Friday, June 11, 2010

Queen Song of the Week: Ogre Battle

Last week I mentioned Queen's 1975 concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. Since we're into the real deep cuts of the band, it makes sense to just continue through the set list of that show. I've discussed a few songs played already (see Liar here, see Now I'm Here here, The March of the Black Queen here, Bohemian Rhapsody here, Seven Seas of Rhye here, and Keep Yourself Alive here) and one song on the set list is known and loved by non-Queen fans already (Killer Queen), but there are seven other songs which will carry this feature through most of the summer!

This week's Queen Song of the Week is Ogre Battle. This song was written by Freddie Mercury and appears on the band's 1974 album Queen II. One really interesting aspect of Queen II is the track listing: all of Dr. May's songs (and RT's one song) were on one side of the album dubbed "Side White" and all of Freddie's songs were on the other side of the album dubbed "Side Black".

All of the songs on Side White are rather introspective while the songs on Side Black emote a fantasy-type world. Freddie took this thematic approach to the album one step further and all his songs flow into each other. Ogre Battle is the first track on Side Black and is about, no surprise here, an ogre battle...

No, seriously, it's about an ogre battle.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think RT wrote the lyrics to this song seeing as how he's the king of straight up literal lyrics (see The Whisperers which was written about the book The Horse Whisperer and begins with the line, "Between men, between horses..." Oh RT, you lost me right there, dear.) Freddie wrote the song on acoustic guitar, which is hard to believe given the "heaviness" of the song. This song has some amazing vocal harmonies, including RT's falsetto screams during the interlude.

For a more detailed analysis of the song, check out Bechstein Debauchery here.

Happy Listening!

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