March 29, 2008

More on Freddie and His Friends

I still don't understand why the first three Queen albums never got much airplay back in the day: Mercury, May, Taylor, and Deacon never really got a lot of traction until Night at the Opera came out, but even prior to that "Killer Queen" (from the album Sheer Heart Attack) got some attention, and after they got big some DJs went back and played "Keep Yourself Alive" (from the first album, Queen).

But Queen II, which fell right between those two albums? I've never heard anything from it over the air, and it's good. "White Queen," "March of the Black Queen," "The Loser in the End," "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke." Even the version of "The Seven Seas of Rhye" on this album is terrific.

Undiscovered gold, here.

BTW, you engineering-types probably already know this, but Brian May and his father constructed the guitar he played as part of Queen in their garage, when he was young. It's one-of-a-kind, and of course a major engineering feat, given the tolerances involved in a project of that kind.

The first six or seven Queen albums all bore the legend "no synthesizers," or "no synths" on their covers; if you listen to those records, it's amazing what the boys were able to achieve without using synthesizers, and a lot of that has to do with Brian May's supernatural abilities as a guitarist.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 29, 2008 01:30 PM | TrackBack
Comments

In the days when radio station airplay determined what albums got sold and which ones didn't, there was a vicious cycle at work: It got played if the stations thought it was popular, and it became popular depending on how much the stations played it.

Naturally the music companies tried to get new stuff into the cycle by ads (and payola). There is a lot of good stuff from the pre-MTV days that was neglected for no greater reason than that a handful of people in the industry decided to push something else instead.

It's much the same way with, say, the Moody Blues. Few non-fans can name more than one or two tracks from any of the classic seven LPs, but in that era almost everything was at least listenable. The suits pick a couple songs to peddle, and the rest get neglected.

Posted by: John at March 30, 2008 08:42 PM


I have the same confession to make WRT The Moody Blues that I have vis a vis Jethro Tull: I really like "Stepping in the Time Zone" (just as I still have some fondness for "Bungle in the Jungle.")

The difference being, I've listened to a lot of Tull, but a good deal less Moody Blues.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 31, 2008 01:00 PM




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