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The Miracle

The Miracle

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Album Details

THE MIRACLE By Greg Brooks and Gary Taylor Queen’s thirteenth album, The Miracle, was recorded at Olympic and Townhouse Studios in London and Mountain studios in Montreux, between January 1988 and January 1989. It was produced by the band and David Richards, who also engineered the sessions with the help of various assistants. Having spent considerable time with the band, on various solo ventures, Richards was now a permanent fixture on Queen sessions and would remain so through to the final songs Freddie recorded in 1991. Prior to The Miracle sessions, the band had spent 1987 apart, working upon individual projects. Brian had produced songs for various artists, Freddie recorded the Barcelona album with Spanish opera star Montserrat Caballe, and Roger founded a brand new (part-time) band called The Cross. Also during this period the four men had experienced considerable personal turmoil in their private lives. The year apart would prove to be greatly beneficial as everyone came to the new sessions with renewed vigour and enthusiasm, and with an abundance of ideas. Queen would record many more tracks than they needed for The Miracle. Some would ultimately be utilised as single B-sides, while others remain unheard and unreleased in the band’s archive. The album was originally to be called The Invisible Men, but was changed only a few weeks prior to the release date. As usual, The Miracle would contain a diverse selection of songs both lyrically and musically, and take the band off at yet more unlikely and unexpected tangents. For the very first time on a Queen album all the songs (and subsequent single B-sides) were credited as being written by the band collectively, regardless of the actual author. This seemingly inconsequential detail was actually very significant and something of a liberating experience for the band, not least because it bypassed all the usual arguments over whose track should be chosen as a single, and whose would not. Now, with Queen sharing equal royalties on all material, the way was clear to focus on other things. The striking cover artwork for the album was based on a concept conceived by Queen and represents the unity of the band; a seamless merging of four people becoming one. This was, after all, during the period when the Queen members were pulling together extremely closely, and in enforced secrecy, in dealing with Freddie’s deteriorating illness. Indeed, there was the very real likelihood during these sessions that Freddie would not be around to complete the work. The four men closed ranks like never before to focus on the work ahead and let nothing deter them from their course. The four faces morphed into one startling image captures this whole feeling, and remains today one the band’s most admired and universally recognised images. The back cover took the idea even further with a seamless regiment of the band’s eyes. The photography of the band for this album session was shot by Simon Fowler. The album commences in typically grandiose fashion, with the aptly named Party, a track that started out as a jam session. This segues into Khashoggi’s Ship, a song written about the infamous billionaire Adnan Khashoggi and a ship he owned. These two guitar driven songs make a great pairing to open up the album. Next up is a genuine band collaboration in the song that would eventually lend its name to the album. The Miracle, with its meticulously crafted lyric, is a celebration of life’s triumphs and of some of the extraordinary wonders we all tend to take for granted. It is the song that Brian would later describe as one of Freddie’s best – “A small masterpiece in it’s own way.” The Invisible Man, a track inspired by a book Roger was reading at the time (not the H.G. Wells novel) finds the band exploring yet another funk-based fast tempo musical tangent with a song that would ultimately be issued as a single. The fast rhythm was also incorporated for the next song, and another single, Breakthru. The introduction to this song is actually part of an idea Freddie had for another song. Rather than discarding it, he thought this small section would be a good opening for this track. Rain Must Fall, featuring Latin percussion and calypso rhythms, and My Baby Does Me, with its bass-driven summer feel, are again untypical Queen songs, and initially penned by John and Freddie in their soul influenced mood. In stark contrast to the rather mellow dance material, the uncompromising Scandal, comes next. Written largely about the notorious British news press, the lyrics leave the listener in little doubt that the four band members have nothing but contempt for those that hounded them, and those around them, for so many years. Brian would later recall, “It was very painful, and we did get very hurt – these paparazzi invading our lives. There’s money to be made trashing people’s lives in newspapers, and it’s probably never going to change in England.” Closing the album is the semi-autobiographical Was It All Worth It. This heavy percussion and guitar based track, with completely over the top orchestrated middle section, is Queen very much back to their uncompromising bombastic rock roots, looking back at past achievements and experiences spanning two decades of touring the world and making music together. This enthralling composition is really a potted history of the band told in four minutes, in Queen’s inimitable way, and it would surely have been a huge success in the context of the Queen live show, but of course none of the songs on The Miracle were destined to be heard in the concert situation. Was It All Worth It is also the song that John Deacon later cited as his favourite of the album. The original compact disc release of The Miracle album contained three extra tracks. Hang On In There, Chinese Torture (a short guitar orchestrated instrumental), and The Invisible Man (12” version). Later, on the 1991 Hollywood Records CD in the U.S, an extended version of Scandal was also included. Although there were rumours that a new tour would be announced after the release of the album, sadly, for reasons that are now obvious, this was not to be. In May 1989, the band recorded a special interview for BBC Radio One (with Mike Read) in which Freddie explained that it was he who didn’t want to tour. “We’ve been there and done that,” he said, and now the time had come for Queen to break the relentless ‘album, tour, album, tour’ routine. Freddie even went so far as to say that at his age he didn’t feel he should be running around a stage in a leotard any more. The other band member’s didn’t agree, but respected his wishes and found other things to occupy themselves. So during 1989 Roger continued his work with The Cross, Brian worked on several charity singles also playing guitar on other artists songs, and John and Freddie spent time on holiday and generally taking it easy. Everyone was surprised when the band decided to go back into the studio in late November and start work on what would be the next Queen album (Innuendo). Released on May 22nd 1989, and two weeks later in America (June 6), The Miracle gave Queen their sixth No 1 album in the UK, achieving platinum sales status. It also hit the top spot in various countries in Europe and attained No 24 in the U.S. charts where it eventually achieved gold status. ? Prior to the release of The Miracle, the first Queen single for over two and a half years emerged on May 2nd 1989. I Want It All (c/w the non album Hang On In There) gave the band their first top ten placing in the UK chart since A Kind Of Magic in March 1986. Strangely, both singles reached No 3. Released a week later in America, the single peaked at No 50 in the Billboard chart, but did reach number 3 in the Rock Chart. The same pairing also reached the top 10 in most European countries. The album version would feature a longer mix with more guitars and a different intro. The video was directed by David Mallet at Elstree studios and featured the band on stage amongst 16 Super Trouper spotlights and twelve 50 ft high ‘Dino’ light stands. The second single, Breakthru, was released on 19th June, coupled with another non-album track called Stealin’, and reached No 7 in the UK charts. It also made the top ten in several other European countries. The rhythmic beat of the song, strongly suggestive a locomotive steam train thundering along the tracks, was the inspiration for the glorious accompanying video. Filmed on the privately owned Nene Valley railway in Cambridgeshire on a hot June day in England, the band was filmed actually on the carriage of the speeding train. As can clearly be seen in this footage, there was no camera trickery, computer generated band members, or stand-in’s. Directed by Hannes Rossacher and Rudi Dolezal, a beautiful old steam locomotive was given a special paint job and renamed The Miracle Express for the two day shoot, and thereafter promptly changed back again. On August 7th, The Invisible Man was released as The Miracle’s third single and reached No 12 in the UK charts. Yet another non-album song was featured as the B-side, Hijack My Heart, originally penned and with lead vocals by Roger. The video was again directed by DoRo and was filmed at Pinewood Studios in July. October 9th saw the penultimate single, in Scandal. Coupled with the non-album My Life Has Been Saved, and with an accompanying video again filmed by DoRo (at Pinewood Studios), the single reached No 25 in the UK charts. The fifth and final single was the album’s title track. The Miracle, coupled with a live version of Stone Cold Crazy (recorded in London in 1974) was issued on November 27, and reached No 21 in the UK charts. The accompanying video is one of Queen’s most endearing and memorable, and features four child look-alikes (chosen after weeks of auditions) in the guise of the Queen band members. Directed by the DoRo team and filmed at Elstree studios, the real band members were only seen in the final part of the video, when they join their younger counterparts on stage. After seeing the ‘young Queen’ performing, Freddie was later to quip “Could they do a whole tour for us?” In addition to the live version of Stone Cold Crazy from 1974, the 12” and CD singles each contained a further live track, this time in Freddie’s My Melancholy Blues, recorded in Houston, Texas in 1977. These two tracks were also included on a compilation video of various Queen concert excerpts, entitled Rare Live - A Concert Through Time And Space - released in August 1989. At the same time as this single was released another home video was issued. Entitled The Miracle EP, it contained the first four videos from the album, though curiously not the actual title track. Producers: Queen and David Richards Engineers: David Richards. Assistant engineers: Andrew Bradfield, John Brough, Angelique Cooper, Claude Frider, Andy Mason & Justin Shirley-Smith Recording Studios: Olympic, Townhouse and Mountain Date Recorded: January 1988 – January 1989 Artwork Concept: Queen Award Status: Platinum (UK) Gold (US)

Did You Know?

1. The album cover was the first to employ advanced computer techniques using a Quantel Graphic Paintbox. 2. A copy of the album was sold before its release on BBC Radio in aid of the Hillsborough Fund. 3. The Miracle featured five Top 30 hit singles: I Want It All, The Invisible Man, Breakthru, Scandal, and The Miracle. 4. It was the first time all album tracks were written by Queen as a band. Previous albums had all tracks listed as written by the individual band members unless otherwise stated. 5. Queen did not promote the album by touring or performing any live shows.

Track Listing

Single

I Want It All

First single from the album The Miracle
Single

Breakthru

Second single from the album The Miracle
Single

The Invisible Man

Fith single on the album The Miracle
Single

Scandal

Fourth single on the album The Miracle b-side: My Live Has Been Saved

Lyrics

1. Party

We had a good night jamming away There was a full moon showing and we started to play But in the cold light of day next morning Party was over - huh - the party was over We got love and we got style and we got sex And I know I know we got what it takes Woah woah woah woah woah, woah woah woah Why don't you come back and play Come back and play - hey hey - come back and play We got all night all day, everybody's gone away Why don't you come back and play Play play, come back and play Come back and play, come back and play play play play, aah Go get em boy - let's party Yeah - ha ha ha ha haaa - give it, give it We had a food fight in somebody's face We were up all night singing - singing - and giving a chase But in the cold light of day next morning Everybody was hung over Hey, come back and play, come back and play, come back and play We got all night all day, everybody's gone away Why don't you come back and play - and play, come back and play We got all night, we got all day, we got all night to play Ah, comeback, comeback, comeback, comeback, comeback and play hey hey hey Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, the party is over

2. Khashoggi’s Ship

Who said that my party was all over Huh, huh, I'm in pretty good shape The best years of my life are like a super nova Huh, huh, perpetual craze, I said that Everybody drank my wine you get my drift And then we took a holiday - Khashoggi's ship - well We really had a good time they was all so sexy We was bad, we was blitzed All in all it was a pretty good trip This big bad sucker with a fist as big as your head Wanted to get me, I said go away, I said kiss my ass honey He pulled out a gun - wanted to arrest me I said uh, uh, babe Now listen, no one stops my party, no one stops my party No one, no one, no one stops my party, just like I said, ooh We were phased, we was pissed, just having a total eclipse Bop bop, ba dap bap, ee bap bap bap be dap bap, be de dee, hey That's good, oh, oo ooo ooooo This one's on me so let us do it just right This here one party don't get started till midnight Hey, ahh, everybody Party to the left, party to the right Everyone in the middle doing all up all right, all right, hey Doing all right Hey, hey hah, hey hey right Left right No one stops my - Haaaa

5. The Invisible Man

I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me Freddie Mercury When you hear a sound that you just can't place Feel somethin' move that you just can't trace When something sits on the end of your bed Don't turn around when you hear me tread I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man It's criminal how I can see right through you John Deacon And I'm in your room, and I'm in your bed And I'm in your life, and I'm in your head Like C.I.A. or the F.B.I. You'll never get close, never take me alive I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man It's criminal how I can see right through you Hah, hah, hah, hello, hah, hah, hah, o.K. Hah, hah, hah, hello hello hello hello Never had a real good friend, not a boy or girl No one knows what I've been through, let my flag unfurl So I make my mark from the edge of the world From the edge of the world, from the edge of the world Brian May, Brian May Now I'm on your track, and I'm in your mind And I'm on your back, but don't look behind I'm your meanest thought, I'm your darkest fear But I'll never get caught, you can't shake me, shake me dear I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me - watch me now I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man It's criminal how I can see right through you Look at me, look at me R R R Roger Taylor Shake me, shake me, shake me dear, sh shake, shake, fun

6. Breakthru

When love breaks up, when the dawn light wakes up A new life is born oooooh Somehow I have to make this final breakthru - now Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha I wake up, feel just fine Your face, fills my mind I get religion quick, coz you're looking divine Honey you're touching something, you're touchin' me I'm under your thumb, under your spell, can't you see If I could only reach you, if I could make you smile If I could only reach you That would really be a breakthru oh yeah Breakthru - these barriers of pain Breakthru - yeah, to the sunshine from the rain Make my feelings known towards you Turn my heart inside and out for you now Somehow I have to make this final breakthru - now (Now now now) oh yeah Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Your smile speaks books to me I break up with each and every one of your looks at me Honey you're starting something - deep inside of me Honey you're sparking something - this fire in me I'm outta control, I wanna rush headlong into this ecstasy If I could only reach you, if I could make you smile If I could only reach you, that would really be a breakthru If I could only reach you, if I could make you smile If I could only reach you, that would really be a breakthru Oh yeah - breakthru, breakthru Break, hey If I could only reach you, if I could make you smile If I could only reach you, that would really be a breakthru If I could only reach you, if I could make you smile If I could only reach you, that would really be a breakthru ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - breakthru

7. Rain Must Fall

I can see it in your stars, life is so exciting Acting so bizarre, your world is so inviting Playing really cool, and looking so mysterious - honey Your every day is full of sunshine But into every life - a little rain must fall No problem, uh be cool now Anyone who imagines they can blind you with science Bully you all over with property and finance But you have position to call the shots and name the price - honey You found success and recognition But into every life - a little rain must fall - flow John You lead a fairy tale existence But into every life - a little rain must fall Be cool, ha, kiss kiss Others seem to think you are over dramatising Problems at work - so it's hardly surprising There's little you can do to alter their opinions - honey You want a clean reputation But now you're facing complications Coz into every life - a little rain must fall Be cool, get serious, wooh, alright Play it nice and cool play it nice and cool - yeah Chase me - ooh, one more time, ha ha I like it - leave em there

8. Scandal

Scandal, now you've left me all the world's gonna know Hey scandal, they're gonna turn our lives into a freak show They'll see the heart ache, they'll see our love break They'll hear me pleading, we'll say "For God's sakes" Over and over and over again Scandal, now you've left me there's no healing the wounds Hey scandal, and all the world can make us out to be fools Here come the bad news, open the floodgates (oooh oooh) They'll leave us bleeding, we say you cheapskates (oooh oooh) Over and over and over again So let them know when they stare, it's just a private affair They'll have us hung in the air and tell me what do they care It's only a life to be twisted and broken They'll see the heart ache, they'll see our love break - yeah They'll hear me pleading, I'll say "For God's sakes" Over and over and over and over again - yeah Scandal, scandal, scandal, scandal Yes you're breaking my heart again Scandal, yes it'll all and all happen again Today the headlines, tomorrow hard times And no one ever really knows the truth from the lies And in the end the story deeper must hide (oooh) Deeper and deeper and deeper inside Scandal, scandal, scandal, scandal

9. My Baby Does Me

"Turn it up a bit please" My baby - baby does - my baby does me good My baby does, my baby does me, my baby does me good My lady understands, understands me right She understands me, she understands me Understands me right My baby cares, she really cares She knows what's really right for me Does me good, then she hurts me so She winds me up then lets me go Turns me on and then tells me no She's just a pussy cat My baby loves me, my baby loves me (ooh) My baby cuffs me (ooh) One day she'll tells me that she cares Another day she tells me she don't love me She really really does me Ooh, people do you believe this - do you Oo ooh, ah, ooh ooh ooh Ooh she really really really really really really Aah, does me, hey

10. Was It All Worth It

What is there left for me to do in this life Did I achieve what I had set in my sights Am I a happy man, or is this sinking sand Was it all worth it, was it all worth it Yeah, now hear my story, let me tell you about it We bought a drum kit, I blew my own trumpet Played the circuit, thought we were perfect Was it all worth it, ooh giving (hey yeah) All my heart and soul and staying up all night Was it all worth it (hey yeah) Living breathing rock'n'roll (ah), a Godforsaken life Was it all worth it, was it all worth it (hey) all these years Put down our money without counting the cost It didn't matter if we won, if we lost Yes we were vicious, yes we could kill Yes we were hungry, yes we were brill ha ha haa Ooh ooh ooh ooh We served a purpose, like a bloody circus We were so dandy (yeah) we love you madly Was it all worth it Living breathing rock'n'roll, this Godforsaken life Was it all worth it, yeah, was it all worth it When the hurly burly's done We went to Bali, saw God and Dali So mystic - surrealistic Was it all worth it yeah yeah Giving all my heart and soul, staying up all night Was it all worth it Ooh living breathing rock'n'roll - this never ending fight Was it all worth it, was it all worth it Yes it was a worthwhile experience - ha ha ha ha haa It was worth it - ha ha

11. Hang On In There

Don't let go, don't lose your mystique Wait a little longer, tomorrow brings another feast Don't let go, don't lose your reputation Thank God you're still alive, ha You're still in one piece Hang on in there, don't lose your appetite Hang on in there, forget the danger signs Pray for that magical moment (just stay there) And it will appear (don't fight for lost emotions) Wait for the sunrise, and everything will seem so clear (Look straight ahead, look straight ahead) Hang on in there (hang on in there) Hang on in there (hang on in there) Your wish will be granted All your problems will disappear Don't be a fool, you haven't reached your peak You've got a fast car racing up inside you Your life is incomplete Hang on in there, hang on in there Pray for that magical moment and it will appear (Wait for the moment) Wait for the sunrise oh Just wait and see and it will seem so clear Ba dap bap ee bap bap ba ba bap bap de de de da Hey, and let's go, let's go Okay now do the change now, hang on, yeah Hang on in there, hang on in there Yeah hang on in there, yeah

12. Chinese Torture

TO SOURCE

13. The Invisible Man (12" version)

I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me Freddie Mercury When you hear a sound that you just can't place Feel somethin' move that you just can't trace When something sits on the end of your bed Don't turn around when you hear me tread I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man It's criminal how I can see right through you John Deacon And I'm in your room, and I'm in your bed And I'm in your life, and I'm in your head Like C.I.A. or the F.B.I. You'll never get close, never take me alive I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man It's criminal how I can see right through you Hah, hah, hah, hello, hah, hah, hah, o.K. Hah, hah, hah, hello hello hello hello Never had a real good friend, not a boy or girl No one knows what I've been through, let my flag unfurl So I make my mark from the edge of the world From the edge of the world, from the edge of the world Brian May, Brian May Now I'm on your track, and I'm in your mind And I'm on your back, but don't look behind I'm your meanest thought, I'm your darkest fear But I'll never get caught, you can't shake me, shake me dear I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man Incredible how you can see right through me - watch me now I'm the invisible man, I'm the invisible man It's criminal how I can see right through you Look at me, look at me R R R Roger Taylor Shake me, shake me, shake me dear, sh shake, shake, fun

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