Headlong

headlong

I guess it was actually pretty tough for Brian.

Working on an upcoming solo album, and every now and then Freddie comes along and sings the vocal and he ends up having to give it to Queen because you would, wouldn’t you.

Headlong.

It’s basically a pretty solid rocker. In the surroundings of the Greatest Hits II collection, it sounds like a ripping yarn, oozing excitement out of simple but effective hard rock. Three tracks into this record, it sounds entirely out of place. Like someone’s switched a channel from an opera to Mtv. It’s not necessarily bad, it just fits oddly.

It’s hard to separate it from Breakthru. I expect both could’ve been filmed on a train. But this never has quite the verve of that one. This doesn’t exactly trudge along the tracks, but it does feel like it’s going by numbers.

It does however offer some new insights into Brian’s love life:

He used to be a man with a stick in his hand

Hoop diddy diddy – Hoop diddy do

She used to be a woman with a hot dog stand

Hoop diddy diddy – Hoop diddy do

Now you’ve got soup in your laundry bag.

It’s a tale as old as time. Man with stick meets restauranter, hoops are diddied, and now you’ve got soup in your laundry bag.

I’m just hoping it’s not a euphemism.

Silliness aside, I’m not exactly turned off by this track. I don’t think it’s bad. It just can’t really reach out and grab me the way I feel it wants to. The fast and hard guitar always feel a little too conrolled. The vocal a bit tame. The rhythm a bit too trad.

Where’s the ridiculous intro. Where’s the outrageously over blown solo. Where’s the swagger.

Adroit always seems like an insult. But there’s nothing wrong with solid rock, is there?

Well, maybe. Maybe in the midst of a legacy building record trying to engage with darkness, sadness, madness and lost it’s a shame to have a song which features the words ‘hoop diddy diddy’ so prominently. It lacks the bombastic rawness, or the emotional honesty that we’ve come to expect.

But perhaps this is the wrong perspective to take. Watching the video, we see a tired looking Freddie and an old looking rest of the band, strutting and dancing and mucking about. There’s a grinning energy to it, a childish joy in messing about for the cameras. A lot of it is weirdly janky, too fast edits and odd camera spins. It’s an impersonation of Queen, performed by Queen.

I just can’t stop thinking about how much work this must have been, and how much Freddie obviously wants to keep on going and never fucking stop being Queen.

And on that basis, I can’t begrudge that gift. Freddie wanted to keep on, and Brian wanted to keep being with Freddie, and so they rushed headlong into it.

And now maybe I’m the one with soup in my laundry bag.

So to speak.

 

 

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.

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