When I came home from the gym today, I kind of collapsed onto the couch and just mindlessly watched television for a couple of hours. As I was channel surfing, I stopped on VH 1 Classics. There was a British produced series about the creative process behind huge albums. The two I saw were Queen’s Night at the Opera and U2’s Joshua Tree.
I love to watch shows like this, because I really love to see how talented people do what they do, especially if it involves music and/or dance. I’ve been this way since I was I child, so I guess there is no changing me. It is so neat to see the varied backgrounds and influences (especially in Queen’s case) of the musicians combined for such amazing displays of their talents. (Yes, I tear up at concerts. And yes, I teared up at the ballet.)
While watching the program on Queen, I was treated to first-hand accounts of how they tracked their vocals and how elements of music from Brian May’s childhood influences of Dixieland jazz and his dad’s banjo-ukulele contributed to what May brought to the band. And as always, I was simply amazed by Roger Taylor’s vocals. One of the things I liked most was to just sit and listen to them discuss the origins of the songs, and to also listen to how intelligent they are/were. (Reminded me of the intelligence behind Iron Maiden’s music.)
My favorite song of this program (and one of my most favorite Queen songs) is “You’re my best Friend” (Totally written by John Deacon, btw.)
The U2 program was interesting, too. They discussed the highly influential nature of their producers (creative guys). There was a discussion of the live element, the stories in the songs: political/human interest events, and what they brought to the making of Joshua Tree.
I’ve only heard the album once in its entirety. I was in Los Angeles at the time, and to me, it was the most fitting of environments to experience it. I was a passenger in a car, on my way to a party. It took us a good long time to get where we were going (work-related party) and I think we got lost a little, too. I was with complete strangers aside from one friend. It was slightly surreal. I was watching the buildings as we drove by them. Each song seemed to fit the skyline and the scenery, even the grittiness.
The one song that really takes me back to that day is “Bullet the Blue Sky.” I see that scenery again, and I think now, as I so vividly remember thinking then, “This song is perfect for L.A.” (I know it is about politics…whatever.)
(Opinionated Irishman alert. Heh.)
(If you want to see who won this week’s caption contest, CLICK HERE.)