As Brian has repeatedly said, he strives to interpret the songs on this tour in a slighty different manner while simultanteously holding a candle to the originals. I think this is a rather perfect example of that. And I agree Fenderek--Paul's vocals in the second verse are such that they make 'rockiness' in the last half that much more visceral. Well done, I would say.
While we should never discount the original recordings, I feel it is appropriate to at least consider what is currently offered to us in the context of this new dynamic.
The version is great, but it was not an interpretation for this tour.
Brian has been doing it for years. In fact, on one of his tours, he slowed down the entire song.
He and Roger have performed the half-and-half version twice, at least, before this tour. In LA for the WoF gig and in Amsterdam on Queen's Day.
Maybe some of you know the answer to this, but I suspect Hammer to Fall is one of those songs which Brian originally intended to be a ballad, but Freddie, strongly disliking Brian's ballads, insisted on cranking up to heavy rock.
Initially I didn't care for the song, as I thought it too noisy and musically too elementary. But over time I really began to appreciate the lyrics. Then after seeing the Wembley '86 performance, I began to consider it one of my favorites.
I have an even greater appreciation for the song after seeing and hearing Brian and Paul sing the first half of it as a ballad, which somehow seems to expose the song's deeper meaning. Seeing the second half of the song performed as a rock song then enables the viewer/listener to take in the full scope of the song's potential, as well as Queen's talent.
I give the half and half version a strong thumbs up.
Yes, Brian performed this version first on his Another World tour in '98, so it's not that new. I like it just as much as the fast version. I'll always prefer the studio version though, IMHO it never sounded as tight live.
It's nice enough, but the original version is the best by MILES! And, if what rockyracoon says is true, then Freddie had better ideas for it than Brian, IMO. Surely, though, if this were true, it would be officially written by Brian & Freddie?
If this turns out to be true, the song already had been 'written' and then Brian changed something as Freddie 'forced' him to. Also, this would still mean, that Brian was the one who 'rewrote' it, even if it had been Freddie's idea.
another one diets the bust wrote: If this turns out to be true, the song already had been 'written' and then Brian changed something as Freddie 'forced' him to. Also, this would still mean, that Brian was the one who 'rewrote' it, even if it had been Freddie's idea.
But its not like Freddie couldn't have rewrote it....as the songs chords are elementary.
Hammer to fall has to be a 90% Brian song...its not in Freddie's writing style at all.
IMO the heavy old version is anyway Brian's idea...but people with time try to see things in a different way, and slowing down the song can of course be an idea Brian had through the passing of time. Since Queen used to indicate the owner of the song in their albums, i don't see how Freddie could have insisted too much in make it rocking when it was a ballad....
so...i like the two versions, and it's good to have a slow one sung well by Paul!
there's also an instrumentsl version made by Brian in 1998, some b-side of something i think...of the slow/fast Hammer to fall..someone will confirm that.
Brian also did this to Tie Your Mother Down and we know the story about that. Brian wrote it on an accoustic guitar and presented it to Freddie and he loved it - even the non-sensical makeshift chorus.
Plus, the fact that the H2F riff is present in a '79ish guitar solo convinces me that the song is almost all Brian. I'm sure other band members had various amounts of input, though.
As a sidenote, I have never heard anything about Freddie disliking Brian's ballads and wanting to change them, so, while it doesn't make any sense to me, it is not my place nor my intention to try and prove that story untrue.
This song was good on the works album. It filled out side 2 nicely. The solo is brillant! On the works tour he played it same as on the record w/ the hammer-ons. After that on the magic tour & his 93 BTTL tour he omitted the first half of the solo including the hammer-ons. I haven't listen to my 98 Hamburg show in a while so I can't rememebr if he played that part. But I did like the slow version much better. Now on this 05 tour he cuts out that part of the solo again & I can't understand why. That screaming guitar opening the solo & then the hammer-ons is the best part by far of that solo. I just don't understand why he doesn't play it. Without that part it just doesn't do it for me at all. It's almost like, "This is to hard. I won't play it!" I'd rather have a total slow version w/out that solo.