Friday, May 21, 2010

Queen Songs of the Week: SingStar: Queen/The Show Must Go On

Last week, I discussed the songs in the Rock Band Track Pack. This week I'm highlighting the 25 songs contained on SingStar: Queen.

SingStar: Queen contains the 10 Rock Band Track Pack songs. I discussed playing that game last week, click here to read it. The songs available on both SingStar and Rock Band will be highlighted in yellow.

Part of the fun of SingStar: Queen is that while you play the game, you can watch the song's music video. Of course, Queen can boast creating one of the first music videos in 1975 for Bohemian Rhapsody (see here for more information). Their videos only got more awesome from there so watching them is ton of fun!

The four catagories are as follows: Save For Your Mix Tapes (these songs are best listened to and not sung - skip 'em!), Play with a Crowd (self-explanatory - these are the favorites of non-Queen fans everywhere), Play Alone (or go ahead and play with a crowd, but you'll likely be embarassed at how into it you get!), and Give These a Chance (lesser known songs that are nonetheless fun to try with a group).

Save For Your Mix Tapes:
Tie Your Mother Down (I'm just not a fan of this song and in particular dislike the spoken vocals. Play it on RockBand and enjoy the guitar riff.)
You're My Best Friend (Husband and I hired a string trio to play this song at our wedding, but it's a slow tempo without being a powerful ballad so it falls a little flat in this game.)
These Are the Days of Our Lives (This song is really lovely, but the music video is the last one that Freddie shot so it's really tough to watch (especially given the sentiment of the song).)
Play the Game (I'm not really sure why this song was even included, other than Dr. May/RT trying to be funny (aka "punny"). It's a decent song, but like You're My Best Friend, not the greatest tempo for this game.)

Play with a Crowd:
One Vision (This could also be in Give These a Chance - I may be overestimating its popularity. In any event, it's fun (albeit difficult) to sing and the music video is fun to watch. Queen allowed cameras in the studio during the recording process and this video is the end result.)
I Want It All (Great song - even more so since you don't have to worry about the drum or guitar solos in this game! Just sit back, enjoy the theatrical video, and sing along! Pay particular attention to RT's kit at the end of the song - he's got water on the snare so it splashes up everytime he hits it! Awesome!)
Another One Bites the Dust (It really is fun to sing and dance to. Word on the street is that it was originally about cowboys and Freddie toughened it up a bit. This is one of the first Queen songs that I loved so even though I now realize there are better songs out there, I still have a soft spot for this one!)
We Will Rock You (Who didn't sing this song when they were little and who doesn't sing it now at sporting events? This song is lots of fun and the video is great too - the band filmed it in RT's backyard. Unfortunately he had just bought the house and the old owners hadn't left yet so they couldn't go inside. Freddie stole some ratty gloves from a roadie and poor RT is shivering throughout the entire video!)
I Want to Break Free - (In the video, the boys dressed up in drag and Freddie brought in the Royal Ballet Company - really over-the-top stuff. The song is fun to sing and relatively easy as far as Queen songs go.)
Killer Queen (This song is actually pretty tricky to sing, but everyone knows and loves it!)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen goes rockabilly on this one with both the song and the music video. This is another party favorite because everyone really does love this song.)
Under Pressure (This song has the duet option so two people can sing at once - one as Freddie and one as David. That makes it lots of fun, but be warned, SingStar rates the singing much harder than RockBand does (particularly in this song!))
Bohemian Rhapsody (I'm of the generation that head banged in my car singing this song a la Wayne's World - in fact, I sang BoRhap at karaoke after my senior prom in high school! It's fun to actually see how many of the notes I'm hitting. The backing track is a bitch and filled with harmonies that I will never be able to figure out - I guess that's why I'm not actually in Queen...yet! One annoyance is that some of the notes attributed to Freddie are actually RT in the backing track (I mean you can actually see RT singing the notes in the video! Geesh!) You can't go wrong playing this song with a group though!
Fat Bottomed Girls (The day that the Rock Band Queen Track Pack was finally released, I came home from work, downloaded the songs, and then sang this one three times in a row! The melody is great and the lyrics are pretty funny too! This is also a fun one to sing when playing with a group of people because everyone knows this song (even if they don't realize it's Queen). Don't move around too much while you sing though - the notes are high and the lyrics are quick so you'll soon find yourself out of breath!)

Play Alone:
A Kind of Magic (Husband hates the video (Freddie, a magical man, turns the rest of the group from bums into musicians), but I think it's sweet. This was written by RT so I imagine doing duets with him while he's drumming (a la Queen + Paul Rodgers, see here)).
Somebody to Love (This song is known for its absolutely beautiful layered vocals that have a gospel choir feel to them, but sadly there is no duet mode for this song! The reason why I got the game was so that I could sing: "At the end of the day...goes home...goes home on his own" and the rest of RT and Dr. May's amazing background vocals. I still really love singing it by myself though!)
We Are the Champions (Here's an example of a Queen song that I don't particularly like listening to, but I love singing on this game (*gasps* I know guys, but it really is over-played and a bit sappy). Freddie really does have an amazing voice and this one really showcases that. If you think you can control yourself, play it with a crowd. Personally I get too into the song and prefer to sing it by myself!)
Who Wants To Live Forever (Not my favorite song to listen to, but man is this a powerful song to sing, especially in the final chorus. The video is really beautiful too with the band dressed to the nines, John Deacon playing a stand up bass, and the boys singing amidst a gospel choir! Be sure to keep your eyes on RT during the video - he showed up for the shoot so hung over, he couldn't even stand up let alone play the drums properly.)

Give These a Chance:
Hammer to Fall (This is an 80s song with a great guitar riff. The vocals are fun, but a bit tricky to keep up with.)
Breakthru (After the beginning (which is actually another song that was unfinished) which has some difficult harmonies, this song is lots of fun to sing and even more fun to watch the video. Don't get too complacent though - Freddie mixes up the vocals a bit towards the end!)
Don't Stop Me Now (Husband's favorite song to sing. It's a catchy song, but the lyrics are quick so make sure you know all the words before you move up in difficulty level! This song can be frustrating because it combines background vocals with Freddie's vocals so you'll probably finish the song gasping for air!)
Innuendo (Queen's last single before Freddie died - it's got some really powerful vocals and a cool Spanish guitar solo in the middle. The song switches styles a few times making it difficult to keep up with if you don't know it really well.)
Save Me (I love this song, but I love the live version better.  It showcases Freddie's powerful voice (this song is not included in the U.K. version, but rather Bicycle Race is - I think we lucked out, U.S.))
Radio Ga Ga (I love the video. I love the song. I love the story behind the song (see here). I sing this song, I imagine I'm really on stage with Queen and inevitably I have a blast! Now that I think about it, this one might be a Play Alone too!)

So that's 24 out of the 25 Queen: SingStar songs. The 25th song is my absolute favorite song in the game and this week's Queen Song of the Week: The Show Must Go On.

The Show Must Go On appeared on Queen's 1991 album Innuendo. It is credited to the entire band, but Dr. May is believed to have written the majority of the song. The Show Must Go On was released as a single in the U.K. in 1991 and peaked at #16 spending 10 weeks on the chart.

This is one of the last songs Freddie recorded before he died. It took playing this game for me to realize how awesome it is. Now it's one of my favorite songs (not just Queen songs) ever. The vocals are strong and powerful and the song is amazing! Many fans feel that the Innuendo album was closer in feel to the band’s music from the 1970s which is considered a really good thing.

The Show Must Go On is definitely a Play Alone song for me. I get really into it and enjoy trying to emulate Freddie's freestyle vocals, particularly at the end of the song. The music video is also really interesting to watch - it's a compilation of many of the band's past music videos (including I Want to Break Free, Princes of the Universe, and A Kind of Magic).

So even if you don't want to invest in SingStar: Queen, take a listen to The Show Must Go On and you won't be disappointed!

Happy Listening!

1 comment:

  1. I am late with this post, but this review is "spot-on." SingStar Queen is guaranteed fun for ages 26-78!