Friday, January 7, 2011

Queen Songs of the Week: Love of My Life, Save Me, and Back Chat

So this week we're finishing up the first disc of the 1982 Milton Keynes concert released as Queen on Fire at the Bowl. I'm featuring three songs this week because I've already written about two of the songs and I like to have fresh material to write about.

Love of My Life is a fan favorite at concerts. Typically the fans sing along and Freddie Mercury would allow them to carry the melody without him. More recently, Dr. May has taken over vocals of this song as he continued to play it during their tours with Paul Rodgers in 2005 and 2008. Click here to hear that version (note the empty seat next to Dr. May where Freddie used to sit).

Save Me is one of several Queen songs that in my opinion sound better live. In fact, I never really cared for the song until I heard the band perform it at the Montreal 1981 show. Here's a link to the version from the Milton Keynes show.

Back Chat was written by John Deacon and appeared on the band's 1981 album Hot Space. It is viewed as a follow-up to Another One Bites the Dust in both style and formula. However, the song was nowhere near as successful as Another One Bites the Dust. Back Chat was released as a single in 1982 but peaked at #40 in the U.K. charts.

Video courtesy of Oberon1966.

According to Dr. May, "John, who wrote the song, has gone perhaps more violently black than the rest of us. We had lots of arguments about it, and what he was heading for in his tracks was a totally non-compromise situation, doing back stuff as R&B artists would do it with no concessions to our methods at all, and I was trying to edge him back toward the central path and get a bit of heaviness into it, and a bit of the anger of rock music. So one night I said I wanted to see what I could add to it – I felt that the song, as it stood, wasn't aggressive enough: it's [called] 'Back Chat', and it's supposed to be about people arguing and it should have some kind of guts to it. He agreed, and I went in and tried a few things." (Source: Queenpedia).

This song has never been one of my favorites which isn't surprising since I've never really been a John fan. In the early 1980s, he was very into R&B and funk to the point that he basically wanted to take all of the band's music in that direction. Luckily, the others (particularly Dr. May and RT) pushed back and were able to save some aspect of Queen's recognizable sound.

So that's it for the first half of Queen's 1982 Milton Keynes concert. We'll keep making our way through the second half every Friday morning!

Happy Listening!

1 comment:

  1. Don't think I've heard Back Chat before, and I agree it's not the best Queen song, but I really enjoyed that video. It's hard to watch Freddie Mercury on stage without smiling. And Love of My Life is one of my favorites. Thank you for a great post.