Hi folks. My name is Gord and this is my new blog. This is a blog about the band Queen, why I love them and why I love other bands, which I feel are similar to them. Most of the blog will be my own opinion and I will be talking about bands most people may not discuss in relation to Queen. For example: Tool, Sepultura and bands who are linked to punk, grunge or new wave. I may even mention Kraftwork when talking about how Queen embrased synthesisers and even vocoders.
I live in Central Canada in one of the major cities in Southern Ontario, which has many attractions in it, such a Science Center, amusement parks and home to such venues as Scotiabank Arena and Rogers centre. Our public transit is either good, or crappy depending on your opinion of it and it includes buses, subways and streetcars. Can you guess where I live now?
I am also a musician and I play guitar and sing. I am also blind from birth, so how I write will be less visual and more geared to how we hear. I also have come to enjoy music history over my life and I hated it in school, as I had intensely disliked school in general. Well, if you consider that I had gone to school away from my family and others like me were in the same boat, how could I not take a liking to it? I would escape through music and Queen were just one of the bands I had heard, but they wouldn’t take over me until 1991, when I was 18. I’ll get more into that a little later.
Finally, I want to address the name of the blog, which is a play on my name and a Queen song called All God’s People. It’s not my favourite song, but someone in a Facebook group had suggested it to me, as a joke. I thought it was funny and decided I should use it for something. So, I had made up my mind to start another blog, the fourth one I have done since 2013. So, now you know why it I had given it the name, now let’s get on with the rest of this post. Alright?
Queen rok my world and I will get into that in future posts, where as this will be an introduction to how I got into Queen. In 1977, my sister had the News of the World album and was playing We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions a lot. Another thing to add to this story is that someone was coming over to the house to work with me on making things with Play-Doh and just so we don’t get confused, I mean the goo and not the person. To this day, when I hear the vocal harmony before the chorus of Champions I can’t help thinking of putting my hands in gooey stuff, in order to make whatever I was making at the time at home, while I was still four years old and not even in kindergarten yet. I know I went to nursery schoolm and I had started going to summer camp in 1977 so, hearing that album brings me back to those days.
To my mind, Queen are the greatest hard rock band of all time, besides Kiss, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen. I had mostly converted myself to Queen by bugging my mom to buy each album on CD and sometimes, I would go with her and get some of them. It all started with having the 1981 Greatest Hits on tape, given to me by a room mate at school and next year, my room mate for the 1990/ 1991 school year furthered my conversion, with Innuendo having come out and my friend having put any Queen albums he had on tape.
Eventually I had begun to learn about each album and hear every single track on them, including the remixes. Most of the remixes are less than to be desired, but there are some which were okay. The remix of We Will Rock You by Rick Rubin was fun. https://youtu.be/trdExbSoxW0
However, considering that this was back in 1991 I couldn’t and didn’t listen to each album in chronological order of release and Queen had recently (at the time) signed with Hollywood Records, the albums were finally being issued on CD, but not in order of release. The albums were issued on CD in a number of batches before all of the studio albums and Live Killers had come out, plus the remixes on all of the studio albums. There were also remastering errors on some songs. There are about 5 of them which I could count: I Want It All, In The Lap Of The Gods, Bicycle Race, Crazy Litle Thing Called Love and It’s Late all have some sort of error in the remaster. It may simply be the wrong version, an edit, or it may be something added on. For example: Bicycle Race has a breath before the singing starts. It’s not really a flagrant foul up, but it was a mistake to be sure. Another example is something like this, which is a little hard to hear because it goes by quickly. https://youtu.be/FOl_3LlRKUc
As for conversion, I suggest (depending on musical taste) create a friendly playlist with songs which are tailored to the genre of music. For example: if you’re into hard rock and heavy metal than you find songs which are like that. The 1997 compilation Queen Rocks would have been a good place to start, if it was available to stream and digitally download worldwide. However, you can look up the album and the track listing and unfortunately, there are some omissions. For example: Dead On Time is missing, but there are probably reasons for that. Anyway, these are the songs which you can direct those who like to go into the mosh pit toward and then, give context to similarities with other songs. For example: Keep Yourself Alive and Cowboys from Hell by Pantera could be played beside each other, simply because they start much the same way. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=kGNHwLicV2g&feature=share
There are other Pantera songs which have Queen references in them with the guitar of Dimebag Darrell. All I can say is that there are songs with guitar harmony within Pantera’s discography and one example is their cover of the Ted Nugent classic Cat Scratch Fever. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=5pncni-ZB2s&feature=share
As for Queen, I suggest such mosh pit lullabies as: Son and Daughter, Ogre Battle, Now I’m Here, Stone Cold Crazy, Tie Your Mother Down, White Man, Sheer Heart Attack, It’s Late, Fat Bottomed Girls and Dead On Time for starters. There are others which are worthy, but I think you get the point. Of course, I can’t forget about Keep Yourself Alive to get things going, simply because it is the first track off of the first album. Going back to Stone Cold Crazy for a moment, take a listen to it then give Live Wire by Mötley Crüe a listen right after it and there are similarities, with the same producer and both songs are in the same key, with the guitar sounding much the same, on both tracks. https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=M6AiAKJDWCQ&feature=share
If you’re into dance and what we know as today’s pop music, there are songs like that too, but not with autotune lead vocals. Try: Another One Bites The Dust, Dragon Attack for a bit of a rock edge, Staying Power, Dancer (for another rock injection), Back Chat, Body Language, Cool Cat, Radio Ga Ga, One Year of Love, Don’t Lose Your Head and The Invisible Man among others which focus more on rhythm and less on rage. If someone likes punk and new wave, you bet there are songs like that in the catalogue and some even appeal to hard rock and metal fans as well such as: Sheer Heart Attack, Coming Soon, Action This Day, Calling All Girls and even a song like The Invisible Man fits into this category. Could you imagine someone like Wayne Static doing a version of this track? It would make sense as it is in his normal key and he could have used his entire range and both singing and growling techniques. Even Ministry could have done a cool cover version of this track, in their New wave period. I’m not sure which song they could cover, in the current industrial metal form. Anyway, if you don’t believe me that Static-X or Wayne could have done a decent cover on his own, this should convince you. https://youtu.be/_E-3kQxTtgM
If you like your Power pop, try Need Your Loving Tonight from the album The Game. If you like ambient music, try the 22 minutes and 32 seconds long Untitled and if you like the album Music for Airports by Brian Eno, why wouldn’t you appreciate this track? Here is the Queen track and I will give you the first song off of the Brian Eno album. https://youtu.be/ve-kw55azfE
Here is track 1 off of Music for Airports. It’s not exactly like what Queen did for 22 minutes and change, but they are both in the same key. https://youtu.be/LKZ3fGR2SDY
No matter what your genre of music, there are 3 songs you should start with, in order to gage how people may take to Queen, especially rock, hard rock and heavy metal. It’s probably obvious, but Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions are good tests to see if people even know who Queen are. Even fans of Green Day damn well know Queen and this is proof from June 2022. https://youtu.be/frJCpKyC7lU
As for WWRY and Champians , if you have watched any sports games on TV, listened to them on the radio, or went to the Arena to witness whatever sport you may prefer, you can be sure that either of those two songs were played during the game, before the game or after. With WWRY, it’s the stomp stomp clap beat we all know, but people do three claps and well, that’s okay.
Queen are so varied in their versatility, that you can convert just about anyone using songs from their discography to brainwash newbies to this great band. After they have indicated that they want more after the friendly playlist, then you can go through the whole discography, album by album and track by track. Whether you do it in order of release, or starting from most recent to oldest or anything in between, that’s up to you. Either way, convert new fans to Queen, because they are the greatest hard rock band of all time who can do more than just rock with the best of them. By the way, some people referred to Queen as a heavy rock band, with a lot of swagger. Freddie Mercury doesn’t scream a lot, but he was certainly flamboyant and had a lot of talent to burn. Freddie had more snarl than someone like Brad Delp or Lou Gramm, who are both worthy singers with melodic vocals. Freddie could do that, but also growl and snarl, like James Hetfield would do in Metallica. Also, the guitars have more crunch, then a band like Foreigner or Boston ever did. So, that’s why I believe that Queen are a hard rock band and in my opinion, they had helped to improve on heavy metal after Black Sabbath had invented it. Queen also helped to improve hard rock, after Led Zeppelin invented that particular genre. So, heavy rock is way too light for queen if you’re going to categorize them. Yes, they’ve done ballads and other styles of music, but at the core queen are a hard rock band and not a heavy rock, or a heavy metal band. Besides, listen for the crunch in the guitars, even if Brian May is using a coin, instead of a pick.
Queen have been my Gateway band into a lot of other artists I would not have previously enjoyed such as Depeche Mode and New Order, who have no relation to Queen, except that all 3 bands are from England. With hard rock and metal, that was easy and I could easily connect Keep Yourself Alive and Cowboies From Hell together, simply by how both songs start. I even tried to incorporate Queen into music appreciation at school and it kinda worked, but not as much as I hoped. However, I was able to use certain songs written by Freddie, which lean towards classical and baroque music and include tempo rubato. A prime example of this is the song You Take My Breath Away from the album A Day at the Races. Yes, Queen also do jazz, music hall, ragtime and many other genres within their diskography so, it’s not hard to convert those who have an open mind. If you are trying to convert someone who likes death metal, Black metal or any other extreme sub genre, I guess that Stone Cold Crazy is probably the only song you can use. I suggest starting with the Metallica version first, then move on to the original. I will do a further post on how to convert those who are into extreme metal in the future, as there are some bands who have name-checked Queen as one of the bands they had listened to, or had seen Queen live in their formative years.
Like I’ve said before, if you’re trying to convert somebody use the friendly playlist first before going through the entire discography. Don’t forget, we’re trying to convert people, not push people away and eventually, newbiesmay come around. As a result of this, they may get into other bands thanks to Queen and they may discover (either before or after the conversion) that there are other artists who also hold queen in high regard. For example: slipknot, The Smashing Pumpkins, Lady GaGa, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and many other musicians. To tell the truth, Wikipedia doesn’t do Queen justice when it comes to their influence on pop, rock, hard rock and heavy metal bands and you have to dig deeper, when looking at songs with main articles about them. For example: bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and even some album tracks which are interesting enough to want to learn about, such as The Prophet’s Song from the album A Night At The Opera, which has a vocal cannon in the middle. See? You can get your musical education through Queen too, along with Metallica and possibly, Muse.
Anyway, I have long since been converted and for those who wish to convert others, I suggest following what I’ve mentioned here and hopefully, those who have been brainwashed will be among the millions who enjoy this great music, along with other bands they may have also enjoyed in the past. In fact, I can thank Queen for leading me back to metal and out of my Beatles phase, which had lasted from late 1988, to early 1991. Queen have also open my mind to other genres of music, but I’ve mentioned a bit of that here and yes, there is more. However, this post would take forever if I had gone through every single genre which I currently listen to, thanks to this great band from London England. Remember, this is only my suggestion and not a hard rule, but I do believe that easing people in gently is best, in order to get ’em and keep ’em locked in. I have always been a Queen fan, but other bands are also daly listens. In fact, my 5 favourite bands are: Queen, Slipknot, Metallica, Pantera and Tool. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails and Def Leppard are also up there, among my faves. However, Queen were the first and besides, Queen are my own Hotel California, in that I can check out at any time, but I can never escape. Why would I want to leave anyway? I almost forgot to provide you with some playlists and here are some goodies from Youtube Music, which are essential, including one which I have created on behalf of a podcast and which will be updated in time. https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDCLAK5uy_lePvUIRtka0fZSLEEjKByNMYbxfyr7rGM&feature=share&playnext=1
Now, for the playlist I have created and which will be updated at some point. I suggest reading the description before listening to this list. https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqU7Qz7MzIU3oCX-BoYiVGOZo6Y2kAlsy&feature=share
Oh yeah, about the podcast related to my playlist. https://shows.acast.com/thequeenpodcast/
For a complete playground of Queen music, in order to create your own friendly playlist, here you go. https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCEPMVbUzImPl4p8k4LkGevA?feature=share
If your preferred streaming service is Apple Music, no problem. https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/queen/3296287
Now, let’s convert and hopefully, we can expand musical minds, with Queen and beyond. Before conversion, let’s remind people who Queen are. The classic lineup was: Freddie Mercury on lead vocals and piano, Brian May on guitar, John Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums. All 4 of them wrote songs and have had hit singles and most importantly, singles which are significant classics with one song title resulting in a stage name for a musician, namely Lady GaGa. Since Freddie died in 1991, Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert had stepped in to sing and now, Adam has been out with Queen since the early 2010s. I prefer Freddie to Adam, but I won’t deny Adam’s talent as a vocalist and all 3 singers are great in their own rights. In a future post, I’ll probably get more in depth into how each of the 2 more recent vocalists are different, because of their respective backgrounds and past histories.
As for this blog, I will be doing posts on all manner of things which I, as a blind person can talk about when it comes to Queen. So, no discussion on videos or album covers, except for possibly one or two, depending on what I wish to talk about.