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Sebastian: Queen: A Pop/Punk Band15 Jul 2008 16:43

I personally think that the best way to describe Queen's musical style is pop/punk. Yes, I know many fans are already offended by the remark and some of them are already mailing to me all sorts of names, but let me elaborate:

Loads of people, especially rock fans, tend to use pop and punk as derogatory terms, associating pop with 'talentless c*nts and/or b*tches who can't write a song or play an instrument and only sell because of their looks', and punk with 'talentless c*nts who play and sing sloppily and become stars with only three chords'. The other usual criticism against pop is that 'it's music made to sell'. Well, do you think rock artists, progressive artists, metal artists... don't make their music to sell?

First of all, neither pop nor punk are necessarily bad; surely, there are many mediocre acts there, but it happens in all genres. Why were Queen pop? Most of their songs lasted between three and four minutes, they had steady 4/4 metre, catchy melodies, strophic form (verse-chorus sharply contrasting each other), a melodic and lyric hook that repeated itself many times, and loads of their lyrics were about love (though not in this particular album). In fact, even the way their personalities contrasted is very 'pop' (even if they didn't deliberately do it in a Spice-Girls/Take-That approach).

And why were Queen punk? Of course, they didn't have the hairdo or the 'tude, but they were anti-establishment, even more than several acts associated with the genre; they also embraced DIY in a very different way from most contemporaries, often had an 'in-your-face' production, and even the way some of their songs were developed with fast tempos, layered instrumentation and some of Roger's drum beats are actually punkish in nature. By the way, a lot of punk music has more than three chords (e.g. the entire 'Bollocks' album).

IMO, all the other labels used for Queen are misleading and only cover part of their outcome: rock is true for most of their live outcome, but in the studio they had many, many songs that weren't rock at all; opera - only for one minute and a half in their entire catalogue; glam - the way they dressed and a couple of songs by Roger, no more; metal - come on!

1.angel 18 Jul 2008 11:18

Hi Seb!

I can see you like heckling, don´t you :-)

First of all, my plain attitude is: POP: yes; PUNK: no.

Now why. The answer is, in my opinion, much easier than it seems. We all know that it´s sometimes very difficult to tell one style from another - e.g. metal. There´s a plenty of metal sub-genres where even the orthodox fans sometimes quarrel, which band is of which kind of metal. And now I got to the point. I think the most relevant reason, why Queen is NOT a punk band is simply the fact that punk fans don´t regard them as a punk band at all! What more, Queen never considered themselves as a punk band neither... Why push someone who simply doesn´t belong there just because there are, however, plenty of trademarks in their music? And more subjective feeling: to me, it doesn´t really sound punky, well, maybe a couple of songs, but... You know what Queen songs are... A little this, a little that....

Now the POP question is much easier. In the 80´s there are really many songs purely pop, I think. Radio Ga Ga, Break Free... Also, the definition of pop is very debatable, I think? I heard somewhere that pop is simply EVERYTHING that huge number of people listen to... So it can be anything, then... And Queen, where and are very popular.

That´s my opinion, it´s very subjective, I agree, but the whole music is very subjective;) And I am a musician :-))))

Cheers, Seb

Post was edited on 18 Jul 2008 11:20
2.Sebastian 18 Jul 2008 15:06

Yes, of course Queen would've never liked to be labelled 'punk', which doesn't mean they weren't... doesn't mean they were either, though.

The workd itself has many connotations: the one I use is of course different to the popular one of 'mediocre sloppy anarchy', or anything similar for that matter.

3.PD 18 Jul 2008 21:31

> Why were Queen pop?
I think because lots of their songs were using general aesthetics of popular music.
Punk is extremist on the lyrical side, and minimalist at the musical side. At least the "mainstream" (generic) punk.

> they were anti-establishment
More frequently they were pro-establisment ten anti I think. I mean positive tinking is shining through lots of Queen lyrics.
My opinion is that punk was a color on their stylistic palette. Pop music was like a set of colors on that palette.

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