Queen—All Dead, All Dead (with Freddie Mercury vocals)

Queen’s News of the World (1977) album turned 40 years old this year. I was five years old when it came out. It would be six or seven years more until Queen were firmly on my radar, and so would begin a lifelong love of the band.

To celebrate the anniversary of the album’s release, Queen are releasing a box set on Friday 17 November that includes a number of recently unearthed out-takes and rarities.

News of the World 40th anniversary box set
News of the World 40th anniversary box set

Among the rarities is this hybrid version of “All Dead, All Dead” (side 1, track 4) featuring alternative lyrics and vocals from Freddie Mercury.

What I didn’t realise, all these years of listening to the song, is that the song was written by Brian May about the death of his childhood cat.

It’s a beautiful song, even if does have the ‘wrong’ lyrics.

The box set is released on Friday 17 November costing £109.99.

I’ll be there for you

I’ve had this rather amazing song going around my head today.

I heard the voice of redemption
For me there is no exemption
I started praying

I heard the voice of satisfaction
Needing me for benefaction
I started pleading

I heard the bells begin to chime
Warning me, oh Lord!
Don’t let this be my time
Don’t let this be my time

I’ll be there for you, when you walk through the fire
I’ll be there for you, when the flames get higher
When nothing fits and nothing seems right
Till the very last breath of my life, I’ll be there for you

You saw me slide, you saw me fall
We kept our pride through it all
We started screaming

When skies are dark, no sun shines through
I know I see the light in you
We stopped dreaming and started believing

I’ll be there for you, when you walk through the fire
I’ll be there for you, when the flames get higher
When nothing fits and nothing seems right
Till the very last breath of my life, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there

In my hour of need
You were there always
Now it’s time for me to be there for you too
Always

I’ll be there for you

Metallica—St Anger… the way it could have sounded #STANGER2015

I have a confession to make: I like Metallica’s 2003 album St Anger.

It seems that I’m not the only one. This week Metal Injection reported that Jimmy Page and Jack White apparently really like Metallica’s St Anger.

The YouTube video above shows a project from Daryl Gardner (guitar and bass) and Chris Dando (vocal) from Grace The Skies, and Dave Cox (drums) of Adust who re-recorded the entire album.

But this version is 15 minutes shorter, and the snare drum doesn’t sound like a dustbin.

It’s even been given permission by Q-Prime Management, Metallica’s managers.

Check it out! It rocks!

Is this the last alphabet that English will ever have?

I wasn’t great at English at high school. I just didn’t connect with it, and none of my teachers really set my heart on fire with passion for this odd, largely-stolen language of ours.

That was until I went to university in 1989 and had to learn another language: biblical Hebrew. In order to learn that I needed to brush up on my understanding of language, grammar and syntax.

Thanks to Dr Jim Martin, Dr Robin Salters and Mr Peter Coxon for the first time in my life I began to feel excited about language. I studied Hebrew (3 years) and Greek (1 year) and after I’d graduated I had a rather failed attempt at trying to learn Scottish Gaelic and I began to read more about English, its grammar and history.

I rather enjoyed this three minute video by Tom Scott about the English alphabet. I have often wished that we still had a few of these characters in our alphabet, not least because then my name might have been spelled Garð.