Queen set to appear at Brit Awards, even as Adam Lambert jump starts rumors of new collaboration

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Here’s what we know about Queen at this hour … Brian May and Roger Taylor will appear at next week’s Brit Awards, scheduled for Tuesday, February 21. As for their on-again/off-again collaboration with American Idol finalist Adam Lambert? Not so much.

Queen has posted this new message, concerning this year’s Brit awards: “You might just recognise a particular guitarist and drummer popping up in the proceedings.” Meanwhile, in an appearance on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, Lambert confirmed that he’s not joining the band — something that had been erroneously reported by a UK publication — but left the door open for future projects: “I’m talking to Queen about doing something,” Lambert said. “There may be something on the horizon.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: We dig into Queen favorites like “Under Pressure,” “Spread Your Wings” and “Stone Cold Crazy,” then return for spins of “You’re My Best Friend,” “Ogre Battle” and “Flash”.]

Lambert has stepped into the late co-founding lead singer Freddie Mercury’s shoes before, having previously performed with Queen’s May and Taylor during an “American Idol” finale, and again at the 2011 EMA Awards. Mercury was Queen’s frontman from its inception through his AIDS-related death in the early 1990s. Paul Rodgers, the former lead singer of Bad Company, also sang with the band in the last decade before departing in 2009.

Get More: Adam Lambert, Big Morning Buzz Live

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Queen. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

QUEEN – DAYS OF OUR LIVES DVD (2012): As this sprawling new documentary makes clear, Queen knew — and from the very beginning — that they were on to something. That it took everyone else so long to notice only seemed to spark them to greater heights of genre-jumping, expectation-confounding genius. Because of the way that they had built their own legacy, Queen didn’t have a working template to get trapped in. “They were very opened minded, Queen audiences,” May adds. “We never felt constrained.”

ONE TRACK MIND: TANGERINE DREAM WITH BRIAN MAY, “STAR SOUNDS” (2011): You suspected, just from listening to his wildly inventive work with Queen, that there was little guitarist Brian May couldn’t do. This live collaboration with space-music pioneer Edgar Froese’s Tangerine Dream confirms it. Sure, May has a well-known interest in the cosmos and its exploration, having earned a doctorate degree in astrophysics. But, for all of the many styles that May has excelled at over the years, for all of the times he’s played completely in service of the song — showing such great flamboyance, then such sharp-edged restraint — I still didn’t know what to expect once that famously bushy mane was dropped in amidst this kind of long-form, open-ended improvisational music. We will, we will … space you?

ONE TRACK MIND: QUEEN + PAUL RODGERS, “SAY IT’S NOT TRUE” (2007): “Say It’s Not True” originally appeared on the group’s 2005 live album, Return of the Champions, in a more stripped-down acoustic form sung by Roger Taylor. This version, however, is a much more embellished studio recording with Brian May and Paul Rodgers contributing significantly. Otherwise, it’s a very typical charity song: The lyrics were a bit trite and obvious; the melody was also a bit simplistic. It felt like something we’d heard a million times before. Yet, while there were no real surprises in store, it managed to invoke some of the magic of Queen: It builds at just the right moment into a glorious power ballad.

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The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
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