Okay. Okay. I know it wasn’t long ago I was saying John wasn’t the boring one, and since then Brian has made me laugh and feel nostalgic, and Roger is about to blow the roof off (with two dreadful and brilliant songs).
And now John is giving us the theme music to an imagined 70s romantic soap opera.
Obviously I still love it.
It’s a song about going on a holiday. Falling in love. Then going home.
It’s kind of awful.
I have no justification here. Perhaps it’s just the contrast to the previous rockers. Perhaps it’s the weird guitar washes through the sort of solo and sort of finale.
Perhaps I just have terrible taste.
Weirdly, it actually reminds me of the (creepy) romantic bits from Bowie’s Labyrinth soundtrack. It’s got a bland ominousness to it. A synthetic tone to certain guitars that create a juxtaposition to the dominant romantic cliché of the main acoustic line.
But really, it’s just a throwaway thing. Unlike the romance that apparently haunts John.
I never thought that this could happen to me
In only seven days
It would take a hundred or more
For memories to fade
I mean, technically, in romantic terms, saying ‘I’ll probably forget you in about three months’ isn’t necessarily up there, but you know what he’s getting at.
Are there some weird shifts to minor keys? Does Freddie inject just a bit more melancholy than needed?
I don’t know. I can’t focus on it. The closer I look, the worse it looks. The more I listen, the more I enjoy it.
I may genuinely have a John problem. I’ve gone too subjective.
What do I do?
Have I rambled about the album cover yet? Phew!
Yeah. Jazz is gorgeous. I love the art deco circles on the front (and the inversion on the rear). And I love even more the enormous studio photo in the gatefold. I love how Brian desperately seeks your attention. Roger watches, impressed. Freddie is clearly not bothered. And John is trying so hard to look nonchalant with his enormous gong. Tells you a lot, right there.
I’m slightly less impressed by the naked cycle ladies poster on the lyric sheet (apparently two very slightly different versions of this poster exist). It’s a fine photo, and I do love me a good naked cycle ride, and there’s always something incredible about photos of naked people not giving a shit about the camera (the woman pulling a wonky face as she combs her hair is my favourite, maybe), and there’s something striking about the one person who does look directly at you. But it does reek a bit of cheap titillation, rather than the study I want it to be.
Having said that, if I’d had this record as a kid, it would doubtless have formed part of my sexual awakening, and I’d probably now have a fetish for white Halfords caps.
So it goes.
Realistically, in seven days, I’ll have forgotten about this song. Sorry John. You’re still mine, though.
I’m going back home on Sunday
Oh so sad
Queen: An Exploded Diagram is me having big and little thoughts about every Queen song in chronological order. If you want to support me, making it more financially viable and easier to explain to people at parties, please back my patreon.
Illustration by Emma.