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New Roger Taylor Bio: Includes Update On New Solo Album!

Although best known for his powerhouse role in Queen, Roger Taylor is anything but a drummer confined to his kit. With rock ‘n’ roll in his veins all through his schooldays, he has always been a highly active, vocal member of Queen. He famously wrote Queen’s landmark hits ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and ‘A Kind of Magic’, amongst others, and was also the first to make a solo album, 1981’s Fun in Space. To date he has released four solo albums, which, aside from his work with Queen, further highlighted Taylor as an musician and writer with a strong sense of identity, a wide musical perspective, and – not least of all – a man not without a sense of irony.

Taylor’s active approach has not been confined to his music: when media mogul Rupert Murdoch made attempts to buy Manchester United football club, Taylor funded the club supporters in their attempts to block the sale, and historically helped them succeed.

Roger Taylor was born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, on July 26th 1949. Roger became fascinated with music in the 50s, when his family moved to Cornwall. He learned his first instrument, the ukulele, at a tender age, and enjoyed a brief taste of things to come in a pre-teen skiffle band whose collective talent survived just two public performances, both apparently excruciating! So ended ‘the Bubbling Over Boys’! His music took on a different direction in 1960, when he became a rather reluctant member of the Truro Cathedral Choir — a prerequisite of his scholarship. He taught himself the guitar around this time, but by the following year had moved over to drums.

By 1966 Roger had not only progressed to drumming in Cornwall’s most popular band, the Reaction, but had also become their lead singer, with his drum kit placed - where else? - in the principal position, at the front of the stage.

In 1968 Roger formed another group, Smile, with Middlesex guitar ace Brian May and Tim Staffell. Smile played sporadically over the next few years and even issued a single in the United States. When Smile ended, Roger, with Brian May and Freddie Mercury formed Queen.

Roger began writing songs for Queen from day one, and each of the band’s 15 studio albums included compositions by him. History notes that all four members of Queen wrote No 1 singles: Taylor dutifully provided his with ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘A Kind of Magic’, ‘Days of Our Lives’ amongst the biggest, not forgetting international hits such as ‘Breakthru’, ‘The Invisible Man’ and ‘Heaven For Everyone’.

1977 was the landmark year in which Queen released ‘We Are the Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’. Roger became the first member of Queen to launch a solo career with the release of the single ‘I Wanna Testify’. His solo album Fun in Space followed in 1981, and was succeeded by 1984’s rock-based Strange Frontier. Both LPs reached the Top 30. In 1987 Roger formed his own band the Cross which made 3 studio albums along with a lot of noise!

After the tragic death of Freddie Mercury, Roger returned to his solo career with 1994’s Happiness?, an album on which he explored the theme of “dealing with life and looking for happiness”. The success of the album prompted further tours of the UK and Italy. Then came perhaps his most potent album, Electric Fire, which clearly showed Taylor as an acute observational songwriter.

That the Queen musical We Will Rock You came into being could be seen as something of a surprise taking into account Roger’s openly expressed view that “musicals are completely foreign to me. It’s a genre I don’t particularly like.” 

But after working closely with Brian and writer Ben Elton on shaping the musical, Taylor found himself deeply entrenched in developing the show, breaking the rules of musical theatre and taking on the role - along with Brian - as musical supervisor, not only for the first production in London, but for each of the subsequent productions throughout the world.

At the same time as setting up We Will Rock You, Roger and Brian played a central part in the formation of the

Nelson Mandela 46664 charity, performing at the first two South Africa concerts, and providing several new songs to the 46664 album, which saw them collaborate with many other international artistes. Roger penned two new songs for the project, ‘Say It’s Not True’ and ‘Invincible Hope’.

In 2005, after an accidental encounter with former Free singer Paul Rodgers, Roger and Brian felt the time was right to put Queen back on the road. Billed as Queen + Paul Rodgers, Roger and Brian tested the water with a handpicked set of European dates. Such was the momentum built up over the six-week European tour, a Japan and US tour was booked to follow, which saw Roger and Brian return to the USA to play for the first time in more than 20 years. The impact of the return to the road was summed up in a review of is closing night in Vancouver: “The night that arena rock officially made its comeback”.

Of being back at the kit - although the new live set saw him on vocals for a fair part of their set – Roger admitted: “It gave us a sense of rejuvenation”.

Roger was back on the road with fellow band member Brian May in the summer of 2012 year performing a handpicked set of dates with American Idol finalist Adam Lambert.  As Queen + Adam Lambert, together they played six concerts in Europe and the UK including three instantly sold out dates at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

Over the past year Roger has been focused on the Queen Extravaganza, an official touring Queen tribute band which Roger conceived and created finding his singers and musicians through online auditions.  The Queen Extravaganza made its first – and highly successful tour of twenty five Canada and US cities during May – July, 2012 and will return to play further touring dates in early 2013. Of his newly created QE band, Taylor says “What an amazing storehouse of talent we have unlocked. The standard is mind-blowingly high, it’s really a thrill getting to discover them.”

For the future Roger plans to release brand new solo material in 2013 and he wants to involve the public in the choices of which tracks make it onto the album. A track will be made available each week leading up to the album release and the public will need to vote and decide what they would like to see appear on the album alongside some of Rogers favourite songs!

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40 Comments

New Roger Taylor Bio: Includes Update On New Solo Album!

Mel

I've been listening to your music, Roger, for about a month or two, and I have to say, I can't even imagine what s*** I was listening to before I heard it. I can't wait to vote for songs!

Neil

Please don't go down compressed mp3 or Apple AAC lines, I like my cd's and would buy a physical product as I believe most purists would. Excited to hear some new tunes from you.

Mr H

Good to hear you still have many good ideas to put down on record Roger, even after more than 40 years. Im a 45 year old music specialist working in schools, always looking for new ideas to use. Your music has given me and still gives me much creative inspiration and determination.
Will be interesting to hear and choose the new tracks.

J MacDonald

C'mon, Roger. I thought the point was to produce a work of art, a proper album, your point of view. All this voting nonsense and mincing around is so unlike the Roger Taylor I have musically known and loved for 39 years.
Too many moneymen and know-nothings spoil the music. "Believe In Yourself," not one who caves to marketing pressures in aid of reaching a wider audience. I don't care if 12 year-olds like your music. They've got Justin Beiber. I want my Rollicking Roger Taylor back. Skip the innane voting process and release a record you are proud of and let the chips fall where they may.

saj ditta

why dont he just release@lbum maybe 2disc instead of this new wave mp3releases itl prob spoil the await?come on roger just release the album in 1whole lot dont spoil the wait we fans have been waiting for 15years come on release the magic.

michelle

anything Roger does is simply amazing stay true

Iminlove Withmycar

By the way, why not a duet with Catherine Ringer, she's so... too much !

Paulo

All the years with Queen Roger, did you ever sing lead vocals on a song you hadn't written? I'd like your mature vocals on songs by Mercury (Funny How Love Is), Deacon (You and I) and May (Long Away). I think these would be great as an acoustic set with your voice.

Iminlove Withmycar

Allez Roger !!!

We are already gaga and ready to rock in France !
Will John appear ?

Good luck,
patrice

Roberta (Italy)

Just. Can't. Wait.

Tatyana

Increadible news- new album, to choose tracks! (Oh Lord, when?) I know no gig in Russia... but I'd love to hope - some day, one day...

Esther

I hope you are going to tour for this album. Please come to Birmingham / Wolverhampton.

I agree with Keith - release all the tracks, all the more for us to enjoy.

Thank you x

keith

why not release all the tracks on a double album

Kelly Mccartney

its good to see you still rocking roger.but lets hear what you have so far...

IAN GREEN

Always loved Rogers music; such a profound and talented musician. Look forward to some new material; and Please, please do a tour - just love t see ya again.

God Speed Ian

Bill Lopatka

Always liked Roger's singing voice, Drowse is my favorite. Also like his drum sound, very crisp and disciplined..doesn't go off on tangents

Edu Quindós

Yeah!!! New solo album. Roger you've been my inspiration not only with Queen. Really love your solo albums and The Cross ones. So I'm very excited about your new one!!!
I don't know if you'll read this, but anyway...
Thank you
Edu

saj ditta

OH I CANT WAIT TO SOME NEW FRESH SOUNDS I HOPE?WE HAVE WAITED 15YEARS SO I HOPE ITS WORTHWILE EXPERIENCE HAHAHA.ALSO THEY DID MENTION@BOXSET DIDNT THEY?@NEW ALBUM@POSSIBLE DELUXE CDS ETC VINYL.WHATEVER HES DONE IN THE LAST 15YEARS EVEN THE SOUTH AFRICA STUFF WICH MOST FANS DIDNT KNOW EXISTED THEY ALL SHOULD BE RELEASED@S MUCH POSSIBLE PLEASE MAKE IT GOOD 15YEARS BINALONG TIME@YES REMASTER THE OL SOLO STUFF AGAIN UPTO 98ALBUM@ETC FINGERSX HERES2THE FUTURE@THE DREAM?

Hernan

Great Roger! ,Great man! ,A new solo album!.

Rich Eglen

Great to read, the news of a new solo album is excellent, and helping to select the tracks is novel. I'll echo Calder's- Bring a show to Hull- If Simple Minds can come, so could Roger !!

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