Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen

Is This the Real Life The Untold Story of Queen Queen is unique among the great rock bands It s been nearly years since frontman Freddie Mercury s death brought the band to an end yet their fan base remains massive they appeal equally to men a

  • Title: Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen
  • Author: Mark Blake
  • ISBN: 9781845135973
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Queen is unique among the great rock bands It s been nearly 20 years since frontman Freddie Mercury s death brought the band to an end, yet their fan base remains massive, they appeal equally to men and women, and their fans are just as likely to be teenagers too young to have been born when the band were still touring and making records thanks not least to the huge succQueen is unique among the great rock bands It s been nearly 20 years since frontman Freddie Mercury s death brought the band to an end, yet their fan base remains massive, they appeal equally to men and women, and their fans are just as likely to be teenagers too young to have been born when the band were still touring and making records thanks not least to the huge success of the musical We Will Rock You Their musical history is one of constant reinvention from heavy metal and prog rock to disco pop, stadium anthems, and even jazz influences Now, having already interviewed the surviving band members over the years, Mojo journalist Mark Blake has tracked down dozens of new interviewees, from long forgotten early bass players to Freddie Mercury s schoolmates, to deliver the definitive history of the band He traces Queen s long career from their very first gawky performances in St Helens, Merseyside through their sensational stage stealing appearance on Live Aid to the band s collaboration with Paul Rodgers at the beginning of the century Full of fascinating new revelations especially about the improbable transformation of a shy Indian schoolboy called Bulsara into the outrageous living hedonist that was Freddie Mercury this is a book every Queen fan will want.

    One thought on “Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen”

    1. If you're a devoted fan of Queen but not a scarily obsessive read-every-article-scoured-every-detail fan, you'll love this, except for the ultra-irritating errata and lousy editing in the ebook version (I got the paper version cheap, but haven't yet read that, so whether it has the same issues or not I have yet to discover). It lost a star for the latter.On the whole, it's not a bad read. Has a lot of the early stuff that most fans will have read about already, but it does go into detail about t [...]

    2. If you're looking for a detailed and well-documented account, this one is a must. Having spent hours on end talking to all those close to the band and reading all available documents, the author creates a highly informative story of the greatest band ever (at least for me). It's a great read in the era of smartphones - you can always check the facts, consult uncle Google for a set list from a concert years ago, and play the songs to accompany any given chapter. The only thing I'd like to see mor [...]

    3. If you followed Queen's career from the 1970's (and didn't like their move away from guitar rock!) can highly recommend this. Honest and complied from lots of interviews. The author has interviewd them all though the years.Made me reach for a few Queen cds and a spent a long time on youtube with nice memories (Liverpool Empire 1977, Wembley Arena & Bingley hall Stafford 1978)

    4. Would give zero if I could. Typos/editing issues, novice-like factual errors, and author with blatant contempt of the bandStory has been told more objectively and effectively by others. glad I didn't have to pay for this book.

    5. This look back at one of the great rock bands of the 70s and the charismatic frontman who led them to stardom is engaging but flawed. This biography is mostly compiled from archived interviews with the band members and contemporary interviews with collaborators and business associates. Therefore, it gives very little insight into the creative process involved in the recording of most of Queen's classic albums, which I found very disappointing. (An exception is an in-depth interview with producer [...]

    6. Well huh. I was really looking forward to reading Is This The Real Life? and enjoyed reading it but, sadly, it just falls short.There have been a fair amount of Queen bios over the years, more so since the passing of vocalist, Freddie Mercury. The casual Queen fan or the simply curious will likely pick up loads of information from reading this book, but anyone who is a Queen fan, who has paid attention over the years, who has, perhaps, read a previous Queen bio, will end this book feeling like t [...]

    7. Is This The Real Life fails to live up to my expectations. Once again I fell victim to reading a Biography from someone not in the band and paid for it with sheer boredom. The thing about books like this, especially coming on the heels of a wide assortment of other like-minded Bio's about a group like Queen, is that once the well has been tapped, the latest author then has the task of coming up with "new" stuff to justify reading his book about a band that has be written about countless times.Th [...]

    8. Fascinating stuff here! Mark Blake does an enviable job of combining his own personal interviews with previously published research, commentary, and quotes to form a seamless narrative of one of the world's greatest rock bands. While a die-hard Queen fan myself, I respect Blake's evenhanded coverage of all of Queen's highs and lows. While there were certainly ugly elements of Queen, and of Freddie, Blake managed to deal with them honestly while not glossing over or taking attention away from the [...]

    9. I used to sneak downstairs, as a kid, and put Queen - Queen on the record player before my Mum and Dad woke up. I listened over and over again. The sound of Queen and Freddie Mercury has been a constant companion my whole life. I was also quite upset by Freddie Mercury's death in 1991.The reason I only give Is This the Real Life 4 80% is due to what I felt was a cold, dispassionate second half of the book. The author seemed to run out of steam and skated over what could have been extremely engag [...]

    10. Written nearly twenty years after the death of Freddie Mercury, this book is impressively detailed on the early years of the band and their members and the "before they were famous" phase of their career. It's also very good on what has happened to the band and brand since 24 November 1991.As someone who listened to Queen almost exclusively in my teenage years, it's interesting for me to read their story written by someone who, i understand, doesn't like the band. I remember buying their albums, [...]

    11. Mark Blake's trip through the years is a fast paced bio of Queen and their individual members. Dozens of interviews with band members and those who knew them best brings this one to life. This read prompted me to revisit some of Queen's CDs with "new ears". My new outlook on the genius of Queen as a whole gave me greater appreciation of how intense and broad based their work is, especially when delving beyond the Band's "standards".Queen can not be saddled with any one genre; B sides - and espec [...]

    12. I've always wanted to read a book about Queen, more out of interest and in search of the saucy anecdotes (nude dwarves with cocaine trays on their head!), than for being a fan. Of course, on digital, I've got the 'Opera' and 'Races' albums, and the greatest hits 3-cd-set, which made me conclude that Queen was not a spend force in their latter days. Innuendo, for instance, is a great great prog rock piece, their rhapsody of the nineties (incidentally, with Steve Howe on guitar).I only could think [...]

    13. being a huge queen fan - i saw the night at the opera tour and several after - and a big classic rock fan - i really enjoyed all the stories about queen and freddie mercury interacting with led zeppelin, jimi hendrix, the who, elton john, and genesis etc. It was startling to read about all the excess surrounding queen at the height of their popularity, how horrible and stupid many of the record company execs were (refusing to release bohemian rhapsody or demanding it be edited first), it was rea [...]

    14. Could have been a lot better with the story on offer. It isn't particularly well-written and if it hadn't been about Queen I wouldn't probably have finished it. There are lots of mistakes in the text. At one point, it even got a Queen song title wrong. What bothers me more than anything, though, is the way John Deacon is often ignored. Sure, he was the quiet one. But too often, it goes: Freddie did this, Brian said that and Roger did something else. And John? Not mentioned. And if he is mentione [...]

    15. I liked this more than I expected to as it moves right along so the tabloid-ish writing doesn't bog down too much. Less "salacious" than some others.There were some good points made and newish interviews, not just the same old ones, though I did see many of the same old quotes.Very Team Brian May, though I think May was a cooperative source, so . . . I have read so many Queen books there is probably not much to choose between them. I am a lenient reader of this genre.I would not consider this ac [...]

    16. This is a decent book. The writing at times is atrocious at times, but there is still something about it that will pull you in.I had a trememdously hard time getting over the fact that the author chose to pluralize Queen. As in Queen were. Over and over. Technically, this could be argued as correct b/c Queen does consist of 4 guys - soural. But you could also substitute "The band" for "Queen" and that is singular - 1 band. The band wasQueen wasI could deal with it, until pg. 254 when he used "Th [...]

    17. Verdict: 2 ludwigsElaborate look into the rock-band Queen and it members. Filled with facts, interviews and little known details. Personally, I got bogged down by those details.Why should you read it?Because it tells, as far as I can see, as complete a picture of Queen the band, and its members, as possible. Care to know where Brian May lived when he was 14? It'll tell you.Why should you not read it?If you don't care where Brian May lived when he was 14, or who was the sound engineer's best mate [...]

    18. A really good book, perhaps not as good as The Brian May Story or As It Began by Jacky Gunn. As an early Queen fan it is not very surprising that I enjoyed the first 200 pages of the bands life. From A Day At The Races (1976) the albums came and went pretty quickly. Found the book did rely on a lot of secondary resources & not too many (if any), first hand accounts. I wouldn't quote The Sun or The News of the World as valued resources. 25 Nov 1991 was an upsetting day & I feel this book [...]

    19. This story of hard-glam supergroup Queen benefits from talking to both guitar god and physics genius Dr. Brian May and Not-from-Duran-Duran drummer Roger Taylor. Reclusive bassist John Deacon doesn't talk to anyone, and the eternally fabulous Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991. This is tragic on many levels, for it would be fun to listen to his explanation for his outrageous diva-like behavior in the group's high years. I wish there was more detail about the group's collaboration with David Bo [...]

    20. This is certainly more comprehensive than Lesley Ann Jones' bio on Freddie, and - because Queen is the subject - it's a fantastic read, but I really only picked it up because I can't yet find Jackie Gunn's Queen: As It Began in ePub anywhere. A feast of mistakes and a lack of flow throughout: thus, a professional editor would have been a great idea!The many references to the band's origins, interviews, and performances had me spending countless hours on youtube - especially Official Queen Romani [...]

    21. This history of Queen is a very candid and informative read. I enjoyed learning the history of a group that was making music before I was born and was still relevant when I discovered music for myself. Unfortunately, there are so many details and the writing style is so matter of fact that, the book is a difficult read. I would have liked to know more of the personal stories that show you the personalities of the members.

    22. I did enjoy this book, but the typos were incredibly annoying. It was really interesting to read about their experiences whilst in the band. But I did find it all a bit contradictory. "She said, he said". But still interesting none the less. I hope to find a better written biography of the band to enjoy.

    23. Thorough review of the band as it grew from nothing to one of the world's most famous, but not as interesting as i thought it would be. I saw FM & Queen play here in StLouis a few times, and they are one of my all-time favorite bands. Freddie Mercury is one of the very few celebrities that I miss a lot. But i dont know him or them any better after reading this book.

    24. Ever since my longtime friend, Jake Lampman, put the needle down on that first cut -- Keep Yourself Alive, I was a fan. Brian May impressed me a lot with that song and future cuts like The Prophet's Song and Headlong. As I am also a lover of harmony singing, Queen covered it all for fans of heavy guitar riffs and good singing. Long live Queen!

    25. #1 rule of my life - if Queen/Freddie Mercury is so much as mentioned (in a positive light, of course) by any form of media then that piece is automatically deemed perfect. And HERE. Here we have a WHOLE BOOK dedicated to Queen & Freddie. What more could anyone want? A cure for HIV/AIDS back in 1991, most likely.

    26. I've been a queen fan since I was a kid and really enjoyed reading this book. But, now could the author get the date of Freddie's death wrong!?!he writes that Freddie died on Nov. 25, 1991. He died on November 24!!! Who edited this book!?!

    27. A very enjoyable book. A different view of the band than I had from just listening to them and what I heard from other sources, but not so surprising as I would have thought. It's amazing they managed to make great music for so long.

    28. A decent and extremely in-depth read on the formation and tribulations of Queen. For me, the book best exemplified the disconnect between European and American audiences' love of the band. Great for fans.

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