Monday, October 10, 2011

An Artist a Day: 5

Today's artist is another of my all-time favorite groups, Queen.  They may be silly (and down-right corny) at times, but they make up for it in great arrangements, serious rockers and some killer guitars by Brian May (as well as some of the greatest songs of all time).

I remember hearing some Queen songs when I was little in the late '70s and early '80s.  In fact, I remember the kid across the street, Harold, telling me that "We Will Rock You" was R-rated (which made it even more cool).  It isn't, of course, but to a 5-year old who was accustomed to listening more to his parents' Barry Manilow than any real rock, it may as well have been.

My resurgent interest in Queen came in my sophomore year of high school when a girl I dated briefly, Ann Modgling, expressed an interest in them.  A couple of weeks later, Ann was history, but my love of Queen's sound stuck around.

The Queen song "One Vision," which was featured in one of my favorite movies, Iron Eagle is a solid rocker that I kept in my tape player for most of my early driving career.  The hard-driving drums and fast beat were perfect for cranking up and tuning out the Houston traffic.

And then I heard "Killer Queen" and "I Can't Live with You" just as I was headed into the summer of 1991.  That summer brought a trip to church camp in Colorado, a job at Gap Kids in the Galleria and my first out-of-town driving experience to a Boy Scout camping trip in Galveston.  And Queen was a huge part of the sound track for all of those.

And then, for Christmas 1991 I got my first CD player and with it two Queen CDs: News of the World and A Night at the Opera.  I remember long nights sitting at my art table in my room working on one project or another to the slightly confusing sounds of the tongue-in-cheek Queen.  Part of their attraction for me was that I never could tell if they were serious or not.  And I guess that's what kept me hooked.

Playlist: 66 songs, 4.7 hours

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