We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus?

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We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus?

Postby Stone Cold Crazy » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:54 pm

I've listened to some live recordings of "We Are the Champions" and one thing I've especially noticed is that they never sang the vocal harmonies in the chorus like the studio version. Instead they all sang the same melody, except for the "No time for losers" line.

Those harmonies in the chorus are one of my favorite things about the studio version, so it's a little disappointing that they never did this live.

phpBB [video]


Listen to the harmonies kicking in at 0:48... Stunning.
 
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Re: We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus

Postby Kes » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:02 pm

Hmmmm, bearing in mind that Fred probably did the majority of the backing (harmony) vocals on the studio version, I guess it stands to reason that live, the other two probably sang pretty much what they sang on the original.

One of my favourite things that a lot of people don't seem to know, is that on Bo Rhap, the first you get to hear of Brian and Roger singing, is in the opera section. Up until that point, ALL the voices you hear are Freddie, Freddie, and err, Freddie.

The advent of video, seemed to lead many people up the garden path, believing what they "see" to be "the case". Look at the sleeve notes on LOLSOS, where it actually credits Roger Taylor and Peter Straker for the backing vocals on The Great Pretender. They pitched up for the video shoot, and I think that's the closest they ever got to the record.
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Re: We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus

Postby Two sharp pencils » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:08 pm

Kes wrote:Hmmmm, bearing in mind that Fred probably did the majority of the backing (harmony) vocals on the studio version, I guess it stands to reason that live, the other two probably sang pretty much what they sang on the original.

One of my favourite things that a lot of people don't seem to know, is that on Bo Rhap, the first you get to hear of Brian and Roger singing, is in the opera section. Up until that point, ALL the voices you hear are Freddie, Freddie, and err, Freddie.

The advent of video, seemed to lead many people up the garden path, believing what they "see" to be "the case". Look at the sleeve notes on LOLSOS, where it actually credits Roger Taylor and Peter Straker for the backing vocals on The Great Pretender. They pitched up for the video shoot, and I think that's the closest they ever got to the record.



I definitely think Roger does some backing on the Record. I'm sure I can hear him on the " You'll see " lyric around 1 : 48 into the record.
 
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Re: We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus

Postby Kes » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:40 pm

Yeah, there are points where you seem to hear Brian and Roger "augment" the chorus vocals, it's just that I personally wouldn't say that either Brian or Roger account for anything like a third of the chorus vocals. You can hear a LOT of Freddie in there, so I think he's got it to sound about as large as he possibly could on his own, and then got the three of them to bounce a few takes on the top, where he wanted it to sound even bigger.

Seb's our expert at ripping these things apart, and coming up with some sensible answers. I'd be interested to hear his opinion on the matter.
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Re: We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus

Postby BHM0086 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:41 am

Two sharp pencils wrote:
Kes wrote:Hmmmm, bearing in mind that Fred probably did the majority of the backing (harmony) vocals on the studio version, I guess it stands to reason that live, the other two probably sang pretty much what they sang on the original.

One of my favourite things that a lot of people don't seem to know, is that on Bo Rhap, the first you get to hear of Brian and Roger singing, is in the opera section. Up until that point, ALL the voices you hear are Freddie, Freddie, and err, Freddie.

The advent of video, seemed to lead many people up the garden path, believing what they "see" to be "the case". Look at the sleeve notes on LOLSOS, where it actually credits Roger Taylor and Peter Straker for the backing vocals on The Great Pretender. They pitched up for the video shoot, and I think that's the closest they ever got to the record.



I definitely think Roger does some backing on the Record. I'm sure I can hear him on the " You'll see " lyric around 1 : 48 into the record.


Listening to the instrumental version on the Freddie box set, I don't hear anyone other than Fred doing backing vocal.
 
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Re: We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus

Postby Echoplex » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:14 pm

Stone Cold Crazy wrote:I've listened to some live recordings of "We Are the Champions" and one thing I've especially noticed is that they never sang the vocal harmonies in the chorus like the studio version. Instead they all sang the same melody, except for the "No time for losers" line.

Those harmonies in the chorus are one of my favorite things about the studio version, so it's a little disappointing that they never did this live.

phpBB [video]


Listen to the harmonies kicking in at 0:48... Stunning.


The simple fact is that Queen very rarely re produced harmonies live , at least not in a way that accurately copied what was recorded.

In many cases on stage they simplified both musical and vocal arrangements to make it easier (possible) to play a song live. A song like March Of The Black Queen or Bicycle Race where the vocal harmonies provide much of the songs structure on album are played very differently live, and in fact vocally don't really echo the recorded work. In comparison We Are The Champions is a much more complete live rendition, and actually because of its mass sing along nature doesn't need to have all the vocal intricacies in place.
 
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Re: We Are the Champions live - No vocal harmonies in chorus

Postby Snackpot » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:56 pm

It's a great song on the record but it takes on a life of its own live. Someone who's only ever heard the song with a stadium full of people joining it, might be surprised how reserved the actual track is compared to the comparatively aggressive live performances we're used to.
 
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