|The topic about Queen songs on the radio got me thinking about this.
It's well-known that Hot Space pretty much ended Queen's career as the US was concerned. The Game had been a huge success in America, and then Hot Space hurt them so much here that they never toured in the US again. While the rest of the world forgave them for Hot Space, they never had a major commercial success in the US again...in fact Radio Ga Ga was the only post-Hot Space song that could even be considered a minor success in the US.
In the US, at least from my experience, almost everyone likes Queen at
least somewhat but most people only know their biggest 70s/early 80s hits.
I Want it All is a half-exception, but only because of some use in
commercials; a lot of people don't even know it's a Queen song. More importantly, only a small minority of people know any of their album tracks at all.
So while Queen is respected in the US now after being viewed as something of a joke in America for a long time (as I understand it, I'm only 22), I feel like they still haven't quite recovered from their fall from grace then. Sure they're considered a classic band here now - but compared to other classic bands like The Beatles or Pink Floyd, a lot less people have listened to even a single one of their albums. Or even heard of any of them.
Let's not turn this into a debate about the quality of 80s Queen please, that's not really the point here (and it's not like Innuendo or its singles did that well either).
|Oops, this was supposed to go in Serious Discussion...can someone move it?|
|err.................. crap discussion not worth commenting|
|No, I don't think Queen ever fully recovered from Hot Space. This is in part due to the fact that Queen pretty much gave up on the United States. Obviously, we know that they stopped touring here, but we also know (to my understanding anyway) that promotion was never quite the same again. So, Hot Space didn't have to be the end of Queen in the US. In my opinion, Queen gave up way too easily.|
|Only after Freddie died and Wayne's World re-introduced Bo-Rap did Queen recover in the US.|
Rubbersuit wrote: Only after Freddie died and Wayne's World re-introduced Bo-Rap did Queen recover in the US.
Queen were never that popular here to begin with, even with the first release of BoRhap, or WWRY/WATC playing at sporting events. When BoRhap was re-released in 1992, it was big, but I wouldn't say that it was a full recovery in popularity (although, considering it was never huge in the first place... maybe briefly?). What ultimately sealed Queen's fate with the US was the I Want To Break Free video. Fortunately, though, there are a number of us in the States that love Queen dearly.
|The Game was a massive success stateside,and since they wanted to try new ideas with their music,Hot Space alienated quite a few new found fans. The Works started well,and still sold well over 500,000 copies in a couple of months.Then the Gay rumours did not sit well with a ' Rock Band' image (press reports etc...) and the Break Free video really did cause a massive backlash.The Magic/ Works tours never came to America ,and at the time they were huge everywhere else in the World,and you Americans had your beloved Kiss shows to flock to...Anyway,The Miracle sales actually went beyond expectations,and Innuendo went Gold,not bad considering they had virtually vanished from the airwaves at the time.Now get ready for ANOTHER Greatest Hits reissue,it should do fine.I am going for the Alternative Absolute Greatest... best songs,not hits watch this Hot Space...........
|I don't think that Hot Space is all bad there are some great tracks "Put out the fire"-"Dancer"-"Calling all girls."Yeah it was a pretty drastic change of direction and it certainly was not ANATO or NOTW.I think Freds sexuality did more damage in the USA than Hot Space did.I think that the same thing happend to Judas Priest when their lead singer came out.What dark times they were and thankfully most people judge people on their music now and not their sexuality.|
|Am from th UK. Around '82, the band were really in the doldrums here - I do remember the flyers for the Hot Space tour featuring the artwork from GH V1.
Then came 'The Works' and BANG - back on top, the rest is history I suppose.
From this end, it would seem that the Break free video was too local - you really needed to know the soap Opera Coronation street (shown in UK) to get the humour - - BIG mistake, probably their biggest
It also seems that, from then on, Freddie didn't really take any of his work that seriously (changed later for obvious reasons) but there was a distinct lack of quality control in the '80s when tongues were frimly stuck in cheeks
Added to that, their pride prevented them from working at rebuilding the American sales - ignoring the states on touring schedules was prettu unforgibable; even a selected short tour might have repaired some of the damage
Sorry to prattle on, but another thought has occurred to me; if you follow Freddie's whereabouts from the late '70's you cant help but notice that he made his home where he was MOST successful: USA (around the GAme), off to Germany when USA lost, then back to UK when huge here - kinda truned his back on territories ...
|4 x Vision
if you follow Freddie's whereabouts from the late '70's you cant help but
notice that he made his home where he was MOST successful: USA (around
the GAme), off to Germany when USA lost, then back to UK when huge here
- kinda turned his back on territories ...
Was he meant to commute between continents on a daily basis???
BTW, I thought he returned to the UK for something else... didn't know it was because he was "huge here".
ANAGRAMER wrote: From this end, it would seem that the Break free video was too local - you really needed to know the soap Opera Coronation street (shown in UK) to get the humour -
Well, I've never seen one single episode of Coronation Street and I've always thought the video is hilarious. Moreover, how come the rest of the Europe got the humour. I don't think Coronation Street was aired in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, France or any European countries.
|The Real Wizard
|They had a steady climb in the US through the 70s, peaking in 1980 when The Game and two singles from it hit number one. But they had lost many of their fans from the past decade with radio-friendly hits that were so far removed from their earlier rock sound, so it was largely a different group of people who gave Queen this commercial success. Things declined quickly by the next record, because now both of those groups had eroded away greatly. It showed in the record sales and concert attendance. Many venues were sold out, but for the first time many were not.
Most artists who have success in the US only have it for a brief while, and Queen were no different. Very few artists are lucky enough to have long-lasting success there.
|Yeah Queen never made it as for instance U2 and a handful of other bands have in the states here (which pisses me off since we all know that Queen had more talent and overall were plain and simple BETTER) but also some of you are insinuating that Queen were never "big" if ever for very long. I would disagree mostly with that. Yeah, obviously 1980 was their peak but they are still in the top 50 all time in US record sales... not bad going against all time including singers with that one... plus really only making live appearances for less than a decade.
BTW, we have not seen the last of Queen in the states. I have a strong feeling that Queen will have an ultimate view as one of the greatest here in the states... if not already. I personally am starting to see more and more in the media and friends acknowledge them. And as technology grows, so will the timelessness and all of the classic songs that never made it big in the first place in the states that Queen produced. As long as there are Queen rock bands, movies with Queen songs, etc, etc, Queen's legacy will continue to grow in the states. Sooner or later, there will be a feature movie about Queen and Freddie Mercury... and if done right, it will win over new fans and appreciation all over this country.
I always wish too that the NFL would invite Queen to play in the Super Bowl. How huge would that be? The set can only be around 8 or so minutes... so a quick "Under Pressure" with some guest performances... and/or a nice medley and then a classic rendition of WATC and WWRY would be perfect.
|Did the recent American Idol appearances get people talking? I mean are they getting more air-play on tv and radio etc?|
|Hot Space didn't exactly help them, but it was the video for I Want To Break Free that really hurt them in America. They just didn't get the humor in the video.|
Did the recent American Idol appearances get people talking? I mean are they getting more air-play on tv and radio etc?
I think what brought a lot of attention to Queen in recent months is the appearance on AI as well as Brian's comments
on Adam Lambert's new song, "Time for Miracles". It's amazing how many times Brian's name was mentioned in forums related to the new song. And with the discussions, many Lambert fans became curious about Freddie. I've read where some Lambert fans became Queen fans because they became curious about the band and started listening to their music.
As far as what happened to them here in the US, most of the factors were already mentioned in this thread except the fact that SUN City played a part in there undoing. I supported them going to Sun City because I believe (just like the band did),
that Music and politics don't mix. Yeah, what was going on their was wrong, but why punish the fans?
One of the biggest things that I respected about Queen is the fact that they were leaders, not followers. They never let anything dictate the direction they were going. Hot Space may not have done so well, but what it did was gain a lot of respect towards the band from other artists who became big.
|Queen's Super Bowl halftime set would look like this, guaranteed:
Hammer to Fall (abbreviated fast version, like the TCR tour opener)
Tie Your Mother Down
As nice of a thought as it is, it won't happen. The only way Brian and Roger go to the Super Bowl is by buying tickets. Even when they had Paul, the best they could've dreamed of was getting a two-song slot during the pre-game parties outside the stadium (much like Journey did with their excellent performance of Don't Stop Believing...even if they were only invited to perform it as a thinly-veiled promo for that Glee show).
Hot Space wasn't the nail in the coffin for Queen over here. Lest we forget, Body Language actually did well enough as a single that the band encored with it during their '82 North American tour. The problem was that, in releasing (more or less) an entire album of disco-pop tracks, they alienated their original fans in North America (and elsewhere), and as disco was being slowly taken off of life support by 1982 in America, the new fans didn't stick around for long.
The nail in the coffin was the IWTBF video. Even then, I think a small-scale arena tour would have gone a long way--as long as Freddie didn't do the fake boob gag during the encore. Hell, just leave IWTBF in Europe and don't even play it over here. When Queen chose to largely ignore North America, they essentially gave up any chance of winning it back.
|That's like asking Brian May to play on top of The White House.|
|First off, 'Body Language' was not an encore track, but played after the 'GDML / BRock' instrumental. Check queenconcerts.com. In listening to some boots of that tour, it seems like the air gets sucked out of the concert halls. It was the only time I ever took a 'break' during one of their shows. Carry over from previous success aided in the sale of singles. It came out before the LP. A fan or nonfan familiar with 'The Game' and previous LPs buys 'BL' on the spot, with a certain expectation. Same goes with the LP. Expectations were higher than the quality of the product.
That being said, I don't think the general makeup of the song is 'that bad', but the first four songs on HS lack most of the Q trademarks and add those of the times. As many have mentioned, if given more of a pop like 'Staying Power' was given live, a piano and some guitar, and perhaps place it at the end of side two, after 'Las Pallabras', a change of order in side one, etc etc.
Hell, if it had been up to me, I'd have released 'Flash' as a 45 only (minus the annoying 'voices'), and included it on side one of HS, with the ending movie credits version of 'The Hero' ending the album. Having 'Let's Get Crazy' and 'Man Made Paradise' included certainly would not have hurt.
What always gets me is the 'it was ahead of its time' comment. Really? 'Disco Demolition' took place in Chicago three years earlier. I own some jazz/funk albums. I still listen to Stanley Clarke's 'School Days' a few times a year. If that is what HS tried to come close to, it missed by a mile.
"Under Pressure' was given a ton of airplay on MTV. So was 'Radio GaGa'. Another, so to speak, 'non' Queen trademark song, with a silly video. Same goes with IWTBF. 'Man On Fire' and 'It's An Illusion (with Freddie on LVs) replacing the weak links on 'The Works' ('Radio' and 'Machines') would have helped, along with including 'I Go Crazy'. I think it was more the music, some lack of effort, no Brian and Roger vocals to help change the tempo, and trying to fit in with the times. They weren't the only ones who made that mistake.
|The Real Wizard
*goodco* wrote: First off, 'Body Language' was not an encore track, but played after the 'GDML / BRock' instrumental. Check queenconcerts.com.
They did play it in the encore on the first two nights of the tour. Check queenconcerts.com or queenlive.ca :-)
Stanley Clarke's School Days... excellent stuff.
|damn, I stand corrected. Thanks, GH (holding head in shame;-))
Wise move, removing it as an encore, don't you think?
I'll add in another two cents worth.....the final three songs played from '78 through '82 remained the same......AOBTD was added in '80 at the beginning of the encore. By '82, the song was, well, 'dated'. Prefer it's position during the middle of the concert. Get it over with, and move on. And something other than SHA as an encore in '82 would have been nice.
That's another point for a later topic......the good ol' audience participation bit was gone by then. The new 'stuff' didn't lend itself to the 'feel' that the tours had for the previous 5 to 6 years.
|There are some good points here, but I think it was a chain of events instead of just one event.
What hasn't been mentioned here (unless i missed it) is the effect of Flash Gordon. Queen were coming off of a huge commercial success - there was not a band more prominent on USA radio in 1980 than Queen. Many fans and even casual listeners were anxious to see what they had to offer new. What they got was an unlistenable soundtrack with a cheezy single (although I love the Hero). This was a major misstep. I had a few friends that were fans and we all ran out to buy the "new Queen album" and we were all very dissapointend. The album was a commercial failure, and huge momentum was lost.
Greatest Hits was next - no harm done, but no ground gained. Under Pressure was not a huge hit here.
Hot Space needed to prove something, but I think all it proved is that four posh whitebread English blokes had as much business trying funk as the Meters would have trying prog rock. I know some of you love it, and that is cool. But the fan base that was established wasn't amused.
Next shot at recapturing their US dwindling rock base was two years later with Radio Gaga. Strike three (or five - I lost count). No tour, no press, no audience. And no effort to regain a US audience after that. The IWTBF video is given way too much credit in the US demise, IMHO. Their fans had moved on already - the video had little impact, although many (including Brian) use it as a convenient excuse to counter the reality of a string of bad musical decisions and no touring support.
Hardcores like me kept on seeking out the 80's output, but the damage had been done. It's a shame that an album like Innuendo was never heard by many US fans.
|The Real Wizard
*goodco* wrote: damn, I stand corrected. Thanks, GH (holding head in shame;-))Haha... no worries!
Wise move, removing it as an encore, don't you think?Definitely. It was the hit single, but they knew it wasn't working with the rock crowd.
And something other than SHA as the first encore in '82 would have been nice.
Like... anything from the first 5 albums. That's what plenty of people came to hear. They couldn't have gone wrong with Keep Yourself Alive or Liar. It's too bad they dropped the latter, as it sounded great in April '82 with Freddie's improv at its best.