ROCKTOBER-Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s a song you have all heard a great number of times. And to those who heard it when it was first released it was probably not like anything you’ve heard before.

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably the most unlikely title for a Rock song and yet it became a classic , if not THE classic Rock song for many generations.

This musical masterpiece lasted 5 minutes and 55 seconds, another reason why it should not have become a hit. Because prior to that, 3 minutes was the magic number for Rock hits. It was first released on Halloween 1975, October 31.

The song is so well known and there is not much I can add to the narrative, except for one little fact which is probably forgotten. Queen held the number 1 position in the UK with Bohemian Rhapsody, maybe they should have followed their own advice and ‘tied their mothers down’ because on January 31,1976,ABBA knocked Queen of the number 1 spot, with Mamma Mia. In a way that was the most logical take over, There were only 2 super groups to emerge from the 70’s Queen and ABBA.

Leaving you with the 5.55 minutes opera called “Bohemian Rhapsody”

ROCKTOBER-The story behind Innuendo.

Some of you may not realize this but Queen only had 3 number 1 hits in the UK; Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975,Under Pressure in 1981 and 10 years later with Innuendo in 1991. Ironically their previous number one hit had been brutalized by a certain Mr. Vanilla Ice who used it for his Ice Ice Baby which only had been released a few months before Innuendo. Vanilla Ice completely denied that he used Queen and David Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’ for his single. He must have realized though that even a deaf person could have heard he sampled the song.

Innuendo is one of Queen’s epic songs and their longest ever released as a single, exceeding “Bohemian Rhapsody” by 35 seconds.

Much like David Bowie’s Blackstar, to listen to Innuendo isn’t to be confronted with the sorrow of a man with one foot in the grave. Rather, the song and indeed the album comes off as the work of an artist staring sickness right in the eye and vowing to “keep working until I fucking drop,” as Mercury was once quoted as saying.

And from the sound of Innuendo, he meant exactly what he said. In many ways, Innuendo looked to be a triumphant continuance of the return to Queen’s early-Seventies hard-rock roots that began on 1989’s underrated The Miracle. Innuendo is also the only studio cut of the group’s to feature another guitarist: Steve Howe of Yes joined May in the song’s meticulously designed middle section.

On a break from a recording session in Geneva, Howe drove to Montreux and stopped to have lunch. There he ran into Martin Groves who had worked for Yes before and by this time was Queen’s equipment supervisor. Groves told him that Queen were in the studio at the moment.

As soon as Steve Howe went into the studios, Mercury asked him to play some guitar (according to producer David Richards, who had worked with Yes in the past as well). Another version is that Brian May was the one who asked him to play the flamenco bit.[5] When the members of Queen asked if Howe wanted to play on the title track, Howe politely suggested they’d lost their minds. It took the combined weight of Mercury, May and Taylor to persuade him.

According to Steve Howe:

“Inside, there’s Freddie, Brian and Roger all sitting together. They go: ‘Let’s play you the album’. Of course, I’m hearing it for the first time […] And they saved “Innuendo” itself until last. They played it and I was fucking blown away. They all chimed in: ‘We want some crazy Spanish guitar flying around over the top. Improvise!’ I started noodling around on the guitar, and it was pretty tough. After a couple of hours, I thought: ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew here’. I had to learn a bit of the structure, work out what the chordal roots were, where you had to fall if you did a mad run in the distance; you have to know where you’re going. But it got towards evening, and we’d doodled and I’d noodled, and it turned out to be really good fun. We have this beautiful dinner, we go back to the studio and have a listen. And they go: ‘That’s great. That’s what we wanted’.”

“Innuendo” began as a jam session in Switzerland amongst Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in spring 1989. Freddie Mercury was upstairs and heard them playing the beat, and turned it into a song, creating the melody and starting off the lyrics. From then on all four worked on polishing the track and Taylor took over the lyrics (which were written as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and their song “Kashmir”)

The single was released on January 14,1991, hard to believe it has already been 30 years since I first heard that song. 10 months later Freddie Mercury died from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

There will never be a singer and entertainer like him again.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/innuendo

https://brianmay.com/reviews/innuendo.html

It’s all about the Bass

What is a band without a Bass player?

Not much really when you think of it. Yet bass players are nearly always underrated. Most people will be able to name a list of singers, guitarists, drummers and even keyboard players when asked, but they will struggle with listing bass players.

The bass is real the base of music, it is the foundation together with the drums. The vocals, guitars and keyboard are the rest of a song., the melody that makes a song recognizable. But without a solid foundation the melody would collapse. The bass is the most important part of that foundation.

I could mention 1000s of bass players but I will limit it to a few of my favourites.

Robbie Shakespeare-Sly & Robbie

Mark King- Level 42

John Deacon-Queen

Lemmy -Motorhead(performing with Metallica)

Peter Hook-Joy Division and New Order

Tina Weymouth-Talking Heads

Suzi Quatro

Chuck Wright-Quiet Riot

John Entwistle-The Who

James Jamerson was an American bass player. He was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love- The story behind it.

This is a deviation from my usual heavier historic history blogs. Just a bit of lightheartedness at the start of a hopefully better 2021.

This is the story behind ” Crazy little thing called love”

Although ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ is a simple song it does actually demonstrate how genius Freddie Mercury was. He wrote the song while Queen were recording The Game in Germany. He wrote it while taking a bubble bath in his room at the Munich Hilton.

’Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or 10 minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords,” Mercury shared in a 1981 interview with Melody Maker. He wrote it as a tribute to Elvis.

Freddie did know though that Brian May probably would not like the song, because of it’s rockabilly style, he once said in an interview So he took the song to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Roger Taylor and John Deacon. The three of them,their then new producer Reinhold Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. Later on Brian May added his part.

The song was released on 5 October 1979 in the UK and on December 7th in the US. It would become Queen’s first number 1 hit in the USA.

sources

YouTube

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/crazy-little-thing-called-love

Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddie

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably the most unlikely title for a Rock song and yet it became a classic , if not THE classic Rock song for many generations.

This musical masterpiece lasted 5 minutes and 55 seconds, another reason why it should not have become a hit. Because prior to that, 3 minutes was the magic number for Rock hits.

It is not just a s song but in fact a mini opera consisting out of 6 pieces.

Part i.

Intro (0:00–0:49) it starts of with  an .acappella introduction, just to set the story line. “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?” When I first heard it I didn’t know. I was mesmerized.

Part 2.

Ballad (0:49–2:37) The piano begins in B♭ major along with the entrance of John Deacon’s bass guitar.

Part 3.

Guitar solo (2:37–3:05) as we get toward the end of the ballad part we already hear the unset of Brian May’s guitar piece, soon to explode into a solo

Part 4

Opera (3:05–4:07) a succession of a various rhythmic and harmonic changes .

Part 5

Rock (4:07–4:54) The operatic section leads into a rock interlude with a guitar riff written by Mercury. It really is a piece of Heavy Metal

Part 6

Outro (4:54–5:55) as the intro the outtro slows down the Opera to bring it to a smoot conclusion.

The song has inspired some spoof versions none as funny as “Bad News” (You might recognize them as the Young Ones)

What is amazing about the song it was written by one man,Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury who would have been 73 today. Happy Birthday Freddie

All that is left for me to do is to end the blog with probably the best Rock song ever written.

 

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Source

You Tube

Queen

 

The Princess mechanic

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Love her or loath her, there is no denying Queen Elizabeth II is an iconic figure and is well able to stand her ground and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty.

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On April 25 1942, at age 16, the then Princss  Elizabeth registered with the Labour Exchange ,the British employment agency at the time, and was extremely keen to join a division of the women’s armed forces. Her father was reluctant to let her do so, but eventually relented.PROD-The-Princess-Signs-Up

She enlisted in the Army age 18 .Once in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, Elizabeth learned how to change a wheel, deconstruct and rebuild engines, and drive ambulances and other vehicles.

She  joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary Second Subaltern, Princess Elizabeth achieved the rank of honorary Junior Commander within five months. Unlike the other members of the ATS, Elizabeth returned each night to sleep in the royal residence of Windsor Castle.elizaebeth 2

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Military.com

Mashable

 

25th anniversary of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

Freddie_Mercury_Tribute_Concert_poster

The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was a concert held on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London, England for an audience of 72,000. The concert was produced for television by Ray Burdis and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world, with an audience of up to one billion.

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The concert was a tribute to the life of Queen lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, with proceeds going to AIDS research. The show marked bassist John Deacon’s final full-length concert with Queen (save a short live appearance with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Elton John in 1997). The profits from the concert were used to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity organisation.

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Farrokh Bulsara- AKA Freddie Mercury

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It is hard to believe this musical giant passed away this day 28 years ago. I still vividly remember the news reports.

It had only been a few days after it was announced he had aids that the world heard that Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45 at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Mercury’s close friend, Dave Clark of The Dave Clark Five, had taken over the bedside vigil when he died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin phoned Mercury’s parents and sister to break the news of his death,which reached newspaper and television crews by the early hours of 25 November.

Mercury was born of Parsi descent in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and grew up there and in India until his mid-teens, before moving with his family to Middlesex, England — ultimately forming the band Queen in 1970 with Brian May and Roger Taylor.

Before forming Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury (then known by his birth name of Farrokh “Freddie” Bulsara) was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques.

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Mercury joined the band in 1970, suggested “Queen” as a new band name, and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited before the band recorded their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974, but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 which brought them international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and popularised the music video.

Although Mercury’s speaking voice naturally fell in the baritone range, he delivered most songs in the tenor range.His known vocal range extended from bass low F to soprano high F  He could belt up to tenor high F .

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There are very few,if any, who have the vocal capability of Freddie Mercury, additional to his amazing vocal range he was also a naturally born entertainer.I remember when I was watching the 1985 Live Aid Concerts,Freddie got the massive crowd in Wembley going by just doing a vocal exercise.

November 24 1991 is still one of the saddest days in Rock history. A unique man in every sense of the world left the world with a legacy which will last an eternity.

As a teenage I once did a lip sync performance in a school show, called “the Playback show” of “I want to break free”. Before you ask, yes me and 3 of my friends dressed up as the members of Queen, mini skirt and all.

It’s when I saw the video of “These are the days of our lives” it struck me to how sick he had been, he was half the man he used to be.

 

Freddie I salute you and thank you for the music and memories you have given me and so many others around the globe. There can only be one. Through your music you will live forever. RIP

 

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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