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Those were the days of our lives

Published June 14, 2011

This evening, I finished watching the second part of a two-part Queen documentary called: Queen - Days of Our Lives. I’m slightly late to this, as I missed it first time round. I captured it to watch, as something of a Queen fan, but Mr C and I started to view it and realised it would require a lot more of our attention than we had to give it.

Freddie Mercury

It disappeared off the iPlayer and I felt a little sad, but not so much as we were still quite busy. When it reappeared for a second viewing, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity, and I demanded that we clear out a couple of hours to view both parts of it.

I’m so glad we did. It was excellent viewing. I’ve been a Queen fan for a long time, probably since the days when I used to see the records and CDs that my parents and brothers had stashed away. My brothers in particular, because I would want to play the albums they had, but as brothers can be quite mean, they were kept away from me.

When I saw We Will Rock You, it solidified what I already knew to be a passion for the group, and I listened to their three Greatest Hits albums over and over. Yes, I didn’t even mind Greatest Hits III, although there are some definite “take them or leave them” songs on there.

So, the documentary. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say, whilst I am a big fan of all things Queen, I don’t know enormous amounts about the band themselves. I knew that they were big, I knew that Freddie could command a stadium audience better than anyone, I knew that he died and they brought in Paul Rogers as something of a stand-in. I knew that Brian May had big hair and was married to Anita Dobson. I knew that they were responsible for We Will Rock You and some of the greatest music on Earth.

This documentary was something of a revelation, and as Alianora commented on Twitter, not just because of the subject matter.

Tweet from Alianora La Canta: “It’s not just Queen. It’s the best music documentary I’ve ever seen :)”

The first part had me intrigued, these were just four guys who liked to make music. A couple of them were better at writing songs than the others, and they recorded some of the most iconic bits of music history in stairwells and basements.

I think I paid more attention to the second part, and it just blew me away. Covering everything from dips in their success, to creative differences, to Freddie’s death, it was incredible. Far from being sad, although Roger getting a tear in his eye was a little emotional, it was an inspiration. Freddie knew he was dying, but he was never going to give up, he didn’t want to let it get in the way. I think from the outset he knew he was in for a short ride, and he wanted to make the most of it.

More importantly, right at the end, he had the strength of mind to want to record, record, record, so they could carry on without him. I can’t imagine what it takes to be that brave.

I didn’t know that much about him before, aside from the astounding teeth, and the yellow jacket, but I love him more than ever.

What a great documentary. It’s on the iPlayer for not very much longer right now, hopefully they will repeat it again. And I hope they bring it out commercially. I’d buy it, and I’d watch it again. And again.

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