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Queen - Queen CD (album) cover




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3.65 | 484 ratings

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4 stars Brian and Roger had already some musical experience before Queen. Their previous band (Smile) was supporting act for such famous bands as Yes, Floyd, and Hendrix. Not a bad start.But Freddie and John were not yet involved.

"Smile" singer introduced Freddie to the band and while he left in 1970, Freddie joined and suggested the name of "Queen". One of the most successful band in rock history was born.

I discovered Queen in '74 with "Sheer Heart Attack" and then bought their (small) back catalogue (by then of course).

I must say that this first LP is a damned good (hard) rock one. Brian May's typical guitar sound is there, Freddy' s voice already brilliant and the rhythmic section as good as it ever will.

"Keep Yourself Alive" is a great rock opening : hard & violent. But the magical Freddy's voice combined with the so Queen-ish background vocals adds another dimension to this straight-forward rocker. A Killer Queen opener. "Doing All Right" starts as a mellow ballad with a tranquil piano and sweet vocals, then speeds up and enters into a furious guitar break (this structure can be compared to "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" or "What Is and What Should Never Be" from Led Zep of course). Excellent song indeed. Vocal harmonies / arrangements announce some great things to come.

"Great King Rat" is another fabulous hard-rock moment : nice melody, solid drumming by Taylor and some fabulous guitars (acoustic & electric) from Brian. Another highlight of this album. It kicks your arse brilliantly and Bryan is absolutely fabulous. An extremely powerful song. The wildest here. I like it sooooo much.

The next track "My Fairy King" is a rock opera on its own. Starts almost like "Highway Star" (the crying voice), and then evolves with fantastic vocals. It is incredible to have so many variations featured in such a short time (only four minutes). They could have developed this idea for twenty or more minutes (that would have been great)! It closes a wonderful first side in a brilliant manner.

B-side opens with "Liar", which again is a great hard rock track. Boy, this must be heaven (don't even need a stairway to reach it while listening to this one)! If this album would have stopped here, I would have rated with five stars without any problem.

Unfortunately, the remaining songs do not reach this level.

"The Night Comes Down" is a sweet little ballad in the "Beatles" style. After a strange intro, Freddie's voice makes miracles again. It is of course not a highlight, but a peaceful and pleasant break after twenty-five minutes of the most interesting, creative and original music. But this doesn't mean prog of course.

"Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll" is the rockiest song here (quite short though, less than two minutes). If they would have written this one in 77 it could have been adopted as a punk fave (and I really mean it !).

"Son & Daughter" is the heaviest track of the album (in the vain of "Bloodsucker" or "Into The Fire" from Purple again). Vocal intro is also reminiscent of the Heep and "Queen" must have listened to "Come Together" from the Fab four while writing this one . Not a great song though. From then on, the album weakens seriously.

"Jesus" and "Seven Seas of Rhye" are the weakest tracks and close the album. Although the former features a great and wild guitar break. But the Jesus stuff is not very much of my likings.

Four stars for this great debut work.

This album is often regarded as one of the most underrated hard rock debuts of all time. So, don't expect any prog in here. Maybe for their next album?

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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