Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Why did IWTBF fail so much in the Americas?

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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 14:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*I Want To Break Free

I mean I know it's a controversial video, but nowadays you see bands of all sorts - metal, rock, punk - dressing up as women and prancing around. So why did it ruin Queen's reputation so much in America?

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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 14:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just the perfect storm of bad timing....

- At the onset of the Aids epedemic, which meant that people put gay and Aids in the same sentence.
- A time when Reagan conservatism ran rampant, which, in part, led to above.

So, take an openly gay singer of a band called Queen, dress the whole band in drag at the height of the Aids scare, and presto.

Plus, add to that the bad pub from the Hot Space record, and it pretty well led to Queen not being able to get arrested in the US.


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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 15:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

danwhite89 wrote:


I mean I know it's a controversial video, but nowadays you see bands of all sorts


You didn't then though, and 'they' didn't get it.

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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 15:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was reading Peter Freestone's book last night, and this was mentioned in book. I was thinking for very long time and i couldn't think of any reason for that. My opinion is that it's only excuse, but main reason is hidden deep inside. They wanted to f*ck up Queen. That's my opinion...


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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 16:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> Why did IWTBF fail so much in the Americas?

because america is this and more and more....

bye
cla

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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Haystacks Calhounski wrote:


- A time when Reagan conservatism ran rampant, which, in part, led to above.


And George Bush. He's gotta be to blame for something.

I think, seriously though, it's a different matter... had nothing to do with AIDS or Conservatism.

Queen made a bad video.
Queen didn't globally promote themselves very well in the mid 80s.

Are these the 4's fault? Management? Creativity Dept? All are to blame:

(1) The video, just wasn't funny outside of the UK. It was a spoof on a show that not too many people were aware of, "outside the UK".

(2) The back catalog was not available in the US, so in essence Queen turned their back on a pretty big demographic. The final straw was releasing Classic Queen to Record Stores during The Miracle campaign. Great, you can hear Queen hits at the record store, you just can't buy them. But here's a $25 import CD, yes Metallica is on sale for 11.99.

(3) US airplay suffered as well, as hearing something other than Bohemian Rhapsody was virtually impossible. Without a US distributorship goes the perks.

(4) John Deacon's haircut. What was he thinking? He actually looked better in the video!



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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 17:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Blaming George Bush is a given....it's his fault for everything from the Hindenburg disaster to the murder of Julius Caesar.


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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 17:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

nowadays many bands......

but hello. Times are changing. What is allright now was not allright before. That's the way it havs been for a long time.


John 3:16.....
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Posted: 30 Jun 08, 18:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Videos can make or break a song. I remember that Borap was doing well on the charts, but not tearing them up, until the video came out, and then BOOM. Number one overnight.

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 00:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Multiple reasons as already stated.
One thing about the video is that North Americans were not familiar with British soaps so there is no way they'd get the video's humour. I think Queen should have had another video for the song in America. I remember hearing disparaging comments about Queen after people saw the IWTBF video that were made by Conservative minded people who had no clue about the idea behind the video yet thought nothing of sitcoms having guys dressed in drag.

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 00:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Multiple reasons as already stated.
One thing about the video is that North Americans were not familiar with British soaps so there is no way they'd get the video's humour. I think Queen should have had another video for the song in America. I remember hearing disparaging comments about Queen after people saw the IWTBF video that were made by Conservative minded people who had no clue about the idea behind the video yet thought nothing of sitcoms having guys dressed in drag.

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 06:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

After AOBTD, Body Language, the bulk of Hot Space, then Radio Ga Ga as the lead single of the Works, Queen were a keyboard driven band who sounded nothing like the band they were in the 70s. In America, Queen were arena rockers. Arena rock is loud and big, guitar driven music, not keyboards and drum machines. If you wanted that in the early 80s you had Human League, Flock of Seagulls and a million other bands. America didn't go for this non-guitar Queen, plain and simple. They strayed too far from their roots, and lost their core fans. The video didn't help, but if America were big and bad and homophobic, why were Culture Club and WHAM doing well in the charts in America at that time?

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 10:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I absolutely agree with you. What most European fail to realize is that Queen simply started producing (in my opinion and most of America) crappy songs. “Another one bites the dust” seemed at the time like it would be a one-time hiccup and would be quickly over looked. Then we got “Hot Space” which was just a horrible record. Then along comes “The Works’. A sad compilation of retreads. In America its “Three strikes, your out!”
It sad, that the period between “Hot Space” and “The Miracle” Queen became just another Euro-Trash-Synth-Pop-Band. In Europe they could do no wrong. They could fart on a record and European fans would call it pure genius. Not here. Most of us called what they were producing in the 80’s exactly what it was…Crap!
So all the excuses they gave as to why their popularity declined in the USA is just hogwash!



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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 12:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:

I absolutely agree with you. What most European fail to realize is that Queen simply started producing (in my opinion and most of America) crappy songs. “Another one bites the dust” seemed at the time like it would be a one-time hiccup and would be quickly over looked. Then we got “Hot Space” which was just a horrible record. Then along comes “The Works’. A sad compilation of retreads. In America its “Three strikes, your out!”
It sad, that the period between “Hot Space” and “The Miracle” Queen became just another Euro-Trash-Synth-Pop-Band. In Europe they could do no wrong. They could fart on a record and European fans would call it pure genius. Not here. Most of us called what they were producing in the 80’s exactly what it was…Crap!
So all the excuses they gave as to why their popularity declined in the USA is just hogwash!



At face value your post makes some sense. On closer examination it's total crap.
If any of the above reasons for Queen failing in the US in the 80's were applicable, then virtually no bands in the 80's would have succeeded in the 80's. It was all crap. Some of it way crappier than Queen. Rick Astley, anyone?

You're also making it sound like Americans were the only people left in the world with any musical taste. Ludicrous!

And as to Queen's 80's output being totally without merit.... Under Pressure, Life Is Real, Who Wants to Live Forever and Was It All Worth It. Personal taste aside, each song has something going for it.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 12:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The video is irrevelant to the song success or lack there of in the US. I was 15 when The Works came out. Radio Ga Ga came and went w/ some fanfare. But IWTBF was released as a single and flopped completely a couple of months before the video even saw the light of day in the U.S. It was hammered by the radio stations. The video which nobody got was just the final nail in the coffin.


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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 12:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:

I absolutely agree with you. What most European fail to realize is that Queen simply started producing (in my opinion and most of America) crappy songs. “Another one bites the dust” seemed at the time like it would be a one-time hiccup and would be quickly over looked. Then we got “Hot Space” which was just a horrible record. Then along comes “The Works’. A sad compilation of retreads. In America its “Three strikes, your out!”
It sad, that the period between “Hot Space” and “The Miracle” Queen became just another Euro-Trash-Synth-Pop-Band. In Europe they could do no wrong. They could fart on a record and European fans would call it pure genius. Not here. Most of us called what they were producing in the 80’s exactly what it was…Crap!
So all the excuses they gave as to why their popularity declined in the USA is just hogwash!


Actually AOBTD is Queens best-selling single ever, due in large to the high US sales.

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 14:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I never said that Americans had better taste in music. Your right they made some good songs in the 80’s, but they few and far between. If you able to see what dominates the music sales charts here, you’d know that. Reality is though, Queen changed drastically. Not for the better. I am all for artist trying new things, expanding their musical horizons. Taking something new and making it their own. Queen stop doing that just after “The Game” CD. It seems that after the big success of “Another one bites the dust” they rushed to cash in on it by making an album that was almost entirely funk/disco at a time when that kind of music was on the decline. Plus instead of recording it with their usual flare, they simply copied what others had done before. Resulting in flat, uninspired and crappy record. I will say that the live versions of the songs from Hot Space sound much better, Had they recorded them that way, it probably would have done better with their fans. Still most of their songs in the 80’s were weak or down right shitty.

Zebonka12 wrote:

louvox wrote:

I absolutely agree with you. What most European fail to realize is that Queen simply started producing (in my opinion and most of America) crappy songs. “Another one bites the dust” seemed at the time like it would be a one-time hiccup and would be quickly over looked. Then we got “Hot Space” which was just a horrible record. Then along comes “The Works’. A sad compilation of retreads. In America its “Three strikes, your out!”
It sad, that the period between “Hot Space” and “The Miracle” Queen became just another Euro-Trash-Synth-Pop-Band. In Europe they could do no wrong. They could fart on a record and European fans would call it pure genius. Not here. Most of us called what they were producing in the 80’s exactly what it was…Crap!
So all the excuses they gave as to why their popularity declined in the USA is just hogwash!



At face value your post makes some sense. On closer examination it's total crap.
If any of the above reasons for Queen failing in the US in the 80's were applicable, then virtually no bands in the 80's would have succeeded in the 80's. It was all crap. Some of it way crappier than Queen. Rick Astley, anyone?

You're also making it sound like Americans were the only people left in the world with any musical taste. Ludicrous!

And as to Queen's 80's output being totally without merit.... Under Pressure, Life Is Real, Who Wants to Live Forever and Was It All Worth It. Personal taste aside, each song has something going for it.



Louis

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 14:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I fortunately was NOT one of the American fans that thought the video was a disaster for them back then. I remember the first time I saw it on MTV all those years ago and thought the clip was hysterical!!! But then again I grew up in Monty Python and got the joke. The Stones did it, Pyton did it, Benny Hill did it. Why Queen got the boot over this clip is beyond me!!!

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 14:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

claudiox wrote:

> Why did IWTBF fail so much in the Americas?

because america is this and more and more....

bye
cla


ehm... sorry,
I didn't want to hurt anybody.

I think the video was too much genial for the time.

bye
Cla

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Posted: 01 Jul 08, 17:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I´d just like to make clear that America is a continent, not a country.

Then if you ask "Why did IWTBF fail so much in the United States of America?", i´d say that maybe the musical taste of the people on that country was... bad.