Monday, December 10, 2018

Musical Monday - Another One Bites the Dust by Queen


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: October 4, 1980 through October 18, 1980.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: October 4, 1980 through October 25, 1980.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

I recently saw someone make the claim that the bass line from Fleetwood Mac's song The Chain is the most recognizable bass line in rock history. I think that is debatable, and I offer the bass line from this song as a competing alternative for the title of most recognizable bass line in rock history. After all, the bass line in The Chain doesn't really get going until deep into the song, whereas the bass line in Another One Bites the Dust smacks the listener in the face at the very outset of the song and never lets up. In many ways, the bass line in Another One Bites the Dust is the song, which makes sense given that the song was written by Queen's bassist John Deacon.

Bohemian Rhapsody is generally regarded as Queen's musical masterpiece, and rightly so, but Another One Bites the Dust is, I think, the band's most notable song. It isn't the most definitely "Queen" song, as it is kind of out of the ordinary for the band, but I think it is at or near the top of the list of responses one would get if you asked a bunch of people to name a Queen song. I might be biased in this regard, as Another One Bites the Dust was the first Queen song that I recognized as actually being a Queen song. I may have heard other Queen songs prior to the moment I identified this song with the band, but I didn't mentally connect them with Queen. On the other hand, Another One Bites the Dust was Queen's most commercially successful song, so I think my assertion concerning its place in the Queen canon is supportable.

Oddly, despite it being so prominent in their repertoire, this is probably one of the most "unQueen" songs that the band ever released as a single. Queen was prone to lavish, over-the-top songs, full of big sweeping drama like Bohemian Rhapsody, or Somebody to Love, or goofy, silly songs like Bicycle or Flash. Another One Bites the Dust is stripped down - it consists of little more than the bass line, a very dry drum beat, and Freddie Mercury snapping out lyrics in an almost clipped and staccato manner. The sharp contrast between this song and the rest of Queen's career output is almost breathtaking, and yet, Another One Bites the Dust is brilliant and somehow immediately recognizable as being Queen. Perhaps it is a testament to the greatness of Queen that this is so.

Previous Musical Monday: Don't Stand So Close to Me by the Police
Subsequent Musical Monday: Woman in Love by Barbra Streisand

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Upside Down by Diana Ross
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Woman in Love by Barbra Streisand

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Upside Down by Diana Ross
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Woman in Love by Barbra Streisand

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Queen     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Book Blogger Hop December 7th - December 13th: Vasili Grigorievich Zaitsev Served with the 284th Rifle Division in the Battle of Stalingrad


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you tend to visit the same blogs each week but also try to look for new blogs?

I have a handful of blogs that I tend to visit, although it probably isn't as regularly as each week. I would like to explore and visit more blogs, but the hard truth is that I barely have enough time to post things on this blog, let alone spend time perusing through a bunch of blogs looking for something new. I really wish I had the time to be able to spend more time looking through blogs, but I just don't, and given that I just moved (and as a result, am currently living in a forest of boxes and likely will be for the next several months), my personal time crunch has only gotten worse and won't get better for a while.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Monday, December 3, 2018

Musical Monday - Don't Stand So Close to Me by the Police


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: September 27, 1980 through October 18, 1980.

The Police make their first appearance at the top of the charts in the 1980s with a skeevy song about an affair between a teacher and his teenage student. Even that description kind of sells the skeeviness of the song short, because the lyrics lay the blame for the affair upon the teenager's infatuation with the teacher, essentially shifting the responsibility away from the adult and onto the child. This was not the last time that the Police topped the charts with a song that had creepy lyrics, which I didn't really think about at the time, but kind of makes the band seem kind of skeevy in retrospect.

I want to be clear, this song was kind of skeevy at the time it was released, and has only become more so as time has gone by and incidents of inappropriate relationships between teachers and underage students have peppered the news. The only real difference was that in the 1980s you could get away with doing a kind of "wink, wink, nudge nudge" excuse for this sort of material, whereas now this sort of sexual predation is taken more seriously - probably not a seriously as it really should be, but more seriously. This cultural shift is also what has made some classic movies kind of creepy now - the statutory rape storyline in Animal House was once just silly fun, but now seems gross, the rape by deception storyline in Revenge of the Nerds and the rape of an unconscious woman in Sixteen Candles were once seen as almost "romantic", but now seem pretty vile. The world changes, and in this case, I think it has changed for the better.

Previous Musical Monday: Feels Like I'm in Love by Kelly Marie
Subsequent Musical Monday: Another One Bites the Dust by Queen

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Feels Like I'm in Love by Kelly Marie
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Woman in Love by Barbra Streisand

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

The Police     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Book Blogger Hop November 30th - December 6th: The Romans Defeated the Etruscans in the Battle of Lake Vadimo in 283 B.C.


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: If you could travel back in time to purchase the first printing of a specific novel, what book would that be?

I think that I would go back in time to be able to get a first printing of The Lord of the Rings, because it is one of the few books I would want that had a first printing that would be reasonably valuable.


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