A-Z: Queen (part 2)

A bit of A-Zing on a Friday night, why not? For those reading this on MySpace I feel a bit like I should update you on mice and moving and such like things, as I noticed the last A-Z entry I did was when I thought I imagined a mouse in the kitchen. Quick recap: it was a mouse. And I saw it again. And then again. Then I put poison down and went on holiday. Now I’ve moved house and *hopefully* won’t see the little buggers ever again. Hoorah! And that’s not to mention the snake I saw outside the old place (Edit: I later discovered it was most likely a slow worm and not actually a snake!). Anyway, enough of the recap, let’s move onto the music… although I haven’t unpacked most of my CDs yet (feel free to faint), of the ones I have got stacked on the floor, my Queen albums are included! So I can get straight on with this… well, once I’ve gotten a sherry, I’m feeling a little parched… oh damn it, I just realised I’ve run out of my regular sherry and I’ve just got the QC stuff that Dad and Delyse won on a tombola. It has a really odd taste. And not in a particularly good way. But yes I’m still gonna drink it. I’ll just treat myself to something nicer afterwards! He.

Queen – A Night At The Opera (album)
As I already mentioned in my last blog entry, this was the first proper Queen album I got, so naturally it’s got a fond place in my heart! Although it also means that I possibly listened to it too much and I tend to overlook it when I think of my favourite Queen albums. However, looking at the tracklist now, it is a damn good album and has some of my favourite songs on it, so yeah, really looking forward to this…
‘Death On Two Legs’ – For some reason I always think of this as a sister track to ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ – I’m not sure why exactly, other than the fact they both open albums. I suppose there’s a bit of similarity in style. Anyway, I don’t actually listen to this very often now, but it is a fab song. I always loved “you’re a sewer rat decaying in a cess pool of pride”. Love the way it ends too.
‘Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon’ – A pretty silly song really I suppose, but it’s songs like this that first drew me to Queen. I still like a bit of sillyness in songs now, but as a 13/14 year old I *really* did!
‘I’m In Love With My Car’ – This one took a while to grow on me I remember – like most Roger songs did! It was great getting to hear it live at the Hyde Park gig though.
‘You’re My Best Friend’ – Brilliant song – I was already familiar with it from the Greatest Hits of course, but I think it must have been my favourite song for a while. I don’t listen to it too often now though as I did overplay it.
”39′ – Love this song! It’s one that grew on me more and more over time and I just love the beautiful simplicity of it. It’s a Brian song so I shouldn’t be surprised. When I went to see Queen + Paul Rodgers, the songs I was most keen to hear them do were this one and Love Of My Life, both of which Brian did alone on acoustic guitar with the crowd singing along. Just amazing!
‘Sweet Lady’ – I think this took a little while to grow on me actually, though it’s the kinda thing I’d take to really instantly now. I always liked “you call me sweet like I’m some kind of cheese”. He he. Is cheese really sweet?! Anyway, I just like the way Freddie sings it.
‘Seaside Rendezvous’ – Oh my god I loved this song!!!! It’s one of the kitschest things ever. I remember making up a dance to it at one point! He he. This album’s quite a big departure from the previous ones in lots of ways really. I know they’re all pretty different and varied, but there are a lot less rocky type tracks on this album. That’s neither a compliment nor a criticism, more an observation! I love that Queen can pull off so many different styles. Oh and this song needs kudos for the word ‘jollification’ – always loved that.
‘The Prophet’s Song’ – Wow, what to say about this song? I remember listening to it for the first time and just thinking ‘what the hell?’ At over 8 minutes, it’s partly an epic, moody, emotional kinda song, but then it’s randomly got a middle section of echoing vocals and harmonies in a kinda vocal exercises way! It’s really difficult to describe. I think the word ‘prog’ would have to be used somewhere, but I doubt that would even cover it! I remember that I hadn’t had this album long when we had a sponsored walk at school, so I copied it to tape and listened to it on my walkman as I was walking along. I got friends of mine to listen to the middle section as just needed them to witness the complete madness of this song! So yeah, it’s always had a definite novelty value, but once I got past that I really started to appreciate it as a song and I still really love it. It’s mad, yes, but genius! “Listen to the mad man!”
‘Love Of My Life’ – Oh god, love this song! Sooooooo beautiful and moving and just, oh god, love it. The harp!!! Ah. Makes me cry. Still listen to it a lot. Definitely one of my favourite Queen songs.
‘Good Company’ – Pretty low-key and kinda bluegrass musically I suppose, though with a bit more embellishment as it goes on. Really catchy and with nice vocals and harmonies too. I love the story nature of the lyrics – about being given advice when you’re young, not really taking it to heart and presumably making the same mistakes as the person who gave you the advice, so then ending up giving the same advice to others (who’ll probably go on to make the same mistakes too!).
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – If you’re not already familiar with this song then you must live under a rock! Like a lot of people, particularly of my generation I’m sure, this was the song that got me into Queen. The changes in style etc just made it so unusual and intriguing and just brilliant! I’m kinda sad that more bands don’t attempt things as adventurous and weird as this! Mansun’s ‘Six’ and certain Ooberman songs remind me of the Queen ethos of melding together various styles, but there are far too many bland bands out there that get hyped up as being amazing and I just find it a bit sad.
‘God Save The Queen’ – As I’ve commented on all other songs then I kinda feel inclined to mention this one too! There’s nothing to say really though – it’s a brief instrumental of the national anthem. I love that they included it, what with them being called Queen of course, plus the whole idea of a night at the opera, but yeah it’s not a track I’ve ripped and added to my playlist I have to say. As much as I do like the UK, I’m not *so* patriotic that I feel the need to hear the national anthem all the time!

Wow, that album flew by! I should probably get some dinner really, though I want to listen to the next album too. And I should really make progress on unpacking my clothes or I’m not gonna be able to find anything to wear tomorrow. Hmm, I’ll get some food first then see how I’m doing for time. TTFN…

I have return-ed. Tis quarter past 7. I reckon I can get away with listening to another album before I need to go have a shower and unpack clothes. Score.

Queen – A Day At The Races (album)
I got this fairly early on in my Queen collection too. I tend to forget which songs are on it, but there are some fab ones…
‘Tie Your Mother Down’ – I like the way this starts with the tune to White Man as a kinda prelude – it starts the album off in a kinda majestic way and then it gets into the rockingness of Tie Your Mother Down. It’s just a really good fun song. There’s one bit though where it sounds like a set of keys jangling. For ages that used to really confuse me when I was listening to this album after getting home from school – I thought it was my Mum and Nick getting home from work but would then be confused when the jangling wasn’t followed by the front door opening! I think it had to happen a few times before I twigged it was on the song! ;-P
‘You Take My Breath Away’ – I’ve always classified this alongside ‘Love Of My Life’ in my brain. If they were people they’d be siblings. Anyway, I do actually prefer Love Of My Life, but really really love this song too. Again it’s just really beautiful and heartbreaking. “You can reduce me to tears with a single sigh – please don’t cry”. It’s a love song obviously, though a few years ago I did realise there’s almost a creepy edge to a lyric like “I will find you anywhere you go”. Stalkerish much? Still beautiful and moving though. I often used to accidentally chop the end bit off if I was copying it to tape though, as I’d forget about it and think the song had finished.
‘Long Away’ – I’d forgotten that this song, ‘The Millionaire Waltz’ and ‘You And I’ all followed each other. They’re all great but not ones that I’d get really really enthused about. I really enjoy them when I do listen to them but don’t listen to them loads.
‘The Millionaire Waltz’ – Actually I do really like this!! Had forgotten how good it is really. Ah yeah and then it goes into the rocky bit towards the end!! Yeah, this song’s fab!!! I take back what I said about not getting enthused about it. I tend to think of the beginning and end of the song and forget that it has so many changes of style in it.
‘You And I’ – I forget about the change in style in the middle of this song too – not that it’s as dramatic as The Millionaire Waltz, but it’s still a fab song too actually. I’m not surprised that it’s so rare for me to take really instantly to new albums these days as I grew up listening to things like this, which are so interesting and catchy and varied and take quite a bit of beating really.
‘Somebody To Love’ – Ah another from the Greatest Hits. Brilliant song!! I listen to it quite a bit still. It’s great fun to sing along to.
‘White Man’ – This is an odd one – I actually really loved it when I first got this album, and for quite a long time after, but I rarely listen to it now. I think it’s the subject matter – it’s from the point of view of a Native American and I just thought that was brilliant when I was younger (though then I’d have said Indian, as you just did), but for some reason I find it a bit uncomfortable to listen to now – probably just because I’ve gotten older and brainwashed slightly with ideas of what’s PC and what’s not – annoyingly. Not that it’s derogatory towards Native Americans – far from it – but white people singing a song about how white people destroyed their land and lives? I dunno, I still think it’s a great song, I just find it difficult to enjoy it in the pure way I did when I was younger. However I do still love the lyric “What is left of your dream? Just the words on your stone. ‘Man who learned who to teach then forgot how to learn'”.
‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’ – Another well-known one surely. Always loved this and still listen to it a lot too.
‘Drowse’ – Unusually for one of Roger’s, I think I took to this pretty quickly. A bit of growing might have been needed, but not much. I really love the style of it and how the music reflects the whole idea of feeling lazy and drowsey.
‘Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)’ – Love this song. I think I might have mentioned it when I talked about ‘International Velvet’, as although that was the first Welsh/English bi-lingual song I heard, this was the first bi-lingual song of any kind that I remember hearing on a pop/rock album. It’s mostly in English, but a couple of the choruses are sung in Japanese. As a lover of novelty, I thought this was just the greatest thing ever!! Plus the lyrics are in the lyrics booklet (although written phonetically I assume) so I got to learn them and be all pleased with myself for being able to sing a few lines in Japanese! He he. I still love singing along I have to say! The novelty hasn’t worn off.

And the album’s finished! That went v quickly too. Although it’s tempting to move onto the next album, I should really go have a shower. And get something nicer to drink – that QC stuff really isn’t that pleasant. I remember liking it when I was about 10. Now there’s a sentence you could read lots into! Anyway…

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