You might need to be a Celebrity Mastermind on the subject of Queen to spot all the career landmarks squeezed into this newly created video for Queen’s The Miracle album track “Was It All Worth It,” which dazzlingly captures the themes of the track through an inspired assemblage of archive footage, still photos and cutting-edge animation – and challenges hardcore fans to spot every last reference from a treasure-trove of Queen career milestones. You can check the video out below.
The video for “Was It All Worth It” arrives the same day as the release of the band’ highly anticipated The Miracle Special Collector’s Edition release. This very special boxset presents Queen’s classic 13th album as never before, including original takes, early demos, work-in-progress cuts, six previously unreleased tracks and candid audio of the unguarded band in the studio.
The grand closing out track to the band’s 13th album, The Miracle, the messaging behind “Was It All Worth It” has been mulled and interpreted in many ways. This newly created video for the track doesn’t set out to quell any of the many espoused theories…but it is one hell of a ride through the myriad milestones of Queen’s historical accomplishments up to this point.
At six minutes in length – with epic orchestration and a lyric that charts the band’s journey from first drumkit to global fame – “Was It All Worth It” ranks amongst Queen’s most grandiose moments. “We thought, my God, we’re really getting overblown here!” Brian May told Sounds in 1989. “And there’s an element of humor in there, in the lyrics, which is nice. It’s a kind of conscious comment on some of the stuff we’ve done, and we did laugh at ourselves. We enjoy it, we like painting those pictures. It’s fun, and it’s something peculiar to Queen.”
“From talking to people who were there when “Was It All Worth It” was originally recorded, the band had a great time creating this song in the studio,” says the video’s director Simon Lupton. “Animator Jake McBride and I also had a joyous experience creating this video over 30 years later and taking fans on a whistle-stop tour through Queen’s incredible journey. We hope viewers enjoy spotting all the nods and references we’ve included.”
Starting with the diverse paths that brought the four members to the rock ‘n’ roll epicenter of London, the video nods to everything from the breakthrough 1974 shows at the Rainbow Theatre to Frank the robot colossus from 1977’s News Of The World and the nude cyclists from 1978’s “Bicycle Race” video – all cut with dazzling TV footage of the band taking flight. Look out, too, for the notice advertising for a ‘Brilliant Drummer’: an exact replica of the classified ad that brought Roger Taylor into the fold. “For this project,” says Simon, “I asked Brian if he’d rewrite the advert for us, and he very kindly did – so what appears in the video is a recreation of the original, made by Brian himself!”
As the new decade dawns, the “Was It All Worth” It video nods to the countless highlights of Queen’s triumphant ’80s. Needless to say, even casual fans will spot flagship visual and live landmarks, like the hoovering Freddie housewife of 1984’s “I Want To Break Free,” the record-breaking sets at the inaugural Rock In Rio in January 1985 and that summer’s earth-shaking performance at Live Aid, their final Magic Tour, movie soundtracks, iconic videos, schoolgirl Roger, dystopian flying cars, magical pyrotechnic projecting guitars…truly living breathing rock’n’roll.
Yet other references are more oblique and buried deeper –to identify them all, fans might need the encyclopedic knowledge of British actor, writer and director Rhys Thomas, who did actually win the title of Celebrity Mastermind on the BBC Television series of the same name on the subject of Queen in 2010. And more than enough there to keep pub quiz nights in play from now well into Christmas.
“The truly remarkable thing,” says Simon Lupton, “is there is still so much about Queen’s story that we couldn’t squeeze into the time we had, and we stopped at 1989 when the Miracle was released. There’s another 20 years of iconic Queen achievements, performances and recordings that we didn’t touch!”
One of the band’s most fascinating songs, there are flashes of wistfulness in Freddie’s “Was It All Worth It lyric” (‘Am I a happy man, or is this sinking sand?’). But just as the song ends on a note of vindication (‘Yes, it was a worthwhile experience – ha!’), so too does the new video, with a rapid-fire montage of album sleeves that reminds fans of Queen’s immeasurable contribution to British rock ‘n’ roll – and whets appetites for The Miracle Collector’s Edition boxset.