. It doesn't mean John hated backing vocals, but it does mean John statistically wrote less songs featuring them prominently. I think all of Roger's songs have backing vocals, and more often than not he was the one singing them.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby Kes » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:28 pm

I'd think it would be fair to say that Freddie was the first to master the arrangement of them, and when was the right occasions to do all the vocal harmonies himself, and when he actually needed some sort of a contrast thrown in there by roping in Brian and Roger.

Not saying Brian wasn't good at figuring out harmonics, as a hell of a lot of his guitar work relies on them, but I think Fred just sort of instantly knew what would work and what wouldn't.
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby sebastian » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:38 pm

I disagree: Brian mastered them first, but then Freddie caught up.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby Snackpot » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:51 pm

How can you tell?

Surely once a song became a project everyone would pitch in. If Brian's songs first had it first, or whatever, wouldn't necessarily mean they were his idea/plan
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby sebastian » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:58 pm

Smile already had great harmonies on vocals and guitars. As much as Freddie was a fan and friend, I very very very very very much doubt he contributed to their arrangements as he wasn't part of the band.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby merceauroix » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:48 pm

Freddie developed his own way or arranging vocals which didn't always rely on the overall harmony. Sometimes he does a thing that don't make a lot of sense by itself but then, in the right context, it absolutely works.
Whereas Brian would do things that would work in some other ways. I mean, Freddie wasn't afraid of putting a major change in the middle of the song and he used this a lot. Brian would most like write more common songs, like Save Me. Amazing song and it's very "logical" too. So everything Brian arranges, falls into that context. He adds some veeery cool things tho, and manages to never mess with the "harmonic flavour" of the sections. He sure knows how to and when to do things.
I think they both are brilliant, just not in the same ways. Even when it comes to the same thing, like arranging vocal harmonies.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby Wild/Wind » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:45 pm

In the old forum about early 2007 I created a topic about Friends will be Friends, if there is any hint about their inner friendship among them. Expanding it to creative level ofcourse.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby jayw » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:35 pm

Sir Knute wrote:Could it simply be that he can hardly stand to be in the same room as the other two?

I wonder that myself. Maybe once the peacemaker Freddie was gone, the old feelings and resentments were too great to bear and John was like fuck it, just keep sending the checks.


maybe too once Freddie had gone, stronger loyalty to "the band" ceased, coupled with any other "offenses" by B&R...coupled with his personality and a 'been there done that (for too long) mentality, age, & being with family vs spotlight. Looks like his post 1991 involvement was more of a nonchalant nature & when the other 2 stepped it up, he stepped it down.

I'd personally love to see him sometime, but know that is in all likelihood NoT going to happen.

I have been super enjoying all footage of him at their concerts, he is a blast to watch, especially in contrast frames to Freddie. Loved him in Queen/Montreal. Super respect him for not being involved in the current "Queen" name.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby funkyrake » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:04 am

jayw wrote:
Sir Knute wrote:Could it simply be that he can hardly stand to be in the same room as the other two?

I wonder that myself. Maybe once the peacemaker Freddie was gone, the old feelings and resentments were too great to bear and John was like fuck it, just keep sending the checks.


maybe too once Freddie had gone, stronger loyalty to "the band" ceased, coupled with any other "offenses" by B&R...coupled with his personality and a 'been there done that (for too long) mentality, age, & being with family vs spotlight. Looks like his post 1991 involvement was more of a nonchalant nature & when the other 2 stepped it up, he stepped it down.

I'd personally love to see him sometime, but know that is in all likelihood NoT going to happen.

I have been super enjoying all footage of him at their concerts, he is a blast to watch, especially in contrast frames to Freddie. Loved him in Queen/Montreal. Super respect him for not being involved in the current "Queen" name.

Would be wonderful to see him in a public performance, even without B&R. Possibly performing with Luke.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby jimbo » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:48 am

^^^ Yes, I've said it many times, but it would be great to see him on stage, so that all of us Queen fans can thank him for his contribution to Queen over the years.

Many of us have now lately had the chance to see Brian and Roger and thank them, but it would be great to have the opportunity to thank John as well, he was so important to Queen's success along with the other 3!
Hot Space is actually only my 6th favourite Queen album.
(But is a very underrated album in my opinion).
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby sebastian » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:23 pm

Gr8 times.
John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Roger did not compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
 
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Re: Deacon/Mercury

Postby devogue » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:37 am

What about Mayconury v Taylor or Taymercon v May.

It's like a Robot Wars, innit? :lol:
 
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