Thursday, January 26, 2012
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY - QUEEN: DAYS OF OUR LIVES (DVD)
All the highlights are here, from May leading us through a tour of his old school where the band was formed, through to studio sessions showing early hits such as Killer Queen being recorded, and then of course the big breakthrough, Bohemian Rhapsody. But given the landmark status of that tune, it seems to barely pause to remark on it. And such is the trouble with only two hours to spend on a long-lived band, you can't dwell, you have to race. When you have a story as colourful and controversial as Queen's, that's a lot to shoehorn in, and it never, ever lags.
You know where it is going after all the successes and bumps in the road, and that's to Freddie Mercury's last days, one of the first major stars to die of AIDS. It comes as a bit of a shock now that such was the early '90's climate, he felt he had to hide his illness, and indeed, word wasn't released until mere hours before his death. But after a band lifetime of being pilloried by the press, one quickly understands why he protected his privacy. The real insight is his friends talking about how he drove himself to record more and more, even while he was weak and failing, giving his band mates carte blanche to do whatever with his final vocals.
Now that time has past, the band and associates are willing to talk freely (mostly) about Mercury, and all their vices and moods. We're the winners for that. There's a lesson to the press and fans there. You don't have to pry and push and stalk. Treat people well and eventually they will open up. You just might have to wait awhile.