Sunday, August 7, 2011

Does movie warrant Queen cover?

Media Moment: Gladiator (1992)
Queen-related: Features Warrant’s version of WWRY

Hey, Gladiator is on television tonight. I could use some sword and bloodery to cheer me up. After PVRing it in the middle of night, I discover that it’s not Russell Crowe scheming to assassinate Caligula’s relatives, it’s the 1992 boxing drama with Cuba Gooding Jr.

That’s okay, I thought. This will be a good chance to find where Warrant’s version of We Will Rock You appears in the film. I have the cassingle of the song from years ago, and only a modicum of recollection about the movie itself, so why not watch it fresh and wait for the song to appear?

It’s not until the final act when buddies Lincoln (Gooding Jr.) and Riley (played by James Marshall) are pitted against each other in a spectacle of gladiatorship that a few seconds of the song is heard. The problem I had with it was that it doesn’t really add to the energy or mood of the moment and, quite honestly, we would rather hear a few seconds of Queen’s version, if any at all.

Being reminded that Warrant did indeed record and release WWRY as a single got me wondering about the origin of the cover. Curiously, the song doesn’t appear on any regular Warrant album prior to 1992. It seemed to make its public debut in this film, and it wasn’t until 1996 that it appeared on their greatest hits album, The Best of Warrant.

Wikipedia has this to say about the Queen cover:

“Also on the album are two bonus tracks: Thin Disguise which is a B-side from the Cherry Pie single (not included on any studio album) and We Will Rock You which is a cover of the Queen song of the same name and was released on the soundtrack to the 1992 film Gladiator starring Cuba Gooding Jr.. The Warrant version of We Will Rock You charted at number 83 on The Billboard Hot 100.”

So it reached number 83 in 1992. Pretty respectable, I suppose, other than the fact that it’s not their song. Unfortunately, this comparison prompted an entry on between the two bands over the song. (If you want to see how Queen is kicking their butts, head over here to check out the stats.) Some of the reader comments, however, leave something to be desired . . . everyone’s got an opinion, just like everyone’s got a bum.

I did get a chuckle out of one comment, though: “For a straight band, Warrant is way gayer than Queen.”

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