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Queen - Sheer Heart Attack CD (album) cover




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3.98 | 556 ratings

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4 stars The first four Queen albums are, undoubtedly, their best, although a couple of later ones run them close. This one may just edge it as their best work, although both the previous and the following have strong claims as well. 'Brighton Rock' introduces the famous Brian May overdubbed guitar work to good effect, and the song itself is enjoyable, with Freddie camping it up in the vocal department. A rock song, but a superior one. I bought 'Killer Queen' when it came out, and always liked it. I thought the guitar work and production to be superior to many other rock songs out there, far clearer and sharper. This somewhat defined the Queen style, with catchy melodies and old-fashioned showmanship. Excellent. 'Tenement Funster' is another terrific song, typical of Roger Taylor. He has always been a rocker at heart. It starts slowly, then builds into a riff-led piece of classic Queen. 'Flick Of The Wrist' is, if I remember correctly, the B side of 'Killer Queen'. It is, in its own right, a fine song, heavy but with a catchy chorus full of harmonies. Brilliant. 'Lilly Of The Valley' is the sort of song only Queen could do and get away with, short, old-fashioned, piano-led and poignant. They were almost a factory when it came to churning out this type of song. Very, very good. It shows modern music doesn't have to jettison melody and taste to be effective. 'Now I'm Here' is another classic rock cut, with the whole band in fine form. Again, deceptively simple and enormously catchy. (Has anyone ever tried to learn a Queen song on the guitar? Extraordinarily difficult! They use non-standard and technically hard to master chords. It is wonderful the way they manage to make the songs sound so simple.) 'In The Lap Of The Gods' opens what was the old side two. Roger is in full swing here, reaching some amazingly high vocals. Then Freddie begins a slow melody, piano led, which turns into a wonderful chorus, Roger reprieving his high vocals in the background as the song nears its end. A superb track. 'Stone Cold Crazy' is a short and fast paced rock song, with excellent, down to the point lyrics. 'Dear Friends' is another of those short and sweet slow melodies that Queen are masters of. Nice. 'Misfire' with up front acoustic guitar work from John Deacon, is another cracking track, with nice singing from Freddie, and an upbeat flowing melody. Tremendous. 'Bring Back That Leroy Brown' is another nod to a distant age, conjuring up, for me at least, the prohibition era in America, gangsters et al. Hilariously funny, with Freddie's voice at its campest and some wonderful harmonies from Roger and Brian. Brilliant. 'She Makes Me' totally alters the pace and tone, slowing everything down to an almost haunting quality. A song that really suits Brian's voice. Again, simple but catchy. How did they do it? Finally we have the one track I am not keen on. The second part of 'In The Lap Of The Gods'. The song itself is fine, with nice piano and singing from Freddie. Unfortunately, it ends in one of those awful singalong styles were Freddie sings 'whoa, whoa la la la whoa!' and you can just imagine the audience doing that silly lighter swaying trick. Sorry but it is hackneyed, cliched and unoriginal. Thankfully, the track ends with an explosion. Pity the last couple of minutes had to spoil it. I can't comment on the bonus track, but this album is packed with gems, and is a must have for art rock fans. A bit like 'Sheet Music' by 10cc, this is diverse, witty, funny and excellent. Get it!
chessman | 4/5 |


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