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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Straker, Peter - 1978 Changeling
 
Straker, Peter - 1978 Changeling



ARTIST: Straker, Peter
ALBUM: Changeling
LABEL: EMI
SERIAL: 1 C 064-61 604 A
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Peter Straker - lead vocals * Mike Allison - guitars, vocals * Karl Wallinger - keyboards, synthesizers, vocals * Mark Fox - bass, bassoon, vocals * Mike Franks - guitar, vocals * Alan Savage - drums, percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 D-D-D-D-D Danger * 02 Doesn't Give A Damn * 03 Believer * 04 Sweet, Sweet Music * 05 Legs * 06 Star Circus * 07 Tear Down The Walls * 08 This Fab Samba (A Cautionary Tale) * 09 The Black Swan * 10 Talk About Me


Background
Singer and actor Peter Straker had the privilege of having his second album, 1977's 'This One's On Me' produced by none other than Freddie Mercury, a musical relationship that continued until the Queen singer's death in 1991. While 'This One's On Me' didn't set the world on fire, it should have with Freddie contributing his vocal talents to much of the album and a great set of songs. At a time when Queen were peaking you would think the LP could have done better, but maybe and just a guess, it was the overtly gay title and album cover photo that turned off record buyers. Who really knows? Straker's follow-up 'Changeling' with its very Jobriath inspired cover art was released a year later and financed by Mercury's publishing company with plenty of rumors still surrounding the album.


The Songs
Firstly is Mr. Straker's voice who sounds uncannily like his famous benefactor. Both Straker and Mercury have nearly the same range and vocal style to the point of being scary. Second and no less suspicious is Straker's band play very much like Queen right down to the 'Red Special' guitar sounds and background vocals that are a dead ringer for the Brian May/Roger Taylor vocal counterpoint. Third and finally, while most of the material was written by guitarist Mike Allison and Straker himself, some of this stuff could easily have found its way on any pre- 'The Game' Queen album making 'Changeling' a must have for fans. I mean really, take your pick from the over the top pomp of 'D-D-D-D-D-Danger' to the albums single 'Believer' which people swear Freddie appears on despite denials, this record is a treasure trove for Queen fans right up to the 'White Queen' styled closer 'Talk About Me'.


In Summary
The back cover photo shows a photo of his band and Straker toured the UK playing medium sized halls so somebody had to be buying his records. Apparently he's still active in music, although detailed biographical information is hard to come by. As a serious Queen collector I've been hoping for both 'Changeling' and 'This One's On You' CD reissues and I am very surprised and disappointed this has not happened yet. While they are no replacement for the real thing, both albums are great fun and worth a listen.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on October 10 2010 01:35:08
Listened to some of his songs on You Tube, unusual (no.. weird) voice he has. Interesting to note that Roy Thomas Baker was one of the engineers on his 1977 album 'This One's On Me'. So I'm guessing his friendship with Freddie was based on.. er hmm..
#2 | machoman on October 10 2010 11:04:39
Great review Eric! I remember buying both albums when they came out due to the Queen connections*blushing*. I recently found in a bargain bin his lp from 1979 "real natural man". Not as good as the previous ones but still Queen related as it was produced by Mack this time. Nevertheless it's worth a listen as it has its moments especially on side 2.
#3 | super80boy on July 30 2013 03:02:01
The lead off track D-D..Danger is a pompous gem with a great chorus and worthy of repeated spins galore... 'Believer' has the radio friendly chops with the Mercury sound a like vocal delivery. Things really change up with 'This Fab Samba'. Freddie definitely added a good quality and creativity to this most interesting fun filled album.
 
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