Queen’s ‘Doing All Right’ has been a good earner for Tim Staffell - Noise11.com
Brian May of Queen performs at Rod Laver Arena on Friday 2 March 2018. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Brian May. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Queen’s ‘Doing All Right’ has been a good earner for Tim Staffell

by Paul Cashmere on November 15, 2018

in News

Tim Staffell, the lead singer of English band Smile (who later became Queen), has made a nice living over the decades because of his song ‘Doing All Right’.

Staffell and Brian May wrote ‘Doing All Right’ in 1970. Shaffell sang it originally as Smile lead singer and then after he left Smile and Freddie Mercury joined and they changed their name to Queen, May re-recorded it as a Queen song on their debut album with Freddie on vocals.

Queen – Doing All Right

The Queen version of the song appeared on the first Queen album in 1973 but was written and first performed by Smile in 1970 with Tim on vocals. Mercury styled his vocal the same as how Staffell originally sang the song in the Smile version.

Smile – Doing All Right (original)

Queen also performed the song for the BBC. That version was released on ‘At the Beeb’ in 1985 and ‘Queen at the BBC’ in 1995. It was also released as a b-side to ‘Let Me Live’ in the USA. It has also been released in the USA as the b-side to ‘Liar’ (1974).

Smile (being Tim Staffell, Brian May and Roger Taylor) last regrouped in 2018 to re-record the cleaner, newer version you hear in the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

Smile – Doing All Right (Bohemian Rhapsody version)

Queen’s ‘White Queen (As It Began)’ was also originally a Smile song. May wrote it in 1968 long before Queen was named Queen. It appeared on Queen II. It was written by Brian.

After Smile, Tom Staffell became an animator. He worked for the BBC and became the chief model maker for the first series of Thomas the Tank Engine.

In 2001 he returned to music to form the blues-funk band aMIGO. They released one album in 2003 which included Smile songs ‘Earth’ and ‘Doin’ Alright’ with Brian May contributing guitar and vocals to the tracks.

Another album ‘2Late’ was recorded in 2007 but wasn’t released in its day. Staffell got to work remixing and remastering the album this year. It was finally released in August 2018 as ‘Two Late’.

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ movie given a historically incorrect view of Freddie’s original meeting with Brian May and Roger Taylor. The movie suggests they met on the day Staffell left Smile. The truth is they had all known each other for years. Not to worry, the movie is packed with inaccuracies.

Even the music on the soundtrack is not that original. Freddie Mercury impersonator Marc Martell was hired to reconstruct some vocals using the original Queen masters to make the Rami Malek Freddie character appear more genuine.

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