On this day
  • 1975: Queen live on A Night At the Opera Tour at City Hall, Newcastle, UK.
  • 1977: Queen live on News Of The World Tour at Summit, Houston, USA.

Read all 6 events for 11 December at diary.QueenSongs.info

Introduction

Dear Reader!

Welcome to the Queen Songwriting Research project! You are expected here to read about Queen songs, in a rather music oriented way instead of discussing trivias.

 

Project History

The project started back in late 2000 with the "repetition" chapter, soon followed by the  series of song analyses. Through the years the material grew close to the completion. It was planned to be published in book format. This plan was unfortunately cancelled due to the lack of interest by publishers, and missing copyright permissions. After all rejections the project had to get back down to the earth and stay as a non-profit on-line publication.

Released or not, this is one of the most extensive written material dealing with the Brittish rockband Queen. In book format it would have taken  several hundred pages. Considering the topic the length is well-needed. There is too much to be said on the music of Queen. One wonders why a book like this had not yet been written ages before. It really cried out to get written. Probably because such a book is difficult to even start without inspiring reference works. As reference this book uses the mere music and just a couple of interviews, and the valuable contributions of Sebastian.
It has to be admitted, that a number of important details could not be obtained resulting in a number of guesses and consequetly also some mistakes in the chapters. We have to deal with this and hope that later they will be corrected.

What is it all good for?

Song analyses are not intended to make you enjoy music better. On the other hand they train your sense of musical aesthetics, provide you a vaste source of ideas how to write better songs, and make you able to rate songs and songwriters more fairly by strictly musical aspects instead of mere bias.
Keep in mind, that close look might make things seem bigger. Reading this book may provoke a false consequence that there was no contest for Queen. Before creating such a judgement it is strongly recommended to look around for possible "contest" in bookshops and across the internet, and learn that Queen were not the only band with creative songwriting talents. On the other hand the Queen songbook will probably bear the test of wider perspective. Read the "Bicycle Race" or "Bohemian Rhapsody" analyses to get an instant justification. Our four songwriters (ie. Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Brian May) were able to combine the catchy and creative songwriting on a remarkably high level and on remarkably grand scale, which is their lasting achivement in the history of popular and rock music.


Scope of work

This research project offers a detailed overview on the musical framework of Queen songs and albums, and of the band members as musicians. The main part of the "book" analyses each individual Queen songs one by one, including B-sides, available rarities, Smile songs, and also some live versions. The last analysed song is "No One But You". Since then Brian May and Roger Taylor opened a brand new chapter in the history of Queen which is still wide open and won't be discussed in this QSR.

The first chapters provide you a brief introduction into the "mysterious" world of music theory. If you have basic knowledge of chords (for example rooky guitar and keyboard players), you can learn qickly the basic knowledge that is necessary for the comprehension of the technical talk of the analyses, or at least the most of it. Then we are going to get an overview of the band members, how did they start performing and writing music, and how their skills evolved during the legendary years both as instrumentalists and as songwriters.
The middle chapters, which is the main part of the book, are going to analyse the individual Queen songs in terms of harmony, rhythm, songform, and arrangement.

A big part of this material had not been discussed before, and may work as reference of later resarches. Tremendeous amount of details is included ranging from "boring" to extremly interesting observations (a lot of them!). For first look it may seem to be over-detailed, but it's really just a light work compared to academic works in terms of level of detail.

 A whole chapter is dedicated to the live performances, how they converted their songs for the stage in the era closed and partly represented by the "Live Killers" album in 1979, and later on.
Another chapters are dedicated to the special instruments, special playing tecniques, and special chord progressions featuring in Queen songs.