I think Dead on time is one of the best songs on the Jazz album. It's a great guitar track, perhaps the most difficult drum track Roger ever drummed (on a album) and a great basstrack. And the vocals aren't easy either. It had all the good elements a rocksong has to have. In this case it's fast and there is a lot of tension in this song. I was wondering why queen never released this as a single. Even Brian said that he was surprised that some people of the record company prefered FBG in stead of Dead on time. I think Dead on time is better than FBG, although FBG is also great ! They also didn't play DOT live. Why ? It's a great live track.
Don't you agree that DOT had to be a single from the jazz album and that it could have been one of the most interesting live nummers of all time ?
It's a good song, and yeah much better than 'Fat Bottomed Girls', but I can understand why it wasn't performed live. It's a hard song to perform, and even Freddie starts to stumble over the words every now and then - imagine Roger trying to pull this one off? He had one high-energy, damn-near-impossible song to perform for five years: 'Sheer Heart Attack'. If he'd performed 'Dead On Time', he'd be just that.
The lyrics in DEAD ON TIME are much quicker than the fastest version of STONE COLD CRAZY. Listen to this number (SCC that is)- every verse is pretty easy- it goes fast, but it has breaks between the phrases- easy to catch a breath.
"...I was dreaming I was Al Capone" (pause)...
"...fish bone" (pause)
...carry me away once more" (pause) etc.
In DEAD ON TIME there are bits where you can't stop for a moment, extremely fast and... difficult. Also- there are some really high notes there- after singing it he would have lose a voice for days...
Joma wrote: They did perform Stone Cold Crazy very fast, that's faster than Dead On Time. The drumming is not that hard, Staying Power and Now I'm Here are more difficult. They just didn't do the track....
All Roger sings in 'Stone Cold Crazy' is 'Stone Cold Crazy'. That's not hard.
Yeah you are right. Staying power is difficult. It 's got a lot of different beats in a fast tempo. But I would not say Now I'm here is diffult. When Roger is doing that fills he is just playing certain figures all over the toms.
Yeah the hero is right. Although Roger is fantastic drummer he sometimes exaggerates some things. He is a bit lazy sometimes. Now I'm here should not be so diffult or hard too play for a drummer on that level. I also sometimes play it and I am a drummer for about six years so for Roger it ....
Dead On Time would have been great live...
but I agree that because they already had SHA as a fast paced rock song they chose to just do that one.
Procession intro in the dark, then straight into Dead On Time !!!!!!!!
That would have rocked!!!!!!!!! :P
It's not that hard to perform live, unless... you want it sung/played exactly like the record. As a singer, I've only recently come to the realisation that I shouldn't go for all the high notes 100% of the time. It's usually better to get something that works and not have a bum note that you know could've been avoided.
I'm sure Queen could've performed this track. Another reason for the perception that it could be hard to sing is because the lyrics are fast. Trust me when I say, as long as you know the words and where they come in, you'll be able to do it as fast as you want! Learning words at my youth theatre really showed me what can be done. Especially a couple of years back when I had to learn a list of items and have them flow in the right order and at a particular speed.
I think the most valid reason for it not being performed as mentioned in this thread is that it's a fair amount of work, i.e. not that easy! And that there were other songs they wanted in the set.
Dead On Time is an absolutely fantastic song, a masterpiece of guitar and songwriting....perhaps they didn't do it live because it would have taken alot to keep it tight....it has so much energy...if anything I'd scale back the chorus vocals a touch....I thought and was hoping for a Queen Rocks Volume 2 and thought that and White Man, and Modern Times would have been on it....I guess I can still hope