HOME FORUM

Login






Register
Search
List of users


PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS FORUM IS TAKEN FROM PREVIOUS VERSION OF QUEEN SONGS SITE.
Path: Queen Songs - Forum - Song Analysis: Queen influencesBookmark and Share

Forum

--- Only registered users can post a message ---pages 1
Sebastian: Queen influences28 Jun 2003 23:44
I think we talk all time about the origin of some queen trademarks, and found most of them on the fab four, but we should now think of the legacy that the "other fab four" gave to other bands.

I think Slash's guitar arrangements are more influenced by Queen than Led Zeppelin. Estranged is a nice example.

Nuno's style was a lot more Van Halenesque. As he said, Brian thought him what not to play. So we can't see aproximations actually. I think the 'Love Of My Life' guitar choirs are arranged and played by Brian himself.

I find Duff's bass-playing on 'Sweet Child' and 'Paradise' (his song after all) similar to John's melodic style.

The multi-track vocal thing is very unusual actually. Axl made a huge deal because he had made five additional layers of vocals recording 'Paradise City', while Queen did that lots of times. even Bee Gees hardly ever recorded more than one voice per brother. Only one song has that: Nights On Broadway (where Barry recorded two lines). All the others are one voice by each one. It's a shame. I think that's the only band that could have done Bo Rhap exactly the same (although now I doubt that they could make Roger's notes).

I can hardly find anybody influenced by Freddie's piano style. Only Brian during 'No One But You', but that was on purpose as he said. Axl's style sounds much more Elton John or Billy Joel to me. Dizzy's style is a little more similar to Freddie, but I don't think there's any connection in there.

Again, I find a good reason for other bands not recording Queen covers was the hard task of compiting with the original, or to make it similar. While a Kiss song is more or less easy to reproduce by any band, I doubt any band can regularly make all sorts of things like the solo of Who Needs You, the gospel choir of Somebody To Love, the piano of Millionaire Waltz and the guitar orchestras of Procession. Queen of course is not the only band with that advantage: I don't think there's any group able to do a proper Jethro Tull cover. While the styles of virtualyl every famous guitar player (from George Harrison to Steve Vai) has been imitated and even improved, very few people has attemped to have Freddie's versatile piano skills or accomplished polyphonic vocal arrangements.
1.PD 29 Jun 2003 07:42
> I think we talk all time about the origin of some queen trademarks,
> and found most of them on the fab four,
Most of Queen trademarks can be found in the music of the era they grew up in and what the Beatles were a prominent part of. Beatles's music also happen to feature many of these trademarks the later in their carrier the more. For example the changing arrangement (between the same sections) whose origin can be found in the pre-Beatles era, and became a favorized technique for the Beatles too (not right from the start though), and Queen too.

> I think Slash's guitar arrangements are more influenced by Queen than Led Zeppelin.
In the Appetite days his arrangements were simple, the few tricky things must have been influenced by the studio producer regarding that Slash didn't had much experience in the studio. Slash mainly wrote solos and some riffs that's all. In the "Illusion" days he must have much more experience to write tad more sophisticated arrangements, but to find DISTINCT Queen influences in them: I say no. Page by the way also did multilayer rhythm guitar arrangements.

> Estranged is a nice example.
Estranged is nice but IMO not an example that necessarily shows direct Queen influence on them. Can't excluse it though. In sogwriting point of view it's definitely closer to Queen than to Zeppelin despite the latter band having written much more long "epics" than Queen.

> Nuno's style was a lot more Van Halenesque. As he said, Brian thought
> him what not to play.
I think this influence is working on a subtle level. And Nuno's style is rather different from Brian's.

> I think the 'Love Of My Life' guitar choirs are arranged and played by Brian himself.
Yep, I also think so, but it does not proves anything about Queen influences. More than words shows subtle Queen influences in the way how much lead melody work is compressed into that one. Remarkably non-repetitive for it's genre.

> I find Duff's bass-playing on 'Sweet Child' and 'Paradise' (his song after all)
> similar to John's melodic style.
Duff was an "ultimate" rock-bass player on Appetite. I can't see DISTINCT John influence on him. Duff was using plectrum, and his basslines were melodic in a different way from John's style.

> Axl made a huge deal because he had made five additional layers of vocals
> recording 'Paradise City',
Lot of things like that must have been influenced by the studio producer.

> even Bee Gees hardly ever recorded more than one voice per brother.
Some bands did, others not.


> I think that's the only band that could have done Bo Rhap
> exactly the same (although now I doubt that they could make
> Roger's notes).
In terms of range a lot of bands or individual singers would be able to do the BohRhap choirs. The real tricky thing was to compose and arrange them. That's a no-one-but-Mercury thing. I mean: many people can write nice/great vocal arrangements, but BohRap was so different from other's style, and that kind of cleverness is simple beyond many arrangers and songwriters...


> I can hardly find anybody influenced by Freddie's piano style.
These influences work usually too subtly to sense them on the surface.

> Axl's style sounds much more Elton John or Billy Joel to me.
Axl's style must have been pretty much influenced by his limited skills on the piano IMO.


> Dizzy's style is a little more similar to Freddie, but I don't
> think there's any connection in there.
I think we should not search Queen influences EVERYWHERE. Maybe in the works of admittedly Queen influenced bands/artists like Def Leppard.


> Again, I find a good reason for other bands not recording Queen covers
> was the hard task of compiting with the original, or to make it similar.
That's very true. Other reasons:
the relative low number of good transcriptions, and any "complete" issue.
The trend was started too late (Metallica - Stone Cold Crazy).


> I doubt any band can regularly make all sorts of things like the solo
> of Who Needs You,
Nor "Who Needs you" and "Somebody To Love" are rock-club repertoire pieces. "Who Needs You" is rather for people like me: playing for fun at home. It's not that hard to re-arrange it for live performance.


> the gospel choir of Somebody To Love,
That one need a choir (but at least three singers). "Somebody To Love" would be an ideal track for acapella choirs. In terms of acapella covers/performances it's horribly underrated. A sheet music would surely help.


> The guitar orchestras of Procession.
It would be easy to reproduce on keyboard. It's just matter of sheet music. A few years ago I sent a handwritten sheet of Procession to Argentina where it was used as wedding march and was performed on church organ. I wish I had an mp3 of that...


> I don't think there's any group able to do a proper Jethro Tull cover.
I do think there must be some bands, or proper musicians being able for the project.


> very few people has attemped to have Freddie's versatile piano skills
To cover it, it's just a matter of sheet music and a little practicing. There are many piano players with superior versatility on piano to Freddie's IMO.

> accomplished polyphonic vocal arrangements.
Again: lots of arranger's are able to arrange big choirs. Just a few of them do it as clever as Freddie and Brian did sometimes.
2.Sebastian 29 Jun 2003 14:32
As for looking Queen influences everywhere: I don't mean I'm comparing every bass player with John or every drummer with Rog, but Guns, Extreme and some others have said themselves that they loved Queen and that they were trascendent in their influences. Nuno and Gary met because they loved the II album, which is also Axl's favourite. What is strange though is that the queen influences found are minimal. I don't mean those bands have to be Queen copies, because they have many other influences that in some cases are really different (e.g. Van Halen), but to find no influences at all is actually strange. I mean, my favourite piano player is Freddie but my style is totally different, I think it's closer to Brian or Paul McCartney. My favourite drummer is John Bonham but I play the drums like Ringo actually...

Who Needs You is not probably the favourite style for bands to cover. But who knows, perhaps a Spanish band has it, probably translated and with a different title, and we haven't noticed.

I think for a band to do a cover they must be quite sure it's as good or better than the original. There are songs with some "vital" parts I think. When I make an arrangement I make sure of that. For example, Let It Be guitar solo could be easily changed, in fact each one of the four Beatles' versions has a different solo, but it would be a crime to replace the solo of Bo Rhap, or perhaps even Taxman, although the latter is not so famous. Queen songs have lots of those unchangeable things, which has been an obstacle for me to re-arrange them too. Change of key is another issue, some studies that a group of friends of my father made showed that someway the classic composers knew which key was needed for each of their compositions. That can be a tricky thing and is more like "music metaphysics".

I think Bo Rhap was in that key (Gm I think) because if they made it one half step up they would have troubles on the high notes of the opera section (perhaps Roger could sing a B4, but I doubt Brian could sing Eb4s), and one half step down would have been difficult for Freddie at the low notes (while it's possible that he could sing an E1, perhaps, it would sound so weak). I'm actually recording my own version of it, and tried to change the key three semitones down (in order to sing a G4 on "for me"), but it doesn't sound quite right in that key, I don't know why

as for the operatic section done by bands, again I think very few could have done it exactly that way. Take U2 for example. Even though Bono is, at least in my country, considered an exceptional singer in the high end, his highest notes are around D4, and I think his lowest are way far from the F1. Robert Plant is another example of a great singer that definately couldn't have done those limits.

Probably Bruce Dickinson or Axl Rose could sing the F1, but not the Bb4. Maurice Gibb is another example. While Bee Gees post-75 music is mostly sung in falsetto, they hardly ever sing higher than D4s too. A close band could be perhaps Aerosmith, Steven sings very high and Joe is quite low, perhaps, I don't know for sure anyway

In the case of Extreme's LOML, I didn't mean it was a Queen influence, but a non-Queen one. If Nuno had played the fills we should have a kind of Queen tribute, but since Brian (probably) played it we find no stylistical connection between the two guitarists except for being performing the same song. It's like Starfleet, we can easily tell which one's Brian and which one's Eddie.

About Jimmy Page, yes he did arrange some multi-tracked guitars but they were quite different. I find the 'November Rain' guitars more similar to him (although in a very differtent kind of song), while Estranged reminds me more Freddie's and Brian's arrangements.

But this whole thing is more with investigation objective. A lot of bands are just copies of their favourites (e.g. Oasis, Blink or even Bon Jovi), while others have their very own style (e.g. The Doors). Specially local bands in this country are copies of either Nirvana or Guns N Roses.

About Axl's piano skills, I'm each time more surprised that the piano solo of Estranged is played by him, the style is totally more Dizzy's, at least the "jazzy" part.
3.PD 30 Jun 2003 17:41
> but Guns, Extreme and some others have said themselves that they loved
> Queen and that they were trascendent in their influences.
Guns were an American band of five members by their debut. Axl may have liked Queen, others maybe for a lesser extent. They participated at the FM tribute concert, so they probably "had to" emphasize their admiriation of Queen, similarly as the Beatles and Lennon features prominently in the member profiles in the Killer Queen video released a year after Lennon's assasination. More prominently than Beatle's real share in their influential palette.
Liking a band and being influenced by them is two separate things. Years ago I also had been writing some music (mainly) on guitar, but no one of them I would consider influenced by Queen. Megadeth and baroque and maybe a bit of grunge music were influenting me more strongly. Being influenced by Queen is a strange thing and sometimes hard to detect until it's not a rip-off. Queen trademarks are hard to get a grip on. If you make a song influenced by Modern Times RnR - it may sound like a normal early metal song. If you make a song influenced by Who Needs You it may sound like a spanish-influenced song especially if you ignore those subtle charatcteristics that one cannot realise without analysis. If you listen to songs that are reportedly Beatles-influenced, most of them turn out to be non-Betalesque on subtle level. For example the songform trickery in "Need Your Loving Tonight" is not really Beatlesque.
Being inspired by a band or ripping off a special trademark is yet another thing they often with influence.


Another thing to consider: if any band else than Queen would have written an operatic single, or a canon for vocals or guitar they would risk to be considered it a rip-off. The guitar harmonies were so closely associated with May due to his sophisticated earpleasing approach, still guitar harmonies had a golden era in the pop music of the seventies. Since it was not an "invention" of Brian May, and others too used it, the technique avoided to be considered widely known as Queen-influence. But I suspect Queen songs were popularizing the tecnique more than any other individual band or guitarist.  
If they would use less Queen-monopolized features (great vocal harmonies) it's a case of non-sharply determined influence. In the sixties they consider many things to have influenced by the Beatles, including things that could easily be considered other band's influence.
 

> For example, Let It Be guitar solo could be easily changed,
That's one of the least melodic and least composed guitar-solo that you can hear on radio IMO. No wonder it can be changed.

> but it would be a crime to replace the solo of Bo Rhap,
Oddly enough Brian often modified his greatest guitarsolos, that I would never dare to touch. Likewise Freddie modified classic lead melodies (due his vocal range limitations). Brian took care to not modify the most improtant motifs, he did it with great sense.

> Queen songs have lots of those unchangeable things,
It's just a matter of imagination. I have heard some pretty imaginative things.


> I think Bo Rhap was in that key (Gm I think) because if they made it one half step
> up they would have troubles on the high notes of the opera section
maybe yes, that's a tricky question.


> Probably Bruce Dickinson or Axl Rose could sing the F1, but not the Bb4...
Vocal range and influences are not that closely related IMO.


A line about Nuno: his Bumblebee solo uses mainly the same technique that was pioneered by Brian in rock music. It still does not sound like a rip-off, it rather a clever development of the idea in a techniqually and musically superior level to what Brian played (I mean: the hocket-canon passage of his Brighto Rock solos).


About GnR: I have seen Zeppelin fans who admired Appetite and considered its succes being rooted in the Zeppelin-esque music. I don't think GnR where heavily influenced by Zeppelin, especially in terms of songwriting. There is hardly any "overlap" between them: songs that could be imagined written by the other.


> (e.g. Oasis,
Oasis: musically they are much less influenced by the Beatles than many think. Oasis are inferior to Beatles in terms of compositional trickery and diversity and also of catchy pop-songwriting.
4.Sebastian 30 Jun 2003 18:21
regarding Brian's guitar solos--> While he changed some notes of 'Crazy' and 'Keep' he maintained the idea. That's my point, same as the solos of 'Who Wants To Live Forever' and 'Days Of Our Lives', while 'Resurrection', great as it is, is not that "unchangeable".

that was a really good conclusion what you said about Modern Times and Who Needs You. Since Xtreme and Guns loved the II album more I now think if they had Queen influences they were probably from songs like 'Loser In The End', 'Ogre Battle' or 'See What A Fool I've Been', where the Queen famous trademarks are hard to see.

I do think Led Zeppelin is one of the biggest influences in Guns. Only that they "Americanised" it, in the two-guitarists formation. A kind of common characteristic in some American bands (Kiss, Aerosmith) is that after a while they sound all the same, except for the singers. For example, we know the solo of 'November' is played by Slash because it's a Guns song, but if Joe or Ace did it I guess it would be more or less the same, and they all use Les Pauls.

to be continued...
5.PD 30 Jun 2003 20:52
One could write a book about how Freddie and May have changed their most classic tunes...

Back to Queen influences: once I brought up two Billy Ocean songs where i found some motifs that reminded me of motifs of Queen songs on Hot Space.
Namely:
the synth hook of "When The Going Gets Tough" reminded me of that of "Body Langage" and the guitar hook in "Lover Boy" reminded me of that of "Dancer".
6.Sebastian 24 Jul 2003 21:14
as promised, it would be continued

> Vocal range and influences are not that closely related IMO.

of course they're not, that was my "no-one can cover Bo Rhap" thing.

Talking about Bo Rhap, listening to the surround mix I found that the high for me is sung unison by two people. So there you go, it was also Fred. The timbre is quite clear, similar to the ending of the intro of 'Take My Breath Away'. Mercury hits the note "quieter", while Roger had to scream to reach it. I think that's why Roger's has a lot more resonance, and in a normal stereo mix you can think it's only one voice.

In the same way Roger's lead vocal is double-tracked in 'I'm In Love With My Car', something I hadn't noticed either.

again in the queen influences thing, after listening more and more guns n roses, there's some few things:

------------

Apetite:

This album is more Queen related than I thought at first. If I had to choose two songs that resumed Queen they would be a rocker guitar song by Brian (he wrote at least one per album, from Keep Yourself up to Headlong), and the other would be one of Fred's piano ballads (he wrote a little less, but they were quite constant from Nevermore to It's A Hard Life, perhaps Friends Will Be Friends).

Guns was a typical American band in their beginning, so they're few Queen influences are in Brian's side (although Fred also wrote a couple of songs in that style: Liar, Ogre Battle...).

The intro of 'Jungle' reminds me those riffs Brian played before Ogre Battle on concerts. Of course that proves nothing. That's also a kind of common part of the era (Aerosmith, Zeppelin...). The vocal harmonies aren't distinctive from Queen either, but I think GnR used a lot more vocal harmonies than the rest of bands that influenced them.

'It's So Easy', musically, is a lot more punk, more Sex Pistols, which isn't a surprise because Duff and West wrote it. But the vocal arrangement (Axl's) was very much Queen in my opinion. The presence of several vocal layers done by the same person are really not that common. Lots of bands (from Kiss to Bangles) have used double-tracking several times, but really few singers do the whole choirs by themselves. Now, in this song we find several different timbres, in a similar way Brian does in Resurrection, Rog in I Wanna Testify or Fred in Lily Of The Valley. And all the voices are Axl's (not 100% sure, I'll have to look further before I write this part of my website).

Nightrain although is a really famous song, nobody has ever said who the fuck wrote it (like happens with Invisible Man). But my guess is Duff, at least in style. And that's why: no Queen at all. Nice guitar layers though, it's so damn hard to tell which one is which one, but in terms of influences I also find them more Page than May

Outta Get Me: same as before. For me those two are like Party and Kashoggi's, or Sgt Pepper's and With A Little Help. That's also why I think whoever wrote Nightrain wrote this one

Mr Brownstone: The first of Izzy's pieces found on albums (although he already had written Don't Cry, and they played in on stage before Apetite was recorded). As for Izzy's pieces, I find a lot of common things to Zeppelin music, again

Paradise City: Another of Duff's pieces (he seems to be the major songwriter in this album), and Mr McKagan is the only one who sings apart from Axl, who did about five vocal overdubs. Great song anyway. As for influences, I still think the multi-layered vocals are a little Queen, specially Freddie. It's the only song in the album that has synths.

My Michelle: What a masterpiece. The suggestive intro, everything. That epic character seems again Zeppelin. I doubt Axl wrote the music, it must be Izzy

Think About You: The underrated piece. Sounds Izzy's too, that's nothing like Queen, is that Aerosmith typical American rock

Sweet Child: I've tried to find the influences behind this song and haven't got any luck. I consider it Izzy's, at least musically. Slash started off the riff, which is pretty important, but if so we should consider John and Roger the composers of 'Show Must Go On'. It seems to remind me of some Kiss pieces like 'I Was Made For Loving You'.

You're Crazy: Axl's song, it goes with his Pistols side. Nothing Queennie

Anything Goes: strangely it was the only song in the album that wasn't credited to the entire band. Speed metal, more Kiss or Alice Cooper like

Rocket: Epic track written by Izzy. It sounds a little more Queen than Zeppelin this time but I don't know how many connections did Stradlin had with the other fab four

enough for now, I have a car waiting for me to drive, and I love to do that
7.PD 28 Jul 2003 07:40
> The intro of 'Jungle' reminds me those riffs Brian played
> before Ogre Battle on concerts.
The live versions of "Ogre Battle" I've heard (1977) start with feedback stuff (Brian's influencial roots: Jeff Beck, Hendrix, even the Beatles had a song on "MM Tour") with bits of the main riff. I admit I can't see particular similarity betwwen "Jungle" and "Battle".
The ".. Jungle" intro uses delay, additional lead/rhythm guitar, does not use feedback.

> The vocal harmonies aren't distinctive from Queen either, but I think GnR
> used a lot more vocal harmonies than the rest of bands that influenced them.
GnR's early style of using harmonies is very far from Queen in terms of harmonies over two parts. Axl made lots of octave harmonies in contrast with Freddie (well Roger did a few octave singing).


> The presence of several vocal layers done by the same person are really not that common.
I think by the time of Appetetite sessions Axl knew hardly anything by Queen's use of one singer multitracking. I expect a lot of arrangement-related idea IMO came straight from the studio crew, who must have been ifluented by lots of earlier recordings, maybe also by some by Queen.

> Lots of bands (from Kiss to Bangles) have used double-tracking several times,
> but really few singers do the whole choirs by themselves
If only 2% of them does, it's still a huge amount of singers.

> You're Crazy: Axl's song, it goes with his Pistols side. Nothing Queennie
one little thing: the hocket-riffs.


> Sweet Child: I've tried to find the influences behind this song and haven't
> got any luck.
The intro is very original, very odd... and very cool. The tune of the song itself is more folk-ifluented.


> You're Crazy: Axl's song, it goes with his Pistols side
yeah, it's quite punky, but not quite in Pistols' vein anymore. Since "Bollocks" punk became more "speedy".


>Speed metal, more Kiss or Alice Cooper like
IMO "speed metal" is not the proper word here.
8.Sebastian 28 Jul 2003 14:07
> I admit I can't see particular similarity betwwen

What I see in common is that the notes themselves: the first part of ogre and the first part of jungle. hard to describe with words though...

> Axl made lots of octave harmonies in contrast with Freddie (well Roger did a few octave singing).

Perhaps Axl was influenced by some specific songs. Fred did sing some parallel octaves ("Bismilah" in Bo Rhap, or the intro of Flick Of The Wrist). Roger in Drowse is another example, and also Brian in the bridge of Resurrection. As Axl's fave album was Queen II, I also find a slight octave part by Fred in Black Queen ("... oil" or something like that)


> yeah, it's quite punky, but not quite in Pistols' vein anymore. Since "Bollocks"
punk became more "speedy".

thanks about that, I admit I don't know anything about punk

> IMO "speed metal" is not the proper word here.

I think you're right, but I didn't have any other word that fitted what I wanted to say
pages 1