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Queen - Innuendo CD (album) cover




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3.87 | 532 ratings

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5 stars This is not a prog album, but I can tell you now that it will get a 5-star rating from me until the day I die!!!!!! I wrote something of a short novel on the band's previous release "The Miracle" in 1989. Several of the songs here started as demos during the sessions for "The Miracle" but many are totally new ideas and each one of them is brilliant in its own way.

The albums opens with the title track, a 6:30 tour-de-force, complete with a great bolera style acoustic solo by Steve Howe, followed by a much heavier solo by Brian!! This song has every trademark rightly in place, from the vocal harmonies to the guitar tone! It's a very dark and moody piece and although there are moments of humor and lightheartedness, the entire album sort of has that moody quality about it. Perhaps Freddie's illness was creeping into the music or perhaps it just seems like a dark album in hindsight. I don't know.

"I'm Going Slightly Mad" was Queen's humorous side showing its face once again, and the video goes a little further to address this. Songs like Brian's "Headlong" or "Hitman" are some of Queen's heaviest tracks and prove that they still had it in them to write some really amazing material. This is proven by two of the most heartfelt, tear-jerking songs ever written by the band: "These Are the Days Of Our Lives" and "The Show Must Go On." Freddie's vocals are just mind-blowing and Brian's guitar solo in "Days" can bring tears to anyone's eye...his guitar is crying, almost in sympathy with Freddie's fight for life.

There are a few tunes here which are slightly lesser quality, but on an album of such greatness, even these songs are better than some of the material from their 80's era material. "Don't Try So Hard" is a wonderful ballad showing Freddie in fine vocal form and "All God's People" is a great gospel-esque song that started life around 1987 for Freddie's project with Montserrat Caballe. "I Can't Live With You" and "Ride The Wild Wind" are great slices of hard rock while "Delilah" is just an amusing track written for one of Freddie well-loved cats. The mostly instrumental track "Bijou" is also a high point, as Freddie is in fine voice and Brian's guitar once again seems to cry throughout!

As I said in my review for "The Miracle", Freddie gave it everything he had to finish these songs and even after this release he had enough energy to record several other songs as well that eventually turned up on the mostly disappointing "Made In Heaven" in 1995. His final tracks were recorded only a month or two before his death, at which point he was suffering not only from his worsening pneumonia, but also from skin cancer, and a complete loss of balance and depth perception. Freddie went badly...but he gave us these last recordings and for that I am certainly grateful.

This may be the greatest Queen album ever written...but that is a matter of opinion. I love this disc, I play it weekly!!! Pick this up, and under the circumastances within the band at the time, perhaps you will see things you haven't seen before. The artwork for this album and all of the corresponding singles are wonderful, showing some great paintings from Granville! Only one non-album track surfaced as a B-side at this time, Brian's bluesy "Lost Opportunity."

I can't say enough about this is wonderful and not only shows that Queen started to go back to their roots but they managed to blend that older style flawlessly with their modern sound.

I saw someone mention the quality of Freddie's voice on this album...and I do agree. I think on "The Miracle" his voice was still strong, not really raspy, but more mature than the older Queen albums. Here, I believe Freddie's illness may have taken its toll, and while his voice is still amazing here, there is a strange shrill undertone now that is in every song. It's still Freddie, but one trying to do his best with what he had left!

Congratulations Freddie, and congrats to Queen as well! Not many bands can be successfull and still be GOOD after 20 years at the top of the charts!!


silversaw | 5/5 |


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