Queen- 'You gotta accentuate the positive...'



Bloody hell... here is a selection of emails we got over putting an article on bloody Queen in the mag. And you think people in the western world should have more responsibility....Read them from last to first for it all to make some kinda sense...


From: JW

To: Richard Foster

Subject: Re: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive,eliminate the negativeDate: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 13:44:18 +0100 (CET)Listen ere are you going to feature my Queen piece or not, sonny jim?or do I have to nail it to your door ?or send the boys round in their leather gear, capes and chest wigs ?Message date : Mar 15 2005, 06:24 PMFrom : Richard Foster

To : TMCopy to H, Mr JW, DL, WSSubject : Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive,eliminate the negative

Lost me here. Presumably you're trying to tell me that Queens humour isapplicable or comparable to the wistful GBV song (watch the video, its not a jokey song) and the hilarious ramblings of a madman. Naah, Flash, closer to Richard Branson or Tony Blair in spirit if you ask me....

From: TM

To: : Richard Foster

CC: H, Mr JW, DL, WSSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive,eliminate the negativeDate: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 21:11:59 -0000my valuable hunting knife?rock and roll macdonalds?flash, saviour of the universe?


From: Richard Foster

To: TMCc: H, Mr JW, DL, WS

Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 8:41 PMSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive,eliminate the negativeQueen? Fun? When?As funny as a vicar joining in table tennis games at the factoryyouthclub... hearty, sleeves rolled up tosh (sorry Jon)Incidentally this weeks Torygraph sees Paul Morley RUBBISHING Queen.I'llquote some ....if you all want. HaHa Andrew O Hagan AND Paul Morleynestling safely in the bossom of Britains biggest selling qualitydaily.......................................Neu! 75 is the work of true artists. No argument.Come on, everyone less revelations more bile or Im booking Ricky Lake, AND this is all going in Incendiary whether you like it or notRJF


From: TMReply-To: Richard Foster


Subject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeDate: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 19:43:24 -0000

i was savaging queen and the causes of queen...[not really they arenot worth it - they were just FUN]lexicon of love is brilliant - was then, is now...maybe even better than neu75? richard s - which do you hate more now, ABC or Neu? :-)on the cynicism point, working at the guardian made me passionatelyanti-bourgeois cynicism [endless tedious debates with self hatingguardianistas agonising on lack of racial minorites in harry potteretc causing me to take the "i love it! it's the lord of the rings/whitegoddess-lite" angle...]i like the flaming lips type outlook - wide eyed wonder marshalledbut not strait jacketed by the guides of experience...to stop naivety gettingyou shafted




From: "richard foster"To: ; DLCc: ; JW, WS, TM, HSent: Monday, March 14, 2005 7:11 PMSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

Thought we were supposed to be savaging Queen, not admitting,Salem style, to our sins before the Patriarch...BUT I bought Flaunt The Imperfection by China Crisis (apt name for a pile of kack, really) on the strength of Black Man Ray, which, with allthe seriousness only a fifteen year old can muster, I thought was astrong slice of social commentary..I see nothing wrong with the Lexicon of Love; brill lp...(inretrospect of course) Now, silence; can we get back to laughing at Brian May (whichincidentally calls forth another anecdote, somehow related, about David Gower), or if you prefer to go mooching on about lost skeletons, I'll book us all on Ricky Lake.RJF


 From: DLTo: TMCC: JW, H WS, Richard FosterSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate thepositive, eliminate the negativeDate: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 15:29:28 +0100So we get to close to the bottom of the line:"Beau, beau et con la fois"Without wanting to oversimplify Brel: With age comes experience,with experience comes cynicism, and with cynicism comes the longing to live again the immediacy of ignorance. Cynicism is not really theright term, but you get the idea - that's what I meant by needing to be 30 to "get" the chorus.The two consequences of this hypothesis are: - that God in his omniscience feels the pang the hardest - that we all have our skeletons of which we're embarassed andproud. Maybe it's part of the magic of music that it can bridge that gap, that theskeletons still evoke what they did back then, even though in our wisdom we know they shouldn't. And if it's time for a confessional, then my own skeleton is ABC's "Lexicon of Love" which, within the twisted perspective of my nostalgia, is theChateauneuf-du-Pape of Pop (the older it gets/the longer you lay it down, the better it tastes). But, as I can almost see my brother rolling his eyes, I'll spare you all any further exploration of that one.DL



From: TMReply-To: Mr JW

CC H, DL, WS, Richard FosterSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeOn 13.03.2005, at 12:40, wrote:

did anyone see stuart maconie doc attempting to rehabilitate his secret childhood favorites yes? sara and i will watch almost anything music wise but had to turn that off....incidentally my childhood skeleton in closet - was MARILLION in fish-era...i went to see them at the city hall in newcastle with school friends when I was about 14 - they lived happily alondside the bunnymen/teardrops/the fall/u2/felt/siouxsie and the banshees/human league/whoever in my pre-pubescent would of music i loved all that ornate lyrical bollox, as you can imagine – I knew everyone thought it was a rip off of genesis at the time but i liked it...and no i'm not doing a script for a jester's tear re-appraisal for incendiary ;-) or defending why i read enid blyton as a kid or whatever king crimson: when i was working as a music biz lawyer, my boss tony was good mates with "bob" fripp - tony's son benjy who was about 17 at the time was an  amazing guitarist in a bernard butler meets metallica kind of way...he ghosted through a proto-polaroids before subsequently having a breakdown and riding a motorbike through a restaurant window in greece anyway benjy was fascinated by king crimson's technically complex dry wank so robert fripp kindly lent him his own folder of all the orginal handwritten king crimson music...which i thought was startlingly generous I remember arguing with benjy and tony about pulp - they were saying the bassline of "babies" was laughably simple - i said "who cares?it sounds great!"had some fun nights in ronnie scotts watching joe zawinul etc with  them [he was actually really good!]in a professional sense i fundamentally do not buy this technical argument i think technical skills should be invisible to the end user of whatever the product is...if you see a swan, it doesn't matter whether his legs are doing a simple to and fro motion or a complex back flipping double salco...it's the swan that counts!!



Original Message From: "richard foster"To: DL,Cc: ; MrJW;H; DL, WS,TMSent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 9:36 AMSubject: RE: Fw: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeFinal note on the Queen debacle/debate.In the course of reviewing Neu!/Harmonia for the mag, I have, not twenty minutes ago, burst into a flood of tears whilst listening to (and trying to  describe my feelings for) Neu! 75.Im sorry but Queen will never do that. To anyone, anywhere. All reappraisals of Queen are just that. Reappraisals with affection, but not awe.Queen could NEVER make a record that could stand out of time like Neu! 75,for all their artifice, because they were very creative entertainers, not artists. Queen were Gerwhin, Neu! were Prokofiev, or Beethoven. Nuff said

From: TMReply-To:"richard foster"Subject: Fw: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:04:43 -0000bloody hell...! Original Message From: "Mr JW"To ; "DL"Cc: "WS" TMSent: Friday, March 11, 2005 1:36 PMSubject: RE: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeThanks for the momus insight.But I'm a bit busy writing my King Crimson Retrospective !DL - surely you must have a soft spot for Mr Fripp and co?Red, Beat, Discipline etc.Have you heard "cage" by the later Adrian Belew fronted Crimson?

Original Message

From: TM

Sent: 10 March 2005 14:08To: DL, JW,WS,H,Subject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativehave dug out my ancient 12 inch [valued somwhat optimistically on momus' own site at 50!!]jacky ("nicky")ne me quitte pas (don't leave)voir un ami pleurer (see a friend in tears)couldn't find the other translations on momus site...as a kid I remembercarefully transcribing them in fountain pen as "sources"! don't leave is probably the pick of the three for me – dark ballad illuminated by some passionate uplifting stretches...beams of sunlight in a rainy parisian street the world was thankfully saved from my teenage ponderings on jacky/nicky itself - i managed to shoehorn the brel stuff into some essay on political poetry versus political songs on the back of a reference to ireland in "see a friend in tears"...other songs i remember chucking in were "english scheme" by the fall (of course!) and "if things were perfect" by james (for some reason) it must be really strange for teachers reading adolescent musings on literature - i think as a kid you can sometimes intellectually grasp things but you don't really understand the emotional dynamics until having had a lot more life experience...nicky still sounds great - amazingly joyful and skilful use of language...poetic clarity looks as though it runs in the family = he's from bardic stock by the looks of it :-)http://www.imomus.com/thought070399.html




Original Message

From: "DL"To: TM Cc: "JW" ; "WS"Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 10:12 AMSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeWhat other Brel songs did he cover / translate?Be interested to know what you thought of "Chanson de Jacky" when you were 17 - I can't imagine how it's possible to understand what the chorus is about until you're at least 30! It's about the only song I know which manages to be so cynical and witty while at the same time remain that heart-wrenching and somehow genuine. I don't know how he managed - maybe it's the subject matter. That is the challenge of the translation - I think neither of the two translations really get there, but Scott's is closer to holding the emotional in the chorus, but, particularly in the first and last verses, Momus is sharper in his references (I just love the line about "prancing andCliff-Richarding" rhymed with "....it won't be too long before I hear the Shadowswhispering"). Neither manage to keep it as dark and nihilistic as the Brel original.DL

Original Message

From: TM

To: DL

Cc: WS JWOn 06.03.2005, at 23:20, wrote: love those momus re-interpretations of breli actually did an essay at school in english lit on them, pretentiously enough :-)i'm not continuing on the queen "debate", no matter how provoked life's too short!next month: why wham! were actually better than the beatles and no one spotted it...tm


Original Message From: "Mr JW"To: ; "DL"Cc: "WS" Richard FosterSent: Sunday, March 06, 2005 9:26 PMSubject: RE: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeHurrah. All I'm saying is listen to the (pre-1984, granted, with the exception of Innuendo) albums and see some real craftmanship. John Deacon built bloody amplifiers for Brian, that's one of many reasons why they sounded different.People disregard this band because they're not "Can" or Kraftwerk" and theyan Fsus4 off.Chuck Berry invented rock n roll doggerel and that's all it'll be remembered or enjoyed for in my book. My children like Razorlight and they hate Franz Ferdinand, and both bands can barely play their instruments so who cares.I want to be moved AND impressed.Craftmanship in music IS important. You've got to know WHEN to play thatF#sus4 !BTW I like the bit about homo-eroticsim. All those good looking boys sincethe Beatles and the Stones and Bowie and Morrissey and Brett Anderson....FFfit the bill perfectly.....As Freddie said:I'll do this as long as people buy my records And then I'll become a strip artist or something I'm glad I've provoked such a debate. I just love the CDs!!Mind you the DVDs are good as well. And we've been on a bigfamily outing to see We Will Rock You at the Dominion theatre. It's only been running for three years so I guess it's just a novelty act. And the critics hated it, what a surprise!!! And don't ever mention Rachael scantily clad Stevens in the same breath!!!!!


Original MessageFrom: TMSent: 06 March 2005 10:00: Mr JW; DLCc: WSSubject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

bloody hell i've tried to keep out of this one but now I am being directly dragged in...! :-) i totally disagree with that comment about doggerel being the lyrical content of all great music - depends on what you define as great music I guess it isn't necessary or good lyrics to be obscure verbose intellectually demanding dylan-esque pieces to be great [though dylan was great!] simplicity can of course work equally as well...i thinkwichita lineman" for example is fantastically evocative on very few words listening lotto "dusty in memphis" at the moment which also springs to mind as having strong, simple, exciting emotionally literate words – love damo suzuki as a lyricst (egoless, weightless, feminine) - for me, the thing that is most important is that the overall song connects with people (probably triggering their imagination as well as emotions)having said that, there is a big qualitative difference between the words of the libertines and patti smith, or razorlight and REM – I hate artless doggerel as much in songs as in poetry...what's the point in arguing favour of moronic lyrics?even in pure commercial pop there are good lyrics and bad lyrics (toxic/freak like me/sweet dreams my LA ex/hit me baby one more time etc are interesting in their own contexts - "hey baby" by dj otzi isn't) on the music front, i think the same thing - it can be technically complex, technically simple, educatedly primitive or whatever – a Fsus4 doesn't make it a better (or worse) song...it's a means to an end - what does it evoke in a listener?my personal feeling on queen is that some of the singles are fantastic, even with silly lyrics - don't stop me know is fun/adrenalin inducing - you'd have to be pretty hard hearted not to be able to enjoy the masterpieces of bullshit that are bohemian  rhapsody/killer queen et al...i find things like fat bottomed girls" and "i want to break free" just embarrassing did as a kid!) doubt i could make it through a whole album and  certainly don't like anything at all post 1984... i think queen's major importance was probably allowing vast numbers of avowedly heterosexual blokes to release their homo-erotic urges in a safe forum, while pretending they were listening to "heavy" music


----- Original Message ----- From: "Mr JW"To: "DL"Cc: "WS" TM "Sent: Sunday, March 06, 2005 8:38 AM Subject: RE: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negativeHail, lord of bikes and arses.Point taken that some/most of the words are rock n rolldoggerel, but that's probably the inner truth of all great pop/rock music!headley take note!).I love to READ anything good from roger mcgough to roald dahl.but I wouldn't want to HEAR it with a backbeat.Glad it provoked you into a response !J

Original Message

From: DL

Sent: 05 March 2005 19:22To: JW: WS; TM Subject: Re: Queen Retrospective - You gotta accentuate the positive,eliminate the negativeJW,"occasionally complex" is a wise choice of words, as italso encompasses "frequently moronic". Startling by itsabsence in your "review" is any mention the greatest achievement of theband in question - that they managed to get records pressed with the most atrocious lyrical drivel the decade ever saw. As you gothrough the track listing of "Jazz", it all reaches a painful,embarrassing crescendo - memories of Freddy singing about bikes andarses on TOTP, with nothing to say about either, and just thinking"somebody please stop this guy". With lyrics like this, who needs F#sus4.Do I just listen to too much Jacques Brel and Scott Walker (both of whom really knew how to write about arses (can provide quotes ifrequired)!)?DL

On 03.03.2005,

 at 02:16, JW wrote:Folks, some of you might find my contribution to MrFoster's splendid review archive interesting. Or troubling. It's the first bit of music criticism I've been moved to write since I wasabout eighteen and a half, although then it would have been written in my head.I am also learning all John Deacon's bass lines, but not his hairdo,for the record.Bonsoir.JW




Original Message -----From: JW

To: inmusic123@yahoo.co.ukSent: Thursday, March 03, 2005 1:09 AMSubject: Queen RetrospectiveDear Incendiary Mag,Please see attached which I hope you will publish, if not I'll nailit to your door.JW