Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

The studio albums, live releases, compilations and box sets
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Kes
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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Sir Didymus wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:44 am

I'll take Freddie actually singing around some 90s rap over lines like "no whut ah meen whucha back wee gut kween on dis trak" any day.

I'd have no qualms even now walking into a record store with my head held high buying a copy of tha Wyclef remix. I felt embarrassed as all hell as a 15 year old going to pay for that 5ive cd single in Our Price and nowadays I'd either but it online or just illegally download the fucker.

Tolerance of the rap may vary but I'd argue the Wyclef remix has aged far better too and now has a vintage appeal for younger generations, while the 5ive thing is fortunately long forgotten.
How about we compromise, and say that neither are exactly highlights in Queen's repertoire? And neither should appear on a Queen Greatest Hits album.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Kes wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:53 am How about we compromise, and say that neither are exactly highlights in Queen's repertoire? And neither should appear on a Queen Greatest Hits album.
Well, yes, and possibly.

If I was releasing a Queen Greatest Hits album, I'd have to seriously think: Am I focusing on the true line-up and only including songs from 73-97 on it? Or am I looking to get as many copies sold as possible by including their biggest hits?

Wyclef went top five, and 5ive went to #1. If the rights aren't an issue, there's a logical argument to include them, even if they're garbage. Hell, I'm surprised they didn't shunt the 5ive song onto The Platinum Collection tbh!

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Sir Didymus wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:01 am
Kes wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:53 am How about we compromise, and say that neither are exactly highlights in Queen's repertoire? And neither should appear on a Queen Greatest Hits album.
Well, yes, and possibly.

If I was releasing a Queen Greatest Hits album, I'd have to seriously think: Am I focusing on the true line-up and only including songs from 73-97 on it? Or am I looking to get as many copies sold as possible by including their biggest hits?

Wyclef went top five, and 5ive went to #1. If the rights aren't an issue, there's a logical argument to include them, even if they're garbage. Hell, I'm surprised they didn't shunt the 5ive song onto The Platinum Collection tbh!
I am pretty sure I heard a Brian interview about the time GH3 was released saying they wanted the 5ive song on there but it had not been released in time.

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Kes
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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Well, he would. He wrote the thing.

Takes my mind back to Queen Rocks. Did how valid a rock song a track was, have more bearing on the tracklisting, against who wrote it? There's a LOT of Brian songs on there.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Kes wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:54 am Well, he would. He wrote the thing.

Takes my mind back to Queen Rocks. Did how valid a rock song a track was, have more bearing on the tracklisting, against who wrote it? There's a LOT of Brian songs on there.
Indeed. And that NOBY/TYMD single, with Gimme the Prize and We Will Rock You remixes on it, gave him a full on 4-way May royalty pay-out. I wonder if he was bolstered by the fact that, with the exception of "the dead one", he'd gone and had the biggest solo success of any band member with the Back to the Light album and it's mega-selling singles? I remember being a bit surprised they went and released the Queen version of TMLWKY as a single four years after Brian had a bigger hit with it... it might have done better for the band if he hadn't.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Sir Didymus wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:03 pmI remember being a bit surprised they went and released the Queen version of TMLWKY as a single four years after Brian had a bigger hit with it... it might have done better for the band if he hadn't.
Slight tangent, but...

Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson released a solo single called "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" at the tail end of the 80s, which the band's bassist then heard and decided would make a good Maiden song. In light of doing their own version, the Dickinson single was pulled. Maiden's recording then became their only UK chart number one when it was subsequently put out.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Leigh Burne wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:32 am I think I mostly prefer the Wyclef version myself because I liked the film.
And it doesn't have the cringe-inducing "We're gonna rock ya, BAHBEH!" in it. :D

I guess the difference between the two songs really comes down to the status of the collaborators at the time.

Wyclef Jean & Pras Michel had literally just come out of the Fugees. Their final album, The Score, had sold over 20m copies in the last two years. In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked it as #134 on the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Wyclef had just released his Top 20 debut solo album, and had several sizable hits, including the cross-over smash Gone Till November. Pras Michel had just gone to #1 in just about every country in the world with Ghetto Supastar (That is What You Are). They were HUGE, have continued to have long-running careers, and putting Queen on one of their tracks was a smart move to revitalise the band's popularity with younger audiences.

5ive, on the other hand, were an attempt by the Spice Girls former managers to pull together a male version and repeat the same success. They were big in Europe but not really known outside of that. Their popularity was mostly focused on teenage girls, and they'd split up after releasing three more singles. They were, let's face it, interchangable with the other boybands of the day - A1, 911 etc. Okay, they weren't Westlife or Boyzone, making crap covers of old songs yer nan liked, but they were far from the global phenomenon of their predecessors.

I don't want to be a 'music snob' here... but the Wyclef remix made sense, and holds up well in retrospect, especially compared to the glut of 70s/80s songs that got rap/dance remixes in the mid-late 90s (eg. D'ya Think I'm Sexy, Stayin' Alive, Kung Fu Fighting etc.). It also reconnected the song with contemporary black music, which, given the track blatantly steals from black culture anyway, feels highly appropriate. On the other hand, the 5ive single is total ephemera with some dodgy white guys trying to sound black by using hyper-accentuated poor diction, while the one 'cute' one tries to get the girls on board with this oddly masculine track by reminding them this song is for them, too, behbeh.

AOBTD '98 was an interesting side-line that fans could ignore as just a remix if they wanted. By actually getting Brian & Roger involved directly, WWRY '00 was the start of a horrendous slide in quality control that the duo never really recovered from.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Leigh Burne wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:10 pm
Sir Didymus wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:03 pmI remember being a bit surprised they went and released the Queen version of TMLWKY as a single four years after Brian had a bigger hit with it... it might have done better for the band if he hadn't.
Slight tangent, but...

Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson released a solo single called "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" at the tail end of the 80s, which the band's bassist then heard and decided would make a good Maiden song. In light of doing their own version, the Dickinson single was pulled. Maiden's recording then became their only UK chart number one when it was subsequently put out.
Oh, of course history is littered with instances of bands lifting unsuccessful singles and reissuing them - sometimes as rerecordings - to great acclaim. I think the Queen example is unusual in that Brian took a song that the band had discarded, had a MASSIVE hit with it in its own name, and then decided to return to the Freddie version for Made in Heaven and release it as a single all over again.

Now, I think there's a couple of songs that got hit cover versions in the early 90s not long after their original 'hit' versions, which perhaps proved that people will buy the same song a second time... but it's interesting that it took until the 1995 version to be released as a single for Brian and his co-writers to get an Ivor Novello for the song in 1997.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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It's always about the "now", isn't it?

When he released BTTL, the Freddie version of TMLWKY, wasn't a goer at that point. He'd put out Driven By You, and out of the rest of the album, TMLWKY was a stand out track, and had profile for being played at the Tribute Concert. I guess it made sense to give it a sibgle release.

Scroll forward three and a bit years, when MIH came out, then it was put out as the fourth (I think) single from the album. Bearing in mind, Brian pushed it as a solo single first, they should have just left it on the album, and gone with Mother Love, or YDFM instead. They didn't.

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Re: Greatest Hits III [Special Edition]

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Kes wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:50 pm Bearing in mind, Brian pushed it as a solo single first, they should have just left it on the album, and gone with Mother Love, or YDFM instead. They didn't.
That's my point, really. It felt like an odd single choice, though as I said, covers of recent hits in the 90s wasn't too unusual. I can kind of understand them skipping over I Was Born to Love You in the UK, as Freddie had a fairly big hit with that in his own right, but it does feel a bit like Brian looked at Roger's royalties after Heaven for Everyone and thought: "My Turn".

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