Queen’s Scandal song is part of the 1989 album “The Miracle” and describes the situation of a famous person who finds himself involved in a journalistic scandal. The press begins to write lies mixed with real things and it becomes impossible to distinguish them.
The life of the person involved becomes a show: it does not matter if he loses his affections, loved ones, the esteem of friends. What matters is filling the pages of newspapers with something that people will read.
The facts that led to Queen’s Scandal
The lyrics refer to the situation of Queen in that period. Guitarist Brian May had just divorced his wife, Chrissie Mullen, and began dating with actress Anita Dobson.
Freddie Mercury was visibly ill but had not yet announced that he was suffering from AIDS. The disease was diagnosed in 1987 but he declared the situation only in 1991, just before he died. However, journalists tried in every way to find information on his situation, even going so far as to violate his privacy.
Just Brian May and Freddie Mercury composed the song, even if the authorship is to the whole band, as Queen used to do.
Scandal’s music video
The location of Queen’s Scandal music video is Pinewood Studies near London. The date is September 27, 1989.
Queen perform on a stage, behind which reads “National Scandal” and on the ground there is a large exclamation mark with the word “sensational”. The scenography want to reproduce a tabloid newspaper. The predominant colors are in fact black, white and red.
Next to them there are actors who stage a comedy. A woman is in a bed in underwear. Shortly after we see her come out of a hotel sliding door with a man. Paparazzi attack them, taking photos and preventing them from passing.
Later in the song, during the guitar solo, Brian May plays while pieces of newspaper rain on him as if they were confetti.
The directors of the video are Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher, aka “The Torpedo Twins” or “DoRo Productions”.
These directors also worked for other musicians such as The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen.
The meaning of Queen’s Scandal video
Drummer Roger Taylor stated that “Scandal” is not one of his favorite songs. During the video he got bored like never before. Brian May explained that the video was not meant to be scenographic but simply to reflect on the meaning of the song, which has dramatic and serious tones.
It is not a piece to play at concerts to make people dance but a cry of denunciation towards insinuations, slander, gossip.
The cover of Delain
You can also listen to a very nice cover made by Delain, a Dutch symphonic metal band. This band was born in 2002 at the will of keyboardist Martijn Westerholt, a former member of Within Temptation.
Their Scandal cover is part of the fifth studio album “Moonbathers” of 2016. On vocals we hear the singer Charlotte Wessels.