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PD: Reviews that criticize Queen08 May 2003 14:05
Many people don't care about such critics, (or the success of the band) saying they can enjoy the music that others ignore. I personally do care about critics. For those who also do here is a bunch of quotes.


Quotes from the Rolling Stone Magazine:

Queen II:

"Queen is a reasonably talented band who have chosen their models unwisely. On "Side Black," they venture into a lyrically muddled fairy-tale world with none of Genesis's wit or sophistication. They've also appropriated the most irritating elements of Yes's style — histrionic vocals, abrupt and pointless compositional complexity, and a dearth of melody"
"... But the album remains a floundering and sadly unoriginal affair"


NOTW (reviewed by Bart Testa, film critic, professor at University of Toronto)

"We Are the Champions" ends with the line, "No time for losers, 'cause we are the champions—of the world." It's an appropriate comment for a side that also includes "We Will Rock You," which has the atmosphere of a political rally in a Leni Riefenstahl movie and is at once a rock anthem and a commandment"Sheer Heart Attack" makes Queen the first major band to attempt a demonstration of superiority over punk rock by marching onto its stylistic turf. It works, too, because the power trio behind vocalist Freddie Mercury is truly primitive. Once you've seen Queen onstage, away from the cut and paste of the studio, it's painfully clear that "Sheer Heart Attack" is less a matter of slumming than of warfare among equals in incompetent musicianship. The rest of side one uses the elaborate Led Zeppelin approach for which Queen is famous, but the songs go even further into punk sociology, reaching a peak with "Fight from the Inside," which seems nothing less than a Tory's sketch for a junta. It's sung like a slogan fired from a machine gun"


JAZZ ( reviewed by Dave Marsh
www.dqydj.com
www.dqydj.com
www.rockcritics.com )

"Queen hasn't the imagination to play jazz—Queen hasn't the imagination, for that matter, to play rock & roll. Jazz is just more of the same dull pastiche that's dominated all of this British supergroup's work."
The guiding principle of these arrogant brats seems to be that anything Freddie & Company want, Freddie & Company get. What's most disconcerting about their arrogance is that it's so unfounded: Led Zeppelin may be as ruthless as medieval aristocrats, but at least Jimmy Page has an original electronic approach that earns his band some of its elitist notions. The only thing Queen does better than anyone else is express contempt."
"Mustapha" is merely a clumsy and pretentious rewrite of "Hernando's Hideaway," which has about as much to do with Middle Eastern culture as street-corner souvlaki."
""Let Me Entertain You," about selling his body and his willingness to use any device to thrill an audience, he isn't talking about a sacrifice for his art. He's just confessing his shamelessness, mostly because he's too much of a boor to feel stupid about it."
Whatever its claims, Queen isn't here just to entertain. This group has come to make it clear exactly who is superior and who is inferior. Its anthem, "We Will Rock You," is a marching order: you will not rock us, we will rock you. Indeed, Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band. The whole thing makes me wonder why anyone would indulge these creeps and their polluting ideas."


Live Killers (David Fricke writes):
"If Live Killers serves any purpose at all, it's to show that, stripped of their dazzling studio sound and Freddie Mercury's shimmering vocal harmonies, Queen is just another ersatz Led Zeppelin, combining cheap classical parody with heavy-metal bollocks. Using a recorded version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in their show may actually be Queen's "typically uncompromising" way of taking care of business."


quotes from a personal review page:

"...And I don't even count the innumerable 'Mercury clubs', 'Queen fan meetings' and miriads of Russian websites devoted to the band. All of this can really make one sick. Sure, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is a masterpiece, but in order to write about it, I must clench my teeth and calm down my heart that calls with all its might to dub it a stupid pretentious wussy chant, messy, incoherent and purposeless. And it's all the more painful to realize that, of course, most of these so-called 'Queen fans' are not only virtually ignorant of ninety percent of good rock music (hell, one of my relatives recently claimed to like Queen but never even heard 'Stairway To Heaven'!), but are also virtually ignorant of everything that lies beyond the scope of Greatest Hits and Innuendo."
" The final verdict will be painful for you if you're an intelligent Queen fan, but alas, it is based on reality: Queen are especially attractive for the 'pseudo-intellectual' music fans, that is, the kind of dudes who are way too slow, close-minded and poor-educated to recognize really timeless music like Genesis, King Crimson, or Jethro Tull, but which are quick to jump on the Queen bandwagon because... because, after all, the music of Queen is quite suitable for those people."
"I warn you, though, that there will be a lot of critique on my part downstairs. A bias is a bias, and I'm so sick of certain numbers I can easily overlook them or condemn them. Maybe that's why I actually dig the band's debut album, which is the only Queen record that's kinda overlooked, both in Russia and the rest of the world. Maybe not. But in any case, I do insist that Queen do not deserve more than a two. Reason? Queen are a dumb band. You can finish that thought for yourself, or ask me personally about it. But a fact is a fact. Of course, another fact is that Queen are a fascinating band, and there's absolutely no contradiction in these two statements."

Finally check out how one can explain more or less objectively Queen is a two star band:

Listenability: 4/5. The guys had a gift for melody, that's for sure, although sometimes the gimmicks are mighty overdone.
Resonance: 1/5. All of Queen's music is meticulously calculated show-biz stuff. ALL of it. Perhaps a couple confessional Mercury rockers or ballads occasionally contain grains of real feelings - but it would take ages to sort it out.
Originality: 3/5. Original they were - in their synthesis of opera and heavy metal. But in nothing else.
Adequacy: 2/5. Am I the only one to count that Freddie Mercury is more often overbearing than not? I can cope with that, of course, but it sure takes some effort.
Overall: 2.5 = * * on the rating scale.

Note: listenability is in connection with ability of writing catchy melodies arrange them earpleasing way. The reviwer thought Queen's melodic talent was on the same level with Bob Dylan.

About Queen's music being "meticulously calculated show-biz stuff". Unfortunately the reviewer tends to forget to consider that the vaste majority of pop/rock business (including his five star bands) made "meticulously calculated show-biz stuff". Songwriters write songs to please the listener. Even the sonic experimentation of the sixties and the "intellectual" lyricism  was "meticulously calculated show-biz stuff" - in terms of albums. Is it necessary wrong? I don't think so.
And to suggest that Beatles and Queen were the two extremes of honest and dishonest lyricism - it is way off-base.


to be continued...


1.Sebastian 08 May 2003 17:52
Deleted by Sebastian
2.PD 08 May 2003 23:13
It's my turn to share my opinion.

I was tempted to criticize some of the crap I cited as viciously as they did Queen albums but I tried to "moderate" myself. I'm not the kind of guy who overpraises his expertise, but I think these critics wrote some things that prove their musical taste deny the - I think quite logical and general - aesthetics that prefers the combination of clever and melodic songwriting, and substitute with their hardly music-oriented and more sociology-oriented aesthetics spiced with a lot of negative bias. I don't say music critics should analyse chord progressions songforms, but they should admit if a tune is catchy, and they have to have a general skill to recognise cliches and unusual things.

before commenting the qoutes, I reply to your post.

> I'm sure if they kept with their Opera-Races style there would be no
> genre able to end their success.
I think the opposite. Their stylistic change was a necessary step to take. The golden era of the progressive rock genre was ending and more econimic styles were getting trendy. Commercially the Races album was not a step forward compared to Opera partly because stylistacally it was very close to its predecessor.


> Unfortunatly, what they did was try desesperatly to get more
> attention, the song 'Sheer Heart Attack' is a proof,
Queen's finest songs were motivated to get attention. As for SHA: it was intended to be a "trendy" song. 99 percent of the psychadelic movement (including partly Beatles too) was about being trendy and not about original experimentation.
SHA IMO was a too obscure song to be treated as the result of desperately wanting to draw more attention.

> Beatles were successful because they did what they wanted to do, not what
> they thought the world wanted them to do.
I partly disagree here. Beatles wrote romance related songs because it was trendy. McCartney admitted they used wordplays to play for the market. They grew their hair becasue it was trendy in those days. They started using orchestration after Yesterday proved that it works on the market. Before that they (Paul) agreed doing it almost under protest.

> 'Innuendo' is totally unlike regular 89-91 hit singles, but it
> was #1 after all, because it's pure Queen
I hate to say but I think Innuendo's success was the result of a good promotion (at last). I mean the music is fantastic, but a song like "I Want To Break Free" deserves more to be remembered as "pop classic".

> Bohemian Rhapsody is like the peak of that.
Bohemian Rhapsody is huge anomaly. It's bigger anomaly than crap songs like "Flat Beat" (1999) reached the top, or Westlife getting seven (?) No1 hits none of which I can remember now just a couple of years later.
Bohemian Rhapsody was the peak of the movement "bring progressive songwriting to the masses". It was nearly a one band movement by 1975, because hardly any pop band wanted writing complex songs anymore and hardly any progressive bands wanted succes on the single chart anymore. And that was an original side of Queen.
 
> because people who just look for catchy tunes love it,
> and people who just look for complex structures also love it.
Yeah. As for catchyness: Bohrhap IMO is not more catchy than any pop classic, but it's extremly original. And it has many catchy melodies riffs and figures to be remembered and adored by, and the song has shades of catchiness that hardly any other popsong does. It's distinctive, not the kind of song one can substitute with another. Retrospectively it embodies for many people the achivements of pre-disco/punk/new wave era maybe the best.


> - Originality: I don't think they had.
I do think. Just try to find any band (say except Beatles) who were more original and could remained original for more than just an album. I mean Zeppelin's first album was more or less original (not earthshakingly so due bands and artists like Hendrix, Deep Purple, Cream, Black Sabbath, ...), but the later albums stylistically remained close to that and they became more "traditional" than original (with occassional exxceptions like Kashmir).
Check out the bands that got 5/5 for their originality, they hardly invented anything, most of their music can be derived from earlier roots. Even J.S. Bach was said having not invented new styles.
Originality IMO is closely related to distinctive. Queen were distinctive. They wrote songs that nobody else would. Even '39: in spite of it's a "pigeon-hole" song no one else could write a folksong like that.
The originality of Queen was not in inventing styles or genres, but in synthezing them, which BTW was a strong side of Beatles too. When Queen wrote a rockabilly song they did it subtly original way, I mean no songwriter in the fifties could have written Crazy Little Thing, and no baroque composer could have written Procession for subtle stylistic/compositional reasons.

I dare to say Queen were more distinctive than Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, or Elvis Presley if we take away the distinct voice of the actual singers. Queen wrote songs and arrangements that no band else would. Many of their singles were so original that compared to them nearly everyone else sounded mainstream. (There are exceptions like say Bat Dance by Prince which was one of the most unusual US No1 songs)
3.PD 09 May 2003 21:29
A recurrent problem in the reviews is how they approach Queen as an imitation of another band.
Take this quote:
"Even May comes up with 'Sleeping On The Sidewalk', a Stonesy blues rocker that never goes anywhere because a band like Queen could never have made a Stonesy blues rocker sound good - not really understanding anything about the blues pattern. Please stick to the whiter pattern, boys."

"...Sidewalk" is primarly a Brian-y blues, and it's perfect for that. Moreover the guitar style (combination of lead and rhythm guitar) was partly influenced by Clapton's style (as Brian told).
Note that any blues songs of Rolling Stones also could be criticized if we compared them to earlier generation of blues songwriters. Different bands, different approaches, and I don't think Brian's approach was inferior to anyone else's. IMO Brian understood the blues pattern lot better than the reviewer.


Live Killers (David Fricke writes):
"If Live Killers serves any purpose at all, it's to show that, stripped of their
dazzling studio sound and Freddie Mercury's shimmering vocal harmonies, Queen is
just another ersatz Led Zeppelin, combining cheap classical parody with heavy-metal
bollocks. Using a recorded version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in their show may actually be Queen's "typically uncompromising" way of taking care of business."


Queen were as much a "just another Zeppelin-ersatz band" as Zeppelin were "just another Hendrix-ersatz band" or Beatles "just another Roy Orbison ersatz band". Most Queen songs even in stripped down live format don't sound like Zeppelin, even when they rock the same hard. Our reviewer friend probably didn't had a clue about how difficult it is to perform originally more than three part harmonies on stage with three singers who also play instruments beside. Or it's possible he thought Queen should not have record harmonies in the studio that they cannot perform live. Or he just thought Led Zeppelin or the Beatles could have perform those vocals. Any choice sounds just silly.

"The rest of side one (NOTW) uses the elaborate Led Zeppelin approach for which Queen is famous".
Queen were famous for the Queen approach. How many think that All Dead, Spread Your Wings, and Fight From The Inside (referred as "the rest of side one") use the Led Zeppelin approach? All Dead - definitely not, Spread Your Wings - absolutely not, FFTI - almost, if you call riff-driven music the "Led Zeppelin Approach" instead of Heavy Metal. I personally find the song remotely Zeppelin-esque because the main riff is definitely could have been written by Page (or any great riff composer before and after Page). All in all, this reviewer wrote crap. This review alone should have been enough reason to fire the man (who is a professor by profession BTW) for being incompetent (or negatively biased).
4.Sebastian 10 May 2003 04:44
Deleted by Sebastian
5.PD 10 May 2003 09:30
Page - IMO his playing style had some original aspects. He surely stolen many riffs, but actually he also composed quite a few. As songwriters: the debut Zeppelin album combined influences (riff driven music, long forms, freedom) a perfect way. Brian (or Tim?) remembered once that they felt Zepp have stolen their (Smile) idea. That kind of music was in the air and when it came out it was more or less original. OTOH when they released more albums in mainly the same style it was not original anymore, they were simply just great or good (or not so very god) albums. Their style evolved, but just slowly (compared to Queen or Beatles). I personally think that their later albums were weaker in terms of melodies and riffs with a few exceptions.
Zeppelin has HUGE basis in the US and in the classic rock circles.

The single chart succes always was a combination of good music and marketing. In the nineties there was a significant change (around Take That) when it became usual that singles debuted at #1 helping the singles that are well promoted and make good first impression. This worked against songs that grow on people slowly.


As for Yesterday - orchestrations had always been present in pop music. Elvis (I may be wrong now) also had songs with strings. Martin's achivement was writing an arrangement under the influence of string quartett pieces. Paul's achivement was writing a wonderful song.
> how couldn't it be so famous?
Any songwriter who couldn't write a nice tune like Macca did. Yesterday also has a very nice and more or less original (in context of pop rock music) fingerpicking guitar accompaniment.

Seven Seas - I'm less surprised it was a top 10 hit. I find it catchy. You can hear lots of less catchy songs on the oldies stations. I've read posts by people who remembered the song as something catchy and fresh back than when it came out.
6.Sebastian 11 May 2003 00:57
Deleted by Sebastian
7.PD 11 May 2003 22:20
Led Zeppelin were an album band. According to Brian Queen too was an album band, but IMO Zeppelin were much more album oriented, or Queen were more single oriented.
Most Zeppelin albums were No1, which is a pretty notable achivement for a heavy metal band. Their marketing was quite effective too right from the start. Fortunately.

Their aesthetics were different from Queen - less emphasis on chords and song forms, more emphasis on guitars, lyrics, stylistic faithfullness to their roots, never disappointing their fans stylistically albeit some people think that "All Of My Love" is too pop.
They wrote dozens of songs that are longer than Bohemian Rhapsody OTOH their songs were averagely much more repetitive than Queen's (no wonder: except some progressive rock bands most bands wrote more repetitive music than Queen) .

Seven Seas Of Rhye: I have never analised its lyrics. By ears I can recognise some basic words, by reading - I never read the lyrics of that song.
As for possible singles: "... revisited" is a song that I thought could/should have became one of the more memorable tunes of the seventies. The only chorus that Queen repeated eight times... No wonder - it's very catchy indeed.

Yesterday IMO was written on guitar in the key of G. For the record Paul lowered the tuning by a whole step. I transcribed once the guitar part and found some "tipical" guitar licks.
As for Extreme's LOML cover. The intro arranges the piano lick. The second phrase of the intro already modifies the original figures. The instrumental section, and other parts of the song differ from the original version. In fact it's a very creative cover version.

The BoRhap solo - Brian in his recently linked interview talked about how he has written that first solo. I don't know how much it sounds Freddie-esque played on piano. But I guess that Freddie never played an octave long scale on piano. Diatonic solos in a proper key and under a certain speed limit can be nicely played on piano.

Regarding Kiss - I really know just a few songs of them, and I like those. The chorus of their "Crazy Nights" may have been influenced by It's Late. Maybe not, but it's pretty close.
My expertise of them is weak, but if you go analysing some songs of their here, that's gonna be wellcomed.
8.Sebastian 12 May 2003 14:19
Deleted by Sebastian
9.PD 12 May 2003 14:58
Yesterday: I knew the quote, but forgat about the piano being mentioned.

The "what influenced Yesterday" quest was solved a few years ago by Hammond, who found remarkable similarities between it and "Georgia On My Mind" and "Yesterday" especially in the chord progression. Yesterday's notable features from the top of my head are the strongly non-square phrasing, arch-like melodies, some long chain of fifths, and the chromatic line that can be derived from the I > II > IV > I progression.
BTW I know another Beatles quote saying that "I WantTo Hold Your Hand" was written by two of them sitting at the piano. Strange.
10.Sebastian 29 May 2004 21:04
More than one year later, it`s time to keep going with this one :)

First of all, look at this: www.kissonline.com Interesting isn`t it?

Second of all, just some overall points:

I Want To Hold Your Hand: I`m not surprised it`s piano written (at least partially). I did an interesting arrangement of that one some weeks ago, it`s still waiting to be recorded some day. I love the Beatlallica version too.

Talking about that, if there`s any Metallica expert here I`d apreciate a lot if we can get some possible Queen influences in their music. Particularly I find Ogre Battle could have (partly) influenced Lars Ulrich style, just without the double kick. I think too that perhaps at some point Metallica influenced Queen, although both I Want It All and The Hitman can be coincidences. I always thought `The Hitman` and many Metallica tracks shared the same influences, as opposed to one of them being inspired in the other.

I`ve realised that Queen`s 70s fame (which is still alive in some classic rock circles in the United States), is, as Freddie described they once: "a heavy band with harmonies". I disagree with that statement. Maybe in the early period they were (Liar, Masterstroke...).

But from Sheer Heart Attack onwards I think that the heavy/harmony synthesis was just (a small) part of the range they covered. The combination of heavy drums, dirty guitar solos, melodic bass, classical piano, vocal harmonies and complex structures was anyway more related to Freddie`s songs (which were though about 65-70% of the band`s songs until then). Brian`s approach was more in guitar and vocal harmonies, and original, creative, non-monotone and yet simple (or "not-difficult") music and arrangements. Piano doesn`t play an important role on that group, and in the cases it does (e.g. `Doin` All Right`) it`s far from being classical. I think it`s somehow unfair to just take in account one of them, although I do agree that the music of their two first albums was either black or white. Both approaches are original (the use of piano in heavy music wasn`t new, but Freddie`s style was, in a similar way with Brian`s guitar harmonies).

In `Sheer Heart Attack` we have seven songs from Freddie. One of them goes with the already mentioned acoustic-piano/electric-guitar heaviness combined with harmonies. Another one is a very well orchestrated ballad. That`s more an "harmonic song with heaviness" but for the effect it`s similar, yet not the same. Stone Cold Crazy`s harmonies aren`t so important to the song I think. That`s not so 50-50. Killer Queen is, compared to other Freddie`s songs from that era, more in the guitar harmony side, and I don`t see heaviness. It`s a way different synthesis, harmonies share some similarties with Masterstroke or Black Queen, but there are - and also in Leroy Brown, which also can`t be counted as a "heavy effort with harmonies" - some "new tricks on the road" (as the one in "pa pa pa pa", combining ascending harmony with plain, so they`re not parallel, used later in Don`t Stop Me). Lap Of The Gods...Revisited doesn`t go with that philosophy, in fact I don`t think we can put a label on that, some people call it "glam rock", but the only common factor here is the stadium chorus, but glam rock is not only that. The other LOTG goes with the heavy/harmonies trademark sound only in the intro, later on it`s also, sui generis imo. So I think from this album onwards we can`t talk about Queen as a "heavy band with harmonies" anymore. That`s just one of their many phases.

I disagree with Brian`s comment too about that album being "all dirty and heavy, except for Killer Queen" (that`s not the exact quote but that`s the message). What about Misfire, Dear Friends, Leroy Brown, She Makes Me, ...Revisited? That`s already more than 1/3 of the "not-Killer Queen" album material.

Something I find very wrong is the operatic label of the band. More to the point, the "opera-rock" label to both the band and Freddie/Montserrat album. About Queen: just because of Bohemian Rhapsody, we can`t talk about the band being operatic at any point. High singing was very common in the first five albums, but for that matter then Deep Purple is an operatic band too. To label them into that genre is a consecuence of their most famous song being that way. But it`s the only one. If Somebody To Love had been their #1 hit, then Queen would be considered a "heavy band with gospel", when only that song (and Let Me Live) enter in that. If Millionaire Waltz had been the hit instead of BoRhap, then they would be considered "a heavy band with waltz", and that`d be just as ridiculous as the opera label.

As for `Barcelona`, I don`t see the "rock" part. It`s a classical album with mixed influences, but not a rock/opera or opera-rock. Not even Jesus Christ Superstar would be opera-rock. Neither Cats (their rock material doesn`t go further a couple of numbers).

Queen is often labeled as a "glam band", specially in the 70s. The only "glammy" song from them is `Tenement Funster`. They adopted just one of the glam trademarks which was about the extravagant outfits, and ocasionally Roger borrowed some musical stuff. Although that`s worth to check closely. Bowie and Bolan influenced each other a lot, so when David wrote a glam song it can be interpreted as "a glam song with Bowie-esque touches" or "a Bowie-esque song with glam touches". Same about Marc. So perhaps Roger`s Drowse and glam rock music were both influenced by David Bowie, or perhaps both Roger and Bowie were influenced by glam. It`s a tough one. Personally, specially referring to the strummed acoustic guitars - like the one in Drowse or the one in Tenement -, not even Rog himself will be able to know about his inspiration. Even subconsciously that must have been a combination of circumstances ("chaos theory"). That kind of strummed guitar was already used by David before glam was born, but Roger could have been influenced by both.

Personally I doubt the band had such big influences from Bowie as many may think at first. Brian and Fred were probably more inspired by Mott The Hopple, who were just a little glammy because they were produced by Bowie & Ronson, and of course the mixing had that kind of "environment". Moreover they "stucked with" All The Young Dudes which is one of the glam rock anthems. If they had took Sufraggate City (as it was planned) the story would be very different. I find Mott was much more influenced actually by the Stones than by Bowie or Ronson.

To be continued...
11.PD 03 Jun 2004 20:42
> Interesting isn`t it?
Those fake pictures made me smile. I imagined more famous bands with that make up.

> I`m not surprised it`s piano written (I Want To Hold Your Hand)
I wonder what way was it written: piano chords + singing, or the lead melody was created on piano? My guess is the first vesrion.


Queen influences in Metallica songs:
- Multitrack guitar harmonies.
- Strangely "Stone Cold Crazy" sounds almost more Metallica-like than Queen-like.

> Particularly I find Ogre Battle could have (partly) influenced Lars Ulrich style
My drum knowledge is not very deep...

> some point Metallica influenced Queen, although both I Want It All
> and The Hitman can be coincidences
I suspect the influence of "Paradise City" behind the fast section of "I Want It All". Surely Metallica (with GnR) influenced much the rock music around 1990, and I used to find Hitman a bit "metallic" but I tend to see Hitman's roots back in "Let Me Entertain You".

> Something I find very wrong is the operatic label of the band.
Opera was just a very thin part of their stylistic palette. The choir arrangement in "Somebody To Love" is also more gospel-influenced than opera.

Pigeonholing Queen: they were a diverse pop/rock band with "nice" harmonies. The first albums were rather progressive, hardly pop.
12.Sebastian 04 Jun 2004 11:30
> I wonder what way was it written

I think John commented that it was the first chord the one done in the piano. Like the one that "turned them on" if you know what I mean. The rest of the song could have been written "at" any other instrument. As for the formula, I think 99% of non-instrumental songs are never written "at the piano" or "at the guitar". They`re written on the composer`s mind while he/she plays either piano or guitar. Or koto or whatever

> I suspect the influence of "Paradise City" behind the fast section of "I Want It All".

Perhaps it`s true. Very nice observation. I`ve always thought  IWIA was influenced by Def Leppard`s records and Bon Jovi. GnR would complete the "triangle".

As for Metallica`s guitar harmonies: it`s more possible that it was an Iron Maiden legacy, more than Queen

>I tend to see Hitman's roots back in "Let Me Entertain You".

For both Hitman and other songs of that era (`Miracle`, `Was It All Worth It`, `Slightly Mad`) I guess Freddie`s main influence (musically) was himself.

> Opera was just a very thin part of their stylistic palette.

Yes

> The first albums were rather progressive, hardly pop.
 
It`s hard to define a progressive song. I mean perhaps Black Queen or My Fairy King were, but what about Modern Times RnR, Nevermore, Loser In The End, Killer Queen...
13.Sebastian 06 Jun 2004 04:50
As for reviews: I find AMG reviews are pretty good. Well informed and somehow objective, compared to most magazines. Some songs (Somebody To Love, Take My Breath Away) are reviewed amazingly, I loved those comments. Although there are some points I`d like to discuss:

> The musichall-meets-LedZeppelin `Killer Queen`...

I don`t find not even a slight Zeppelin influence there. As far as I know, Fred was trying to avoid the band being labelled as that with this single

> Mystical prog rock (`39, The Prophet`s Song)

I don`t find either songs are prog. Prophet`s Song is a long and intricate number but it`s more heavy than prog imo

> Queen`s own version of Led Zeppelin IV (referring to ANATO)

I don`t see the relationship between those two albums, except that the band`s most famous song is on them. But besides that, they`re like day and night

> Although not as meticulously detailed or all-encompassing as its brilliant predecessor, A Day at the Races showed that the band ...

I disagree with that statement. Perhaps there wasn`t a song with such many vocal overdubs as `Bo Rhap`, but Races had two songs which imo are much more complex than the other 4 Freddie numbers in ANATO. As for Brian`s numbers, I think `Teo` is just as detailed as `Prophet`, only that they applied their geniality in a different style and a shorter (but more elaborated) track. John`s and Roger`s songs are imo more clever than the previous ones. As for arrangements, Freddie`s piano playing is just amazing in Millionaire Waltz, as well as Brian`s guitar choirs and John`s bass in the same song. So I don`t see why this album can`t be considered equally detailed and layered

> "Tie Your Mother Down" would go on to become the most frequent opening number for the remainder of the band's long career.

That`s not true. They opened with that song only in two or three tours. The writer perhaps assumed that because of Freddie`s Tribute and Rock In Rio.
14.BrianMay 07 Jun 2004 02:59
"The writer
perhaps assumed that because of Freddie`s Tribute and Rock In Rio."

They opened with Tear it Up, in Rio
15.Sebastian 07 Jun 2004 09:58
Good point
16.Sebastian 13 Jun 2004 15:09
Back to reviews... AMQ critics qualify Fat Bots intro as reminiscent of Eagles vocal harmonies. what do you think? That idea certainly never crossed my mind but it kind of makes sense a little.

Pigeonholing: I personally don`t think Hot Space is their most experimental album. They just did one experiment and applied it in many of the songs. The Game is much more experimental imo.
17.PD 28 Sep 2005 12:57
George Starostin on his review page raised Queen from 2/5 to 3/5. A huge update, isnt it?
His note explains that he thinks its unfair to criticize Queen for their fans ignoring every other bands.
He still thinks that the only original point in Queen is mixing opera with rock.

starling.rinet.ru

Once again: one of the main purposes of the analylis project is to direct the listeners' attention to the MUSICAL creativity and original MUSICAL ideas. I think its pretty obvious that Queen originality is far behind of mixing rock with opera.
18.BrianMay 29 Sep 2005 18:11
" Beatles were successful because they did what they wanted to do,"

I think the Beatles were successful mainly because their looks were good, and they were something new.
19.Sebastian 29 Sep 2005 20:11
In my opinion, the Beatles are the only band who have received the praise they've deserved. And partly Led Zeppelin; the rest are still fairly underrated. Especially 80s ones like GnR, way too old to be trendy, way too recent to be classics. Same for songs.
20.PD 30 Sep 2005 12:44
I mostly agree with Seb. The eighties are underrated by critics. Not really by the people: the music of the eighties are very popular over here. Beatles definitely got the praise what they deserve. Beatles got plenty of praise that they IMO dont deserve or at least should be co-praise with them but they always forget. Compared to many hardly known bands Queen too are overrated. Compared to the top-respected bands Queen are underrated. IMO.
21.Sebastian 30 Sep 2005 14:13
Eighties music is what all people put down but all people listen and enjoy. Especially because of pop, the #1 underrated genre when it comes to critics. It's all summarised in vogue imo. Like in literature, it's high-class to say you read Lord Byron or Charles Dickens. In rock/pop music it's much more respected if you say "I like Beatles" than "I like Mott The Hopple". And then it comes to those people who make a music genre a religion...

The other day there was a neo vs (classic) punk fight next to my flat, in front of the church (what a lack of respect). It's imo utterly ridiculous that a person with black nails and Blink t-shirt "has to" hate Ramones and The Clash and viceversa. And they both "must" hate Metal and so on. I think some of that is applied for a minor extent in some critics: the one who likes Beatles is fond of 60s music in general, and blues and rockabilly since they were Beatles' roots. While it happens for a fairly big percentage (for obvious reasons), I don't think it's got to be marked as a tacit "rule".
22.BrianMay 06 Oct 2005 22:16
It's always been like that Sebastian, Even in the 60's, at least here in Europe, with The Beatles and the Stones. It was always a fight. And people who listened to Punk believed that they weren't allowed to listen to anything else, or else they would not be true to the who anarchy ideal.
23.zaiga 10 Oct 2005 11:28
If you don't play by the rules, you are not a real anarchist. That's an interesting paradox, isn't it? ;)
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