In 1977 Queen released “News of the World”, and this year a 40th Anniversary Edition has been released with outtakes, alternative versions of the whole album and more. Here’s the trailer:
I found a playlist on Youtube and it’s great to hear slightly different versions of tracks I know so well but it reminds me that 2 days from now is the anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death and that makes me sad.
A version of Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure you might not have heard before.
You can hear some talking in the background. From the title I thought this was made during the recording of the song but comments on this video and another video say it’s from radio interviews. Anyone know?
Though the band sounds lighthearted enough in the studio sessions, the songwriting, May remembers, was fraught with tension. “It was very hard,” he said in 2008, “because you already had four precocious boys and David, who was precocious enough for all of us.” Bowie, says May, “took over the song lyrically” and insisted on presiding over the final mix session, which “didn’t go well,” according to Queen engineer Reinhold Mack. For his part, May has said he would “love to sit down quietly on my own and re-mix it.”
I always associate David Bowie with Queen and Freddie Mercury after hearing the amazing “Under Pressure”.
I’ve even heard a bootleg version recorded in the studio where both singers are clearly heard talking to each other.
So, to me it’s appropriate to mark the passing away of the legendary singer David Bowie with the video of his recently released song “Lazarus”, and Queen’s “These Are The Days of our Lives” where Mercury was visibly gaunt mere months before his own death.
But let’s finish on a high note with “Under Pressure” 🙂
Spotify opened it’s doors to the Irish public today (well, to those who hadn’t used a proxy or some other means to pay for the UK service that is) so I gave it a go and of course looked for Queen music. The usual suspects are there and some material I hadn’t heard before like B-sides and “work in progress” versions of some songs. Great!
Then I found Deep Cuts, the first in a series of album compilations of more “obscure” stuff. I saw some favourites on there so I tried Ogre Battle first.
What the hell? Almost 30 seconds of near silence building up to an annoying wail! Argh! This wasn’t the Ogre Battle I remembered. It’s the version from their second album, Queen II.
The version of the song from “Queen at the BBC” is so much better, but that one isn’t on Spotify. I won’t be throwing out my MP3 or CD collection any time soon. Humph.
If you know me well, you may know I love the music of Queen. I never had the pleasure of seeing them live unfortunately but I’ve been to a number of Queen inspired events, Flash Harry played in Cobh a few years ago and there was Queen at the Ballet too. (Thanks Ken, Aisling, Proinnsias, Sinead!)
So I jumped at the chance to see Queen tribute band, Killer Queen when they played in the Opera House recently. They were good, some parts were great, and Brighton Rock was absolutely amazing even if I got the feeling some people in the audience didn’t know that song.
Killer Queen are a blast. The crowd loved them. Of the three performances I thought Flash Harry was the best but you’ll have a great time at Killer Queen too.
The first time I heard this Dune cover of Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” I thought, “Oh Wow! That’s good!”
Then, 30 seconds into the song I thought, “Wait a second. This is actually fairly boring. The voice that sounded nice at the start really sounds weak, there’s no feeling, it goes nowhere and the video is rubbish.”
Here’s the original song by Queen. Turn the volume up. It’ll send a shiver down your spine and you’ll realise how good Freddie’s voice was. Amazing stuff.