Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen Jazz album cover
3.49 | 542 ratings | 28 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

Buy QUEEN Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mustapha (3:00)
2. Fat Bottomed Girls (4:16)
3. Jealousy (3:13)
4. Bicycle Race (3:02)
5. If You Can't Beat Them (4:15)
6. Let Me Entertain You (3:02)
7. Dead On Time (3:22)
8. In Only Seven Days (2:28)
9. Dreamer's Ball (3:30)
10. Fun It (3:29)
11. Leaving Home Ain't Easy (3:14)
12. Don't Stop Me Now (3:29)
13. More Of That Jazz (4:20)

Total time 44:40

Bonus tracks on 1991 remaster:
14. Fat Bottomed Girls (Brian Malouf Remix) (4:24)
15. Bicycle Race (Remix by Junior Vasquez) (4:57)

Line-up / Musicians

- Freddie Mercury / lead & backing vocals, piano
- Brian May / electric & acoustic guitars, lead (2,11) & backing vocals, piano
- John Deacon / bass, electric & acoustic guitar (8)
- Roger Taylor / drums, percussion, tambourine (12), lead (10,13) & backing vocals, bass & electric guitars (10,13)

Releases information

Artwork: Cream Group

LP EMI ‎- EMA 788 (1978, UK)
LP Parlophone ‎- QUEENLP 7 (2010, UK) Remastered

CD EMI ‎- CDP 7 46210 2 (1986, UK)
CD Hollywood Records ‎- HR-61062-2 (1991, US) Remastered by Eddy Schreyer with 2 bonus tracks
CD Parlophone ‎- CDPCSD 133 (1994, UK) Remastered
CD Island Records ‎- 277 176 8 (2011, Europe) New 2011 Bob Ludwig remaster

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy QUEEN Jazz Music

More places to buy QUEEN music online

QUEEN Jazz ratings distribution

(542 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

QUEEN Jazz reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars We are dealing with the last good and classic Queen album, the one done just before the closing of the decade. A typical album of the calibre of Opera (less Scaramouchka the Bohemian that raps, sods and dies) and Races. We have left the harder edged (and slightly poorer News Of The World album but there are still some traces (notably in the closer on each vinyl side) and although some (a lot) of the tracks have high -energy feel , they came back to that sophisticated pop tunes that made up those classic Night and Day albums.

Mustapha , Fat Bottomed Girls and Bicycle Race (both being summed up on a superb poster most teens will remember and take in their graves) are off to a superb start worthy of their best album and there are many tracks that would've been a highlight on News and THE Highlight on following albums: If You Can Beat Them , Let Me Entertain You, Fun It , Don't Stop Me Now. Jealousy and Dreamer's Ball being the quieter moments.

I think that what worries most Queen fans is the title of the album. Not to fear , this is still a superb classic pop rock album. Prog? only slightly so!

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another year another album. I cannot stress enough how good the bands were in the 70's and 80's for consistently high quality music year in year out. Jazz arrived in 1978 after the great News Of The World and did not fail to deliver. A very solid all round album my only argument being perhaps the first five songs of such high quality they relegated the remainder of the album into obscurity. Not saying that songs like " Dead On Time' and ' Dreamer's Ball' are bad, far from it, but how can you dismiss the excellent ' Mustapha' and ' Fat Bottomed Girls'? A very good release yet again from Queen and worthy of three and a half stars.
Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The last of the classics.

Perhaps not on the same level as two most progressive band's masterpieces, "Queen II" and "A Night At The Opera", but it's a classic nonetheless. Don't let the horrible cover distract you. This album is good just as any other QUEEN album from the 70's. Everything is here: band's trademark multi-vocal harmonies, unmistakable Brian's multilayered guitar parts with it's own characteristic sound, "no synthesizer" policy, one track sung by Taylor and elements of progressive rock. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this one is worth having in your collection. Perhaps "Jazz" is got nothing to do with jazz itself, but here a less fashionable songs then on its predecessor, "News Of The World".

The album opens with "Mustapha", nice tune with oriental feel - but I don't think the lyrics are in Arabic, it's more likely that it's just Freddie's "arabesque" gibberish. Funny and good track. "Fat Bottomed Girls" is a good rock track, utilising only few simple chords and almost no solos. It's not progressive at all, but it's a god rocker with slightly country feeling and good vocal harmonies. "Jealousy" is gorgeous ballad written in typical QUEEN style, utilising extraordinary good Deacon's bass line, and Brian imitating the sound of sitar on his guitar. "Bicycle Race" is a short pop tune. Clocking at no more than 3 minutes, perhaps it's a pop song with most tempo and harmony changes in one pop hit, ever. And all that within 3 minutes! "If You Can't Beat Them" is yet another typical QUEEN rock track, but this time an average one. "Let Me Entertain You" is excellent hard rock song with furious guitar part and complex melodies and rhythm (within a more or less ordinary hard-rock tune). Good lyrics too. "Dead On Time" - well, the same goes for this one. This one is in an ultra-fast pace, it sounds almost like an hard-rock tongue-twister. "Another pretty ballad is Brian's "In Only Seven Days", with nice melodies, chorus, good atmosphere provided by effects on vocals, but the text is somewhat banal, utilising typical rock 'n' roll cliche "from-monday-to-sunday" lyrics. The best blues that band ever did is called "Dreamer's Ball". If you are curious how it sounds like when QUEEN play the blues, here you go. "Fun It" is one of those gems sung by Roger. It is a strange song, some sort of funky with almost mechanical rhythm, good old Roger is screaming his lyrics as usual, and Brian's guitar is beyond description. One of my favourite tracks. "Living Home Ain't Easy" is another average ballad, based on the same formula as "In Only Seven Days". "Don't Stop Me Now" is a well-known piece of every Queen's live performance and I won't say much about it. It's a good song, but it's so overplayed that I can't stand it any more. "More Of Than Jazz" is closing the album and it could be considered as a filler, but I like it a lot. It's another Roger's agony, this time about the music itself ("Rock 'n' roll just pays the bills").

In conclusion, I think that this album should be in every serious rock collection. It's one of the best non-punk albums of the late seventies (save for the "pure" progressive rock), and it's worth your pennies because it could easily grow on you every time you give it a spin.

Review by Chicapah
2 stars In 1978 Queen was pretty much on top of the world. With their previous album they had given the planet a universal chant to rock with and an ode for every champion to warble from now till doomsday. But, as they admitted themselves, the show must go on and it was time to crank out another collection of tunes in order to keep everybody happy and prosperous.

As was their habit, the band expected all four members to contribute songs and that always produced mixed results. Freddie Mercury's "Mustapha" is the opener and it is downright silly and weird. Maybe it wasn't intended to make any sense at all and if that was the aim it succeeds on a grand scale. Brian May's "Fat Bottomed Girls" will forever be a classic and monumental rock and roll song. When Freddie yells "Get on your bikes and ride!" I grin every time. Can't help it. The mental images this tune inspires are hilarious. Mercury's "Jealousy" is an okay song but it's his incredible vocal and harmony work that confirms his place in music history as one of the all time greatest singers. The only progressive-sounding track on the album comes next with the quirky "Bicycle Race." It's a mini epic that has everything including bike handlebar bells gleefully jingling. The band's inventiveness makes this truly a fun listen. John Deacon's "If You Can't Beat Them" is nothing more than generic rock filler and Freddie's "Let Me Entertain You" was obviously written to be a showy concert piece. Brian's "Dead On Time" is a hyper-speed electric guitar clinic where he displays why he's considered one of the premier axe men that could blaze his way through a lead break with the best of them. Deacon's "In Only Seven Days" is a sweet contemporary tune that could have been written by Burt Bacharach. And that's a compliment, not a knock. "Dreamer's Ball" is a Dixie blues ditty where May creates the horn section with multiple overdubs of guitar and it's one of the better moments on the album. But Roger Taylor's "Fun It" is an embarrassing and blatant attempt to produce a disco hit. All it really is, though, is boring. Brian's "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" is a pleasant acoustic guitar song with smooth harmonies. Freddie's true colors are flying on "Don't Stop Me Now" and it would be a lot more at home in the middle of a Broadway musical than on a rock and roll album. Roger Taylor is the least talented composer in the band and his odd "More of that Jazz" proves my point. It's anything but jazz and there's a strange recap medley of all the songs stuck on the end for reasons only they might know.

"It's Late," the terrific and dynamic song on their previous LP gave me hope that this album would find them going more in that direction. But one spin through "Jazz" made it clear that they weren't. This is a hodge-podge of musical styles that was meant to try and appease everyone but failed to fulfill anybody's expectations completely. With the exception of one cut there's nothing progressive here at all and I would only recommend this to a true fan of the group.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Much better than its predecessor, "Jazz" carries a harder sound ("Fat Bottomed Girls" is excellent hard rock) with occassional funk elements suited for dance and sense of humour ("Mustapha", "Bicycle Race") that saves QUEEN from unjustified seriousness of earlier albums. Here at least they admit "we are a pop band that likes to amuse the kids and to have fun". Honest statement, which deserves 3 stars!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From hard rock point of view, no one would ever say that this is a bad album at all. This album offers excellent combination of lyrics, tight composition as results of powerful songwriting from the band, and of course, this album shows excellent performance from the band. I even consider this album is stronger than the previous album "News of The World". "Mustapha" (3:00) was my first in love with this album as it surprised me with the style the band demonstrates. "Fat Bottomed Girls" (4:16) is really a Queen musical style with great choirs and heavy rhythm. "Jealousy" (3:13) represents the ballad blues style which is very unique as Queen sound.

"Bicycle Race" (3:02) is of course very special to me because personally, I love bicycle since I was childhood. When I went to college degree in ITB Bandung, I rode bicycle in my day-to-day activities: going to the campus, to record store at Jl. Veteran / Naripan at Yess Musicassettes, going back home or to any place in Bandung. Today I have a fixed schedule of going back and forth to work- home using bicycle twice a week. People call it "bike to work" but I call it "bike to rock" - because usually I put my Senheizer earphone with rock music, including "Bicycle Race". What a life!

"Let Me Entertain You" (3:02), "Dreamer's Ball" (3:30), "Don't Stop Me Now" (3:29), and More of That Jazz (4:20) are all excellent tracks as well. Through this album Queen had recovered their musical talents.

It's an excellent addition to any rock music collection.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Do stop me now

The title was in retrospect ominous, but even Queen's most dedicated fans cannot have been prepared for this turkey. After the disappointing "News of the world", which retained many of the tenets which defined a decent Queen album but ultimately failed to deliver, the hope was that Queen would quickly get back on track. Unfortunately, although Roy Thomas Baker tried his best to produce something worthwhile, he was presented with some of the worst material the band had ever come up with.

Attempts at being light-hearted and humorous misfire especially on the opening "Mustapha", but even on the comparatively passable "Fat bottomed girls". This track was released as a double A side single with "Bicycle race", and will therefore be familiar to those with a passing interest in the band, but in truth it is an average pop song, dressed up in a 10CC sort of way.

Freddie Mercury delivers his obligatory ballad with "Jealousy", but even here you cannot help but feel you've heard it all before. I am afraid though that tracks such as John Deacon's "If you can't beat them" and Mercury's "Let me entertain you" show all too clearly that when the band went to the cupboard for ideas, they found it to be completely empty.

The song titles themselves give strong pointers to the lack of inspiration throughout the album, "Dead on time", "Dreamers ball", "Fun it", and "Leaving home ain't easy" all signifying that lyrically the band had nothing left to offer. Unfortunately, the music those lyrics are set to is equally poor, devoid of the intricate structures which adorned the band's classic albums. "Dreamer's ball" for example is a shuffling rag, with a simple, uninspired melody. I do have a soft spot for John Deacon's delicate "In only seven days", a brief light in an otherwise dark sky.

The penultimate track, "Don't stop me now" was a huge hit single and even today is one of the band's most popular songs. If you listen dispassionately though, you can hear Freddie yearning to spread his wings into evermore exhibitionistic areas. If you think about it, the song could have been sung by Julie Andrews in "The sound of music".

As you will have gathered, this album was a disappointment to me back in 1978, and continues to be so now. For me, it indicated at the time that the glory years for the band were coming to an end. Fortunately, Live Aid would come along some years later, and the band's career was put firmly back on track.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Not Jazz at all, this album marks a down trend started in the previous release already ("News Of The World").

There is still some Queen (Mercury ?) extravaganza available on "Jazz" like the opener "Mustapha" but this one can't really compete with the likes of "Keep Yourself Alive", the killer "Brighton Rock", "Death On Two Legs" and "Tie Your Mother Down". All being "Queen" anthems and "Mustapha" just being shy of these great songs.

I have NEVER been able to bear "Fat Bottomed Girls" and the most interesting mention about this track would be the cover of the single. Nice bottoms indeed.But in terms of "music".just press next.

I wouldn't say that this album is poor. No. But most of the magic of the first five albums is gone. Two rocking songs indeed : "Dead On Time" (a great one) and "If You Can't Beat Them" (just average).

Some true "Queen" songs with all the great deal of fuss like the excellent "Bicycle Race", as well as "Don't Stop Me Now". I will always have a special kindness for the latter since my company once produced a screen show for one of our major clients a long time ago (January 1995). The music chosen by our customer was this song. And each time we had to figure out how the project was developing, we had to listen to it. I guess that we spun it like a hundred times or so in a two week's period. It was a good period of my business life.Nostalgia, nostalgia...

But unlike during "News Of The World", there are lots of weak numbers here. Too many to rate this effort as a good one. The bluesy "Dreamer's Ball", "Let Me Entertain You" (it rocks alright but sounds very flat), the disgusting disco-ish "Fun It" (not fun at all, believe me). And I can't get thrilled by the ballads Jealousy or Leaving Home Ain't Easy.

The closing number is also a nice piece of rock music. More of that Jazz is rather bizarre. Hypnotic riff, almost decadent atmosphere, slower pace but very effective. One of my fave (I just don't like this short "medley" pieces at the end). Several songs from the album being remembered in a very short format.

I really wonder how this album can be considered as their last classic one. IMHHO this belongs to "A Day At The Races".

Two stars for "Jazz" (maybe five out of ten). But don't expect any prog in here. Maybe for their next album?

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars More of that Jazz

I like this album more now than I used to (and I have been a big Queen fan for more than ten years now). Jazz shows a more playful aspect of Queen, with a bit more humour in the lyrics; Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race and the eastern influenced opener Mustapha are all fun and a bit silly. Jazz is certainly not up to par with Queen's best albums, but it is still great music and it is in several respects an improvement over News Of The World.

There are, however, some signs of the band growing tired and running out of ideas. This is especially apparent on songs like Fun It and More Of That Jazz (on which the lyrics are very much to the point; "just more of that jazz"), the latter featuring reprises of the album's other tracks. Also, If You Can't Beat Them, Let Me Entertain You, and Dead on Time pale in comparison with what Queen were capable of in their early days.

My favourite songs on this album are Leaving Home Ain't Easy and Don't Stop Me Now. The first being a Brian May number, one of his best ballads in my opinion.

The biggest problem with Jazz is that it feels more like a collection of individual tunes than an organic whole. Still, there are some lovely bits here that make it a good addition to a Prog collection. Just don't buy this expecting it to be a Jazz-Rock album! It, of course, isn't if anyone thought that.

Good, but non-essential Queen album. Not the place to start investigating Queen.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Queen final intristing and worth to have in your collection album. Jazz is the final studio album of Queen from the '70's , exactly from 1978. While they never been a prog band, they incorporate here and there some eclectic elements in their albums, specialy the early ones, leaving the listner very pleased for what he hears. Queen always knew to capture the fans with intristing combinations between excellent guitar arpeggios made by Brian May and the stunning performance of mercury on piano and keys. The band as whole in the '70's had a very solid reputation , both in studio and concerts - albums like Sheer heart attack, Night at the opera are classics of music in genaral but also Killers live is a document hard not to noticed if you are in this kind of music. Now, Jazz is a little more popier than the previos release, but nevertheless captured again that mood only Queen knows to do it - just listen to Mustapha or If You Can't Beat Them, Don't Stop Me Now and More of That Jazz again real classic moments in Queen's catalogue. Queen remains one of the most known bands ever with an unforgetable contribution to the music, even today they influenced hundreds of bands, because of the intristing vocal harmonies, the intelligent guitar arrangements and a solid rythm section. So, a solid album and a damn good one to end a decade that for sure will never come back, in musical terms. 4 stars for Jazz.
Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Queen at their best is world of themself. No way Jazz, far from hard-rock, even more far from prog. But all mix is strong rock based music, and last classic Queen album.

I perfectly remember stil being in my high school years I listened this album (vinyl,for sure ) hundred times. Starting from exotic "Mustapha"the album catches you and doesn't let you go till the last song.

Almost all songs have strong melodies, original concept and in fact are hits. And even now when listening this album, I think with nostalgy about time, when strong rock albums ruled the musical world. I believe, the "Jazz" is one of the last. Rock was pushed out of main music scene later, and till now stayed more small island for thousands of freaks,than part of cultural world. Of course, there are pros and cons....

Far from prog, but last good album of a great band.

Review by Rune2000
4 stars Jazz is considered to be a bit of an outsider comparing to the rest of Queens 70's catalog. Maybe it's because the album stands in between the two Queen eras or maybe that people expect to hear jazz influences? Either way I find most of the criticism unjust because Jazz is one of their better outputs!

It's by no means a masterpiece like Queen II or A Night At The Opera but those two albums are in a league of their own when it come to creativity and flawless execution. For me Jazz is basically a new take on the "Sheer Heart Attack"-formula which offers a wide array of compositions among which are many great classics. Just like Sheer Heart Attack this one offers most of it's highlights over the course of the first 20 minutes while the rest of the album is mostly a mixed bad of hits and misses. This is once again not a bad thing since the hist overshadow the misses by a margin so the overall quality of the songwriting is high.

It's a pity that Queen chose to leave their unique sound for a more conventional sound in the 80's which is why I never cared much for their albums after this one. In a way it's a sort of a farewell album and an excellent addition to any rock music collection.

***** star songs: Mustapha (3:00) Jealousy (3:13) Bicycle Race (3:02) Don't Stop Me Now (3:29)

**** star songs: Fat Bottomed Girls (4:16) If You Can't Beat Them (4:15) Let Me Entertain You (3:02) Dead On Time (3:22) Dreamer's Ball (3:30) Leaving Home Ain't Easy (3:14) More Of That Jazz (4:20)

*** star songs: In Only Seven Days (2:28) Fun It (3:29)

Review by progpositivity
2 stars One of the things I respect about the band Queen is their commitment to allowing each band member to consistently contribute songs to each album. This time out, Mercury writes 5 songs to May's 4, with Deacon and Taylor both contributing 2 apiece.

Overall, the music is a little more edgy and powerful than on their previous outing. If Mercury wears his rock star alienation a little to prominently on his sleeve during "Let Me Entertain You", Brian May does his best to cover it over with chunky slabs of electric guitar. Brian May contributes the best rocker on this record with the frenetic "Dead on Time".

It is 1978 and the race was on to find ways to create rock versions of disco. Something powerful enough to not alienate loyal rock fans, yet something consistently plodding enough to qualify for the elusive jackpot sweepstakes of the dancing single sales dollar. Queen wisely gives their disco test run with "Fun It", a tune featuring banging drum fills and the razor-rock sharp vocals of Roger Taylor.

Next year, The Kinks would make it work with their smash hit "Superman", Kiss would cash in on "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and Queen would go multi-platinum with "Another One Bites The Dust". But it was "Fun It" that first tested the waters that eventually opened the floodgates of "Hot Space". Even so, it is an interesting combination of mechanized power drumming, whistle, and hard rock vocals. Certainly interesting enough. Not a bad song if you like that sort of thing.

Lyrical mainstream pop is where John Deacon's star usually shines brightest. But May's yearning for a time of simplicity conveys a sense of bitter-sweet nostalgia on the album's strongest pop offering "Leaving Home Ain't Easy". Mercury's "Jealousy" and Deacon's "In Only Seven Days" are unconvincingly pleasant in comparison.

Brian May is still over-dubbing guitar parts like a maniac! Instead of doing it on hard rock - art rock songs like on Queen II, he's now doing it on whimsical bluesy numbers like "Dreamer's Ball".

"Don't Stop Me Now" is half rock song, half show tune, and all Freddie Mercury. And there is plenty more where all of that came from on this collection of popular rock and hard rock tunes. Rate it higher as a popular rock record if you will, but it simply cannot be rated as an "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection".

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This is the last Queen album worth owning until their final studio effort, "Innuendo". It starts off with a bang. Mustapha, played in a faux-Arabic style has all of the overblown arrangements that made the early Queen albums so much fun. After that, it seems that the darkness that had been lurking behind the band's best music disappears. Suddenly, they are singing about girls with fat rear ends, and bicycle races (which despite the topic, is a pretty good song).

Here you get for the last time in a good while, a hefty helping of Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon actually playin impressively, instead of trying to create disco or adult contemporary hits. And the heavily overdubbed vocals, a long time staple of the band, are still used for a good effect, instead of sounding cheesy, as they will in the near future for Queen.

Review by Warthur
2 stars A notch better than News of the World solely because it contains no songs as turgid and lifeless as We Are the Champions or We Will Rock You, or as doggone lazy as Sheer Heart Attack, Jazz is still a miserably cynical Queen album which leads off with a half-hearted attempt to revive the heaviness of their early days disguised by a botched attempt to imitate Middle Eastern music (Mustapha), but otherwise contains a clutch of moronic clap-along tracks that remain inexplicably popular to this day (Don't Stop Me Now, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race) and a whole heap of utterly forgettable filler.

The hits are fun enough to sing along to on a karaoke night but aren't exactly satisfying listening material if you aren't drunk and singing along with a crowd of friends. Not even alcohol can improve the filler material. Only the Queen-obsessed should touch this one.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Jazz" is the 7th full-length studio album by UK rock act Queen. The album was released through EMI/Parlophone in Europe and Elektra/Hollywood in the USA in November 1978. Queen opted to bring in producer Roy Thomas Baker, who had handled the production on many of the bandīs earlier releases, to co- produce the album.

...maybe thatīs why "Jazz" is a pretty hard rocking release compared to "News of the World (1977)". Of course thatīs not the entire story. Queen have always been an exceptionally eclectic band, and thatīs also the case on "Jazz" (which btw has little to nothing to do with jazz music). Vocals and choir vocals to die for, high quality hard rock riffing (check out the fast guitar riffs in "Dead on Time", which almost cross into metal territory), catchy pop/mainstream sensibilities ("Fat Bottomed Girls", "In Only Seven Days"), experimentation ("Bicycle Race", "More of that Jazz") and just generally sophisticated songwriting that thankfully never sacrifice power or memorability.

Another thing that is great about "Jazz" (and most other releases by Queen) is the humour that the bandīs lyrics and music are loaded with. I know some people might find tracks like "Mustapha" and "Dreamer's Ball" silly, but I think exactly tracks like that define what an inclusive and skilled band Queen are. The fact that they are able to pull off playing as many different musical styles as they do is admirable.

"Jazz" is another great album in a long line of great albums by Queen. Iīm well entertained all the way through the album and the quality of the music is also high throughout. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars This is the last of the Queen 5 star albums. Some people would argue with this saying that it was the beginning of their commercial era while others would say that "The Game" was the last great album. Though "The Game" was good, it wasn't a masterpiece and not groundbreaking or risky, it was actually quite a safe album.

In "Jazz" (which is actually more focused on heavy rock than jazz), there are still plenty of excellent risks taken here. Opening the album with "Mustafa" definitely threw a lot of people off. But I thought it was genius and quite a showcase for Freddy's amazing voice. I love the track and I have no religious affiliation, so it has nothing to do with that, it's just an amazing song with quite a excellent guitar accompaniment. There is still quite a variety here with the rockers "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottom Girls", the heavy rockers "If You Can't Beat Them" and "Dead on Time", the showcase pieces "Let Me Entertain You" and "Only Seven Days", the lounge jazz influenced "Dreamers Ball", the infectious groove of "Fun It", the trademark harmonies of "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" and the progressive sounds of "More of That Jazz".

It's true there is not a lot of prog on here, and that is it's only shortcoming. The thing that makes this progressive and still a high rating album is the riskiness of the variety of the songs here, and that honestly was the reason I loved Queen so much back in the day. I was in it for not just the showmanship of the band, but the variety and how well they pulled every thing off the way they did. When Queen does a song sounding like it's from the 40s or a song that pays homage to the punk movement, they do it well and they do it right. And they always did it well back then, before disco took over and pushed it's way into Queen's music as they attempted to become the Bee Gees (Okay maybe that's a bit harsh).

Anyway, I still rate this as 5 stars even if the proginess was not so evident here, the prog in this album for me is in the effective use of dynamic, variety and the "glam-rock" side of prog.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Well, there are certainly a lot of stories surrounding this album. Of course, it was famously considered "fascist" by Dave Marsh of Rolling Stone. It was also released to initially mixed reception for its alternating styles and, well, screwing around with much of Queen's special brand of campy humor. However, shouldn't a diverse album be good if it works in cohesion? Shouldn't there be fun in a good classic rock album?

The aforementioned diversity already comes in with the first track, "Mustapha," in which its lyrics are primarily in Arabian, with the exception of "Allah, we pray to you." It almost seems like a return to Freddie Mercury's homeland in Zanzibar, but when the pounding rhythmic foundation kicks in, it's most definitely Queen taking the stage here.

Surprisingly enough, there are many returns to Queen's prog roots in this particular album. Since their next record would be The Game, one of the poppiest in their discography, it almost seems like a baffling turn. However, some of these prog elements really pay off in terms of a diverse direction, such as with "Mustapha." Make no mistake, the classic/arena-esque elements stay, but they just take a bit of an experimental detour.

The group fly through soaring rockers as well. "Fat Bottomed Girls" will be the most familiar one to most, with nice trademark vocal harmonies and a nice melody. It also contains one of Roger Taylor's most memorable drum fills. Another rocker of note is "Dead on Time," which had oddly never been played live. Brian May has very scorching fret work and John Deacon makes various intricate basslines throughout.

Let's talk about the soft side for a moment. "Jealousy" is, bar none, one of Queen's most beautiful ballads. It starts of extremely light, also with a sort of "sitar" effect from the piano strings. Freddie's heartfelt singing comes in and immediately grabs attention about the titular subject. When the vocal harmonies start coming in at the second verse, it gets even more beautiful, and after the second/last chorus, the sitar effect comes back to close the album. "In Only Seven Days" is a short but sweet ballad, with pleasant acoustic work. "Leavin' Home Ain't Easy" is a Brian May-written tune that is a tad on the dark side lyrically, but is a joy to listen to.

Thee popular songs are quite good as well. "Fat Bottomed Girls," which was already mentioned, is an excellent rocker. "Bicycle Race" is quite a clever song about denying to do anything but riding one's two-wheeled contraption and having a good time. "Don't Stop Me Now" is an excellent party starter with fast speeds and frantically happy lyrics to match.

Overall, Jazz is a solid effort for fans of the band. Opinions may still be mixed (albeit less mixed now), but Jazz is still a great find nonetheless. So I encourage you to grab a cold beer and let the good times roll!

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars QUEEN unleashed their last album of the 70s at the height of their popularity after releasing four hit albums in a row, countless sold out shows around the world with an equally impressive series of hit singles as well. By the time the band got to the 7th album JAZZ, it seems that the band was doing a little assessment of where they had been musically since their debut "Queen I" was released in 1973. While the title of the album may suggest that the band were embarking on yet another left turn into a new genre of music where perhaps they would tackle Miles Davis covers with a swing band or something, the band was really just pulling an old Jedi mind trick and creating an album that took elements from the six albums that preceded and then turning it all into one of the biggest parties of their career.

At this point, it seemed QUEEN could do no wrong with one hit after another and album sales going the multi-platinum status. On JAZZ once again QUEEN tackles a dizzying number of musical genres with their four man democracy finding the whole team stoking the flames of the songwriting process. Two songs for bassist John Deacon, two for drummer Roger Taylor, four for guitarist Brian May and five numbers for the charismatic frontman and pianist Freddie Mercury. Best known for its two flamboyant but gleefully hilarious Single / B-Side combo "Bicycle Race" and "Fat Bottomed Girls," JAZZ remains one of the bands funnest and most memorable albums of their career that runs the gamut from the usual piano ballads to the heavy rockers. In fact, JAZZ is one of QUEEN's heaviest albums that takes the hard rock of the earliest albums and even brings back the some of the progressive experimental touches.

JAZZ consisted of thirteen tracks that bounce all over the place with each taking a 180 from its predecessor. Although Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on the island of Zanzibar (part of Tanzania in Africa) and raised both there and in India, he had mostly eschewed any ethnic and folk heritages of his youth in his music and instead swallowed the Western world's pop pill paradigm completely. Surprisingly, JAZZ begins with a tribute to his past with the opening "Mustapha," that consists of a mix of English, Arabic and Persian lyrics. It starts off as exotic Middle Eastern music but then incorporates the expected QUEEN pop rock bombast with Mercury belting out his famous "Allah, Allah, Allah we pray for you" in fine form. The track was a single in some countries and the intro was often used in live settings as a variation of segueing to "Bohemian Rhapsody."

After the QUEEN's version of silk road magic ends, the hilarious and bizarrely performed "Fat Bottomed Girls" finds the band in great harmony with Mercury and May sharing lead vocals. The official video featured a large number of naked girls riding bicycles since "Bicycle Race" was the single and this was the B-side. The track displays a standard bluesy hard rock sound that keeps the arena rock appeal while adding a more heavy metal feel with a drop D guitar tuning. The track is followed by the piano ballad "Jealousy" which begins with a bizarre sitar sound that is created from the strings of the piano, another technique dating back to the track "White Queen (As It Began)" from QUEEN II. The album takes many elements from the first album to the previous "News Of The World."

The most recognized track on the album "Bicycle Race" is one of the most complex on the album and was inspired by the 1978 Tour de France when passing through Montreal where the band happened to be recording JAZZ at Mountain Studios. The track effortlessly fuses traditional pop music's two verses and a chorus but adds a bicycle bell solo, unusual chord progressions and progressive time signatures that jump around. The multi-tracked vocal harmonies just kill it as do the multi-layered guitar antics of May. This is one of the most infectiously addictive songs ever, a true sing-along song if there ever was one. May also cranks out some very idiosyncratic guitar solos and the effortless deviation into an unrelated style seems like divine intervention.

Tracks like "If You Can't Beat Them," "Let Me Entertain You" and "Dead On Time" are more hard rockers mixed with soft parts while "Don't Stop Me Now" and "In Only Seven Days" are lighter numbers. "Dreamer's Ball" and "Fun It" are something completely different. The former, a tribute to Elvis Presley who had died the previous year of recording JAZZ, is a tasty bluesy number which is May's baby with prominent guitars and has a rather dreamy high school ball charm. "Fun It" debuts QUEEN's first foray into disco with a funky simple groove. While Taylor wrote it, he and Mercury perform shared lead vocals and while it may be the weakest track on the album, it clearly represents the direction of the future beginning with the following album "The Game's" huge hit "Another One Bites The Dust" as the drumbeat is nearly identical.

The album ends with "More Of That Jazz" which is loop based performed entirely by May. While it's a bona fide separate track, it morphs into a recapping medley that contains snippets of "Dead on Time", "Bicycle Race", "Mustapha", "If You Can't Beat Them", "Fun It", and "Fat Bottomed Girls" which perfectly sums up the entire feel of the JAZZ album, namely a recap of the entire 70s QUEEN experience. Hard rock with prog elements from the first two albums? Check. Sophisticated overdubs and multi-layered tracks of the "Days At?" albums? You bet. Pop based arena rock digestibility of "Sheer Heart Attack" and "News Of The World?" Oh yeah. QUEEN dished out their last great album with JAZZ and it truly feels like an end of an era in retrospect. It seems like they had already planned their next move which would be to nurture the pop elements and drop the heavier, the progressive and outlandish elements that made them, well QUEEN. Personally i never cared much for the albums that follow save a few tracks but on JAZZ they crafted another excellent assemblage of quirky catchy songs, which sadly ended here.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I find JAZZ to be a very underated Queen album. It was, really the last of the classic Queen release before THE GAME came along and changed much about what the band was doing. JAZZ has fine number like "Mustapha", "Fat Bottemed Girls", "Jealousy", "Bicycle Race", "Let me Entertain You", and "In Only ... (read more)

Report this review (#733634) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9/10 For some reason I am not attracted Jazz at the outset as their predecessors did. No wonder I have dedicated more listeners than he had ever done for any album - six in all. But the moment I write these words, I am sure that this album is comparable to all that the Queen had already lau ... (read more)

Report this review (#701271) | Posted by voliveira | Friday, March 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Jazz ? 1978 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: Fat Bottom Girls Well, this is particularly a very strange album. What the hell is up with that blabbering 'Mustapha'? It's not got enough melody for me, sir, but it's altogether much more entertaining than basically anything off of News of the World. It ... (read more)

Report this review (#445878) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was my first Queen album and as such it has always been held in high regard. Bought originally when I was 12 and really beginning my musical education (those were the days of our lives indeed), this album knocked my socks off. Having only heard The Game previously, I had no idea what was in ... (read more)

Report this review (#176525) | Posted by DantesRing | Friday, July 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars We are in 1978 and queen have already recorded their masterpiece ANATO.They can't reach the top because they already did it and they decided to change their sound.In Jazz everything is different from the prog MUSTAPHA to the straight rock FAT BOTTOMED GIRLS to the soft FUN IT..It's an album that ... (read more)

Report this review (#103535) | Posted by freddie | Monday, December 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Jazz sees Queen continuing in the path they had set with their previous album (News Of The World), a reasonable good effort, but not really great. The Mercury songs are the better songs on this album, Mustapha, Bicicle Race, let Me Entertain You and Don't Stop Me Know, fairly hard rocking, ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#92133) | Posted by tuxon | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is a Queen classic. I think is not prog but it's a very good album. This one is the last from their "progressive era". After Jazz, Queen comes a pop band with "The Game", "Hot Space", "A Kind of Magic" and stuff but always with the Queen sound, that sound that only they can make. In ... (read more)

Report this review (#72437) | Posted by Fede | Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It was now 1978 and Queen took yet another turn, challenging their fans to accept something so different at each offering of new 12" plastic. Admittedly, this was one of the last Queen albums I purchased just based on the rather dull and boring front cover! The original gatefold vinyl did have ... (read more)

Report this review (#70539) | Posted by silversaw | Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I heard this one I thought...What an album!!!! is fantastic...but the more I spinned it the more I got fed up with it...This is the typical album with catchy tunes, but with the ages remains as "just another record"...Yeah!...Mustapha, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bycicle Race, Let Me Entretain Yo ... (read more)

Report this review (#41120) | Posted by Carlos | Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of QUEEN "Jazz"

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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.