After using it as the opening of their current Rhapsody tour with Adam Lambert, Queen has re-released their song “Machines (Or Back To Humans)” from their 1984 album, The Works.
On the Rhapsody tour, the song helps set the stage for the show’s theme. Fans hear “Machines” — which features Roger Taylor‘s electronically treated vocals — as robotic imagery and menacing CGI robots are shown marching across giant video screens. Freddie Mercury and Brian May are then heard singing, “It’s a machine’s world — don’t tell me I ain’t got no soul.”
“Basically, it starts off where everything is electronic – electronic drums, everything. And what you have is the ‘human’ rock band sort of crashing in. What you wind up with is a battle between the two,” Taylor explains.
It’s all a lead-in to the concert’s opening number, “Radio Ga Ga.” “Machines” and “Radio Ga Ga” originally started as one song before they diverged, May explains in a statement.
The re-release comes during a time when questions about how far A.I. can go are top of mind.
“In these days of Artificial Intelligence beginning to invade our whole lives, these mechanical guys personify Robotic Insurgence,” Brian May says. “‘Back to Humans’ is the sound track to us as humans reclaiming our control.”
“Putting the new show together, it hit me that ‘Machines’ was more relevant than ever,” he adds. “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.”
The band has also added “Back To Humans” merch to its online store to go along with the re-release.
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