Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Worst use of synths on a Queen songs

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Mr.Jingles user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 13:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know many of you guys hate synths, but the truth is that most of the time Queen used their syths in a proper way. Yet still, there are a couple of songs where Queen should have never used synths.

If I had to name which song has the worst use of synths that would have to be 'Play The Game'. The intro is awfuly cheesy and those cheap sci-fi flick sounds totally ruined Brian's awesome guitar solo.


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[StArMaN] user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 14:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm with you on this song. What an awfull intro !! I can't understand why they did it this way... But apart of this intro, it's still a great song;

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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 15:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree with 'Play The Game' also. It's blatant that they used synths but it goes pretty well with the video. Okay. The video is pretty corny too... but, ah, whatever. :-)


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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 16:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Radio Ga Ga


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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 17:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree. Play The Game sounds much better in concerts, when Brian's guitar is more aggressive and there's no synth intro.

I'm with those approx. 90% of Queen fans who say that Hot Space is just too much. However there are good song on that album as well, with decent use of synhts.

The best use of synths on the other hand. Definately, Machines. It just fits to the lyrics, a battle between the machines and humans.

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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 17:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Synths use is good when synths does not sound like synths. Songs like A Kind Of Magic or The Miracle are good examples IMHO.

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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 17:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hammer to Fall, totally unnessecary (sp?)

And all of the synths in live shows between 82-86


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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 18:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

well the intro for play the game is a bit annoying and long, I usually end up fast fowarding it to the singing LOL. But the rest of the synths in the song I quite like, it sounds kinda cool. Brian's guitar solo is bold anyway, it goes over the synths.


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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 18:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken wrote:

Hammer to Fall, totally unnessecary (sp?)

And all of the synths in live shows between 82-86


yer I think the correct spelling would be: unnecessary. LOL I am always correcting spellings


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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 18:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The synth guitar solo on 'I Want To Break Free'.

However, the background synths which were used to create the intro for the extended mix (and then the single version) are very nice. Simple, yet nice. They were done on a Roland Jupiter 8 by Fred Mandel.

PS- Interestingly, the synth intro to 'Play The Game' was originally stored separately from the main song on the master tape.

(http://www.brianmay.com/queen/thegame/technical2.html)

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Posted: 23 Apr 04, 19:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Synths that I really hate - Play The Game - intro & pre-solo, Hammer To Fall, and Body Language - in one of the pre-choruses

Synths that IMO sounded ok but I`d have preferred John doing that with real bass:

Breakthru
Body Language
Dancer -with slap technique it would have sounded so good
Staying Power - even if he did a loop, but the sound of a Fender is unique
Radio Ga Ga - ditto

I like the trick in Pain Is So Close: bass is done in synths during the intro but just when the voice begins it changes to a human one. The effect is very ear-pleasing to me. I also love the use of bass in Invisible Man, a clever combination of human & machine.


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: 23 Apr 04, 21:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

All use of synth in Innuendo is good... like Don't Try So Hard or I'm Going Slightly Mad.


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Posted: 24 Apr 04, 03:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don`t like synth-drums in I Can`t Live With You either.

There`s still the everlasting "how would have sounded that album with piano and acoustic guitar" thing.

Some Mozart-esque piano playing by Freddie would have been awesome in tracks like Don`t Try So Hard and Bijou.


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: 24 Apr 04, 04:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The main song that I love the synths on is Football Fight. Catchy as all heck!


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Posted: 03 May 04, 16:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree with you Mr. FredM. One of Queen's greatest qualities is that they were willing to branch out into a myriad of musical styles and take risks with their core fanbase in order to explore a more diverse catalogue. That's what makes Queen so great...you can't pigeonhole them into one specific sound or genre: their diversity was one of their main strengths and made them infinitely more entertaining. Think about it...if you listened to country or swing for hours and hours and hours you'd eventually be dying to hear something different. Queen kept it fresh, and that's what matters.

At the same time, I think it's OK to like or dislike particular albums or tracks--everyone's got a preference. You don't have to love each and every song to love Queen. Opinions are really what drive a message board such as this: it would be quite boring if everyone agreed on everything.

Anyway, to reply to the actual thread, I think the synths weren't used as well in songs on The Miracle album. Those synth strings on "The Miracle" are just too bright for my taste and it gets kind of cheesy. Also, the synth on "Invisible Man" makes it sound a bit too "kiddie." I sometime cringe when I hear the intro to that song.

And I have an unrelated (but important) question: does anyone know why I always get an error when I try to reply to or create a topic on the "new" board? What I mean is that from the homepage, I have to click on something that will take me to a section that's still up from before the site was redesigned, and then go to the notice board before I can post anything. I'd appriciate if anyone can help me with this. Thanks.




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Posted: 03 May 04, 20:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm a big fan of synths used properly (I've been using them a lot myself, my band just got its hands on a drummer), and I can't really think of a Queen song where I don't like their usage.

But if I had to pick one, it would probably be "Staying Power". I love the song, but the sex simulation thing is just a bit too much.


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Posted: 03 May 04, 20:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

On Staying Power there`s no sexsimulation whatsoever, I think you mean Body Language. I don`t like the use of synth-bass at all. Or yes I like it but I prefer a million times to have a bass-player. Just imagine for instance Staying Power, John playing those fast fills and ocassionally doing his Deaky licks, it`d be much cooler than that monotone riff over and over again


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: 04 May 04, 01:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Best use of synths? "Football Fight"

Worst? All on the album "Mr. Bad Guy"

"Hot Space" gets an honorable mention for worst use, but I would have loved to have heard more "real" instruments on "Mr. Bad Guy". Both "Bad Guy" and "Hot Space" suffer from a lack of a "live" feel and too much production. After watching "Staying Power" on the GVH2 dvd, I wish Queen would have integrated more of their rock sound into the dance/r&b groove. That album could have ruled '82!

P.S. I know that "Bad Guy" is not a Queen album, but it represents to me what can happen when someone suffers from synthesizer addiction.


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Posted: 04 May 04, 01:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

D. Blythe- It's good to see someone else mention Football Fight! The synth in that song fits the scene in the movie perfectly. I always liked that after you hear Freddie's synth run, John follows with some bass, then Roger taps on the cymbals, then Brian lets a mini-riff go. All four members show off in a span of about 8 seconds! Fantastic.


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