October 10, 2011
She’s a pop culture darling. They’re legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Together, they fight crime.
I mean… together, they might make a new legendary sound.
It seems Brian May has been courting Lady Gaga to become Queen’s new frontwoman. The band never dissolved. It just stopped playing after Freddy Mercury passed away. I’ve had a lot to say about Lady Gaga, most of it unpleasant. I think she’s too much show. She has a lot of heart and is very talented, but I never really got into her sound. She knows how to get her fans going, though.
On the other hand, Queen is legendary. They created some of the most enduring songs of the last thirty years and sort of fell off the pop culture radar since Freddy left us. Freddy Mercury, though, was his generation’s Lady Gaga: flashy, talented, and passionate.
Could this actually work for anyone? Would a Lady Gaga-led Queen be a good thing?
I see two major obstacles here.
First of all, Lady Gaga is doing fine just the way she is. She’s got hit songs, tours, the whole nine years. There is no reason for her to join a band that hasn’t released anything since the 80’s. Becoming part of a group also means sharing the spotlight, and while Gaga HAS collaborated with other artists, it would set her back.
Second of all, Queen fans might not react well to Gaga as the new voice of Queen. She’s (rightfully so) a very modern, very sugary performer who relies more on shock value than anything else. It’s not that she’s not talented. She can sing and she explores various personal themes with her music, but I, and I think a lot of Queen fans will agree, am afraid that this won’t be so much a collaboration as it will be Queen becoming Gaga’s backup band.
…But let’s say that Gaga decides to put aside questions of money and fame and does this for the sake of the music.
Suppose this isn’t Gaga just doing Queen songs or Queen adding some rock to Gaga covers. Suppose we actually get a blend of styles and genres, and actual artists collaboration between today’s queen of pop and yesterdays kings of rock. Suppose Gaga puts aside the meat dress, takes her thorazine, and actually mellows out to create coherent music that doesn’t need to use shock to sell. She’s done it with Tony Bennett already, and she sounds great!
Could it really work? Maybe, and I hate to say it, but I’d be very curious as to what comes out of it.
This really could go one of two ways. If Gaga ss business-savvy, she might play it safe and stay away. If she’s really serious about collaborating and not just doing this for a gimmick, she and Queen could make something really unique. She did, after all name herself after a Queen song (though I’m not sure she understood what the song meant).
Well, to perhaps preview what such a super-group might sound like, here is a Lady Gaga/ Queen mix. If you prefer metal, here is an (amazingly good) metal cover of “Bad Romance.” If you prefer something a little harder, try out Lady Gaga meets Judas Priest.