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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!

Paulo

A duet with Kerry Ellis singing Let's Get Crazy? And bring John Deacon out of mothball for a guest appearance. Fun in Space is one of the best albums I've ever heard. A bit of retro to that era would be nice!

craig

Fantastic news...can't wait for this album. I hope ALL tracks will be made available for fans to buy...even the ones that don't get on the album. Echo again the anthology box set, which has been spoken about for years now. I personally think that Rogers writing gets better the more mature he gets. Fun in space was brill, but Electric Fire was pure brilliance. Might be the Queen highlight of 2013.

stavros kartsonakis

can't wait!!!!!!!!
For God's sake, release a box with the b sides, maxi versions, cross rarities. for instance in charge of my heart. new material too. roger's solo albums are perfect

Robert Bennett

I have been looking forward to this new Album for what seems like quite a while now, and i am sure it will be worth the wait. Can we have some fast heavy drumming on there like Sweet lady, Stone Cold Crazy, Now i'm Here and We Will Rock You ( fast version please). Many thanks Roger :)

Darragh McEvoy

Does anyone know when the biography is coming out?

I love the public voting for tracks idea! :)

Calders

Roger Taylor is without doubt one of the most UNDERATED musicians this country has given us. All four of his solo albums are excellent. For me personally 98s Electric fire is a storm!!! Superb (especially if like me you collect vinyl and took ownership of the Orange vinyl pressing). Fun in space, Strange Frontier do sound of there era, but they are still great albums.Happiness is pure bliss. I cannot wait for these new recordings , and it would be great to see Roger at the Leadmill again!! But could Roger please play in HULL???? I must echoe the shout for a boxed set. Rogers solo career and 'The Cross' work is well overdue a re master with sacks of bonuses!!!
LETS GET CRAZY!!!

Madonna

I LOVED LOVED QUEEN WENT TO EVERY SHOW IN NORTHEAST U.S. NOT ONLY DID YOU GET GOOD MUSIC BUT QUEEN ALWAYS SUPERSIZED YOUR TICKET AND GAVE YOU GREAT THEATRICS ALONG WITH REAL GOOD ROCK AND ROLL WITH A TWIST OF OPERA THANK YOU FRED AND QUEEN

Queen Fan Club Mexico (founded in 1992)

Thank you very much queenonline for sharing the great news and keeping us updated all these years worldwide! We're looking forward to the voting session (great idea!) , and his upcoming album. Bravo Rog! Wishes from Mexico, Queen Fan Club Mexico (founded in 1992) www.queenenmexico.com

HK

Can't wait! Also should think about some type of box set to reissue and remaster his past work. The Cross included!

jessica reid

where will these new tracks be made available???? can't wait for the new album!!

phil law

will roger taylor be re-releasing his solo albums to date? I think he should re-master them and release them all again.

Oilfour

Wasn't the new album supposed to be released somewhere around 2010/2011?
Ah well, I can understand that these things take some time. Can't wait to hear the new stuff, Roger's solo stuff has always been the best.

Black Queen from queenjewels.free.fr

Great news. 15 years after electric fire, hope to get an album (and tour ???) really soon !

THE ROCK TZAR

Roger...You will never be forgiven for supoorting Wankchester Ushited....YNWA

Wyn

Excellent, now get on twitter to keep us updated.

Pim Derks

Awesome, can't wait. Hope for a deluxe edition of the album including ALL the tracks.

Mike

"Never wanted to be the boy next door, always thought I'd be something more"

Lacious

Next time maybe it's best if you read the article before you post.

fcihak

May – July, 21012?
Wow... somebody wants to live forever here... :)

Michael Burke

Just give us the damn album already!!!

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