Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > DId Hot Space create an aversion to risk?

forum rss feed
Author

Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 77 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 08 Sep 11, 20:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

We've all seen these interviews with various members of the band saying how they were never afraid to do their own thing and not conform but after the HS album, up until Innuendo, were the subsequent three studio albums a sign of a band desperate to conform to the (then) current trends?

Did criticism of Hot Space sting them? Certainly I'd struggle to find anything particularly 'out there' or unusual or original about any track in either The Works, AKOM or The Miracle. All seem VERY mainstream (by and large) and very aware of themselves being mainstream too, as if that was the target audience.

Was possibly this why (amongst other things) Queen suffered a decline in US popularity because it was no longer producing music that nobody else made but instead just started making music along the same lines as everyone else was making at the time.

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6327 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 08 Sep 11, 23:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If so, Hot Space hasn't got anything that's particularly 'unusual' for the era:

Drum Machines: Already invented, already used by many artists.
Synth Bass: Ditto.
Horn Section: Ditto.
Sax: Ditto.
Simmons Pads: Ditto.
Arpeggiator: Ditto.


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.
rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 09 Sep 11, 00:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Snackpot wrote: We've all seen these interviews with various members of the band saying how they were never afraid to do their own thing and not conform but after the HS album, up until Innuendo, were the subsequent three studio albums a sign of a band desperate to conform to the (then) current trends?

Did criticism of Hot Space sting them? Certainly I'd struggle to find anything particularly 'out there' or unusual or original about any track in either The Works, AKOM or The Miracle. All seem VERY mainstream (by and large) and very aware of themselves being mainstream too, as if that was the target audience.

Was possibly this why (amongst other things) Queen suffered a decline in US popularity because it was no longer producing music that nobody else made but instead just started making music along the same lines as everyone else was making at the time.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hot Space was a natural progression of the influence of funk on their music dating back to News Of The World ("Fight From The Inside," "Get Down, Make Love," "I Wanna Testify" and "Turn On The TV." It doesn't matter what they say after the fact, they all decided to go in the direction together. Other influences included their collaborations with Billy Squire, David Bowie
and Michael Jackson. Hot Space, like all their albums, was a product of their environment and their musical interests.

After Hot Space, they took a break and worked on solo projects, then came back and decided to try a back to basics rock album, which thematically evolved into something very much of its time, focusing on the juxtapositions of humanity and machines, and between self and the world. Its influences were what were firing their creativity at the time, the very technology they were commenting on, along with the cross-pollination of their solo albums. The Works is really the sister album to Roger's Strange Frontier, Freddie's "Love Kills" and Mr. Bad Guy, and Brian's Star Fleet Project.

A Kind Of Magic was influenced by Live Aid, Highlander and, again, their own lives. By now you can be forgiven for wondering, "where are the crazy experiments and such?" Well, they weren't interested in that at the moment. Contrary to popular belief, Queen weren't as "out there" as might be thought. They always wore their influences on their sleeve. The influences changed naturally over the course of their career and they were talented enough to hit on occasional combinations of ideas that raised the bar. "Bohemian Rhapsody" didn't appear fully formed in Freddie's mind, it evolved from album one, with "My Fairy King" and "Liar", through "The March Of The Black Queen" and "In The Lap Of The Gods," and was followed by "Somebody To Love." After that, monster epics ran their course for Freddie until Barcelona, so you can't fairly  lament the absence of such works ten years after the last example if he himself hadn't been going in that direction for a very long time.

The Miracle was an attempt to strip back to the four of them and simplify things. By all accounts it was a very productive time, with 15 released tracks, 2 unreleased songs and a few unfinished bits and pieces that we know of. It's an album accused of being too light and synthetic, as if those are bad things. The band clearly was having fun and not feeling pressure to repeat themselves sonically. Their tastes and musical interests diversified the output between rock, pop, funk and blues.

They didn't tour the US based on badly followed advice, poor support from Capitol Records and the fickle MTV one-hit wonder mentality they railed against. If they'd toured the US, they would have maintained a presence there, more than likely, and that might have changed their image in the public mind at the time.

Innuendo began as a continuation of The Miracle in their approach, but likely the emotional weight of what was occurring in their lives (Freddie's illness and Brian's divorce) lent the album more weight than it might otherwise have had. It wasn't that they said, "Let's remake 'Opera,'" it's that the turmoil carried through to their art. Again, outside influences effected their work. The public was also ready for a return to epic rock, perhaps in response to grunge and alternative (not everyone liked Nirvana and Pearl Jam). A few years later, Meat Loaf returned and had a massive #1 hit with Bat 2 and "Anything For Love".

I hope this helps put things in perspectives as to what was going around each album. The biggest thing is that understanding the context informs the understanding of how they created the albums, rather than applying a value judgement on the process which is an easy trap to get into.

AlbaNo1 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 311 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 14:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree with the OP in basic terms. Hot Space was a risk for Queen, they knew their fanbase was mainly hard rock fans, and they were perceived as a rock band with a few quirks and a pop dimension. The markers they set down for Hot Space were too far out for most fans and also did not compare in quality to the real disco/dance acts. Aside from the "disco" numbers the songs are an odd balance, for example Life is Real always stood out to me as being unusually deep lyrically. After Hot Space they knew they could never stray outside the parameters of their mainstream identity again.

Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 77 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 14:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Although Hot Space represented somewhat of a natural progression for Queen given how they had tampered with, and with a good degree of success, the funk/disco style previously, and not withstanding the fact it was very much 'current' at the time (if not slightly before that) - it certainly was not something that would have been 'expected' of rock group at that time. That's what I'm getting at.

I think it's telling too how, after that album (and possibly even during, although Body Language was a fairly big hit by later standards), Freddie's own song writing contribution when it came to the commercially successful songs, diminished considerably. 

After Hot Space the 'hits' were written by John, Roger and Brian.

Radio Ga Ga, I Want to Break Free, Hammer to Fall, A Kind of Magic., I Want it All, Innuendo, These are the Days of Our Lives. One Vision, although a collaboration I guess could be credited to Roger more than anyone else.

The Miracle wasn't really that big of a splash at all, certainly in the UK charts.

I think perhaps Hot Space was Freddie's 'indulgence', if you will, and after that didn't work, perhaps the power balance shifted and Brian and Roger took the relative failure of the album to make sure that from that point on Queen stayed 'on course', in their view, which meant three albums that really were very mainstream. Certainly in contrast to what was even by Queen's standards, an album which was quite a departure from the norm.

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6327 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 14:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>> Radio Ga Ga

That one was a hit after Freddie re-arranged it.

>>> I Want to Break Free

Ditto.

>>> Hammer to Fall

Not a big hit. It's a Hard Life sold three times more than that one.

>>> A Kind of Magic.

A hit after Freddie re-arranged it.

>>> I Want it All

That one does count.

>>> Innuendo

That one's chiefly Freddie's.

>>> These are the Days of Our Lives

That one was a hit as a double-A, Should we consider Flick of the Wrist to be a bigger hit than Somebody to Love and Under Pressure?

>>> One Vision

Not a particularly big hit either. Both Play the Game and It's a Hard Life outsold it.

>>> although a collaboration I guess could be credited to Roger more than anyone else.

Not quite ... lyrics are Roger/Freddie, music is chiefly Brian's. Roughly speaking, the credit is 25% Roger, 25% Freddie, 50% Brian.

>>> The Miracle wasn't really that big of a splash at all, certainly in the UK charts.

No, it wasn't. But other songs that Freddie wrote, or on which he was the main writer, did do well: Innuendo, It's a Hard Life ... in fact, A Winter's Tale outsold the likes of Seven Seas of Rhye and Who Wants to Live Forever. Granted, Freddie's dominance wasn't as prominent as before in terms of hits (10 out of the 17 GH from 1974 to 1980 are his), but he still wrote some big sellers until the very end. 

>>> I think perhaps Hot Space was Freddie's 'indulgence', if you will, and after that didn't work, perhaps the power balance shifted and Brian and Roger took the relative failure of the album to make sure that from that point on Queen stayed 'on course'

Not quite. After HS, Freddie remained their chief composer until the very end, with the only exception of AKOM.


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.
Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 77 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 14:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How did he remain 'chief' composer when he didn't actually write that many hits after Hot Space?

He would, of course, had been involved in the (re)arrangement in some tracks but I'm sure we could go back and look at all the 'hits' the band have had and give equal credit to someone else in the band for assisting/taking control of the song arrangement as well as the principle writer of the song.

It's clear that after Hot Space, the others in the band began to contribute a lot more and arguably, if we're going strictly by writing credits, actually produced far more successful work than Freddie did. In albums that sounded far more, what I'd imagine, Brian and Roger would have been more positive towards than the rather experimental 'Hot Space' that, as we know, both men (Roger in particular) had strong reservations about.

I don't think it can be dismissed that after HS when the band very much stuck to the mainstream for the next three albums, that Roger and Brian (although Brian always had been a strong writer) then wrote the lions share of the more successful songs. I don't think that can be dismissed as coincidence.

I think the direction the band took after HS, was much more in tune to where Brian and Roger were at the time, therefore they were in a position to deliver the more commercially successful songs. Regardless of who rearranged them

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6327 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 15:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>> How did he remain 'chief' composer when he didn't actually write that many hits after Hot Space?

If we only count the singles that sold at least half a million copies, then these are the post-HS hits:

Ga Ga - Roger
Break Free - John
Hard Life - Freddie
Vision - Queen (minus John), mostly Brian
Magic - Roger
I Want It All - Brian
Innuendo - Queen (minus John), mostly Freddie
Show Must Go On - Queen, with Freddie having slightly less input than the others.
Days of Our Lives - Roger
Heaven for Everyone - Roger
You Don't Fool Me - John & Freddie

Which means that, out of eleven hits, Freddie was the major contributor on three, Roger on four, Brian on three and John on one. However, keep in mind that the two big hits Roger had were only hits after Freddie took them over and re-arranged them.

Album-wise, Freddie dominated the songwriting aspect: he wrote more songs than anybody else on The Works, The Miracle, Innuendo and the post-Innuendo sessions.

>>> It's clear that after Hot Space, the others in the band began to contribute a lot more and arguably

Hits-wise, yes ... sort of ... album-wise, no: Freddie dominated the songwriting aspect, as he wrote more songs than anybody else on The Works, The Miracle, Innuendo and the post-Innuendo sessions.

>>> if we're going strictly by writing credits, actually produced far more successful work than Freddie did.

Only Roger did. John didn't, Brian didn't. 

>>> than the rather experimental 'Hot Space' that, as we know, both men (Roger in particular) had strong reservations about.

Not really. Roger and John hated Hot Space, but Brian defended it and Freddie loved it. Brian was the heavy writer of the band, but he also had his moments of keyboard-led efforts. Remember: Brian wrote twice as many songs as John for the album. And Brian was a principal 'offender' (so to speak) by incorporating synth pads, synth bass and drum machines. He's always been proud of the album. Granted, it's not his favourite, but he hadn't got strong reservations about it. Roger did, John did, Brian didn't.

>>> I don't think it can be dismissed that after HS when the band very much stuck to the mainstream for the next three albums, that Roger and Brian (although Brian always had been a strong writer) then wrote the lions share of the more successful songs.

Roger did, Brian didn't: Hammer to Fall wasn't a big hit, neither was Who Wants to Live Forever (a masterpiece, but not a big hit). His only true hit in those years was I Want It All. So no, he did NOT have the lion's share. 

>>> I don't think that can be dismissed as coincidence.

No, because it's not right to begin with. Roger's hit contributions were born after Hot Space, and they were prominent. But Brian did NOT have the lion's share of hits. Before HS he had WWRY, Fat Bots (the double-A with Bicycle was a big seller) and Flash (which sold more than UP, mind you). After HS he only had ONE big hit he wrote by himself. Not the lion's share at all.

>>> I think the direction the band took after HS, was much more in tune to where Brian and Roger were at the time, therefore they were in a position to deliver the more commercially successful songs.

No, the direction was in tune to where THE FOUR OF THEM were going. Hit-wise, Roger contributed more than the others, Brian did NOT. Song-wise, Freddie remained the chief songwriter for the remaining albums except for A Kind of Magic.


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.
mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
mooghead
Deity: 3667 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 16:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Disagree with the Freddie w***fest above. Hot Space is an example of what happens when a democracy is pulled in one direction by an individual who has been given too much influence. Hot Space was a serious low point in every respect for Queen.

Holly2003 user not visiting Queenzone.com
Hot Buttered Soul
Holly2003
Deity: 4707 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 16:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Deaky hated Hot Space? Has he said that? He always liked funk/soul. I take your point that he wasn;t as involved on HS as some think, but that doesn't equate to hating it.


"With a population of 1.75 million, Northern Ireland should really be a footballing minnow. Instead, they could be better described as the piranhas of the international game" (FIFA.com)
brENsKi user not visiting Queenzone.com
How shall we f**k off, Oh Lord
brENsKi
Deity: 8088 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 16:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

AlbaNo1 wrote: I agree with the OP in basic terms. Hot Space was a risk for Queen, they knew their fanbase was mainly hard rock fans, and they were perceived as a rock band with a few quirks and a pop dimension. The markers they set down for Hot Space were too far out for most fans and also did not compare in quality to the real disco/dance acts. Aside from the "disco" numbers the songs are an odd balance, for example Life is Real always stood out to me as being unusually deep lyrically. After Hot Space they knew they could never stray outside the parameters of their mainstream identity again.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

i disagree with this compeltely......has no-one listened to "the game"...queen already were accepted in this direction world-wide.....AOBTD being the prime example. In fact, the Game was merely follwoing the current 1979 hip-hop trend...and this wans't just "dust" it extended to "dragon attack" and "don't try suicide"

I don't think hot space itself was the issue...it was the overtly "gay" image that tracks like body language and the videos portrayed....america was more than ready for funk rock....ffs - it'd embraced the like fot he doobies etc for years...even Deep Purple's last album was more "soulful". 

America had no issue with the soul/hip-hop.funk tracks.....the sexuality of the videos killed them...and then, in 84...I WTBF banged the final nail in Queen's USA coffin.


go deo na hÉireann
Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 77 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 17:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen had moved in that direction but it wasn't a 'natural' progression, same as an album with a strong under current of English opera after A Night at the Opera wouldn't have been a 'natural' thing for them to have done because 'look at Bohemian Rhapsody'

They were at the time, still primarily a 'rock band. They weren't really doing the heavy rock stuff that they earlier were known for, particularly I think by American audiences, but we cannot surely say that Hot Space was what people were expecting from them. It wasn't and that is, partially, why it didn't do terribly well.

if we want to go back and say that HS was just a natural progression, all the band supported it and there was no discernable shift back to'the norm' after that, possibly as a backlash from HS from within the band - then fine, but we'd be completely re-writing history.

It'd be odd, given how poorly the album did, for there not to have been a backlash and given the reservations Brian and Roger always had about it and given how more 'traditional' subsequent albums were, I think we can put two and two together.

By 'traditional' of course songs were current, they weren't writing 70s stuff, but they weren't as deviated from the mainstream audience as HS was.

The reduction of Freddie's influence in terms of writing credits for songs that were considered primary songs on the albums cannot be ignored either. He was still writing songs for the albums as he was still quite prolific as a writer but post HS he certainly stopped churning out the hits.

Not a criticism, but I think HS was a notable watershed in the band's life and the whole 'No it wasn't, nothing changed, album was the same, subsequent albums weren't influenced by HS's failure, nobody hated it, Freddie stayed just as influential as a writer and it may as well be considered that HS was as successful as every other album they've had' - is, I'm sorry, a nonsense.

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6327 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 18:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

D>>> Deaky hated Hot Space? Has he said that?

Yes. When touring Japan, John got interviewed for Music Life, and he clearly stated that he hated both Jazz and Hot Space. When touring Japan with Roger, they both said so as well ('84, I believe). When interviewed in Denmark ('86 ... or maybe it was West Germany), he clearly stated that, for him, the best point of the band's career was their first visit to South America. And the worst: Hot Space, which ironically, was around the same time. 

>>> He always liked funk/soul.

And that may have been the reason. I love choral music. That makes me very anal-ytical of it, and harder to please with it than most people. If I listen to, say, a school choir singing Now Is the Month of Maying (a piece I know fairly well), I can detect errors and inaccuracies on the bass part, for instance, because I *do* know how it's supposed to go. A non-expert on the genre/style may overlook that and content him/her-self with listening to good voices and/or appreciate the effort. For me, that's not enough.

Who do you think are gonna be the most critical people about Fred's biopic? The fans of course, as they (we) know what happened, and as such, we will be able to detect (or more to the point, unable to ignore) mistakes and stuff (for instance, if they claim The Works was recorded in '85 in Switzerland).

For that same reason, John was probably more critical of the band's funk efforts and may have disliked them if he felt his bandmates were not doing it right. So maybe Dancer and Body Language were in a genre that he liked; but for that reason, he'd be more critical and would detect how rookie Brian and Freddie were in terms of writing funk/soul. And if you add the fact that he did not even participate on either track as the composers replaced him by shitty synth-bass ... well, there's your explanation.

The problem with Hot Space is not the genre. It's the sloppiness it's got. John knew the genre well, and having heard stuff like Off the Wall or Donna Summer's late 70's output, Hot Space paled in comparison. If anyone of the four could understand that well, it was John.


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.
AlbaNo1 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 311 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 18:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

brENsKi wrote: AlbaNo1 wrote: I agree with the OP in basic terms. Hot Space was a risk for Queen, they knew their fanbase was mainly hard rock fans, and they were perceived as a rock band with a few quirks and a pop dimension. The markers they set down for Hot Space were too far out for most fans and also did not compare in quality to the real disco/dance acts. Aside from the "disco" numbers the songs are an odd balance, for example Life is Real always stood out to me as being unusually deep lyrically. After Hot Space they knew they could never stray outside the parameters of their mainstream identity again.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

i disagree with this compeltely......has no-one listened to "the game"...queen already were accepted in this direction world-wide.....AOBTD being the prime example. In fact, the Game was merely follwoing the current 1979 hip-hop trend...and this wans't just "dust" it extended to "dragon attack" and "don't try suicide"

I don't think hot space itself was the issue...it was the overtly "gay" image that tracks like body language and the videos portrayed....america was more than ready for funk rock....ffs - it'd embraced the like fot he doobies etc for years...even Deep Purple's last album was more "soulful". 

America had no issue with the soul/hip-hop.funk tracks.....the sexuality of the videos killed them...and then, in 84...I WTBF banged the final nail in Queen's USA coffin.
Dragon Attack if anything could be a precursor for nu-metal, it has the funk but good aggressive vocals and guitars. Dont Try Suicide is very stripped back. The whole slightly sparser sound of The Game bar the songs The Game and Save Me suited the US market as did News of the World. Need Your Loving and Crazy Little Thing Called Love were throwback songs.  The Hot Space songs have a different sound . Realistically Queen were not at the edge of funk rock or whatever term you want. Its an American progression from their own roots. There would not have been much overlap in the record buying public between Queen and Earth Wind and Fire.
Personally I like Hot Space . But I do believe the band became more aware of who their fanbase was and pulled back from such creative freedom after which is what I believe the OP was suggesting. Obviously not enough to keep the mainstream US but then maybe thats a mark of distinction considering what was MTV mid 80s.

Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 77 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 19:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

AlbaNo1 wrote:

Personally I like Hot Space . But I do believe the band became more aware of who their fanbase was and pulled back from such creative freedom after which is what I believe the OP was suggesting. Obviously not enough to keep the mainstream US but then maybe thats a mark of distinction considering what was MTV mid 80s.

***********************************

Yes this was basically what I was on about. if you look at the creative 'risks' Queen took on their earlier albums and venturing into areas that not only were they not expected to go as a rock group, but where mainstream music hadn't really gone before, that seemingly came to an abrupt halt after HS, at least until the Innuendo album.

I think you're right, they did post the failure of HS become consciously aware of for commercial reasons, make an album that was largely 'safe' and I think The Works, AKOM and The Miracle are, critically looking at them, very 'safe' albums.

They were of course current to their time and updated for the time they were made but I don't think it's a coincidence that the band took that direction after the somewhat experimental HS.

I think Queen, especially for The Works, were acutely aware of what was EXPECTED of them, as opposed to what they (or some of them) may have necessarily wanted to do at the time.

Don't get me wrong I'm a fan of all three albums (less so AKOM) but whilst Queen weren't the most radical of bands in the world before, they usually always threw a curve ball in there somewhere. The three albums from 1984-1989 were, despite their quality, surely quite 'safe' albums, weren't they?

panasonic user not visiting Queenzone.com


add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 10 Sep 11, 20:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Snackpot wrote: The three albums from 1984-1989 were, despite their quality, surely quite 'safe' albums, weren't they?
==========================================================================================

I agree and that is probably the reason that FOR ME, I
prefer and listen to Hot Space far more than following next 3 albums. It's not
necessarily that I prefer funk or whatever because I don't, I tend to like rock
music best. It's just that the following 3 albums sound more contrived. Maybe
too, it’s some of the songs and the continuity of the albums being seen as
simply more of a collection of songs rather than an album. The production on
The Works particularly bugs me for some reason too, maybe it's the reverb etc..

I think most can agree that Innuendo was a return to form and I'm also a huge
fan of Made in Heaven.

Holly2003 user not visiting Queenzone.com
Hot Buttered Soul
Holly2003
Deity: 4707 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 11 Sep 11, 02:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian wrote: D>>> Deaky hated Hot Space? Has he said that?

Yes. When touring Japan, John got interviewed for Music Life, and he clearly stated that he hated both Jazz and Hot Space. When touring Japan with Roger, they both said so as well ('84, I believe). When interviewed in Denmark ('86 ... or maybe it was West Germany), he clearly stated that, for him, the best point of the band's career was their first visit to South America. And the worst: Hot Space, which ironically, was around the same time. 

>>> He always liked funk/soul.

And that may have been the reason. I love choral music. That makes me very anal-ytical of it, and harder to please with it than most people. If I listen to, say, a school choir singing Now Is the Month of Maying (a piece I know fairly well), I can detect errors and inaccuracies on the bass part, for instance, because I *do* know how it's supposed to go. A non-expert on the genre/style may overlook that and content him/her-self with listening to good voices and/or appreciate the effort. For me, that's not enough.

Who do you think are gonna be the most critical people about Fred's biopic? The fans of course, as they (we) know what happened, and as such, we will be able to detect (or more to the point, unable to ignore) mistakes and stuff (for instance, if they claim The Works was recorded in '85 in Switzerland).

For that same reason, John was probably more critical of the band's funk efforts and may have disliked them if he felt his bandmates were not doing it right. So maybe Dancer and Body Language were in a genre that he liked; but for that reason, he'd be more critical and would detect how rookie Brian and Freddie were in terms of writing funk/soul. And if you add the fact that he did not even participate on either track as the composers replaced him by shitty synth-bass ... well, there's your explanation.

The problem with Hot Space is not the genre. It's the sloppiness it's got. John knew the genre well, and having heard stuff like Off the Wall or Donna Summer's late 70's output, Hot Space paled in comparison. If anyone of the four could understand that well, it was John.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Very interesting. I'd always assumed HS was mostly Deaky/Fred influenced. I've always considered the Brian/Roger tracks to be the weakest on the album (apart from Las Palabras, which is excellent) whereas Deaky's Back Chat is among the best songs he's written. So ... with more Fred/Deaky influence, HS might've been a better album. This may then be the one occasion where the band's "team" effort approach (i.e. song contributions by all 4 members) undermines the quality of the album


"With a population of 1.75 million, Northern Ireland should really be a footballing minnow. Instead, they could be better described as the piranhas of the international game" (FIFA.com)
Snackpot user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 77 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 11 Sep 11, 04:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Is it possible that John simply wasn't happy with the finished project as opposed to having had serious concerns and reservations about it during the process?

Given how 'democratic' Queen always were, I find it hard to believe that you'd have John, Brian and Roger all on one side and Freddie going against the grain and in the end getting his way. Doesn't seem plausible to me. I can believe John perhaps wasn't happy with the album as it turned out but not that he wasn't on board at the time. Or at least someone willing to back Freddie vs the other two.

I wouldn't believe Freddie just got his own way for the whole album and the other three 'had to' go along with it.

maxpower user not visiting Queenzone.com
maxpower
Bohemian: 477 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 11 Sep 11, 06:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As Freddie said "it's only a bloody record" its not that bad & for me has aged better than The Works

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6327 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 11 Sep 11, 09:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>>> Given how 'democratic' Queen always were, I find it hard to believe that you'd have John, Brian and Roger all on one side and Freddie going against the grain and in the end getting his way.

It wasn't 3 vs 1, it was 2 vs 2: Brian was IN FAVOUR of the album. He still is. Granted, it's not his favourite and he doesn't rate it as highly as Queen II or Made in Heaven, but he's always defended it.

Queen were democratic, yes. But they also had the unwritten law that the author of the song got his way. If he wanted things done in a certain way, that's how they'd be, full stop. Besides Under Pressure, which was credited to five people, there are ten songs on the album, six of which are Brian's or Freddie's entirely, and another one which is partly Freddie. Those 6.5 songs include the funkier side of the album, and those 6.5 songs include most of the drum-machine/synth-bass things.

>>> Or at least someone willing to back Freddie vs the other two.

It wasn't Freddie and John vs the other two. Brian was on board from the start. Two of his songs were heavily layered with synthesisers, one of them doesn't even have real bass ... he's more 'guilty' for HS than John and Roger. 

>>> I wouldn't believe Freddie just got his own way for the whole album and the other three 'had to' go along with it.                                       

Because it wasn't just Freddie. Brian was there too. In fact, on the lead single, only the two of them perform.


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.