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Sebastian: Short notes on Queen Songs24 May 2003 04:32
hi, it's time for another one of those. This are the new things I've learnt so far:

Teo Torriate piano is indeed Brian. I used to read the credits as "Harmonium Piano & Plastic Piano". But hey, an harmonium is not a piano. They must have missed a comma, then it should be "Harmonium, Piano & Plastic Piano". That way it does make sense

Was It All Worth It orchestra is my favourite arrangement of all rock history. I doubt Freddie actually played it, I think he programmed it on the computer and later run it on the Korg M1

Talking about Korg M1, I just contacted some guy who has one of those synths from 1991 and he told me that the entire drum track of 'I Can't Live With You' is done on that. The Rocks version has real drums though, and Brian confirmed that the song was re-worked that year

I highly suspect Roger's voice isn't present on Seven Seas, Lap Of The Gods and Rock you. His voice is so resonant, we can tell if he's there or not, and on those songs his voice isn't heard anywhere.

Talking about that, I strongly think Brian is singing the harmonies on 'Slightly Mad', what do you think?
1.PD 25 May 2003 07:29
Teo: I guess so too.

WIAWI: it's a nice arrangement indeed, it still haven't grown on me to say it's my all time fav. One of the highlights of that orchestration how naturally/transparently it changes back to guitars.

WWRY: I'm unsure about it. After close listen I suspect Roger' voice is there.

Lap Of The Gods: it's starts with a legendary Roger screaming, but you probably think of the "...revisited" song with the unison singing, don't you?

"...Slightly Mad": I also suspect those tight harmonies are sung by Brian.
2.Sebastian 25 May 2003 12:54
for 'Lap Of The Gods', yes I meant the revisited version. About Rockyou, I can hear Brian's voice on both album and BBC slow/fasty version, but no signs of Roger or John. Now, this is a song where there's a high possibility for John and members of the crew to sing, they needed as many voices as possible.

I wonder if Brian had some input in writing, or at least arranging Slightly Mad, backing vocals are usually a good way to tell who wrote the song. That's a theory I only believe when Brian does them. Roger has had strong participation on backing vocals on a lot of Freddie's (Bo Rhap, Black Queen, Great King Rat) and Brian's (It's Late, Dancer, Hammer To Fall), while Brian hardly ever is the main backing singer if the song isn't written by him. Hitman is the only one I can think about, to which we haven't confirmed the lyrics, but we find a lot of songs that don't use him at all, I think on the studio version of 'Ga Ga' only Fred and Rog are singing.

one of my recent guesses is that Roger's peak on singing high was 1975. On the entire Sheer tour he sang A4s every night on 'Lap Of The Gods' so easily. That was the year on which he hit the Bb4 on BoRhap was sung. And he sung it with a close vowel. If the word, instead of "me" was something like "can" or simply "ah" I guess he could sing higher, to a C5 or something like that. On 1976 he made some A4s, on 'Millionaire Waltz', and on '39 at Hyde Park he did hit the A4 but took off the mic right away.

Then, from 1977 onwards he never hit an A4 again. On '39 he always took off the mike when the note was about to arrive, and on the recordings I find his highest note to be a G4 on "bicyCLE race". He really lost his high register. So we can, based on the way he forced his throat (he had to make a big scream on that "for me"), that his range was from A1 ('Ride The Wild Wind' demo) to C5 (never used in records). That's huge, and way bigger than Brian's.

As for Freddie, he could hit a Bb4 on 'Rock In Rio Blues', but we can note that he forced his trhoat so much more, and that he sustained the note for less time. The vowel is closed though, so we can tell that probably he could sing a B4 but nothing higher than that. But it was in '85, his register was way lower than before, imagine how high he could have sung on the opera times, and even more, on the Larry Lurrex - Queen II era... according to some studies I made with some friends we've concluded his highest possible note was a D5. But the problem is that he didn't sound so good screaming, God bless Roger, without him those 'Galileo', 'very very frightening me' and 'for me' parts would have sound terrible.

As for Fred's lowest note, I don't think he could sing lower than that F1 of 'Bo Rhap' and 'All Dead', but it was on the 70s. At the time of Barcelona his voice was much lower, again based on forcing-development, we can tell he could probably sing about a D1, but of course as extraodinary note.

Brian's voice was much better on the 90s, but on the 70s was when he could really go higher, as well as the others. I think he did join Roger and Fred for some E4s on 'Rhapsody'. There's also an E4 on Long Away. We can tell though that he could never sing any higher, his throat didn't resist that much. On 1977 we can see he had troubles even with a B3. On 'Resurrection' at the studio he sang a D4 without falsetto but again we can take that as an extraordinary effort. He couldn't get higher even with falsetto.

His lowest notes that I've found are B2s on 'Leaving Home'. I don't know which notes he sung on Resurrection "clear the vision ..." part. When I recorded my version of it I did it with an F1 on the bottom line, but it sounds much lower. Did Brian sing F2 on the bottom or just the mix is different?
3.Sebastian 26 May 2003 18:18
here there are some more:

Drowse: I really think I hear a distorted piano after "boy next door", after it I don't hear anymore, just the slide guitar. But I don't think the guitar makes those notes, they really sound like a keyboard. Now, there's a possibility of that they made a hocket, is that how it's called?, that's all I can think about

My Life Has Been Saved: Is the piano a real piano, or just a synth?

More Of That Jazz --> Although I hate the song, I've been so intrigued about who played rhythm on it. There's one Stratocaster guitar, and it's probably John, as he used to play rhythm a lot, but also it can be Roger.
4.PD 26 May 2003 20:06
Drowse: I can't hear piano there.

Jazz: guitar arpeggios in Roger songs: Funster, Jazz, Prime Jive, Human Body. I GUESS that Roger played all these, not only wrote. I think I have asked regarding this in Brian's soapbox.

WWRY: the DVD-A may be a better source to analyse.

Sligtly Mad: an anomaly like Brian arranging a block harmony in a Freddie song is possible. But it's just guess until Brian or Roger (not to mention John) don't tell us the details.

Fred singing low: ones low register can be expanded by having a cold or a day after heavy demand of the vocal chords. There must have beenn days when Freddie could sing lower notes than normally.

Roger: I'm suppose Roger would be able singing the bridge of '39 even today.

Killer Queen: 2:16. In my old analysis I identified this sounds as bell-tree (chimes), but today I come to the conclusion it is again Brian picking the guitar strings behind the bridge as he did later in BoRhap and "Friends...".
 I have just listened closely to the chimes intro of Heaven For Everyone, and I think it is again this lick in multioverdubbed form, because it sounds like having limited pitch set.
I suspect that "Slightly Mad" at 1:18 also features those guitar chimes.

5.Sebastian 26 May 2003 23:46
regarding Roger's arpeggios: I think they're all Brian on the songs you mentioned. Roger could have written them, it's possible. I quite believe the credits on the first five albums, they were very keen on mentioning everything (even the bells!), so if Roger would have played on Tenement I guess they have mentioned it.

About 'Rock It' and 'Human Body' the sound is very definately from the Red Special. According to Peter Hince, John, Fred and Roger used to play the Red Special sometimes but just for fun, the guitar sound never fit anybody else than Brian. Then I'm almost sure Brian played both. About 'Jazz' I don't remember, I don't think I've listened to it more than five times in my entire life

regarding bell-tree: I don't think the band ever played one of those. The only song I can think about with real bells is Black Queen. After that there are some synth-bells like 'Days Of Our Lives' and 'Sail Away Sweet Sister', but I doubt the band used more special things apart the Red Special for that purpose
6.Sebastian 28 May 2003 14:24
regarding 'The Kiss' are you sure there's an E-Piano there?

talking about that album, I just found a reversed piano on 'Execution Of Flash'. As far as I remember I was told that the only time John played acoustic piano was on 'Bites The Dust', and perhaps some demos of the Works post-era. Then it must be Freddie.
7.PD 28 May 2003 15:19
> regarding 'The Kiss' are you sure there's an E-Piano there?
I'm not sure. Identifying E-piano and synths is not my expertise.

> talking about that album, I just found a reversed piano on 'Execution Of Flash'.
did you re-reversed it to confirm your suspect?
8.Sebastian 28 May 2003 16:55
about 'The Kiss', based on your analysis, the E-piano figure what you call is actually just a synth.

about 'Execution' yes I did re-reverse it. Some time ago I thought everyone performed the flash songs on his own, with exception of Brian's pieces and Football Fight. But I remember Brian saying that most of the synths on the album were played by Freddie, so I don't think his keyboard work was limited only to his own songs. And I think Brian would play the synths on 'Flash', then the conclusion is that Fred definately must have played something on Roger's and John's pieces. Not all of them though

as you know I'm very keen of identifying what kind of instruments are used on each part of each song, but that's not just for fun. It's really important because it can give us the answers to a lot of "who played what" questions

some synth-samples found on Made In Heaven, like on the track #13 or It's A Beautiful Day, come from an ASR10, which was released on 1993. Hence, Freddie didn't play them. We at least know they were from either Roger, John, Brian or David Richards.

'Misfire' is a recent doubt I have. The first guitar three-part harmonies are done, according to a message I got from a guitar expert, on a Fender Telecaster using either a Duplex or a Pan amplifier. And that's totally John's basic line-up! and he doesn't know anything about Queen. So we can tell by a 95% of accuracy that John played those

through the end of the song some clearly Red Special fills appear. As I've said before, only Brian used it (and perhaps Jeff Beck on the 1983 jam session).

My big doubt is the solo. I always assumed John played it. But the sound is a bit weird, well, it's overdiven, but apart from that the sound is not an usual Fender thing. It's probable that it's done on John's amplifier, or that is the Red Special.

The other big help instruments give to my site is that they can lead us to the studio where the songs were done. After all my investigations I know for sure which piano was at each studio they used, although they not always used the "house" piano of the studio. But in the cases of 'Sheer Heart Attack', 'News Of The World' and 'The Works' we can tell the studio figuring out which piano the band used. On 'Jazz' we can figure out thanks to the drums. That's not an easy task anyway, I admit for a lot of parts in my site I just guessed, now I'm making it slowly and I'm not going to put anything unless I'm 100% sure.

The big trouble is if songs don't have piano, like 'Fight From The Inside'. And both Roger and Brian used the same equipment on both studios.
9.LHG 17 Jul 2003 22:17
Regarding 'Drowse': I really don't think there's a piano there, it's almost definitely Brian's guitar part. Of course, I assume you mean - "never wanted to be the boy next door - BOW-WOOOW, WOOOW'. If so, then those 'bow-wow's are most certainly the slide guitar part.

If you listen to this with the 'karaoke trick' then you can hear that there's some kind of sympathetic harmony with the acoustic guitar in the background going on right at that point. The acoustic does almost sounds like an electric piano at that point, so it could be fooling your mind a bit.
10.PD 22 Aug 2003 18:49
A short note on "My Love Is Dangerous" that I have transcribed (bass + solo + chords) the other day.
For first a Beatles connection: one of the title phrases in "Ticket To Ride" has unique melody: it uses three notes none of which is present in the underlying chord. (in fact the maj7th  degree is present in the guitar chord). This is something extremly rare, and I was not sure I can find a Queen example. Whereas Freddie's "My Love Is Dangerous" is not a Queen song, but its second phrase "DANGEROUS" also uses three notes (G - D - F) none of which is present in the underlying Am chord.

Another short note - on WWRY's fast version:
the bass break has anomalous beat, and it's slightly different on the Live Killer version.
11.PD 16 Mar 2006 15:53
About the vii chord in Drowse.
There are four groups of the borrowed chords. The following groups are in Major key.
1) the parallel minor chords of the three basic Major chords: i, iv, v,
2) The relative Major chords of the 1) group: bIII, bVI, bVII
3) the parallel Major chords of the three diatonic minor chords: II, III, VI, often threated as secondary dominants.
4) the relative minor chords of the 3) group: vii, #iv, #v
The latter group is maybe the less frequently used. According to this linked essay Classical music rarely uses the functions of 2) and 4) groups.
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