Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Did ever Freddie hit Live the same high notes like in the studio versions?

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Giacco 73 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 06 Sep 04, 15:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A question for the experts.I was wandering if Freddie ever hit live the high notes of difficult song to sing.And if it is so,where and when.Let's say for example:
-A kind of magic,the song,the line "the bell that rings,inside your mind,is challenging the doors of time"
-Hammer to fall,the line "baby,now your's struggle,all in vain"
-Tie your mother down,the finale studio high scream "tonight"
-Is this the world we created hitting all the high notes of the refrain
-Another one bites the dust, the lines "how do you think i'm going to get along,WITHOUT you when you're gone,you took for everything that I had an KICKED ME out on my own" where the capitals are the high notes
And so on
Sir GH gave me a great answer about Bohemian Rhapsody

http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q_FORUM_ID=1&Q_FORUM_NAME=Queen&TOPIC_SUBJECT=%22so+you+think+you+can+love+me+and+leave+me+to+die%3f%22&Q=341331&page=6

Recently I've heard of "Death on two legs" live where he hit correcly all the difficult high notes of the intro and it was a very good surprise!
Other examples and answers are welcome!
It would be great if someone will post those versions of song in the download section,maybe in FLAC files.
Thank you for your collaboration :-)


Freddie Mercury.

A wonderful human being and simply the greatest singer,performer and composer of our times.
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Posted: 06 Sep 04, 16:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no. When you're at the end of tour and you've been singing non-stop for two hours that night, probably you don't want to go for all those really high notes. Sometimes he brought it down to make it easier, sometimes it was an artistic decision, I imagine - change it up a little for a live show.

The only specific I can really offer is about Another One Bites the Dust. This is in a lower key live (by one semitone). It was actually recorded in this key in the studio, but sped up. However, I don't know if it was sped up before or after Freddie did the vocals for that song.

Giacco 73 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 08 Sep 04, 15:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you very much for your contribution!
Other ones are welcome :-)


Freddie Mercury.

A wonderful human being and simply the greatest singer,performer and composer of our times.
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Posted: 08 Sep 04, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Giacco 73 wrote:

Thank you very much for your contribution!
Other ones are welcome :-)


I've always noticed how much he had to change the vocal lines from the early tracks... He used to turn his voice into the head in studio (Teo Torriatte, Somebody to love, You take my breath away...) and this was very very difficult on stage... After some gigs your voice becomes a little rougher and, in addiction to that, even the lightest tension doesn't allow you to hit those notes that way...

Queen, and especially Freddie, were really squeezed in studio and taken to their limits... This made them record astonishing things which, anyway, would have been difficult to reply on stage...

These are the main reasons behind the slight differences between studio and live tracks under the vocal point of view...

By the way, I'd like to give you a suggestion: try to listen to the Hyde Park 1976 concert... There, no overdubs were done and so you can hear the voice as it came out... Well, you will see it was not one of the best performances by Queen, absolutely, but listen to "You take my breath away" and you'll see... He almost did it the way it was in studio!!!! Astonishing!!!! I really believe that it would have been REALLY difficult for him to do that again... And, in fact, in other live performances that song was done with his chest voice...

I know I haven't answered properly to your question but, anyway, it seemed interesting to me!!!

Ciao

:-)

Albyboy


And the light, turn then off my friend... And the ghosts... Well just let them in... Cause in the dark it's easier to see...
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Posted: 08 Sep 04, 17:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Waiting for Sebastian to reply to this topic :)


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Giacco 73 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 08 Sep 04, 17:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That's very kind of you!
I will follow your suggestion.In fact,as a member of WWRY,the italian Queen fan club in the past I bought almost all of their video bootlegs and Hide Park of course.I'm gonna watch it and see that particular bit.I started this topic because I was very curious of particulary state of grace of the voice of Freddie live that sometimes has been judged not good enough or not good as the recording sessions.I think that is obviuos (and for almost all rock-pop singers I think) that is like that due to the so intricated way they realised their songs in studio,especially in the '70,from the vocal point of view.They demand all of his vocal range and variety of styles,which no singer i've heard until now could do...And I think also that Freddie during his career was afflicted of polipos to his vocal chords,and sure it doesn't help.And during the 80's it was a calculated choice starting to smoke heavily to have his wonderful husky voice which suited better to that decade mood but maybe cutted a bit his upper range,immediatily regained in early '90 when he stopped to smoke due to his terrible desease.
In conclusion for me very few singers could hit those amazing notes in the studio and live and by making good examples of when those notes were the same in both occasions we can make a good service to the memory of the greatest singer of our era.
Grazie ancora e ciao!


Freddie Mercury.

A wonderful human being and simply the greatest singer,performer and composer of our times.
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Posted: 09 Sep 04, 01:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Giacco 73 wrote:


-A kind of magic,the song,the line "the bell that rings,inside your mind,is challenging the doors of time"


Right before the guitar solo, I assume? He nailed those lines only on the first couple nights of the Magic tour (Stockholm and Leiden).

-Hammer to fall,the line "baby,now your's struggle,all in vain"


The closest he got was at Live Aid, but he just hit the note for a split second. But are you referring to the album version or single version? If it's the single version, then definitely not!

-Tie your mother down,the finale studio high scream "tonight"


Ooh, that high E in the back of the mix? That's perhaps the highest note he ever hit in the studio, and you'd never catch him up that high on stage. :)

-Is this the world we created hitting all the high notes of the refrain


Nope, that definitely didn't happen.

-Another one bites the dust, the lines "how do you think i'm going to get along,WITHOUT you when you're gone,you took for everything that I had an KICKED ME out on my own" where the capitals are the high note


Neeeope.

Whether or not we want to face it... a lot of the time, Freddie wasn't a great singer live, if you look at the entire Queen concertography as a whole. On about half of the tours, his voice was definitely sub-par... Opera, Races (US leg), Jazz, second half of Hot Space, Works, and many Magic shows. I fully realize range isn't everything, but his range rarely, if ever, met the height of his performances in the studio. Freddie's range is one of his greatest characteristics on Queen albums, and certain songs on stage lack when Freddie's voice isn't up to par. Somebody To Love, It's Late, The Prophet's Song, I Want To Break Free, etc.

But we must remember... in the comfort of the studio, you can have as many takes as you want. For all we know, for songs such as It's Late and Another One Bites The Dust, Freddie could have decided not to sing for a week before recording, and then was able to belt out a few high notes like the ones in those songs, since his voice was so well rested. So most of the time, he had to take it easy singing live, because he knew that if he attempted one note too high, he could have trashed his voice completely. It happened in South Africa in '84, and Queen were forced to cancel a few shows for his voice to recover.

Another contributing factor to this is this simple fact: Freddie Mercury was a man who did not take care of his voice, especially in the 80s. Smoking and one's singing voice usually are not a great mix!

Before I get bashed for seeming like I'm too harsh of a critic, I'll spend a moment prasing some great FM performances: So many of the News Of The World, Game, Hot Space, and Magic shows feature Freddie in incredible voice. When his voice was in great shape, he was able to communicate certain songs more effectively. For example, compare the Los Angeles 3-3-77 and Leeds 5-29-82 versions of Somebody To Love. No comparison! I will forever praise Leeds 82, Sao Paulo 81, Oakland 80, Copenhagen 78, both nights in Newcastle 79 and Leiden 86, and so many other shows where Freddie Mercury was in complete control. Most shows from Japan in 79 and 82 best serve as comparisons to the shows listed above.

It's hard to believe that Sapporo 79 and Budapest 86 are the same FM singing, the same way it's almost impossible to believe that it's the same Jimmy Page playing guitar on How The West Was Won and the Knebworth 8-11-79 show. But Page's performance problems were for different reasons, of course. ;)


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Posted: 09 Sep 04, 04:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok, this is what I was waiting for... I surely don't have SirGH knowledge about bootlegs and live versions, so I didn't risk to give wrong or incomplete answers to your question!!!

I'm very much with SirGH and his opinions about Freddie's range while on stage... As I have already said, though I've been a Queen fan for almost twenty years **SIGH**, I've never been really into the bootleg thing... I mean, I like very much to own live recordings from almost every tour but, to be sincere, I really can't make evaluations of various dates from the same tour... I have always thought that Freddie (but Queen in general - Almost everything you can get with an original recording is different from live performances... They were well aware of that and that's because their sounds are far rougher on stage) put it more on the show side than on technique...

And, as a last point, we must consider that a singer's life is very similar to everyone else's... I mean, everybody can get a flu, can wake up in the morning with his voice knocked down or may simple be not in the right mood... A singer should take his voice into account, being his main work tool (and, as it was said, Freddie didn't care too much about it, especially in the 80s), but it's not always possible... And you surely can't cancel dates everytime you're not ok!!!

Anyway, SirGH, thank you for the useful information!!!

:-)

Albyboy


And the light, turn then off my friend... And the ghosts... Well just let them in... Cause in the dark it's easier to see...
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Posted: 09 Sep 04, 12:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

albyboy wrote:

I have always thought that Freddie (but Queen in general - Almost everything you can get with an original recording is different from live performances... They were well aware of that and that's because their sounds are far rougher on stage) put it more on the show side than on technique...


Yes, that's very true...

Anyway, SirGH, thank you for the useful information!!!


Any time! :)


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Giacco 73 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 17 Sep 04, 14:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you very much for the punctual and precise informations.Even for me the goal of Freddie Live was to give a full vocally and fisically entertaining experience to the audience.100% of his body and soul every time.That's what make an enterteiner.And for sure all others frontmen in Rock'n'roll history pale in comparison to him.Best Frontman ever,no contest.And,for me,best singer.
Freddie on stage(and not only)was out of this world,his persona brought an aura of charisma,misticism and legend that we are not gonna to witness anymore.And,as we said before,due to the very difficult and extremistic way he sang in the studio,he prefered not to attempt all the time all that fabulous high parts that we all know and love.Is for this that I like to think that his vocally off nights that may have happened during his neverending tours may be the dream and the highlights of a career of the most part of the others singers in popular music,too often praised by the critics and overrated by the facts in my point of view.
I don't wanna be tedious but other song come to mind to the subject of this topic.
Did an audience ever witnessed Freddie performing live in all the difficult part of songs like:
-Somebody to love,hitting the high notes during the song and most of all the falsetto part of "Somebody tooo...loooveee",you know what I mean,the George Michael one of the FM tribute.
-Who wants to live forever,the refrain "and we can live forever...and we can love forever" which he wonderfully lowerised for example at Wembley or Budapest obviusly in 1986,during the Magic tour.
-We are the champions,during the refrain,the second "We are the champions" and most of all the "No time for losers" part,always vocally performed by Roger from the behind in full voice.
OK,don't blame me if others curiosity will come to mind but I'm just curious to know more and more about Queen,Freddie expecially and not always the same well known old news.And Queen is a vast treasure to explore,for sure!
Thank you
KYA


Freddie Mercury.

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Posted: 17 Sep 04, 19:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting topic! I fully appreciate the fact that Freddie's singing live wasn't up to the same standards as it was in the studio, especially in the middle of a strenuous tour. However, I also think a fair bit of laziness was involved.
At the end of the 70's the venues Queen were playing got bigger and bigger, and the band gradually lost some of their finesse.

This is very noticable in songs like Now I'm Here, which they pretty much played throughout their career. There would be less backing vocals in that song every new tour, until it virtually became a Freddie solo. Also Freddie saw less and less of his beloved piano, as Queen's sophisticated shows evolved into stadium rock.

Some of the more musically intricate elements were lost in favour of Freddie's showmanship, and I can't help thinking that opting for the "easy way out" vocally was sometimes more by choice than by nessecity.

Quite a rant, but I do hope you catch my drift.


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Posted: 17 Sep 04, 23:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The final tonight in Tie Your Mother Down is a head voiced E4, but it`s not Fred, it`s Roger.


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: 17 Sep 04, 23:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Giacco 73 wrote:

due to the very difficult and extremistic way he sang in the studio,he prefered not to attempt all the time all that fabulous high parts that we all know and love.


Sorry, I disagree. There's a difference between a voice approaching breaking point, and a singer choosing to take it easy. Freddie definitely always gave it his all, depending on how well his range was that night. Most of the time, his range wasn't as good as it was in the studio.


-Somebody to love,hitting the high notes during the song and most of all the falsetto part of "Somebody tooo...loooveee",you know what I mean,the George Michael one of the FM tribute.
-Who wants to live forever,the refrain "and we can live forever...and we can love forever" which he wonderfully lowerised for example at Wembley or Budapest obviusly in 1986,during the Magic tour.
-We are the champions,during the refrain,the second "We are the champions" and most of all the "No time for losers" part,always vocally performed by Roger from the behind in full voice.


Nope, none of those things ever happened, that we know of. However, STL evolved over the years, and by the Hot Space tour, Freddie had a completely different style of singing the climax line. Sometimes I prefer it over the original, i.e. Milton Keynes 82. I still sit in awe at that version... what a showman he was.

Fireplace wrote:

Interesting topic! I fully appreciate the fact that Freddie's singing live wasn't up to the same standards as it was in the studio, especially in the middle of a strenuous tour. However, I also think a fair bit of laziness was involved.
At the end of the 70's the venues Queen were playing got bigger and bigger, and the band gradually lost some of their finesse.

This is very noticable in songs like Now I'm Here, which they pretty much played throughout their career. There would be less backing vocals in that song every new tour, until it virtually became a Freddie solo. Also Freddie saw less and less of his beloved piano, as Queen's sophisticated shows evolved into stadium rock.

Some of the more musically intricate elements were lost in favour of Freddie's showmanship, and I can't help thinking that opting for the "easy way out" vocally was sometimes more by choice than by nessecity.

Quite a rant, but I do hope you catch my drift.


Absolutely agree with you, 100%. From 77 onward, many musical things went down the tubes in favour of more visual things. Queen still played great shows, but there is no comparison between Flick Of The Wrist and I Want To Break Free.


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



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