Friday, June 25, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited

We're still making our way through the set list of Queen's 1975 Christmas Eve show at the Hammersmith Odeon. In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited was written by Freddie Mercury and appeared on the band's 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack.

Readers, can I just ask that you bear with me regarding these videos as we explore these deeper cuts? Unfortunately, lesser known songs also mean less likely to get special video treatment. This video is nice, but it jumps around from era to era in a rather jarring way. The alternative was a black screen with the title of the song printed on it for 4 minutes so I went with this, but rest assured, I really am trying to find the best videos possible to introduce you to these songs!

Okay to the song...

In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited should not be confused with In the Lap of the Gods, which also appears on Sheer Heart Attack. The songs sound nothing alike - click here to listen to the latter which begins with RT hitting an absolutely insane falsetto note. Freddie wrote both songs and I have no idea why he thought it would be a good idea to give them near identical titles!

Every so often I'll listen to a Queen song, not think much of it, and then sometime later hear it again and be blown away. This is another song where this happened (others include '39, The March of the Black Queen, and Tenement Funster). Actually, it was a live version of the song, played at the band's 1986 Wembley concert (available here) that got me hooked. This song is repetitive - the main chorus is sung six times after two relatively short verses. The band really took everyone by surprise by playing this song at the Wembley show and it's one of the few non-single tracks from the 1970s that they chose to play.

For years, In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited was the final song of Queen's live set list. Later, Tie Your Mother Down replaced it as the set closer. The repetitive nature of the song really translates well to a live setting. I can only imagine how awesome it must have be to attend a Queen show in the mid-1970s and end the evening, singing this song with the band. Of course, Queen was known for many other audience participation experiences including Freddie's notorious call and response with the audience prior to singing Under Pressure (click here) and the infamous Radio Ga Ga double hand clap (click here).

This is another song written in 6/8 time (see here for a discussion of others) so I rather like listening to it during my easy runs. As I discussed in a prior post, Queen recorded many songs in 6/8 time which is terribly unusual for a rock band. This time standard showcased RT's drumming rather well and Taylor Hawkins (of the Foo Fighters) has specifically mentioned RT's drumming in this song as standout so be sure to listen for that!

Happy Listening!

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