The Cosmos Rocks is the debut studio album by Queen + Paul Rodgers released on 15 September 2008 in Europe and 28 October 2008 in North America. It contains 14 new tracks written by Brian May, Paul Rodgers and Roger Taylor. This is the first studio album of new material from the two members of Queen since 1995's Made in Heaven, and is the only studio collaboration to date with Paul Rodgers. The album hit #5 in the United Kingdom and #1 in Estonia, where it stayed for 10 weeks.
The band entered Roger Taylor's Priory studio in late 2006 having completed the American leg of their world tour. Sessions were initially scheduled around Rodgers' other touring commitments. On the previous tour the band had debuted a new song, "Take Love", which did not make the album. Throughout the promotion for his solo tour, Rodgers' also debuted songs such as "Warboys", and "Voodoo". John Deacon's continued retirement meant that bass duties are shared between Rodgers and May. The first single, "Say It's Not True" was released 9 months before the album was released. The second single, "C-lebrity" was previewed on Al Murray's Happy Hour in April, 5 months before the album was released. The album's release came 17 years after the death of Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury, in 1991.
This is a song dealing with partying and generally having a good time. Its working title was "Whole House Rockin'". May confirmed it was written by Taylor. Paul Rodgers sings all the lead, with the chorus vocals dominated by Taylor. The introductory distortion is reminiscent of the 1985 hit "One Vision", and of the film dialogues from the beginning of the Flash Gordon album.
Time to Shine
This track was written by Rodgers, according to an interview with the three of them published on Brian May's website. It also features him singing all vocals.
This song was written by Brian May. It briefly samples the famous "stomp, stomp, clap" of the band's previous 1977 hit "We Will Rock You" from the album News of the World, also written by May. The song features Rodgers on lead vocals, coupled with Taylor who also sings during the 'call and response' style chorus. It is probable that Queen + Paul Rodgers recreated the 1-1-2 beat, as the sample does not sound identical to the 1977 version.
This song was written by Taylor, and is a commentary on nature.
"Warboys" was written by Rodgers as a protest song against war. It was given the subtitle "A Prayer for Peace" to make it clear as to what the intention of the song was. It was debuted as one of two new songs by Rodgers on his 2007 tour of Britain, although it was unclear whether this new song had been written for the then upcoming Queen + Paul Rodgers album. It first appeared on Rodgers' solo live album and DVD Live in Glasgow, and was later performed solely by Rodgers on acoustic guitar on a radio show after listeners called in to request something to be played from the new album. It was officially revealed as an album track in August 2008. It features Paul Rodgers playing acoustic guitar, and also samples many rifle noises. Roger Taylor also sings additional vocals on this track along with Rodgers' lead.
"We Believe" was written by Brian May. It is the longest song on the album. It is mainly sung solely by Rodgers, but the end does feature singing from all three band members. An edited version of the song has been released as a promo single in Italy.
Written and sung solely by Rodgers, this song is a bluesy rocker. The vocals are a lighthearted take on love.
The second new song written by Rodgers which debuted on his 2007 tour of the UK.
Some Things That Glitter
A love song/piano ballad penned by Brian May. The track features Rodgers on piano.
An alternate version of the song is performed by stage actress and singer Kerry Ellis. It is featured on her debut album Anthems under the name of "I Loved a Butterfly". Brian May produced the track and can also be heard on guitar.
Roger Taylor wrote the song about obsession with instant stardom. It received its live debut on the series finale of ITV's Al Murray's Happy Hour. It was released as the second single from the album on 8 September 2008. Rodgers sings lead vocals, Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters sings additional backing vocals, and Brian May plays bass guitar on the track.
On 4 August 2008 the track was premiered for the first time on Ken Bruce's radio show on BBC Radio 2. The single reached #33 in the UK pop singles chart and #1 on the UK Rock Charts.
Through the Night
A song about someone who believes their life is almost at an end, and asks the person they are in love with to help them through their hardship. It was written by Rodgers.
Say It's Not True
"Say It's Not True" was originally written by Taylor for Nelson Mandela's 46664 anti-AIDS campaign, and was debuted at the November 2003 concert. It features Taylor, May and Rodgers on vocals. It was released as a single on New Year's Eve 2007, but despite the fact that all proceeds went to 46664, it only peaked at #90 in the UK charts.
Surf's Up... School's Out!
Written by Taylor, this harks back to the old Roger Taylor-written songs about youth and rebellion.
The song is sung as a duet between Rodgers and Taylor, and also features Rodgers playing harmonica (a skill showcased on several Paul Rodgers-era Bad Company songs, including "Oh, Atlanta" from 1979's Desolation Angels). It is also the only Queen song to feature this instrument.
A slower, shorter, mostly instrumental version of the earlier album track.
Originally written by Del Shannon and Max Crook and released as Shannon's hit debut single in 1961, this was originally planned to feature on the album but was later omitted, instead featuring as an iTunes store exclusive bonus track. The track was recorded during a jam session which lasted 12 minutes long but was later cut for the album.
Believed to have been written by Rodgers, this song was debuted on the North American and Japanese legs of 2005/2006 Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour. The band attempted to record it for the album but could not quite get it to sound right, so they decided to leave it unrecorded.
Three singles were released from the album:
* "Say It's Not True" was the lead single from the album, released in the UK on 31 December 2007; it reached #90 in the British charts although had been available as free download for some time. Its video features many clips of the suffering in South Africa as well as clips from Nelson Mandela's 46664 concerts. The single was released for the 46664 charity, with all proceeds being donated there.
* "C-lebrity" was released as the album's second single on 8 September 2008, reaching #33 in the UK singles charts. Its B-side was a recording of "Fire and Water" live in Japan.
* "We Believe" was released as a promo single in Italy, and reached #1 in th Virgin radio charts. It was edited down from its original 6 minute album version to a more manageable 3 minutes.
Cosmos Rocks received a Metacritic score of 42/100. According to Metacritic, the Cosmos Rocks holds the 23rd place in the 'worst-reviewed' albums list. A review on website Pop and Rock gave it two out of five stars "the lyrics were stupid, trite, a bit offensive and bound to have an undermining effect on whatever musical efforts they put behind it".http Critic website Pop Matters gave it a largely positive review, stating "Paul Rodgers breathes new life into Queen, while still keeping the band's tremendous legacy intact as they soldier forth with new material into the 21st century". Pop Matters gave the Album a 70/100.http Mojo gave it a 60/100, stating "Occasionally they stumble, as on the clunky 'Warboys.' But with Rodgers' imperious, Queen's second coming is vindicated".http
* Brian May – guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards and piano
* Paul Rodgers – lead vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, harmonica
* Roger Taylor – drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards
* Taylor Hawkins – backing vocals on C-lebrity
* Standard CD
* Special Edition CD and DVD
* Tour Edition (Queen Online only)
* Gatefold Vinyl
* iTunes Music Store edition
The "Rock the Cosmos Tour" began in September 2008 to promote the release of this album. The opening date was recorded for a DVD release, and was broadcast across digital video theatres across the United States on 6 November 2008 under the title "Let the Cosmos Rock". The tour included one of the largest open air concerts in Kharkiv, Ukraine which garnered 350,000 people. Over the course of the tour, Queen played to just short of a million viewers.
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sv:The Cosmos RocksThis text has been derived from The Cosmos Rocks on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Queen + Paul Rodgers was a collaboration between Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen and Paul Rodgers (formerly of Bad Company, Free, The Firm and The Law). Guitarist May had previously performed with Rodgers on several occasions, including a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
It was made clear that Rodgers would not be replacing Queen's former lead singer, Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991, he would simply be "featured with" former Queen members. Former Queen bass guitarist John Deacon declined to participate in the collaboration due to his retirement in 1997. The group's three principal members May, Taylor and Rodgers were supplemented on tour by Queen's former touring keyboard player Spike Edney, rhythm guitarist Jamie Moses, and bass guitarist Danny Miranda who had previously worked with Blue Öyster Cult. Throughout their career the band completed two world tours, the first studio album for Queen in nearly 15 years entitled The Cosmos Rocks, as well as releasing two live DVDs and a live album.
Rodgers announced in May 2009 that the 'Queen + Paul Rodgers' collaboration had come to an end, saying "it was never meant to be a permanent arrangement". He did, however, leave open the possibility for future collaborations.. Billboard.com, 13 May 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
The origins of the collaboration came when May played at the Fender Strat Pack concert in 2004. As he had done many times before (but beforehand nothing really happened as far as Queen were concerned), he joined Rodgers for a rendition of Free's classic, "All Right Now". After this, May spoke of a chemistry between the two of them. Following this, May invited Rodgers to play with Queen at their induction to the UK Music Hall of Fame where they played "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "All Right Now". Again citing a new excitement with Rodgers, the three announced their world tour in 2005.
Return of the Champions Tour (2005-2006)
The group's first public performance was at a concert in South Africa in March 2005 in support of Nelson Mandela's 46664 AIDS awareness campaign. The tour began properly with a concert at the Brixton Academy venue in London, with tickets sold primarily to members of the official Queen fan club. An arena tour of Europe followed in spring 2005, with dates at venues such as Wembley Pavilion, Cardiff International Arena and Le Zénith in France. Four outdoor stadium dates were scheduled for the first time in Portugal at Estadio do Restelo (Att: 30,000), at Rhein-Energie Stadion in Cologne, Germany (Att:27,500), Gelredome in Arnhem, the Netherlands (Att:25,000) and at Hyde Park in the UK (Att:65,000) in the summer of 2005.
The Estadio do Restelo concert took place on 2 July 2005. The Queen + Paul Rodgers concert was planned to be one of the stages for Live 8 but only a message was sent before "'39". Two songs were dedicated to Live 8 – "Say It's Not True", a song by Taylor for Nelson Mandela's fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and was introduced by Taylor in Lisbon: "This is a song from Nelson Mandela and for HIV/AIDS Africa, especially today on Live 8 day. This is a song to Lisbon." After this song, May dedicated "'39" to Bob Geldof and introduced the song "Olá Lisboa! I would like to make a salute to all our comrades and friends who are doing such a wonderful job and trying that children through out the world are no longer hungry, let's make a big noise for Bob Geldof and Live 8".
The Hyde Park concert took place on the 15 July 2005. The band and management gave away thousands of free tickets to emergency services people for helping in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings which caused the concert to be postponed by a week. British comedian Peter Kay, who had also appeared during the encore at their Manchester gig in May that year, warmed up the crowd, with the band Razorlight as the support act. The concert was attended by some 65,000 people and Queen + Paul Rodgers performed for over 2 hours.
2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers.jpg267pxrightthumbnailFrom the 2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers TourA typical set list mainly focused on Queen's best-known hits, with songs such as "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Bohemian Rhapsody". In an interview published in the San Jose Mercury News, Rodgers said that the one song they would not be able play while on tour was "Killer Queen" due to the fact that "the melodies are just too on the spot". The typical set also included some songs from the back catalogues of Free and Bad Company, such as "All Right Now", "Wishing Well", "Feel Like Making Love", and "Bad Company". May and Taylor sang lead on some songs. May: "Hammer to Fall" (the first part only), "Love of My Life", "'39" (which he sang lead on the studio version originally). Taylor: "Radio Ga Ga" (both verses and first two choruses), "These Are the Days of Our Lives", "Say It's Not True" (a new song) and "I'm in Love with My Car" (which he sang lead on the studio version originally as well). He would often leave the drum kit (the exception being "I'm in Love with My Car") while a drum machine played on "Radio Ga Ga" and "These Are the Days of Our Lives". For "Say It's Not True", he would be accompanied by auxiliary band members Miranda and Moses who both played acoustic guitars (except for the 46664 concert, in which Taylor was accompanied by May and Moses – which was the only time May played guitar on this song during the tour).
In addition to well known favourites and hits, there were a number of occasional 'surprise' additions to the setlist, including: "I Was Born to Love You" (Japan only), "Imagine" (John Lennon cover, Hyde Park only), "Teo Torriatte" (Japan only), "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (feat. Katie Melua, South Africa only), '"Long Away" (selected shows only), "Tavaszi Szel" (Budapest only) and "Let There Be Drums" (Sandy Nelson cover performed at most gigs). "Sunshine of Your Love" was played in Newcastle as testament to the Cream reunion gig in London going on at the same time (3 May). May was present at that show the night before, which possibly inspired him to do it (2 May). The band also added "Dragon Attack" to a number of shows on the 2006 North American tour.
Queen + Paul Rodgers followed the European tour with a series of performances in fall 2005, in such diverse locations as Aruba, Japan and the United States of America. Slash, former lead guitarist of the band Guns N' Roses and currently of Velvet Revolver, joined the band for "Can't Get Enough" during their show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, the second of their two-show trial run in North America (22 October 2005).
In early 2006, Queen + Paul Rodgers played a 23-date tour of North America. The tour started at the American Airlines Arena in Miami (first Florida date since 1978, first USA shows since 1982) and ended with a sold-out performance in Vancouver, Canada (where they also covered the Jimi Hendrix song "Red House" – the only performance of this song on the tour).
The Cosmos Rocks (2006-2008)
On 15 August 2006, May confirmed through his website and fan club that Queen + Paul Rodgers would begin producing their first studio album beginning in October, to be recorded at a "secret location". The album, titled The Cosmos Rocks, was released in the European Union on 12 September 2008 and in the United States on 28 October 2008. This was to be Queens 16th studio album and the first since 1995's Made in Heaven.
Rock the Cosmos Tour (2008)
On 27 June 2008, Queen + Paul Rodgers performed at Hyde Park in London for Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday celebration. The performance included a portion of "One Vision", "Tie Your Mother Down", "Show Must Go On", "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions", and "All Right Now". Following this, the group embarked on the Rock The Cosmos Tour, opening on 12 September with an AIDS-benefit concert to an audience of over 350,000 people in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The tour then moved to Russia, before continuing around Europe. The concert in Ukraine was later made into a film for world AIDS day and subsequently DVD Live in Ukraine. This tour did include a rare performance of Las Palabras de Amor and the first ever live performance of Bijou.
With a summer reunion tour with Bad Company looming, the singer told Billboard.com that the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration is, in effect, over, and without animosity. "At this point we're gonna sit back from this," Rodgers says. "My arrangement with (Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor) was similar to my arrangement with Jimmy (Page) in The Firm in that it was never meant to be a permanent arrangement.
"I think we made a huge success of it, actually. We did two world tours and a couple of live recordings, and...made a studio album which was pretty historical for (Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor) because they hadn't really gone in the studio with anybody and recorded something like that for a very long time. So it was quite an achievement, I think."
Rodgers does not rule out the possibility of working together again, however. "It's kind of an open book, really. If they approach me to do something for charity, for instance, or something like that...I'd be very much into doing that, for sure."
2009 - present
May and Taylor are on the line up for The Prince's Trust Rock Gala 2010, taking place on 17 November 2010.
Queen + Paul Rodgers performed at the Rock Honours Show in 2004 performing Under Pressure.
Queen + Paul Rodgers appeared on Al Murray's Happy Hour in April (2008) performing "C-lebrity" for the first time from their debut album The Cosmos Rocks.
Queen + Paul Rodgers appear on Eminem's 2009 album Relapse. The song "Beautiful" samples "Reaching Out" which was used as Queen + Paul Rodgers's live show opener on the 2005-06 tour. "Reaching Out" was originally released as a charity single by Rock Therapy, a band which contained both Rodgers and May.
Queen + Paul Rodgers released a single for World AIDS Day (1 December) in 2007. The track, "Say It's Not True", written by Roger Taylor became first available for free download on 30 November, and was subsequently released as a proper CD single on 31 December.
Previously, Queen + Paul Rodgers have released a live CD called Return of the Champions and a DVD of the same name. Both featured recordings from their Sheffield Hallam FM Arena concert on 9 May 2005. The DVD also features a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" from Hyde Park. A single featuring "Reaching Out"/"Tie Your Mother Down"/"Fat Bottomed Girls" was also released. In addition, an American promo featuring two tracks taken from the Italian leg of the European tour was available with some copies of Return of the Champions.
Soundboard recordings exist of all European shows, except those in Ireland and Sweden. Sheffield, Lisbon, Hyde Park and possibly Budapest concerts were professionally filmed. The Tokyo show on 26 October 2005 was also professionally filmed and televised, and later released on DVD exclusively in Japan in April 2006, entitled "Super Live in Japan". Many soundboard recordings of tracks were released for download on the Queen official website, with blank Q+PR CD-Rs to burn these tracks available for purchase.
Also there are many bootlegs from nearly every show of the 2005/2006 tour in audio, and some video.
*Reaching Out / Tie Your Mother Down (Live from Sheffield Arena) - 29 August 2005
*Bohemian Rhapsody (Live from Hyde Park) - October 2005
*Say It's Not True - 31 December 2007 #90 UK
*C-Lebrity - August 2008 #33 UK, #1 UK Rock
*We Believe (Promo Single)
*Let the Cosmos Rock – Film, 2008
Produced by NCM Fathom and Disney’s Hollywood Records. A concert movie captured live 12 September from Ukraine in Kharkiv's Freedom Square before 350,000 fans. It was shown in U.S. movie theatres one night only – Thursday, 6 November 2008.
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Queen + Paul Rodgers on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0