Added on 10-Aug-2005
Making Of ''Killer Queen'' Great In Depth Article On VH1.comVH1.com has a wonderful in depth article about ''Killer Queen'' the Queen Tribute album on Hollywood Records, how and why it all came about, the impetus and idea for the record, and a detailed account of the making of the record, including how the artists who covered Queen's songs on the album, became involved with the project.
There is also a WONDERFUL color photo of Freddie Mercury performing his legendary set with Queen at Live Aid at the beginning of the article.
Constantine, Jason Mraz, Sum 41 Bow To Queen For Tribute LP
Disc also features Flaming Lips, Gavin DeGraw, Joss Stone.
by Jon Wiederhorn
''When My Chemical Romance and the Used collaborated earlier this year on a version of Queen and David Bowie's 1982 hit ''Under Pressure,'' they had no idea they'd wind up inspiring Queen's label to kick-start a long-discussed Queen tribute album. But when the single debuted at #54 on the Billboard Hot 100, the staff at Hollywood Records started buzzing.
''It proved that a cover version of a Queen song could be a big hit,'' says Geoffrey Weiss, vice president of A&R at the label. ''The combination of that and the fact that Queen were planning a tour made us go, ''OK, now's the time to do this.''
''Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen'' comes out Tuesday and features 16 artists from a variety of genres, including R&B, pop, rock, punk, alternative and metal. Highlights include Jason Mraz doing ''Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy,'' Shinedown tackling ''Tie Your Mother Down,'' Joss Stone taking on ''Under Pressure,'' Sum 41 nailing ''Killer Queen,'' and ''American Idol'' contestant Constantine Maroulis and the Flaming Lips performing radically different versions of ''Bohemian Rhapsody.''
The Maroulis track, performed with the London cast of the Queen musical ''We Will Rock You,'' is faithful to the original and similar to the one Maroulis performed on ''American Idol'' (see ''Idol'' Covers Paying Off For Gavin DeGraw, Los Lonely Boys''). The track will be the first song on the disc to go to radio. The Flaming Lips' take on the tune, by contrast, is more haunting and textural, filled with layered keyboard effects, wobbly guitars and demented vocals.
''We really attempted it in a full-force Flaming Lips behemoth production style,'' singer Wayne Coyne said. ''We recorded 100 tracks of our beloved pedal steel guitar and 100 guitar overdubs for the music, and for the vocals we stacked all these crazy harmonies. We wanted to add different layers that people might expect from us, but we tried hard not to change the fundamental nature of the song.''
About a week after the Flaming Lips submitted their version of ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' Weiss got a call from Constantine's management saying he was interested in performing the track for the record, and because of his mainstream visibility, Weiss gave him the thumbs up. ''I thought having the two versions is kind of poetic as well,'' Weiss said. ''That the same Queen song can appeal to everyone from ''American ''to the Flaming Lips speaks a great deal about the range of the band's music.''
''Weiss started hunting down acts for Killer Queen in November and within weeks had generated a strong roster of musicians. Gavin DeGraw was the first to hand in a song, submitting his soulful version of ''We Are the Champions'' in January. Others took far longer. Joss Stone and Jon Brion turned in ''Under Pressure'' and ''Play the Game,'' respectively, in June as the album was being mastered, and Antigone Rising, who did ''Fat Bottomed Girls,'' didn't finish the legal paperwork until the last minute. Then there was Macy Gray, who finished recording but didn't complete the contract forms in time, and had to be left off the album.''
''When you're going after artists who have careers and are working hard, it's not anyone's number one priority to contribute to a tribute album, and we didn't have year