Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Discussions about Innuendo / Bohemian Rhapsody

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Queenrockyou user not visiting Queenzone.com
Queenrockyou
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Posted: 11 Dec 09, 02:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello everyone !

We had a special week here on the radio "Classic 21" in Belgium, celebrating the "Absolute Greatest" thing. For some time now, listeners could vote for theit Top 10 Queen's hits. The results were broadcasted during the week, and this morning it was the 2nd on the list, "Innuendo", that reached second place even before We Will Rock You, but of course could not avoid Bohemian Rhapsody finishing at the first place.
It really amazed me that this specific track, which I love a lot, could reach 2nd, but of course it is a radio poll, so anything possible.
Well, on this radio they have something really excellent, it's that the guy who run the radio (member of an ex-famous rock band here in Belgium) knows a lot of things about music, and share that with the listeners. I really advise anyone speaking or understanding French to plug on that radio, you can also find it and listen to it on the web, the website is easy to find.
So the radio guy went into the Innuendo story, saying that it was basically some members of Queen jamming together in the studio, then Freddie passing by and saying something like "Oh, this is great ! Let's develop" and quickly putting on some synths and writting lyrics.
It was the first parallel I could find between Boh Rhap and Innuendo, written during times of intense creativity (difference being Boh Rhap was much more individual from Freddie as a songwriter).
Then they explained the Steve Howe thing, saying he was passing by in Montreux, met a roadie or a sound engineer or someone, who connected him to the band (they already briefly met at the end of the 70's). The band played him the track, and asked him to play on it (not that regular for Queen). In fact it was because Brian had some difficulties with the flamenco guitar, which part was created by... Freddie. It seems that this track was credited to all four but Freddie's creativity helped a lot anew.
That was the second parallel I could find with Boh Rhap : Freddie created a middle part venturing in different genres; as Boh Rhap tasted opera, Innuendo went into Flamenco, plus that part of special vocals, the choirs are really sounding special on that track, "You can be everything you want to be, just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be", then the "Be free with your tempo, be free, be free, surrender you ego etc....", followed immediately by loud Brian on the solo, just as in Boh Rhap, in a somewhat different style anyway. That middle part makes Innuendo some of my favorite Queen tracks.
The third parallel is that it was a long track too.

So there is more than a fifteen-year gap between those two superb tracks but I seem to notice some similarities in their writings. Innuendo of course added some modernity with the bloody synths and so on.
Now you guys, what you think about the comparison between those two tracks ? Do you think it was somewhat intentionally done ? Are there some other parallels you could notice with those two tracks ? What are the differencies ?
Discuss and develop !!!


Regards,

Olivier,
Belgium.


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dragon-fly user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Dec 09, 10:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think there's more differences than similarities between these two songs. Despite all the tricky things what Queen did in the studio with Bo Rhap, I'd say it sounds simpler. The sound is more clear. More distinct. While Innuendo sounds heavier.
Plus, Bo Rhap was fully projected in Freddie's mind (as you said).
That's how I see it in general (no details).

horse feathers user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 Dec 09, 05:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So why isn't it on Absolute Greatest...... Do you reckon it was so Brian could shoe horn the massive hit WWTLF in there?


paul wakefield
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Posted: 12 Dec 09, 13:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Perhaps you know the story of Nathan The Wise by G.E. Lessing written in 1779? There you can find a story in the story where Nathan was ordered by King Saladdin to answer the question for the true religion. To avoid the one and only answer, wich would damage his name in the eyes of the monarch, he answered with a parable. He said there was a father who had a ring to give his most beloved son. From father to son the ring was given but one day one father had three sons and he loved them all the same way. So he made two copies of the ring to give each son such a jewel. He promised every son that the one and only ring was given to him. All three items were so equal that no-one, except the father, could say which was the real one.

I compare this story with these two songs. Both are musical masterpieces and bring the talent and the deep love for musical of four individuals to the daylight. Bohemian Rhapsody symbolises the rise of one of the brightest stars in music history and Innuendo brings it to the end. One door to open and one door to close the story.

If you're trying to compare them and give one the gold medal you can never really explain why the other one should get the silver cup.

regards
W.

Queenrockyou user not visiting Queenzone.com
Queenrockyou
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Posted: 13 Dec 09, 04:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great answer !!!
But no Gold Medal to be given here, both tracks are great, I'm not trying to discuss which one is best, but what can be heard during both ones and the way they were built, i am watching it like a kind of intelligent puzzle between some classic Queen and some music they seem to discover (Flamenco / opera)... or want listeners to discover ! And also the way all that is pieced together without any problem, how they make them melt with their own style, and still shine on their own. The drums being quiet for some seconds maybe ?

Some more similarities / differences ?  Some with other tracks too ?


Regards,

Olivier,
Belgium.


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Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Dec 09, 09:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> "Innuendo", that reached second place even before We Will Rock You, but of course could not avoid Bohemian Rhapsody finishing at the first place.

I've always wondered why Innuendo didn't make it to AG even if it's such a big hit. In fact, it was #1 in the UK, something neither Champions nor Rock You (except with 5ive) could achieve.

> So the radio guy went into the Innuendo story, saying that it was basically some members of Queen jamming together in the studio, then Freddie passing by and saying something like "Oh, this is great ! Let's develop" and
quickly putting on some synths and writting lyrics.

True story, confirmed by both Dr May and David Richards.

> It was the first parallel I could find between Boh Rhap and Innuendo, written during times of intense creativity (difference being Boh Rhap was much more individual from Freddie as a songwriter).

Indeed, as said above by another poster, there are more differences than parallels.

> Then they explained the Steve Howe thing, saying he was passing by in Montreux, met a roadie or a sound engineer or someone, who connected him to the band (they already briefly met at the end of the 70's).

There are several versions about the story, which may meet at some point.

> The band played him the track, and asked him to play on it (not that regular for Queen).

Actually, it was fairly regular for the era: remember Fred Mandel playing on half of 'The Works', many tracks in 'Magic' featuring other people (Steve, Spike, Joan, the orchestra), David Richards guesting here and there, Mike Moran playing keyboards, the gospel choir in Let Me Live, etc.

> In fact it was because Brian had some difficulties with the flamenco guitar, which part was created by... Freddie.

Not that Brian had difficulties with it per se, but simply that Steve could sound better and cleaner. Likewise, Brian could've sung 90% of the songs Fred sang in his career, hitting the same notes and everything... but it wouldn't sound quite as well (with some exceptions).

> It seems that this track was credited to all four but Freddie's creativity helped a lot anew.

Most tracks in the era were credited to all four but only had one songwriter.

> That was the second parallel I could find with Boh Rhap : Freddie created a middle part venturing in different genres; as Boh Rhap tasted opera, Innuendo went into Flamenco, plus that part of special vocals, the choirs are really sounding special on that track,

What's interesting about the middle bit is not only the fact Fred created it, but also how he created it, shifting metres and all.

> Now you guys, what you think about the comparison between those two tracks ? Do you think it was somewhat intentionally done ?

Yes, as 'Innuendo' was very much a 'back to classic Queen sound' project, which of course included some of their earlier trademarks (e.g. the big choirs). Keep in mind that changing from one style or genre to another was fairly common in Freddie's earlier songwriting, not only Bo Rhap: you've also got Great King Rat ranging from what at the time was known as 'heavy metal' (now it'd be 'hard rock') to some sort of military interlude, to a Romani break, etc.; Liar also combines styles (compare the intro with 'all day long'), also Millionaire Waltz, even Seven Seas or Don't Try Suicide (the latter going from catchy pop to rockabilly).

> Are there some other parallels you could notice with those two tracks?

If you look hard enough, the door will open. I mean, you could always 'find' parallels between both tracks if you search, from far-fetched things (e.g. the third ''til the end of time' is the highest, just like the third 'for me' in Bo Rhap) to more quotidian or even stupid details (e.g. they both have lyrics in English).

> What are the differencies ?

Loads and loads and loads.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.