Path: Queen - Royal Legend - Albums: The Miracle

Albums: The Miracle

The group used new way of collective working - writing song as group under the one sign, instead of personal authorship. The work started separately and each songs were finished by whole group. They found it very functional and thought why they hadn't found it before.

Brian about the cover picture: "We talked about idea to combine our heads into the one, to reflect 'organic' unit, which came from us." Richard Gray (he worked with group on the AKOM cover) took this idea and he made the well known picture.

Scandal was song, which striked the press in the way, which made the band untouchable and satisfied.

The beautiful woman in the Breakthru video is Debbie Leng - Roger's friend and mother of his two youngest kids.

Brian recorded info and samples from new album to fed impatient fans, which was available at special call number 0898.

Later came out, that Freddie hadn't been sure if he stay alive till next album, so he had urged to go on and continue with work.

Queen about the record:
Freddie
"It was OK, but we had our various fisticuffs."

Brian
"We wanted to record a really democratic album, and each one of us would be involved in the song writing. The
consequence was that no-one was only partially involved, because each track was credited to all four musicians. Regardless of who had the basic idea for a song, we were all involved and worked on it to the same extent. So we created a real band feeling without any ego problems. That's also one of the reasons that 'The Miracle' has turned into such a better album than 'A Kind of Magic', for example."
"I expect the press to say we're an arrogant bunch of bastards like they always do. 'The Miracle' isn't supposed to be us, it's supposed to be something that we're looking for - peace on earth - and that'll be lambasted as crass idealism. But there you go? "
"I think 'Kashoggi's Ship' and 'Was it All Worth it' are the two ends of the album, and both are comments on
ourselves. We read about that kind of society life - the excess - we feel we've touched on those areas at some time... We've been through it."
"'I Want it All' re-establishes our old image in a way. It's nice to come back with something strong. Something that reminds people we're a live group. I don't think we're a singles band really. Just before we put the single out I started listening to what's on the radio, and the kind of stuff that becomes a hit these days bears no resemblance to what we do. People only remember the hits, but I suppose we have done OK."
"We've got a long break behind us, and had a lot of time to have a good think about things. All of a sudden the old energy was just there again. We badly wanted to play together again and write new songs. There's a certain magic in the air when we meet, because the chemistry within the band is just right! We're all working on various solo projects as well, but I don't think any of us would be able to produce an album like 'The Miracle' by themselves. Queen is still a special kind of band and not easy to replace for any of us - even though one could theoretically gain the same kind of success as a solo artist. When we met to work on the new material, we spent the first three weeks just playing together. We only had drums, guitar, bass, vocals and keyboards the classic line-up.
That's how everything started. And that's basically how everything's stayed. Maybe that's the reason why 'The Miracle' sounds more original and real. We left our egos outside the studio door and worked together as a real band, something that wasn't always the case with Queen. There were times when each one of us was only into his own compositions, and hardly contributed any ideas to any other songs. We didn't have any problems like that this time. We really enjoyed the production, that's why 'The Miracle' has turned into a real Queen album."

Roger
"I think a lot of people really missed the typical Queen sound on our last few releases. 'The Miracle' includes all of Queen's typical elements in concentrated form. If you listen carefully, you can hear all the built-in references to our past albums."
"A live video presentation of 'The Miracle' is a possibility. It was suggested the other day and we all loved the idea. We might create a mystical venue for it - the Miracle Pavilion. Out of that, hopefully, might come an idea for touring."

Freddie (about The Miracle)
"John and me made some chords and we two decided how the lyrics goes. I think you know what we mean when you listen to it but it's not the declaration that WE are the miracle. It's a more straight song. We sing about the miracle we are waiting for...about the peace of the world. I have mentioned about this matter for a long time but it's the first time to write a song about it. I really like the progression of the song. I thought about the age of 'Killer Queen'. There is a natural and unexpected way. A delicate song with a heavy theme and everyone of the band contributed to the lyrics, too. "

Brian (about Chinese Torture)
"It was based on an electronic loop - that "Throb" in the background that you can hear in the track. As I remember, it was one of those accidents you can get when you feed back some Midi information from the computer into the wrong channels!!! The keyboard in question made this bizarre noise and we liked it. I think it was Freddie who said it already sounded like some kind of torture, though I can't be sure. At that time I was using for the first time a machine which I had asked our crew to build for me. The machine controlled two harmonizers independently by means of a small bank of foot switches. I learned to "Play" the intervals with my feet, so I could produce specific 3-part harmony guitar parts LIVE on stage. ( it actually proved to be quite restricting live, except for certain set pieces, but that's another story!)
At this point I was still learning the new gear, and I just plugged it up and, using the loop as a jumping off point, "Went for It" in the studio that evening. Freddie stayed on and, at the moment when I was probably going to put it away in a box as an experiment to pursue at another time, Freddie got excited about it. He got straight in and helped me "bounce" my various efforts into a 'best' compilation - something we often did, to set our bearings on the future of a track. Surprisingly, it immediately sounded good - it had all the freshness of a 'first time' take. The idea of it sounding Chinese was a kind of joke, since some Chinese music contains all those 'forbidden' parallel 5th's not usually heard in Western music. So "Chinese Torture" it became.
We got Roger to put the Drum parts on the next day I think, since he likedit too - and the "stabs" spiced it up nicely.
And that was it, I reckon. There were no guitar overdubs at all - just the original "Comp", which had the feel, or passion, or whatever, to carry it through. We were in the mood to go with experimental tracks, trying always to find new ground - to push ouselves into unfamiliar territory. Good times.
Well, that's how I recall it anyway!!"

Reviews:
Invisible Man
Sounds: It highlights that side of Queen, which I like the least - funk and disco style - and Brian May's guitar will not save it.

Other versions:
I Want It All
Single Version
On 7", 12", CD single and 'Greatest Hits II'/ With very different intro, sometimes known as 'Vocal Intro Version'. It's rather reworked version than just edited, also some guitar parts were removed. A 4:01 long song is more in pop-style, than original album version.
Demo Version
First recording of the song. Not as much as demo, it's probably idea putted on the tape, relatively short (1:26). Some parts sound similar to the final version. Brian's vocal is unfinished.
Video Intro Version
From 'Rare Live' video, features in opening titles. It is an 2 minutes long edit with mixed parts from album version, starts with Freddie's talk to the Live Aid crowd.
"Queen Rocks" Version
On the compilation 'Queen Rocks' is mixed vocal from single version followed by normal version. Brian's guitar solo stays unedited. It's 4:31 long.
Hollywood Records Version
US release features different version. The song has about 1:15 long intro, repeating chorus "I Want It All" is missing and has some extra backing vocals.
Rough Instrumental Demo
The part where Brians lead vocals are is completely different instead of keyboards it has guitars there.

The Miracle
US Edit
On the US compilation 'Classic Queen'. Edited version has removed the fast instrumental part near the end.
Demo Version
The same as with 'I Want It All' demo - very rough 1:44 demo.
Greatest Hits II Version
On the 'Greatest Hits II' compilation. This is exited 4:55 long version, at the end, the repeating line "the time will come, one day you'll see, when we can all be friends" is running one time shorter.
Video Version
Longer 5:08 version, the above mentioned line is repeating one time more.

The Invisible Man
Extended Version
On CD single, 12" and as a bonus track on the album. Sounds completely different, a 5:35 extended song has different intro and outro, introduction of the group members before their solos is missing.
Demo Version
A 1:25 long demo with different start and end, with rock part somewhere in the middle.
"Top Of The Pops" Version
On the 'BBC Transcription disc'.
Fan Club Convention Version, 1989
Short instrumental version, which is starting with Brian's guitar solo, each member says short message for the fans. Freddie sings it, of course.
Video Version
Starts as extended version and after first lines "I'm the invisible man" it changes into normal album version.

Chinese Torture
CD-only Bonus Track
Only on CD release of the album. A 1:45 long instrumental piece, with drums, guitar and keyboards.

Breakthru
Extended Version
A 5:45 long version released on 12", CD single and in 'Box Of Tricks'. Features some interesting stereo effects.
Now Edit
On 4-mix US promo CD together with album / single version, 12" version and Almost Now Edit. It's not remix, but edit. Slow intro part is missing, song starts with "Now!"
Almost Now Edit
Almost without any changes.

A New Life Is Born
Unreleased Demo
This 1:22 long song is a demo of the Breakthru. Where the normal album version goes NOW and starts with Breakthru this version continues with beautiful piano and vocals by Freddie. also the "somehow i have to make this final breakthru" lyrics aren't sung.

Scandal
Extended Version
On 12", CD single and US release. A 6:23 long extended version sounds heavier with many extra drums and great intro.
Demo Version
Also known as guitar version, it is rough 1:44 long record without keyboards (just guitar, bass and drums).

Hang On In There
Original B-side
B-side of the 7" 'I Want It All' single, CD single, 12" and CD album as bonus track.
Demo Version
This 2:59 long song is a jam in the studios. It's also known as 'A Fiddly Jam'. Where the normal album version fades out this version continues for almost 2 minutes. Freddie does some improvised lyrics during the song.

Stealin'
Original B-side
B-side of the 7", 12" and CD 'Breakthru' single.
Demo Version
This almost 12 min. version features vocal overdubs by Freddie, recorded in 1989.

Too Much Love Will Kill You
Original 1989 Version
Originally recorded for 'The Miracle' album, but finally it's a demo. Only Freddie's vocal is different to the known version released on MIH.

Hijack My Heart
Original B-side
B-side of the 'Invisible Man' single, on 7", 12" and CD single. It's Roger's song, also sung by him.
Demo Version
Almost identical 2:45 long version to the official one. Some different parts

The Hitman
Demo Version
Short, very rough demo, with Brian's "guide" vocals.

My Life Has Been Saved
Original Version
B-side of the 'Scandal' single, on 7", 12" and CD single. It's different to the known MIH version, only Freddie's vocals are the same.

My Baby Loves Me
Early Version of My Baby Does Me
This 3:08 long early version has different lyrics. Recorded in 1989.

I Guess We're Falling Out
Unreleased Demo
Very beautiful ballad written by Brian. Intro is the same drum rythm as used for My Baby Does Me. The 2nd verse of the song has improvised lyrics by Freddie. At the end of the song Freddie counts..2-3-4 and than they play a riff from Hang On In There.

My opinion:
8/10
High class album - this way of co-operation really fitted to them. And if consider Freddie's health - I'm pulling off my hat.
The album starts quite briskly with bold drums. After the not so brilliant 'Invisible Man' there's rhythmic and fresh 'Breakthru' - it's exactly as well known train - the Miracle Express... 'In Rain Must Fall' Brian dallying with guitar, 'Scandal' is another jewel and 'Was It All Worth It'.... What to say? Just perfect, perfect, perfect... And 'Hang On In There', I don't know, it seems like Freddie's work - the lyric shows all about his power to stay in this world...

Thanx to Niek for some information on other versions.