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  • Sheer Heart Attack,
  • A Night At The Opera,
  • A Day At The Races,
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  • The Game,
  • The Works,
  • A Kind Of Magic,
  • The Miracle,
  • Innuendo,
  • The Cosmos Rocks,

  • Album Reviews |


    Sheer Heart Attack( 1974 )
    Brighton Rock / Killer Queen / Tenement Funster / Flick Of The Wrist / Lily Of The Valley / Now I'm Here / In The Lap Of The Gods / Stone Cold Crazy / Dear Friends / Misfire / Bring Back That Leroy Brown / She Makes Me / In The Lap Of The Gods

    I'll get shot in certain quarters for saying this, but 'Sheer Heart Attack' has always proved to be something of a disapointment to me. Now, don't get me wrong, the grade i've given it still means it's a good record and everything. It's just that this albums mix of the sublime and the ridiculous and the filler which is also ridiculous just isn't quite right. 'Brighton Rock' and 'Killer Queen' get the album off to a really fantastic start though. Though, they sound like the work of two different bands altogether. 'Brighton Rock' is good music, very energetic and raw. You never realised Queen could be this raw, did you? Well, they are doing good here. 'Killer Queen' on the otherhand is one of those classics they could seemingly pull off at will, but only once or twice per year, which always was frustrating. The other 'well-known' song of the album is 'Now I'm Here'. Four minutes, ten seconds of decent anthemic rock music, but not upto the quality of 'Killer Queen' which is by several streets the greatest tune on the LP. 'In The Lap Of The Gods' is just downright scary. Oh, there are three songs here under two minutes in length, all of which barely qualify as songs at all. First up is 'Lily Of The Valley', a clear piece of either filler or linking track at best and it hardly even consists of anything beyond silence and Freddie spouting nonsense. 'Dear Friends' is 66 seconds long. Nice harmonies but the tune doesn't amount to anything. 'Misfire' opens promisingly with acoustic guitars and we soon reach a nice promising semi-rocker. It becomes apparent though that this is pure b-side to 'Now I'm Here' or 'Killer Queen' being a-sides. It sounds like the work of a couple of hours in the studio from writing to recording to finish. I'll also mention 'Bring Back Leroy Brown'. Two minutes fifteen seconds of very weak music hall parody, only with a rock rhythm section. It's fun for 60 seconds.

    'Flick Of The Wrist' is a highlight, a decent mid-tempo rocker that packs a punch before it turns into an uptempo number complete with classic Queen guitar sounds and classic Queen harmonies. 'Stone Cold Crazy' joins 'Brighton Rock' in being punk-rock Queen. They prove themselves a tight band, the recording sounds pretty live compared to numerous overdubs that would be a feature of certain future recordings and it just rocks like a mother. The echo placed on the vocal through 'She Makes Me' makes the tune. Not a huge heck of a tune, but it charms me all the same. The album actually charms me, it's certainly more than the sum of its fairly inconsistent parts. There is depth here and a huge hint of a developing talent. You can hear it all over the place.

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    Jared Missouri
    Stone Cold Crazy isn't really punk rock. It's more thrash. You should invest money in Queen and Queen II. Both are great albums. Queen II is probably the most underrated album of all. Much better than A Night At The Opera.

    top of page A Night At The Opera 9 ( 1975 )
    Death On Two Legs / Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon / Your My Best Friend / I'm In Love With My Car / Sweet Lady / Seaside Rendezvous / Good Company / '39 / Prophet's Song / Love Of My Life / Bohemian Rhapsody / God Save The Queen

    The fourth Queen album 'A Night At The Opera' really broke the band as a serious artistic outfit. Previous albums such as 'Sheer Heart Attack' were entertaining affairs but always with a dash of filler to get in the way of the good songs. There is no such problem with 'A Night At The Opera', even with the mighty 'Bohemian Rhapsody' prowling around the albums grooves threatening to devour all in its path. The album is called 'A Night At The Opera' and yeah, Freddie Mercury loved Opera, loved the whole idea of Opera. 'A Night At The Opera' works as a concept album if you want to view it that way. Really, it's just a great sequence of songs that flow into one another very well. Songs that could be described as filler by a cold heart are usually the quirky songs, the likes of 'Good Company' which starts out all George Formby. It's plugged into music hall with either Banjo or Ukulele ( i'm not sure which ) featured prominently. It's a funny song, very light, but very happy and cheering. 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon' is a clear nod to The Kinks and quite charming, actually. Love the vocals, love the lighthearted and playful lyrics. Queen harmonies come in, layered and rich harmonies. Brian May gets a guitar part in before the song finishes one minute and seven seconds after it started. Filler? It works completely in the context of the album.

    Brian May or Freddie Mercury write the bulk of the songs here although Roger Taylor gets a song with 'I'm In Love With My Car' adding gritty lead vocals into the bargain. John Deacon's 'You're My Best Friend' was released as a follow-up single to 'Bohemian Rhapsody. A completely different sort of song - a pretty Rock ballad with nice lyrical sentiments. Gorgeous harmonies aid the Freddie Mercury lead vocals and we have ourselves a genuine winner. Brian May's '39' is a nice little folky song and 'A Night At The Opera' is shaping up as one hell of a varied, yet totally cohesive work. 'The Prophet's Song' is eight minutes long - it's longer than Bohemian Rhapsody', actually. It's a deeply strange song, a song stitched together from different fragments. I like the daft operatic vocal part in the middle. Speaking of which, yeah, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The song now seems entirely built and designed to lead into the guitar part that's been made famous by Wayne's World. I sometimes take 'Bohemian Rhapsody' for granted, but there is usually something in this song that gets to me. Forgetting 'that' guitar part, dig these harmonies. Dig these beautiful vocals, dig the serious lyrics that appear before the silly lyrics that appear in the opera section! Admire Brian May and his guitar playing. Admire the way the whole song is constructed and pieced together. Three songs in one, all of them great.

    I've not mentioned 'God Save The Queen' and i'd rather not, to be honest with you. I've not mentioned the opening song either, and that's a more serious omission. 'Death On Two Legs' is a great introduction to the whole album, packed with melody, packed with guitar and packed with slightly daft vocals and lyrics. Packed with goodness!

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    Simon Brigham slb23@shaw.ca
    Classic Queen. At the time, this was the most expensive rock album ever made. "Death on Two Legs" is a great opener, "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" and "Seaside Rendezvous" are wonderfully 'camp', "You're My Best Friend" and "'39" are really catchy, "Love of My Life" is a bittersweet love song (one of their best ballads), "Good Company" is good, "I'm in Love in My Car" is a fabulous rocker. Then there's "Bohemian Rhapsody" an epic song (and single) with multiple sections. The only songs I don't like are "Sweet Lady" and "Prophet's Song". Still a great record, though. 8 1/2.

    Michae Martin chronos31@comcast.net
    First LP I ever bought back in the days of LPs. Amazing work that still holds up today....Get the DVD audio..omg..sounds unbelievable! plus lotta brain may how they put the whole album together goodies

    Sasha satchmoe_09@hotmail.com
    Good Company is with a ukelele, the prophet's song is longer than you suggest but you probably know that, and you didn't even mention the importance of that song!

    Mike Parker kalekefir@yahoo.com
    Looking through this list of Queen albums, I realize that the only ones I've heard are the first two (s/t and II) and I only recognize a few songs from radio. But I want to say that the first Queen album is a "10" in my book, one of the most unique and perfect rock records, completely innovative songwriting, amazing performance, guitar tones and harmonies, production, cohesive variety, "album flow", twisted fragile balladry, razor sharp riffs, etc. "Doing All Right" ranks with The Pretty Things' "Defecting Grey" as an all-time peak of radical rock arranging genius. That album is one of those singular moments in rock history that can never be repeated or approximated, much like "Forever Changes" (10, 10, 10, end of story), etc. There's something of the flavor of the first Be-bop Deluxe record in this Queen album too, but that classic would only be maybe "8 1/2" in my book. Someday I'll have to listen to other Queen albums besides the first two, but I have a feeling there'! ll be too much late 70's disco rhythm to wade through... Don't have a copy of Queen II around anymore, but I remember it was a great one too... Ah, rock music is a grand pleasure....

    moira munky_417@hotmail.com
    How could u not say more about death on two legs?!!! I love that song! It sounds like freddy was mad at someone when he wrote that. (dedicated too...) That and the prophets song are my two favorites. My mouth literally DROPPED when I heard the vocal break in the middle!

    Ariel ariel.megalomaniaco@hotmail.com
    Superb record. One of the 3 records I recommend (as the definitive queen trilogy), whenever I talk about QUEEN to people who doesn't know them that well (the other two being "II" and "Innuendo") And "Death on two legs" is dedicated to a former manager of the band..

    will billmeadows@hotmail.co.uk
    I have to agree with you there- Death on two legs is a great, quite heavy little song, and it is dedicsted to a former, money grabbing manager of queen. '39 is one of my favourite queen songs full stop, with Brians soft vocals suiting the sog perfectly. Your my best friend is a nice love song written by the one and only Deacy, and do i even have to mention Bohemian rhapsody?? Unfortunately, i have to admit to being the only queen fan i know who doesnt particularly like 'love of my life', but there you are. Overall, id give the album a good 9 out of 10, at the very least.

    top of page A Day At The Races( 1976 )
    Tie Your Mother Down / You Take My Breath Away / Long Away / The Millionaire Waltz / You and I / Somebody to Love / White Man / Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy / Drowse / Teo Torriatte

    'A Night At The Opera'? 'A Day At The Races'? Yeah, Queen followed their big breakthrough success without rocking the boat too much. There are changes, fewer lengthy songs and no 'Bohemian Rhapsody', for example. Less highlights all around, actually, but still a pretty solid effort. The opening 'Tie Your Mother Down' sways a little towards pub-rock territory, but this is okay as a song. After the highly elaborate 'A Night At The Opera' I guess that Queen wanted to remind everybody that they hadn't forgotten about great, simple little unpretentious rock n roll songs. Second track 'You Take My Breath Away' opens with a nice little interweaving vocal harmony thing before moving into Piano and tender Mercury vocals. The harmonies weave back in, the Piano sounds nice and the unmistakable sound of Brian May comes in only right towards the songs close. By which time, you're quite bored actually. This is an atmospheric and pretty song, yes, but a not a terribly interesting one. 'Long away' is good! Brian May gets a few vocals in ( is that Roger Taylor adding vocals as well? ) and also gets a little lilting semi-folk guitar part in. 'The Millionaire Waltz' could have lived quite happily on 'A Night At The Opera', Freddie Mercury in full effect - vocal harmonies, Piano and opera influences all to the fore. 'You And I' is a romantic song that also rocks, 'Somebody To Love' a richly produced hit single, wonderful harmonies, great lead vocals. A deserved hit, no question, the rising and rising vocal parts ending each chorus are more than interesting and the high harmonies - "HE WORKS HARD!!" - make me smile every time.

    I don't like 'White Man' very much at all to be honest with you, even with impressive instrumentation the song doesn't seem to hold together too well from start to finish. Still, a genuine highlight arrives with 'Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy', which is quirky, gorgeous, funny and tongue in cheek - lots of things. It's a fun, happy song, a fine Queen song. The closing brace of songs are weird things, in a very regular normal kind of way. Freddie doesn't provide any of the lead 'Drowse' vocals, is this Roger Taylor? Must be, it isn't Brian May. Still, this is a good track with weird fractured guitar, faintly bluesy guitar to my mind. 'Teotorriatte' is a ballad with English and Japanese lyrics, all mixed in. A Brian May song sung by Freddie and Brian, and then by the whole band. And then by what sounds like a choir. It's pretty nice all told, although it won't change your life, you know. You didn't think that it would, did you? Queen songs aren't meant to change your life, they are meant to make you happy. They are sometimes meant to make you WANNA ROCK! Queen do both these things across 'A Day At The Races'. They just don't do them as well as they did the previous time out, that's all. We can live with that, can't we? Oh yeah, 'Teotorriatte' is very sappy, but still good.

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    Sasha satchmoe_09@hotmail.com
    In long away, yes, Roger Taylor does sing a bit and OF COURSE drowse is sung by Roger!

    Louis Negrette lnegrette@hotmail.com
    Although I don’t think this album is as good as its predecessor, it contains three of my all time favorite Queen songs (Somebody to love, Tie your mother down & Good old fashion lover boy)

    Geoff djaef@hotmail.com
    You've got this wrong wrong. ADATR is the best Queen album ever made. ANATO is great, but the follow up surpasses it in terms of quality across the board. There is not a bad song on this album and it shows the enormous and brilliant depth Queen had in their songwriting and performing. On Queen web sites, this album regularly gets voted as their best, and the only album that sometimes beats it is their second album which you haven't yet reviewed. Queen II is a masterpiece, so add that one to your list.

    top of page Jazz( 1978 )
    Mustapha / Fat Bottomed Girls / Jealousy / Bicycle Race / If You Can't Beat Them / Let Me Entertain You / Dead on Time / In Only Seven Days / Dreamer's Ball / Fun It / Leaving Home Ain't Easy / Don't Stop Me Now / More of That Jazz

    What happened to 'News Of The World', I hear you cry! Well, that album was supposedly a back to basics Queen rock album, which is all well and good, but its got 'We Are The Champions' and 'We Will Rock You' on it, so that's it, as far as i'm concerned. It's low on my list of Queen albums to buy, if you get my drift. Anyways, what about this album here snappily titled 'Jazz'? Well, it's a democratic album, each group member pennning three songs or so, which means Mercury songs are less in evidence than usual at this stage in Queens career, though one of the Mercury songs is utter brilliance, so we forgive him. First things first, this album is patchy, very patchy and it hurts. On the one hand is the genius of 'Don't Stop Me Now' on the otherhand the opening track is all Arabic vocal and very little structure, very little to grab hold of at all. I like the guitar parts in places, but the song is just so bitty, the different sections and harmony vocals not gelling, the opening section being way too overlong, etc, etc. 'Fat Bottom Girls' is a Brian May song all over, it lacks subtly and contains the lyric "Fat bottom girls, you make the rockin world go round." Hmmm. Thanks Brian! Utter genius!! Still, Mercury prowls and gives it his all and the song is enjoyable, ultimately, if terribly cliched musically. 'Jealousy' is a good song though, oh yes! Pretty piano, pretty harmonies and weird sounds. 'Bicycle Race' is good enough commercial melodies and great Queen vocals and lyrics. The middle section of the album plods and Queen are treading water. They give it some energy in a song like 'Let Me Entertain You', but after the likes of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - can you really go back to something as 'simple' as this?

    I enjoy 'In Only Seven Days' because it doesn't try to either compete with the highs of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' or try to go back to an earlier Queen style - it just is. It's a nice pleasant song, pretty melodies. Not a Queen ROCK moment at all, but yeah, pretty is the word. 'Dreamers Ball' is quirky and in the style of 'Opera' or 'Races', 'Fun It' sees Queen stretching out and experimenting with a funky disco-esque rhythm, something they'd do more of and much better too later on. 'Leaving Home Aint Easy' is a second 'nice' song, but no more than that. The album is bloody awful, actually, bar one shining gem that raises the entire grade up by a point easily, if not a point and a half - all by itself. That one song is of course 'Don't Stop Me Now'. The harmonies! The gorgeous introduction and closing vocal sections, full stop. The fun lyrics and the pace at which the lyrics are sung, the tenderness - and yeah, tenderness is the right word even when the song is so deliriously happy as it is. Freddie is in stupendous form throughout the song and exactly two minutes seventeen seconds in, Brian May comes up trumps with a classic Queen guitar solo. We still have this utterly gorgeous vocal part to close - the harmonies, the piano. Freddie Mercury just sings 'la da da, ha ha, la da da' - but as it fades out ( and the fade itself is perfection! ) - you just realise you've experienced a moment of wonder in song. Something again not trying to be anything, just an off the cuff kind of a song, yet a brilliant one all the same. Doesn't help 'Jazz' rise above average though, although it stops 'Jazz' being poor, without a question. I should mention the closing song before I go, which is an enjoyable rocking Queen song with often hysterial backing vocals.<

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    Simon Brigham slb23@shaw.ca
    I believe this is the second Queen album I bought (after The Game, which I got in 1998). IMHO, this album deserves better than a 6.5. Yes, there may be a few not-good to mediocre songs ("Mustapha", "If you Can't Beat Them", "Dreamer's Ball") but the ones that are great are REALLY great. My favourites: "Fat Bottom Girls", "Jealousy", "Bicycle Race", "Let Me Entertain You", "Dead on Time", "In Only Seven Days", "Leaving Home Ain't Easy", "Don't Stop Me Now", "More of that Jazz". My rating is a 8.

    top of page The Game( 1980 )
    Play The Game / Dragon Attack / Another One Bites The Dust / Need Your Loving Tonight / Crazy Little Thing Called Love / Rock It / Don't Try Suicide / Sail Away Sweet Sister / Coming Soon / Save Me

    By which time, a clear Queen pattern has emerged of a couple of hit songs, plus filler of varying quality. These days, Queen are regarded for their singles and compilations more than their individual albums, outside of their core fan-base. Ultimately, perhaps one day, most bands will be remembered this way, fast forward thirty or forty years into the future. Queen will be well placed to be regarded as an important ( or at least popular and much loved ) group, but it's an album here that i'm faced with. How does it fare? 'Play The Game' was a single, not the most striking Queen single ever but it was one of the last singles with the Seventies Queen sound, multi harmonies, delightful Brian May guitar break, etc, etc. 'Another One Bites The Dust' became Queens biggest hit in the US at the time, a foray into disco and a successful one at that. Written by the bass player, it of course features a huge chunking bass riff and little else! 'Dragon Attack' inbetween these two singles lives upto them - good job 'Dragon Attack'! Much groovy bass, much Brian May and mucho Queen vocals. A genuinely groovy and rocking Queen moment, both. 'Need Your Lovin Tonight' is a simple Queen rock song, going back in time to the first or second album in terms of structure or complexity, a little fifties influence here or there. And then we get a real Fifties thing, another huge hit single with 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. You could justifiably accuse Queen of coasting all across this album, nothing matches their absolute peaks, but what is here is enjoyable.

    The next single that was taken from the album appears as song ten, so we've got a wait on our hands. Inbetween we have a dreary semi-ballad with 'Rock It', an enjoyable bit of handclapping and a friend of 'Another One Bites The Dust' with 'Don't Try Suicide'. Queen varying their usual sound, you see. 'Don't Try Suicide' and a good half of this album owing little as such to their more harder rock past. Theatre or no theatre - 'The Game' is a straightforward Queen album. Journeys into disco or no disco, this is simple yet enjoyable stuff. 'Sail Away Sweet Sister' is a nice Queen ballad that i'm guessing was written by Brian May. 'Coming Soon' opens with lots of drums, lets guess this was written by the drummer! Queen could have solved a lot of problems if they'd shared songwriting credits, you know. They did fall out over that for awhile. Generally a pretty together band though, and the very closing and third single from this set 'Save Me' is a semi-queen classic with great harmonies and guitar. All is well. Well enough, at least.

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    Sasha satchmoe_09@hotmail.com
    Of course sail away sweet sister (to the sister I never had) was written by brian may! and yes coming soon was written by roger taylor

    Pretty useless album, aside from "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Sail Away Sweet Sister". "Play the Game" should engage me, but doesn't, "Dragon Attack" is forgettable, and I HATE "Crazy Little Thing That's A By-The-Numbers '50s Pastiche with None of the Heart of Previous 'Retro' Songs". The rest is filler. Hugely overrated, and vastly inferior to "Jazz", and even "News of the World".

    top of page The Works 8 ( 1984 )
    Radio Ga Ga / Tear It Up / It's A Hard Life / Man On The Prowl / Machines / I Want To Break Free / Keep Passing The Open Windows / Hammer To Fall / Is This The World We Created / I Go Crazy

    By which time, Queen weren't particularly cool or hip, but thanks to the usual quota of great singles fitted seamlessly into the Eighties rock and pop world anyway. Great songs and good melodies will win through in the end, and will last - over and above any scene of sense of impportant or cool. 'Radio Ga Ga' took some flak for its video resembling a Nazi rally, but that's to ignore the fact that 'Radio Ga Ga', despite the dubious artistic presence of the words 'Ga Ga' in the chorus, is a nice tune to listen to. I love the electro sound of the track, the percussion and little melodies and the dreamy feel of the song. Other singles? 'It's A Hard Life' is a stone cold classic Queen single with Freddie Mercury Piano and Freddie Mercury vocals. It's a Freddie Mercury thing, the old queer. Doesn't that cause you a problem? You see, the guy had talent in spades. Okay, so Brian May had trouble writing too many great tunes to compare to the Mercury penned tunes, but even he did pretty fine over the years. Queen were more of a democracy these days as Freddie wasn't coming up with the same quantity of material, but still. He sings so beautifully all over 'It's A Hard Life' as his voice carries the song. The playing and performance are perfect too, but then, Queen were damn good players and performers. People forget that sometimes. Another huge hit single? Ok! 'I Want To Break Free' this time, moving back to a keyboard led sound, but with requisite Queen guitar parts and drums too, of course. Again, Mr Mercury steals the show, but special mention of the little bass part that runs through the song. Catchy as all anything, if you ask me. Oh, the chorus! Brian Mays guitar when it enters!! You wanna know why this was a huge hit single, even with a complete lack of acclaim for the group by this stage? Why? It's good.

    I like the way the four singles from this album are spaced out through the running order. Queen albums invariably are inconsistent, but this spacing gives 'The Works' a stronger chance to hold the listener from beginning to end. 'Hammer To Fall' was the fourth single, a nice rocky number, simple stuff but great fun to play air guitar along to. Ah, lets mention the OTHER songs then! The ones that weren't singles! Well, 'Tear It Up' is great Eighties rock, a thing some people seem to think doesn't even exist. Great Eighties rock? What the fuck is that?? Well, Queen blended in, carried on. Brian May does his thing here and Freddie Mercury wants you to give him your body. We won't dwell on that, but this is good Rock music. 'Man On The Prowl' is a Fifties throwback kind of thing and Freddie does an Elvis impersonation. Simple, unpretentious and easy to listen to. The entire album is pretty solid, although a song here and there doesn't work. But, that's being nit-picky, and picking at nits. Etc.

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    Sasha satchmoe_09@hotmail.com
    So what if Freddie was bisexual? and I want to break free was also such a big it because of the music video duh!

    Louis Negrette lnegrette@hotmail.com
    This album (The Works) is down right terrible! This is Queen just going through the motions and repeating them selves. This is where Queen became just another euro trash pop band! They even re-wrote there own songs! “Hard life” (Play the game) “Man on the prowl” (Crazy little thing called love) “Tear it up” (Dragon attack) Not to mention all that awful cold sounding synthesizers!

    top of page A Kind Of Magic( 1986 )
    One Vision / A Kind Of Magic / One Year Of Love / Pain Is So Close To Pleasure / Friends Will Be Friends / Who Wants To Live Forever / Gimme The Prize / Don't Lose Your Head / Princes Of The Universe

    God, good god! 'One Year Of Love' truly is insipid, and doesn't sound like Queen at all. When the trumpet part comes in, I just give up and throw my head down the toilet, you know? Oh, but the vocal is very good, very worthy - but what is this bland piece of crap? Still, before that song we have ourselves two perfectly fine Queen songs with 'One Vision' and 'A Kind Of Magic'. All over the radio, you get kinda sick of them at the time - but they keep coming back at you. The title song hardly resembles Queen of the Seventies at all - this is pop/rock, as opposed to Rock, bordering on hard rock. We do get easily appreciable melodies and a very fine vocal however, that's enough for now. 'One Vision' does resemble Queen of the Seventies, right down to the harmonies. A good, rocking song! Oh, but 'Pain Is As Close To Pleasure' just isn't there, it doesn't exist! A vague, faintly disco groove, a high vocal - no guitar. Queen royally lose the way here, as they do with songs like 'One Year Of Love'. Still, Queen are Queen, and still able to come up trumps. 'Friends Will Be Friends' is decent enough guitar wise, 'Who Wants To Live Forever' has a beautiful vocal and feel. Originally tied in thematically with the 'Highlander' film - it takes on new meanings in light of subsequent Queen events. 'Gimme The Prize' is pretty standard, rock-by-numbers, although it tries, and shares a theme with the closing 'Princes Of The Universe'. The excerpts from 'Highlander' were necessary I suppose, given Queens involvement with that project - but the speech and explosions, etc, just get irritating.

    'Dont Lose Your Head' is very mid-eighties, sounds more like solo Mercury than a Queen song, and I blame MTV - for no good reason at all - I just do. The closing 'Princes Of The Universe', along with 'One Vision', the title song and 'Who Wants To Live Forever' forms the core of the album. Through 'Princes Of The Universe' Mr Mercury sounds especially connected, sounds convinced. The guitar goes here and there - we can hear the drums! Queen had a helluva good drummer but I come away from this album feeling like he's been under-used, or something. The title song has a groovy bass line, 'One Vision' is a good Eighties Queen song, but too little on this album really convinces. Freddie sings well throughout, but we'd expect that.  

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    Sasha satchmoe_09@hotmail.com
    pain is so close to pleasure does have guitar in it, and you may think it's different cuz at this time john was veering away from his rock root to more r&b sounds!

    top of page The Miracle 6 ( 1989 )
    Party / Khashoggis Ship / The Miracle / I Want It All / The Invisible Man / Breakthru / Rain Must Fall / Scandal / My Baby Does Me / Was It All Worth It / Hang On In There / Chinese Torture

    A few interesting personal things about this record. It was my very first Queen album. In just a years time, it would sound horribly dated, at least in the UK, such was the immediate impact of the 'madchester' scene and The Stone Roses in particular. Anyhoo, none of that really has any impact of how good this album is, viewed years later and viewed with some sort of open mind to the timeless nature of the very best music. If this album contained any of the very best music, I might have rated it a bit higher. That's not to say we don't have our moments here, this is Queen we're talking about after all. However, too many songs sound just horrible. 'Was It All Worth It' seems to have been built and designed to restore Queen to favour in the USA. It's a huge stadium rocker full of cliche and loud drums and very uninteresting lyrics and guitar. Base. Elsewhere, the likes of 'Rain Must Fall' include so very many typical 80s sounds and no typical Queen sounds. Quite what Brian and co were doing whilst Freddy sang over what may as well have been a bunch of session musicians is anybody's guess. No better than either of these two pieces of fluff and filler is 'Scandal'. Freddy seems to lose all subtly as far as his vocals are concerned. That nuanced feeling with every note and swoop in the right place of the 70s Queen vocals has gone completely by now. Sadly so. God, 'Scandal' irritates me. 'Hang On In There' is hardly better with a very AOR American sound, lacking distinction, lacking any of the qualities that got Queen into a position where they could release an album such as 'Miracle' on a major label and sell a few million in the first place!

    Still, it's not all bad news. A clutch of songs, most of them released as singles in the UK, form the heart of this release and make it almost respectable. The opening two songs, whilst not at all typical of the sound anybody expected from Queen, at least do contain guitar amongst the discofied beat. 'Party' forms a suitably energetic opener and Mr May plays good geetar. 'Khashoggis Ship' is something of a standard hard rocker, but comes across with enough attitude to please during a sunny day with the hood of your car down, driving across the highway. The four songs that follow this are easily the finest on the record, the title track containing the requisite Queen grandeur, 'I Want It All' being a decent Queen rocker in the old Queen ( Brian May? ) style, 'The Invisible Man' being the most commercial poppy moment on the album and containing a great bubbling bass line throughout! Then, 'Breakthru', another decent pop/rocker on an album that struggles to hold the listeners interest and borders on the mediocre, but for these one or two Queen moments.

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    Tom tomflemingavfc@hotmail.com
    I don't agree with your miracle review at all. I think it deserves at least an 8 and Was it All Worth it is one of the best tracks there. Reminds me of an 80s Bohemian Rhapsody (not a bad thing really). And how can 'Scandel' irritate you? It's too catchy. Oh well thats my opinion but you did ask for my thoughts :D

    Brian Dickson bdickson4830@hotmail.co.uk
    Interesting how opinions on music can differ so widely. I agree with most of your critique of The Miracle (in my view Queens worst album) but I really like Was It All Worth It. The riff should be considered a classic. There's even a hint of the old Night At The Opera humour in the "we were so dandy" harmonies. The song also takes on a new meaning when you learn that Freddie thought that it was the last album he would make (he knew he had AIDS in 1986) So if you listen to the lyrics, its clear that it's a goodbye message from Freddie. Other lyrics on the album show hints of a goodbye message from Freddie. Although none could possibly be as powerful as The Show Must Go On. Listening to that song still gives me the chills 15 years later.

    will billmeadows@hotmail.co.uk
    have to say that i disagree with you completely reguarding the miracle review. Party and khasoggis ship are both great tracks, Rain must fall is a nice, easy to listen track that always cheers me up, and was it all worth it is probably my favourite queen song of all- nice peaceful intro, building up into a really great guitar riff, as well as the lyrics being very thought provoking in my view- just remember was diagnosed with AIDS at this point. well, there, ive said my piece!!

    Anna wnpirate@aol.com
    I have to say that I entirely disagree with your review of the song 'Breakthru'. That is one of my favorite songs and even the first time I heard it, it was so catchy and fun to sing along to, theres a great solo thing in the middle by Brian, and a good bass part for John, and I don't see how you can say that it struggles to hold the listeners attention!

    Anyone who calls "The Miracle" Queen's "worst album" makes me incredibly jealous, since that means they've been able to successful scrub "Hot Space" out of their brains. Please, share your secrets, people. More seriously, this may be one of Queen's weaker efforts, but it's still pretty good. How many bands could produce a song as classic as "I Want It All" this late in their careers? And the next album turned out to be a step *up*, so it's pretty easy for me to forgive this for being (relatively) weak.

    top of page Innuendo 8 ( 1991 )
    Innuendo / I'm Going Slightly Mad / Headlong / I Can't Live Without You / Don't Try So Hard / Ride The Wild Wind / All God's People / These Are The Days Of Our Lives / Delilah / The Hitman / Bijou / The Show Must Go On

    1989's 'The Miracle' set may not have been the groups greatest work. Well, it wasn't by some margin, even though it was seen fit to release something like five singles from it. Still, come 'Innuendo' Queen appear to have gained a momentum and purpose, although the reason for this was unfortunately tied in with tragedy. Unknown to the media or the groups fans, Freddie had been diagnosed with AIDS and by now was clearly living on borrowed time. His response was to throw himself into his work, spending a lot of time in the studio working on songs, writing - putting everything he had left into creating new Queen material. He worked until the end, worked until he was no longer physically able to do so. Previewed by the six and a half minute long title song, 'Innuendo' works as one of the stronger Queen albums. I remember at the time the song 'Innuendo' was released as a single, being impressed. In terms of ambition it was almost back to the days of 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Queen reclaiming their place, their legacy after some lightweight material in the mid to late eighties. It works. 'Innuendo' is a great track built from several sections including one featuring 'wandering minstrel guitar' courtesy of Yes guitarist Steve Howe. It's most entertaining! A complete change of tack for second song and another single, 'I'm Going Slightly Mad'. It worked especially well, playing on the fears, rumours and gossip surrounding the state of Freddies health at the time. The keyboard work is modern sounding and the entire song very well put together. A one-two-three punch is delivered come the rushing 'Headlong', a classic Queen rocker and suddenly 'Innuendo' seems to definitely be one of the better Queen albums, no question.

    Further singles were released, namely the ballad 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives'. A heartbreaking Mercury vocal is a highlight of that number and the closing 'The Show Must Go On' is full of suitable passion given the nature of the lyrical matter. The supporting material here is okay, 'I Can't Live With You' is clearly a Brian May song, it screams out Brian May. It's not a favourite of mine here, it comes across slightly clumsily, it isn't smooth. Another rocker arrives with 'Ride The Wild Wind' and although Queen sound full of beans, the material is clichéd. 'All Gods People' has interesting exotic world music rhythms, 'Delilah' thankfully isn't the song made famous by Tom Jones although isn't much better than that. Lightweight and bouncy euro-pop, basically. Not too good at all, actually. Still, 'The Hitman' is a groovy rocker, 'Bijou' opens with plenty of good guitar work, keyboards are added. An atmospheric instrumental to lead into 'The Show Must Go On'. Overall, 'Innuendo' has its faults, a few songs that really aren't upto classic Queen standards by any stretch of the imagination, but the stronger songs here are very good indeed. The whole work hangs together and overcomes the weaker material and the album flows very well. It works for me, and should work for you too. Queen were a great band, you know? Really.

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    Readers Comments

    Henry Kerr henrykerr@eircom.net
    Well for most.. innuendo i beleave should have a 10.. this was a band working for the last time with a man "who was/is without question the greatest rock singer EVER" for the last time, as he was dying with AIDs. the guys were basically doinh this timeless album to keep freddie going on for as long as he could. thats what he wanted.. the songs are by far classic Queen tracks.. but they are queen at the there gretest.. each song is exellent in there own way. each song is as well constructed and preformed as the next.. the vocal, even though fred was in so much pain.. is the best Queen vocals to date.... reconsider the 8.. a classic album.. 10... no less.

    Sasha satchmoe_09@hotmail.com
    Don't diss Delilah, it was written for freddie's cat, I mean the man was dying! Even though the band (especially Roger) didn't agree with it at the time, they knew freddie wanted to do this. Even in its simplicity, the song is good and obviously important to Freddie!

    I was 12 when We Are The Champions We Will Rock You was a new hit,and I couldn't stand it then,and I turned off the radio immediately as I still do now to any of their songs! Just what we need a bad imitation of opera turned into rock music with totally annoying obnoxious words sung even more annoyingly and loud and obnoxiously as,Scaramouche,scaramouche will you do the fandango and then even worse,galileo,galileo,figaro-magnifico UGH!!!! USA Today music critic Ken Barnes said in a question and! answer when asked about Queen being overrated,he said he can't stand Queen and that he thinks they changed music for the worst!

    top of page The Cosmos Rocks 7 ( 2008 )
    Cosmos Rockin / Time To Shine / Still Burnin / Small / Warboys / We Believe / Call Me / Voodoo / Some Things That Glitter / C-Lebrity / Through The Night / Say It’s Not True / Surf’s Up… / Small Reprise

    Ok, this isn’t Queen. This is half of Queen with Paul Rodgers replacing Freddie Mercury, a somewhat bizarre choice given Queen’s previous love of theatre and camp. Paul Rodgers brings bad lyrics to Queen and suddenly everything is taken far too seriously. Anyway, Mercury wrote the majority of Queen’s finest songs, any glance at the credits for their albums indicate this. Deacon, Taylor and May also contributed a few classics along the way but ‘The Cosmos Rocks’ ( by QPR as I’ll now call them ) rarely sound like either Queen or Bad Company/Free. What, they sound like a new band? Well, yes, if said new band is comprised of a bunch of fifty-something’s writing slightly old-fashioned rock music. There does appear to be some chemistry between May and Rodgers in particular whilst Taylor is his usual solid self behind the drum kit. The moral of the tale is, if you do decide to invest in ‘The Cosmos Rocks’ is don’t expect Queen or Bad Company, expect something slightly different to both. That way, there’s enjoyment to be had.

    Enjoyment? Yes, sir. QPR are a powerful entity and repeated plays reveal this album strengths. It’s interesting for example to hear Brian May come out with the bluesy guitar riffs that underpin ‘Still Burnin’. I enjoy the folk-tinged ‘Small’, not something you’d expect from QPR yet this is great stuff, particular the Brian May solo. ‘Warboys’ gets the rock going and is completely ridiculous. Best not to take anything here too seriously, is my advice. ‘Call Me’ is a quirky, upbeat gentle roll of summertime. ‘C-Lebrity’, the lead single, I was unsure of at first yet with it being the nearest this ensemble get to sounding like classic Queen, it’s really growing on me now. It’s also one of the rare times we get to hear those classic Queen vocal harmonies. Not everything is good, a couple of dreary ballads like the side down. Still, what did you really expect from Queen & Paul Rodgers? I think it’s good to have May and Taylor making music again. I wish Deacon had been involved but anyway, a cautious thumbs up from me.

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    Readers Comments

    Mark Prindle NYC
    You must be JOKING! This is one of the absolute worst (and stupidest) rock n roll albums I've ever heard -- and I own every Kiss album! It sounds nothing at all like Queen, and everything at all like an extremely rotten Bad Company record. I don't like a single song on it.

    Jared Missouri
    This is a great album despite what any idiot might say. I can honestly say that there is a lot worse junk out there also. Queen+Paul Rodgers make a solid attempt at bringing good music with different styles and it works for me. Some Queen fans are being way too close-minded about the album just because Freddie moved on.

    Paul USA
    As hard as it is, one must try not to view this as a 'Queen' album. This is a different, new endevor/band all together. The album improves with each listen. On a different note, I'm dissabpointed that you omitted the first two Queen albums in your reviews. Queen II is probably the most overlooked album in the Queen catalogue, and this is unfortunate. If you've never heard Queen II, if you're only familiar w/their hits & "signature" albums, then you haven't heard Queen. I can't recommend this masterpiece enough.

    Rob UK
    Not an entirely bad album but a album that sounds dated.Although a huge Queen fan i dont have a problem with a non Mercury Queen.It makes commercial sense to release new product this way,in my opinion however it also handicaps new material.This really sounds like any other non-descript seventies blues based rock band, a shame as Roger Taylor has good voice and his solo efforts show more imagination than is evident here.Perhaps they should re-name themselves Smile,as i dont see anyone other than diehards buying any Queen+ material.

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