Monday, December 14, 2009

The MJ Show #10 (Queen)

One of my favourite bands, in fact, a band that has been a MAJOR influence on me as a singer and a performer is Queen. I think Freddie was one of the greatest singers and frontmen in the history of rock music.
Today, I'll take you through their discography and show you songs, that you may or may not have heard. Some big hits and some rarities! So...are you ready!!! :)

Incidentally, there's a new greatest hits album of Queen that is also out in the market.
It's called "Absolute Greatest" and trust me when I say is a totally paisa vasool album. It has the 2009 digital remasters of all the tracks.
<--- Here's what it looks like.

Album #1 - Queen (1973)
Their debut album had some really awesome songs in it but the song I've chosen from this album is one called "Keep Yourself Alive"
The band included the comment 'No synthesizers' on the album sleeve, as some listeners had mistaken their elaborate multi-tracking and effects processed by guitar and vocal sounds as synthesizers.This song was the first single off the album and it was released a week before the album which was released in July 1973.
1st Song - Queen - Keep Yourself Alive #TheMJshow

Album #2 - Queen II(1974)
The second song of the list is a song from their March 1974 release, an album simply titled Queen II.
I love this song. Just check out the piano part in this song. I don't think enough credit is given to Freddie's piano playing. I think its absolutely brilliant!
A smaller instrumental version of this song was the last song in the first album. A full version of "Seven Seas of Rhye" was laid down, recorded with the specific intention of being the album's leading single. The song was released as a single, and after the band performed it on Top of the Pops it became their first hit, peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.
2nd Song - Queen - Seven Seas Of Rhye #TheMJshow

Album #3 - Sheer Heart Attack (1974)
This is one of the best albums by Queen. It has what is considered to be an 'avant-garde' thrash metal song. The song has been covered by big bands like Metallica, Hellyeah, Anthrax, Megadeth and a lot more bands. Its one of my favourite songs to sing with The Works as well.

I've got 4 videos for you for this song!
Here's the original:
3rd Song - Queen - Stone Cold Crazy #TheMJshow 

Here's a version where James Hetfield (Metallica) did it with the remaining members of Queen after Freddie passed away. This was in the Freddie Mercury tribute concert. Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath was also present on guitar in this song!
4th Song - Queen + Tony Iommi + James Hetfield - Stone Cold Crazy #TheMJshow

Metallica covered the song as their contribution to the 1990 compilation album "Rubáiyát – Elektra's 40th Anniversary. This cover version was later used as a B-side of their "Enter Sandman" single and it also won a Grammy Award in 1991.The song was also included in their 1998 album, Garage Inc.
They changed a couple of words here and there to make the song a little more extreme :) Listen in and you'll know what I mean :) Oh and check out this fan video made for the song. EXTREME! \m/
5th Song - Metallica - Stone Cold Crazy #TheMJshow

And finally, here's a version done by my band, The Works! We go back to the old school version with maybe a thing or two borrowed from the Metallica version. I guess you could say, this is our take on the song. Do tell me what you think :)
(Its a live version, obviously, so do forgive the sound quality of the clip. Video taken by @nehakarmarkar :)
6th Song - The Works - Stone Cold Crazy #TheMJshow

Album #4 -A Night At The Opera (1975)
Another landmark album by Queen. This some incredible songs. I can't not take the greatest song from this album so yes, I will take it but there's another song I want you to check out before I come to the Queen magnum opus from the album.
The song I'm talking about is a song called "Love Of My Life". It is one of their most covered songs...but this version I have for you is absolutely ethereal. Brilliant doesn't describe this performance. Check out the crowd singing along :) I get goose bumps every time I see this. Its from an incredible concert that is now available on dvd in Mumbai. I think its called "Rock Montreal". Fully fully worth buying!
7th Song - Queen - Love Of My Life #TheMJshow

Here's a different take on their magnum opus. No less epic in my opinion :) This one goes out to @kanwarsation and @dharmeshg who first brought it to my notice :)
8th Song - The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody #TheMJshow

Album #5 - A Day At The Races (1976)
This song has 3 songs of Queen that I LOVE. First up the song that kicks off the album, another song that my band, The Works LOVES to cover. In fact, we've started off many a concert with this song. The song's called "Tie Your Mother Down". I've got a live version of the song for you. Check out Wembley bouncing to the song! Gaah! Goose bumps!! :D
9th Song - Queen - Tie Your Mother Down #TheMJshow

The second song I love is the incredible "Somebody To Love". The version I want you to see is again from the Rock Montreal concert. This version has one of the greatest introductions I've ever heard on any song done live. Listen to Freddie's voice. Goose bumps city once more boys and girls! Ohhh yeah! \m/
10th Song - Queen - Somebody To Love #TheMJshow

Oh! I've GOT to give you one more version of the song. How can I not! Its possibly the most incredible cover ever done. In the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, this bit of magic happened when George Michael joined Queen on stage to do the song. Here it all its glory.
I get goose bumps every time I hear the crowd singing the last couple of lines with George.
11th Song - Queen + George Michael - Somebody To Love #TheMJshow

And the third song I love is a song that Jason Mraz recently covered in a tribute album to Queen. I LOVE this song. Very old school...very very likeable.
12th Song - Queen - Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy #TheMJshow

Album #6 - News of the World (1977)
Two songs from this album are really really well known. Well here they are but with a lil twist.
First up is the rock anthem that millions of fans around the world love to stomp their feet and raise their hands to.
Here's a version of it that I LOVE. This is the other song that my band, The Works uses very often to kick start a show.
Here is the...
13th Song - Queen - We Will Rock You #TheMJshow

The other great rock anthem from this album is a sports fan favourite.
Check out a version in which Queen (May/Taylor) recorded this song with Robbie Williams on vocals for the soundtrack of the 2001 film "A Knight's Tale" which featured the awesome Heath Ledger.
14th Song - Queen - We Are The Champions #TheMJshow

want to give you a bonus track from this album.
15th Song - Queen - Spread Your Wings #TheMJshow

Album #7 - Jazz (1978)
This album had some really great songs...but since I do have the opportunity to show you those songs...the first one I chose :) for obvious fun reasons is the next song.
16th Song - Queen - Bicycle Race #TheMJshow

The band had intended to sell the album with a poster depicting the all-female nude bicycle race staged to promote "Fat Bottomed Girls", but in the USA it was only available through mail order so as not to upset retailers.
Speaking of which...
17th Song - Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls #TheMJshow

The other song I really want you to check out is a song that I would LOVE to perform live someday!
Here's an incredible live version of the song, again from their, Rock Montreal DVD!
18th Song - Queen - Let Me Entertain You #TheMJshow

Album #8 -The Game (1980)
What an album this was!! It was the only Queen album to reach the #1 position in both the United Kingdom and the United States and became Queen's best selling studio album in the US.
First incredible song...and another song that my band, The Works do as well is my first choice from this album.
The video I've chosen is again from Rock Montreal. If you don't see a single video on this page, this is the one you MUST not miss. It shows you just what magic Freddie had on stage. Full on goose bumps city all over again!
19th Song - Queen - Dragon Attack #TheMJshow

The second song from the album is another one of my favourite songs by the band.
This song was a worldwide crossover hit. It hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, number two on the R&B charts and the Disco Top 100, and number seven in the UK Singles Chart. The song is credited as Queen's best selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies!!!
Here's a live version of the song from their "Live At The Bowl" dvd!
20th Song - Queen - Another One Bites the Dust #TheMJshow

Here's an interesting bit of trivia about this song :)
During the administration of chest compressions during CPR, it can be difficult to achieve and maintain the recommended rate of 100 compressions per minute. The bass line of this song is at such a rate; thus it is possible to think or hum this song during CPR, to maintain the correct rate.

Okay the next song I have for you from this album is a song that many people think was originally done by Elvis. For the WAS NOT! The song was written and released a year after Elvis's he didn't even hear the song before he passed away.
Here's a version of the song sung by Robert Plant and Queen at the Freddie Tribute Concert.
21st Song - Queen + Robert Plant - Crazy Little Thing Called Love #TheMJshow

Album #9 - Flash Gordon (1980)
Well, there's not much else I can give you from this album is there? :)
Incidentally, have you guys seen the movie!! Full fun!!
22nd Song - Queen - Flash #TheMJshow

Album #10 -Hot Space (1982)
Marking a notable shift in direction from their earlier work, Queen employed many elements of disco, Pop Music, R&B and dance music on Hot Space, being partially influenced by the success of their 1980 hit "Another One Bites the Dust". This made the album less popular with fans that preferred the traditional rock style they had come to associate with the band, though Hot Space did fit in with the Queen tradition of incorporating many disparate influences into their music.
I'll admit, I didn't really like the songs on this album too much here's a quick look at this album.
23rd Song - Queen - Hot Space Medley #TheMJshow

The one big hit from this album though was the song that featured another great performer - David Bowie.
You know the song, its the song that Vanilla Ice said he didn't rip off :) Sure and snow is bright pink in colour too :)
Check out this INCREDIBLE re-edit of the song
24th Song - Queen + David Bowie - Under Pressure #TheMJshow

Album #11 -The Works (1984)
I've been asked something a few times because people know how much I love Queen and because we do quite a few songs by the band. The question I get is "Did the album The Works by Queen inspire your band name?"
I would have loved to say yes and it would be a fitting tribute to a band that has inspired me so much, but I'll be lying if I said that that's where I got the name for the band. The story behind that was something else and maybe some day I'll tell you about it.
However, if there was a band whose song or album could have inspired anything to do with me or my band, it would definitely by Queen!

Now, the first song from this album!
This is a song that I believe is made for arenas and stadiums. They were in my opinion the greatest Arena Rock band in the history of this business.
They performed live at Live Aid in 1985 and that performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll. The version of this next song that I have from you is from the Live Aid set.
Check it out:
25th Song - Queen - Radio Ga Ga #TheMJshow

The next song was the center of a major controversy. The whole band dressed up as women in this song and its not something that went down very well with TV audiences around the world. Remember this was 1984. The world wasn't that open to stuff like this back then. (I wonder if people are, even now.)
26th Song - Queen - I Want To Break Free #TheMJshow

Here's a song from the album you may not have heard. I think its a stunning song and shows off why Freddie was...Freddie! :)
27th Song - Queen - It's A Hard Life #TheMJshow

Album #12 - A Kind of Magic (1986)
After Queen's contribution to Live Aid, Freddie Mercury was enthusiastic about the band and rang them up to go to the studio and write a song together. The song that came out of this meet up was the incredible "One Vision".
I love this song. Google the lyrics and check out the brilliance of this band :)
Here's a version from their "Live At Wembley" dvd!
28th Song - Queen - One Vision #TheMJshow

And here's the original video as well. Its too cool to miss out :)
"Just gimme gimme gimme...Fried chicken"  :) heh

The second song I have for you, from this album is a song that was used in the credits of a cult movie called "Highlander"
The song was a live favourite on Magic Tour of the same year, which proved to be Queen's last with the original foursome.
29th Song - Queen - A Kind Of Magic #TheMJshow

I HAVE to give you one more track from this album. One of their most moving songs in my opinion this was a song that was written by Brian May and sung as a duet with himself and Freddie in the album.
The orchestra in this song was the National Philharmonic Orchestra and it conducted by Michael Kamen!
(Note to self: I MUST do a special on Michael Kamen and his contribution to the rock music world! If you have no idea why I'm mentioning him, google him! Also see
30th Song - Queen - Who Wants To Live Forever #TheMJshow

Album #13 - The Miracle (1989)
The Miracle was recorded as the band recovered from guitarist Brian May's marital problems and vocalist Freddie Mercury's HIV diagnosis (which was, though confessed to the band, not publicised at the time).

The song I've chosen from this album was as song that Freddie and Brian May sang as a duet on the album. This was the first song on which Roger Taylor used a double bass pedal!
 31st Song - Queen - I Want It All #TheMJshow

I want you all to see one more song from this album. Though not a very recognizable song it was a fairly big hit for them. Here it is:
32nd Song - Queen - Breakthru #TheMJShow

One more song from the album worth checking out is a song called "Scandal". May wrote the song about the British press, which had been controversial about his recent divorce and his relationship with actress Anita Dobson.
Here's a cool bit of trivia about the song: May about the British press, which had been controversial about his recent divorce and his relationship with actress Anita Dobson.
33rd Song - Queen - Scandal #TheMJshow

Album #14 - Innuendo (1991)
"Innuendo" began as a jam session in Switzerland amongst May, Taylor and Deacon in spring 1989. Mercury was upstairs and heard them playing the beat, and turned it into a song, creating the melody and starting off the lyrics. From then on they all four worked on polishing the track and Taylor took over the lyrics (which were written as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and their song "Kashmir").
Fitting that the version that I have to show you is from the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and it has Robert Plant singing the song with Queen!

34th Song - Queen + Robert Plant - Innuendo #TheMJshow

The second song from this album is a song which I'm chosing purely for the video.
The video that accompanied the song saw Freddie dressed in a costume suit with wild hair, white gloves, long pointing shoes and extremely heavy make up, also filmed in black and white. Taylor confessed, from the band's perspective, the video was marred by Mercury's appearance having to be camouflaged by costume and make-up, as Taylor admitted Mercury looked "Pretty ill, at that point."
35th Song - Queen - I'm Going Slightly Mad #TheMJshow

The next song was initially not released as a single as part of promotion for the innuendo album, but was released in October 1991 as the band launched their 2nd Greatest Hits album. The video for the song featured a compilation of clips from all their videos since 1982, in support of the Greatest Hits 2 album. Due to Mercury's now critically fast fading health, a fresh appearance by the band in a video was not possible.
36th Song - Queen - The Show Must Go On #TheMJshow

Album #15 Made In Heaven (1995)
The album was recorded in a much different way from Queen's other studio albums. In early 1991, months before his AIDS-related death, vocalist Freddie Mercury recorded as many vocals as he could, with the instruction to the rest of the band—drummer Roger Taylor, bassist John Deacon and guitarist Brian May—to complete the songs later.

On the video Champions of the World, May described these sessions with Mercury as such:
By the time we were recording these other tracks after Innuendo, we had had the discussions and we knew that we were totally on borrowed time because Freddie had been told that he would not make it to that point. I think our plan was to go in there whenever Freddie felt well enough, just to make as much use of him as much as possible, we basically lived in the studio for a while and when he would call and say "I can come in for a few hours", our plan was to just make as much use of him as we could, you know he told us "Get me to sing anything, write me anything and I will sing it and I will leave you as much as I possibly can."

I have a few songs for you to watch from this.
First up:
37th Song - Queen - It's A Beautiful Day #TheMJshow

38th Song - Queen - Let Me Live #TheMJshow

The next song is my favourite song on the album. Just listen to Freddie on this. Man! This guy was something else!
39th Song - Queen - I Was Born To Love You #TheMJshow

The title of the last song is absolutely apt for the great Freddie Mercury. He was..."Made In Heaven"
40th Song - Queen - Made In Heaven #TheMJshow

Dear Freddie...thank you for the music, the performances and the magic.

That's a wrap for tonight! Wow! Would you look at this page. :)
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Totally worth every minute I spent doing this :)

I'd like to end this show with something I used to say on radio on my late night shows...because this sure as hell felt like a show...more than any of the other "episodes" I've put up for you so far.
"This is your Musicman Mihir...take care and...good night."

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