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I wanted to preface my review of the movie Bohemiah Rhapsody (which I posted yesterday) with some of the thoughts and interest I brought with me to the movie. But I soon saw that those would make much more sense in a separate post, and so I am including them here. I’ve begun working on a project about progressive rock and theology, and I was rather stunned when I read where Jerry Ewing, in his book Wonderous Stories “While no one would ever call Queen a prog band, early albums such as Queen (1973) and more specifically Queen II (1974) displayed a proggy art rock tendency…” (p.122). Unless one defines prog in specific narrow terms that beg the question, then the experimental character of Queen’s music is clear throughout their activity, and this comes through in the movie. We see them putting object on drums and in pianos, swinging speakers from a rope, as well as explicitly talking about being experimental and transgressing boundaries.
If it seems as though I am eager to include Queen in the book, I am. The album Made in Heaven (released after Freddie Mercury died) includes the songs with religious themes: Made in Heaven, My Life Has Been Saved, and Heaven for Everyone. And it seems to me that the long instrumental ending on A Beautiful Day (Reprise) makes Queen’s prog character, or at least influences and experimentation, clear, if eclectic drawing on opera and other genres, tempo changes, and use of recorded sounds do not do so. The album Innuendo similarly includes the songs...
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