Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Song Appreciation ... Your thoughts on Millionaire Walts

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OgreBattleField1980 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 04 Nov 05, 16:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To me I feel this song is the greatest showcase of Brians guitar playing , Freddies skills on piano and his vocals .. not to mention John Deacon is supurb on bass. Its a song that at first I didnt like but I appreciate more and more everytime I hear it. Whats your thoughts on this Lester, you take it from here.


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Posted: 04 Nov 05, 18:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Erm, let's see here. Haha, I love being thrown into discussions like this - really keeps me on my toes.

Basically, I love 'The Millionaire Waltz'. There, I said it. Although when I first heard it, so many years ago, I didn't really understand it, nor did I even particularly like it - I always thought it was a filler track (although, in all fairness, this was when I was just getting into Queen, so I thought that if it wasn't on a Greatest Hits album, it was crap).

There are so many levels to this song that it's impossible to realize everything on one listening. It's also one of the few Queen tracks that I would recommend you listen to on headphones, and I'm sure would sound stunning in 5.1 surround sound. I'm not a huge fan of waltzes myself, but there's just something different about this song that finally made me sit down and listen to it one day. I think it may be the way John's bass complements Freddie's exquisite piano playing throughout - to be perfectly honest, if it had only been those two playing, I would've been thrilled at the arrangement (and that's not putting down Brian's guitar orchestration, but I'll get to that in a minute) - and how the song is basically unaccompanied by any other instrument for the first two minutes.

Like I said, there are many levels of this song that you don't appreciate at first, be it John's extremely underrated bass work (showing that while he may not be a flashy bassist along the lines of John Entwistle or Jack Bruce, he still can hold his own and be very inventive yet subtle) or the amazing piano of Freddie, but I would say that the most obviously pleasing level is Brian's guitar work. The fact that he overlays so many pieces that manage to work so well together is not only well-executed and performed but just downright stunning, and I defy anyone to listen to his work and not be amazed.

Just when you start thinking, "Okay, when's it going to pick up," it does. At the 2:20 mark, the band launches into high gear, transforming the self-indulgent waltz into a full-throated, almost balls-to-the-wall rocker, even if it is only for a few seconds, before they settle back down with the waltz again. Also, we finally get to hear Roger on drums, something that was rare on this song, and the uptempo segment is a fine addition and really adds some spice to the song.

Following that is another guitar solo, and then another one on top, followed by yet another one, until you're almost inundated with guitar solos, and the thing about it is... that's ok. The band finally settles down and the song comes to what might have been a dwindling conclusion, had it not been for the "And make me feel... like a millionaire", and then the abrupt, uptempo ending.

Lyrically, 'The Millionaire Waltz' is one of Freddie's finest set, as he explores the delights of being a star, and while it may be in-your-face and, at times, overbearing, you can't help but listen with a broad grin on your face. It's undoubtedly one of the more challenging pieces that Freddie wrote, and while some may say that 'Somebody To Love' is the natural successor to 'Bohemian Rhapsody', they obviously hadn't heard this song. 'Somebody To Love' was the hit single and featured another overblown chorus, but there's so much more to 'The Millionaire Waltz' that, at times, it makes 'Bohemian Rhapsody' seem underproduced - and that's saying something!

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Posted: 04 Nov 05, 19:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I personally love this tune.
Did anyone else notice that Brian's guitar solo includes a little bit from Winnie the Pooh's "Little Black Rain Cloud"?
The first time I heard that, I giggled a little inside.


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Posted: 04 Nov 05, 21:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lester Burnham wrote:

Erm, let's see here. Haha, I love being thrown into discussions like this - really keeps me on my toes.

Basically, I love 'The Millionaire Waltz'. There, I said it. Although when I first heard it, so many years ago, I didn't really understand it, nor did I even particularly like it - I always thought it was a filler track (although, in all fairness, this was when I was just getting into Queen, so I thought that if it wasn't on a Greatest Hits album, it was crap).

There are so many levels to this song that it's impossible to realize everything on one listening. It's also one of the few Queen tracks that I would recommend you listen to on headphones, and I'm sure would sound stunning in 5.1 surround sound. I'm not a huge fan of waltzes myself, but there's just something different about this song that finally made me sit down and listen to it one day. I think it may be the way John's bass complements Freddie's exquisite piano playing throughout - to be perfectly honest, if it had only been those two playing, I would've been thrilled at the arrangement (and that's not putting down Brian's guitar orchestration, but I'll get to that in a minute) - and how the song is basically unaccompanied by any other instrument for the first two minutes.

Like I said, there are many levels of this song that you don't appreciate at first, be it John's extremely underrated bass work (showing that while he may not be a flashy bassist along the lines of John Entwistle or Jack Bruce, he still can hold his own and be very inventive yet subtle) or the amazing piano of Freddie, but I would say that the most obviously pleasing level is Brian's guitar work. The fact that he overlays so many pieces that manage to work so well together is not only well-executed and performed but just downright stunning, and I defy anyone to listen to his work and not be amazed.

Just when you start thinking, "Okay, when's it going to pick up," it does. At the 2:20 mark, the band launches into high gear, transforming the self-indulgent waltz into a full-throated, almost balls-to-the-wall rocker, even if it is only for a few seconds, before they settle back down with the waltz again. Also, we finally get to hear Roger on drums, something that was rare on this song, and the uptempo segment is a fine addition and really adds some spice to the song.

Following that is another guitar solo, and then another one on top, followed by yet another one, until you're almost inundated with guitar solos, and the thing about it is... that's ok. The band finally settles down and the song comes to what might have been a dwindling conclusion, had it not been for the "And make me feel... like a millionaire", and then the abrupt, uptempo ending.

Lyrically, 'The Millionaire Waltz' is one of Freddie's finest set, as he explores the delights of being a star, and while it may be in-your-face and, at times, overbearing, you can't help but listen with a broad grin on your face. It's undoubtedly one of the more challenging pieces that Freddie wrote, and while some may say that 'Somebody To Love' is the natural successor to 'Bohemian Rhapsody', they obviously hadn't heard this song. 'Somebody To Love' was the hit single and featured another overblown chorus, but there's so much more to 'The Millionaire Waltz' that, at times, it makes 'Bohemian Rhapsody' seem underproduced - and that's saying something!


Wow......


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Posted: 05 Nov 05, 06:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, the bass part on this song is very good...as a bassist it's kind of sophisticated...

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

this is johns finest work and as a bassist it took me a while to learn this as it jumps around the fret board like cut snake.


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Posted: 06 Nov 05, 23:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lester:

You should look into a career in journalism, particularly music journalism.

Seriously. Your reviews are absolutely fantastic.


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Posted: 06 Nov 05, 23:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH<br><h6>ah yeah</h6> wrote:

Lester:

You should look into a career in journalism, particularly music journalism.

Seriously. Your reviews are absolutely fantastic.


Well thanks, you've gone and made me blush! And I don't blush easily.

I just give the people what they want, I suppose. I try to remain unbiased, so... that might discount me from a career in music journalism ;)

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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 10:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Absolutely the best thing they ever did in my opinion. Blows Bo Rhap out of the water.


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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 10:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

doesn't freddie sound a bit like marlene dietrich in the "my fine feeind " part?


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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 11:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it's sweet. Very typical "period" Queen. They loved to do those nostalgic tunes. Sister of "Dreamer's Ball", yes!

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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 11:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

spymyshadow wrote:

doesn't freddie sound a bit like marlene dietrich in the "my fine feeind " part?

I think he does, and I also think that was deliberate. Queen II photo was also influenced by her similar one, wasn't it?

As for the song....
I'd die to hear it in 5.1... So much happening... So many ideas in only 5 minutes, it's amazing! IMO it actually beats "Bo Rhap"! Brian's waltz harmonies are aboslutely wanderful, the moment when the second guitar joins in send chills down my spine (no pun intended :) ). The heavier bit ("come back to me...") is always almosta surprise, especially as when the song progresses I keep putting the volume up :) And the bass line is just perfect- a great example of whata bass player should be in a band- not just adding the low tones but playing some countermelodies and being yet another way of making the song even more interesting. Like Lester said- it was also a bit weird experience for me at first, but with time I learned to love it. ADATR has always been one of my favourite Queen records- and this song one of its favourite moments.

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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 14:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i love this song, its so much fun with the back and forth notes with the guitar- nicw


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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 15:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lester Burnham wrote:

Well thanks, you've gone and made me blush! And I don't blush easily.


Mission accomplished.

I just give the people what they want, I suppose. I try to remain unbiased, so... that might discount me from a career in music journalism ;)


Hahaha... nah, there are plenty of good magazines that'd reel you in. So with that in mind, out goes Rolling Stone.


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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 21:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No one ever cares what I think, even though I'm the greatest mind on here but like the soothsayer I'll continue dropping knowledge:

Musically it's a masterpiece, not so much lyrically> Which fits in with A Day at the Races which is much better than a Night at the Opera musically but not so much lyrically. I've thought about this a lot and concluded A Day at the Races isn't weak lyrically even if some songs are redundant but there's not a great leap lyrically from the previous album. A Night at the Opera wasn't a lyrical masterpiece (I go out to work on Monday Morning...) compared to A Day at the Races (Bring out the charge of the Love Brigade... the entire verse repeats itself, maybe borderline lazily(???) but since it wasn't as new as ANATO I guess they feel disappointed (based on reading published reviews). Maybe if it was on ANATO it would be considered one of the best period. I would like to think I'm more intelligent than to go along with that train of thought but I can't get over thinking that lyrically its not strong even though I wanna say it's not just trampled by the level of lyrics on ANATO

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Posted: 08 Nov 05, 03:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

brilliant song. When people say "freddie was a underated piano player" look for the "millionare waltz" as proof. I don't think it's as brilliant as "bo rap" but it's pretty close.

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Posted: 08 Nov 05, 07:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fenderek<br><h6>Not a REAL fan</h6> wrote:


So much happening... So many ideas in only 5 minutes, it's amazing!

Fenderek, you can always find the right words...I was racking my brains to say what you have summed up beautifully in one short sentence :-)...So many ideas in just one song, similarly to Bohemian Rhapsody, and certainly very much underrated in comparison.
It is so diverse in style, it inspires so many different moods, things unravel unexpected one after another: it is sweet, funny, nostalgic, melancholic, then happy again.... Fantastic!

And like many have said, the bass is extraordinary.
Fairy


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Posted: 09 Nov 05, 06:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

spymyshadow wrote:

doesn't freddie sound a bit like marlene dietrich in the "my fine feeind " part?


Yes I think it's done on purpose, since the next line of the song: "take me whiz you and love me forever" is even spelled with a z in whith. Most Germans cannot pronounce a propper th ;)


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Posted: 09 Nov 05, 06:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Did anyone else notice that Brian's guitar solo includes a little bit from Winnie the Pooh's "Little Black Rain Cloud"?"

no i didnt realise this at all. was it just coincidence or was it genuine nod to winnine the poo? im in awe of this guys musical prowess. has he ever spoken about this?


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Posted: 09 Nov 05, 08:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, Lester summed it up nicely. So, 'ditto' to Lester.


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