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Links and Videos of the Week (2009/29)

Album Songs of the Day (July 13)

Singles On the 36th anniversary of the release of the first Queen album, I’ve got a few songs for you that have not been released on singles:

» “My Fairy King” (still-image video) – this vocally interesting song has an additional story (quote from Wikipedia):

Before writing this song Mercury was known as Freddie Bulsara, and this song is said to have inspired him to change his surname. Its lyrics contain a verse with the words “Mother Mercury, look what they’ve done to me.” Brian May has said that after the line was written, Freddie claimed he was singing about his mother. Subsequently, Freddie Bulsara took the stage name Freddie Mercury. This was another attempt to separate his stage persona (“extroverted monster”, as Mercury himself once described it) from his personal persona (introverted).

» “The Night Comes Down” (still-image video) – A ballad written by Brian May.

» “Modern Times Rock ’n’ Roll” (still-image video) – Not just written by Roger Taylor, he was also singing, and somehow this song’s always modern. :)
When played live on stage, though, Freddie was singing, as here at the Rainbow in 1974.

Hope you liked at least one of them. :)

Photo: clix/sxc

State Of Shock?

At least a part of the music world certainly is in a state of shock today after Michael Jackson’s death yesterday (no, I’m not really including myself in this part)… I personally liked his music in Thriller and Bad times to some extent, but that’s not what this is about – neither is his, erm, partially eccentric, insane and dubious lifestyle especially in later years –, but instead it’s about Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury, for they were actually friends for some time and recorded a few songs together – which, however, were never released this way, since that friendship ended when Michael got so successfull with Thriller, and as far as I remember, different ways of life also mattered…

Anyway, there is a quite nice demo version of “State Of Shock” (still-image video) as duet by Freddie and Michael which the latter later recorded and released with Mick Jagger, and a demo of the Queen/Freddie song1 “There Must Be More To Life Than This”, which, however, isn’t that great in this duet version, hence here also the link to the final Freddie version; Jackson wasn’t that great on ballads anyway, now was he? I wasn’t able to find the third song that is said to exist, “Victory”.

Brian May wrote on his blog-like “Soapbox” a few words about Jackson, if anyone’s interested.

  1. was originally planned for the Queen album The Works, but ended up on Freddie’s solo album after he and Brian had written “Is This The World We Created…?” []

Queen Single of the Day (June 19)

Singles Another edition of my little series about the B-sides of Queen singles, this time “Stealin'” on the “Breakthru” single from 19 June 1989 from the The Miracle album. Though today the A-side also gets its spot…

New: » All songs in a row in a Youtube playlist

First the A-side: This is – after a slow intro that’s originally from a separate song “A New Life Is Born” which didn’t get beyond demo sage – a fast-paced rock song that somehow makes one think of a train, and exactly that’s what the video shows: Queen performing on a flatbed carriage behind an old steam engine; the blonde at the beginning is, by the way, Roger Taylor’s then girlfriend Debbie Leng.

Freddie once said in an interview (see Wikipedia) that this was a great example of two separate bits coming together to make a final track. He commented on how the band had about 30 tracks to work with and only completed a handful, working on all of them at least somewhat.

» Breakthru – official video
» Breakthru (Extended Version) – fan video (using the official one)
» A New Life Is Born (Demo) (1:30) – still-image video
» lyrics

On to the B-side, a bluesy tongue-in-cheek song (which offers more variety than one might think from first couple of minutes) about a notorious thief, and there’s a (really good!) demo version of it that normal Youtube users need to split in two parts to upload it (here linked to inside my playlist):

» Stealin’ (4:01) – single version, still-image
» Stealin’ (Demo) (12:10) – still-image
» lyrics

Photo: clix/sxc