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QUEEN

Queen

 

Prog Related

3.62 | 337 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Regal

The career of Queen has certainly seen them progress over the years, from the raw, earthy rock which dominates this album through many different styles and sounds. Comparing this album with say "Hot space", it is hard to believe they are by the same band.

For most people who were around at the time, Queen began in the mid 70's with either "Queen 2" or "Sheer heart attack". This, the first Queen album, was therefore a retrospective purchase. It sold in far greater quantities on the back of the albums which succeeded it, being all but ignored when first released. Indeed, at the time of its release "Queen" so sold poorly, it can be seen as their equivalent of Genesis "Trespass" album.

Part of the reason it initially failed was because it does not have an obvious hit single on it. The music is generally rather harsh and devoid of the more refined sound they quickly developed. Indeed, there are parallels between the way Queen's music rapidly evolved after this album, to the similar transition in Yes' sound from their eponymous debut through to "The Yes album". That said, there are some real gems here.

The album opens with its most commercial song, "Keep yourself alive". While this is a solid piece of pop rock, there was little then (or indeed now) to distinguish it from the wealth of similarly crafted pop songs of the period. Tracks such as "Great king rat" and "My fairy king" give better indications of the prog glam rock which was to follow, while also featuring Freddie Mercury's camp trademark.

"Liar" has a passing resemblance to Russ Ballard's Argent track of the same name especially in the confrontational use of the title word. The diversity of styles which features on many of the band's album is already present here, ranging from the heads down rock and roll of the Status Quo like "Modern times rock and roll" to the seductive "The night comes down".

It's fair to say that the tracks here are generally straightforward pop rock songs, with only occasional development. They are however performed with a proficiency which was to serve the band increasingly well over future albums. An excellent debut.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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