Friday, April 2, 2010
Queen Song of the Week: Now I'm Here
As I typed that, I giggled because it reminds me of when Keith Olbermann says, "And now, as promised, a special comment," as if anybody in the audience is going to freak out if the show ends and he hasn't done his special comment. "But, Keith! You promised!" Just like I'm sure anyone actually reading this would send me a nasty email if I had decided to recommend a song off The Game instead of Sheer Heart Attack.
But I digress (shocker).
Now I'm Here is a track off Queen's third studio album Sheer Heart Attack. The song was written by Dr. May and released as a single in 1975. It peaked at #11 on the U.K. charts.
What can I say? This song is freakin' awesome. It was a live favorite and the band played it straight through their final concerts in 1986. In 1999, Dr. May and RT appeared as special guests at a Foo Fighters concert, joining the band on stage to play this song. Sadly, when Queen + Paul Rodgers toured in 2005 and 2008, this was one of the few Queen songs not revived. The speculation is that because the boys are a bit long in the tooth, they might not be able to keep up with the song's quick pace and changes (again, if RT wants to contact me to confirm whether this is the case, please feel free!).
*EDIT* Here's a link to Queen performing the song back in 1981. In the audio commentary, RT and Dr. May explain that they had lost the footage of the opening part of the song (when the video was originally edited as We Will Rock You, they eliminated that part and destroyed all the video they didn't use. What!?!?!) so they had to fill the video with shots of the audience.
This is another song that is a great example of Queen's style, especially in the 1970s. Their songs around this time didn't sound the same, but the elements they contained gave them that distinctive Queen style. Now I'm Here has a great guitar riff and absolutely astonishing drums (Frankily I'm surprised anyone can play that part let alone RT at 60 years old!). One thing I love about the Queen drum sound is that it adds something to the song apart from just the beat or rhythm itself. RT does such a great job of filling in the transitional spaces of the songs that the drums appear to take over the melody at times. Of course, there's also great harmonies and vocal layering throughout the chorus and some portions of the verses.
The lyrics tell the story of Queen touring the previous year with Mott the Hoople (hence the lyric, "down in the city just Hoople and me.") Dr. May actually wrote the song while in the hospital recovering from hepatitis. The rest of the band went into the studio to begin recording the album and when Dr. May was healthy, he joined them and recorded his guitar parts in addition to presenting them with this song. Well done, Dr. May!