Musings in the Dark: All Hail The Queen


All Hail The Queen

I know I said I was going to get back to writing weekly but I simply haven’t been able to.  Work has been unbelievable; all kinds of crazy shit has happened in the past six weeks.  But anyway…here I am; my first real post of 2019…first real post in what…a year?  And what’s it about?

I’ve been on a Queen bender since early December, when I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody.  I’ve been a Queen fan for decades (and have been in love with Brian May’s hair for at least 20 years), but I never knew how many songs of theirs I liked and/or knew until I went on their official YouTube page and hit play on the first video of the rundown…and just allowed it it keep playing.  Of course I knew all the classics, but YouTube introduced me to a lot of their songs I was less (or not) familiar with.  Needless to say, I’ve been listening to Queen mostly nonstop and have watched BR five times to date.  To call the band legendary is the understatement of the year.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic that plays fast and loose with pacing (especially at the beginning; it felt like Freddie randomly met Brian and Roger one night and was fronting the band the next day, and John just came out of nowhere) and actual events (Freddie didn’t get diagnosed with AIDS until 1987; after Live Aid).  In spite of this, I enjoyed the film.  I appreciated it for what it attempted to do.  The casting was on point.  Rami Malek did a stellar job as Freddie.  I was ready to swear on a stack of Bibles that Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee were actually Roger and Brian, respectively.  Joe Mazzello (who was Tim in freakin’ Jurassic Park) does an excellent job as Deacy, the quiet one with hair almost as amazing as Brian’s…almost.

From L to R: Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Joe Mazzello and Ben Hardy

Anyway, after watching the movie, I went to YT and started binging.  I couldn’t help it.  I have so many positive memories associated with Queen’s music and it felt good hearing the songs again.  And as I said before, I was introduced to their lesser known (at least to me) tracks and I’ve been a relatively happy girl since.  I love that they were their own backup singers, that all of them wrote songs, that they seemed very much a family when it came to the music, and that they recognized that Freddie was a complete original and absolutely irreplaceable.  I know that they’ve had other artists sing lead for concerts and stuff after Freddie’s death, but they never got another true lead singer.  Deacy retired from the band in 1997 and said in an 1996 interview, "It is impossible to replace Freddie."

Queen videos range in levels of amazement.  For some, the video artistry is unbelievable.  For others, the band looked like they were just having fun.  And for others, they’re just performing with little to no theatrics.  The talent is off the charts and the music is timeless.  Join me down the rabbit hole, if you like.

"Innuendo."  Written by Deacon, May, Mercury & Taylor.  From the album Innuendo, released in 1991.  The artwork had me like, "Whaaaaaaaat???"  This song is sickening!  I listened to it a smooth dozen times the same day after hearing it for the first time.

"I Want to Break Free."  Written by John Deacon.  From the album The Works, released in 1984.  Mama Briana, Aunt Johnnie, cousin Frederica and little sis Rogerina give me so much life!  And to think, America took exception to this video because the band was in drag.  Stupid.  This video and song are awesome.

"Body Language."  Written by Freddie Mercury.  From the album Hot Space, released in 1982.  Word on the street was that Hot Space was Queen's worst album, but I love this song and video.  I'm a sucker for a sweet bassline and Deacy delivered in spades.  Also, the  "Look at me" part.  Brian and his hair could get it on sight, no questions asked.

"A Kind of Magic."  Written by Deacon, May, Mercury & Taylor.  From the album A Kind of Magic, released in 1986.  Great song.  Deacy does it again with that foxy bassline.

"You're My Best Friend."  Written by John Deacon.  From the album A Night At The Opera, released in 1975.  This is one of those songs that I've heard countless times but did not know it was a Queen cut.  When I found out, it felt like a punch in the face.  Deacy wrote it for his wife and it really is a beautiful track.

 "Fat Bottomed Girls."  Written by Brian May.  From the album Jazz, released in 1978.  I nearly pulled a muscle laughing when I learned that Brian, who is a respected astrophysics professor and a supposedly proper British gentleman, wrote a booty anthem.  Hey, he likes what he likes and the power of a fat ass is undeniable.

"Play The Game."  Written by Freddie Mercury.  From the album The Game, released in 1980.  This video made me laugh uncontrollably.  Freddie's rockin' a Flash T-Shirt and a red leather belt as only he could, while his bandmates are looking all slick and shit.  He jumps on Roger's drum kit and snatches Brian's guitar before throwing it back at him.  Meanwhile Deacy's got that whole "Don't try me" vibe going on.

If you're a music lover, I encourage you to check out Bohemian Rhapsody if you haven't already.  If the movie inspires you to YouTube to listen to more Queen, follow through.  They now have a new legion of fans thanks to the movie, but I'm glad to say I'm an old head.

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