Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > An observation about 'Spread Your Wings'

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mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
mooghead
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Posted: 20 Nov 08, 16:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Was listening to the karaoke version of this and I noticed that there is not one point in the song that contains any sort of harmony, backing vocal or double tracking. Its just a single lead vocal from start to finish. For a Queen song of this nature (full band, several guitars, quiet bits, loud bits etc etc) its a rarity.

That is all.


david (galashiels) user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Nov 08, 17:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

never noticed that before.maybe thats why it seems a soft or gentle rock song.

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Posted: 20 Nov 08, 18:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

the sort of song that will go well using headphones,turned up loud and with a large malt.

Saif user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 20 Nov 08, 22:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's a power ballad, not a soft rock song. I think...



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~~Procession~~ user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 21 Nov 08, 12:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I read somewhere that this was Queen's first song that didn't contain any background vocals.


FriedChicken user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Nov 08, 05:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There IS harmony



"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



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mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Nov 08, 08:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Where?

thomasquinn 32989 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Nov 08, 12:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

At every point where more than one (or if you're picky, more than two) notes sound at the same time?



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mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Nov 08, 16:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

hilarious

FriedChicken user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Nov 08, 05:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's not a joke.






"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



(Genesis 1:1)
mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 23 Nov 08, 08:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Pedantic then. You are so very clever. 

Have a biscuit.


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Posted: 23 Nov 08, 18:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



My favourite queen song, simple, but genius, anyone got any ideas on theory behind it? i will share my theory tomorrow, its late, and im sleepy !



Thefairytellersmasterstroke
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Posted: 24 Nov 08, 08:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



queentel wrote:



  i will share my theory tomorrow,


Really, theres no need.






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Posted: 24 Nov 08, 09:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

News of the World was going to be a rough-fancyless album, very straightforward. The backing tracks of most songs are 80% of the final product. I guess Queen wanted to proove they could deliver a quick studio album wich rocked just as hard as their previous (very elaborate) albums. Sleeping on the Sidewalk is even a one take song with all band members playing in one room together.

I Never noticed SYW had no VOCAL-harmonies, but that just increases my respect for the album.

Great stuff! My favourite album of 1977 ;)


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mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 24 Nov 08, 16:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Dane wrote:


 Sleeping on the Sidewalk is even a one take song with all band members playing in one room together.




A few duff bass notes backs that up.





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Posted: 24 Nov 08, 21:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



~~Procession~~ wrote:

I read somewhere that this was Queen's first song that didn't contain any background vocals.





http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=1017887

Yes I noticed that last yr



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Posted: 24 Nov 08, 22:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

News of the World is my favorite Queen album and I think they got as good as they could get there musically and also lyrically. Spread your wings, for one, is a perfect example of a beautiful song with very interesting lyrics.

Though I do tend to agree that the song isn't as overproduced, so to say, as many songs featured in A Night at the Opera, it is still, as almost always when it comes to Queen, deceptively simple.

By there isn't "any harmony" Mooghead probably meant that there are no vertical vocal chords in the song. There's no music without harmony: harmony is the foundation of every piece worth calling music, and it is much more than people singing together or tunes sounding at the same time...

But these are obviously technicalities. What I do disagree with is the notion that there are no vertical vocal chords in the song, for instance - there is. If you start analyzing the song, and with the help of both the ears and some studio tools, one does notice that Freddie's vocals have been mixed in a way that they are themselves vertical vocal chords, with slightly different melodic lines in each take. In the line "his boss said to him..." what one does listen to is a product of Freddie singing the verse first a 1/4 semitone up and then a 1/2 semitone down, as to live some room for tension and expectation to increase. That's one of the reasons why the song sounds so in desperate need of being resolved - the tension gradually builds on as the vocals become more complex and nuanced - and in order to produce such effect, it was necessary for Freddie to sing together with...Freddie in the studio. 

People often think that he avoided some of the most aggressive lines when he used to sing the song live because of a "fear of high notes", which is absolutely not the case because he hits them, and then higher ones, in parts of the song demanding lower notes in the original. His singing is deceptive and clever. Some of the live versions showcase this rather well: he enriches the verses so much in terms of choice of notes and phrasing that the song, instead of sounding, as in the original, as a cry for change or a call for some move, comes across to the listener in many live versions as a masterpiece of resignation - live, it sounds much more cruel, because it's as if Freddie were telling us the end of that story, which is sad: that was it, he aimed higher but he didn't have the energy to go through - and Freddie tells us this in the live performances as someone who's recalling a melancholic story: quite the opposite of the energetic, demanding and, above all, hopeful sounding original. The hope in the original gets replaced by a gorgeous, resignated and poignant account of how the guy didn't spread his wings, after all - it's subtle, and it's there all over. 

So one always wonders at Freddie's musical intelligence, which is remarkable.

Even if the song may sound much more straightforward harmonically, it's simply not so - it's very complex in the original version - Freddie's vocals are vertically harmonized through the mixing process and the rest of the harmony, talking from the perspective of the singer, is quite complicated. 

Regards!

   




Yara
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Posted: 25 Nov 08, 10:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You boring bastard.

There is no double tracking in this song. Freddies voice never appears more than once at the same time throughout. If it does, tell us the minutes and seconds.


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Posted: 25 Nov 08, 11:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



mooghead wrote:

You boring bastard.

There is no double tracking in this song. Freddies voice never appears more than once at the same time throughout. If it does, tell us the minutes and seconds.



I disagree with you, whether Yara is right or wrong with the studio analysis, he (or she) is only telling us how they personally interpret this great song. That's the beauty of Queen, we all see different things in different songs... it's what makes us love the band so much. It's what makes them such a great live act too, some people may think Freddie cleverly disguises not being able to hit certain notes live, while others look deeper into why he may have changed the notes to give the song a new slant. Maybe Yara should have just written, "I think it's a good song too"... save being called a "boring bastard" for telling us what the song means to him.





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Posted: 25 Nov 08, 13:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jesus mooghead, please sod off with your negativity.


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