Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Too much love will kill you

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The prophet's song user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 02:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Is TMLWKY written about when Brian was breaking up with his wife and when he first met Anita?
If it is and it's obvious, excuse my ignorance. In the lyrics when it says "torn between the lover, and the love you leave behind" I thought that's what it may be about.


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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 04:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes.


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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 09:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

kiwi_queen_bean: "Is TMLWKY written about when Brian was breaking up with his wife and when he first met Anita?"

No - it is not. "Too Much Love Will Kill You" was an equal collaboration between three writers, (May, Musker, and Lamers), so it is NOT a Brian May track at all - but only one third of a Brian May track at best.

This means (mathamatically) that 66.6% of the song has nothing whatsoever to do with Brian's sub-conscience. The final 33.3% was written to scan and fit-in with the other writers. In reality, Brian provided more music than lyrics, so in truth the "sentement" of the song - does not really stem from his ideas.





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*3*Playful as a pussycat user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 12:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

but he could have come up with the idea of the song, taken it to his friends, who then made a few adjustments that were big enough so they could claim some of the credit for writing the song also


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"Mis francais est la meme que before. C'est un peu crap"-Brian May

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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 12:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*3*Playful as a pussycat: "...he could have come up with the idea of the song, taken it to his friends, who then made a few adjustments that were big enough so they could claim some of the credit for writing the song also"

No: That is NOT the case either, as the song springs from a jam session - not pre-conceived ideas. Infact, it was Elizabeth Lamers who came up with most of the lyrics, and was basically a love song - untill the chorus changed that. For example, the "Too much love will kill you - it get's you every time", was her idea.


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 14:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It could still be 70% Brian, 5% Musker & 25% Lamers, couldn't it?

Plus wasn't one of them his therapist, so would know Brian's feelings enough to contribute?

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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 15:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't see how you can just mathematically divide the song into 3 and say that it is therefore only 33.3% Brian's. A song as a piece of art is not a data-set that can be manipulated mathematically.

As PG said, just because 3 writers are credited, it in no way follows that they all equally contributed to the crafting of the song.







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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 15:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bo Hardy - please re-read my mail once more. Did I not previously write:

"In reality, Brian provided more music than lyrics, so in truth the "sentement" of the song - does not really stem from his ideas."

Thus pointing out that it was much more than just a mathematical equation?

PG: I accept your point also, but as I said to Bo Hardy, the division of labours was more "words" by Musker and Lammers, and music by May. However, I never really thought about one being Brian's therapist, but that in itself does not mean that he has to be relaying Brian's thoughts - does it?


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 16:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Your point that the sentiment of the song is not Brian's has no relation to your point that because the song is credited to 3 writers it is therefore 33.3% Brian's. It really doesn't.

I know what you're getting at though. It's all about what makes up the essence of a song; what it is that defines and characterises the song.

Whomever is responsible for the bulk of what that essence is, can rightly be considered as the major composer of the song.

For example, you might have a song/piece of music that consists of 2 parts: one, a simple repeated rhythm on a tabla (made-up on the spot by a tabla-player), the other, a glorious vocal melody and lyric (carefully constricted by a songwriter). Technically the tabla part may actually feature more throughout the piece of music, but the song - its essence - would be all about the melody-line and text.

In this case, the songwriter is clearly the main composer of the piece of music.

It's an incredibly obvious point, but it's at the heart of what's being asked here.

Who can rightly be considered as the main composer of this song?

Bohardy (all one word...).

;-)


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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 21:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My bad. It appears I was wrong. I thought that most of the word were Brian's and the music was the collaborative part.
I most humbly apologise.


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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 21:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

John's point of Brian being more a music writer in that case makes a lot of sense considering that both Frank and Elizabeth are (as far as I know) proffessional lyricists and not proffessional musicians.


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: 06 Sep 05, 21:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The conclusions (or delusions) that people come up with never cease to amaze me. That's all I'm gonna say.

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Posted: 06 Sep 05, 23:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So who here knows exactly how this song was formed? I'm keen to find out the road from beginning to end on this one. As much detail if possible. No guessing or assumptions folks! It has to be based on truth - fact based evidence.

Peace,
Adam.

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Posted: 07 Sep 05, 02:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Adam: Too Much Love Will Kill You (Brian May version)

Intro Demo 3:08 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Musical ideas that sketch the beginning verse of the song.

First Piano Demo 2:55 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Mainly music - little lyrics. No guitar at this stage. Although the above "Intro demo" also takes place on a piano, (not a keyboard), this is the first demo of the song - rather than just an intro.

Every Time Demo 1:38 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Ending Demo “21 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Lyrics added ad-lib, mainly by Elizabeth Lamers. little May lyrical input - but he likes the phrase Too much love will kill you - it get's you "Every Time". Both May and Muskers talk about idea's - but not actual lyrics. An ending - or final phrase is added musically.

Second Verse Demo 1:04 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Rough sketch - similar to first verse, more/new lyrics. Again, mainly Eliabeth Lamers, but May and Musker again brainstorm ideas, providing Elizabeth Lamers with a few alternatives/possible minor changes to the bigger picture.

“Shit!” Demo 3:11 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Rough idea of the complete song so far. This joins-up the previous demos. The opening verse, the second verse, and the final end bit. No bridge or middle eight as yet. Lyrics are refined, again little contribution from Brian, until he get's it wrong (or makes a mistake) - thus his biggest contribution at this stage becomes - "Oh shit!". However, he has said, "I like that bit", or "I think we could do that better", but no real contributory ideas lyrically.

Acoustic Guitar Demo 2:35 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Polished version of the above. Brian on acoustic guitar, Elizabeth Lamers on vocals. Still no bridge or middle eight.

Home Keyboard Instrumental 4:32 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
Nothing new lyrically, but more polished than the previous acoustic guitar demo. (Though paradoxically, the acoustic guitar demo has a more "charming feel").

First Vocal Demo 4:48 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
The song, sung by Brian, is more or less completed at this stage.

Home Duet Demo 4:47 - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc.
As above, but with the vocals shared equally by Brian May and Elizabeth Lamers.

1992 Back To The Light Album Version - Parlophone CDPCSD 123
1992 CDs Guitar 4:29 Instrumental
1992 CD Piano (Miss-press) 4:09 Instrumental - Hollywood
1992 First Live Version with/out Spoken CD Intro - Freddie Mercury Tribute: 20th April 1992
1992 Brian May Promotional Video - Unreleased: Home Video
1992 Holland Veronica Muziek Veilyny Video
21 September 1992 -Unreleased: Wanted

Too Much Love Will Kill You (Queen)
1988 Freddie Vocal Guide/Brian Vocal Demo - Unreleased: GB IQFC Convention 2001
1988 Miracle Demo Promo Teaser Tape - Unreleased: Home Mini-Disc
1995 Album Version - Made In Heaven: Parlophone CDPCSD 167
1995 US Promo CD Single Radio 3:52 Edit - US CDS Hollywood PRCD -10546-2
1995 UK VH1 TV Promo - Unreleased: Home Video
1995 Promotional Video: Heart-Ache -Made In Heaven The Films: WNR 2066
1998 eYe/Demo 1:47 Edit - Electronic Arts DDE05501 101S

From the above, I can conclude that the lyrics have little to do with Brian's divorce, his relationship with Freddie, Anita, or his father, as he was not the designer behind their meaning, rather the majority of the lyrics do belong to Elizabeth Lamers.

However, I do think the song IS about - Brian's divorce, and his relationship with Freddie, Anita, and his father - because he makes the song his own.

Let me explain that last bit.

I can buy my wife a birthday card, but I will not have written the little poem/message inside. Rather, I HAVE chosen the "correct" card to say what I feel. At that point the card transcends being a bit of paper, and becomes the embodiment of MY sentiments and feelings. It becomes MY card, and she recieves it as such (rather than a mass-produced ca


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 07 Sep 05, 04:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

John, thank you very much for your detailed axplanation: I just love that song and I always wondered where it really came from - and your remark about the birthday card is simply amazing.

You have e-mail.



--

Gnomo

(... any way the wind blows ...)
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Posted: 07 Sep 05, 12:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Gnomo: I received your mail - and thank you for you kind words.

If I can ask you to wait - please do NOT reproduce these notes I have made on Queenzone, as they are very rough.

I will however be happy to make you a more accurate transcription of the tracks if you wait
a day or two. In otherwords, a complete record of who says what on the day.

Then ofcourse you CAN reproduce/use those transcribed notes if you wish.

Would anyone else in here be interested?


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 07 Sep 05, 18:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'd be very interested in that, too, John. Thanks! I also have wondered about the songwriting breakdown of Love Kills. Why does Freddie share the authorship with Moroder? It seems that he worked on both the melody and the lyrics (as seen in the numerous rough drafts shown in the Freddie box set. What was Moroder's actual contribution? And is this why it wasn't labelled as a Queen song?


Man Made Paradise
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Posted: 07 Sep 05, 18:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What is this about? Why is there a arguement. Nobody can say for sure what the song is about except the authors. So John, shut the hell up and quit acting like you are Bri himself. And the rest of you, he might be right (though probably isnt) THe most likely thing is that the song was brought by Bri to them, the idea atleast, and they all put in their equal part about past relationships or what not. The song might not even be about that at all. Who knows what it is about. It could be about Freddie for all we know. The truth is, only Bri truely knows why he wrote it and i dont mind it bloody being kept that way. So leave it alone. Theres my pence.


"Fuck today. Its tomorrow" - Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 07 Sep 05, 21:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

mercuryqueen: "Nobody can say for sure what the song is about except the authors. So John, shut the hell up and quit acting like you are Bri himself. The truth is, only Bri truely knows why he wrote it and i dont mind it bloody being kept that way."

You are absolutely correct, except that my point is Brian did NOT write the song.

He did NOT write "Only Make Believe", nor did he write "Slow Down" or "One Rainy Wish". Therefore, I can answer with some authority and say these final three songs have nothing whatsoever to do with Mr May's mind - because they are cover versions NOT written by him.

I do accept the point that those songs must hold some meaning for him, as he did choose to record those tracks over others, and I also accept we can not say what he had in mind for those choices. Nevertheless, that does not diminish the fact that he did not write them, therefore we are not really at liberty to say they are about Freddie, his dad, Anita - or whatever.

Likewise, it is the same with Too Much Love. Brian contributed very little lyrically, but did compose the music. Therefore, again we can not say that this song definately reflects Brian's mindset - because in essence, he did NOT write the lyrics!


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
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Posted: 08 Sep 05, 07:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Heh. On the point of it being other peoples lyrics, and therefore not really being about Brian:
I recall Brian May saying that The Show Must Go On lyrics were basically Brian imagining Freddie's thoughts on the matter, or something? Basically it's a song from Freddie's point of view, but he just didn't write it.
(There was heaps of Freddie input too of course - the line 'I'll face it with a grin, I'm never giving in...' is one of Freddie's I think?).

So yeah, it's entirely possible that these people are just describing Brian's predicament in their own way? Whatever. :P


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller