Sunday, 12 June 2011

Seven Seas of Rhye

Wouldn't exactly call myself a Queen fan.

Commercially, they had some spectacular ups; some surprising, and some predictable, downs. Theatrically, they were always sans pareil. Lyrically of course, Freddie never stopped improving for all of his life. But musically speaking, seriously, I don't think they ever bettered this song. The rolling sixth beloved of all forms of popular music, and equally overused in them all, gets a twist in the opening piano arpeggio. Verse lengths are permuted by variations in the end pause (and one minor deviation). An excursion into the subdominant bridge resolves almost too smoothly into the tonic return. And the ingenious, percussive meter of the final verse alone is worth the ticket price.

Saw them play this in Glasgow in 1973, when they supported Mott The Hoople. They got encored - while Ian Hunter, exiting stage right, had to beg for theirs! That tour was the very first, the last, the only time Queen played support for anyone.

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