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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 03:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello everybody.

I'm planing a new section (or at least a 2-page PDF article) on those things that many people mistakenly believe regarding the band but aren't true. If anybody can give me a hand in completing the list, I'll appreciate it. So far I've got:

* Bechstein piano at Trident: Originated when the piano in question (used for 'Hey Jude' and then from early 80's onwards but not during early 70's and not when Queen were there) was auctioned ca nine years ago.

* Smile recording at De Lane Lea: They actually recorded at Kingsway Recorders, which is where Fritz Fryer worked. Somebody along the line must have (reasonably and understandably) assumed it was De Lane Lea because they were located at 129 Kingsway (which is, however, not the same thing) and because the name may have rung a bell. Maybe that's why (reportedly) even Tim (mistakenly) thought it was DLL.

* Bicycle Race inspired by the tour de France stopping in Nice: First of all, Super Bear Studios were not in Nice, but in the countryside in the Nice region (not the same thing). Second of all, the tour de France, despite its name, didn't have (that year at least) any stop even close to Super Bear Studios. It did, however, stop in Montreux. So there you have it: tour de France in Switzerland.

* Fender Rhodes used in You're My Best Friend: Even Dr May (mistakenly) said so. It partly comes from Fender Rhodes being used as generonym for e-pianos in general, even though many of them (including the Wurlizer EP200 used to record YMBF) are from different makes and models.

* Loads of songwriting things, including WIAWI being Brian's just because it's got distorted guitars, DTSH being John's just because he apparently 'had' to have written at least one song in the album, RMF being Rog's just because he commented he'd done more percussion but they made him take it out (which actually suggests it was NOT his as he didn't make the decisions), Bijou's guitar bits being composed by Brian (actually, it was Fred who wrote most of them, as Dr May himself admitted), Innuendo and UP being by Rog, etc.

* Sitar being used on White Queen and Jealousy: it's actually an old acoustic guitar with some bridge modifications.

* Guitar solo on I Want to Break Free (studio version). It's actually a Jupiter 8 synthesiser.

* Ukelele-banjo being used on Good Company: it was actually a baritone ukelele, different to the uke-banjo Bri played on Leroy Brown.

* Acoustic nylon-strung guitar being used on Innuendo: it's a Gibson Chet Atkins Classical Electric, which looks and sounds acoustic but is... well, 'classical electric.'

* Dr May playing bass on several Innuendo things: while John was less involved than the rest (especially on the creative department), he did play bass on all songs except Bijou, which of course has no bass at all.

* Hot Space being largely a John thing: First of all, he contributed less songs than any of the others; second of all, he admittedly hated the album. The HS thing was probably largely inspired by AOBTD, but it doesn't mean it was a Jeddie vs Maylor thing: who wrote Action? Dancer? The four of them were equally guilty of such an album (perhaps Fred more than the others).

* Several other equipment things: Fred played an Ovation on CLTCL live, but in the studio he used a Martin; same for Brian (Telecaster vs Broadcaster [or is it?]).

* No HS no Thriller. Where do I begin?

* YDFM coming from HS. Especially since the GHIII booklet said it 'hark[ed] back' to that era. So I'm assuming Freddie wrote Seaside Rendezvous two decades before he was born just because it harks back to the 1920's?

* New Dark Ages being tried out for Innuendo: According to Brian, it wasn't. Unless of course it's another slip in his memory... but for the moment he's the most reliable source (unless a demo surfaces, for instance). Another option could be that Rog tried out for Innuendo with Fred and John.

* Fred thinking TMLWKY wasn't good enough: As far as the producer has said, Fred loved it. The reason why it wasn't released in The Miracle had nothing to do with its quality - it was a matter of getting permissions to publish a song co-written by Frank and Liz... legal matters as per usual.

* The Hitman being originally written for Back to the Light: Headlong and ICLWY were, but this one wasn't. In fact, Hitman was originally written by Freddie, not Brian.

* Rog co-writing STL (apparently something was lost in translation for the Spanish version of As It Began, leading many people in the huge Spanish-speaking Queensphere to believe so).

* Prophet's Song originally written for Queen II. It wasn't, AFAIK and as far as the doctor's implied.

* Rog being mostly replaced by synth drums: first of all, synth-drums are not the same as computer-generated drums. Second of all, both computer drums and synth drums were used on roughly 15% of Queen released tracks, or less.

* Rog locking himself in a cupboard (or something like that). The source for such rumour was Roy... the epitome of exaggeration.

And of course:

* 180 voices in Bo Rhap.

Any contribution is appreciated.


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.
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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 07:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am not sure about the Deacon/ Innuendo part. Where does your information come from?

Here is one wrong assumption: The spoken words on WWRY BBC sessions are NOT from Hermann Hesse's novel Siddharta. I had my doubts about that from the beginning and I compared each and every line of the novel with those words - they are not from Siddharta.


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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 08:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bohemian Rhapsody was not the first promotional video.


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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 09:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Re: BoRhap Video

I'm not sure where the original attributtion of "first promo video" came from, but I always understood the meaning to be that it was one of the first of what we would understand as a 'modern video,' as in it wasn't just film of the band performing, it featured specific footage designed to be more abstract and artistic. Certainly bands like The Beatles were issuing promo films years before, but they weren't big production numbers (despite the relatively cheap cost of BR) the way Queen did it. By the '80s, almost all music videos were big productions, with stories and acting and costumes. That's what "Radio Ga Ga" (the song) railed against. Another aspect of the modern music video is sheer memorability. How many videos can you remember WITHOUT really remembering the song itself. BoRhap had the visual gimmick of the four faces (the Queen II album cover imagery). "Weapon Of Choice" has Christopher Walken dancing, but I defy any of you to tell you you could sing along to it. "Sabotage" has the Beastie Boys performing as if it's the title song to a '70s cop drama, but I couldn't sing you two words if my life depended on it.  Either way, it wasn't the "first video," but it certainly helped solidify the modern format.

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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 10:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Re: Songwriting credits

It's never really bothered me not knowing who wrote a particular song. Is it useful information? Maybe. Songwriting, from everything I've read, is a fluid term and can apply a few different ways:

Person X sits down and writes a song, therefore he is the songwriter.

Person X & Y sit down and write a song together, therefore they are the songwriters.

Person X has an idea for a song and the band flesh it out. This is where things get murky. Is Person X the songwriter? Or does the band get equal credit?

The band jam on something, inspiring Person X to put some lyrics down, does some editting and produces a song with additional work by the band. Same question, who is the songwriter?

It's easy when Brian admits he wrote "I Want It All" and Roger admits he wrote "These Are The Days Of Our Lives," but in many of the same statements, they say that every song had a fair amount of input from the rest of the band, with a few exceptions like BoRhap, which was obviously a uniquely Freddie project.

In short (too late, I know, haha), some songs are primarily individual works and some are collaborative. I think it's presumptuous to assume EVERY Queen-credited song has a single writer.

Below are my feelings/assumptions/knowledge as to who wrote what where the song is credited to the whole band.

Stone Cold Crazy = Queen
Under Pressure = Queen & David Bowie
Soul Brother = Queen
One Vision = Queen
Blurred Vision = Queen
Party = FM
Khashoggi's Ship = FM
The Miracle = FM
I Want It All = BM
The Invisible Man = RT
Breakthru = RT+FM
Rain Must Fall =FM (or JD?)
Scandal = BM
My Baby Does Me = FM
Was It All Worth It = Queen
Hang On In There = Queen
Chinese Torture = BM
Stealin' = Queen (or FM + RT)
Hijack My Heart = RT
My Life Has Been Saved = FM or JD
Dog With A Bone = RT
Innuendo = Queen
I'm Going Slightly Mad = FM
Headlong = BM
I Can't Live With You = BM
Don't Try So Hard = FM or JD (or FM + JD)
Ride The Wild Wind = RT
All God's People = FM + MM
These Are The Days Of Our Lives = RT
Delilah = FM
The Hitman = FM
Bijou = FM + BM
The Show Must Go On = BM (or BM + FM, or Queen)
Lost Opportunity = BM
It's a Beautiful Day = FM
Let Me Live = Queen
Mother Love = FM + BM
You Don't Fool Me = DR
A Winter's Tale = FM
Track 13 = DR
No One But You = BM

Songs like One Vision we've seen the whole band working on. Hang On In There seems to have started as a band jam (Fiddley Jam), WIAWI sounds like a band collaboration, even if one person penned most or all of the lyrics...same with TSMGO, even though I've seen footage of Brian working out the synth riff and I think he's talked about co-writing with Freddie. LML, in it's present form, sounds like it had multiple songwriters, so I give it a Queen credit.

I DID read an interview with David Richard where he talked about creating YDFM and Track 13 more or less out of nothing. Brian also said, for YDFM, that before DR sat down with it, "there was no song." He didn't write the lyrics, but he created the song out of bits and pieces.

I may be wrong...I'm *probably* wrong...on some of my guesses, so feel free to discuss.

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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 11:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A million thanks Holly - I'd left out the second most obvious!

> but I always understood the meaning to be that it was one of the first of what we would understand as a 'modern video,'

Yes but that's largely arbitrary. It's the same when people claim Hendrix invented or was the first to use feedback: when they're shown a pre-Hendrix usage of it, they make up excuses such as 'yes but that's only a couple seconds.' It's like saying the first World Cup was in 1970 because it was the first one with yellow/red cards, or because it had (relatively) global television coverage... The fact of the matter is, Bo Rhap's not even Queen's first video.

> Either way, it wasn't the "first video," but it certainly helped solidify the modern format.

I think that point is not debated. But again, not the same thing. All in all, most of those 'legends' (or whatever we may call them) have some truth in them... for instance, Brian DID co-write Bijou, but he was more involved in composing the vocal parts, while Fred wrote the guitar parts (that Brian played magnificently).

> It's never really bothered me not knowing who wrote a particular song.

And you're entitled not to be bothered by it. People are different. You're right that it's not hard science and it's got some thin borderlines sometimes. The example I like to use is Knocking on Heaven's Door: when GnR covered it, they created new guitar parts, a new bass-line, new drum bits, new piano lines, even made modifications to the melody and added previously unexisting harmonies, etc.... but the song is still Bob Dylan's - they arranged a new version, but they didn't write or co-write the piece.

According to that, if Brian wrote the Days of Our Lives solo, he's still not a co-writer of the song, as the solo's based on the chord progression already created by Roger. Rog built the house, Brian helped painting it: not the same thing. A counterexample would be those where one person writes the lyrics and another composes the music, or songs coming from different sections by different people (e.g. Blink-182's Feeling This).

> I think it's presumptuous to assume EVERY Queen-credited song has a single writer.

Not all, but most. Exceptions are the cases mentioned above: lyrics + music written separately, or song coming from different sections put together.

> Stone Cold Crazy = Queen

Minus John, as they already played it long before he joined.

> Under Pressure = Queen & David Bowie

Minus John (he didn't even write the bass-line), minus Brian (he did collaborate on the arrangement), minus Roger (he loved the song and all, but he was barely involved in inventing it). Music's basically Freddie's and lyrics + melody are Fred + David.

> Soul Brother = Queen

Actually, it's Freddie, both lyrics and music.

> One Vision = Queen

Minus John (he admitted so). IMO, Fred's involvement was more of a copy-writer (lyric-wise) and an arranger/producer (music-wise). But then again, it's subjective.

> Party = FM

Musically, yes. But lyrics were written by the three of them: Brian, John and Fred.

> Khashoggi's Ship = FM

Musically, yes. But lyrics were a four-way split.

> The Miracle = FM

Musically, yes. But lyrics were a four-way split.

> Rain Must Fall =FM (or JD?)

Actually it's 'and' rather than 'or'. John composed the music, Freddie wrote the lyrics.

> Scandal = BM

Yes, at least chiefly. But I've always wondered about something: on GVHII the rule was reversed for IWIA and not for this one. Suspicious...

> My Baby Does Me = FM

And JD.

> Was It All Worth It = Queen

Lyrically, yes. Musically, it's Freddie's.

> Hang On In There = Queen

AFAIK, that one's Fred's too.

> My Life Has Been Saved = FM or JD

Just JD. Fred loved it and sang on it, but it was already written by the time he heard it.

> Innuendo = Queen

Minus John (he wasn't even present for most of the sessions), minus Brian (he did work on the arrangement [painted the house but didn't co-build it]). Lyrics were started off by Fred and finished by Roger, music is Freddie's.

> Don't Try So Hard = FM or JD (or FM + JD)

No JD involvement at all.

> The Hitman = FM

Yes but not exclusively. That one's probably the most debatable.

> The Show Must Go On = BM (or BM + FM, or Queen)

That's the one which is the closest to being a Queen creation: the sequence (which represents ca 80% of the functional harmony) was by John and Roger, lyrics were started off by Freddie and Brian and finished by the latter, melody was by Brian. So it's a four-way split but not 25-25-25-25.

> Mother Love = FM + BM

Yes but that one was never credited to Queen in the first place.

> You Don't Fool Me = DR

Another grey area.

> No One But You = BM

Yes but that one was never credited to Queen in the first place.

> Songs like One Vision we've seen the whole band working on.

Minus John.

> WIAWI sounds like a band collaboration, even if one person penned most or all of the lyrics...

Actually, it's the other way around: lyrics are by the four of them, music's by one.


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.
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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 11:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>* Bicycle Race inspired by the tour de France stopping in Nice

As I understood it, the song was simply inspired by the Tour De France.  Never read anywhere that Nice had anything to do with it.


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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 12:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think (but I may be wrong) 'As It Began' states it was in Nice. Queenpedia (as of 17:51 GMT today) also has that. I think even my own website makes the same mistake.


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.
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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 13:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I always thought that Bo Rhap was the first ever promo distributed on the video format (vhs?), whereas earlier music promos were distributed on film.

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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 13:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian wrote:

> Stone Cold Crazy = Queen
"Minus John, as they already played it long before he joined."

Yes, but we have never heard the early version to compare.  Is it not possible that John somehow contributed to the final version after he joined the band?

> Under Pressure = Queen & David Bowie
"Minus John (he didn't even write the bass-line), minus Brian (he did collaborate on the arrangement), minus Roger (he loved the song and all, but he was barely involved in inventing it). Music's basically Freddie's and lyrics + melody are Fred + David."

> Soul Brother = Queen
"Actually, it's Freddie, both lyrics and music."

> Don't Try So Hard = FM or JD (or FM + JD)
"No JD involvement at all."

What's your source of information for these three songs?


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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 13:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

UP: John (on a French mag in '84 and a Japanese one, twice [IIRC] in '82) + Phoebe's book + Freddie (1983, I think it's on YT - that one's not very clear but he does imply the idea was his and David's) + David (his website).

DTSH: David Richards (2001, Queen File) + Brian May (2006, Q Mag). In fact the song was originally Fred's and then Fred and Brian worked on the music together, and the lyrics are Fred's. No Roger, no John. Just like Bijou or Is This the World.

Soul Brother: Brian's Soapbox (don't remember the date).

SCC: According to Barry Mitchell, the song's the same as when he was in the band.

Of course, we could argue that all those things are witnesses' recollections, which could be wrong (as when ... said ...) but, at the moment, they're the most reliable info about those four tracks. Of course, if an early SCC live recording surfaced and it was radically different (e.g. the rumoured slow version, which I personally don't think ever existed), it could be thought that they re-wrote it (which still doesn't mean John was involved - he could've been AWOL for all we know), I'd be happy to stand corrected.


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.
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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 13:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If 'Feel Like' is a demo that was used as the template for Under Pressure, then surely whoever 'wrote' that must also be co-credited with UP. My guess is that the structure of 'Feel Like' is Brian's, as the chord progression is a bit of a trademark of his.


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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 14:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian wrote:

"Of course, we could argue that all those things are witnesses' recollections, which could be wrong (as when ... said ...) but, at the moment, they're the most reliable info about those four tracks."

Fair enough.  Thanks for the info.  In fact, I do remember the Soapbox post about Soul Brother now that you mention it.


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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 14:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly: Yes. If the doctor wrote FL and if FL is an UP demo, then he'd be a co-writer too. But in that case, UP would still be Rog-free (he used to be believed its main creator). The chord progression itself is so simple that any of the four could've written it, although I do agree it sounds a bit more Brian-esque (can't think of a cross-reference right now but I'll look into it).

Bob: Do you happen to remember the (approximate) date?


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.
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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 23:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

See comments for Soul Brother in here:

http://www.queenpedia.com/index.php?title=Soul_Brother

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Posted: 13 Jul 10, 23:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian wrote:

"Bob: Do you happen to remember the (approximate) date?"

According to the link TCC just posted, it's from 2003.  Thanks for that !


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 04:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bo Rhap was definitely not the first music video as we understand it.  Videos that were not wholly performance-based in nature were being done ten years previously.

What the Bohemian Rhapsody video WAS, was the one that sticks in people's minds as "the first".  VCRs showing up when they did, and the BR video being as iconic as it was, it's only natural that people think of it as somewhat revolutionary, and it's very possible that the video was the first one to play such a big role in the success of a song.

But in terms of it being the first video made to be played on television so that the band didn't have to put in personal appearances?  Pure bunkum.  And it certainly isn't the first non-performance or 'arty' one to be made, either.


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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 04:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Why was John barely involved in the Innuendo project? Had it something to do with Freddie's illness?


John: "It's the one thing I wish I could do - sing."

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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 09:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That is only known by JD, however he spent most of the Innuendo sessions on holiday in the South of France with his holiday and due to this the original release date was pushed back to 91 instead of intime for the christmas rush in 90, I'm not sure if it was due to Freddie's Illness as the sessions in 91 he was involved along with video shoots etc, only he can answer that

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Posted: 14 Jul 10, 10:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Bo Rhap video has been a bone of contention for many years in terms of it being the first video.  Clearly, promotional clips had been used by many bands for many years up until that point.  These were used where TV shows were unable to secure the band for a lip-sinc or live performance of the song.

What Bo Rhap was the first to do was to be the ONLY tool with which the band would promote that particular song.  They were unable to lip sync or play it live as a whole piece and, in order to promote it properly, the band had to film something specifically to replace them.

The Bo Rhap film was the first film to be used soley in place of the band themselves.


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