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Yara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 09 Jan 08, 21:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As Queen's fans already know, the song "Under Pressure" was first played live, according to Taylor, in the famous Montreal gig, now officialy re-released coupled with the Live Aid concert. I bought it as soon as it was re-released.

I know you must have been there thousands of times already, but I really love their first live performance of Under Pressure in Montreal. About the middle of the song, as Freddie is facing Taylor and the band is playing in a very catchy tempo, Freddie tries his voice at a most dangerous falsetto in "THEse are the DA-ys" (probably a C5# there), and then he has to quickly come back to his mid-tenor register and he does it smoothly and wonderfully.

The falsetto became a moot point between me and my friends: there are those who think it's flamboyant, cheesy and bad executed, but I beg to differ. I love that falsetto and the band is just in the right tempo, it's fantastic.

My question to Queen's fans who are more familiar with the unofficial material than me: did Freddie ever try to sing live that falsetto again? Well, it must seem a kind of stupidity, but if you listen to 85' versions of Under Pressure, Freddie's voice is much more harsh and crisp and that lovely verse is often given a heavy-handed and raw interpretation which robs the verse of its beauty in my opinion.

There's no question whatsoever that it'd be a nightmare and almost a suicide for any singer to strain his vocal cords so much in every concert, and Queen did a lot of live concerts, for sure. Falsetto demands a good amount of training if one does not want to harm its vocal muscles. Of course it'd be unreasonable to expect him to sing that verse in falsetto every concert, but I feel it was his personal option not to do it again and avoid potential embarassing fumbles.

But that, in Montreal, that was fantastic, gigantic, it was magical. I study music myself and I think I recognize a good falsetto when I hear one, and that one was lovely, especially for the seamless transition to the kind of mid-tenor register he felt comfortable at.

Well, I hope it will not come out as a stupid topic. I fear that. None better than Queen's fans, however, to ask the question about whether he tried that again live, as far as the recorded material is concerned.




Yara
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Posted: 09 Jan 08, 23:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, I just think that this is a good point of view and very respectable, of course.

I am going the see that concert again and have a different approach to that song; I record Under Pressure some years ago in Spanish with a female friend but in our wildest dreams we never even thougth to reach that kind of falsetto.

Let´s see what the other musician Queen Fans must say.

Saludos.

Rafael.


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Posted: 09 Jan 08, 23:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara wrote:

My question to Queen's fans who are more familiar with the unofficial material than me: did Freddie ever try to sing live that falsetto again?

...

Of course it'd be unreasonable to expect him to sing that verse in falsetto every concert, but I feel it was his personal option not to do it again and avoid potential embarassing fumbles.


You answered your own question. :) No, he never sang the falsetto part again. Most shows from 82-86 are on tape, and I've never heard him do it.

But you're right, without the falsetto, there does seem to be something missing from most of the later versions.

Good post!



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Yara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 00:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, what can I say? Many thanks for the kind replies! Really. Lucky us he did that once, so! It makes it even more precious. A friend of mine said something interesting to me once and he kind of got me to enjoy the way the band played the song later (with a different beat, I think, I don't know if you have the same feeling) without the beautiful falsetto there: he told me that Freddie's choice was really clever because he replaced the softness and the angelical beauty of the falsetto for a powerful, loud, resonant cry full of drama. He pointed me out to "Done Under Pressure" (I think it was recorded in Germany, I don't know) and, wow, he was right: Freddie "enters" the phrase with his strong, resonant gutural voice, stays in tune throughout most of the verse and ends it in a deliberately lighter, unsure and higher-pitched way that is just perfect to convey the sense of vulnerability, loneliness and fragility the verse implies. It's really poignant the way he wraps up the line in this concert (I think it was recorded in Germany, I can't remember it right).

Anyway, the replies were great and really enlightned me. Thank you all.




Yara
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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 04:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Isn't the whole "live vocal" performance discussion somewhat undermined by the fact that Fred's vocals were studio enhanced? has anyone ever done a comparison bewteen audience bootlegs (presumably both nights) and the official product?


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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 05:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara wrote:

As Queen's fans already know, the song "Under Pressure" was first played live, according to Taylor, in the famous Montreal gig, now officialy re-released coupled with the Live Aid concert. I bought it as soon as it was re-released.

I know you must have been there thousands of times already, but I really love their first live performance of Under Pressure in Montreal. About the middle of the song, as Freddie is facing Taylor and the band is playing in a very catchy tempo, Freddie tries his voice at a most dangerous falsetto in "THEse are the DA-ys" (probably a C5# there), and then he has to quickly come back to his mid-tenor register and he does it smoothly and wonderfully.

The falsetto became a moot point between me and my friends: there are those who think it's flamboyant, cheesy and bad executed, but I beg to differ. I love that falsetto and the band is just in the right tempo, it's fantastic.

My question to Queen's fans who are more familiar with the unofficial material than me: did Freddie ever try to sing live that falsetto again? Well, it must seem a kind of stupidity, but if you listen to 85' versions of Under Pressure, Freddie's voice is much more harsh and crisp and that lovely verse is often given a heavy-handed and raw interpretation which robs the verse of its beauty in my opinion.

There's no question whatsoever that it'd be a nightmare and almost a suicide for any singer to strain his vocal cords so much in every concert, and Queen did a lot of live concerts, for sure. Falsetto demands a good amount of training if one does not want to harm its vocal muscles. Of course it'd be unreasonable to expect him to sing that verse in falsetto every concert, but I feel it was his personal option not to do it again and avoid potential embarassing fumbles.

But that, in Montreal, that was fantastic, gigantic, it was magical. I study music myself and I think I recognize a good falsetto when I hear one, and that one was lovely, especially for the seamless transition to the kind of mid-tenor register he felt comfortable at.

Well, I hope it will not come out as a stupid topic. I fear that. None better than Queen's fans, however, to ask the question about whether he tried that again live, as far as the recorded material is concerned.




I have read the book from Peter Freestone- Freddie Mercury "The Definetive Biography" there was a strange kind of "Mushroom" as they called it, growing in the back of Freddie'd mouth in late 1984. This maybe declares why Freddie started to sound harsh when he sung to much.

It surely had to do something with the kristal sound of his voice from 1981 and 1982 that was gone on the live performances. Of course combined with a lot of smoking and Stolichnaya Vodka.


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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 06:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I knew of other things being in the back of Freddie's throat. But I never heard about mushrooms


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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 06:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

I knew of other things being in the back of Freddie's throat. But I never heard about mushrooms


Yeah...You got me there!! :-)


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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 09:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

I knew of other things being in the back of Freddie's throat. But I never heard about mushrooms


Ah, come on, don't ruin Yara's intelligent topic with the sort of comments you see on Queen vids on youtube.

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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 10:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

Isn't the whole "live vocal" performance discussion somewhat undermined by the fact that Fred's vocals were studio enhanced? has anyone ever done a comparison bewteen audience bootlegs (presumably both nights) and the official product?


Oooh, that's dangerous grounds you're stepping on, hehe :).

Too bad that they always do these 'enhancements' to their live recordings and that nowadays they won't release anything if they can't do it in 5.1 surround sound.

They are so afraid of making Freddie and the whole band appear human. They made mistakes but they were still a bloody great live band.

I used to love the "raw" sound of Live Killers and then I saw Bob's Live Killers analysis and found out about all the retouching (and even dubbing) made on studio.

Their Top 100 Bootlegs project was a VERY GOOD idea executed VERY POORLY. What were they thinking?! Yet another Lost Opportunity, indeed.

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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 12:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

Isn't the whole "live vocal" performance discussion somewhat undermined by the fact that Fred's vocals were studio enhanced? has anyone ever done a comparison bewteen audience bootlegs (presumably both nights) and the official product?
it's been some time since I listened to the bootleg from the 24/11/81 show but I think he sang even more in falsetto compared to the official release.

As far as I remember, it was indeed executed nicely:-)


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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 12:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wiley wrote:

Holly2003 wrote:

Isn't the whole "live vocal" performance discussion somewhat undermined by the fact that Fred's vocals were studio enhanced? has anyone ever done a comparison bewteen audience bootlegs (presumably both nights) and the official product?


Oooh, that's dangerous grounds you're stepping on, hehe :).

Too bad that they always do these 'enhancements' to their live recordings and that nowadays they won't release anything if they can't do it in 5.1 surround sound.

They are so afraid of making Freddie and the whole band appear human. They made mistakes but they were still a bloody great live band.

I used to love the "raw" sound of Live Killers and then I saw Bob's Live Killers analysis and found out about all the retouching (and even dubbing) made on studio.

Their Top 100 Bootlegs project was a VERY GOOD idea executed VERY POORLY. What were they thinking?! Yet another Lost Opportunity, indeed.
Yeah, what they should do is search in their archive for the very best recorded shows from the 70's and release these.Even if it's audio only...Think about it:the millionaire waltz,it's late,good old fashioned loverboy,you take my breath away, my melancholy blues early versions from love of my life, liar and other songs from the early years. That would be amazing! Even if they have few shows in the archive, there must be some gems!


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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 12:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara wrote:

Freddie "enters" the phrase with his strong, resonant gutural voice, stays in tune throughout most of the verse and ends it in a deliberately lighter, unsure and higher-pitched way that is just perfect to convey the sense of vulnerability, loneliness and fragility the verse implies.


Wow... are you some kind of music writer? If not, then you should be!

"Done Under Pressure" was indeed recorded in Germany, in Mannheim, on June 21, 1986. The recording you've heard is from a radio broadcast, released on one of many bootlegs.



"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Posted: 10 Jan 08, 20:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey, no, I ain't no music writer, no, I'm just beginning to study piano and singing. I'm really a beginner.

Holly2003 wrote:

<<Isn't the whole "live vocal" performance discussion somewhat undermined by the fact that Fred's vocals were studio enhanced? has anyone ever done a comparison bewteen audience bootlegs (presumably both nights) and the official product?)>>

Good point! I have never made such comparisons. I'm one of those who know that musicians, even the good ones, are human beings. :op

It's funny, Holly2003, because years ago I had the same debate, but it was over Vladimir Horowitz' performance at Carnegie Hall, I think. I had the retouched and dubbed version. It had always caused a lot of controversy, and the label was kind of pressed to release the original material without any edits or retouchings.

It comes out that both are almost indistinguishable! The edits were so minor and, really, irrelevant in face of his whole performance that night, that I think it didn't add anything new to my understanding of Horowitz' playing. In fact, what was supposed to be an enhancement often turned out to be a worsening of the original. Horowitz did miss a good deal of notes right in the first piece of the recital, but the guy - speaking about Under Pressure... - was under a really inhumane pressure. Once he got relaxed, though, he played almost flawlessly the rest of the recital! It was what I had always suspected: he is the greatest pianist I had ever heard! (question of taste too).

Though I'd not dare to suggest that our Freedie, as a singer, is at the same league as Horowitz as a pianist, I wonder if some of the dubbings and retouchings didn't actually make the music sound worse and deprive it of some of its authenticity...!

Wow, this forum is great, I loved it. It was a real pleasure to find it, really. Sorry for my poor English.

Thank you all!



Yara