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640764 Posts in 25595 Topics by 3639 Members - Latest Member: treblephone December 10, 2018, 09:31:38 AM
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Author Topic: Was Queen more influenced by the Beach Boys than we know?  (Read 1203 times)
stinkynimrod
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« on: November 15, 2018, 07:01:46 AM »

Hi all, first post. Yesterday my friend and I were discussing whether Queen was heavily influenced by the BB and we connected several points that are obvious but with more research found more potentially connecting dots. This is all conjecture, maybe coincidence, maybe nothing at all but it's at least been fun to dig through all this info. Highly encouraging anyone to add what they know to contribute

1. To possibly break this whole theory, Brian May and Roger Taylor have stated in interviews that the BB were not much of an influence so I'll point that out right off the bat.


2. May and Taylor's pre Queen band was called "Smile", formed in 1968. We all know Pet Sounds was a much bigger sensation in the UK and Europe, and that the BB retained a high degree of popularity well into the early 70s on that side of the pond. We also know that Smile was hyped up in the press and people were aware of its potential forthcoming existence in 1967. The Smile legend was cemented before it never even came out. So people in the UK would have known about it.

3. There are a few press photos of their band Smile that feature them holding cutout smiles over their mouths (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c3/Smile_band.jpg). Could they have possibly seen one of the known existing cover slicks for the unreleased duophonic/stereo copies of the Smile jacket? Highly doubt that BUT you never really know. The original cover slick features the store front with smiles for sale, the one behind the man on the left looks exactly like the ones in the band photos (https://recordmecca.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Screen-Shot-2015-03-23-at-5.14.46-PM.png).
More wild theory than real speculation. Still fun to think about!

4. We noted that "Funny How Love Is" from "Queen II" is noticeably reminiscent of "I Can Hear Music" or at least something the BB could have made around 1969. While Queen was recording their first album in 1973 at Trident Studios in London, a producer Robin Cable requested Mercury sing on a Phil Spector-production-experiment single he was planning to release. Mercury requested May and Taylor also play on the tracks. "I Can Hear Music"/"Goin' Back" was released a week before the first Queen album hit shelves under the pseudonym "Larry Lurex." It's really the first release that Queen puts out, albeit under a different name. The recording is strikingly close to the BB version of the song from "20/20." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzA4OyalTuI)

ANYWAY this is probably all bogus BUT it was fun to research all this stuff. Maybe Freddie was much more into the BB than May/Taylor/Deacon but nobody ever bothered asking him about it. If you've got anything to add or take away please feel free to share!
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Silken
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2018, 07:10:11 AM »


2. May and Taylor's pre Queen band was called "Smile", formed in 1968. We all know Pet Sounds was a much bigger sensation in the UK and Europe, and that the BB retained a high degree of popularity well into the early 70s on that side of the pond. We also know that Smile was hyped up in the press and people were aware of its potential forthcoming existence in 1967. The Smile legend was cemented before it never even came out. So people in the UK would have known about it.

3. There are a few press photos of their band Smile that feature them holding cutout smiles over their mouths (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c3/Smile_band.jpg). Could they have possibly seen one of the known existing cover slicks for the unreleased duophonic/stereo copies of the Smile jacket? Highly doubt that BUT you never really know. The original cover slick features the store front with smiles for sale, the one behind the man on the left looks exactly like the ones in the band photos (https://recordmecca.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Screen-Shot-2015-03-23-at-5.14.46-PM.png).
More wild theory than real speculation. Still fun to think about!


Tim Staffell, founding member of Smile, talked about this in his recent reddit Q&A:

Q: Hey Tim. You mentioned in another reply that Van Dyke Parks was an influence for you - did the unfinished Beach Boys album which he co-wrote have any part in the choosing of ‘Smile’ as a band name? [...]

A: Interesting Question, and thanks for the kind words... funnily enough the Smile name evolved independently of the Brian Wilson classic... My introduction to Van Dyke was his two superb albums 'Discover America' and 'Clang of the Yankee Reaper' and of course his production work... [...]
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Ram4
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2018, 01:34:10 PM »

I never really thought of a Beach Boys influence on Queen and I'm a huge Queen fan, but there was definitely one on Yes.  I always thought the organ break (and the band coming in as it modulates) on Little Girl I Once Knew sounded like early late-60's Yes.  In spite of Yes being mainly a prog rock band they were regularly a harmony singing band and once Steve Howe joined quite a few songs had three part harmonies.  When Trevor Rabin joined they added even more layers.  In the 80s the songs Leave It and the intro to Rhythm of Love were very Beach Boys-esqe.
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Emdeeh
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2018, 04:22:28 PM »

On the other hand, I've always felt that "Goin' On" showed some Queen influence in how the harmonies were structured.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 05:39:05 PM »

To answer question in the thread subject - no.
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 01:36:46 AM »

I think outside the aforementioned "Funny How Love Is" and Larry Lurex release, its more that they shared a lot of the same influences than a direct influence. But even then I'm not sure how much direct overlap there is there.

So maybe the answer is just no  LOL
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 01:38:17 AM by BeachBoysCovers » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 10:18:27 AM »

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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 01:21:26 PM »

I never really thought of a Beach Boys influence on Queen and I'm a huge Queen fan, but there was definitely one on Yes.  I always thought the organ break (and the band coming in as it modulates) on Little Girl I Once Knew sounded like early late-60's Yes.  In spite of Yes being mainly a prog rock band they were regularly a harmony singing band and once Steve Howe joined quite a few songs had three part harmonies.  When Trevor Rabin joined they added even more layers.  In the 80s the songs Leave It and the intro to Rhythm of Love were very Beach Boys-esqe.

Here's what Steve Howe had to say in "Under The Influence - This Week, Steve Howe of Yes"

Beach Boys: "Surf's Up".

I like this because after a lot of talk about pollution the Beach Boys actually got down to writing songs about it. They actually made an anti-pollution record. They really hit out at a few things on this album. I quite like their "Holland" album but I think we'll have to wait a while for another "Surf's Up." They're a beautiful group, somehow unaffected by the world and making great music.
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 03:44:30 PM »

I stumbled upon this today: http://www.queenarchives.com/index.php?title=Freddie_Mercury_-_03-17-1977_-_Circus_Magazine

Quote

Interviews > Freddie Mercury Interviews > 03-17-1977 - Circus Magazine

Part 2: The Queen Tapes
by Don Rush

Freddie Mercury Joins the Bigtime: What It's Like to Lead the British Touring Pack


Back in the old days, we were often compared to Led Zeppelin. If we did something with harmony, it was the Beach Boys. Something heavy was Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant was always my favourite singer-and he's said nice things about me, you know. He actually said he liked "Killer Queen". We were always a sitting target in the press because we became popular so quickly. But, you know, we spent two years putting our act together. It destroys the soul to hear that you're all hype, that you have no talent, and that your whole career has been contrived. I was never too keen on the British music press. They've called us a supermarket hype, and they used to suggest that we didn't write our own songs. When the whole point of Queen was to be original.

I'm the first to accept fair criticism. But the dishonest reviews-where people haven't done their homework-I just tear them up. I do get annoyed when up-and-coming journalists put themselves above the artist. I don't care what journalists say, we achieved our own identity after QUEEN II. As for the Beach Boys or Led Zeppelin comparisons: it's the combination of all those influences which means Queen. We were disliked by the press in the early days because they couldn't put their finger on us, and that was the case with Zeppelin as well.


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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2018, 08:00:26 PM »

I sure hope not. Never could stand Queen. Boisterious, obnoxious and far too loud in an disdainful way. I know they're revered by many but I never understood any trace of them being Beach Boys related. Click bait for me.


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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2018, 08:09:08 PM »

Question "was Queen *more* influenced" than we know. The obvious answer is no, since the highlighted bits in the interview isn't anything new. Queen's influenced by many bands, it's been covered before. It's usual practice with bands being influenced by other various bands, not just single.
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 08:56:40 AM »

Queen (particularly in the 70s) incorporated so many different genres of music into their songs that I'm sure they had many different influences. Just the difference between "Liar" and "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon"...or the shifts in "Millionaire's Waltz" or "Bohemian Rhapsody" tells you there were many colors on their palette.

I suppose when a band does a lot of complex, multi-layered harmonies, it's automatically thought that the Beach Boys were an influence, and they probably were, since the members of Queen were coming of age during the BBs' peak. You may think Queen was bombastic and overly commercial. I personally love their music. Their harmonies were gorgeous, their had serious chops on their instruments, they wrote some fantastic melodies, Freddie sang like no one else...and they had charisma and a sense of humor on top of it all. They took their music seriously (for the most part) but didn't take themselves seriously.

Where's the quote from Rock's Back Pages where Brian says he loves Bohemian Rhapsody? It was quoted on the board at one time.
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 01:11:36 PM »

Mother Brian May I
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