Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Freddie contribution on Peter Straker's "Ragtime Piano Joe" single

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QueenCollector user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 30 Sep 05, 13:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello people.

I've put on the Peter Straker's "Ragtime Piano Joe" 7" single today. I think even though I have owned it from ages I have never really seriously heard at it.

Well, the fact is that there seems to be more by Freddie than what we really know.

The title track (wich is of course in the A-Side) is widely available on the hub while the second track (the A-side wich is: "The Saddest Clown") seems to not be present there.

Some facts: it's obviously a fact that Peter was a great friend of Freddie up to his death. Freddie produced a couple of LPs for him (even though someone think he only produced the "This One's On Me" LP, Freddie was financially involved also in the "Changeling" LP)

Peter was maybe the only black man who did glam rock in those years and he had a good voice.

About the two songs: the "Ragtime Piano Joe" is credited to a certain Fraser and it is a fast and slow song (I mean to say it's fast and slow and again fast and again slow and so on...). This songs can't be compared to a Queen song but it may recall "Bring Back That Leroy Brown" in some points. I think I hear the Freddie way of playing the piano. Honestly, I also think it is the same piano used by Freddie in the EMI studios that year (1977).

I've studied piano in my youth and even though it's strange to explain... I've learned that each one has an own way of playing piano. I was very strong on the keys. Freddie was instead strong and soft, he was always on the line to break the strings but suddenly he stopped and become kind and gentle with the keys. That's the same way this song is played.

The second song, called "The Saddest Clown" and credited to Allison - Sills) has much more Freddie in it than the first. I clearly hear his voice in the verses of the chorus. Think at those wonderful chorus done by Freddie into the Barcelona album... well... it's almost the same! The more I hear it the more I recognize his voice in this track, while the piano is played in a complete different way this time.

I think Freddie was involved in these tracks not only as the producer and I would like to hear the opinions of the others who have this record in their collection and can hear at it.

Being an official release I think it won't be available for the download here. Or not?

All the best,

Giancarlo




Pim Derks user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 30 Sep 05, 17:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If Freddie was involved in this as an artist, why isn't it mentioned in either the Solo Collection, the fanclub bio etc etc?

I doubt Freddie was involved in any other way then as a financer.

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 04:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Pim Derks wrote:

If Freddie was involved in this as an artist, why isn't it mentioned in either the Solo Collection, the fanclub bio etc etc?

I doubt Freddie was involved in any other way then as a financer.


I would like to get the opinions of the people who have heard these two songs.

darkblue user not visiting Queenzone.com

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

I only heard "ragtime piano joe" and I can also hear there fredie's piano and his voice in a chorus.I also noticed its changing tempo slow-fast-slow etc. it's typical of freddie.and I've been wondering about the lyrics...there's something about jo dare...does it have something in common with the jo dare from freddie's'hold on'
??


Jjeroen user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 06:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, according to Peter Straker personally:
Freddie did lots of bits and pieces on a all of the album This One's On Me. He layed down an amount of basic backingtracks. Some off them where later on 'properly' recorded by other musicians, some bits and pieces where left in. Basically Freddie was around all the time, doing things spontaniously -little bit of piano here, little bit of a handclap there-.
Again: a lot of these things did not end up on the endproduct. Some of them did.
Freddie is mentioned as producer (which is basically indeed what he did - this sort of activity is pretty common for any producer, though on most products -especially by bands- all the producer-played things are re-recorded. With solo artists lots of times bits of producer-music will remain). Not as a specific musician because in the end there where small bits and pieces everywhere and no-body could remember what and where was all done by Fred. (But, for instance, if I use my ears: Listen to the piano on "I've Been To Hell And Back"...!! Or the choir on "Heart Be Still"... Surely he is in there!)
Nor did they bother to make a list, they just stuck to the 'prouced by'. Which was also good enough for Freddie. He did this as a service to a friend and wanted to grant Peter a career of his own and not one that was pulled by the famous Freddie Mercury.
(And I'm sure, money was an issue as well... that's just how it works in the musicindustry)

This is what Peter Straker remembers.
(And that's about it - the guy is certainly not living in the past and does not want to think about this closed book too much anymore.
Which is, I think, a possible reason for this info not to be in the Freddie box for instance. Peter Straker is no longer in contact with anyone Queen-related)and besides: sessionmusicians are seldom granted credits. When you do session work for a band, the booklets even want to make the masses believe, it was ALL the band themsleves... Sad but true - the industry...)

And there you have it!

Jjeroen user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 09:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Jjeroen user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 09:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry... Wrong button...
I'm a bit confused in the head and my eyesight isn't what it used to be after I watched some sort of striptease video...

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 09:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Indeed not always a session musician is mentioned in the credits. And producers do have a lot of uncredited input, like David Richards. For instance, the conga percussion in Days Of Our Lives was recorded by him. And don't get me started on George Martin...


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.
Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 10:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hehe... It wasn't wrong button, jeroen - I've seen what was there before you've edit your reply... ;)

Jjeroen user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Oct 05, 10:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Damn! Caught with my pants down, so to speak! ;-)))

hehehe... yeah, every now and then I regret posting something...