30 Day Song Challenge – Day 11

Posted: June 21, 2011 in Meme, Music, Personal

Day 11 – A Song From Your Favourite Band – Queen – Millionaire’s Waltz

I don’t officially have a favourite band, it is more like a ‘Top 100 list of Bands’, however for the sake of this question, I will choose Queen. Queen are indeed in my top 10, and probably even my top 5 bands of all time. Queen was originally made up of Freddie Mercury (aka Farrokh Bulsara) on Piano and Vocals, Brian May on Guitar, Vocals and occasionally Piano, John Deacon on Bass Guitar, and occasional piano and vocals, and Roger Taylor on Percussion and Vocals. They have three Greatest Hits albums, and could easily put out another three, as there are many undiscovered hits on their studio albums.

My song of choice from my band of choice is one of these undiscovered hits (undiscovered, in which it is on the second, and lesser known Greatest Hits album) is called ‘Millionaire’s Waltz. Originally appearing on “A Day At The Races in 1976, this song, for its time, was a risky one to release into the mainstream rock market, as it is in 3/4 (Waltz) time, is more of a classical-inspired piece (as were many of Freddie’s songs), lacks much of the more rock-n-roll beat on drums (in fact, the drums are barely in this track, only appearing in the final minute or so of the song).

Millionaire’s Waltz is one of my favourites, as I believe that in a single song, you should never have to conform to any rules of what can and cannot work in a song for a particular audience. Queen have broken many of these rules, introducing classical piano, operatic vocals and a 3/4 waltz count with modern rock instrumentation, mild distortion, electricity and breathed some life into it all, delivering it on a silver plate to their fans of 1976.

This song also shows the skill of John Deacon on bass, with his melodic, running bass lines, that, instead of simply keeping the rhythm in the back, do much of the melody work in the beginning of the track, duetting with Freddie’s piano work.

The second half of the song introduces Brian’s guitar work on his Red Special (all guitar sound, no pedals used!) in what is more of a rock ballad. the drums come in for a while, tying it all together in what can be described as an operatic rock ballad. The use of Queen’s signature 4×4 vocal overdubs, where each member records backing vocals four times, then all takes are included on the final, giving a 16 voice symphonic vocal track.

Freddie would usually record his vocals first, followed by his piano. His vocals would usually be recorded in a single take, with no click track (metronome via headphones) or any other guide. It was simply sang from his mind and heart. The piano was then added, followed by the bass, guitar and finally the drums and percussion, along with the multi-part vocals at various parts.

Queen – Millionaire’s Waltz (Album Version)

Queen – Millionaire’s Waltz (Live Version)

Queen – Millionaire’s Waltz (Bass Demo)

Queen – Millionaire’s Waltz

Bring out the charge of the love brigade

There is spring in the air once again

Drink to the sound of the song parade

There is music and love ev’rywhere

Give a little love to me

(I wanna) Take a lotta love from me

I want to share it with you

Feel like a millionaire

Once we were mad we were happy

We spent all our days holding hands together

Do you remember my love

How we danced and played?

In the rain we laid

We could stay there for ever and ever

Now I am sad you are so far away

I sit counting the hours day by day

Come back to me

How I long for your love

Come back to me

Be happy like we used to be

Come back come back to me

Come back come back to me

Oh come back to me oh my love

How I long for your love

Won’t you come back to me?

My fine friend

Take me with you and love me forever

My fine friend

Forever forever

Bring out the charge of the love brigade

There is spring in the air once again

Drink to the sound of the song parade

There is music and love ev’rywhere

Give a little love to me

(I wanna) Take a little love from me

I want to share it with you

Come back come back to me feel

Make me feel like a millionaire

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