Forums > Queen - General Discussion > The Prophet's Song and Brian

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queenUSA user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 19 Jul 11, 21:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Now I know" exactly what 8:17 of brilliance sounds like! 
I'm just appreciating some of Brian's fine work on his birthday (it's still his birthday at this hour in the U.S.)
Q magazine said Prophet was "as good as Bohemian Rhapsody" and I do agree. 
The BBC called ANATO Queen's "finest hour" and why not? It truly is!

So what say you People of the Earth ( aka QZers) have you listened to the
wise man lately?  Do you feel Q magazine was correct in their assessment circa 1975?


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Djdownsy user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 19 Jul 11, 21:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Each member brought their own trademark to Queen, but I think Brian was a massive influence to Queen's sound, especially in the early days, i mean, you put another guitarist's take over any of their songs, even if they played the same parts exactly, it would sound completely different and very unlike a Queen song do you not think?

As for 'The Prophet's Song', i agree, it's as good as Bohemian Rhapsody, but lets be honest, it would never have made a good single. Just not catchy in that regard, but certainly a perfectly executed song all the same.


Tá suil agam go bhuil tú go maith!



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Posted: 19 Jul 11, 23:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I love that song, but IMO wrote two better ones on the same album: '39 and Good Company, my two favourite Queen tracks.


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: 20 Jul 11, 07:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Djdownsy wrote:

"As for 'The Prophet's Song', i agree, it's as good as Bohemian Rhapsody, but lets be honest, it would never have made a good single. Just not catchy in that regard, but certainly a perfectly executed song all the same."

 __________________

Well "never" is so absolute!   How about if it had been released during the Renaissance?  It could have been more "catchy" then.   The A side being The Prophet's song and the B side being March of the Black Plague. 
Just joking with it!!!
Seriously, while I also like 39 and Good Company, there is something about the Prophet's Song being a poem set to rock music with rather intense moments interlaced with vocal harmonies throughout.  I just think it's a fantastic piece of work - whether placed in the Renaissance (as I joked above)  or in 2011 on my stereo and going forward.

I do hope other Queen fans like it and it's not the "unloved babe" as in the song.


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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 08:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

queenUSA wrote: Djdownsy wrote:

"As for 'The Prophet's Song', i agree, it's as good as Bohemian Rhapsody, but lets be honest, it would never have made a good single. Just not catchy in that regard, but certainly a perfectly executed song all the same."

 __________________

Well "never" is so absolute!   How about if it had been released during the Renaissance?  It could have been more "catchy" then. 

======

Even disregarding the instrumentation, people in the Renaissance would have complained about the false notes (they didn't use modern equal temperament, centered on A440), the boorish singing (wrong language and style) and the weird use of harmony (our harmony based on thirds wasn't common. The fourth was the key musical interval).


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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 08:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ThomasQuinn wrote: queenUSA wrote: Djdownsy wrote:

"As for 'The Prophet's Song', i agree, it's as good as Bohemian Rhapsody, but lets be honest, it would never have made a good single. Just not catchy in that regard, but certainly a perfectly executed song all the same."

 __________________

Well "never" is so absolute!   How about if it had been released during the Renaissance?  It could have been more "catchy" then. 

======

Even disregarding the instrumentation, people in the Renaissance would have complained about the false notes (they didn't use modern equal temperament, centered on A440), the boorish singing (wrong language and style) and the weird use of harmony (our harmony based on thirds wasn't common. The fourth was the key musical interval).

=========

Alright then, I'm no history major, so I'm just guessing at this point - how about
the Middle Ages then? Would it have worked for the multitudes there?


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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 10:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'd love to hear a full orchestra and choir arrangement if this song, similar to Rajaton's covers.

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 15:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I personaly think that it is Brians best song and the best song of ANATO....maybe just because I've listen too much to  BoRhap....who knows...;)

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 16:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I love it -- its beautiful, and perfect, but it wasn't exactly ever going to be a number one.  Its so much more serious then Bo Rhap, and less theatrical, so i can see why it isn't nearly as popular.

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 16:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Prophet's Song is a very good song, but is not as good as Bo Rhap, really. Anyway, it's just my personal opinion.


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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 16:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like it very much.  However, I had ANATO on in the car a week or so ago on a quick day trip to a city about an hour and half away.   My son was driving home and after about a kilometre of the "Now I know, now I know, now I knows" his precise quote was "Mom?  Take that off or I'm driving into a Mack truck.  Thanks."  He was kidding, of course.  Well, kidding about the Mack truck, not the song. :)

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 16:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote: I like it very much.  However, I had ANATO on in the car a week or so ago on a quick day trip to a city about an hour and half away.   My son was driving home and after about a kilometre of the "Now I know, now I know, now I knows" his precise quote was "Mom?  Take that off or I'm driving into a Mack truck.  Thanks."  He was kidding, of course.  Well, kidding about the Mack truck, not the song. :)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
obviously y'all didn't smoke any weed on that trip

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 17:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No. You know, it seems like yesterday that a six pack was enough so mommy could listen to her music. They grow up so fast. Sniff

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Posted: 20 Jul 11, 22:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It is an amazing song but I always skip that awful repetitive middle. It ruins the flow of the song and the possibility of playing it in the car with friends!


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 00:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

liam wrote: It is an amazing song but I always skip that awful repetitive middle. It ruins the flow of the song and the possibility of playing it in the car with friends!

why is the middle section of The Prophet song annoying to some people, but the section of Bo Rhap classic?.....The song is a Gem..don't think it's quite as great as Bo Rhap, but pretty close.  Nothing like listening to the Prophet song/Love of My Life,  12 minutes of perfection.....

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 01:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Because its repetitive, annoying and really doesn't add to the song, unlike the opera section from bohemian rhapsody which isn't repetitive or annoying and is an integral part of the song.


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 02:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

mike hunt wrote: liam wrote: It is an amazing song but I always skip that awful repetitive middle. It ruins the flow of the song and the possibility of playing it in the car with friends!

why is the middle section of The Prophet song annoying to some people, but the section of Bo Rhap classic?.....The song is a Gem..don't think it's quite as great as Bo Rhap, but pretty close.  Nothing like listening to the Prophet song/Love of My Life,  12 minutes of perfection.....
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Agreed.

Freddie harmonizing with himself in a seemingly endless loop elevates the entire experience. It lulls you into a sonic pattern, then patterns within patterns, then counterpoints back and forth. In some ways it's the vocal equivalent to Brian's loops in his live "Brighton Rock Solos," where he plays against his own echos.

Anyone interested in similar work, on a larger scale, by other artists, check out Mike Oldfield's '70s and '90s works, and David Bedford's "Star's End." Mike once said, "There's nothing wrong with repetition as long as it's something worth repeating."

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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 06:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

But indeed both bits are quite different. I think Brian's Brighton Rock things are OK, but I far, far , faaaaaaaaaaaar prefer him simply playing a solo like Days of Our Lives or Who Wants to Live Forever, where there's a melody, an interaction with the song, a more elaborate arrangement, a smoother transition from and to the neighbour sections of the track, etc.

Same here: I like the a cappella bit on TPS, but I far, far, faaaaaaar prefer vocal sections which are more melodic and less scalar, and where there's a melody, an interaction with the song, a more elaborate arrangement, a smoother transition from and to the neighbour sections of the track,  etc., like the operatic bit on Bo Rhap, the gospel break on Somebody to Love, the 'journey' on '39, the second lift on Save Me, the middle-eights on Teo Torriatte and Sail Away Sweet Sister, etc.


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: 21 Jul 11, 07:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote:  "Freddie harmonizing with himself in a seemingly endless loop elevates the entire experience. It lulls you into a sonic pattern, then patterns within patterns, then counterpoints back and forth. In some ways it's the vocal equivalent to Brian's loops in his live "Brighton Rock Solos," where he plays against his own echos."
=============

I like this (^) description of being lulled into a sonic pattern - hypnotic/trance like.  If you consider what is happening in the lyrics of the song - with multitudes listening to the wise man (seer, prophet) and accepting knowledge and gaining enlightenment in the process.... thus, perhaps that is what the repetitive "Now I Knows" is all about.  To me it's not just nonsense or filler for a gap .... it denotes a process of enlightenment unfolding (as if from so many voices all at once) receiving enlightenment.  It works for me, when I think of it in this way. 

Well at least that my scholarly stab at it.


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Posted: 21 Jul 11, 08:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As a fan of harmonies, I absolutely love the middle section. With headphones the experience is much more interesting: one line in your right ear that echoes in your left and then in the middle. The "la la la"s are fantastic, too.

Once I found in YouTube an edited version without the vocal interlude; it is still a great song, but a bit less special.