Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Roger's 1980's writing frenzy

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Scott_Mercury user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 05, 23:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Has anyone ever noticed that for about the first 15 years of Queen, Freddie and Brian did about 90% of the song writing.

Generally Freddie & Brian would have the big hits, plus the lesser known songs on the older albums....John would contribute a song, and Roger as well.

In the 80's, John and Roger scored number one hits.
John had "Another on bites the dust, and Roger had Radio Ga Ga.

While John didn't write many songs, his songs were many times hits.

Roger's 1970's songs are usually considered album filler.... but when the 1980's came, Roger's writing either got better, or he pushed harder for his songs to be used.

Consider these following songs are all Roger's.
(Even if it is credited to the whole band)
1. Under Pressure
2. Radio Ga Ga
3. A kind of Magic
4. One Vision (Roger's initial idea, lyrics said to be Roger and Freddie togther)
5. The Invisible Man
6. Breakthru
7. Innuendo
8. These are the days of our lives
9. Ride the Wild Wind
10. Heaven for Everyone

While these ten hits of Rogers certainly don't make up all of the hits...as Freddie & Brian still had a fair share of the biggies....and John had several hits..

They prove that Roger is very much a force of Queen, which all of us here already knew.




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Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Feb 05, 23:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Keep in mind he also wrote three albums worth of solo material, in addition to his Queen contributions. I think he'd finally established himself as a prominent voice and songwriter, and his songwriting really improved over time.

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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 00:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Somrbody had to compensate for Freddie's slide toward mediocrity, and Roger rose to the challenge.

Was not You Don't Fool Me co-writen with Freddie? If so, replace RtWW with YDFM and that top ten list is all top twenty hits.

If QP has run out of ideas maybe these ten songs can be released as a compilation called Roger Rocks. I mean who wants a boring old box set anyway?


Roger: I like it. If you don't. Sod you!



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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 01:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Scott_Mercury wrote:


4. One Vision (Roger's initial idea, lyrics said to be Roger and Freddie togther)


No, that can't be right. If anything, One Vision's initial concept was Brian's. He was fuckin' around on guitar, then Roger chimed in with drums, and it went from there. Roger and Freddie probably did the lyrics, but for initial idea, that goes to Brian.


Give us the right key, f#@! sakes...
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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 14:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ryancoke wrote:

Scott_Mercury wrote:


4. One Vision (Roger's initial idea, lyrics said to be Roger and Freddie togther)


No, that can't be right. If anything, One Vision's initial concept was Brian's. He was fuckin' around on guitar, then Roger chimed in with drums, and it went from there. Roger and Freddie probably did the lyrics, but for initial idea, that goes to Brian.


Did Roger say the original idea was his? A song about Martain Luther King? And then Freddie changed the words around?

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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 16:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Roger has said that the original idea for One vision came from him and if you watch the video on magic years you'll notice he writes the majority of the lyrics.

He's a prolific writer. He has worked on all the queen albums and got a number one with these are he days of ours lives and a close second with gaga and a kind of magic.

He's also written 4 solo albums and co written 3 with his his band the cross. Roger is very very underrated in my opinion.


"don't like religion tends to f*ck people up"-Roger Taylor 1985



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ernie user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 19:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

kind of off-topic but does neone else think that The Invisible Man sounds like the Ghostbusters theme?

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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 19:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ernie wrote:

kind of off-topic but does neone else think that The Invisible Man sounds like the Ghostbusters theme?


It Does a bit.


"I'm Just A Musical Prostitute My Dear"

Freddie Mercury, 1984
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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 20:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I just love Roger. Ok, boyfriends coming cant let him see me type this.

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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 21:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

True...

Several points I want to mention.

1) One Vision, without a doubt originally came from Roger. Roger had the idea of how the beat would go, and about 2/3 of the lyrics complete.

Freddie changed all the lyrics around.

While Roger was saying "One man, One goal, One true religion"..... Freddie was playing the beginning riff....(you know which Brian plays on piano) ....the riff that starts at D5 then C#/D5 ....on the piano.

The next scene we see is Roger telling an interviewer that he had the lyrics done, but they changed them.....the interview says "who did"....Roger says that damn "Freddie".

2) It should be noted that FREDDIE usually was the organizer in making all of John and most of Roger's songs come to life.....many times Freddie would change the music and lyrics.....but since the original idea came from John or Roger....the liner nots writing credit would go to them.

I have JOHN either in printed word, or on footage saying that Freddie took over the following songs of his.....Another One Bites The Dust, Spread Your Wings, and I want to Break Free.

When John introduced the bass riff of Another One bites.....Brian wasn't impressed, and Roger hated it.....it was Freddie that reorganized the song in such a way to where the other got interested....and Freddie has said "John had the original idea and bass....I just finished it for him".

Of Roger's songs...... A Kind Of Magic & Radio Ga Ga are two songs that I have Roger, in an interview saying....."Those started off as mine, then that bloody Freddie took over, especially on "Magic", which I could hardly recognize when I can back from vacation."

Innuendo was another one, which really was a collaboration.....Brian knew he wanted that middle guitar section (Spanish sounding) in some track on the album......Roger had the title.....Freddie wrote most of the lyrics w/ideas from Roger, and John had nothing to do with that track (according to Brian).




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Scott_Mercury user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Feb 05, 21:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As far as "Under Pressure" goes, I have an old "Hit Parader" where they are interviewing Bowie.

The interviewer asks "How did that song with Queen come about?"

I am paraphrasing now....and this is not an exact quote...but it went something like this:

Bowie said that Queen were in the same studio as he, he stepped in, the said they were taking a break...we talked for an hour or so..... John and Brian were outside talking to someone.....the drummer, Roger Taylor just starting playing a beat....Freddie and I were sitting there talking, and I asked Fred what song he was playing....Freddie said, "thats just some rubbish we've been toying around with."

Bowie went onto say that Roger wrote down a few lines....lines which were later used.

Bowie said "Freddie and I just toyed around with some words"

Brian and John came back in the room, and the magic just happened.

So "Under Pressure" was a true collaboration.
No doubt Freddie probably had something to do with the lyrics....
John probably came up with the bassline.

On that song, we will never know.


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Posted: 24 Feb 05, 00:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ernie wrote:

kind of off-topic but does neone else think that The Invisible Man sounds like the Ghostbusters theme?


You mean "I Want a New Drug" by Huey Lewis and the News, right? ;)

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Posted: 24 Feb 05, 01:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

for what it's worth, Bowie was asked directly on his website last year, during his "Reality Tour" (which I saw 5 shows of- DB dedicated 'Under Pressure' to "Freddie, wherever he is" in PA- and he explained that the parts he sang were his, and the parts Freddie sang, were his, with Queen handling the majority of the music, and he handling the beggining arrangement, with the fingersnaps, etc. He explained it alot better than I did, but he was very adamant that only he and Freddie did the lyrics.

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Posted: 24 Feb 05, 01:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Innuendo is Freddie`s (lyrics started off by him and completed by Roger).

Under Pressure is Freddie`s on music, Fred & Bowie on lyrics and melody, everybody in the arrangements, but mostly Fred, Bowie & Brian. Roger participated way more in the production and mixing than in the songwritting. John himself said the bass-line is Bowie`s.

You Don`t Fool Me`s music is Roger`s, lyrics are Freddie`s.


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 Feb 05, 09:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ryancoke wrote:

Scott_Mercury wrote:


4. One Vision (Roger's initial idea, lyrics said to be Roger and Freddie togther)


No, that can't be right. If anything, One Vision's initial concept was Brian's. He was fuckin' around on guitar, then Roger chimed in with drums, and it went from there. Roger and Freddie probably did the lyrics, but for initial idea, that goes to Brian.


you've watched the magic years too much...;-) I believe one vision was an idea of rodge...

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Posted: 24 Feb 05, 09:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

In the 80's Queen seemed more concerned with singles than albums, hence Roger having a crack at writing pop songs. I don't think its fair to say his tracks on the 70's albums were filler... far from it I think.

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Posted: 24 Feb 05, 14:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Scott_Mercury wrote:

True...

Several points I want to mention.

1) One Vision, without a doubt originally came from Roger. Roger had the idea of how the beat would go, and about 2/3 of the lyrics complete.

Freddie changed all the lyrics around.

While Roger was saying "One man, One goal, One true religion"..... Freddie was playing the beginning riff....(you know which Brian plays on piano) ....the riff that starts at D5 then C#/D5 ....on the piano.

The next scene we see is Roger telling an interviewer that he had the lyrics done, but they changed them.....the interview says "who did"....Roger says that damn "Freddie".

2) It should be noted that FREDDIE usually was the organizer in making all of John and most of Roger's songs come to life.....many times Freddie would change the music and lyrics.....but since the original idea came from John or Roger....the liner nots writing credit would go to them.

I have JOHN either in printed word, or on footage saying that Freddie took over the following songs of his.....Another One Bites The Dust, Spread Your Wings, and I want to Break Free.

When John introduced the bass riff of Another One bites.....Brian wasn't impressed, and Roger hated it.....it was Freddie that reorganized the song in such a way to where the other got interested....and Freddie has said "John had the original idea and bass....I just finished it for him".

Of Roger's songs...... A Kind Of Magic & Radio Ga Ga are two songs that I have Roger, in an interview saying....."Those started off as mine, then that bloody Freddie took over, especially on "Magic", which I could hardly recognize when I can back from vacation."

Innuendo was another one, which really was a collaboration.....Brian knew he wanted that middle guitar section (Spanish sounding) in some track on the album......Roger had the title.....Freddie wrote most of the lyrics w/ideas from Roger, and John had nothing to do with that track (according to Brian).



Your judging that by the little piece of footage we see, not what actually happened. We only see 25-25 mins of days and days of songwriting. Brian came up with the riff and prob the keyboard riff too.

Under Pressure can't be mostly Rog. The bass riff is from John and Bowie and Freddie wouldve wrote most of the lyrics.


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Posted: 24 Feb 05, 19:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I thought that there were five Roger Taylor solo l.p.s and three done with The Cross?

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Posted: 25 Feb 05, 01:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ok, ok, uncle! Breakthru is a good song. I just don't get his "religion tends to f*ck people up" quote and the lyrics "I get religion quick, 'cos you're looking divine." Maybe that's one of Freddie-poo's rewrites, or maybe I'm thinking too hard. Pack another bong, Roger?

I tend to like the harder material, and Breakthru just seems a little pop to me. Now, Man on Fire or Nazis or Nation of Haircuts-- that's my cup of peppermint tea, although Radio GaGa and These Are the Days are simply brilliant. Actually I wore out two copies of the cassette single for RGG on my walkman in sr high. Modern Times RnR and Sheer Heart Attack and Fight From the Inside--even Rock It. The original version of A Kind of Magic got soul. Nice crunchy guitar solos on the album version. A Dozen Red Roses! (yes, picked up a dozen 4 my darling today because ADRR was my workout song this am). I've also heard that Freddie was THE major force behind Innuendo, as a tribute/reference to Zeppelin's Kashmir. Top of the World Ma, she makes my kiss curl curl. I like the idea behind Invisible Man, luvvv the bassline. Action This Day! I got a feelin' that just won't quit, Roger's prolific output in the 80s is undeniable. Heaven For Everyone (MIH version) is an amazing track too-- not actually a reference to organized religion I guess-- and I'm really hoping Roger is the one who wrote the guitar riff for Love Lies Bleeding, the only tune I listen to over and over from the first Cross album. Machines, One Vision, You Don't Fool Me...ahh goodness...I feel...a Roger mix cd coming on...must...cue...Drowse...


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Posted: 25 Feb 05, 05:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is a very interesting topic.

For those of us living through it, the release of Radio Gaga was crucial.

After 1982's disappointments and being invisible during 1983, it Radio Gaga had flopped it could have been the end of Queen.

When we saw they were releasing a Roger song as a single, well, that was a surprise.

Anyhow - it charted at no 4 and we were all relieved! 1984 went on to be a great Queen year.

It is amazing and I guess a bit lucky, that just as Freddie's songwriting talent was declining, Roger's seemed to mature.

As for One Vision, Freddie made Roger re-do the lyrics because the meter didn't work! He also seemed to produce the guitar work - Mack had disappeared from the Magic Years video by this stage...









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