Continuing this month’s celebratory release of The Miracle: Collector’s Edition, this second special episode in the ‘Queen: The Greatest YouTube‘ series sheds yet more light on the band’s classic 1989 album. Featuring fascinating archive interviews with Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon, ‘The Miracle Part 2’ video reveals how this 13th album differed to their previous ones and heralded new horizons for the evolving band. You can watch it below.
Filmed in late April 1989 on the video shoot for the “Breakthru” single released that June, ‘The Miracle Part 2’ sees Brian, Roger and John discuss the making of The Miracle album and how the sessions for the album saw a new unity in the band – a message underlined by the album sleeve which morphed their four faces into one. “I guess when people see The Miracle, I want them to see the cover and see four people almost indistinguishable from each other,” says Brian, “and I’d like them to feel that inside that wrapper there’s a group who has almost the same feeling. It’s a very closely knit group, and we’ve very much alive, and we’re very much out there again, and we want to make you smile.”
Meanwhile, Roger gives his own ringing endorsement of The Miracle. “It’s a very rounded album. I think it’s quite mature. It’s eclectic, and it’s got a lot of hard-arsed, great guitar on it. I’d say ‘go out and buy it’”.
The interview with John is particularly poignant as it was to be the very last given by John. Since that day, the bassist has never again spoken on the subject of Queen. “The first few weeks of the recording,” he says, “we did a lot of live material, a lot of songs, ideas came up, some jamming. We had a few ideas that were already prepared, “I Want It All” was one of the few songs that was actually written before we went in.”
Brian adds “It’s basically the four of us. If we ever deviated from that then we certainly came back to it. It’s just the four of us on the record, and there’s Guitars, Bass, Drums and Vocals, and nowadays there’s a few synthesizers and samplers and such thrown in, but we made a very conscious decision that the technology wasn’t going to take us over, and we were going to keep the human element as far to the front as we could, and use the technology to preserve and augment that.”
Brian continues: “Although it’s a very techno-aware album, hopefully there’s a lot of humanity in there as well. We think so. We think it’s very exciting because we’ve, as I say, we’ve felt we’re enjoying what we’re doing, and the sounds reflect us as a group more than they have done the last few albums, it’s not like ‘sit down with a drum machine and a synthesizer’, you know – we’ve played together and evolved things which seem to excite us, and then built everything around that.”
Meanwhile, in ‘The Miracle Part 2’, both Roger and John speak candidly on the lineup’s personal connection as they approach the close of their second decade together: “We seem to work together better now than we did before,” says Roger. “We’re fairly up and down characters, and we’re all very different. We have different tastes in many ways.”
John Deacon adds: “Of course we fall out, we have patches where we don’t want to see each other. But we seem to be able to get over it, and, you know, if we take time off and…In a way now, it’s embarrassing to say, but it is 18 years since I first met the other three. I mean they were actually formed together and had the band Queen, and I think they had one or two other bass players. But that is 18 years ago, which is a long, long time. But that, I think, is the secret in a way, personality-wise everybody knows each other, and we can actually understand each other.”
John continues: “Two or three weeks before we finished, it was going to be called “The Invisible Men,” but then we changed it to The Miracle. It’s a bit of a heavy title in a way, but it was from one song. I think the sentiment is quite nice in a way, a bit naïve in some ways, but it’s reasonably genuine. But mainly it’s entertainment, and if people get pleasure out of it and enjoy it then that’s the main point.”