Sheer Heart Attack Queen
I was first attracted to Queen as a young boy because they created a fantasy. They had pompous operatic sounds, phallic guitars and record sleeves showing scantily-clad women. When they played live they would emerge form a cloud of smoke. They would also invent their own noises by blowing down gutters or adding bits to their own instruments. Brian May made a tremolo arm for his guitar with a knitting needle and a motorbike spring, which made it the Excaliber among guitars for me.
Freddie Mercury made you feel like you were in on the gag and part of a grandiose statement. It is testament to their impact that you still see 100,000 people sing "We Will Rock You" at football matches.
Though a lot of people like Queen, you never hear of people putting them in their Top 10. I think that's partly because they never really took notice of the market place. While there are elements of black music and punk in their music, they were ultimately a piano, guitar, bass and drum band.
Shaft soundtrack Isaac Hayes
"Shaft" has become the American equivalent of the James Bond score. While the James Bond theme says something about repressed British sexuality, "Shaft" is overtly sexual. The score is as important as the film, and in the case of "Shaft", is certainly better than the movie it accompanied. "Shaft" defines an iconic Seventies moment; it's irresistibly sexy and filthy dirty. Hayes scored the whole movie with a basic Philadelphia Stax vibe: a small string section and large brass section with most of the rhythm in the bass drums and electric pianos. Even 30 years on, the song "Shaft" is instantly recognised by the first two bars, the high hat and wah-wah guitar. It's a terrific piece of work. Apparently they're remaking it, but recreating the soundtrack will be a very difficult task. That soundtrack has become the character and situation for the film even more than the film itself. I think that's a unique thing to have achieved.
David Arnold's 'Randall & Hopkirk Deceased' theme tune with Nina Persson from The Cardigans is out on 25 April on Island Records. The soundtrack album is out on 10 April
- More about:
- 1970s Rock
- Brian May (Queen)
- Hard Rock
- Non Us Rock 80's