Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > My thoughts on "Killer Queen" tribute album

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Michael Allred user not visiting

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Posted: 09 Aug 05, 20:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

(Originally posted at

Looking at the title of my review you might be inclined to think this CD is the best thing since sliced bread but once you take into consideration the absolute dreck that has passed for Queen "tributes" in the past, it's not the highest of compliments.<p>

To be sure, this album features mostly young, up-and-coming artists who are just establishing themselves to the world so some of these covers feel more fresh and lively. Regardless of the (obvious) Constantine fans posting reviews here, his is not the best track on the album (nor the worst.) Let's have a look:<p>

"We Are the Champions" by Gavin Degraw is a laid back and loose rendition of the stadium chestnut. Though perhaps it's more appropriate for a coffee house performance, it's not without merit. The arrangement is strong and Gavin's vocals, while being typical of white guys trying to copy black singers, suits his alternate take of Freddie Mercury's lyrics.<p>

"Tie Your Mother Down" by Shinedown is a boring, by-the-book copycat of Queen's track. It lacks the fun of Mercury's delivery and the bite of Brian May's ripping guitar to say nothing of the solid backbeat of Roger Taylor and the rhythm John Deacon gave it. This clearly sounds like a bar band. Drivel.<p>

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Constantine (of "American Idol" loserdom) isn't quite as bad as you'd expect it to be. Once again he stays VERY close to the original production, some would say why bother trying to improve perfection and I'd be inclined to agree. When I first heard his awful performance of this on "American Idol", I cringed upon hearing he'd be doing it AGAIN for this CD. Now that I've heard it, I didn't cringe, cry or vomit. In fact, it caused no reaction from me whatsoever. Basically it's so bland and vanilla it's impossible to get any reaction from you at all. Brought in to beef up the backing vocals are the cast from the "We Will Rock You" musical (like that show needs another plug.) Constantine needs as much backing as he can get. "American Idol" isn't known for producing the kind of talent that will be remembered years from now for earth shattering vocals.<p>

"Stone Cold Crazy" by Eleven w/ Joshua Homme quickly became my favorite from the album because it dared to remove itself from the well known heavy metal original (remember the Grammy winning cover by Metallica?) by actually slowing the number down. This new arrangement gives the fast paced track a new vibe while retaining the crunchy spirit of the original (much like the Nine Inch Nails version of Queen's "Get Down Make Love.") I think May would greatly approve of the guitar solos as well. This is a winner.<p>

"Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy" by Jason Mraz is absolutely delightful. Mraz's voice, as Mercury might have put it, is just "fab." Restrained, elegant and lovely to listen to.<p>

"Under Pressure" by Joss Stone is likely the most dissappointing track here. The fault does not lie with Stone's voice (as it is quite stunning) but rather with the music. I have never heard a band fail a singer quite as badly as this. The drumming in particular is horrendous and often misses the beat completely, it sounds like a mistake they failed to edit out. Producer Beau Dozier should be ashamed of himself for putting together such an amateur track. They also failed to include the song's highlight near the end of the track with the "Why why whyyyyyyyyyy" crescendo so instead of ending on a high note, it peters out. What a let down.<p>

"Who Wants to Live Forever" by Breaking Benjamin is pretty decent and does nothing to make you want to run away from your stereo screaming for their heads on a plate. It does not come anywhere close to matching to sadness captured by the original but as MTV/TRL rock goes, i

yamamamia user not visiting

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Posted: 10 Aug 05, 11:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Nice revue Michael. I had a Hollywood records exec hand me one Aug. the 6th after our QFAD gig, and some tunes were played before and after the show. I must admit, some of the tunes were nicely reheated. On the other hand, why did they waste all that precious time in the studio ruining great hits?? With fresh ears the next morning on the way to the airport, I noticed some just insulting versions of tunes that sounded very "young" and not well presented. Lucky they are to be on that record. The males singing the different tunes seem to all sound the same after awhile with their inflections, pronunciations, etc. This is what, the third Queen tribute album to date?? Kinda reminds you of all these sitcoms turned into movies, or redone movies that are out on the market today. Have we run out of original things to do on this planet??? However, I did enjoy WWTLF. Nicely turned around and to the point. I'm sure all the artists gave it their best. I hope it sells well.

boy of destiny user not visiting

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Posted: 10 Aug 05, 11:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Good job. Although I've only listened to the samples, I pretty much agree with your reviews. I still haven't decided whether I'll buy or not. The only tribute album I've ever found to have staying power was the House of Blues Stones tribute. Everything else seems kind of disposable.

Ray D O'Gaga user not visiting
Get down, make love
Ray D O'Gaga
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Posted: 10 Aug 05, 11:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

yamamamia wrote:

This is what, the third Queen tribute album to date??

Its the first one that's not embarrassing to listen to though. KQ isn't perfect by a mile but its not full of faded C grade performers and people nobody's ever heard of like that Dragon Attack release. Flaming Lips, Joss Stone, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Mraz and Josh Homme are at least known respectable musicians (or at least they are to people who listen to music outside the classic rock radio format).

Blow it out your ass.
Krizzy user not visiting

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Posted: 10 Aug 05, 12:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmm Thanks Michael but after even hearing some the tracks on Brian May's website I hated almost all except for Jason Mraz's GOFLB.

He's the only artist in my opinion who does a good job with FM's song.

I'd rather not purchase something that to me is substandard music. (Which I think most of today's corporate-styled music is!)

Kriz :o(

Long Live Queen!!!
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Posted: 10 Aug 05, 14:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jon Brion, on Play the Game? Did someone neglect to tell him that this was a Queen tribute album, not a Beatles tribute album? The song sounds like a bastard child of Julian Lennon and Brian Wilson. That said, the song is growing on me, though where I like the idea of what he is trying to do, the singing is sub-par in spots.

The girls in Antigone Rising do a fabulous job, they are up and comers, to be sure...

I was so looking forward to see what Los Lobos could do with Sleeping, and I was sorely dissapointed upon hearing the song on, and remain so today....

Constantine....hated what he did on AI, LOVE this version, though. Very good go at a song that, lets face it, is a "sacred cow".

I likes what Chris Cornell's solo band....err....Eleven did with Stone Cold Crazy. Different, but very well done. Yards better than Metallica's version from the early 90's.

Gavin Degraw, I could take that song or leave it.

Shinedown, I have never cared for them, but they do a good version of TYMD. I prefer Lemmy and Ted's version, personally.

Jason Mraz....not particularily a fan, but I love his version of Loverboy...stayed true to the original, with great results.

Sum 41 doing Killer Queen? Before hearing it, I thought it was cringeworthy. After hearing it, they did it as well as they possibly could. I prefer Travis's version to this one, though.

Rooney, to be honest, I had never heard of them. I like what I heard on Death on Two Legs, I may have to dig a bit to find out about the cats. Excellent performance!!

The Flaming Lips do an interesting take on Bo Rhap. Very different, but very good.

A country-fied '39? I like it, like it a lot...

Now, for the radio friendly hits...

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Exactly what this song would have been in 1985 if The Cars had done it. In a word, brilliant. Very catchy, radio ready.

Fat Bottom(ed!) Girls - May be the song that catapults Antigone Rising to stardom. In my opinion, better than the original...

Bo Rhap - Constantine. Will radio play this if released? Tough call for the dyed in the wool Queen fan.

Under Pressure - Adult Contemporary radio ready. Again, will Hollywood release this, or leave it to die?

"Not a fan of the ladies, are you Trebek?"

Sean Connery
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Posted: 11 Aug 05, 19:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

SCC - I guess it works. Sorta mellow, but still biting.
TYMD - This song is rockin', regardless of who does it. Good, but no thanks to Shinedown.
BoRhap (Const) - Is it just me, or does the back-up band just stink? It's that energy and passion that seems to be evidently lacking in everyone but Constantine.
WWTLF - Forgettable.
GOFLB - Wow. Sticks to the original for the most part, but good vocals by Mr. A-Z.
UP - What. The. Hell. This song's strongest and most energetic part is silenced.
WATC - This has sort of a sarcastic feel to it. Less of an anthem, more of a singing-drunken-are-the-losers.
BR - BS.
CLTCL - I like it. It's got sort of a late-80s/early-90s pop/rock feel to it.
'39 - Everyone sway along. And would someone please shoot the man with the tambourine? ;)
SOTS - Sorta funky-swing music, definitely music for cruising around the city.
KQ - Finally, some Canadian representation on this album! And the lead singer accomplished himself rather well. Pity I don't like this tune. NEXT!
DOTL - Where'd that opening scream go? Who stuck the synths in this? There's no pounding backbeat courtesy of Deacon/Taylor, so this song sounds flat.
PTG - Didn't like the original that much, don't like this one much better.
BR-FL - What. The. Fuck. Kinda freaky, but then again, the song is kinda like that.
FBG - Like I've said over and over, best song on the album. Antigone Rising is rising indeed.


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