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Queen - Sheer Heart Attack CD (album) cover

SHEER HEART ATTACK

Queen

 

Prog Related

3.98 | 411 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The album represents a wide palette of styles, from heavy metal, to dixieland. It's not "progressive" in a strict sense, but it's a joyful listening full of smart ideas and occasional flashes of prog. The weakest tracks are popish "Misfire" and hard rock hit "Now I'm Here" (trivia: one verse is mentioning "Mott the Hoople"). All the other tracks vary from very good to excellent:

"Brighton Rock" is a brilliant hard rock tune showing extraordinary range of Freddie's voice, so far from the hard rock cliches, "Tenement Funster/Flick Of the Wrist/Lily Of The Valley" is extraordinary good trilogy where everything works perfectly, from Brian's guitar to beautiful and wisely arranged backing vocals to piano parts.

"In The Lap Of The Gods" is a very strange pompous tune utilising weird vocals; sometimes I got an impression that they recorder the vocals, and then slowed down the tape.

I wouldn't dare to say that "Stone Cold Crazy" is the first heavy metal song, actually it's one of the first songs that combines two genres that will be known as "heavy metal" and "rap" ten years later. The only possible predecessor could be DEEP PURPLE's "Bloodsucker".

"Dear Friends" is nice short piano ballad, and "Bring Back That Leroy Brown" is dixieland mockery, funny forerunner to their vaudevillian debauchery from "A Night At The Opera", and first QUEEN's song to utilise a double bass and ukelele. I'm not sure but I think the song is parodied response to USA #1 chart hit from the summer of 1973, "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce.

"She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilettoes)" is a masterpiece. It's not "progressive" at all (except for the ambient sounds of air assault and sexually aroused breathing), actually, it's one of the simplest songs that QUEEN ever did, with only two simple repetitive, hypnotic chords, pretty much in the VELVET UNDERGROUND style. Quite unusual for the band's style, but a great song anyway. "In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited" in this version is some sort of sing-along stadium anthem, quite nice.

Overall, this album is very good. No more than two weaker tracks, and lots of great singing (this album contains some of their best vocal and multivocal works), great piano passages, guitar parts in dynamic range from whisper to thunder, with the sounds that will became definition of heavy metal 15 years later. If you are a prog rock fan (and I guess you are), I can't advise you any particular part of the album to focus onto, because progressive parts are scattered all over the place. And good songs are everywhere.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |

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