Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Brian and the Times

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Boy Thomas Raker user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 10:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

When discussing a reviewer from the Times who is unhappy with her words being misrepresented to appear like she's given a favourable review to the WWRY musical, Brian said "...she is very stupid for missing the point of a show which was destined to play to packed ecstatic houses for years, and give pleasure to literally millions of people, who go out smiling, feeling they have been so thoroughly entertained that they come back, time after time. In fact, people might just view her like they view the guy at Decca who turned down the Beatles. They might view her as stupid. And sad. And unable to admit one of the biggest mistakes in the theatre reviewing EVER."

I think that Brian's attempts to justify the ticket sales of WWRY as a sign of creative success are misguided and a little sad. Virtually every review that I've seen for WRRY says that the story is pretty goofy and far fetched, with bad dick jokes used to frame the songs of Queen. The people who review it favourably say that the saving grace is the music, the people who don't like the music and the story don't like it. Seems fair enough. The point is, ticket sales don't make it good, and Brian should accept that. If it's all about sales, then Brian should accept the fact that Queen doesn't have one album in the 100 selling albums of all time, so that means that Queen II and ANATO don't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with such musical giants as Backstreet Boys, who have two albums that sold 14 and 13 million respectively, Britney Spears and her 13 million selling debut and of course MC Hammer, who sold 10 million copies of Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em. Never mind Kenny G. and his 12 million selling album. Does this mean that since millions of buyers have been entertained by the aforementioned albums, that they are good or beyond criticism? If so, then Queen is nowhere near the level of the Beatles or the Who or Zeppelin, they're more in the realm of Average White Band and Survivor, groups who had a few big albums in the US but not much more.


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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 10:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Boy Thomas Raker wrote:

If it's all about sales, then Brian should accept the fact that Queen doesn't have one album in the 100 selling albums of all time, so that means that Queen II and ANATO don't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with such musical giants as Backstreet Boys, who have two albums that sold 14 and 13 million respectively, Britney Spears and her 13 million selling debut and of course MC Hammer, who sold 10 million copies of Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em. Never mind Kenny G. and his 12 million selling album.


As a Canadian you'd be forgiving for thinking that the US is the whole wide world, but the top 100 of album sales in Europe does include Queen and does not include MC Hammer or Kenny G. (is there an "H" through "Z"?), I can assure you. In fact, North America is just about the only part of the world that DOESN'T like Queen, mostly because of redneck homophobia emerging after the release of the I Want To Break Free video.
They didn't even get the satire....

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Jake
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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 11:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Is it best SELLING albums of all time? Or best albums of all time? There's a difference.

And despite Queen's albums not all hitting number one, they stayed on the charts for a long time and got gold and platinum status.


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Boy Thomas Raker user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 12:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Best SELLING albums, Leah. That's why I said Brian's criteria of sales is kind of weak for refuting criticism.

And while I agree the US for the most part didn't get Queen, Fireplace, it had nothing to do with IWTBF and the drag video. That's an incredible cop out by fans and people who believe that. In North America, Queen was a hard rock band in the company of Zeppelin, The Who, Aerosmith et al. Then they became something poppy and entirely without a guitarist for virually 4 years on American rock radio, so the had no songs that fit the format that they were best suited for. CLTCL (did and does get rock radio airpaly) AOBTD, Body Language, Calling all girls, Radio Ga Ga and IWTBF were the singles from '80 to ''84. None of them featured Brian in the way people were used to hearing it, so they lost their rock audience who didn't like the keyboard heavy stuff, and the people who bought the singles for CLTCL and AOBTD weren't enough to keep them popular.


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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 12:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Erm, yah, i've heard from one of my best friends parents who were in london and saw the show and they said that the plot was sort of dumb...*sigh* They said the music was absolutly fantastic, but I've read about the plot and...well lets just say when WWRY comes to Toronto, i'll go for the music, and on opening night so I can possibly see Brian and Rog perform, teehee!

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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 13:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well,yes I think Brian can be a bit quick to reply in a snide matter as he does here, but I think his view of journalists has been well tainted by several personal attacks as well as artistic ones.

As for WWRY, the story is quite "dumb" and there is a lot of what we in the UK call toilet humour (nob gags etc), which is what Ben Elton is generally all about. His stand up is very much that, even when it was political as well. And the main theme about the death and resurrection of the music has only a little weight along side the rest of the story, but...

... at the end of the day, I still enjoyed it each of the 3.5 times I saw it, because it DID make me laugh, and many of the performers did a good job with the vocals, and the band were very good.

So it's down to taste, and while, obviously, many enjoy it because it's fun and escapist, it's not really any surprise that it was panned by the critics, because they generally do want something with more "substance" than WWRY. But, as with the critics of Queen the band, they miss the point of what the band were about, which was that the music was always taken seriously, and the rest was just for show. If you understand that about Queen, then you can just sit back and enjoy 2.5 hours of fun backed by great music.

I think that would be Brian's view, along with the point that a lot of work went into developing the show, and he would at least expect a critic to acknowledge that.


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Boy Thomas Raker user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 13:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Excellent points, Oberon, I just believe that Brian thinks that WWRY is absolutely brilliant in all aspects and that anyone who criticizes it is off base.


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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 13:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have not seen the show but yes, Brian is quick to refute any criticism, and he does so in a somewhat holier than thou attitude. I have read several responses where he called critics stupid, idiots or silly girls for writing reviews he did not agree with. Disagreeing does not by definition make you an idiot, otherwise we would all be idiots.
Must be difficult as an artist to put your heart and soul into a project that you must feel good about, only to have someone slag it off. But that's life in the music industry I guess. Not for the faint of heart or those with fragile egos.
Personally I would tell those who don't like my work to get fucked and not buy it. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.

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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 14:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Both good points!!

I think it's the lack of balance that these critics put in their reviews which probably winds Brian up more than anything. But, he should probably sit and think a bit more before replying - or Jen should act as devils advocate before she publishes his responses.

Can you imagine if Brian had had an outlet like this site during Queen's hey day? Maybe then he wouldn't have such a "nice guy" image.

But, I have to support him in some ways, like when he was at the Ivor Novello awards recently and the interviewer started off ok, then mentioned his hair, and he went off saying they'd screwed up their chance of a decent interview. I have to side with him, there, because if they've got nothing better to ask, what are they being paid for? I know that's slightly off topic, but it must get to you, and I think that's what comes out when Brian has a little rant about critics and journolists etc


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mr mercury user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 16:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oberon wrote:



But, I have to support him in some ways, like when he was at the Ivor Novello awards recently and the interviewer started off ok, then mentioned his hair, and he went off saying they'd screwed up their chance of a decent interview. I have to side with him, there, because if they've got nothing better to ask, what are they being paid for? I know that's slightly off topic, but it must get to you, and I think that's what comes out when Brian has a little rant about critics and journolists etc


That particular interview was actually part of a "pisstake" style show for Channel 4, the type of which only us Brits can make. If you actually look at the bit just above the "interviewer's" hand you'll see a bit square that says "shit hair" with an arrow pointing upwards, which is pointed towards Brian. Roger gets the same treatment only this time the square reads "fat ponce". I have that particular "hilarious" (yawn) clip in you want it - all 35 seconds of it.

But back to the main topic, when I read that bit on his site I got this overwhelming feeling that Brian had turned into the very thing he hates - a critic. Still he has his reasons.


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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 17:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I also think that Brian has complained often enough about being half-quoted, mis-quoted & taken out of context that to now "gloat" (for want of a better phrase) about doing the same (via the producers ofthe musical) is hypocrisy on a level I wouldn't like to admit to.

And the point above that not everything popular is artistically valid is superb.

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Jake
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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 17:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Boy Thomas Raker wrote:

Best SELLING albums, Leah. That's why I said Brian's criteria of sales is kind of weak for refuting criticism.

And while I agree the US for the most part didn't get Queen, Fireplace, it had nothing to do with IWTBF and the drag video. That's an incredible cop out by fans and people who believe that. In North America, Queen was a hard rock band in the company of Zeppelin, The Who, Aerosmith et al. Then they became something poppy and entirely without a guitarist for virually 4 years on American rock radio, so the had no songs that fit the format that they were best suited for. CLTCL (did and does get rock radio airpaly) AOBTD, Body Language, Calling all girls, Radio Ga Ga and IWTBF were the singles from '80 to ''84. None of them featured Brian in the way people were used to hearing it, so they lost their rock audience who didn't like the keyboard heavy stuff, and the people who bought the singles for CLTCL and AOBTD weren't enough to keep them popular.


That is pretty true. I have Queen fan magazines (Queen Gazette) from the 1985 thru 1987 editions, and taken from US Billboard, they'd have Queen singles being reviewed by other bands, and they reviewed One Vision, Princes Of The Universe, and A Kind Of Magic (I think Princes was reviewed by Metallica), and anyway, they said they miss the older stuff, and one band actually mentioned Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack. They said Queen (with A Kind Of Magic) is nothing like the old Queen. Good comments on One Vision and good comments on Princes Of The Universe (except one Metallica member said they miss the old Queen, and said it changed when Freddie grew a mustache!), these were back when Queen singles were released, Billboard would question people about the latest singles, not just Queen, but they included a Queen track usually (only singles)


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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 19:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Is there any URL where I can see how many albums have sold all the greatest artist till´now?

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Posted: 26 Jul 06, 21:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Brian relying on sales - Utterly stupid.

Brian comparing a WWRY reviewer with the bloke who turned down The Fab Four - Utterly stupid, and way out of context. A Renault 4 doesn't equal a Ferrari.

US not liking Queen - Utter pish. Maybe Queen wasn't "as" successful as Zeppelin, but it doesn't mean they were "not".

US being the only country not liking Queen - I think that comment is quite high on stepfordism. How many Queen fans do you find in Somalia or Gabon?

US being not the only nation in the world - Very true. People should stop thinking about Billboard Hot 100 as the Gospel Truth. For that matter Macarena would kick Bo Rhap's arse, and Usher's Confessions would be better than Back To The Light, Barcelona, Queen II and Innuendo combined.


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: 27 Jul 06, 08:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Penetration_Guru wrote:

I also think that Brian has complained often enough about being half-quoted, mis-quoted & taken out of context that to now "gloat" (for want of a better phrase) about doing the same (via the producers ofthe musical) is hypocrisy on a level I wouldn't like to admit to.

And the point above that not everything popular is artistically valid is superb.


An excellent point....

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Posted: 27 Jul 06, 09:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Sebastian, I just used the Billboard charts due to the fact that America is the biggest market in the world, and an album like Thriller has sold 28 million in the US compared to something like 14 million in every other territory. The US is hardly the be all and all musically, but if Brian's criteria for greatness is sales, then Queen's greatness pales in comparison to flavour of the week boy bands.


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Posted: 27 Jul 06, 12:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

>Brian relying on sales - Utterly stupid.

>Brian comparing a WWRY reviewer with the bloke >who turned down The Fab Four - Utterly stupid, >and way out of context. A Renault 4 doesn't >equal a Ferrari.

>US not liking Queen - Utter pish. Maybe Queen >wasn't "as" successful as Zeppelin, but it >doesn't mean they were "not".

>US being the only country not liking Queen - I >think that comment is quite high on stepfordism. >How many Queen fans do you find in Somalia or >Gabon?

>US being not the only nation in the world - Very >true. People should stop thinking about >Billboard Hot 100 as the Gospel Truth. For that >matter Macarena would kick Bo Rhap's arse, and >Usher's Confessions would be better than Back To >The Light, Barcelona, Queen II and Innuendo >combined.

Yep, you´re completely right

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Posted: 27 Jul 06, 16:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Boy Thomas Raker wrote:

Best SELLING albums, Leah. That's why I said Brian's criteria of sales is kind of weak for refuting criticism.

And while I agree the US for the most part didn't get Queen, Fireplace, it had nothing to do with IWTBF and the drag video. That's an incredible cop out by fans and people who believe that. In North America, Queen was a hard rock band in the company of Zeppelin, The Who, Aerosmith et al. Then they became something poppy and entirely without a guitarist for virually 4 years on American rock radio, so the had no songs that fit the format that they were best suited for. CLTCL (did and does get rock radio airpaly) AOBTD, Body Language, Calling all girls, Radio Ga Ga and IWTBF were the singles from '80 to ''84. None of them featured Brian in the way people were used to hearing it, so they lost their rock audience who didn't like the keyboard heavy stuff, and the people who bought the singles for CLTCL and AOBTD weren't enough to keep them popular.


So you're another one of the dinosaurs are you, that couldn't stomach change?


hj
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Posted: 27 Jul 06, 17:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Asterik, judging from your comment, you're about 6 years old and just learning to read and understand English, so I will explain to you that if someone uses the term "I", it means their personal beliefs. As I never once used the term "I" in the post that you slam me about, that means "I" have said nothing about my beliefs as to what Queen were. For our non-US board members, I've given a recounting of what is pretty much accepted in the US and to a lesser extent Canada (guitar rock Queen, good, keyboard pop Queen, bad) by stating something more of less known to all, that as they changed styles they fell off the map. "I" believe your ignorant comment made while knowing nothing about me makes you a Stepford and an idiot.


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Posted: 30 Jul 06, 19:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I plan to see WWRY when it tours in the USA. I would love to see it also in London.