Tag Archives: queen

Constants of the Universe

I believe that, for some cosmic reason, everyone everywhere is compelled to mime the video for Bohemian Rhapsody and break out into song. Tell me – have you gone anywhere and heard this song on, say, a radio without somebody accompanying it with mime and/or cooperative singing? Everywhere you go, people are air guitaring and air pianoing to this opus of rock and roll. Singers, terrible and great alike, cannot help but bust their lungs and match Freddie’s prodigious pipes.

It’s not just because of Wayne’s World, either, because that movie drew from reality. People in cars across America and England could not help to fall into this musical trance led by the Pied Piper of Rock. Even the Muppets, who aren’t even real people, are lured via the siren song of Freddie Mercury. I’ve always loved Queen, as their various rock ballads have been a core part of my musical upbringing. My first music video was “Another One Bites the Dust,” for instance. My brothers always had Queen records playing, so I became very familiar with the discography of Freddie, John, Brian, and Roger.

They’ve made a lot of good tracks, but Bohemian Rhapsody is the quintessential Queen song. Big lyrics, big guitars, and big feeling all combine to create something with a soul bigger than musical notes. That’s why it resonates with people so much – the lyrics can be interpreted a thousand different ways. It also has a solid musical narrative from beginning to end, and is never boring. For a rock anthem, it’s pretty much got everything, including this cosmic force that compels people to act differently when they hear it.

It’s rare when a musician, or group of musicians as it were, has the power to do that, and it makes you wonder what the world would be like today if Freddie was still alive. Queen’s not the same with him gone, even though Brian and Roger are still musically involved together. Then again, they could have slid into mediocrity and we’d be slamming them for not knowing when to quit. I’m never quite sure what happens to musicians.

1 Comment

Filed under Music

Songs You Always Hear in Pairs

I listen to mostly old music. “Classic rock,” as it’s called these days, but I prefer to just call it rock and roll. I’ve noticed that most classic rock radio stations tend to play several songs as pairs. You rarely hear these broken apart. Why are they played in pairs? Usually because the songs flow together on an album, or they are thematically paired in such a way that it sounds better to play both at once.

Queen – We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions – perhaps the most obvious example. These two songs are never broken apart on the radio, ever. You’ll always hear them as a pair – and for good reason, because they’re awesome.

The Beatles – Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End – This is really the trailing end of the B-side Abbey Road Medley, so when you think about it there’s really a bunch of songs being left out. However, you’ll never hear The End by itself, for instance. This segment of the medley is always played… if/when it’s being played. I haven’t heard it on WZLX in a long time.

Bob Seger – Travelin’ Man / Beautiful Loser – from Live Bullet. Live sets are likely to have multiple songs strung together, but these two seem to be the favorite from the Silver Bullet.

Boston – Foreplay / Long Time – These aren’t really one track, but two that lead into each other. You’ll always hear Foreplay/Longtime played as a pair and never broken apart.

Led Zeppelin – Heartbreaker / Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) – These are both songs that could be played just as well as singles, but on both WAQY and WZLX I always hear them as a pair. Not that I mind of course – they’re two of my favorite tracks from Led Zeppelin II – but

Most tracks from Dark Side of the Moon – While some tracks from Dark Side are almost never played on the radio, the tracks that aren’t Money or Us and Them tend to be combined together. Speak to me/Breathe, then On the Run/Time, and Any Colour You Like / Brain Damage / Eclipse are combined together, respectively, to form radio play. This is because the instrumental tracks flow into the lyrical tracks and help keep most of the album feel.

Steve Miller Band – Space Intro / Fly Like an Eagle – Though some may consider the floaty synthesizer preceding Fly Like An Eagle to be part of the song, it’s not. Much like Foreplay/Long Time, these two tracks are almost never broken apart.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

I want it all, and I want it now.

The Queen 10-pack for Rock Band is one of the best packs to download for the game. Period. Why is that? Well, Queen’s awesome, for one. But two, the pack contains no clunkers. None at all. All of the songs are great, and the two omissions should come in the future. At least, I think they should. We all know that We are the Champions is coming in Lego Rock Band, but the other glaring omission, Bohemian Rhapsody, is tougher to explain. My guess is that it would be an on-disc track for a theoretical Rock Band 3 that has vocal harmonies a la Beatles. I have no evidence for that, it just sounds logical.

The game is smart enough to put Fake Freddie Mercury in as the singer during quickplay, which is a nice touch.

Of course, that wasn’t the only DLC that came out this week – we had the remainder of the Abbey Road tracks for Beatles: Rock Band. Needless to say that I bought it so I could play the B-side medley as one track, and I wasn’t disappointed. In terms of value the Queen pack probably wins if you could only buy one for now. I suggest picking up both, they’re just two seminal parts of rock and roll and are a blast to play.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Games