Monday, March 8, 2010

Breaking Benjamin: Who Wants To Live Forever

Monday’s cover song comes from the 2005 various artists’ LP “Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen” and is Breaking Benjamin’s interpretation of the Queen song, “Who Wants to Live Forever.” We rented the movie “Highlander” and watched it the other night and this is my favorite cut from the movie soundtrack.

The song is played when Connor MacLeod is shown ageless as his wife Heather grows older in each scene and subsequently dies in his arms. It is an emotional section of the film that is accompanied by an equally powerful song. Although Freddie Mercury sings all of the lead vocals in the movie version, the single has an interplay between lead vocals by both Brian May and Mercury, which is just wonderful.

From Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, the alternative band Breaking Benjamin has released four albums in addition to performing this cut on the Queen tribute LP. When I was considered finding a cover of the Queen original, I debated on going with one of the better known covers. I’ll include them all here for comparison; however, these other covers closely follow the Queen arrangement. Breaking Benjamin's interpretation is more varied and has an increased tempo.

In addition, I like the chorus effect on the guitar – it sounds like one of the guitarists is using a Roland amp to achieve this sound. Typically, I only like a modicum of chorus – but I like the increased speed of the effect here giving it that Leslie rotating speaker sound on this version. In addition, the bass part is tastefully done as well.

The German band Dune recorded it 1996 and had a hit in their native land as well as in Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. The following year, Sarah Brightman released her mid-charting version in the UK. Edyta Górniak tried her hand at a Polish language version and had a hit in that country in 2003 under the alternate title “Nieśmiertelni.”

Actually, I like Górniak's arrangement of these three the best. But alas, Breaking Benjamin won my choice as today's feature because 1. Dune’s version was nice, but a little weak – it could have been a bit more powerful; 2. Sarah Brightman’s ending was very unique; however, her interpretation was so operatic that I feel I should be dressed in black tie attire while listening to it; and 3. Edyta Górniak’s techno pop addition in the second verse was a nice touch, however, her release was frankly, well, uh . . . too Polish.

Dune: Who Wants to Live Forever

Sarah Brightman: Who Wants to Live Forever

Edyta Górniak: Nieśmiertelni

Queen’s Single Version

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