Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Freddie Mercury smoking

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Steafan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 25 Dec 05, 14:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie did smoke. What affect had it on his voice and singing. Did he quit smoking and when? When did he start? Did he have any education like an opera singer?

Maybe somebody of you can answer my questions. Thanks a million!

Stefan

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Jake
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Posted: 25 Dec 05, 15:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No education on vocals. He didn't sound great on vocals when he first started. It took him a bit.

He started smoking around 1980 from photos I've seen. And quit in like 90 or 91?? It made his voice more husky.


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Posted: 25 Dec 05, 17:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fred did smoke in the eighties and it roughened his voice to an extent wher ehe sounded very strained at times, a particualrly on his solo records like Time or In my Defence. To reach notes, Fred could no longer ease up the scale but would have to really bark so yes it sound a bit more put on. However, live I felt he performed the heavier numbers a lot better as a consequence- the way in which he roars TYMD and One Vision at Wembley has a brutality and power that is stunning. Fred gave up around late '89 as it started in conjuction with AIDS to affect his breathing when at the mic. It definitely came after The Miracle because his voice though significantly improved (because he'd worked with Ms caballe)still sounded very strained at times particualrly on Scandal and I Want It All where it is very husky. On innuendo though Fred sounds like he did in the 70s on some of the songs, particularly Don't Try So Hard where he hits the high notes with a smuch ease as he did on Lily Of The Valley back in '74.

However that elegance was now married to the power he'd gained in the eighties so marry the two and you have a singer who could sing in all manner of different voices, from a throaty bark on Headlong to ethereal vocals on Don't Try SO Hard and a low delivery on IGSM. He could do a lot more with the voice. I hope this answers your question



hj
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Posted: 25 Dec 05, 18:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

he did smoke from early 70s


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Posted: 25 Dec 05, 22:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Some of the vocal roughness comes from his having had vocal nodules...


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Steafan user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 07:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for your answers they help a lot!!!! But what are "vocal nodules"? I don't know what is ment by that.

Thanks again!!!

Steafan

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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 09:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What brand did he smoke??


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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 10:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Steafan wrote:

Thanks for your answers they help a lot!!!! But what are "vocal nodules"? I don't know what is ment by that.

Thanks again!!!

Steafan


growths in the throat (in fred's case, from wine)


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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 10:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i think freddie was great in a way that he did what he want when it came to smoking


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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 13:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is a picture I have on my refrigerator that shows Freddie smiling and smoking, but I covered up the cigarette and the ashtray and put my brother-in-law's woodcarving refrigerator magnet of a kitty under Freddie's hand so it looks like he is petting the kitty because I know he liked cats so much!

http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/mp3.aspx?Q=12133


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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 19:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Asterik wrote:

Fred did smoke in the eighties and it roughened his voice to an extent wher ehe sounded very strained at times, a particualrly on his solo records like Time or In my Defence. To reach notes, Fred could no longer ease up the scale but would have to really bark so yes it sound a bit more put on. However, live I felt he performed the heavier numbers a lot better as a consequence- the way in which he roars TYMD and One Vision at Wembley has a brutality and power that is stunning. Fred gave up around late '89 as it started in conjuction with AIDS to affect his breathing when at the mic. It definitely came after The Miracle because his voice though significantly improved (because he'd worked with Ms caballe)still sounded very strained at times particualrly on Scandal and I Want It All where it is very husky. On innuendo though Fred sounds like he did in the 70s on some of the songs, particularly Don't Try So Hard where he hits the high notes with a smuch ease as he did on Lily Of The Valley back in '74.

However that elegance was now married to the power he'd gained in the eighties so marry the two and you have a singer who could sing in all manner of different voices, from a throaty bark on Headlong to ethereal vocals on Don't Try SO Hard and a low delivery on IGSM. He could do a lot more with the voice. I hope this answers your question


These observations cleared up a bunch of elements I had observed but could't put my finger on it. Innuendo is one of, if not my, favorite album. It was actually my first music CD I ever bought (the first CD ever I bought was a Freddie interview picture disk. I was kind of upset though, there was absolutle no freddie and all brian. Brians fine but the disk had freddie on it).
J

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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 19:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Do think the smoking and his voice changing a bit was one of the reasons Queen lost their popularity in the US? Just a thought. It seemed to happen in the same Queen era. Probably just one factor, secondary or otherwise.

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Posted: 26 Dec 05, 19:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"What brand did he smoke??"

None in perticular. He grabbed any fag he could get


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Posted: 27 Dec 05, 10:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He smoked all the way until the end...

Look at the video snippet from the Garden Lodge in '89. He is happily puffing away.


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Posted: 28 Dec 05, 23:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

carboengine wrote:

I covered up the cigarette and the ashtray and put my brother-in-law's woodcarving refrigerator magnet of a kitty under Freddie's hand so it looks like he is petting the kitty because I know he liked cats so much!

http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/mp3.aspx?Q=12133>

That's cute =)


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Posted: 29 Dec 05, 00:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

LilySavage wrote:

I don't see how his voice changing would turn America off. I liked Freddie's voice while he was smoking more. I know that's not a god thing ebcause smoking is bad for you and it obviously showed some effects on Freddie. But it did make his voice even more unique than it already it was. Then when he was ill and presumably stopped smoking he sounded like the 70s era again. He completly changed. I prefer his voice on the Innuendo stuff, much clearer and smoother.


I love the way after he sings a line in the 80s, he'd make a little 'whine' at the end of the line.. it made it sound cute. You can hear it quite well in Radio GaGa


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Posted: 29 Dec 05, 00:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Asterik wrote:

Fred did smoke in the eighties and it roughened his voice to an extent wher ehe sounded very strained at times, a particualrly on his solo records like Time or In my Defence. To reach notes, Fred could no longer ease up the scale but would have to really bark so yes it sound a bit more put on. However, live I felt he performed the heavier numbers a lot better as a consequence- the way in which he roars TYMD and One Vision at Wembley has a brutality and power that is stunning. Fred gave up around late '89 as it started in conjuction with AIDS to affect his breathing when at the mic. It definitely came after The Miracle because his voice though significantly improved (because he'd worked with Ms caballe)still sounded very strained at times particualrly on Scandal and I Want It All where it is very husky. On innuendo though Fred sounds like he did in the 70s on some of the songs, particularly Don't Try So Hard where he hits the high notes with a smuch ease as he did on Lily Of The Valley back in '74.

However that elegance was now married to the power he'd gained in the eighties so marry the two and you have a singer who could sing in all manner of different voices, from a throaty bark on Headlong to ethereal vocals on Don't Try SO Hard and a low delivery on IGSM. He could do a lot more with the voice. I hope this answers your question
No, it's true than smoking did roughened his voice but just a little bit... Freddie used to sing rough because he wanted to and he liked it that way.

And it was not "hard" for Freddie to hit high notes in the eighties just because sometimes he "barks" the notes... it's part of the vocal technic and the way he wanted to sing it. He also did in The Show Must Go On and We Are The Champions, March Of The Black Queen, and so on.

The higher the louder.

Cheers


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Posted: 29 Dec 05, 02:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

"What brand did he smoke??"

None in perticular. He grabbed any fag he could get


Now it's time for Jeroen and Serry old funny discussion... Well, "Silk Cut" and "Marlboro".

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Posted: 29 Dec 05, 11:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

MaTiaSMaY wrote:

Asterik wrote:

Fred did smoke in the eighties and it roughened his voice to an extent wher ehe sounded very strained at times, a particualrly on his solo records like Time or In my Defence. To reach notes, Fred could no longer ease up the scale but would have to really bark so yes it sound a bit more put on. However, live I felt he performed the heavier numbers a lot better as a consequence- the way in which he roars TYMD and One Vision at Wembley has a brutality and power that is stunning. Fred gave up around late '89 as it started in conjuction with AIDS to affect his breathing when at the mic. It definitely came after The Miracle because his voice though significantly improved (because he'd worked with Ms caballe)still sounded very strained at times particualrly on Scandal and I Want It All where it is very husky. On innuendo though Fred sounds like he did in the 70s on some of the songs, particularly Don't Try So Hard where he hits the high notes with a smuch ease as he did on Lily Of The Valley back in '74.

However that elegance was now married to the power he'd gained in the eighties so marry the two and you have a singer who could sing in all manner of different voices, from a throaty bark on Headlong to ethereal vocals on Don't Try SO Hard and a low delivery on IGSM. He could do a lot more with the voice. I hope this answers your question
No, it's true than smoking did roughened his voice but just a little bit... Freddie used to sing rough because he wanted to and he liked it that way.

And it was not "hard" for Freddie to hit high notes in the eighties just because sometimes he "barks" the notes... it's part of the vocal technic and the way he wanted to sing it. He also did in The Show Must Go On and We Are The Champions, March Of The Black Queen, and so on.

The higher the louder.

Cheers


So do you seriously think that Fred intended it for his voice to crack so much at Wembley. A cracked voice comes because you can't hit the notes, I'm sorry but you're wrong, no singer would want that. It cracks badly on Another One Bites the Dust and the fifties songs where he tries to hit the notes. He has to change the key on IWTB for goodness sake. And yes the bark was the way of hitting the notes. It's obvious on In The Lap of The Gods on "it's so funny", the very high note he has to shout to reach it. Don't get me wrong it sounds great but please don't deny its existence. It does sound very forced.

And no freddie doesn't bark on Champs, The SHow Must Go On or Black Queen, he sings with power but therei s a difference between that and the type of roaring and barking one hears on under Pressure at Wembley or on songs like Machines, he eases up the scale on the early tracks.


hj
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Posted: 29 Dec 05, 11:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You say Freddie's voice cracked and that no singer would want that (from the smoking).

I beg to differ. Have you ever listened to Frank Sinatra the last 2 decades or so of his career?

He chain smoked and drank hard liquor constantly (even on stage) and yes his voice cracked.

Some of music's greatest singers smoke, and heavily at that like Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and many more.

To me, if a person pursues singing as their financial livelihood, and they also love music, I to this day, can not understand what is going through their mind when they treat their most valuable asset like a garbage can.

Piano players and Surgeons are careful with their hands.

Athletes are careful with their bodies (except the idiots taking steroids).

So WHY do so many singers smoke and some chain smoke?

At the least they are certain to ruin their voice, at the worst they will die of cancer or emphysema as Sammy Davis, Jr. did.

I WILL say that Opera singers seem to take a much more serious approach to their craft than rock, blues, pop singers.

Most opera singers know to regularly train and rest their vocals, wear scarves around their throat, do NOT smoke or drink, DO drink tea with lemon, put humidifiers in their rooms that they breathe to moisten their throat and vocal chords, and know to observe a healthy lifestyle in regards to their voice.


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