Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Freddie's 'Innuendo' Voice

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malicedoom user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 May 11, 12:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've always wondered if there was some kind of medication (or steroid, etc.) Freddie was on at the time (to help keep him as strong and healthy as possible under the circumstances) during those last recording sessions.

Of course, Freddie had one of the greatest voices ever, no doubt, but it seems to me that he's singing literally at a higher pitch in his most of his last vocal sessions. I mean at a higher pitch than possibly ever before.  And it seems he realized this, and made sure he used it to the fullest extent (on tracks like "Don't Try So Hard", etc.)

Anyone else ever notice this?  I know Freddie quit smoking in his final years, but quitting smoking wouldn't make a person's voice HIGHER.  Smoother maybe...


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Posted: 26 May 11, 13:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Are you planning to start a new topic every few days about Freddie's health? I really hope not.


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Posted: 26 May 11, 14:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

malicedoom wrote: I've always wondered if there was some kind of medication (or steroid, etc.) Freddie was on at the time (to help keep him as strong and healthy as possible under the circumstances) during those last recording sessions.

Of course, Freddie had one of the greatest voices ever, no doubt, but it seems to me that he's singing literally at a higher pitch in his most of his last vocal sessions. I mean at a higher pitch than possibly ever before.  And it seems he realized this, and made sure he used it to the fullest extent (on tracks like "Don't Try So Hard", etc.)

Anyone else ever notice this?  I know Freddie quit smoking in his final years, but quitting smoking wouldn't make a person's voice HIGHER.  Smoother maybe...
============

Check out the difference between 1986 and Barcelona: Freddie's timbre is slightly higher (because he cut back the touring and smoking).

By Innuendo, he lost chest power (illness), so to compensate, he started to sing with more of a "head voice" tone (his singing technique improved in the last few years of his life). This makes Freddie's voice seem higher.


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: 26 May 11, 14:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gregsynth wrote:

By Innuendo, he lost chest power (illness), so to compensate, he started to sing with more of a "head voice" tone (his singing technique improved in the last few years of his life). This makes Freddie's voice seem higher.
================================

And that was the answer I was looking for!

A couple of months ago, in another thread I said that in "Innuendo" Freddie wasn't in his best vocal shape and someone disagreed with me. They said he had a nasal voice but in great shape. I didn't know how to explain it back then but I felt Freddie's voice was "weakened", "smaller" in that album. I even blamed poor mixing! Loss of chest power, that explains it, so thanks Greg!

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Posted: 26 May 11, 15:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Very interesting.

Thanks for the reply!


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Posted: 26 May 11, 15:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie's biggest trademark in the 80s was his vibrato - it was a thing of brilliance.  But it was clearly a difficult thing for him by 1990, resulting in little of it on Innuendo.

The "treasure every moment" line in Don't Try So Hard is the single best line on the record, I think.  And it was likely a very laborious task for him.  The irony.  The perfection.


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Posted: 26 May 11, 16:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH wrote: Freddie's biggest trademark in the 80s was his vibrato - it was a thing of brilliance.  But it was clearly a difficult thing for him by 1990, resulting in little of it on Innuendo.

The "treasure every moment" line in Don't Try So Hard is the single best line on the record, I think.  And it was likely a very laborious task for him.  The irony.  The perfection.
=======

His vibrato from 1985-1988 is absolutely brilliant--Live and studio.

Even though he lost chest power and lessened his vibrato in 1989/1990, his head voice was never better.


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: 26 May 11, 20:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i think greg,as always,hits it on the head.although freddie lost power his technique improved so much.compare it to a pitcher who lost his fastball and now must rely on technique and precision.my fave era for freddies vocals remains the jazz era.i think he started to figure it all out then

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Posted: 26 May 11, 21:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't always hit it on the head--sometimes it looks like I've been hit IN the head:

I've messed up alot of info on Youtube (which people have helped me correct)!


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: 26 May 11, 21:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*************************************************************************************
phillyfan wrote: i think greg,as always,hits it on the head.although freddie lost power his technique improved so much.compare it to a pitcher who lost his fastball and now must rely on technique and precision.
*************************************************************************************

Great analogy! Baseball and Queen - my two favorite topics.... Go Cards!!! Phillies suck :-P

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Posted: 27 May 11, 03:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Compare A Winter's Tale to the Innuendo sessions, for example. AIDS really took control of his voice, so to speak. And still, he delivers an amazing job. Especially the "It's sooooo beautiful" line gives me goosebumps.


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Posted: 27 May 11, 03:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I remember David Richards (Producer of the last few albums) saying that Freddie once mentioned this very thing to him;
'I don't know if its the medication, but it seems my voice has never sounded better!'


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Posted: 27 May 11, 05:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If anyone takes a look at his voice on early albums...that was Freddies true voice....Queen - Sheer Heart Attack/A Night at the Opera......as the bands name got bigger as did the Excess..(illegal substances)...which continued,for Freddie until just Before the Barcelona album.....The Miracle for Queen....so from A Day at the Races Freddies voice got stronger with each album as did his appetite....Hot Space and The Works...Freddies voice is at its strongest until A Kind of Magic....when Freddie stopped the STRONG partying just before Barcelona/The Miracle, Freddies so called chest power begins to go and his vocals begin a slow and gradual shift to his natural voice....the early Queen days the so called more head voice.........because yes Freddie sang more from his chest for most of his life,because yes he was on steroids for most of his life thru the cocaine he consumed,it enabled him to breathe in deeper,getting oxygen to the lower parts of his lungs-meaning his diaphram was probably one of the strongest muscles in his body....which enabled him all that vocal power..if the pitch is dropped on any song on the innuendo album, the vocals
would sound more like what what people are used to his vocals sounding.....they are the real vocals on the album without manipulation....they are just his raw vocal power....without him using the extra muscle power from his lungs he developed over the years....his voice really is a marvel when people realize what he had to work with in the late years......a decreased lung capacity....a weaker diaphram.....stronger vocal chords.....all that emotion but hardly any power to deliver......yet still powerful to listen too...Innuendo was indeed a vocal tour de force.....an acapella version of Innuendo would be something to listen to indeed....


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Posted: 27 May 11, 15:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I find Freddie's high pitch voice his best. I think that "vocal sound era" began with the Miracle. Listen f.e. Scandal. His voice pitch is higher notably than in A Kind of Magic.

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Posted: 27 May 11, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

lol jimmy..go Phillies!!

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Posted: 27 May 11, 18:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like Jimmy Rollins so I'll give you a break :-) And I wouldn't be surprised if the Phils or Cubs picked up Albert this November.

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Posted: 28 May 11, 04:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What MAY have helped give him that confidence is the painkillers he was on at the time. Dhydrocodeine is a very strong pill, and he would have been on a fair wad I'd guess?

These pills, and I know from experience, give you superhuman confidence at times, and this may have gave him the passion and confidence to try get the most out of his voice.

These pills are also a very powerful cough suppressant and give you a much clearer sounding voice. They'd clear up a very bad cold in minutes (until they ware off). Remarkable pills, not too be messed with... very addictive!

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Posted: 28 May 11, 19:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

JD..Ryan Howard is from St.Louis maybe there can be a deal.I root for the cards in the central so good luck.losing wainright hurt.oh wait its a Queen forum..um,why didnt Freddie let Brian play on Mr.Bad Guy when he wanted Brians sound on a few tracks.It hurt Brians feelings!

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Posted: 29 May 11, 13:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Because Freddie wanted to create music away from the band.  It's really that simple.

Tensions were pretty high at the time, and they likely would have broken up if it weren't for Live Aid.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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