Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > What happen with Freddie's voice (Jazz 1978/Crazy Tour 1979)?

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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 00:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What did Freddie do to improve his voice between the Jazz Tour and Crazy tour? Example: At the beginning of the Jazz tour (Dallas 1978), he sounds just like he did the previous tour/year. Now go to the Crazy Tour: Freddie's power, range, and confidence increased, and developed this AMAZING vibrato (example "Spread your Wings", Hammersmith).


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 04:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Maybe he was on steroids.....these days when someone does something great they're accussed of taking the Juice.....baseball, boxing, football all improve their game from the Juice, why not musicians?......But seriously,  You ask a good Question. i wondered how his live voice grew so strong in the crazy tour and the hot space gigs.   He just peaked I guess.

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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 16:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Maybe he furthered his "self-training?"


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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 18:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Nine years of discovering and developing new techniques led to his peak.  Some of his techniques probably weren't safe since his voice gradually deteriorated into what we heard during The Works Tour.  The man wasn't perfect.


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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 19:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Steven wrote:

Nine years of discovering and developing new techniques led to his peak.  Some of his techniques probably weren't safe since his voice gradually deteriorated into what we heard during The Works Tour.  The man wasn't perfect.

Nah, it was the smoking plus the abusive singing between 1984-1986 that deteriorated his voice during those tours.From the Crazy Tour-European Hot Space tour, Freddie was unstoppable!








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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 20:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



Gregsynth wrote:



 



 



 



 



Steven wrote:



 



Nine years of discovering and developing new techniques led to his peak.  Some of his techniques probably weren't safe since his voice gradually deteriorated into what we heard during The Works Tour.  The man wasn't perfect.



 


Nah, it was the smoking plus the abusive singing between 1984-1986 that deteriorated his voice during those tours.From the Crazy Tour-European Hot Space tour, Freddie was unstoppable!

 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 


Of course.  The smoking and abusive singing during that period certainly contributed.  But I would still argue that Freddie developed some improper techniques throughout the 70s and into the early 80s.  He was certainly unstoppable though!








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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 20:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, I do know that Freddie rarely did his falsetto parts live--so he full-voiced the notes instead. Maybe that's the "improper technique" he did during 1979-1982?


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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 22:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Gregsynth wrote:

Well, I do know that Freddie rarely did his falsetto parts live--so he full-voiced the notes instead. Maybe that's the "improper technique" he did during 1979-1982?

It might have caused some straining in his voice.








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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 22:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Probably true.
But hey, he almost always hit them cleanly, so maybe those notes were actually easy for him!


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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 22:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Or maybe he just made it look easy!


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Posted: 14 Jan 10, 23:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Haha!
Sir GH knows quite a lot about Freddie's voice (I've seen his comments), maybe he could help us out!


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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 00:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My vote goes for the smoking, full stop.

My interpretation is that he spent the 70s learning how to better preserve his voice, which led to his consistent excellence from late 1979 through 1982.  Two years of heavy smoking then ensued, and he could only last a few shows into a tour, greatly reducing the range of his chest voice.  Just look at the difference between 5-9-85 and 5-15-85, for those who have heard the shows.  The difference between even the 5-9 and 5-11 shows is pretty apparent.



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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 01:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have to agree with your interpretation.  I'm sure you'll recall that he smoked because he apparently wanted to attain a huskier voice.  It's a quality of his that doesn't sit well with me.  It's also one of the many reasons why I think Mr. Bad Guy wasn't as successful as it probably should have been.


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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 06:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



The way I see it:

During the early years of Queen you can hear that Freddie's voice was a rough diamond. The sound of his voice was beautiful from day one, with a very rich tone, also his falsetto.

When singing live he really tried hard to sing as good as possible but his voice hadn't developed yet, hadn't come to full fruition.

He is known as one of the most flamboyant people in rock but the fact that he worked very very HARD to make his instrument AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT is something that is sadly overlooked by almost all.

The fact he made this rough diamond into the ultimate diamond (I'm such a big fan, can't help it!) is for me something truly amazing. I think there are few singers with the same evolution. He wasn't that young when Queen started and had it's first big successes. Something else people tend to overlook. The major development of his voice took place when he was in his early 30's!



What I basically want to say is: during the seventies he just got better and better. You can very well hear it when listening to the shows. His first really fantastic tour is A day at the races may-june 1977. NOTW was great.
The reason Jazz was pretty weak (certainly compared to NOTW) was that his voice was getting really tired. So, as Bob says, he learned a lot from it. Mainly, how to keep the voice in shape.

Then comes he Crazy tour. You guys can't believe how badly I'd like to hear more shows from that tour. He was at his most daring and that amazing voice was in the best shape it would ever be. he even had acces to the higher parts of his range, allowing him to deliver the entire set in a nearly perfect way.

So, the reason he got better: training, training and training (and the fact mother nature gave him an incredible talent of course: THAT voice). I love the fact he was so dedicated to his job. He always went for it!

Then, in the period 80-82 you can hear his voice getting husky(by 1982), the sound just changed. As bob says: it's the smoking!! All the things smoking does to a human voice he experienced: more time needed to recuperate, less range, change of timbre (which he liked),...

All his best shows from the period 1984-1986 came after a period of rest or it was a show played among the first of the tour. Examples enough: Brussels 24/08/1984 and probably also the Dublin shows in 1984, Tokyo 08 and 09/05/1985
1986: Stockholm, Leidenx2, Cologne (2day break) and Budapest(4 day break before that one),...

From time to time there was of course the odd exception (Berlin and Stuttgart'84).






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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 09:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Sir GH wrote:

My vote goes for the smoking, full stop.

My interpretation is that he spent the 70s learning how to better preserve his voice, which led to his consistent excellence from late 1979 through 1982.  Two years of heavy smoking then ensued, and he could only last a few shows into a tour, greatly reducing the range of his chest voice.  Just look at the difference between 5-9-85 and 5-15-85, for those who have heard the shows.  The difference between even the 5-9 and 5-11 shows is pretty apparent.

Both shows you mention are fantastic in their own right:-) Something like It's a hard life sounds so beautiful in Osaka...








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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 09:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree with a lot of what people are saying here. This is a good topic! As with the start of any major tour you're still warming up. The Dallas show at the start was just a warm up phase. I saw them two weeks later in Providence and they seemed pretty good to me except for some technical difficulties. But if you listen to Chicago, Montreal and Toronto his voice AND the band were absolutely on fire and well oiled at that point. By Japan in April 79 his voice was tired and worn out. For the Crazy Tour I believe the smaller scaled shows and venues and the fact that they were probably more rested maybe allowed Freddie's voice to sustain show after show. The tour was in the UK so there were no time zones to cross into, no long flights from city to city etc.

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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 10:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



on my way up wrote:



 



The way I see it:

During the early years of Queen you can hear that Freddie's voice was a rough diamond. The sound of his voice was beautiful from day one, with a very rich tone, also his falsetto.

When singing live he really tried hard to sing as good as possible but his voice hadn't developed yet, hadn't come to full fruition.

He is known as one of the most flamboyant people in rock but the fact that he worked very very HARD to make his instrument AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT is something that is sadly overlooked by almost all.

The fact he made this rough diamond into the ultimate diamond (I'm such a big fan, can't help it!) is for me something truly amazing. I think there are few singers with the same evolution. He wasn't that young when Queen started and had it's first big successes. Something else people tend to overlook. The major development of his voice took place when he was in his early 30's!



 



What I basically want to say is: during the seventies he just got better and better. You can very well hear it when listening to the shows. His first really fantastic tour is A day at the races may-june 1977. NOTW was great.
The reason Jazz was pretty weak (certainly compared to NOTW) was that his voice was getting really tired. So, as Bob says, he learned a lot from it. Mainly, how to keep the voice in shape.

Then comes he Crazy tour. You guys can't believe how badly I'd like to hear more shows from that tour. He was at his most daring and that amazing voice was in the best shape it would ever be. he even had acces to the higher parts of his range, allowing him to deliver the entire set in a nearly perfect way.

So, the reason he got better: training, training and training (and the fact mother nature gave him an incredible talent of course: THAT voice). I love the fact he was so dedicated to his job. He always went for it!

Then, in the period 80-82 you can hear his voice getting husky(by 1982), the sound just changed. As bob says: it's the smoking!! All the things smoking does to a human voice he experienced: more time needed to recuperate, less range, change of timbre (which he liked),...

All his best shows from the period 1984-1986 came after a period of rest or it was a show played among the first of the tour. Examples enough: Brussels 24/08/1984 and probably also the Dublin shows in 1984, Tokyo 08 and 09/05/1985
1986: Stockholm, Leidenx2, Cologne (2day break) and Budapest(4 day break before that one),...

From time to time there was of course the odd exception (Berlin and Stuttgart'84).




 





Nice post,




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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 15:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't think Freddie's voice got husky until 1983. His voice in the early 80s sounded similar to the 1979 voice, but just a bit deeper. I think that was just age-related, but listen to his voice on the Works and the tour to support it, a much deeper yet RASPIER voice.
Plus the yell-singing from 1984-1986 didn't help matters.


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Posted: 15 Jan 10, 20:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Gregsynth wrote:

What did Freddie do to improve his voice between the Jazz Tour and Crazy tour? Example: At the beginning of the Jazz tour (Dallas 1978), he sounds just like he did the previous tour/year. Now go to the Crazy Tour: Freddie's power, range, and confidence increased, and developed this AMAZING vibrato (example "Spread your Wings", Hammersmith).

You're so absolutely right about his vibrato. The thing which struck me the most when I first listened to the Rock Montreal DVD was this bit of Play The Game from 2:10 to 2:15. Here:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATcKY5C4Zto

I'm a fairly experienced singer, and I've met some good ones from all kinds of music styles, but I can say that *this* can of perfection, control and beauty is attained only by very, very few.
 
As for Freddie's live vocals in general, the gigs I find him to be at his peak come most from the "News of The World" tour, but all the period ranging from late 1979 to 1982 is quite impressive, you're right. 

How he managed to achieve that level of excellence, well, that I'd like to know as well. : ))))  








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Posted: 16 Jan 10, 01:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The NOTW era was great, and Freddie was great live--but he lacked the power and range he would later develop.
Maybe Freddie wanted to "try a new method of live singing?"


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury