QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT Share Digital Single For “Machines (Or Back To Humans)”

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Queen + Adam Lambert‘s new “Rhapsody” show has been dubbed “a thrilling collision of sound and vision,” and it opens with a bang with a new reworking of their cult favorite track “Machines (Or Back to Humans)”. The feverish live reaction to “Machines (Or Back To Humans)” has now prompted the band to release the original track as a digital single. Stream it below.

The song, originally released in 1984, is more relevant than ever today, as we live in a world where artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly pervasive. The new version of the song features a juddering industrial beat and vocal harmonies, and it sets the stage for a dystopian world of spinning cogs and hissing pistons.

In the opening of the new “Rhapsody” production, the audience hears Freddie Mercury and Brian May‘s dueting lead vocals from behind, raising the alarm (originally in 1984!) that the machines are about to take over. Set against this, the robotic voices are provided by Roger Taylor‘s vocoded vocals advocating the machines’ point of view. The theme of this conflict bursts back in at various points later in the set.

May, co-creator (with Taylor) of the “Machines” song, and advocate of the new theme, says: “The Robot Horde provide a narrative thread to our new show. In these days of artificial intelligence beginning to invade our whole lives, these mechanical guys personify robotic insurgence. In our still-developing current show, ‘Back To Humans’ is the soundtrack to us as humans reclaiming our control. ‘Machines’ and ‘Radio Ga Ga’ actually have a common ancestor, the beginnings of a collaboration between myself and Roger in the sessions for “The Works” album in 1984. But we had different ideas of how it should develop, and the track split into two songs going in opposite directions … Roger piloting ‘Radio Ga Ga’ to completion and into a world-wide hit, and me taking the route of making ‘Machines’ into a kind of unending battle.”

“Putting the new show together, it hit me that ‘Machines’ was more relevant than ever. So the idea came about of theming the show with a 21st century version of this battle — and, incidentally, bringing ‘Ga Ga’ and ‘Machines’ fittingly back together once again. And this stands very well with our long-standing belief that a rock show should be live and dangerous rather than performed to clicks and electronic backings.” he adds.

Taylor chimes in, saying: “‘Machines’ was born out of the electronica we originally explored on ‘Radio Ga Ga’ to create this sense of the battle between the electric side and the human side. Now at a time when it’s increasingly becoming a machines world and we’re all just trying to keep up, we felt it the perfect time to revive this idea of basically going back to humans.”

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