Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by dmiller458, Nov 24, 2018.
I'm thinking we need a thread dedicated to this seminal British band. Thoughts?
Queen II is their best album
The Hot Space songs were much better live
RT's drum sounds was strongest on The News of the World
If a high quality recording of Newcastle, December 4 1979 was ever found, I'd be very happy indeed.
I was thinking that we'd start with their debut.
In 1968, college friends Tim Staffell and Brian May (b. 1947) decided to form a band they call Smile. They advertised for a drummer and soon recruited Roger Taylor (b. 1949). They recorded a single Earth b/w Step On Me that was released on Mercury Records in 1969, but it failed to chart. In 1970, Staffell left Smile to join Humpy Bong.
May and Taylor invited another friend and Smile fan, Farrokh Bulsara (b. 1946) to replace Staffell as their lead singer. Bulsara would soon adopt the stage name Freddie Mercury. They called the new band Queen and they tried out several bass guitarists before bringing John Deacon (b. 1951) on board.
Between gigs, they were able to book some studio time in Soho's De Lane Lea Studios where they recorded five demo tracks that would form the basis of their self-titled debut album.
They're a great band but for the first album they should have dropped the seven seas of rhye demo and add a proper finished recording of Polar Bear
Send them an email. Let me know what the reply says.
what email do I send to?
He's just having a laugh mate.
Queen are among my favourite bands and I'm looking forward to going through this thread.
Certainly a strong debut and Keep Yourself Alive is still among my favourite Queen songs.
Love the first Queen album. I feel like the one thing that holds it back from being generally regarded as one of the best Queen albums is the production, however it's certainly one of my personal favorites.
There's a plethora of fantastic tunes. Personal favorites are Great King Rat, Liar, Son & Daughter and Keep Yourself Alive.
Queen were always an awesome band, whether they were bringing the godless thunder or playing the pop game on their own terms.
I know this isn't from their debut but I love the live version of We Are The Champions from Tokyo 1979
Freddie's voice might have been bad but I love how Brian does the higher notes during the chorus
And you need a disclaimer for what reason? Who cares where you place them?
You like them or you don’t. You don’t have to rank them.
I’ll give comment on Q2...that’s where I pick up their story.
Because I don't want folks to be surprised when I don't give their albums across-the-board A+ ratings.
I'll rank them as I see fit, with or without your permission.
Something stopping you from heading over to youtube or spotify and listening to their debut?
Starting with 'Queen' from 1973...
I keep forgetting how much I absolutely ADORE this album. What other band had such a well-executed and fully formed debut album with the same depth as this one? The Queen sound and their high production values are right there from the first ten seconds of 'Keep Yourself Alive' with that incredible bit of stereo phasing on Brian's guitar intro. Although it was recorded during the quiet hours at Trident Studios, the final recording is highly polished and faultlessly executed, giving no illusions of a rushed budget debut album. It leaves you in absolutely no doubt that these guys were geniuses.
I don't usually enjoy heavy rock, and early Queen were certainly heavy. But at the same time, they bring an element of theatricality that sets them apart from more conventional heavy bands like Led Zeppelin and Cream, who were their main idols at the time. Very complex song structures, strong riffs and catchy melodies just adorn this LP throughout. From Brian May's multi-layered guitars to Roger Taylor's wall of percussion, every track is fully formed and produced to the max... with the exception of the demo of 'Seven Seas of Rhye', which IMO, they could have left off the debut. Even the lighter tracks like 'Great King Rat' and 'Jesus' still carry a lot of weight thanks to their arrangements. All in all, despite the very heavy sound, the level of musicality is far too high to not like the album as a whole. I think it's a shame that 'Queen' and 'Queen II' tend to get overlooked as they didn't contain a chart-topping hit like every other Queen album did.
1973 Queen - Queen US 83/RIAA-Gold UK 24/BPI-Gold
1. Keep Yourself Alive (Brian May)
2. Doing All Right (Brian May/Tim Staffell)
3. Great King Rat (Freddie Mercury)
4. My Fairy King (Freddie Mercury)
5. Liar (Freddie Mercury)
6. The Night Comes Down (Brian May)
7. Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll (Roger Taylor)
8. Son And Daughter (Brian May)
9. Jesus (Freddie Mercury)
10. Seven Seas Of Rhye (Freddie Mercury)
Brian May - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Freddie Mercury - Vocals, Piano, Organ
John Deacon - Bass
Roger Taylor - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Released in 1973, Queen's debut opens with their powerhouse single Keep Yourself Alive. Written by Brian May, it failed to chart then; but it has since become a classic rock radio staple. Often better known for their over-the-top glam excesses, the progressive rock influences permeating Doing All Right sometimes gets overlooked. They move effortlessly from slow to fast, from mellow to urgent. It was co-written by May and his ex-Smile bandmate Tim Staffell.
But neither prepares us for the shifts in tempo and mood on Great King Rat, the first of three penned by Freddie Mercury. Borrowing it's galloping cadence from the Old King Cole nursery rhyme, it was the first showcase of May's unbelievable guitar. There's skill and then there's vision, May had both.
More progressive flourishes mix with fantasical whimsy on My Fairy King. Freddie's such incredible vocalist that it can be easy to forget he's also an excellent pianist.
Side two brings us my favorite track, Liar. Mercury's humor is front and center as the tall tales get even taller with each verse. Their second single, it also failed to chart. But it's an almost perfect balance of glam, heavy metal and progressive rock; pretty much everything great about 70s rock & roll.
Some beautiful acoustic playing from May on his slice of Beatlesque nostalgia, The Night Comes Down. The tempo picks up at about 3:30 and they fall into a very trippy raga groove (or is it a Middle Eastern vibe?).
Roger Taylor took over writing and singing duties on the short, but sweet Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll. Son And Daughter's another fiery Brian May guitar showcase. Monster riffs lead to some intricately layered overdubbing. They head to space rock territory on Freddie's suprisingly spiritual Jesus.
Closing track Seven Seas Of Rhye is a short instrumental interlude that would become fully fleshed out song and single by their next album
Keep Yourself Alive 4.5
Doing All Right 4.5
Great King Rat 4.5
My Fairy King 4
The Night Comes Down 4
Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll 4.5
Son And Daughter 4.5
Seven Seas Of Rhye NR
It's become a cliche to talk about that classic era anymore. The music really was that good and the talent really did run that deep. All in all, Queen is a great debut that opened the door to an excellent career. A-
I wonder if Queen intended to link their albums together early on, so the debut ends with the short bit of Seven Seas of Rhye which appears on Queen II. That album ends with "oh I do like to be beside the seaside", then Sheer Heart Attack has somebody whistling that at the start. No link between albums musically after that though.
The debut is slowly becoming my 2nd favourite Queen album (outside of II). It used to be A Day at The Races, but there's something about the debut that I love.
One of the few problems with the album though is that some of it probably sounded dated by 1973, given that it was recorded in 1972 and written in 1971 and earlier.
Nonetheless, I think Queen and Queen II go quite well together. And as mentioned, I love how the albums are linked (along with SHA) through Seven Seas of Rhye.
Keep Yourself Alive is one of my favorite Queen songs. I'm amazed to this day that it is from the debut album and even has roots prior to that. It has such a unique and innovative sound it seems like it should be from a later album, after they had more experience and cash under thier belts. Amazes me even more that the single did not chart.
It must have been around 1982 when I picked up a 2-on-1 cassette featuring Queen & Queen II as the selected albums. These two went straight to the top-of-my-list as their best work, & have remained there ever since...
There's only one thing that betters this as a whole, & that would be the "Rainbow '74" Deluxe Boxed-Set...The March 1974 recording is a phenomena......And the DVD live performance a grand visual testament of this show...( Around 20-minutes of unprocessed footage is added as a bonus, with the producers asking if anyone know the where-about's of the remaining missing 18-minutes ).
Anyhow, the debut & Queen II have seen regular playing since then, & will continue ! And the March Rainbow '74 show gets cranked right-up for its shear powerful delivery !
If you ignore God Save The Queen (which dates from an earlier session than the rest of its eventual parent album), A Night At The Opera ends with a similar gong crash to the one that opens its immediate follow-up, A Day At The Races. I'm not really sure if this counts as a further example, but it's a detail that I've always noticed along with the others already mentioned...
I've never noticed that!
I have the 45! It is surprising that it didn't chart at all. It might have if they sent an edited radio promo version out. I've read somewhere that it didn't get played much as the intro was too long. It also has a drum solo in the middle, which I can't see mainstream radio would have gone for. They had that in mind for the next single, Seven Seas of Rhye, which was straight into the song and made the top 10, as well as got three Top of the Pops appearances.
My wife and I love Queen, both too young to have seen them before Freddie's death. But having grown up with really just the 2 greatest hits CD, it's been a fun journey buying the albums and properly listening to them as I've grown older and able to look past just the singles.
Incidentally, my baby daughter is just under 3 months and ANATO was the first LP/album I played her.
So I was never really a Queen fan, but saw "Bohemian Rhapsody" last week. Really good movie for a lot of reasons, music being only one of them. Well worth seeing and fans should love it.
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