Is Queen (the band) well-liked in the UK?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Every month, the British hi-fi and home-theater magazine What Hi*Fi? has a section that highlights the music that was used to review equipment presented in that issue. For the September issue, the Queen A Night at the Opera DVD-Audio disc was among the discs used for equipment reviews. Here is what What Hi*Fi? said about Queen and this disc:
     
  2. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Wow nobody from the other side?
    While I don't live in England,I can't belive that most Britts would share that opinion of that mag's.
    On a contrary I've heard over a decade ago that the band actually didn't like the american audiences[live concert],because "they didn't quiet get" their music.
    Now, I've heard this from a friend, like I said a long time ago,refering to an interview or article,but I would take this with a grain of salt.
    And Yes I'm A fan!
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Especially considering that Mercury has what I would consider to be one of the greatest voices in Rock history. The band as whole has a rather unique and polished sound to it as well.

    I look forward to British commentary as well
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Anyone from the UK out there? Please share your thoughts!
     
  5. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    The Media (regardless of country) never took to Queen. Not when Freddie was alive and certainly not now. Critics savaged them their entire career.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Michael, interesting. While I am not trying to incite a riot by stereotyping, I always viewed Queen as quintessentially British. Not in terms of British rock bands like The Who, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, or other "British Invasion" groups, but in terms of British culture. I always thought that some of Queen's songs in some ways reflected traditional British culture. For that reason, I thought they would be more popular in their homeland.
     
  7. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Keith, Queen is certainly popular in England. Magazines are generally made up of snobby too-cool-for-the-room know-it-alls. They lean on terms like "pretentious" and "bombastic" when encountering any band that uses theatrics, displays virtuosity, or that they simply don't understand and refuse to try to understand.

    I certainly can't speak for England, but I have no reason to think that their "press" is any better than ours.
     
  8. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    Queen were certainly popular with the people of the UK, just not the critics (besides that, are critics really "people" anyway?)
    The band certainly sounded off against the press too, Brian May especially (his rants are some of the funniest and intelligent responses I've ever read) and let's not forget Roger Taylor's hilarious "letter" to Rolling Stone magazine that was written on an airplane's "sick bag". Read it here;
    http://www.queencollector.com/rolling.htm
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike Broadman,

    Maybe this is a matter of snobby reviewers just sounding off because they can. However, if that is the case and if Queen is largely popular in the UK, such statements in What Hi*Fi? look foolish.


    Michael Allred,

    I am not up on Queen history, but your comments about Brian May and especially Roger Taylor are rather amusing.
     
  10. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    Lets see Queen's greatest Hits Platimun collection is currently at around 10 or 8 on the UK charts and the Freddie Mercury Tribute DVD topped the UK music DVD charts recently so I would say they are pretty popular over there!
    Tim
     
  11. Jason Quillen

    Jason Quillen Supporting Actor

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    I was in London for the Queens Jubilee earlier this summer and I was at the concert when Queen played - I'd have to say based on the crowd I saw the Brits like the band. Everyone was singing along and having a good time. Maybe the guy that wrote the article has an issue with them...
    JQ
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Tim and Jason, thanks for the information. As I said in an earlier reply, whoever wrote the negative words about Queen in What Hi*Fi? may have simply been taking advantage of his or her position in the media. It is interesting that the statement about Queen in What Hi*Fi? reads "We loathe Queen", as if it were a collective opinion. It would be amazing if the entire reviewing staff of the magazine really loathed Queen to that degree.
     
  13. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lewis, sorry I wasn't more specific. People in the media have the unique opportunity to voice their opinion to the masses and to do so in nearly any way they see fit. I sometimes feel that members of the media take advantage of their position by publishing opinions that they know in advance are controversial. Sometimes members of the media just want to create a stir. Maybe the opinions they publish at times are not their true opinions. They may take poetic license every so often to get people talking. Just a thought.
     
  15. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    I see,and agree completely too.
     
  16. andrew markworthy

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    Queen have had a rollercoaster sort of popularity with the British rock press. They were incredibly popular with them until they hit the big time (in Europe at least) with Bohemian Rhapsody in the mid 70s. Then they became a target for sniping, which magnified with the arrival of punk. Brit critics detest anyone who becomes really popular (which is why dreary drones like Van Morrison are perennial favourites because nobody outside a tiny clique listens to them). Things got far worse after Queen played Sun City (in South Africa before the lifting of apartheid). They slightly recovered status after Live Aid, but really didn't come back into favour until FM died (the turnaround in opinion by some journalists was sickening). These days, they are liked by some journalists and detested by others in about equal measure.

    The opinion of the general public is a bit different. Queen have always been reasonably popular barring a slight dip in the late 70s/early 80s (paucity of by their standards good singles). Their return to favour was Live Aid. With few exceptions, for Brits the true highlight of that concert was the Queen set [the journalists all said it was U2, but the general public reaction was that they had been embarrassingly self-indulgent].

    My personal opinion is that in the main, there is good music and bad music and griping about something that is palpably good of its kind is being a miserable curmudgeon.

    Incidentally, Queen would not be considered quintissentially English by Brits. Aside from the fact that FM was Indian, all the band members (with the exception of FM) had degrees and were studying for doctorates before ditching academic life for rock music. A little bit too middle class to be totally taken to the hearts of Brit rock fans in the way of e.g. the Beatles, Stones, or the Kinks.
     
  17. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Queen are, and have been ever since FM died, phenomenally popular with the mainstream public. Most of the criticism, from both the press and people like myself who don't like the music stems from a hatred of that one particular track, however. Its not the fact that its bad, really, but the way that its hugely, in-your-face bad for such a long time, got played to pieces, and made people who initially just didn't like the track well and truly sick of it. Whats more, it rightly or wrongly takes all the concentrated flack of everyone who doesn't like overblown guitar rock generally, and multifaceted mock-opera epics in particular.

    So yes, while I probably wouldn't alienate my readers by saying so in a national magazine, I sympathise very much with where the guy is coming from.

    Also, while trying not to get too much into nasty waters, a particularly sickening aspect of certain people's liking of Queen was having that somehow "I like Queen" was being used around the same time as a way of saying "I'm not homophobic, honest" the way the phrase "some of my best friends are black" is still occasionally used in defence of blatant racism. But thats no-one here, and I fully confess that blaming their music for idiots like that is completely unfair.

    Finally, to return to the original point, its worth remembering that many (if not most) of the UK's major musical press figures were brought up on Punk, and Bohemian Rhapsody more than any track ever represents what they were reacting against.
     
  18. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The funny thing is, rock press and some hardcore "serious" rock fans look at Queen the wrong way, IMO. They're upset that it's bombastic, pompous, and overblown. Well... yes! That's the fun of it. It's very tongue-in-cheek; silly on purpose.
    What boggles my mind is that those who are into punk and simple rock and hate the "prog" or "arty" stuff claim it's because rock should be accessible and fun. Bands like Queen have fun in their own way... yet they're attacked for it. Blaming a band for being too "intellectual" or pretentious while over-analyzing the snot out of rock seems a bit hypocritical.
    See, this is why I stopped thinking of myself as a rock fan or expert. If I had to pick one style of music that I really get it would be jazz, because I simply cannot understand the mentality of rock fans. I'm not saying it's wrong, I just don't get it. I don't care about "indie" rock or the politics of purism or whatever... [​IMG]
    Give me a Keith Emerson keyboard solo or double concept album instead.
    Spin magazine hates me. [​IMG]
    NP: DJ Shadow, Endtroducing
     
  19. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    ah yes, where are all the (so called) great punk bands those UK critics grew up with? Seems to me that those very critics still have some growing up to do. Such blinding hatred towards Queen for no logical reason befuddles me.

    Queen, 4 extremely intelligent men who quite simply, just wanted to entertain you. Not sneer at you. Who wanted to rock you not mock you.

    Say what you will about "Bohemian Rhapsody" but to release that as a single took King Kong size balls.

    Perhaps if they looked boring (the Beatles), took themselves so seriously or just pretended to be discontent (ala the Sex pistols) the effete, intellectual snobs of the UK media would've liked them more.

    but as Freddie once said "Fuck the critics darling".......
     
  20. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Wow,Andrew
    I didn't know FM was an Indian,though I thought that he maybe a Gypsy,but never gave serious thought of that,but this new revelation for me settles it.
    However I thought they were going into the same university/college,and that's where they met and started to play togheter.Am I wrong?
     

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