Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Queen - Queen CD (album) cover



Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
King of Loss
3 stars This is Queen's first album and for once, we are released into Queen's world of Artistic Glam Rock. This for me is a relatively good offering from Freddie Mercury and crew and signified the greatness to come. From here to the next couple of albums, we can see how much Freddie and Queen has evolved. Not highly recommended, but nevertheless you should think about purchasing this album just for fun and for what people first heard from the amazing voice of Freddie Mercury!
Report this review (#40827)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well, maybe they make art rock or put little drops of prog in some songs, but is just a simple pop band. The first Queen LP is just another album inffluenced by Bowie, full of bored songs with poor arrangements. AMybe just "Great King Rat" and "The Night Comes Down" have some attractive but I think that the other songs are imitations and leftovers of the real great bands of that age.
Report this review (#40846)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I reckon that this is a very good album, that tends to go under the radar of music listeners. It probably has two tracks that I would personally say were progressive, those being "Liar" and "My Fairy King", which are very good peices of music, while both innovative and original. The rest of the album is complex, very clever and very good hard rock songs. Not quite as good as Queen II. Songs "Jesus" and "Seven Seas of Rhye" are a bit lousie.

Report this review (#40913)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's very hard to rate these CD's in the context of being essential prog rock discs, etc. Queen is and will always be my favorite a matter of fact I already have my tickets for Queen's show in NJ in October. This album would get a 4 as a rock record, but as a prog record the rules are changed!!

Let's just review the CD itself and let you decide. This debut was released in 1973, although the majority of the material was written between 1971 and 1972. Several tracks were dated even earlier, showing up in slightly different versions with Freddie's pre-Queen band "Wreckage" and Brian and Roger's pre-Queen band "Smile." I figure I'll just pick the several so-so songs first, as the remainder of the album is very strong, especially for a debut. The worst tracks in my opinion are the almost punk tune "Modern Times Rock And Roll", "The Night Comes Down" (which is oddly enough the original demo for the song - all further attempts at recording this tune didn't turn out right), and "Jesus."

Now for the good stuff - everything I didn't name above. "Keep Yourself Alive" was released as Queen's first single and showcases Brian's distinct guitar sound along with a short drum solo from Roger Taylor. "Doing All Right" was originally recorded as a "Smile" song in 1969 but greatly upgraded for Queen's release. A great invitation to listen to Queen's harmonies!!! "Great King Rat" and "Liar" are two of the album's heavier tracks, with "Liar" ranking high on the list of best Queen songs. "Liar" was also an older tune, dating back to Freddie's previous band around 1968. Live versions of this included all kinds of jamming and extensions...a showpiece of their very early shows. The same goes with "Son & Daughter", a great heavy track that played better on stage!! The album ends with an early instrumental teaser of "Seven Seas Of Rhye" which showed up in its full glory on "Queen II."

The bonus tracks on this disc are some of the best, as most others only included terrible rap remixes and other assorted nonsense, but here we get the previously unreleased song "Mad The Swine." Not anything thrilling to a casual listener but a true gem for a die hard Queen fan. Also included was a Long Lost Retake of "Keep Yourself Alive." Although not mentioned in the CD, this version seems to have been recorded around 1977, possibly for a BBC session.

This is a great debut and a wonderful way to get associated with Queen's early sound. A little tid bit - The cover was actually taken from a live photo of Freddie circa 1971 at a very early Queen show, the photos on the reverse were taken mostly in Freddie's apartment!

Report this review (#40915)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars No band had a greater effect on my life as a music fan/musician than Queen. Back in 1986 I was a 13-year-old synth-pop fan who rated Ultravox and Orchestral Manouevres In The Dark as the best bands on the planet. However a chance encounter with the B-sides of Queen's Friends Will Be Friends and Who Wants To Live Forever singles (Seven Seas Of Rhye and Killer Queen respectively) convinced me that Queen's early work was worth listening to. When I spotted Queen and Queen II for sale at half-price, I snapped 'em up, and (after some teething problems) fell head over heels in love with Queen's brand of progressive rock.

Now I happen to believe that while Queen was a highly eclectic band that went through many phases, only 3 of the band's 15 albums qualify as genuine prog-rock albums. Thankfully all three of them (Queen, Queen II and A Night At The Opera) are real corkers. This first album came out in 1973 and sees a tearaway Brian May rocking out like there was no tomorrow. Coupled with Freddie Mercury's outstanding vocals and a solid bass/drum pairing of John Deacon and Roger Taylor, Queen's debut was a passionate affair that rode on the considerable songwriting skills of Mercury and May.

The light/heavy contrasts of Doing All Right, the semi-Arabic hints of Jesus (which explodes at one point in a raucous jam, the heavy blues-rock of Son And Daughter and Liar, the heart-breaking When The Night Comes Down, the glorious Great King Rat (surely one of May's greatest ever guitar performances) and the bona-fide multi dimensional fantasy epic My Fairy King (which has some lovely piano work from Mr. Mercury) are all songs that rank among Queen's most creative.

Even though there are a couple of throwaways in Modern Times Rock'N'Roll (written and sung by Taylor (then going by Roger Meddows-Taylor) and an instrumental version of Seven Seas Of Rhye (which would be revisited in spectacular fashion on the next album), this record is still stunningly alive, and is a wonderful slab of progressive hard rock. ... 77% on the MPV scale

Report this review (#41044)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kings of all Rock genres

What a debut - I mean, what a debut!!

Considering that Queen only got studio "downtime" in which to record this album, and the production is not the most amazing ever (loads of little glitches creep through after repeated listens), the end results more than justify Queen's place among the prog greats - ignoring, for the time being, the rest of their output.

Storming straight in with "Keep Yourself Alive", a killer of a rocker, replete with modulations and that famous layered guitar intro, a series of unexpected chord changes drives forwards in overdrive. The second verse changes the pattern, progressing the song onwards, Mercury varying the melody subtly, and Taylor squeezing in a drum solo before May's guitar orchestra kicks in and drives it to the bridge. The third verse modulates crazily - all this dense clustering of progressive elements in the 3:47 of a hit single! I've heard less prog elements in some 20-minute epics. I'd guess it's only the familiarity and surface rock song sound that prevents most people from hearing the blur of progressive ideas as they steam past at full tilt.

After such a devastating opening, there's only one way to go to preserve a symphonic dramatic structure - most symphonies go to the slow movement next. Queen uphold this tradition, and mellow things out with "Doing All Right". Mercury provides a beautiful piano introduction that he varies dynamically, before May begins to weave his guitar lines around the vocal melody. The sumptuous Queen harmonies provide a layer wash on what might be seen as a chorus - but then Queen do something entirely unexpected, and change the time signature, riff, key and overall feel of the piece. Some wierd chord progressions and a fabulous build up follows, but when the monster riff kicks in we are still unprepared and Mays solo takes us on a flight of ecstasy into more of the magical Queen choir. The song drops back into the main verse melody plus guitar variations, and BAM! The monster solo riff returns in fine fettle... to finish full circle with a gentle piano outro.

Having set the stage, the time is right for "Great King Rat". Feedback paves the way for some distorted guitar mayhem, then Mercury dives into the tale, using some very inventive vocal layering. All the while May layers up the guitar licks, and Taylor adds vocal highlights and driving drums. Check out the wah-wah layered solo - crazy! Another massive time change follows to pre-empt the lyrics "Now listen all you people...". Queen maintain the tension for another round, before another time change into an acoustic guitar section, which changes again, and again... an extended guitar solo section flits through several driving styles before the chorus finshes the piece.

"My Fairy King" - now there's a prog title if ever I saw one - begins unpredictably and races through several devices within the first minute with some incredible vocal harmonies - this piece swirls around before the now familiar Queen swoop drives the piece through key change, time change, style change - everything change, man, this piece is crazy! Download and listen ;0) A moment's respite and some back-tracked guitar layering provide an eerie texture and a sublime build-up to the reprise.

On the vinyl LP, that is the end of side 1 - and what a trip! Only 18 minutes, but with more ideas, inventiveness, key and time changes than the average Yes triple album - just condensed into mini tornados of sound. They don't make music like this anymore... Sadly, neither did Queen on this album. Side 2 starts well, but is not as consistently progressive as side 1.

"Liar" opens side 2. We might expect to find more of the same in here, and Queen do not disappoint with the intro. A pounding drum ricochets into powerful, rocking, swirling riffola from May, with accented prog-like drumming from Taylor, feeding into a song awash with time changes, drama and dynamic extremes - is this the first prog metal song? The piece develops the thematic material right through the solo, picking up ideas, removing textures and revealing depths to the music, whilst maintaining the surface of a "pure" rock song. Utter genius!

Next, "The Night Comes Down" begins with bass and guitar with cymbal washes, which feed into a drum pattern I'm sure I've heard the Ozric Tentacles using. Wonderful, progressive textures, that feed into the May guitar orchestra taking a whirlwind tour of wierd chord progressions, before Mercury picks up the song - a slightly hard to follow piece, with some very odd chord changes. The chorus brings a shade of accessibility at last - with a strangely soft rock feel. But this is nothing like your standard soft rock - although maybe some Beatles influence is detectable. That's no bad thing, though, and the May guitar orchestra again brings about a swirling climax of sound that changes abruptly into "Modern Times Rock'n'Roll".

Probably the second weakest track on the album, progressively, it's still a stomper, with full Queen choir - and pure "Modern Times Rock'nRoll".

This segues into "Son and Daughter", driven by a Led-Zep style riff, with possibly the wierdest chorus construction ever, and an inspired coda sequence, with lyrics about a man attempting to be both son and daughter... don't miss this!

"Jesus" is possibly the weakest track on the entire album, May putting in a surprisingly lacklustre performance, despite the crunching riffs that kick off the solo, and the multiplicity of layers only make the whole thing sound a bit of an unco-ordinated mess.

"Seven Seas Of Rhye" is just a taster of what's to come on later albums, prog-pickers - and it's a goodie!

In conclusion, if I was considering side 1 alone, this would be a bona fide masterpiece of prog rock alright - a stupendous effort.

Side 2 lets the whole thing down a bit, but still, this remains an excellent addition to any prog rock collection based on side 1 alone. If you've only got a CD player, then set "Jesus" to skip, and repeat "My Fairy King" instead :0)

This is an album that will add the ROCK to your prog rock collection. Play LOUD!!!

Report this review (#41138)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great debut album for one of the greatest bands of all time, "Queen" is the perfect example that Queen were great since the beginning. Yes, the production of the record is not good, some parts are more rowdy and some chorus are quite out of time. But you can find those imperfections analizing the particulars (remeber that this is a debut album). In the complex the work sounds really good, with great musicianship by my best guitarist ever, Brian May, energetic and spontaneous rithmic section by Roger Taylor and the divine, for me, John Deacon and, of course, the sour but already great voice of the greatest of all time, Freddie Mercury.

The songs are really good and since the beginning Queen shows the will to create it's own sound and style, not being poor rock or only banal pop, but using any kind of influence of the '70. That will be a constant in their careere. The record starts with an energic rock piece called "Keep Yourself Alive", guitar leaded, with great vocalism and chasing rithm. The sweet and rock together ballad "Doing all Right" follow up with great changing of rithm and superb musicianship, most in light parts than in hard's ones. Another rock piece, "Great King Rat", follows. It seems really a progressive song, with a lot of parts, with riding and rocking parts briged very well. "My Fairy Queen" seems, in the beginning, a medieval ballad, but then, as in the previous songs, will be soon full of riding rithm and instrumental harmonics. In some parts of the record, May's guitar is used like a synth, with only a self made amplifier, the "Deacy", from the name of his constructor, John Deacon, and a sustain pedal, selfmade too. What a genious! "Liar" is the longest song. It's divided in several parts, with changing of rithms for a really great rithmic section. This is the peak of the record. "The Night comes down" begins with a combined solo between May's acoustic guitar, played with pen-strokes in striking, to become a sweet ballad for 3 minutes. In the end all returns like the beginning. "Modern Times Rock & Roll" is the worst song of the album. The voice is by Roger Taylor and is only a little rock&roll with ugly lyrics but played in good way. I love to think that this is a joking track. "Son and Daughter". It seems Led Zeppelin! Queen made hard rock like the great of the genre, but with really a progressive ending of the song. Really May's guitar seems a synth. Great power voice from Freddie, the Prince. "Jesus" is a beautiful track, with a marcetta rithm and lyrics about Christ birth. In the middle of the song there is a good instrumental part, leaded by Brian's Red Special. "Seven Seas Of Rhye" is not the fame singet version. In this album they introduced an instrumental version of a little more of one minute. Is one of the best ending for an album that I had ever heard.

The music of this band gave and give to me emotions like only few other bands do. I heard Queen since I was 6 years old. So they accompanied me for all my life. Prog or non-prog band they were immense. Buy all of their albums, but begin from this one. Follow the evolution of the band in the years... It will be GREAT!

Report this review (#41167)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Between 1971 and 1972 Queen's gitarist brian May worked at the 'De Lane Lea' studio, testing the then new eqcuipement, in the down-time Queen where allowed the use of the studio facilities to record demo's, with these demo's they managed to get a record contract with trident, and they recorded one of their finest albums to date, mainly based on those demo's.

Before the album Queen released a single under the name of Larry Lurex, (Gary Glitter parody name), a cover version of The Beach Boys song 'I Can Hear Music' which attracted some publicity, the Queen album was released to long after that to benefit from that publicity, also the first official Queen single was received with scepticism by the 'serious' rock press, this all led to the debut album to remain in relative obscurity for a year, but with the succes of Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack it became a minor album-chart succes nonetheless.

Queen was a four man band, fronted by Freddie Mercury on vocals and piano, Brian may on guitar, john Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums. The songs on the debut album are mainly written by Freddie and Brian, playing heavy rock, with progressive textures and arrangements, fabulous guitar-orchestrations, and great vocals, a mixture of Uriah heep type choir's and Gentle Giant's use of overlapping vocal lines. Freddie's piano is not as prominent as on later releases, but the times he uses it, it adds to the sound in a fabulous way.

The album starts with 'Keep Yourself Alive' a brilliant guitar intro, it appears to be a straight forward rock song but changes tempo so often and unexpected and the guitar orchestration make it so much more than that, really great.

Doing Alright, written by May with Tim Staffel in the Smile days, starts as a soft ballad, with slow piano melodies, and very sweet guitar passages, with Freddie Mercury singing, absolutely fabulous, after the first minute, slowely the song gets more fast, with a great bass line that propels the music to a more heavy sound, with heavy metal guitar parts, when you hear it for the first time, you'll not hear it coming untill it happens, fabulous, swiftly turning back to a more mellow soft part again, and finishing with a great heavy final, and closing as it began. Great song.

Great King Rat changes tempo at the drop of a hat, fabulous hard rock rhythms, great guitar solo extravaganza. Brilliantly complex and a driving drum beat, the song get's heavier with each beat, slows down a bit with an accoustic part and picks right on up with a fabulous guitar solo from Brian. fabulous song.

My Fairy King, a wonderfull high pitched guitar starts the song, then the piano joins in, and a scream make the intro complete, fast typical Mercurian piano structures, many many changes, with vocals overlapping each other, really fabulous, if ever a song was progressive than this is it, fabulously great song, with a whirlwind of changes.

Liar, The first minute is really a heavy metal piece, after that the song develops from soft and gentle to more heavy structures, with a dominant rol for Brian May's guitar orchestration above the pounding drum and bass play of Taylor and Deacon, and the vocal wizardry of Mercury, with a typical Queen change which leads us to a Gospel like middle section, but with heavy metal drums behind it. A fabulous heavy guitar leads to a climaxing final, a really thrilling song.

The Night Comes Down, a wonderfull song, it starts with a slapp-bass guitar intro, really brilliant song, mainly a soft ballad, but the vocals are so compelling, and the guitar is really wonderfull, the final grows in intensity and leads us straight into Modern Times Rock and Roll.

Modern Times Rock and Roll is a Roger Taylor composition, not as good as the rest of the material, but still some good moments, a short very fast heavy metal song, with Mercury and Taylor sharing the vocals.

son & Daughter, a dark heavy song, with fabulous vocals, but the guitar works on this are really great, deep grooves, with some high pitched guitar orchestra above it

Jesus has some great vocal harmonies, and a good guitar final from May rescue this song from being bad, but it's not very impressive, the end is very good actually, but I think they could have done it better.

The album closes with the instrumental Seven Seas Of Rhye that will be redone for their second album with lyrics, it really is a preview of what's to come, very nice fast piano introduction.

The bonus tracks on the Hollywood records remasters are good also, most of the remastered versions of Queen albums have bad remixes of some songs, but on this edition the remixes are very true to the original recordings, and the added Mad The Swine is utterly brilliant, a soft gospel like accoustic based ballad, great song. Excuse me for the length of this review, I'll wrap it up now.

queen's debut album really is very impressive, heavy metal guitars combined with progressive changes, multi-layered guitar orchestrations and sublime vocal lines, the second part of the album (eg. Modern Times rock and Roll, untill the end) is a bit lesser in quality, but the first 6 songs really are great. I love this, recommended for all progressive rock fans, four stars without a doubt, You just got to love this if you're into the heavier side of the prog rock spectrum.

Report this review (#41192)
Posted Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars I'll give all Queen albums a true rating without concerning myself whether they are prog or not (not IMHO). Actually this is one of the last Queen album I bought (had everything until Jazz) , and I was very surprised to see how many tracks I knew (almost everyone of them - whether I consciously knew they were Queen tracks or not) at the first time I lay the vinyl on my turntable!

All first five tracks are absolute classics showing how great a scope of songs Queen could encompass , displaying superb pop songwriting abilities, excellent musicianship , good production means. The second side pales a bit in comparison but remains of a tremendous and imaginative songwriting level. Liar is simply the track i enjoy most , but not one weak track! Regardless of the proressiveness or not , what a fabulous rock album.

Report this review (#41696)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars this is my favourite queen album. the work of brian may on the guitar is just amazing, he creates an incredible sound superposing layers and layers of guitars obtaining an orchestral sound. the another remarkable aspect of this album and really of all queen's works, are the incredible choral arrangements, led by the incomparable freddy mercury's voice. the first track is keep yourself alive, a poweful song composed by brian may, it begin with a great introduction of guitar and then freddy's voice appears. the best moment of the song is in the middle, when roger makes an amazing drum solo. the second song is doing all right, it was composed by may and staffell in the times of smile. the song starts with freddy singing and playing the piano. then appears the other instruments. little by little the song begins to sound more loudly, untill may explodes with a powerful and distortioned riff. great king rat is one of the bests queen's songs ever. the changes of times, the incredible brian may solo, the lyrics, the deep and dark voice of freddy, and the melody, all is perfect, everything. my fairy king is one of my favourites too, it begins with a brian may guitar solo that finish with a scream of roger taylor (i suppouse). late only stay the piano and the sharp and sweet voice of freddy singing a beauty melody that says "in the land where horses born with eagle wings...", often, comes a lot of incredible choral arrangements that ends with another scream of roger, the song turns to the heavy and late finish with freddy singing and playing the piano again. this song changes all the time and never repeat the previous parts. very prog, very great!!! liar is a heavy heavy song. it begins with palms and drums and then follow with a heavy guitar riff. the song changes a lot of times, for moments is delicate and for moments is agressive. a very good work of taylor in drums and many brilliant moments of deacon. an excelent song. the night comes down is a quiet and nice piece that begins with a great bass introduction and finished at the same way joining this song with the next, modern times rock n' roll, a rocker and fast song, it seems like if they were playing it in fast forward. nothing more to say. son and daughter is a very heavy song, simple structure, simple time 4/4 but with many good arrangements. nothing complex but a good song too. jesus, a very powerful song, or in other words a sheer heart attack, the sound of brian may's guitar is the sound of heaven (jesus=heaven, its all that i learned in the school), the guitar solo is amazing, one of the bests moments in the album. at the last, seven seas of rhye, this is not the famous version with lyrics, it's a short instrumental version. a beginning of a great song and a finish for a great album.
Report this review (#41757)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first eponym album of the band was more a hardrock style piece very inspired of Led Zep but there were some great prog moments on it. The jewel "My Fairy King" is the perfect example of this with its epic narration with beautiful guitar arrangements. What is sure is that this first album contains all what we make Queen famous for, incredible Mercury voice, styly and provocative lyrics, over the top guitar of May and the good job of Taylor and Deacon. A real cool rock album that still kicks your ass!
Report this review (#43413)
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was a Queen fan right from when "Seven Seas Of Rhye" was released. I bought that long before it was a hit, and thought it exceptionally different, what with the superb harmonies, mingled with the heavy rock style. However, the first Queen album I bought was "Night At The Opera". Then I worked my way backwards. This, their debut, is a more than decent effort and almost worth 4 stars. Most of the tracks are excellent. The opener is, in fact, nothing special, and is only melodically adequate, but the superb May trademark guitarwork rescues it. The highlights for me are from tracks 2 - 6 inclusive. All well crafted with wonderful guitar running through them, ethereal vocals from Freddie, and tight playing from Roger and John. The songs had an innocence that was gradually lost on later albums. It is almost an asexual album, as indeed it was probably intended to be, Freddie sounding like a mixture of genders at times. Weakest track without a doubt is "Son And Daughter", a surprisingly tuneless heavier piece, that plods, and sounds like any other heavy rock band in general. Then comes "Jesus" which, although I am an atheist, is enjoyable, followed by the instrumental version of "Seven Seas Of Rhye", which is a good way to end, Freddie showing here that he really can play piano properly. (My mother, who had had piano lessons herself, thought he was quite gifted as a player, praise indeed from her,as the only other keyboard player she liked was Rick Wakeman!) This is not essential, but is a good slice of history, showing, as it does, how Queen started out, before popularity took its toll. 3.5 stars really.
Report this review (#44685)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Queen's first is a strange album. "Keep Yourself Alive" was their first single and is a great song. "Great King Rat" is also good as well as "Modern Times Rock'n'Roll" and "Son and Daughter". "The Night Comes Down" has great vocals by Freddie and "Liar" sounds like early versions of "March of the Black Queen" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" although it falls far short of both. The early version of "Seven Seas of Rhye" which is a minute long instrumental is also pretty good.

The main problem with this album is that it doesn't sound much like Queen. Just the next year with "Queen II" their sound would change hugely. Very few songs ("The Night Comes Down", parts of "Liar") show what an amazing singer Freddie Mercury is. This is a great album, but don't get it expecting something sounding like "A Night at the Opera" or "A Day at the Races".

Report this review (#50665)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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.

Report this review (#55087)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Keep Yourself Alive" is the opening track of Queen. Queen's first album track (and first ever single) was immediately a killer shot. Although the single flopped, the song contains one of Mays classic riffs. Freddie's vocals are amazing on this song. In fact this song is kind of a blueprint for Queen's wellknown style of the mid-seventies. There are the multi-layered guitar parts and the fantastic vocal harmonies together in a combination with the highly succesful songwriting of the band! Before Brians guitar army joins the band, an entertaining drum solo by power drummer Roger Taylor can be heard.

The second song is Doin' All Right. The audience may think that Queen takes back some power to move over to a little ballad but they are wrong. The song starts like a ballad indeed but after a few moments it explodes in some very hard guitar and drum parts. Rogers drumming in particular is really awsome on this track, he proves allready he's an all-round drummer.Interesting fact: the writing of this song dates back to the Smile days. Smile was the band of May and Taylor before Freddie Mercury replaced Smile bassplayer/vocalist Tim Staffel and joined Queen. May and Staffel wrote the song together and performed it a few times in the late sixties. A recorded version of the song by Smile does exist!

"Great King Rat" and "My Fairy King", both written by Mercury, are both epic songs."Great King Rat" is a real sing-along-song about a dirty old man who died of syphillis at forty-four years old.The intro to this song is an amazing but short guitar showcase by May.

"My Fairy King" seems to be a fairytale. The song's got lyrics of mythical contents and seems to be creating an ideal world. A very imaginative song! Both Freddie and Roger make use of their high voices. The song goes up and donw, slow and fast, leads from one section into the'll never get bored.

"Liar" begins with a drum intro followed by a series of classic May riffs. Roger keeps drumming amazingly all the way through the song. Then it's time for Freddies ever changing vocals.In the beginning they breath out a quiet mood, and they change into more aggressive vocals in the chorusses. Brians solo is so well constructed! It's surely an eclectic song, it can even be called an early prog-classic in my opinion. We can't afford to forget Deacons moment supreme, his basssolo at the end of the song is mindblowing.

"The Night Comes Down" is more like a ballad.Very short drum solo followed by Brians fast acoustic guitar pickings.The lyrics can be called psychedelic.At the end brians fast acoustic lead returns and serves as a basis for some spacy guitar and drums parts.An early Queen classic.

"Modern Time Rock 'N' Roll" is kind of an unusual Queen song i think.It's hard to define as a style. Is it an aggressive form of hardrock or maybe even protopunk? The song is sung by whiskeyvoice Roger Taylor. he did a fine job.

"Son and daughter" fits nicely into the first Queen album.Freddies voice seems to be a little distorted.Brian May fills the gaps between the lines with beautiful harmonic guitar parts. 'I want you to be a women' is the main theme of the song.

"Jesus" is musically a very nice song, but the lyrics are often critisized for the same reason as Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ(2004), it's too literal.The music of the first part of the son is well written for the subject of Jesus, it's a bit based on non- profane music. The middlesection is a smashing guitar and drum jam, there's even a trumpet to interact with the other instruments!

"Seven Years of Rhye" is the instrumental of the more famous 1974 version from QueenII.I think this version is a filler, it should've been developped at the time to be on QueenI.

The album was produced by Trident Studios producer John Anthony who also produced albums by Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator (also the debut albums of both bands).Tech on this album was Roy Thomas Baker who led the band, in co- operation with Queen, to mythical proportions with Sheer Heart Attack and A Night At The Opera. Queen was the first album of the world famous british phenomenon Queen and one of the most underestimated debut albums

Report this review (#62888)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After reading a review on one of my other favourite progsite as a listing on general 70's rock, I decided to give this a listen. Luckily, my local record shop had a campaign that allowed me to buy the first five Queen albums for the price of three... sceptical, after all the cheesy stadium rock of "We will rock you" (which in my opinion doesn't deserve the label "rock" at all) I was excited from the first note. And what a buy!!! I love this album the most, and really think it's the best one alongside Queen II. All the tracks are superb, but the best one is probably Liar, with the great king rat and my fairy king as absolute highlights. BUY IT!!!! By the way, if this isn't pogressive, what is??
Report this review (#71694)
Posted Saturday, March 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Now I'm no 'rock historian', and in 1973 I probably wasn't really listening consciously to music (any more than any other one year old), but it seems to me that this debut album must have impressed the pants off of anyone who listened. Sure, the Mighty Zeppelin and many other bands had scouted the heavy rock fringes, and prog and proto-prog bands had been weaving classical inspirations into their compositions, but Queen had a unique sound and style, even at this early date. Heavier than most, surely, and with a flexibility of expression that many "true prog" bands failed to articulate.

Much, possibly too much, has been said already about Freddie's vocal prodigy and compositional sophistication, and May's tone and approach is the stuff guitar fetishists adore. Neither of these had been fully developed on the first record, though the seeds had already started to sprout, if not bloom. The tight, rapid-fire transitions between musical passages and styles is nothing new to progressive rock, though few if any heavier bands displayed such variety; in contrast, Zeppelin could seem rather plodding and Rush lacking in cohesive flow (in the early years, that is).

One major thing that separates this first album from later works is the youthful anger and darkness that fills the lyrics and colors the tones. Every song on "Queen I" demonstrates a facet of rage or despair; in songs such as the exorcismal "Liar" and "Great King Rat", Freddie is wringing his soul for authentic portrayals of intense personal exile and discordance. Revolutions and confrontations fill songs such as "My Fairy King" and "Son and Daughter" Even the relatively placid "Doing All Right" implicitly acknowledges a (temporary?) escape from despair and the helplessness of floating in fate's wake- thus bookended perfectly by "The NIght Comes Down", which belays soothing-seeming verses with lyrical and musical descents. Coping is a matter of adopting a protectively practical tone such as the determined worldy realism of "Keep Yourself Alive" or the cyncical view of rockstardom in "Modern Times" (and how naive must they have thought even this condemnation in later years?).

For better or worse, Queen would seldom be this 'serious' (for lack of a better word) again; a greater amount of whimsy and emotional diversity creeps in with every successive release- almost as if Freddie & company had touched upon a too-powerful nerve and protectively, intentionally backed off from such direct contact.

Report this review (#71893)
Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars

A shape of Queen to come.

A nice debut, but nothing special; from prog point of view or Queen-fan point of view neither. On this album, band's style and sound were still buried under raw hard-rock mannerism and it's obvious that the band members themselves weren't so sure what musical direction to take. There are spices of music that will became known as prog; a good measure of hard-rock, traces of blues, undefined teaspoon of bands pompousness and uniqueness. And some proto-metal elements too. And soul. And ballad rock.

Okay, this is leading nowhere. Well, basically, all the tunes are good hard-rock songs (this album rocks, really), and some sort of dark mood is present all over the record; it's very nocturnal.

The most progressive elements here are evident in "My Fairy King", a strange mixture of ballad, glam rock and hard-rock with fantasy atmosphere. "Doing All Right"is also worth mentioning, a proggy, lovely piano-driven ballad with a good guitar part in the middle. The intro is identical to PINK FLOYD's "Stay" from the "Obscured By Clouds" album released on year before Queen's debut...a coincidence or plagiarism? I know the some of the songs from "Queen" had been taken from the band SMILE, Queen's predecessor, so maybe a plagiarism is not an issue.

"Great King Rat" is finest Brian's wah-wah moment, and "The Night Comes Down" is perfect interplay between John's bass and Roger's rolling drums. They're both somewhat similar to BLACK SABBATH style, with slightly more accented progressive tendencies.

This debut is well worth giving a try if your prog likings are leaning towards hard-rock tendencies, or if you like QUEEN in general. Otherwise, don't bother.

Report this review (#104608)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's a good debut album even though most of the music produced are still raw but it demonstrates the band's original approach in music making. Overall it's a straight hard rock album. It stats off with an energetic tune "Keep Yourself Alive" (3:47) with Brian May's unique guitar rhythm and solo. It flows nicely to second track "Doing All Right" (4:09) which showcases the roots of Queen sounds. "Great King Rat" (5:43) is kicking with its powerful vocal and raw guitar solo and rhythm. The song is very energetic and it has fast tempo and many breaks / changes. "My Fairy King" (4:08) demonstrates Freddie's high register vocal notes, excellent choirs and nice piano work. Brian May's guitar effects provide good textures for the music. "Liar" (6:25) was my favorite when I first listened to this album because I liked the way the song flew from opening to end. It's really an excellent rock track, I would say. "The Night Comes Down" (4:23) is another excellent track with blues touch and wonderful guitar work. Again, Freddie's voice is high.

From this debut album one can see how the band sounded like at their beginning career. The band really took-off when "A Night At The Opera" album was released.

Report this review (#121011)
Posted Monday, May 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I can understand people being a little down on this album because of its rawness...but a raw edge can cut two ways: it can give the music an energy that really accentuates the songs, or it can detract from the songs by obscuring cool melodies and countermelodies that you really want to hear. I think that Queen's first try has the good kind of rawness, and I love having this album as a counter to their highly produced later work.

Queen delivers a number of relatively straightforward rockers in this album, and by and large they work very well. Keep Yourself Alive is a great introduction to early Queen: Hard rock with trademark Queen multi-layer harmonies, numerous guitar overdubs, and enough other unique features that help it to stand out from other standard rock tunes (for example, the cool vocal call and response toward the end). The same positives apply to Liar and Great King Rat. Of course there's plenty of creative work from May, but Taylor also puts in some energetic work on drums that shouldn't go unnoticed. Modern Times Rock'n'Roll is a short, hard-rocker that works, and Son & Daughter is a heavy, almost bluesy number that really sounds good with Freddie's distorted vocals.

Of course, there are plenty of prog moments as well. The best is My Fairly King. Even though Freddie has jaw-dropping versatility, here we see that Taylor has even higher range. The other proggy tunes (Doing All Right, The Night Comes Down, Jesus, Seven Seas of Rhye) all make good use of dynamics, vocal harmonies and guitar overdubs as well to create some very interesting and memorable melodies.

This is one of my favorite debuts. I'd rather hear Queen singing about fairies and rock than their body language, but that could be a personal preference. I also like to just hear Freddie sing, without trying to be crystal clear or always in near perfect pitch. I think the studio progressively took out the raw awesomeness of his voice in later work. A prime example that when Queen set out to rock, they could do it with the best, while still generating a unique sound.

Report this review (#138328)
Posted Friday, September 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
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?

Report this review (#158371)
Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The embryonic QUEEN debut here with an album that manages to sound interesting and unfinished at the same time.

QUEEN embraced the excess of progressive rock, albeit in shorter song forms, for only a few years, and this first album is less progressive in nature than the brilliant 'Queen II' released a year later. Two years in the making, the major problem with this album is the unevenness of the material. 'Keep Yourself Alive' is a promising beginning, a song made for the charts but managing to sound interesting despite itself. Other songs have Jekyll and Hyde personalities: for example 'Doing All Right' is half soft ballad, half proto-metal rocker, and suffers thereby. Of the offerings on this album perhaps the strongest is 'Great King Rat', the first hint of the greatness to come. 'Liar' is also a track worthy of repeated listens. The rest is earnest but unmemorable.

What makes any early QUEEN album interesting are the rich vocal and guitar harmonies, and this is no exception. There is such a depth of sound here: even when the songs are frustratingly loose, the harmonies are tight and their trademark sound makes the heart ache with the beauty of it all.

Worth a listen, but not essential by any means.

Report this review (#165274)
Posted Saturday, March 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars A royal debut

This, Queen's first album, kick starts Queen's long career. And as a big fan of the band, owning all their albums, this first one is very highly regarded. It bears the same kind of relation to Queen II as A Day At The Races does to A Night At The Opera. While Queen II and A Night At The Opera are full blown masterpieces, Queen and A Day At The Races are similar to these albums in style, but not quite up to par with these in quality. Still Queen is a very good album.

It is clear to see already here that Queen would become something big, very soon. But with this album they are not quite there yet. Seven Seas Of Rhye is a case in point. Here it is an instrumental, but it would resurface on Queen II as a full song. Queen is rougher in its sound and the studio technique that would strongly leave its mark on songs like Bohemian Rhapsody is still far away. Queen also rocks a bit harder and has no commercial songs like You're My Best Friend or Killer Queen.

Highly recommended, but only after you hear Queen II and A Night At The Opera.

Report this review (#176993)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Does Freddie Mercury sound like Dio?

I think so. I also think this is a decent album. Well, the melodies are good, and even great, they rocking they do is pretty lame. Lame. Queen is lame, you heard me. They rock like Styx does. Big difference in overall quality, though.

First off, no one in Styx could ever sing like Freddie, even if he isn't singing about anything worth singing about. At least he does it well! Keep Yourself Alive opens well. I have to wonder if Meat Loaf took ques here. Well, it is a good enough song, if a bit mundane. The piano work is a nice touch. And Doing All Right is another soft catchy ballad like song that makes me feel all warm and bubbly. Those drums are a bit dry, though. They are not that even. And they kind of trample all over the possible prettiness of the piece. Well, it kind of falls flat, anyway. This is a flat number, in general. Well, at least it has a solid main melody.

Great King Rat crunches off violently. Too bad it evolves into a basic hard rock album, with above average vocals. Again, the lyrics might as well not exist. But wail away old Freddie! The distorted guitar solo grabs you, but it is too sloppy for me. I don't mean Iommi sloppy, I mean was he drunk when playing it? Sloppy. Well, it does grab your attention, at least. This is something I can say about Queen I, that I can't about most other hard rock debut albums (or most hard rock albums in general) is that it actually grabs your attention. The songs have multiple parts, and they are flowing, if a bit disjointed. Now if they can only work harder on overall composition, you'd have a very promising career start. This album falls just short of such an accomplishment. The opera vaudeville inherent most certainly strikes as something not very seen in rock music, so far. But I will say that The Doors beat Queen to theatrical rock and did it better, on their marvelous debut. My Fairy King has the stench of Deep Purple rip off. Well, Deep Purple never had this diversity. Nor did Ian Gillian have as much control over his voice than Mercury. They both fail miserably in the lyrical department, though. I quite enjoy the vocal overdubs present. They add some texture. Otherwise, this would be just a piano rocker.

The laughable introduction to the exquisite Liar might throw some off, but it is actually a decent tune. Well, it never really does it for me, but I suppose you hard rock aficionados will be wetting your pants when it pops in. It also feels like a clone of Fairy King, which feels a lot like Great King Rt (only that song rocked much harder than either) Yes, this album feels very same-like. Nice solo, but we've heard it a thousand times, before. The Night Comes Down has some acoustic guitar strumming to start off, but it isn't very good acoustic guitar playing. Well, I suppose it is for build up. And this transforms into a mystical rocker, with a fixed groove that doesn't offend. Follows the soft to hard suit of the rest of the album, but not in a very amazing way. I do like the hooks implemented, however. Nothing progressive. This album doesn't do too much new musically, but it mixes an eclectic sect of styles.

Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll is just bad. It might hit hard, but it hits with a fist made from a sack of feathers. The arguable band highlight isn't even present, here. That being good singing. No, it is pretty butchered. At least it is short. Son & Daughter is almost Sabbath in its approach, but it doesn't have the good riffing. At least Mercury had that catchy and lovable voice. Jesus has more soft to hard that they seem to love so much. Well, I suppose this is meant to be a stately and serious rock song with bombast, but no, it is fuzzy and somewhat boring.

Well, if it isn't a pretty melody that ends the album. Yeah, Seven Seas of Rhye is pretty, but it is also not more than a short little jam. Doesn't do much for me, and isn't amazing in terms of emotion or skill.

Oh well, at least they have their own identity. It just isn't very fleshed out. Nor are any of these fellows master musicians. Well, Mercury has a great voice. I don't see why they didn't utilize it all the way through.

Best Song - Great King Rat

Worst Song - Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll.

**1/2 stars.

Report this review (#213009)
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Queen" is the self-titled debut full-length studio album by UK rock/hard rock act Queen. The album was released through EMI (UK) and Elektra Records (US) in July 1973.

One of the things I noticed upon first listen was the contagious energy and great musicianship on the album. The energy level is very well examplified by the opening track "Keep Yourself Alive" but most tracks have a great energy level (just take a listen to the Roger Taylor led "Modern Times Rock & Roll"). Queen are very skilled musicians and it´s apparent already this early in their career. The vocals by Freddie Mercury are strong and distinct. The music is pretty hard rocking but there are more sensitive sections in the songs too. While the basic instrumentation is bass, guitar and drums there are also piano on the album which at times gives the music a grander and more epic sound. A song like "My Fairy King" is an example of that. The music borders progressive rock on several occasions but isn´t really that. It´s more an epic form of hard rock. The production is powerful and relatively raw.

Queen is a good debut album and if the songs had stood out a bit more I would probably have given a 4 star rating but there are not enough highlight here to warrant that IMO. a 3.5 star (70%) rating is well deserved though and all in all this is a very impressive debut album by a now legendary band.

Report this review (#269123)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great start for a unique band.

Queen is one of those bands that seem to have the magical formula to make music that can be appreciated by many different people with different tastes about music. And maybe is because all their different approach that they gave to each song. Their music is eclectic, innovative, fresh, complex and remains with an original style that can't be emulated for a single band (at least, I have not met a band that can play like that). Now, about this debut album:

Well, I don't have any link with this album because I always heard their greatest hits but never their studio albums so I'm not nostalgic or passionate about this. Finally I've got their studio albums and have the complete picture of each era of them and now I can see how wonderful they were, because their non commercial music is even better than the hits. Well, this is as progressive as you can get. The metric changes, time signatures, styles and everything is so fresh and flows really great through the album. Brian May is one of those wonderful guitarists that really knows their deal and even from their debut album, his style is already defined and sounds great, even when he played the classic guitar or the more rock'n'roll fast solos. He is one of a kind. The complete band sounds like they really match together and besides of the somewhat rough recording, the quality of the songs is really great and the songs shines from itself.

Mercury was already creative and very capable to sing with passion and style. I cannot point at a single song that could bring down the album. Highlights that you should check: KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE, GREAT KING RAT, LIAR and THE NIGHT COMES DOWN, but the entire album worth the listen.

So, 4 stars but almost a 5, it's just that better things were left to come. Queen is a most listen to anyone who appreciates Prog. I'm pleased to have their studio work. Don't let this pass you by OK? There's a big chance to end up addicted to this music.

Report this review (#278537)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars Similar to Rush, Queen wears their Led Zep influence plainly on their sleeves on their debut album. This is basically a hard rock album with artistic touches painted throughout. Already we can hear shades of the trademark vocal harmonies that would soon define the band for decades to come.

The openers for both "sides" are catchy rockers "Keep Yourself Alive" and "Liar". Seven Seas of Rhye provides just a hint toward the art-rock greatness that was soon to come on their follow up album.

If you are a Queen fan or collector, you will certainly get around to adding this album to your collection. As a hard rock album, it contains important markers to point toward the band's further development. As a rock album of its era, this is a "4". But from a Prog perspective, this is more for Queen collectors and completists than it is for general Progressive Rock fans in my estimation, which is in alignment with the PA rating system at a score of "1".

Report this review (#282135)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Queen's first album ranks among their best, mainly because after "A Night At The Opera" the quality of their records took a nosedive. But for a debut album, this is damned good. The album is highly creative, and extremely energetic, fueled mostly by by Brian May's unique guitar playing.

Sure, there is a hefty helping of Led Zeppelin influence, but that can be forgiven, as there is also enough prog in here, and their own sound (the massive overdubs is here already, just not as heavily used as it will be on later albums) is original enough to make this a joy to listen to. Hard hitting heavy rock tunes like Keep Yourself Alive and Liar should please the hard rock fans, while Great King Rat and My Fairy King give the band solid prog creds from the start.

A great album, but they get better - for a short time.

3.5 stars - rounded up.

Report this review (#374991)
Posted Thursday, January 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Queen's debut album is a rip-roaring glam-tinged prototype for progressive metal. Naturally, the show-stealing stars of the album are Brian May, who justifies his reputation as a guitar legend with this album alone, and ridiculously charismatic frontman Freddy Mercury. With material ranging from the energetic rocker Keep Yourself Alive - which adds a certain music hall theatricality to what is otherwise a fairly straightforward song - to the progressive metal outbursts that turn Jesus from a simple hymn into something much more complex. All the material on this album would end up overshadowed in the popular imagination by catchier numbers from later in the Queen catalogue, but as a whole the album is strong and consistent enough to be worth a listen to anyone who likes a bit of pomp in their proto-metal.
Report this review (#502984)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9/10

Hey, you. You know that Queen only by We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody, Under Pressure, etc.. I must say - you hear great songs, but if you only know the band for these songs mentioned above, I feel obliged to introduce you to a new world for you. A world that starts in 1973.

That year an unknown English quartet emerged from the ashes of a band called Smile and released their eponymous album, featuring a revolutionary fusion of styles, a sound composed of strong elements of hard rock, glam rock and prog. Yes, young man started on the Queen, this band that is today one of the most revered and worshiped in the rock world had in his early albums sound very, very different from what was to explore the pinnacle of success.

Starting with the accelerated and distorted guitar of Brian May - this guy is a genius! - Keep Yourself Alive in a single pass almost four minutes or several variations and moments! Showing that came, Queen treats us to a great song, aggressive and angry. The listener is given a chance to breathe with the beautiful and gentle Doing All Right, the first song the band to record a piano (which here runs May pro, not by Freddie Mercury as usual), but it also features incredible complex passages - even its smoothness is broken with a strong hard rock section near the end. And there's something about her that makes me relate it to Yes.

Great King Rat is a perfect example of the Queen of the 70s. Several sections squeezed in almost six minutes, pompous vocal harmonies (who can hate them?), a perfect musical cohesion ... you can not deny the ability of these guys! My Fairy King follows the same path, and closes brilliantly side A.

Side B begins with one of the most fantastic Queen songs of all time: Liar. Dude, this song is fantastic, do not dare to argue. No one fails here, and John Deacon gives us a powerful bass solo as few have done (if he really is singing in the clip, there's another story)! The Night Comes Down is a pretty ballad that features a great job of May on guitar , and serves as a counterpoint to the epic that preceded it. Modern Times Rock'n Roll is a short interlude sung by Roger Taylor (giving us the first time the hoarseness of his aggressiveness and excellent voice, although that song does not equate to the other he later sang in the band), while Son and Daughter is a Led Zeppelin-esque song wool but of a forgettable song and Jesus is a highly efficient and inspirational letters (which to me is remarkable, since Mercury was a supporter of Zoroastrianism). Finally there is the instrumental version of Seven Seas of Rhye, nothing remarkable - the full version on the forthcoming album is far better.

For now, it is obvious that the main reason why the Queen is included here is the site of their first four albums. Listen to them and you compare them with the giants of progressive rock of the time. After all, prog or not this band will always be the best one from all times throughout the world. 5 solid stars.

Report this review (#668388)
Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great start for a great band. Still has all the power and freshness after 40 years. WHile not quite as good as QUEEN II, it is still miles above NEWS OF THE WORLD or HOT SPACE. Favorite songs here include "Keep Yourself ALive", "Great King Rat", "Jesus", and "Liar". All classic Queen. Soaring vocals and guitars, pounding bass and drums....and of course Freddie Mercury. Sometimes campy, always spot on. The unreleased song at the end "Mad the Swine", adds really nothing to the total package and should have been left off the disc originally, as it was. An easy 4 stars. I save 5 stars for the next release.
Report this review (#733632)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars A year before their breakthrough Queen II was released, this legendary classic rock band released their first album. Recorded mostly in 1971-72, Queen's unique opera-rock characterisics of the 70's can already be heard. And it was pretty progressive. There is no doubt about it if you consider just who else sounded like this in the early 70's? I always liked the early guitar work from Brian May. There are some splendid blends of classical, acoustic passages, jazz and funk as well as hard rock of his own brand. Production-wise it isn't their most polished, and there are a few average songs. But there are some exceedingly good hard rocking stonkers too, such as "Keep Yourself Alive", "Great King Rat", The tracks "The Night Comes Down" and "Son & Daughter" are real crackers too! And there are more such tracks on their better albums that followed. 3 stars.
Report this review (#800573)
Posted Sunday, August 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really would like to waive the flag for the first album of Queen. It's kind of funny I most regularily return to this album, since it showcases more of the hard rock-Queen rather than the flamboyant later opuses. Well, that's pushing it a bit, don't you think? After all, the trademarks of the future Queen to be are all very evident here, from the progressive hard rock to the amazing harmonies and the very special sound of a band totally confident in themselves and the music they make.

Apart from the rather dull "Modern times rock'n'roll" there's actually not a bad track on here. There are dreamy tracks (My fairy king), hard rock (Keep yourself alive), prog folk (Jesus), ballads (Doing all right) and pure prog (Night comes down). In my opinion not many Queen albums have been this consistent and focused. Funny enough, as I wrote, because later albums are all more cherished by most people and definately more famous. I truly recommend this album, maybe not if you are looking for the more classic stuff but certainly if you're interested in their (not so) humble beginnings.

Report this review (#926257)
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars QUEEN entered the scene in 1973 and fell into a grey area not covered by other bands of the era. While clearly based on Led Zeppelin based hard rock riffing, the band was all about a more progressive take on the harder edged sound of music in the wake of King Crimson and other progressive acts in effect creating some of the first blueprints of what progressive metal would become. With folklore inspired subjects and progressive time signatures, song structures and bizarre added segments, QUEEN created a sound unlike any other of the day. Freddie Mercury added a hint of glam rock with his flamboyant personality contrasted by the metallic prowess of Brian May's rhythmic and energetic guitar leads topped off with Roger Taylor's unique drumming contributions and John Deacon's well diversified style of bass playing. This perfect chemistry may not have resulted in an instant success on this debut album but their sound was unique and caught the world's attention. After a string of catchy albums with all their qualities fine-tuned with more pop sensibilities, they would go on to become one of the biggest bands of all time.

The QUEEN debut unfairly gets shunned in my opinion. It is true that it isn't quite as memorable as pretty much the rest of their 70s discography at first but beginning with the strong opener "Keep Yourself Alive" the album really doesn't disappoint with even one track. This is admittedly an album that has grown on me after years of listening as opposed to being the one that blew me away upon first listen, but it was certainly one that has nestled deep into my musical psyche for like many a debut album by multi-musical dimensional bands, it has its own distinct personality that captures a unique phase in an ever-changing career. With a diverse palette of tracks ranging from "Great King Rat," "Liar," "Modern Times Rock n Roll" and "Jesus" i found myself really starting to get into this album after the later albums had run their course and the burnout factor set in. This album, while having pop characteristics is a little more rough around the edges which gives it a more unique position in their discography and one that has a distinct charm that the other's don't have.

Report this review (#1332048)
Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Believe it or not, Queen wasn't ALWAYS an earth-shattering, stadium-filling arena act; in fact, their debut suggests something absolutely different, despite laying the groundwork for future successes. However, there's one thing that can't be denied... this album is a SUPERB start to the band's career.

The music present here is more akin to the progressive rock style seen in the early 70's, mixed with the usual latter-day Queen glam and flair. The lyrics are quite interesting here as well, using more of a medieval and fantasy-based style that would be all but dropped later. The result is an excellent prog-rock record that would fit neatly between the shelves of King Crimson and Genesis.

Of course, you might not see it that way when you listen to the first track, "Keep Yourself Alive." It has more of the powerful, amplified sound from Queen's mid-to-late career, with a driving rock riff from Brian May and even a rare drum solo from Roger Taylor. Freddie Mercury's vocals are just as powerful, and already show the man's incredible dynamic range. Either way you slice it, this song is different from the majority of the album, and it's surprising that it didn't go up the charts when it was released as a single.

Most of the other songs take a softer, more acoustic turn, punctuated by heavier areas and songs. "Doing All Right" is heavily reminiscent of King Crimson's "Cadence and Cascade," and is much calmer than the first song. The vocals are beautifully harmonized, and the electric guitar has a bit of a new-age feel to it. Soon, the song speeds up for a head-banging climax before concluding slowly and sweetly. Another slower selection is "The Night Comes Down." Kicking things off with a fast acoustic intro, the song builds up into a harmonized guitar section, leading into the sweetly calm verse. The chorus is a highlight of the song, again utilizing vocal harmonies for a beautifully captivating effect.

The band, however, isn't afraid in the slightest to get the distortion running for the heavier songs. There are some serious precursors to the true heavy metal style that would shine in the 80's, like "Great King Rat" or "Liar." Both are very powerful, convoluted songs much lyrical cleverness and style in each. You can always count on Brian May to lay down some intense solos, or on Roger Taylor for some complicated proggy fills and solos of his own. John Deacon provides a great backbone, and adds to the heaviness and brutality. Freddie Mercury powers his way through, combining raw energy and occasional soft emotion.

So, the flaws? The biggest one here is inconsistency, which is quite common in first albums. In some sections, the band have trouble in terms of knowing when enough is enough, especially in terms of soloing and jamming. Also, there are some throwaways present here, like Roger Taylor's short, random "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll" and what is essentially a short demo-version of "Seven Seas of Rhye."

What's really clear, though, is that Queen gave their all into this, and crafted a splendid debut album that would pave the way for their records to come. Good job, guys!

Report this review (#1445852)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Review Permalink

QUEEN Queen ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of QUEEN Queen

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives