“THE COSMOS ROCKS”
QUEEN + PAUL RODGERS FIRST STUDIO ALBUM
EMI/Parlophone Release September 15
“Our teachers were The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, blues & soul…”
The first thing you notice about The Cosmos Rocks, the much anticipated first album from rock legends Queen + Paul Rodgers is “all tracks written by Queen and Paul Rodgers”…”produced and performed by Brian May, Paul Rodgers and Roger Taylor” (indicating that between them they played all instruments, including bass – Paul and Brian swapping duties – in case you were going to ask). This is obviously not a case of Rodgers lightly stepping in to fill a vocal gap, as some might have been drawn to assume would be the case when the three of them got into the studio together.
No, this is a full bodied, group endeavour: May, Rodgers and Taylor in a totally democratic union, even down to equally sharing the credits. The album’s dedication to legendary Queen front man ‘Freddie Mercury,’ (you’ll also see thanks credits to John Deacon and Paul Kossoff) shows the band mates still feel his presence strongly enough to dedicate this entirely new work to him, nearly 13 years on from Queen’s last studio album.
You also wonder how Rodgers who takes control as main vocalist on all thirteen tracks here feels about his work being dedicated to the man whose fans still worship at the altar of the pre-Mercury demise Queen.
But then thinking about it, it doesn’t seem quite so strange. Brian May and Roger Taylor have, after all, never shied from acknowledging the mighty presence Mercury provided to the band on stage and the wonders of his extraordinary creativity in the studio. Mostly, they acknowledge how even today, they still miss ‘dear Fred’.
In the case of Rodgers, he can stand assured in the fact that Mercury always rated him as one of the best rock voices of his time. It is public record that Mercury would make a point of dropping into the Marquee or any number of other London venues when Rodgers was performing with his band Free. Mercury often in his past acknowledged Free’s Fire and Water as one of the albums to most influence Queen. On top of this, Rodgers has now played enough sold-out and wildly received dates as Queen + Paul Rodgers to know that it works, and that the acceptance is there. You only had to be there at last month’s Nelson Mandela 90th birthday concert to feel the heat from the audience to the band’s blinding set.
It all makes perfect sense when you get the opportunity to see what the band have to say about the sessions:
“We went in and played, every day, and ALL kinds of things happened, little bits of chemistry happening between us. It’s good, organic music.
“There’s a lot of guitar orchestras and some of our old trademarks, but at the core of it you’ll hear the three of us playing. People really, truly playing together in the studio – you don’t get that much these days. But, you will get it on their new album.
“Do they still call them ‘albums’? I don’t even know. But this is really, we believe, an Album in the old sense of the word – something you can put on and listen to all the way through, and it takes you on a journey … the subjects and moods in it are widely spaced – but nevertheless, a challenge to the listener to put his day on hold for an hour or so, be drawn in, make connections, and experience something new.
“These days it has seemed to us that few people have this in mind – CD’s by large tend to be a collection of songs, often produced by different teams, assembled in random sequence – with the idea that folks will shuffle the order on their iPods anyway. Of course you always have that option! But our teachers were the Beatles, Hendrix, blues + soul and … you know where we’re going with this. “
The Cosmos Rocks was recorded and mixed at Taylor’s The Priory studio between November 2007 and August 2008, and co-produced and engineered by Joshua J Macrae, Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson. It marks the first album of newly recorded material from Queen + Paul Rodgers since they first set out on the road in 2005, and the first Queen studio album since 1995.
A first single from the album, “C-lebrity” is released September 8 in enhanced CD, 7”, and digital formats. Versions contain exclusive performances of Queen + Paul Rodgers live performances of “Show Must Go On” and “Fire and Water” filmed during Q + PR’s 2005 Japanese tour.
The track, according to Roger Taylor – and seemingly much in keeping with many on The Cosmos Rocks – is the writers’ skew on the times in which we live: “’C-lebrity’ is really a comment on the current concept of fame – success and all that goes with it. Getting your face on TV is enough – talent doesn’t really enter into the equation. ‘Celebrity’ is an overused and devalued word today. I think the song shows we have lost none of the humour of Queen!”
Other tracks on The Cosmos Rocks include “Cosmos Rockin’”, “Time To Shine”, “Still Burnin‘” (a mission statement of why artists are compelled to create), “Small”, “Warboys”, “We Believe”, “Call Me”, “Voodoo”, “Some Things That Glitter”, “Through The Night”, “Say It’s Not True” (a new version of the track donated to Nelson Mandela’s 46664 HIV Aids campaign), and “Surf’s Up, School’s Out”.
The album is released in three physical formats: standard CD, deluxe package which includes additional DVD featuring 15 highlight performances by Queen + Paul Rodgers from the band’s Super Live in Japan concert recorded live at Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo on 27th October 2005, along with double gate-fold vinyl release. The album will also have a special digital release including bonus tracks.
Coinciding with the release of The Cosmos Rocks, Queen + Paul
Rodgers embark on a 33-date Europe and Northern Eurasia tour beginning mid-September. The tour reaches the UK on October 10 with 11 dates including two at London 02 and the tour’s final date at Wembley Arena on November 8.
Queen + Paul Rodgers
The Cosmos Rocks
Released world excluding North America September 15, 2008
1. Cosmos Rockin’ (4:10)
2. Time To Shine (4:23)
3. Still Burnin’ (4:04)
4. Small (4:39)
5. Warboys (3:18)
6. We Believe (6:08)
7. Call Me (2:59)
8. Voodoo (4:27)
9. Some Things That Glitter (4:03)
10. C-lebrity (3:38)
11. Through The Night (4:54)
12. Say It’s Not True (4:00)
13. Surf’s Up . . . School’s Out ! (5:38)
14. small reprise (2:05)
Produced and performed by Brian May, Paul Rodgers and Roger Taylor
Co-produced and engineered by
Joshua J Macrae, Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson
All tracks written by Queen + Paul Rodgers
Extra backing vocals on C-lebrity: Taylor Hawkins courtesy of RCA Records
This album is dedicated to Freddie Mercury
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