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Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…
After yesterday’s lengthy P post, this one is going to be fairly short. Only three bands to talk about today:
Q is for Quarterflash – Quarterflash is an American rock group formed in 1980 in Portland, Oregon. Rindy Ross (lead vocals and saxophone) and her husband Marv Ross (guitars) are the current remaining members. What made Quarterflash notable was the fact that the lead singer also played saxophone. “In a 1982 interview, Rindy Ross said that she viewed the saxophone as an extension of her voice, enabling her to express things she could not express with her voice alone.” And express she does in their hit song Harden My Heart :
Harden My Heart was the band’s biggest single, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts. Their only other single to chart came off their second album, “Take Another Picture” and it managed to reach No. 14. The song was titled Take Me to Heart:
The group disbanded after being dropped from their label but in 1990 reunited and have since then released two albums, the most recent one being in 2013.
Q is for Quicksilver Messenger Service – Quicksilver Messenger Service (sometimes credited as simply Quicksilver) is an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco. They were most famous for their biggest hit, the single “Fresh Air” (from the album Just for Love), which reached #49 in 1970.
Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the San Francisco Bay Area and through their recordings with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe, and several of their albums ranked in the Top 30 of the Billboard Pop charts. Though not as commercially successful as contemporaries Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver was integral to the beginnings of their genre. With their jazz and classical influences and a strong folk background, the band attempted to create an individual, innovative sound. Member Dino Valenti drew heavily on musical influences he picked up during the folk revival of his formative musical years. The style he developed from these sources is evident in Quicksilver Messenger Service’s swung rhythms and twanging guitar sounds. (Source: Wikipedia)
Fresh Air – great video!
Q is for Queen
Queen – a British rock band formed in London in 1970, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen’s earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, incorporating further diverse styles into their music.
Queen enjoyed some success in the UK with the release of their first two albums in 1973 and 1974, but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 followed by A Night at the Opera in 1975 that garnered them international success. A Night at the Opera featured their hit song Bohemian Rhapsody, which sat at No. 1 in the UK charts for nine weeks and gave the band their first Top 10 hit in the U.S. Bohemian Rhapsody – the official music video:
In 1977, their News of the World album gave the world two of the most recognizable rock anthems: We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.
We Will Rock You – performed live at Wembley Stadium (not sure of the performance date but I’m pretty sure it’s 1986)
We Are the Champions – performing live at Wembley Stadium in 1986
“By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world, with “Another One Bites the Dust” their best selling single, and their performance at 1985’s Live Aid is regarded as one of the greatest in rock history. In 1991, Mercury died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS, and Deacon retired in 1997. Since then, May and Taylor have occasionally performed together, including a collaboration with Free and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers under the name Queen + Paul Rodgers which ended in May 2009. Since 2011, May and Taylor have collaborated with vocalist Adam Lambert under the name of Queen + Adam Lambert. In late 2014, Queen will release a new album, Queen Forever, featuring vocals from the late Freddie Mercury.
The band have released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs. Estimates of their record sales generally range from 150 million to 300 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They received the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1990, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Here are a few of my favorite Queen songs:
A great six-minute video on the making of You’re My Best Friend:
You’re My Best Friend – here’s a cute video with animal pairings, along with the song lyrics:
Another One Bites the Dust –
Fat Bottomed Girls – Live at England’s Milton Keynes Bowl, as part of the Hot Space Tour, June 1982
Killer Queen and I’m in Love with My Car – a 1981 performance in Montreal:
Crazy Little Thing Called Love –
I’ll interrupt this music block with a little bit of trivia regarding the Queen logo:
“Having attended art college, Mercury also designed Queen’s logo, called the Queen crest, shortly before the release of the band’s first album. The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leo (Deacon and Taylor), a crab for Cancer (May), and two fairies for Virgo (Mercury). The lions embrace a stylised letter Q, the crab rests atop the letter with flames rising directly above it, and the fairies are each sheltering below a lion. There is also a crown inside the Q and the whole logo is over-shadowed by an enormous phoenix.
The whole symbol bears a passing resemblance to the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, particularly with the lion supporters. The original logo, as found on the reverse-side of the first album cover, was a simple line drawing but more intricate colour versions were used on later sleeves.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, back to the music:
Somebody to Love – awesome harmonies in this song; I read that the song was written by Freddie and it was apparently his very favorite song, although he was reluctant to admit it.
Under Pressure – Live at Wembley in 1986; Freddie plays with the audience for a few minutes before going into the song:
I Want It All – Oh, how many times I’ve said that line!!! You??
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE Q BANDS? Please share in the comment section!