Thursday, May 28, 2015

Following in the Footsteps: Queen

What's that? Another new article series? You betcha. "Following in the Footsteps" explores the songs of bands or artists who seem to be carrying the torch lit by a previous band or artist. It's yet another type of playlist featured on One-Mind Tracks (the radio show, not the article series), and you can catch this playlist tonight at 7pm on 97.5 WDIF or streaming online. If you're outside of the timeframe though, let me tell you what you missed.

"Grace Kelly" by Mika
Early on in his career, Mika's voice was often compared to Freddie Mercury, to the point that he ended up referencing the comparison in "Grace Kelly," which definitely has some Queen aires. He wrote this piece about his annoyance with the music industry and their insistence that he change to sell records better, but he also wrote a track about his love of larger ladies entitled "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)." Does that sound like a familiar concept maybe?

"Old Bike" by Rob Cantor
Not that we're just talking about people whose songs deal with similar ideas to those found in Queen songs (although I did toss that idea around for a bit). Rob Cantor's alma mater band Tally Hall often saw comparisons to Queen as well, but you can't deny the similarities in this glammy track with vocal harmonies in just the right places. If you're doubting the comparison, just hold out for the bridge.

"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness
How about a band that wants to be Queen so bad that they hired Rufus Taylor, the son of Queen's drummer Roger Taylor as their new drummer? Kind of like the way The Who wanted to be The Beatles and so they got Zak Starkey for the touring band (I'm joking of course). But seriously, The Darkness has frequently been compared to Queen, and it's not hard to see why. Or...hear why. Either really.

"Welcome to the Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance
Yeah, I know, it's not 2006 anymore. And I'm sure most people got burnt out on this song so much that they don't want to hear it or think of it as music anymore, and the other half of people are being reminded of the embarrassing era in which they shopped exclusively at Hot Topic and dyed their hair black, but this song is still pretty solid. And it's definitely got some Queen vibes going on, so just deal with it.

"At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)" by fun.

One thing to remember about Queen is that they weren't all arena sound. fun. totally could be, but they also have that other quality that made Queen rad; namely "fun" (even when they're a little melancholic). See also: the acapella intro and vocal harmonies in "Some Nights."

"Starlight" by Muse
I know Muse kind of shot themselves in the foot when they got attached to the Twilight series, but they still have a certain polished glam rock feeling to them. It's like a glam-rocker that wears a button-up coat with a scarf covering any troublesome neck that might otherwise show. You can hear a little heterosexual Freddie in there for sure.

"Brighter Day" by Jellyfish
Jellyfish have a wide range of influences from all over the musical map, and they blend it all up into their own thing. "Brighter Day" is definitely their most Queen-esque track. Although if you're looking to find the lovechild of Queen and The Beach Boys, look no further than "Sebrina, Paste, and Plato."

"Stuck on the Girl" by Young Beautiful In a Hurry
Young Beautiful in a Hurry is a band completely unashamed of the influence Queen has had on them. Lead singer Brendan McCreary has even performed as Freddie Mercury in a Queen tribute show (The Show Must Go On). To find out more, check out the interview I did with him here.

"Unstoppable" by Foxy Shazam

Foxy Shazam are honestly probably the closest match on this list. Upbeat lyrics with an arena sound? Check. Lead singer unafraid of running around in tight pants? Also check.

These tracks can all be found below:

Know some more Queen-esque tracks? Leave a comment!

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