Queen’s newly re-released video anthology, “Queen: Greatest Video Hits”, is an important piece of music history. It’s an important piece of music history not just for fans of Queen, but for music historians, music lovers and those in the business, too. There are those who would like to speak and write negative things about this set. Those same people obviously know little about what makes this anthology so important or about the history of music videos as a whole. That includes music videos up to today.
In its earliest days, the music video was used mainly as a means to establish the identity of a given band and/or artist. With the advent of MTV, music videos began to slowly see a change from forming the identity for a band and/or artist to being an artistic outlet for directors. Those newer music videos rarely had anything to do with the songs being performed by said bands and artists. And in relation, those same videos also focused less and less on the bands and artists themselves. Even music videos made today that actually do star a band and/or artist rarely have anything to do with the said band and/or artist’s song being featured. In simple terms, music videos went from being excellent marketing tools for bands and artists–and their music–to being little more than excuses for overly artsy directors to do what they would consider flexing their “creative muscle.” In direct contrast though, Queen did the opposite of what so many others bands and artists began to do over time. It didn’t let those same overly artsy directors compromise its identity, staying front and center in every video released throughout its career. What this did was maintain a certain balance between marketing the band as a unit and its music. This is evident all the way from its hit, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ all the way to its much discussed video for ‘I Want To Break Free.’ And now audiences and music historians alike can look back and see that for themselves with this double disc set.
The comparison of Queen’s music videos to those of so many other artists is just one significant factor that makes “Queen: Greatest Video Hits” an important anthology. Something else interesting occurs in watching the videos included here. Viewers will notice that the band’s performance of ‘Spread Your Wings’ was likely recorded at the same time as the video for the band’s biggest hit of all, ‘We Will Rock You.’ The setting and attire is exactly the same in both videos. The only difference is the music. In relation, it’s interesting to note that ‘We Will Rock You’ has become a staple at hockey games across America and Canada to this day. In relation, audiences will note in both videos that bassist John Deacon was actually sporting a Chicago Blackhawks coat. Coincidence? Probably. But it’s interesting to note that. Also, audiences will find equally interesting that the band’s video for ‘We Are The Champions’ was one of its standard live performance videos instead of what is presented in ‘We Will Rock You.’
The videos compiled in the collection by themselves exhibit the change not just in the industry, but musically in the band. And in conjunction with the companion DVD and blu-ray, “Days of Our Lives”, the videos presented in “Greatest Video Hits” have an even deeper meaning. Hearing the band discuss the different phases of the band’s career and everything that it went through in “Days of Our Lives” brings that much more meaning to this new anthology. “Days Of Our Lives” was released earlier this year, also via Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision.
Both releases are available now both in stores and online. They can both be ordered direct via Eagle Rock’s website at http://www.eagle-rock.com.
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