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Posted: 15 Jul 05, 13:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This week sees the hybrid Queen coming to Hyde Park, with, lets face it, minimal support for such a festival. Will they fill it? Tonight will tell.

However how relevant is the band in today’s music culture? Is it the band? Or is it merely the canon of music which carries it off? Are people going to see three old rockers, two of whom used to be in what was once the biggest band on the planet? Or is a new generation of fans taking up the mantle?

I’m 33, and went to see the hybrid play in Belfast. In an earlier post I noted that around 10% of the tickets were sold in the hour before the gig, as was confirmed to me by a member of staff. I managed a couple of rows from the front, and was truly blown away by the music. But post-gig, it was the photos taken with the wee disposable that were the biggest surprise.

Me and my mate were quite obviously the oldest people in the front ten or fifteen rows. Now, 33 isn’t as old as it used to be – nor is it teenaged. But I was amazed that so many teenagers, and those in their early twenties had turned out to see, what is in essence, an aging guitarist and a bloated drummer.

Before the cyber-slagging starts, let me qualify a few things. I’m a fairly hardcore Queen fan – albums, singles, memorabilia, bootlegs, even a nicely autographed Hot Space album. (Ok, the music is questionable, but there’s no better album cover for autographs.)

May was note-perfect all night, mind-blowing to see close up. Taylor was physically struggling, - and I really WON’T hear any arguments on this, this is a fifty something stoutie drumming for nearly two hours straight. But the voice was perfect, and I have always maintained that he is one of the loudest drummers on the planet – expressive fills, thunderous toms, sharp and sizzling cymbal work. And it’s still there, undiminished.

I was lucky enough to have in my sightline across the stage, a young girl, no more than 20 years old. But for once, it wasn’t just post-30 letching that had me staring – she knew every word of every song – even those I would consider more obscure. And by obscure, for a 20 year old, I mean everything that’s not on a Greatest Hits album.

I’d love to hear sensible opinion about this. This month’s Rhythm magazine has a very deferential interview between guest interviewer, Taylor Hawkins and Roger. Brian has either been collaborating with or cited as an influence by many of today’s crop of new unstoppables. And this month’s Live8 was all the poorer for having no Queen – how many guests DIDN’T say when asked for a memory of Live Aid, Queen were the band of the day?

So where now for Roger and Brian? Live work can’t really be the way forward. Anyone who’s been to a gig on this tour can’t fail to notice that its taking its toll on Roger. Studio work would be welcomed, but marketing it under the title of Queen, even Queen+ is flaunting trades description legislation. Is it merely enough to keep the music alive, from a safe seat in the marketing department? Is it “guest appearance” status from here on in?

What say you? I don’t want to hear about the pros-and-cons of the current tour – it has served a purpose and done the boys well. But what do people think: where now for May and Taylor?



"Just tryin' to have a little fun, folks..."
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Posted: 15 Jul 05, 15:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It will be interesting to see if a studio album is made and if so, how good it will be. If these guys ever come to the states I will go see them, which will mean flying to another city and a few nights in a hotel, but I think it will be worth it. I saw Queen quite a few times when I lived in England and they were always good. I want my wife to see them so she can at least see two of the original guys.
Brian and Roger are just as big a part of Queen as Freddie, but boy, as much as I will probably enjoy the show, it just aint Freddie.
Perhaps I need to go with a different attitude and perspective. Queen get a lot of Radio play here and I think are very popular.

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Posted: 15 Jul 05, 16:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That's a great post, and my two cents are they are totally irrelevant. How can music that is in some cases 30+ years old be relevant?

However, their catalogue is equal to that of the Beatles. Good music will live forever, and Queen's music is unique and timeless. I think people will always want to hear and see that, young and old alike. And if they have as good a sound as you say, what's not to like?

I think that Brian and Roger are caretakers now. They want to play Queen music for a new audience. As much as I love their studio stuff, rock and roll is a young man's game. I have no doubt that "the hybrid!" will play and sing as good or better than any 20 somethings on the record, I just don't know that it would be very interesting lyrically with sex, drugs, struggle, the things that make rock great. There still hasn't been a song written by a rocker over 50 that has any relevance in today's world or the history of rock music.


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Posted: 15 Jul 05, 18:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Relevant....yes absolutely...because their catalogue of music is relevant....relevant because it is just that good to stand the test of time.....most of the artists today will be forgotten 5-10 years from now....while Queen lives on.....Roger and Brian bringing this GIANT around right now is making it even more relevant to a new generation of fans...making Queen live on strong for another 30 years......Queen are truly legendary which is why they are even above The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Elvis in the UK...I can't wait for their studio work....chances are it won't be as big as it was before but the possibilities are endless...with Paul Rodgers they can bring their songs to new audiences....even ones that weren't so keen on Freddie........and in this day and age...most of the music really sucks...no melody, just a repetive chorus or backbeat and some samples....Queen+Paul Rodgers will actually help save ROCK...

THE SHOW MUST GO ON! QUEEN ROCKS FOREVER!!

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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 10:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

BHM 0271 wrote:

That's a great post, and my two cents are they are totally irrelevant. How can music that is in some cases 30+ years old be relevant?

However, their catalogue is equal to that of the Beatles. Good music will live forever, and Queen's music is unique and timeless. I think people will always want to hear and see that, young and old alike. And if they have as good a sound as you say, what's not to like?

I think that Brian and Roger are caretakers now. They want to play Queen music for a new audience. As much as I love their studio stuff, rock and roll is a young man's game. I have no doubt that "the hybrid!" will play and sing as good or better than any 20 somethings on the record, I just don't know that it would be very interesting lyrically with sex, drugs, struggle, the things that make rock great. There still hasn't been a song written by a rocker over 50 that has any relevance in today's world or the history of rock music.


I like this post, agree.


Wo ist das kamerahhhhhhhhhhh!!!



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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 15:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


Like the Beatles Queen and their music has become timeless and because of that they are, like the Beatles, never irrelevant.
Those great 70's albums are as fun to listen to today as they were when they came. The same can not be said about many of the other bands from that time or many bands from 10 years ago for that matter.
Made in Heaven, live at wembley and the greatest hits albums were extremely popular when I was a young teenager in the early 90´s. Queen still felt more like modern bands than veterans even then.

Anyway, I dont think that age is really important when it comes to music. Artists like Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Iron Maiden are still fabulous(especially in concert) and in no way has-beens. Or look at John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters who kept their edge for their entire careers. Or Innuendo by that band Queen.

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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 16:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I feel that because of the current sludge being offered by what are laughingly called "rock stars," most teens my age are turning away from the new stuff, and trying out some of the records their parents listened to, like Beatles, the Who, and of course, Queen.
And once they find that they like this stuff, they'll hunt down every last album to try and get their fix.
Or is that just me?
Anyhoo, in closing, as long as the new generation listen to it, as long as they can relate, as long as somewhere in the world the last notes of Bohemian Rhapsody waft softly into a person's ears, Queen will be relevant.
Freddie's smiling, lads.


HE ROCKS US STILL.

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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 16:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Agreed. This is a good, thought-provoking post.

I think they are still, and always will be, relevant. It says something about them to still be touring after 30+ years and not be playing state fairs or casinos or somewhere like that.

On the other hand, I personally (and this is only my opinion) don't foresee them going into the studio and making a new album. I can't speak for other countries, but I think if they made a new studio album, it just wouldn't sell very well here in the U.S.

I think rock & roll is a young man's game now. If you look at all the "aging" rockers who still tour out there (e.g., The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Kiss, The Who), new studio albums tend to debut high and sell well in the first couple weeks, then fall off the charts within a couple of months. For example, Elton's last album debuted in the Top 20 but was off the Top 100 within a month, and it hasn't even gone Gold yet...and it was released in Nov. 2004. Same for Kiss -- when they did their big reunion in 1996 and were the top grossing tour that year, they went and made a studio album w/ the 4 original members a year later...and it essentially bombed. It debuted at #3 but was out of the Top 100 in a matter of weeks.

I think the majority of the fans at shows want to hear the "classics" 'cos the majority of the fans at shows are your "casual" fans and not "hardcores." When I saw The Rolling Stones in 2003, they played over 20 songs, and only 2 songs were post-1981. Same for Kiss when I saw them in 2004 -- the one song they played post-1983 was essentially the "bathroom break/beer run" song. Even Aerosmith...I saw them in 2003 and when Steven Tyler said they were gonna play a couple songs off their new album, the crowd was like a freakin' herd of cattle leaving to go to the restroom or get a beer.

Regarding Queen + PR, I think us hardcore fans wouldn't mind a new studio album, but I don't foresee the general public buying one. Being a hardcore Kiss fan also, I haven't seen anything new from them since 1998, and I probably won't again. I think Paul Stanley (Kiss's singer/guitarist) summed it up when asked when they were gonna go back in the studio..."I'm a bit ambivalent about that," Stanley said. "All of our older songs have become so big over time. And I'd have to admit that [new material] could never have those connotations and connections to people.

"A lot of people would automatically think that [the new stuff] is not as good, even though it might be better. So why would you bother?"

And I sadly have to agree. Same with Queen. I think it's their canon of music which carries them. I agree with BHM 0271's statement in his post in that, "There still hasn't been a song written by a rocker over 50 that has any relevance in today's world or the history of rock music."

I also think that IF Queen + PR come to the U.S., the success in the shows over here will weigh in on their decision whether they will make a new studio album, or tour again, etc. If the tour doesn't sell as well as they hope over here, then it's probably a sure bet you won't see a new studio album.

That's just my two cents on the subject.


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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 16:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"sex, DRUGS, struggle, the things that make rock great."

Drugs what makes rock great?? Look at pete doherty for example, the drugs are not exactly making him great if you ask me.

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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 17:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I meant drugs played a part in the way of the "sex and drugs and rock and roll" way. Drugs opened people's minds and expanded their universes around the time of Sgt. Pepper and beyond. I don't think it's a long term career plan, and obviously Queen strayed from that path (except when Freddie snorted half of Colombia in the 80s) but to deny the importance of the drug culture in rock isn't right. I'd rather hear about young Pete Doherty's struggles with smack than Brian or Elton John's struggles about finding happiness while earning a quarter of a million pounds a week.


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Posted: 16 Jul 05, 22:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think this is an excellent thread which deserves more time than I have right now, but I would quickly add two cents worth.

I think they have already decided to do a new album. I fervently hope they continue the Queen + Paul Rodgers moniker ( or a new name, but NOT Queen).

I noticed that a lot of news stories running the Hyde Park show story (the angle about Q+ PR inviting all the emergency service workers) called them simply "Queen". This I can't understand. Either that is really sloppy journalism, or that is Brian and Rogers way of slowly slipping back into the Queen name, by way of stealth. I sincerely hope it was just one off sloppy journalism.


djaef - Queen fan since 1678, after the Dorog concert!
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Posted: 18 Jul 05, 16:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

djaef wrote:

I think this is an excellent thread which deserves more time than I have right now, but I would quickly add two cents worth.

I think they have already decided to do a new album. I fervently hope they continue the Queen + Paul Rodgers moniker ( or a new name, but NOT Queen).

I noticed that a lot of news stories running the Hyde Park show story (the angle about Q+ PR inviting all the emergency service workers) called them simply "Queen". This I can't understand. Either that is really sloppy journalism, or that is Brian and Rogers way of slowly slipping back into the Queen name, by way of stealth. I sincerely hope it was just one off sloppy journalism.


It could be the management. i think that in marketing terms bM and RT leave that to Jim Beach and their publicists and concentrate on the content artistically, so i doubt they'll go for bringing PR under an all "Queen" banner. I even recall RT saying in one interview that they considered going out as Taylor May and Rodgers but went for the q+PR for marketing purposes. I don't have a problem with that 'cause I see the sense in it.

They've done it all very tastefully in my opinioun -being respectful to Fred AND PR almost equally. and I think PR has been remarkably accomodating and generous in letting B + R sing so many songs.

It might be that PR can't do more than he has been. He sang less songs early in the tour - RT did magic at brixton i think and BM did IWIA. ANd PR had trouble with his voice early on in the tour, so this might be part of it.

new material would be good, but I think that should be under the may/taylor/rodgers style banner and not Queen+pR, but I wouldn't get upset if they did it that way.

More touring would be good. I agree that Roger looks like it takes everything he's got to get through it, but he could probably lose some weight and get into shape if they did more tours. His interviews seem to indicate he's well and truly up for more.

so, all in all, the future look bright. I think they are relevant and can continue to be.


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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 12:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There still hasn't been a song written by a rocker over 50 that has any relevance in today's world or the history of rock music.



i disagree, bob dylan's album Time out of Mind is in my opinion the finest of his career. and that is placing up against some formidable albums, blonde on blonde, blood on the tracks, highway 61 revisited, oh mercy etc etc. It was released in sept 1997 which means that his Bobness was 56 at the time.
his follow up in 2001 Love and Theft was brilliant too.


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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 12:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

djaef wrote:

I think this is an excellent thread which deserves more time than I have right now, but I would quickly add two cents worth.

I think they have already decided to do a new album. I fervently hope they continue the Queen + Paul Rodgers moniker ( or a new name, but NOT Queen).

I noticed that a lot of news stories running the Hyde Park show story (the angle about Q+ PR inviting all the emergency service workers) called them simply "Queen". This I can't understand. Either that is really sloppy journalism, or that is Brian and Rogers way of slowly slipping back into the Queen name, by way of stealth. I sincerely hope it was just one off sloppy journalism.


Rolling Stone just did it in their announcement of ''Reunited Queen To Tour America''. I noticed they didn't say Queen+Paul Rodgers. And this was NOT about the emergency services show where it was from a standard boiler plate rushed press release that might have only mistakenly said Queen.

See this word for word.

http://queenzone.com/queenzone/news_view.aspx?news_id=2859


xyz
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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 14:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That's all well and good about Bob Dylan, dimcyril, but who has heard this song? Acts like Coldplay, 50 Cent and Usher are vital as they are popular and people relate to their music, for better or worse. Even Oasis and U2 have reached their best before date, and they're a lot more current than Queen is in terms of new music. Bob Dylan's song may be wonderful (as was Brian's "We Don't we try again", which I believe was recorded when he was past 50) but no one but the die hard Dylan or May fans knows them so they're still godd songs, but not meaningful in today's world.


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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 15:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

BHM 0271 wrote:

... but not meaningful in today's world.


"Meaningful" to whom or in what context? If it has meaning to you, its meaningful. But if you mean "meaningful" in the sense that it gets lauded by a bunch of critics and music industry types, who gives a shit? "Relevent" is just a code word for pretentious people with a media megaphone trying to impress each other with how smart they think they are. In what way is Coldplay or U2 or Usher or 50 Cent or anybody in the music business "relevent" to any degree beyond what a critic in the NME or Rolling Stone says it is? Its music. Its entertainment. Its no more or less "relevent" or "meaningful" than anything on TV, at the movie theater, or on the newsstand. People buy it for a time, then move on to the next thing. That's it. It has no more or less relevence than you choose to give it, and no more meaning than you choose to take from it. The opinions of a bunch of ivory tower music and entertainment "journalists" is just a lot of bandwagon-jumping wankery.


Blow it out your ass.
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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 15:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

BHM 0271 wrote:

That's all well and good about Bob Dylan, dimcyril, [SNIP] worse. Even Oasis and U2 have reached their best before date, and they're a lot more current than Queen is in terms of new music.


Can I just say, while this is VERY off-topic, I don't think we've seen the best of U2 yet. And their relevance is undisputed.

Just an opinion.


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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 15:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ray D O'Gaga wrote:

BHM 0271 wrote:

... but not meaningful in today's world.


"Relevent" is just a code word for pretentious people with a media megaphone trying to impress each other with how smart they think they are.


You are of course entitled to your opinion, that's what a forum like this is for. However, my original post was "Are they relevant"? Relevant, as listed in the Merriam-Webster means "having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand".

Whether you feel that I was asking the question in cultural, musical, or whatever context, or whether I was referring to their place in the general Zeitgeist, you are entitled to answer.

I must tell you, however, that I'm not a pretentious person, I don't own a media megaphone, and given that I don't really need to impress anyone with how smart I think am, I'd prefer it if you don't judge.

Especially when you don't know me.

Cheers


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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 16:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Not sure if the previous post is directed at me or Ray, but I'm certainly not slagging Queen, but as I stated before, they'll always play great songs with a high degree of musicianship. However, in the context of relevance, my belief is that rock is a young person's game. When Queen broke onto the scene, they were full of ideas and creative energy. Even they will admit that their enthusiasm flagged as they got into to 80s. So I don't see how Queen as a bunch of middle aged men are vital or meaningful in the sense of writing songs that will change the world, in the way they did before. Without having seen the current tour, I think they're a better live band than virtually every new band, just don't know how they can be culturally or socially relevant.


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Posted: 19 Jul 05, 18:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


Good post by Ray d´O Gaga!
Relevant is a very vague word and if someone is relevant or not depends on how you define the word. As long as there are people that likes it I dont see what is wrong with it. In the end its only about the music and wether or not you like listening to it. Music is not objective, there is no general good or bad. Its all down to what taste you have.

There are plenty of artists that have remained vital and developed during their entire careers.
Bob Dylan is an excellent example, Bruce Springsteen another. Iron Maiden (though not a favourite of mine, they are still as popular as ever and still making great records), AC/DC, Danzig, the Who, Ray Davies, Iggy Pop etc.
That is why to a large part this time is so interesting in music. Because we have all this great new talent( there is plenty if you just look) together with all these great artists that have proven themselves by not only surviving but developing.
We have a very wide variety of music to choose from and it is something that everyone can take part in. No matter if youre old or young or man or woman.

Music is not only for young people. Today rock & pop is something for all ages. In the end we all grow old and life doesnt end because we do that.

(Love sick by Bob Dylan from the album time out of mind has received quite a bit of play and is frequently in the White Stripes setlist.)