|I've been watching Magic years once again and John says something about how nice is that they all have hit singles in the band but looking at the charts what do we have? :
1974 - (2 UK) - Killer Queen (Freddie)
1975 - (1 UK) - Bohemian Rhapsody (Freddie)
1976 - (2 UK) - Somebody to love (Freddie)
1977 - (2 UK) - WATC / WWRY (Freddie / Brian)
1979 - (1 US / 2 UK) - Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Freddie)
1980 - (1 US) - Another One Bites the Dust (John)
1981 - (1 UK) - Under Pressure (Queen)
1984 - (2 UK) - Radio Gaga (Roger)
1984 - (3 UK) - I Want To break Free (John)
1986 - (3 UK) - A Kind of Magic (Roger)
So up to 1987, Brian's only hit was WWRY and maybe because it was right next to WATC ?
1989 - (3 UK) - I Want it All (Queen)
1991 - (1 UK) - Innuendo (Queen)
So if we measure a band by their hits, Queen is mostly Freddie, then John / Roger and at last Brian... (it gets closer if we understand I want it all, as mostly his composition).
Interesting because in terms of performance, Brian is always almost paired with Freddie.
|The best chart for a Brian song in UK, it's Flash, charts number 10, remember that in UK, WWRY was not released as a single, only WATC|
|And Queen have many top 20 hits, despite not top 10, some singles made good charts.|
|And that's the issue of measuring a band by hits. Also, a hit isn't just top 3.|
LucasDiego wrote: WWRY was not released as a single, only WATCWWRY & WATC was a double A-side single.
|KumoNin, not in UK, in this place was b side, in other places, like USA and Japan, was the AA side|
|Define hit? You are assuming anything that isnt a top 10 single isnt a hit.|
mooghead wrote: Define hit? You are assuming anything that isnt a top 10 single isnt a hit.Save Me was like... 11?
Well you get my point.
|Whilst the later credits all went to 'Queen' collectively, tracks such as I Want It All, The Show Must Go On, Scandal and a few more were all written by Brian, and a strong co-write on Too Much Live a Will Kill You. Don't forget Fat Bottomed Girls too|
The Invisible Man charts 12, despite this track was in GH2, is not a hot
The Show Must Go On charts 16, but it's a hit single
|master marathon runner
|Statistics are one thing, but in this case they don't really illustrate Brian's standing/overall contribution to Queen.|
|I think Brian liked the number 11 more than he likes badgers.|
|who cares, if Brian had not a hit in top 1,000,000. The sound of his guitar in live environment is pure genius. Each time I hear Brian play Battle Theme and Flash live it sends shivers down my spine.|
|Brian wrote The Prophet's Song, is enough for me.|
|Well this entire thread is based on the idea that chart success is the measure for the merit of songs. Of course Brian was more important than these figures make him seem.|
|I think his point was they have all had hit singles. Which they have.|
|did anything from.the cosmos rocks chart?.i liked it|
|C-lebrity charts 33 and say it's not true charts 90, both UK david!!|
|30 years ago the charts were very different to how they are now. The number one single wasn't all pervasive, it wasn't available at the touch of the button, to play on your computer or whichever handheld device you own. You had to hear it on the radio or go and buy it, or perhaps hear it on TV. Getting to number 10 in the charts was an even greater achievement than it is today (not that I've ever done it, or tried, btw, I'm not a failed rocker in disguise here!). The flip side (see what I did there....) is that because there were fewer songs, fewer artists, and recording was far more expensive than it is today, the songs in the top 20 would get more radio play, and so people would know most of the songs in the top 20 by osmosis. Now, I don't think we know much more than the top five, and very few singles hold the top slot for more than a week, and then they're out of the charts. It's much faster moving today than it was in 1980, and there are more acts trying to break through. It's not easy to remember how things actually were in the light of today's fast moving society. I can't even imagine a world without a mobile and a computer, and I'm already in my mid 30s so it's not as if I don't remember the world before.|
|Brian wrote Fat Bottomed Girls, Now I'm Here, Flash, Hammer To Fall All hit singles if not top 10 and well known songs to the general public, (especially FBG).
Tie Your Mother Down wasn't a big hit at the time but gets a lot of play on radio in north America and is probably better known than Now 'Im Here and Hammer.
Who Wants To Live Forever was a minor hit, yet somehow is known by everyone.
(And did he write The Show Must Go On?)
But regardless of the hit singles,
Brian wrote The Prophet Song, 39, White Queen, Keep Yourself Alive, Brighton Rock, Teo Torriate, It's Late and so many more
Great Songs that are really important in the Queen Canon.
I have issues when people define Queen by their singles, they are so much more than that.
|In fact the doc always said in interviews all the way through their career, 'don't rely on our singles to find out what we're about, buy the album'.
Didn't he also once say that he'd prefer people to buy Queen II than Greatest Hits II?
Queen were certainly an album type band at the start, and then happened to get in to writing pop nuggets later on, and even then, the album was more important than the singles from it. Although I don't believe them when they say none of their songs was specifically written to be a hit. I'm quite certain that they were aware of Killer Queen, We Will Rock You, Under Pressure, Radio Gaga, A Kind of Magic, I want it all, although I think they probably realised that Innuendo and Bohemian Rhapsody were taking commercial chances, even if they are artistic masterpieces.
|>I have issues when people define Queen by their singles, they are so much more than that.
We all know that.
>Great Songs that are really important in the Queen Canon
I personally like a lot most of Brian's songs. That's not the point here
>But regardless of the hit singles,
But, That's the point here. let's talk about their ability of succeed in the charts.
miraclesteinway wrote: Getting to number 10 in the charts was an even greater achievement than it is todayYep.
|The chart position of any singles doesn't reflect it's success only it's sales relative to other singles.
Any single released at the same time and, for example Band Aid or Candle in the Wind (after Diana) would do well to reach second place in the chart even with outstanding sales
The length of time on the chart, mean chart position and principally it's overall sales are a more accurate indicator of a song's success
|Brian was a great songwriter, especially in the 70's, but not necessarily a great hit-writer. It was only when he really simplified things that it became accessible for the general public, like with WWRY.|
|The King Of Rhye
|Didn't Freddie once say something like "Brian writes more songs, but I have more hits?" :D|
|Regarding Brian's singles, Tie Your Mother Down still amazes me chart-performance wise.
#31 in the UK and #49 in the US. That's it.
Just... wow. Such a goddamn fantastic song.
The King Of Rhye wrote: Didn't Freddie once say something like "Brian writes more songs, but I have more hits?" :DWell, that's what Peter said Freddie said... but it's mathematically inaccurate. Brian only wrote more songs than Fred on 'News of the World', and as many as Freddie on a few more, but on the first four albums plus 'Jazz', 'Hot Space', 'The Works', 'The Miracle', 'Innuendo' and 'Made in Heaven' (that's two thirds of their catalogue), Freddie was the dominant songwriter.
So Fred wrote more (released) songs, and also more hits.
|I suppose the counter argument of 'Freddie wrote more hits' is that that was only because more of his tracks were released as singles; if 'Long Away', 'Sail Away Sweet Sister', 'Tear It Up', 'Dancer'. 'It's Late' (outside US) etc etc had been released instead of some of Freddie's tracks and gone on to be 'hits', that would start to even things up against Freddie's tally.
However, the argument against my argument(!!) is that I assume Freddie's were released in a lot of cases because they were deemed to be accessible, or likely to have a bigger impact on the singles charts.. .and quite a few of Brian and Roger's best tracks didn't feature Freddie on lead vox, and so would almost instantly be discounted from their thoughts as a single.
|Do you really think Tear It Up and Dancer would have been hits? Or Sail Away Sweet Sister?|
|Let's see which Brian compositions in the 70's had Fred on lead vocals:
* Keep Yourself Alive: Single; flopped.
* Son and Daughter: B-side; not hit material at all.
* Night Comes Down: Not hit material.
* Doing All Right: Not hit material.
* Father to Son: Not hit material.
* White Queen: Not hit material.
* Dear Friends: Not hit material.
* Brighton Rock: Not hit material.
* Now I'm Here: Single, top 15, moderately successful for the time.
* Sweet Lady: Not hit material.
* Prophet's Song: Not hit material.
* White Man: Not hit material.
* Teo Torriatte: Single in Japan.
* Tie Your Mother Down: Single; flopped.
* It's Late: Elektra release; flopped.
* We Will Rock You: Double-A in some territories, huge hit.
* Dreamer's Ball: Not hit material.
* Fat Bottomed Girls: Double-A, medium-sized hit.
* Dead on Time: Not hit material.
So it's not like poor old Brian was shunned by his bandmates, it's that his songs, most of which were excellent, were not hit material at the time. Some of Freddie's gems were overlooked for singles as well (Millionaire Waltz, the first In the Lap of the Gods).
In the Baker/Stone era, there were 28 Brian compositions released as album tracks (I'm counting 'Doing All Right' as his even though it's only half his), out of which 1 was instrumental and 8 he sang himself. Out of the remaining 19, seven were A-sides somewhere. All in all, there were eight A-Sides which were written by Brian in the Baker/Stone era, out of 28 compositions: 28.57%
Regarding John, there were seven of his compositions released as album tracks in the Baker/Stone era, out of which two were also single A-Sides: 28.57%. Exactly the same ratio as Brian.
Now, Fred: 35 of his compositions were album tracks in the Baker/Stone era (considering 'Stone Cold Crazy' as his because he wrote the first version of it, and counting each 'Seven Seas of Rhye' separately), which spawned eleven A-Sides ('Flick of the Wrist' was part of a double-A, both 'Jealousy' and 'Mustapha' were singles somewhere). That's 31.43%, slightly more than Brian or John.
If we compare the ratio of Brian's tracks sung by Freddie which got overlooked for single A-sides in the Baker/Stone era (12 out of 19: 63.16%) against the ratio of Freddie's tracks sung by Freddie which got overlooked for single A-sides in the Baker/Stone era (24 out of 34: 70.59%) you can see that, if anything, John and Brian were given averagely *more* chances to score hits.
|The premise of this comparison is flawed. Brian tends to write rock songs, John wrote pop and funk, Freddie writes... well all sorts really. And Rogers earlier songs were definitely more rock rather than pop oriented.
Hit singles tend to be more pop oriented... pop does mean popular after all. Very few out and out rock songs get top 3, or at least used to when the charts actually mattered.
When Brian wrote The Prophet Song I'm pretty sure at no point did he think, ooh, I've not got a hit single here, I should give up, but I'm sure we're all glad he didn't give up and decided to finish it.
Down this path leads the logic that the writers of Britney Spears hits are more worthy than the writers of great rock songs. Which is just BS.
I think of Queen in the mould of The Who and Zeppelin, not Showaddywaddy and Suzi Quatro. (One for the kids there!)
The Who never had a number 1 single and only six top ten singles.. Their most famous song 'Wont get Fooled Again' barely made top 10.
Zeppelin never even released singles in the UK.
|For The Who, I meant six top 5 singles... Thanks Wikipedia.|
|>Brian tends to write rock songs, John wrote pop and funk, Freddie writes... well all sorts really. And Rogers earlier songs were definitely more rock rather than pop oriented.
That kind of labeling is flawed too. Brian is into heavy ballads too, Spread your wings is not that pop or funk.
>Down this path leads the logic that the writers of Britney Spears hits are more worthy than the writers of great rock songs. Which is just BS.
Worthy.... who is talking about worthy musicians or songs?
Queen can't be compared with The Who in this topic. Queen was clearly a band of hits. Queen has a wonderful catalogue of progressive music that's not radio friendly, but all that coexist with the pop oriented music of the 80's and the hits throught all his career.
So it is valid to view their career throught their hits and see the individual contributions to that area .
That's what John Deacon's quote was all about. "We all wrote hits". Did they?
|If a 'hit' is only considered making the top three, then an Elton John collection would only have seven tracks.....
As to sales and chart positions that seem surprisingly low, one must also consider when they were released. 'Somebody To Love' was my first 45 purchase (BoRhap was a gift). because I couldn't wait the two weeks for the album to find out what 'White Man' sounded like.
'Tie Your Mother Down' sales and chart position, given the strength of the track, were disappointing. Then again, how many albums were sold because of it? How many didn't buy the single because they already had the album? Trust me, it received tons of airplay on AOR stations before the 45 hit the stands.
'You're My Best Friend', 'The Show Must Go On' etc, all fall into that 'second (or later) single syndrome'. One can only guess what their sales might have been had they been released before their respective albums.
|Talk about a 'skewed hit list' !
You're not a a medical journalist by any chance?
|Anything that made the UK top 40 is a hit British single in my book.|