Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Definitive view of Queen

"Why would you call your band, 'Queen,' if there were obviously four guys in it? That was puzzling."
-- Harvey Kubernik, Melody Maker, Los Angeles, discussing mainstream American attitudes to the band.
BRIAN MAY and ROGER TAYLOR point to MTV's decision to pass on the music video for "I Want to Break Free" -- featuring the band in a drag pastiche of British soaps such as "Coronation Street" -- as a defining moment in the end of mainstream America's love affair with QUEEN.
This pivotal moment in band history is one of the memorable passages of the brilliant BBC documentary, "QUEEN: DAYS OF OUR LIVES," that I watched on DVD last night.
There was always something different about Queen, a set of circumstances made plain in the film.
All four members were from university, for starters, and they were all strong songwriters.
The late FREDDIE MERCURY had a fey presentation that illustrated his sexuality, but that's another part of the band that became lost in translation when crossing the Atlantic.
May and Taylor provide insightful, sometimes emotional, testimony to the history of the band. (JOHN DEACON has irrevocably left the music business, so his documentary contribution is limited to contemporary interviews).
For an in-depth view of such an iconic band, I can think of no better vehicle than this documentary.


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