Queen - Breakthru (1989)
- 80's score: 1.66
"Breakthru" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor but credited to Queen, it ...
"Breakthru" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor but credited to Queen, it was released in June 1989 from the album The Miracle. The single reached number seven in the UK, and peaked at number 6 in the Netherlands and Ireland, but failed to chart in the US. The song is notable for its video where the group is performing the song on an open platform of a fast-moving steam train.
The video of the song was filmed within two days on the preserved Nene Valley Railway, near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, England. The group members mentioned in the interviews that despite the hot summer weather, the event brought a nice refreshment to their studio work. It also helped heighten guitarist Brian May's spirits, as he was going through a bout of depression from the intense scrutiny surrounding his first marriage and Freddie Mercury's health starting to falter as a result of AIDS. The steam locomotive No. 3822 (fired by Mark Needham) and an open platform were rented by Queen from the Didcot Railway Centre in Oxfordshire and repainted for the video. In particular, the group named the train "The Miracle Express", and this name was reflected in large red letters on the sides of the locomotive.
The idea of using a train in the video was suggested by Taylor and was inspired by the rhythm of the rapid part of the song. During the introduction ("new life is born"), the video features Taylor's then-girlfriend Debbie Leng, with a black mask painted around her eyes, waking up and getting up on the rail track. The commencing of the fast part coincides with the scene of the train breaking through a polystyrene wall painted as a brick wall; the wall was constructed in a tunnel, under an arch of a stone bridge. The group was dissatisfied with this part because polystyrene could not stand the enormous air pressure buildup in the tunnel from the incoming train and the wall started breaking before the physical impact. The rest of the clip mostly shows the moving train with an attached open platform whereon the group performs the song. May, Deacon and Taylor are playing guitars and drums, whereas Mercury is moving around the whole platform with his trademark bottomless microphone stand while singing. Leng appears in some scenes on the platform and further in the clip. The train was reportedly going at a speed of between 30 and 60 mph (intermediate values were mentioned in interviews), and thus the group insured itself for £2 million against bodily damage.