9 Comments

  1. I do love Queen. It’s a little sad that they have continued in Freddie’s absence, with Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert. Credit to John Deacon for deciding he’d have no part of that.

    Rumour has it that Bohemian Rhapsody (the movie, not the song) turned out to be such a turd because Queen did want to let Freddie’s freak flag fly.

    WARNING: Much sweary language and awesome rock star debauchery

  2. To those of you who are connoisseurs of popular music, is that a lip sync? Could they get that quality of sound outdoors? Please relieve my ignorance, honored sirs.

  3. Three things make it unlikely that it was “live”:

    1) when I watched it, there was no synch at all between the video and audio (though your mileage may vary — maybe the video itself isn’t at fault, and my instance of the video player was…)

    2) the echoing on the clapping is described in detail by Brian May any chance he gets, it’s a studio redubbing effect, using math to time the offset of the echo to make it sound like that.

    3) the guitar riff at the end where he repeats is literally them repeating the recorded audio — May played it once, they put that same performance on the track twice back to back.

    To my ear, this version sounded exactly like the official studio cut, and for the reasons explained above, it is very unlikely for them to achieve the exact same sound live, so I am pretty sure they lip-synched, maybe even competently, though certainly my viewing wasn’t in synch…

  4. Once I caught on to the concept of lip-sync as a kid, I never took music videos too seriously. It’s performance art.

    It seems to me that just about all rock videos featuring a band performing use the studio audio track (or official live concert audio). Many performances on TV shows such as Solid Gold in the US and similar elsewhere have also involved lipsyncing.

  5. Living in Germany, I have discovered that sensitivity to lip-syncing is a peculiarly American affliction. Most Germans don’t notice the difference at all, because they are used to watching dubbed versions of most films and many TV shows. I’ve even witnessed some TV ads that were recorded in German, and then re-dubbed in German (either because of dialect or production issues). The dubbing is obvious to my ear, but invisible to just about everyone else over here.
    P.S. When I first saw “Ballerina” in a theater (in German), I noticed that despite the film’s French/Canadian origins, the lip movements had been animated for English dialog. Later, when we first watched the movie on DVD, I deliberately selected the English sound track, but it was a serious disappointment. I discovered that both the English and the German dialog versions had obviously been translated from a French original. The slight advantage of better lip synchronization was totally wiped out by the fact that the English translation just wasn’t as good as the German one. I wish that I could also compare the French version, but it wasn’t included on the DVD.

  6. Seconded, Kilby.

    I once saw the Four Tops on one of those interminable German variety shows (probably Thomas Gottschalk), where the host, after the “performance”, said he’d always wanted to be a Four Top, and so they invited him to join, and they literally just rewound the audio and started it at a random point, with the Four Tops and Gottschalk then getting back into the dancing, lip-synching, Five Top groove — NO attempt at subtlety!

    I also once saw one of those candid-camera type shows but from Germany, which they augmented with extra footage bought from American shows, dubbed into German, and which I didn’t notice at first were dubbed (speaking to Kilby’s point); more troubling, what alerted me to the fact that this was not originally from the German show was being in my “German” mindset and wondering why the guy with the microphone had stopped a random person on the street who was overweight and “ethnic” looking — and then my mind switched over and I realized this was dubbed and obviously from the US, and I suddenly had no problem with the host’s choice of victim and the whole scene resolved itself like one of those old lady/young girl optical illusions. This was (and is!) very troubling to me, that when in my “German” mode, I saw the world with racist prejudice, which when in my “American” mode I wouldn’t. (OK, I was living in Austria at the time, and I have always held that the Austrians are much worse than the Germans in this regard, and have never had any Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung because officially they were victims of the Nazis, so maybe it was worse than had I been in Germany, but the point still holds.) One of the main reason’s we left Germany was because of this indiscreet racism, with my mother from Brasil being too “dark” and “ethnic” to be treated equally (“Du, stell dich hinten an!” — that’s how you talk to dogs and small children); even I would get the backhanded racism occasionally years later when visiting, along the lines of “you speak very good German!” (Yeah, so do you!), and sometimes feeling like I’m being humored as if I were a chimpanzee wearing a suit, or a dog walking on two feet, because, white as I am, I’m still too “dark” for some people… Anyway, it is really troubling to catch yourself unconsciously freely working in that mindset…

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