Sunday, May 27th, 2012
"Play The Game"
Beach House covers Queen
Red HotThere’s a lot of stock descriptors that are used to describe Beach House: dreamy, hazy, dreamy, gauzy, dreamy, etc. There aren’t, however, a lot of allusions to grandiose, stadium-sized classic rock. So that the band would opt to cover as grandiose, stadium-sized and classic rock a band as Queen is an interesting choice. Wisely, however, they didn’t go for the bigger end of the band’s catalog, but instead the sort-of title track from 1980’s The Game, which offers some stately and mid-tempo common ground between their relative styles. The recording was done for 2009’s indie-centric Red Hot benefit compilation Dark Was The Night, though it was only available a) via iTunes and b) when you purchased the album in its entirety, so those who went for a physical copy weren’t left with many options for hearing it. Hello internet!
Beach House have just released their fourth album in Bloom and its garnering arguably the best reviews of their career. Queen ended in 1991 with the death of Freddie Mercury, despite Brian May and Roger Taylor’s attempts to keep it going in various incarnations with guest vocalists (John Deacon wisely excused himself from these endeavours by retiring in 1997) and various extra-cirricular projects. A couple that have been in the news of late are the 10th anniversary of the Queen-themed musical We Will Rock You, which will apparently soon be featuring a disappointing-on-so-many-levels Freddie Mercury hologram, and the Queen Extravaganza tribute tour, which is produced by Roger Taylor and will be stopping in Toronto at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Tuesday night, May 29.
I would personally suggest ignoring all of that stuff, putting on Classic Queen and just enjoy one of the greatest rock bands ever. Or maybe watch the Freddie Mercury Google Doodle. Or watch the video for “The Game” and try to deal with the cognitive dissonance of hearing the distinctive tone of Brian May’s Red Special while watching him play a Stratocaster (though the “why” of it is explained here).