Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Queen and Queen II in relation with later Queen works

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Sonia Doris user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 04:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

about my research paper again...
can you give me to link to something i could rely on (articles mostly)about this subject?
thanx in advance


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Sonia Doris user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 06:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

does that mean there are none?
;)


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Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 06:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What exactly do you want to know? I can help you out (hopefully). You mean a songwritting research, or arrangements, or production...?


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: 14 Oct 04, 09:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

mostly articles - not descriptive, not opinions - i mean stuff i can base an argument upon (something like Queen wasn´t only We Are The Champions...etc)


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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 09:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Theres a very interesting passage on Queen II in the article that Juls mentioned in his "best sounding album"-thread:

The gong which graces the dying moments of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' made its debut on the experimental 1974 Queen II album. "It became a trademark which started with us pissing around during the second album. We were experimenting with ideas, both musically for themselves and technically for me. Freddie said to me, 'If there are any ideas that you've had that you can't use with boring, human type bands, we'll try them out on this.' A lot of it was backward cymbals, backward gongs, and backward tom fills. Anything that Queen ever did was encompassed in that second album. Queen II was like the 'kitchen sink' of every known Queen effect. Musically, there were the ballads, the heavy bits, and complex arrangements -- it all stemmed from there. Phasing too, and everything had to be done by hand, because there were no effects boxes that could do it automatically. We had to get tapes and run them around the room by hand, just to get phasing."

Published in SOS October 1995

Read the whole article on http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/oct95/queen.html


Guten Tag und Guten Abend !!! We had a great time in Cologne. Drinking beer in the sunshine beside the Mighty Rhein brought back many memories for me..... (Brian May, 2004)
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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 13:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok, it`s not an article but it`s what I can tell you from the top off my head, in the musical side of things:

-------------------------

Roger: some of his trademarks were demonstrated right from the start:

- Both Modern Times and Loser have very few chords and most of them are major. Check most of Roger`s future work from Tenement Funster to the Electric Fire album and you`ll note he still did that

- Sections over just one chord. Future examples: Surrender, Pressure On, Nazis (so-so)

- One bridge (Happiness, Invisible Man, I`m In Love with My Car, Days Of Our Lives...)

- Riff-driven parts (Fight From The Inside, Man On Fire...)

----

Brian also started the way he always was: a person of contrasts. Note that from the early days he wrote both ballads (e.g. White Queen) and hard-rock (e.g. Son & Daughter).

In general terms his compositions were based upon simple chords and structures, adorned with great ear-pleasing harmonies. And that was kept from the beginning to the end, from Smile days to Another World.

Some more specific trademarks from him were also incorporated later, such as:

- Pedal bass (KYA, Doin` All Right, later on Hammer to Fall, Las Palabras De Amor, Leaving Home, Teo Toriatte....)

- Canon (KYA, Son And Daughter live, later on Prophet`s Song, Brighton Rock, Now I`m Here...)

- Pentatonic melodies (KYA, later on Dragon Attack, Tie Your mother Down, We Will Rock You...)


---------

Freddie started off as a heavy metal songwriter. He composed more in guitar (e.g. Liar, Ogre Battle) so the songs were harmonically simpler; still he managed to "break the rules" and put weird chords and stuff.

Still it was at the piano where he could achieve his full potential, and songs like My Fairy King or Fairy Feller`s Master Stroke had a very clever harmony indeed.

In those years Mercury specialised in a-cyclic song-froms and very long melodies: Liar, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, Fairy Feller`s Masterstroke, The March Of The Black Queen. For example, in the last one, after "he`ll bring a little love" there`s a small instrumental connector, and before you know it the key is now Am instead of F. Those kind of "transparent" modulations were what he kept using in the future, for example in Bo Rhap.

Probably the song he learned the most from was Seven Seas, in the matter that as well as being very clever in harmony, melody and form, he managed to keep it "pop" enough to be a hit. And that was his specialty: `We Are the champions` or `Bicycle` are very dense tracks that somehow are "easy to get" and earpleasing, not overwhelming.

An interesting trademark from him is the I>V>vi progression, he used it first in the second album (Masterstroke & Black Queen), then he kept using it for most of the songs he wrote in the piano (BoRhap, champions, Lily, Friends will Be Friends, It`s A Hard Life....)

He also used some variants of the flamenco cadence (which is not only used in flamenco), in Liar and Great King Rat. Futurely Fred would use more variants of that in It`s A Hard Life, Barcelona, Fallen Priest, Bijou, Was It All Worth It, and of course, Innuendo.

There`s much more, but either I don`t remember right now, or I don`t know at all, or I don`t want to get more boring, at least for now :)


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: 14 Oct 04, 13:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i´ll use them
thanx a lot


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juls user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 14:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi,

maybe it is helpful to approach the topic also from the technical side of view.
Queens first productions where recorded in a different way, than later, which is clear, because they could use more tracks, automatisation, MIDI programming, synthesizers, etc. on the later records. I am quite sure they used 8 track machines for the first records, and had to "Punch" the recorded tracks together to new tracks. This is why the old Queen recordings sound fatter, and quite distorted. Each time f.e. Brians guitar was recorded, it was punched (copied with another tracks) to empty tracks. The way of mastering the album was done in a quite simple way even till 1975: they recorded the whole mix on a 2 track master tape. Later in the 80s, in times of "midification", it was easier to record drum loops and synthesiser-based, computer-controlled backing tracks. They could use 36 tracks in this time, in the Musicland studios, where Mack was their producer, they had possibility to use samplers, drum computers, and lots of different keyboards, synthesisers etc. Of course, aware of that, the approach to music changed too. Extreme examples are Hot Space and The Works, which are full of computer-aided things. Having a bassline played on a synthesiser (in this case I think it is the Jupiter-8 on Hot Space and the Works), you can vary the sound, give it another feel, and perhaps they used more keyboards, the quality of "classical songwriting" lacked (that IMHO!) - on the other hand there was not really a need for over-the-top productions like Queen II in the early 80s. With NOTW the four tried to get back to the root of music I think, without putting a cherry on everything, on the Jazz album they showed versatility: we remember, 1977/78 the beat-clubs changed to Discotheques, and that the overall sound of the pop-music records of this time was groovy, bass-orientated, with typical structures (even today, 25 years later). The main difference between the newer and older productions is IMHO the approach to music in general.
Queen I is not really a milestone in Queens career - in terms of composing and performance everything was okay then! The biggest problem was, that they hadnt got the knowledge and experience to know how the record should sound when it goes to the press.
On Queen II Mr. Baker, the producer, did a really good job! And the Side One/Side Black idea worked! An interesting fact is, that the Side 1/Side 2 split is found again on Hot Space too. More than on any other album.

It is really hard to find article about the theory, why and what changed in Queens career, and from which point it is easier to approach, from the overall "Queen machinery" or the technical/composing side.

Thanks for reading.


Special thanks to Arif Mardin who arranged and produced some hot and spacey horns on "Staying Power" ;-)
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Posted: 14 Oct 04, 14:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

SOrry, I found a little quote of Roy Thomas Baker (yes, I am fan of him :) )

Q. One characteristic found on many of your records is the artful segue.

A. I love segues, because I like records to be continuous and it gives me a good excuse not to turn off the music and put on something else. Sometimes the record company initially didn't like them, not for artistic reasons, but because they thought that disc jockeys would have a problem taking the record off at that point. So an alternative copy for radio with these big five-second spacings between each song would be made, as in the case of Journey's Infinity. What made it funnier was disc jockeys played the segues even more on that album. They played the first three or four songs of The Cars' first album together, too. [Laughs] Even now, they are still playing the segues.

source: http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_roy_thomas_baker/

Sounds familiar? :))


Special thanks to Arif Mardin who arranged and produced some hot and spacey horns on "Staying Power" ;-)
Sonia Doris user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Oct 04, 06:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

very interesting indeed
thanx again


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