Few are unfamiliar with Queen’s legendary tune “We Are the Champions.”
Featuring full-on rock ‘n’ roll with perfunctory squealing guitars and pounding bass and drums, the song is perhaps best remembered by its gentle piano — and operatic multi-harmonic vocals.
Indeed while full of undeniable 1970s instrumental bluster, the vocals — isolated in a YouTube clip — offer a glimpse into the skill it took Queen’s Freddy Mercury (not to mention guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor) to get the astounding layers of vocals just right.
No computers, folks. No Pro Tools. No basement embellishments by teens barely into puberty.
Just take after take after take of human beings singing into expensive microphones until every note was perfect and ready to chronicle forever on reels of 2-inch analog tape so the masterpiece could be transferred to black vinyl discs for the masses.
MP3s? Bah! Those were the days.