Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Queen


Okay, raise your hand if you actually thought I'd choose any other group for the letter Q? I'm not seeing any hands, people...

Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon will always rule the letter Q in any countdown I author. The four met during their college years. All of them had dabbled in music and had experience with other bands. After graduation, they got serious about music. EMI Records and Elektra Records signed the band and their debut album, Queen, came out in 1973. Queen II followed in 1974 with more of the same. 

Their third album, also released in 1974, totally hooked me. Sheer Heart Attack included the hit "Killer Queen." The tight harmonies reminded me of groups made up of siblings when I first heard it. Brian May's guitar riff, Freddie's vocal lead, the varied tempos and bridge...I'm swooning... What could be better?

Oh, yeah: the next album, A Night at the Opera. No discussion of Queen can fail to mention "Bohemian Rhapsody." I remember reading somewhere that it took three weeks to record. Time well spent, gentlemen. Like most rock groups, their albums layered guitar, drums, bass and piano - but they didn't stop there. The vocal dubbing and over dubbing combined their impressive musicianship with youthful hubris. They were good and they knew it. Soon, everyone knew it. Queen's popularity never really waivered.

If you have never seen a live show by Queen, get thee to a video. Queen made rock and roll strut; they gave a real show. From their mock-opera "Bohemian Rhapsody" to the ever amusing theatrics of Mercury on stage, Queen managed to create a live performance that was in a class by itself. The musical dichotomy of seriously good musicians who never seemed to take themselves serious just endeared them to fans.

Things would get serious, though. Just twenty-four hours after announcing his struggle with AIDS, Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991. 

As Freddie would say, "Who wants to live forever?"









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44 comments:

  1. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    You owe me multiple milkshakes! One milkshake is for ? (Question Mark) & the Mysterians, the 60s garage band that scored a numero uno smash with "96 Tears." Milkshake #2 is for Quiet Riot, the head-banging heavy metal rock quintet of the 80s that made the top 5 with "Cum On Feel The Noise." Milkshake #3 is for my sentimental favorites, The Quin-Tones, the black vocal group from York, PA that reached the top 20 in 1958 with the gospel inspired "Down the Aisle of Love."

    The British rock band Queen has stood the test of time better than any of the above and is an excellent choice for today's Q challenge. Freddie Mercury and company were accomplished vocalists, musicians and, above all, showmen, one of the principal stadium rock acts of the 70s and 80s. Queen's stage shows were must see events, their videos iconic, their songs "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" adopted as fight anthems by countless sports teams and fans.

    R.I.P. Freddie Mercury.

    Thank you, Cherdo. It's travel time for me and I hope to return to my normal schedule by Friday. Have a great week, dear friend!

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    1. I'm going to have to be a milkshake makin' soda jerk to keep up with the milkshakes I owe you and STMcC. Now I remember your love of metal...I love the musically adept and theatrical!

      In researching for this post, I saw mention of the fact that Freddie only announced his illness the day before he died. I'd forgotten that. It's so sad; such a talent.

      Be careful on the road, find some time for fun, too. Ciao, Shadycitas!

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  2. "W Will Rock You" has become a staple a baseball games, too!

    an excellent choice

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  3. We will rock you is always a fav. lmao though, I was stretching at my desk with my hands in the air when I read your first line. Whoops.

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    1. See? I don't know everything...you HAD your hands up...

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  4. The very first time I heard "Bohemian Rhapsody" was in a girl's attic (yes, she was there. I'm not that creepy).
    No, we didn't.
    I tried.
    But, no, we didn't.
    "Paradise By the Dashboard Light?" Same, same.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps Mozart's Requiem might work?

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    2. Sounds good. Would I have to wear one of those 18th century wigs?

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    3. I think it's a look that was made for you.

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  5. I had a feeling you'd pick Queen. How could you not? They had so many great songs.

    Al's comment made me laugh. ;P

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    1. Al is one of my favorite comment jockeys.

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  6. Although I'm familiar with their music having heard it countless times on the radio and at sporting events, I never considered myself a fan.

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  7. Great band! "We are the Champions" was my personal anthem when I was a teen. Love Bohemian Rhapsody and the song, Who wants to live forever is a beautiful song that I first heard when I watched Highlander

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    1. I thought it was excellent for the scenes it was used in, didn't you?

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  8. So many great songs by Queen. One of them will appear (fairly soon) in The Soundtrack of My Life. Sometimes I think that a light that burns too brightly is bound to go out too soon. Maybe that's what happened to Freddie Mercury...

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    1. Aptly put...there's only so much fabulous you can carry around without spontaneously combusting.

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  9. Q is definitely for Queen.

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  10. Bawawahahahahahahahaha.
    I didn't even pause to think about this. I knew you would pick them.
    awwwwwww Freddy

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. You're getting to know me better, parsnip...

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  11. Can you believe the hair dos? Great music, however. Thanks for this great reminder!

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    1. I was just looking at a picture of myself with asymetrical hair...what goes through our heads?

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  12. The only Queen I ever owned was Somebody To Love, but admired them as a multi talented band that did a lot of genres well. I could have lived without ever hearing Body Language, though.

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    1. We are in agreement on that, ha ha.

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  13. I wondered what you'd do for "Q". Although I love Queen, they didn't even pop into my head. Shame on me. I still feel sad about Freddie, and not just because he died young. It's because he didn't like to smile because he was ashamed of his teeth. I always try to smile with my lips together because I'm ashamed of my teeth. So Freddie and I had two things in common: 1. bad teeth 2. a love of singing, but Freddie was a little more successful at it than I am.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Who Wants to Live Forever? is haunting.

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    2. I think it is, too.

      Freddie Mercury's voice was just buttah, but those teeth were pretty bad. Have you seen a picture of him as a boy?

      Check this out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/freddie-mercury-photos-great-pretender_n_2132097.html

      His teeth looked better as he aged.

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  14. Wow! I sure didn't see this milQshake coming!

    CHERDO, I would have bet the farm that "Q is for Quicksilver Messenger Service". You are just full of surprises here! ;-)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Hey, I am full of surprises. You have to give Queen some respect; if only for theatrics. No, I changed my mind - it's the whole package.

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    2. Yeahhhhhhhhhh... - no.

      You're my sunshine
      And I want you to know
      That my feelings are true
      I still like your blog.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. I'll take what I can get. :-)

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  15. Bohemian Rhapsody is one example of a very rare genre that I call "Rock Opera". The only other examples I know of are the albums American Idiot by Green Day and Tommy by The Who.

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    1. Don't you love them? The groups that gave their all and pull out the theatrics and "opera-esque" scores were awesome.

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  16. I thought about doing Queen for my Q but for some reason they don't scream 80s to me. They just seem like a band that transcends a specific decade, if that makes sense.

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    1. I'd have to agree - but that is why I'm glad I just said "musicians" for my theme. As soon as I limited myself to a decade, I'd draw a blank.

      BTW, I'm loving your 80s theme!

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  17. Their music is timeless. My twenty-something sons are also fans of Queen. It's nice when I don't have to change the station when their songs are on the radio.

    Julie

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    1. That is nice - my son (who is still at home; I have three actually) is a HUGE classic rock fan. God is good...

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  18. I love Queen! I love every song but I could do without hearing Radio Gaga. Not my favorite!
    I just noticed in your comments that we share a few of the same followers. I am so glad I found your blog today. Found you through the a to z challenge.

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    1. Radio Gaga was a dumb song, I have to agree. Thanks for stopping by, Holli! I'm following your blog now.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo