The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

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Re: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby sebastian » Tue May 10, 2016 11:50 am

Good 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: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby The__KingOfRhye » Fri May 13, 2016 6:57 pm

Or how about a similar but different question.....what was the first Queen song written? I suppose it would have to be Doing All Right, wouldn't it? Since it dates back to Smile, probably 1969 or so...
 
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Re: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby QueenVault » Fri May 13, 2016 8:47 pm

Since there is no definitive proof one way or another, perhaps I should remove this entry on the website.
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Re: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby Pingu » Sat May 14, 2016 12:39 am

Brian has said, hasn't he, that Keep Yourself Alive was the first song they ("we") wrote as Queen.

Strictly speaking, at least three songs that we know of were either remakes or rewrites of past songs by previous bands - Doin' Alright, Liar and Stone Cold Crazy.

White Queen apparently was written around 1969.

John auditioned by playing Son and Daughter.. which means the song (or riff) was written by then.

There's also talk that part of Bohemian Rhapsody, in some germinal state, was written pre Queen and known as the "Cowboy Song". (I tend to disbelieve this story as told tbh..)

Any more for any more? Sure with a bit of thought (and Barry Mitchell's interviews) we could bash together a loose order for writing of the 1st batch of songs.
 
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Re: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby sebastian » Sat May 14, 2016 3:29 am

Pingu wrote:Brian has said, hasn't he, that Keep Yourself Alive was the first song they ("we") wrote as Queen.


He also claimed the same about 'Liar'. It's really hard to tell (and it's not a jab at his imperfect memory since it's perfectly normal not to remember everything that happened 46 years ago).

Pingu wrote:Strictly speaking, at least three songs that we know of were either remakes or rewrites of past songs by previous bands - Doin' Alright, Liar and Stone Cold Crazy.


'Doing All Right' and 'Stone Cold Crazy', yes. But, as far as it's been documented, 'Liar' only shares one riff with 'Lover'. The remaining 99.99% of the song could very well be completely different.

Pingu wrote:John auditioned by playing Son and Daughter.. which means the song (or riff) was written by then.


It may have simply been part of the Queen setlist during the Grose-Mitchell-Bogie era. They had over half a year to come up with new material.

Pingu wrote:There's also talk that part of Bohemian Rhapsody, in some germinal state, was written pre Queen and known as the "Cowboy Song". (I tend to disbelieve this story as told tbh..)


Yeah, I suppose every second person who met Fred has claimed they either were present when he wrote it or they even co-wrote it with him, but so far they've all failed to provide any sort of evidence whatsoever.
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: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby sebastian » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:33 pm

Around the time they were recording the début album, Frederick had a falling out with Roger, and it was quite a serious one. It's been said that for a while he'd really been pissing him off by his excessive flirting with Mary and, to add insult to injury, he'd secretly sold one of Fred's tops to buy some hair dye. Fred had befriended session drummer Frank Ricotti, who'd been working at Trident as well, and for a week or two he thought of sacking Rog and bringing Frank in. A few ideas were demo'd, including the national anthem (Frank was an expert on orchestral percussion) and a jazz tune called 'Gloomy Nights', which is reported to have sounded not too dissimilar to 'My Melancholy Blues', with brushes and everything. Finally, Frank found out it was bad timing as he had some more session work coming up and the idea was binned, though by then Rog had also discovered what they'd been doing behind his back and had to be persuaded by Frederick to return to the band, on the condition that he'd get to sing his own track ('Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll') even though Fred did it live. Frank remained friendly with the remainder of the band, attending John Deacon's wedding and giving him a Wurlitzer piano as a wedding gift (John later used it on 'Best Friend'), inviting Brian to his book club (a month or so later, they were scheduled to read Graham Greene's novel, 'Brighton Rock') and playing percussion on the 'Barcelona' album.

You might not believe that story (neither do I - I just made it up) but, since you cannot 100% prove it's not true, therefore it automatically follows chances of it being right are 50/50. Moreover, since some of the details do check out (Frank was a session percussionist at Trident back then, Fred and Rog did row once about Rog selling one of Fred's items, Frank did perform on Barcelona), then it'd be possible to add that info to Wiki (or other websites, including reputable ones) and, after a couple of years, it'd be widely accepted as a fact, even though it was never true to begin with.
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: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby Capt. Den Ronson » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:53 am

sebastian wrote: Frank remained friendly with the remainder of the band, attending John Deacon's wedding and giving him a Wurlitzer piano as a wedding gift (John later used it on 'Best Friend'), inviting Brian to his book club (a month or so later, they were scheduled to read Graham Greene's novel, 'Brighton Rock') and playing percussion on the 'Barcelona' album.


Didn't Freddie think the device cheesy and refuse to play it?
Interestingly, Frank Ricotta's Brighton Blue became a big hit throughout Southern England shortly after that.
For the Barcelona sessions, Frank used slabs of Manchego as slapping devices [a bit like Scott Walker's pork percussion a few years later].
 
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Re: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby sebastian » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:48 pm

And there we've also got the origin of that infamous 'Sweet Lady' line as well :) Since there's no way to disprove it, there's a 50% chance it's right.
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: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby sebastian » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:26 pm

I was talking to Marc because he (innocently and understandably) also made that mistake, and that got me thinking.

The facts as we know them are:

- Keep Yourself Alive, Night Comes Down, Great King Rat, Liar and Jesus were demo'd in December 1971 at the Music Centre in Wembley.

- Keep Yourself Alive, Great King Rat, Liar and Jesus were subsequently re-recordedin 1972 at Trident in Soho.

From there, it'd naturally follow that 'Night Comes Down' was as well, even more if you consider:

- There's at least one confirmed story of a song for which Brian (the author) deemed the 1971 demo to be better ('Keep Yourself Alive').

- There's at least one confirmed story of a song the band ultimately rejected since they didn't like its [Trident] production ('Mad the Swine').

- It's always been well-known that Queen didn't like the drum sound on that particular album.

All of those, logically, would suggest that could be the case, but none of them are actual factual evidence at all. They've all got counterexamples:

- There are at least four confirmed cases of songs for which the Trident version was used instead of the Music Centre one (KYA, GKR, Liar and Jesus).

- There are at least nine confirmed songs for which the [Trident] production was ultimately (perhaps hesitantly) accepted: KYA, DAR, GKR, MFK, Liar, MTRNR, SAD, Jesus and the instrumental SSOR.

The 'they did re-record the other four, so why not that one?' argument seems to make sense at first, but it's actually a fallacy: Rog, Fred and Bri mime vocals on the videos for Bo Rhap, STL, TYMD, etc., and they also sing on the records. It would follow that if John's miming, he's also singing on the albums ... but he's not. I choose this particular example because I was someone who defended (rather passionately) the (completely wrong) theory that John sang on the records, even though there was absolutely no evidence (let alone sound evidence) of it.

Another example: Scotland is one of the home nations, and Queen played concerts in Scotland in the seventies; England is one of the home nations, and Queen played concerts in England in the seventies; Wales is one of the home nations, and Queen played concerts in Wales in the seventies. It would follow that, since Northern Ireland is also one of the home nations, Queen would've played concerts there as well. Right? Well, they didn't.

Indeed it's a bit of faulty logic, although most people never realise that - and it's happened to me many times as well so I'm not stoning anyone here. Truth is, the fact the other four were re-recorded proves nothing. Neither do the stories of 'Mad the Swine' being rejected and 'Keep Yourself Alive' not being as well-liked as the demo version. Someone who's less obsessive and/or who hasn't got a good memory (and I'm not saying mine is particularly brilliant either) can easily mis-remember the 'Mad the Swine' story and think it was about 'Night Comes Down' and/or Brian's quote about preferring the demo version of 'Keep Yourself Alive' and, again, mis-attribute it.

Before you know it, Wiki says it, Georg's excellent book says it, great websites such as QueenVault used to say it (although with keywords such as 'asummed' and 'rumours'), it's accepted as fanon (fan canon) on the Queensphere and it becomes quite tricky to debunk it, because you're automatically facing an uphill battle. Same for many other 'myths' such as Bowie having been asked to produce their first album, 'Hot Space' having been the inspiration for 'Thriller', 'Bo Rhap' having been recorded on sixteen-track featuring 180 vocal overdubs and subsequently having been played fourteen times by Kenny Everett.
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: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby bigV » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:15 pm

In terms of when the songs were written, I think the song that was written the earliest, that eventually made it onto a Queen album, must be White Queen. Brian May wrote it in 1968, if I'm not mistaken. I don't think any other song predates it.

People are often impressed by John Lennon's songwriting in his teens/early 20s - he wrote Strawberry Fields when he was 17 or 18. But I'm equally impressed by Brian May writing a song like White Queen at such an early age. Amazing!

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Re: The Night Comes Down - first song by Queen ?

Postby sebastian » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:51 pm

Only the lyrics (the poem) is suggested to have originated in 1969. The music might have come some years later.
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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