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Queen Hot Space album cover
1.87 | 445 ratings | 38 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Staying Power (4:10)
2. Dancer (3:46)
3. Back Chat (4:31)
4. Body Language (4:29)
5. Action This Day (3:32)
6. Put Out the Fire (3:18)
7. Life Is Real (Song for Lennon) (3:28)
8. Calling All Girls (3:50)
9. Palabras De Amor (The Words of Love) (4:26)
10. Cool Cat (3:26)
11. Under Pressure (4:02)

Total Time 42:58

Bonus track on 1991 remaster:
12. Body Language (Remix by Susan Rogers) (4:45)

CD 2 - Bonus EP issued with 2011 Universal Music CD reissue (36:21)
1. Staying Power (live at Milton Keynes Bowl, June 1982) (3:57)
2. Soul Brother (non-album B-side) (3:36)
3. Back Chat (single remix) (4:12)
4. Action This Day (live at Seibu Lions Stadium in Tokorozawa, Nov 1982) (6:25)
5. Calling All Girls (live at Seibu Lions Stadium in Tokorozawa, Nov 1982) (4:45)
6. Las Palabras De Amor (Top of the Pops video 1982) (4:30) *
7. Under Pressure (1999 Rah mix promo video) (4:10) *
8. Action This Day (live at Milton Keynes Bowl, June 1982) (4:46) *

* Video content

Line-up / Musicians

- Freddie Mercury / lead & backing vocals, piano, synth, synth bass (1,4), Hammond organ (11)
- Brian May / lead & rhythm guitars, keyboards (9), synth bass (2), lead (6,9) & backing vocals
- John Deacon / bass, rhythm guitar (1,3,10), lead guitar & keyboards (3,10), drum programming (10)
- Roger Taylor / acoustic & electronic drums, vocals & programming (5), keyboards & rhythm guitar (8)

- David Bowie / duet vocals, keyboards & percussion & co-producer (11)
- Arif Mardin / horn arrangement (1)
- Reinhold Mack / keyboard programming (5), co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: John Barr, Norm Ung & Steve Miller

LP EMI - EMA 797 (1982, UK)
LP Parlophone - QUEENLP 10 (2009, Europe) Remastered

CD EMI - CDP 7 46215 2 (1986, UK)
CD Hollywood Records - HR-61038-2 (1991, US) Remastered by Kevin Metcalfe with a bonus track
CD Parlophone - CDPCSD 135 (1994, UK) Remastered
CD Island Records - 277 175 7 (2011, Europe) New 2011 Bob Ludwig remaster with bonus disc

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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QUEEN Hot Space ratings distribution

(445 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(7%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (32%)
Poor. Only for completionists (37%)

QUEEN Hot Space reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
1 stars When they released this album here obviously their heyday (which was with their first four albums) was already vanished in the haze of pop music and one has just to look at the year of release and then it should be clear where we are: right in disco era and that's it like it sounds at least on the first side which does not contain any song that can fascinate me. First we have "Staying Power", a rock song with a brass section typically used in disco pop music. Actually it could easily be a more rocking song by MICHAEL JACKSON, if there wouldn't be Mercury's unmistakable voice. It goes on with funky dance music in the next track "Dancer", as well in the very poppy "Back Chat". Still the guitar work by Brian May is rather good for the type of music and there are even a couple of fine moments, but very rarely. With "Body Language" we have a very typical 80's pop song, quite sexy, one can almost see Freddy dancing to it. Next one is an up-tempo pop rock song with some scarce admittedly quite good keyboard tunes towards the end. "Put Out The Fire" then is a bit more rocking one, but certainly not one of their best songs. "Life Is Real", an homage to JOHN LENNON is the first one that can really please me, moreover since he used to be all the time my favorite Beatle. A very nice ballad-esque song and completely different from the preceding ones. "Calling All Girls" is a quite tolerable pop song with some nice guitar but really nothing to jump to the rooftop about. Next one is a bit too cheesy love song and only May's good guitar work can make it worth to listen to at all. Then there are just the easily forgettable pop songs "Cool Cat" and "Under Pressure" with a guest appearance by DAVID BOWIE.

As an summary I just can say that this album is the weakest one I know by them without any highlights to mention, one song that I like and therefore 1 star for "Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)".

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Ooooooh. What is that smell? Someone forget to wipe? Probably so.

This is the specific point when I dropped Queen from my "buy whatever they release," top shelf, gotta have.... band list. The toilet flushed on the first track. The package was sent. The septic tank was filled. Hints of the bands demise began around News of the World. NOTW was still good, but the bug had planted it's bite and the decay set in. Even though I kinda liked Under Pressure, the project was soooo laughable that I hid the album away, so noone would see it in my vinyl collection and label me a cad.

Hot Space is equivalent to the nuetering of the once mighty Queen. A sad, sad event in music history.

For me, it was Innuendo that brought me back to the fold. The albums between the Game and Innuendo were unworthy of my support.

Avoid this album at all costs.

Review by Cristi
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover / Prog Metal Teams
3 stars It is quite hard to write a review for Queen's Hot Space. At least not on a prog-rock site. First of all it's not a prog-rock album (prog-related as their 70s albums). And during early 80s, 70s rock heroes often fail to create exciting music. The examples are many, unfortunately; from the prog-rocker's perspective, Hot Space is a worthless pop effort, unworthy of any attention. The problem is that I will not judge from this perspective because as it is, poppy and commercial, subjectively speaking, I will always have a soft spot for Hot Space. It's the first Queen album I've ever heard (this may sound weird but in 1983 communist eastern Europe, listening to something like that was something awesome and also sort of forbidden fruit).

As you may already know most of the albumwas written by Freddie Mercury and John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor being dissatisfied with what was going on throughout the creation and recording of this material (from what I've read) and I can clearly see why; Freddie was so excited by the dance-pop scene of those times that he decided to put these rhythms in Queen's music, alienating many fans. Some gave up on the band, others waited for other materials. Fortunately, Queen realised their mistake and came back with better albums. These being said, let's see what do we have here:

Staying Power: just a pop track written by Freddie Mercury; nevertheless great vocals from Freddie and good bass playing.

Dancer: another pop song but with a twist this time; Brian May does some great guitar work here IMHO.

Back Chat: my favourite track of this album. Again, on a pop beat, Brian May provides a great guitar solo. Interesting.

Body Language: the popiest song of the album. I used to like it a lot as a kid/teenager, now I don't like it that much, I rarely listen to it.

Action this Day: another favourite of mine; a Roger Taylor song. Great song IMHO.

Put Out the Fire: one of the few Brian May song, great guitar, also great vocals from Freddie.

Life is Real: probably the best song of the album, a tribute for John Lennon

Calling All Girls: a pop song but with some nice acoustic guitar, a catchy and enjoyable track.

Cool Cat: what a surprise, you can hardly recognize Freddie on this one! He's singing on top of his voice, accompanied by some nice bass rhythm from Mr Deacon.

Las Palabras de Amor: a ballad, another Brian May song. Catchy in my opinion. Good guitar and synths.

Under Pressure: the most famous song of the album, a collaboration with David Bowie, nice song.

There is little bit for everyone on this pop-rock album. The main problem with this album is that they rather lost identity, they "cleared" their pop act later; as it has been previously said: you have to be a die-hard fan to enjoy this. I rate this album three stars: it's good but then again not essential to your Queen collection.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars It's bad, it's bad, it's bad but not too bad.

Why? Well, I'm a big QUEEN fan for ages and I've heard this album for the first time 15 years ago, and after all these years I realised that there are some good tracks here. This album is just one spot in the curve of band's career and creativity, and I like it because like to compare and analyse things and stuff, if nothing else. It's definitely worst Queen's album and it got nothing to do with progressive rock, but let's see the highlights if there's any: "Staying Power" is the opener, and it's terrible. Queen incorporated horns for the first time in their arrangements, but the final result is just weak. "Dancer" is an excellent tune! The problem is in fact that this is excellent d i s c o tune. Nice synth bass line, and probably best multilayered guitar ever heard on disco song. I got an impression that this song is sort of a predecessor for "Radio Ga Ga". Opening synth line and and electronic drums sound quite similar. It's 1000 times better than anything that, let's say, CHIC ever did. "Back Chat" is a disco not worth mentioning, but the weakest track on the weakest album is "Body Language". It's boring, dull, repetitive and without imagination. The other tracks are perhaps filled in with crap, if not anything else, but this one is just empty. Of course, it managed to reach the UK chart in 1982. "Action This Day" is quite nice pop rock tune. Nice arpeggiator work on Jupiter 8 synth. Another pop rock tune is "Put Out The Fire", but this one is not so nice.

The only track with a little bit of an interest for prog rock fans (if prog fans like THE BEATLES) is "Life Is Real (song for Lennon)". Nice piano ballad with excellent lyrics, Freddie imitating Lennon's style, done very well.

"Calling All Girls" is the track that perhaps I like the most here. Strangely enough, it reminds me of Bowie more than Bowie himself. "Las Palabras De Amor" is one of the rare Queen's attempts to make a tune with few verses here and there that are not in English. According to some native-Spanish speakers, that effort is laughable. A nice pop ballad, but nothing more. "Cool Cat" is one of the most horrible songs that I have ever heard. Not enough said? Well, a note to Ian Anderson: "Bouree" is not the "sleazy jazzy night club song", this is the one!

You know everything about "Under Pressure". You love it or you hate it. Personally, I love it because of the a) collaboration with Bowie, b) nice atmosphere, c) excellent dynamic range of the song, d) outstanding vocal performances from both singers and e) excellent lyrics. I just saw a video spot a few days ago, for the first time in my life. Scary.

Deep in my heart I feel I should rate the album with three or four stars,but that just wouldn't be fair to the thousands of good and very good progressive rock albums here. Therefore, two stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars The trend was at the time of this album released: the use of brass section into the music. It's not a bad idea at all. But for most people who enjoyed brass rock music were expecting this kind of music were recorded by bands like Chicago, Chase, Blood Sweat & Tears, or Tower of Power, etc. That's OK, Genesis also made similar move with "Paper Late", and in fact Phil Collins debut album featured horn section as well. I would say the decision to use brass for Queen was just a matter of following trend. For me personally I did not think that this was a good idea for Queen. The band started to become disco and pop and reduced their rock content. What a pity decision, I thought.

Look, hw boring the opening track "Staying Power" with repetitive music segments / chords. Even the following track "Dancer" does not seem to match the standard of Queen music (well .. what I mean with this is the standard of classic album like "Sheer Heart Attack" or "A Night At The Opera"). "Back Chat" represents a disco music which made the original fans of Queen left the band alone. "Love is Real" is another pop hit that was very famous in my country when this album was released. In fact, this song that made the album quite successful. Of course for those who had been with the early development of rock saw how Bowie collaborated with Queen in "Under Pressure" which also became one of successful hits in my country. Another good song I consider represents the old style of Queen is "Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love)" : it has good melody and rhythm section that reminds me to the band's "A Day At The Races" album.

Again, I can only suggest this album for those die hard fan of Queen especially those who consider that this kind of album enrich the stream of music Queen offers to the music industry.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Cold turkey!

We all have off days, but when Queen released "Hot Space" it seemed that in an instant everything which had set them apart had suddenly evaporated. This is quite simply one of the worst albums ever released by a major band. All the songs here are entirely dispensable with the exception of the collaboration with David Bowie on "Under pressure". This sole track is an essential part of the Queen catalogue.

Things get off to the worst possible start with "Staying power", a dreadful song which lacks even the semblance of a melody. Arif Mardin arranges the horn section on this funk based song, which makes Phil Collins later work with Genesis seem positively inspired.

"Dancer" is a song the Bee Gees might have written during their disco era. then quickly dropped! And so it goes on. Track after track consists of totally uninspired disco pop songs, devoid of even a shadow of the inspiration which adorned the band's early albums. The production is flat and lazy, and the sleeve is a disgrace. If it was not for the closing track, the aforementioned "Under pressure", this album would have no redeeming features whatsoever. That song however indicates that when they could be bothered, the inspiration was still there. Yes it is a melodic pop song, but it has a structure which belies its apparent simplicity, with beautifully constructed crescendos and fine vocal performances by Bowie and Mercury. This is an example of where compilation albums can serve a purpose, as they facilitate obtaining the song without the accompanying dross.

It really is difficult to find anything else positive to say about his album. The tribute to John Lennon ("Life is real") is lyrically poor, and the impersonation misguided. "Las Palabras de Amor" is a third rate facsimile of "Teo Torriatte" (from "A day at the races"), and the rest. well the less said the better.

"Hot space" did more to drive fans away from Queen than any other album. When it comes to own goals, this was a real shot in the foot.

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Queen is my all time favorite band, ever. Their 70's work is beyond compare and, unlike many here, I think 80's albums like The Works and The Game are truly great. Having said that, this album is horrible. It's an embarrassment to their entire career.

After having some success with dance music on The Game, the band decided to take it to the next level. I don't begrudge them that decision, for too many artists have met their demise due to their inability to adapt to the times. Let it never be said that Queen couldn't adapt. It might have even worked, except for one glaring flaw: the songs are abysmal and completely forgettable. I've listened to this album dozens of times, trying to force myself to like it, but sitting here right now I can't remember a single melody from it. Well okay, I remember Under Pressure, but even this "can't miss" collaboration with Bowie sounds like a jumbled mess of half finished ideas rather than the radio classic many hail it as.

You will not find a kinder audience for this album than me, because I love Queen, I love the 80's and I even like disco when it's done well. But trust me, you're better off without this one.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars We fans may find something to like, but for the most part, Queen has done much better.

UNDER PRESSURE aside, this album just doesn't cut it, not in the world of rock, not in the world of prog, maybe a bit in the world of pop. Listening to it few times may give you something to like about it, but this is Queen's worst moment. Where's May's guitar? The signature Taylor-voiced track? Mercury's great, over-the-top delivery? The one member who does get to shine on this album is John Deacon, and that's simply because the other members aren't really around to outshine him. With a few good moments, this album is mostly filler.

Perhaps the one saving grace for this album is the increadible collaboration UNDER PRESSURE, the rest just sounds like Queen flailing away in the 80s. Many fans may know BODY LANGUAGE as the meddled noise that it is... but did you knwo that even after several listens it still just sounds like noise? BACK CHAT and COOL CAT are alright, but alright at best, and each one quickly wears out, unlike most Queen songs. The other songs here are mostly forgettable, somethings Queen never does. With no excellent solos by any of the members here as well, this album was mostly bound to flounder.

While searching for the album that contained the most wonderful UNDER PRESSURE, I was often frustrated by no one had it in stock, but by now I know why. I hate to do this to such a fantastic band that has so much increadible material, but, like an awkward teenager, this album is lost somewhere trying to find itself. 1 star, maybe 1.5 for having UNDER PRESSURE. Previous and later albums are much more worth the money.

Review by ZowieZiggy

Remember that "Queen" already produced "The Game" and "Flash Gordon" some two and three years prior to this wonderful release.

Like most albums, it features some forty minutes of music distributed in eleven parts (but the later feature might vary). Let's not call them all songs will you?

You might appreciate this "album" if disco music is one of your favourite genre. You might even join with friends who share the same musical tastes and create a poll to define which is the best song of this crappy album.

I tried to organize such party, but my friends turned away my invitation. Or maybe they thought I was joking. But I guess that joking is the only way to bear this release.

Awful beats almost all the way through. In this ocean of mediocrity, "Put Out The Fire" sounds just above average. At last these awful funky/disco sounds are forgotten. At last some hard-rock! Just a quick and fresh breathe at half time of this pitiful work.

And let's not be overwhelmed by emotion while listening to the ballad "Life I Real". It might well be a tribute to the great John Lennon but it is too syrupy and mellowish to my taste. Same applies to the poor "Palabras". Help!

Bowie performed the backing vocals on "Cool Cat", but was not satisfied wih the result. Actually he did and record them but he asked to get rid of his part. A great idea David.

So, now Under Pressure. There is finally one excellent song on here. It went Nr. 1 in the UK. A country in which both Queen and Bowie are immensely popular. Vocals are extraordinary, no need to tell you about the bass line and the crescendo vocal parts which are truly exceptional. I have experience this song during a concert of whom you might know. The Mercury parts being taken over by the female bassist Gail Ann Dorsey. A great experience indeed.

I really wonder what went through the minds of the Austrian people in those days. Both "Flash Gordon" and "Hot space" went Nr. 1 in their country! It is the same for me : 1 star even if Under Pressure is a four star track.

Is it necessary to tell you that you shouldn't expect any prog in here. Maybe for their next album?

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Their staying power was fading fast

Widely recognized as Queen's worst album, Hot Space was a real low point in their career. The first four songs of the album are pretty awful even, and will make even the most serious Queen fan (like myself) uncomfortable. Had the album continued like this to the end I would probably not have hesitated to give it the one star rating. The rest of the album does hold some good moments though, the best being Under Pressure. However, it does feel a bit like this last song was tagged on to the album at the end, since it bears no real connection to the rest.

Under pressure was recorded together with David Bowie and the voices of Freddie and Bowie go really good together. I like this song!

Action This Day, Put Out The Fire, Los Palabras De Amour and especially, Life Is Real (Song For Lennon) are all decent if pretty unremarkable songs - easily forgotten among Queen's many great songs. Thankfully, Queen would regain their senses and with each album after this one, they would make a better one, culminating with the excellent Innuendo.

Recommended only for fans and collectors

Review by progpositivity
1 stars Hot off the multi-million dollar disco success of "Another One Bites the Dust", Queen took an unthinkable plunge into Disco/Soul over-ride. It was an incredibly bold risk-taking move for a rock band of their stature, and one that went terribly awry.

In retrospect, this isn't an entirely disco album. Roger Taylor manages to sneak enough "space" to explore his burgeoning new wave atmospheric interests on "Calling All Girls" and "Action this Day". Brian May's "Put out the Fire" has a strong rocking vibe. "Life is Real" may be a tepid rock ballad, but it is far from disco. And ironically, the new wave/pop amalgam "Under Pressure" (featuring David Bowie on vocals) is the album's high mark both in terms of commercial success and artistic merit.

In the end Hot Space turned out to be a Hot Potato that just "didn't work". Their next album would "work" much better as they returned to more traditional Rock territory. It would take them a while, however, to regain the confidence of their 'anti-disco' rock fans.

This is not a bad pop/disco album. As an item of Prog interest, it is a zero.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well, this the very depth, how low can Queen (even with Freddie) get. For most of Queen fans, the main catch of their music are Freddie's voice & Brian's characteristic guitar. Both elements are suppressed here and songs are either 80s sounding, 80s Pop sounding, or Hard Rock ones, so there's not much to choose from. However, those like Las Palabras De Amor (The World of Love) or Life Is Real (Song For Lennon) are shining stars here in this heap of stinking songs.

2(+), it's valley of death with barren land, without rain. There even aren't big Rocks in this landscape, only these tiny little nuggets. It's not great album and only fans (and there is a lot of fans out there) should get this album. So when fans forms majority, it's not for "fans only", because this term is used mostly for narrow group of people, fans of group/artist. Nevermind, I even heard that a lot of Queen fans despise this release, so, that's it.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
1 stars On this album, Queen completed their descent into insipid pop music, and left this turd in the litter box that was now their catalog.

The first half of this waste of plastic are completely vapid disco songs, the worst being Body Language, which ironically, makes poor use of the English language with idiotic lyrics like: Give me, body - give me - body - body - Give me your body Don't talk, Baby don't talk Body language Give me your body Just give me your body Give me your body

Can you believe that this is the same band that wrote such eloquent lyrics on their first four albums?

The second half of the album are more traditional, but no more listenable songs. The worst is the embarassing "tribute" to John Lennon, Life Is Real "Breast feeding myself"? Really, Freddie? Really?

The hit from this album was the song with David Bowie, Under Pressure, a song so bad it inspired Vanilla Ice. Need I say more?

Review by Warthur
2 stars I'll give this one two stars for one reason and one reason alone - Under Pressure, the legendary collaboration with David Bowie which brings back some of Queen's formerly formidable art rock chops at the tail end of this forgettable album. The preceding tracks, however, are all one-star crud: Queen were attempting to make something funky and danceable, but the fact is that they were stunningly inept at it, the end results being Freddie singing over backing tracks which sound like botched impressions of the sort of stunning material Prince was making around this time. If you really want a progressively minded fusion of rock music, funk, soul and R&B, any classic Prince album will serve you much better than this pretender.
Review by Necrotica
3 stars Queen's soundtrack to Flash Gordon stirred up quite a lot of controversy with their fanbase when it came out, many people wondering where the band's "No Synthesizers" policy had gone (although to be fair, they started this trend with their eighth record The Game). The band's usual pomp and campy humor had been replaced with dark brooding keyboard arrangements and a distinct lack of Freddie Mercury's voice. Naturally there was a backlash from the band's following, but the worst was yet to come... as 1982's Hot Space would eventually prove. Yes indeed, this is the album that brought Queen's dance influence (originally found on The Game) to the next level; and when I say next level, I MEAN it. This record is almost entirely packed with 80s synthpop arrangements, drum machine recordings galore, and a lot more focus on the bass and vocals. Many fans feel that this was the record that represented Queen at their absolute worst, the album even being included on Q Magazine's list of "Albums Where Great Rock Acts Lost the Plot." So wow, this must be really awful then, right? Well, not quite.

While this album can get very clunky and inconsistent, there are just enough great songs and moments to balance out the record's negative aspects. "Staying Power" is a suitably entertaining opener that sets the funky tone for the rest of the dance-influenced material on the album, but songs like "Back Chat" and "Cool Cat" really make you wonder what the band were thinking. The former has a very "70s disco" vibe about, sounding like something from mid-career Michael Jackson while the latter has a slow soulful groove that could have granted the band an appearance on the show "Soul Train" back in the day. However, the biggest oddity on the record would have to be the hit single "Body Language." A very minimalist number by Queen's standards, the song combines a dark bass line with seductive yells and moans by Freddie (man, did I really just have to say that?) and some bizarre synthesizer embellishments. Oddly enough, it happens to be one of my favorite songs on the album out of its sheer entertainment factor. Songs like these are offset by more traditional Queen rockers and ballads; this is still where the band really shines on the record. With many of the more "rocking" numbers, the whole band finally comes into play again and things feel more cohesive. "Put Out the Fire" is a really fun anti-firearm hard rock (even verging on heavy metal) number that even includes a guitar solo by an intoxicated Brian May! And do I even need to go into much detail about "Under Pressure?" The song's a classic; David Bowie's guest performance is wonderful, the fast bass line is a great way to introduce the piece, the chorus is really climactic and well-arranged; everything about the song is just awesome. Finally, "Action This Day" is sort of a mix of the dance and 70s rock of Queen rolled into one tune. The quirky verses sound like they could have been on a Devo record (one of their better ones, mind you), but the chorus sounds like it could have been on A Day at the Races or News of the World.

So what does all this analysis add up to? Some fantastic songs, some good songs, and some very mediocre songs. Songs like "Under Pressure" and "Put Out the Fire" bring the listener back to the 70s days of the band, but the dance-inspired tunes are pretty hit-and-miss. And yet, what is it that still draws this record to me? Honestly, it's mainly based on how fun the album is. Sometimes you just need a nice dance album and let yourself go, and this album is very good at making that happen. As a traditional Queen album, this is pretty weak and has a lot of flaws; however, similar to Risk by Megadeth, you just have to see this for the diversion it is and respect its flaws. Despite its many problems, I still recommend this album... but just barely. Proceed with caution. I'd consider this a "try-before-you-buy" record.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I had never heard Hot Space on its entirely until recently. See, I always liked Queen, but Queen was never a favorite band. Hot Space got such bad reception when it was released I never bothered to listen to it at the time. Besides, the video Body Language did get showed on TV and I didnt´like it at all, so why bother? However, upon reading Queen´s biography. Mark Blake´s Is This The Real Life, the Untold Story of..., I got curious. When I heard it I was surprised of how different it was and at the same how good some of the tracks really were. I can understand the hatred it caused on several fans, even today. That was not the same band their audience was expecting to find. The opener Straying Power, with its disco beats and funk brass arrangements sounds almost like the band was really provoking their fans. However, as much as you can criticize the style they embraced, there is some good stuff to find here (if you´re open minded, of course).

Actually Hot Space was ahead of its time. The mixture of rock, funk and disco was something rarely, if ever, heard of until then. It´s little surprise that Michael Jackson, a big fan of Queen, always credit HS as a major influence on his classic Thriller album he released almost an year later. In a way, this is Queen´s most experimental and bold move ever, and, in a way, quite progressive on its own. If the move was a good one it´s another story entirely. But in hindsight I can enjoy much of the tracks here: Back Chat is a fine funk tune with great guitar lines, the more traditional Las Palabras de Amor is a good homage to their latin american fans, while Life Is Real is one of the best tributes to John Lennon. Hot Space was remarkable also in terms of instrumentation: the first when all for members played synthesizers and the first to feature electronic drums on some tracks. In fact I found something to enjoy in almost every song here. Of course, this was a safe listening because I knew they would eventually drop the disco/funk bits from the next album on. They even give some nods to the new wave movement in Europe (Roger Taylors Action This Day is the obvious example).

So, in the end, Hot Space is an interesting experiment. And, as much as it got their worst reviews and sales in a long time, it has its good side. I the words of Brian May (who was the least appreciative of the new direction) : Hot Space wasn´t easy, but I´ll stand by it. It got us out of a rut and into a new place".

Definitely HS is mot one of Queen´s best works, but it has its merits. It´s an interesting and daring move. Few band would risk as much. And fewer still would come back as gloriously as they did on their follow up. You have to accept it: Queen was talented and unique. Love them or hate them. And Hot Space, with all its faults still shines in places after all those years. My remastered edition has a couple of bonus live version tracks recorded during the tour promoting the album. They sound much heavier and powerful than on record. Nice addition. Rating: good, but non-essential. Three stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Hot Space is the worst Queen studio album for many reasons that I would like to explore here. First of all every shred of prog that the band had maintained on previous albums was eradicated. That in itself is not such a bad thing but what makes this an appalling entry is that the hard rock sound and innovation of the previous releases had been replaced here with dance music. You heard it right folks. dance music. It is so disco in places you might expect John Travolta to get up on the dance floor and bust a move.

The musicianship has been widdled down to synth drums and synthetic sinuey synths. Brian May has hung up his electric axe so he can indulge in tedious kanoodling. There are wall to wall keyboards and the drumming does not have enough power to blow the fluff off a peanut.

The songs are forgettable. No, they are trust me. I cannot recall anything as soon as the album stops playing. Except one. And one song is not enough. Of course we are talking about Under Pressure. Its a masterpiece but its on every compilation and it cannot justify the rest of the album, not for a minute.

The rest of the songs are pop. Pop as far as the ears can hear and it is not even good pop; it is kitsch pop. The lyrics are boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl leaves boy, boy looks for another hobby.

There are some moments to savour such as Roger Taylor's Action this Day, a nice effort. Brian May offers Put Out the Fire, and brings us a great guitar section. And there is even a tribute to John Lennon that is nicely arranged called Life is Real.

That is about it. Overall Hot Space is anything but hot. The band opted for a new approach to the music and it didn't work. It is as simple as that. Thank Goodness they never sunk to these lows again in the recording studio.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Queen was riding high with their fame after the release of "The Game", which marked the first time the band ever used synthesizers in their music, but at least their music was still rock oriented. Fans were a bit disappointed with the release of "Flash Gordon" but felt the band could be excused for that one since it was written and inspired by the movie of the same name. However, when they released their next proper album "Hot Space" in 1982, it turned out to be the last straw for many fans and quite unforgivable that the music was suddenly disco and dance oriented, especially the entire first side of the record.

There is a bit of discussion on who to blame for this huge misstep from this band that no one thought would be able to topple at the time. On one hand, there are those that say that John Deacon was to blame because of his love for r & b music. He wrote the previous hit "Another One Bites the Dust" and there was pressure to release music similar to that which could be played in the dance clubs. The other story is that Freddie Mercury's personal manager Paul Prenter was distancing the band from Mercury not allowing them to talk together. Prenter was working to convince Mercury that the "glam" he was so attracted to would be more attainable and acceptable with disco music. Both Brian May and Roger Taylor were very much against making a disco album or taking the band in that direction. However, in the end, profits and commercialism won out, and that's how the monstrosity and embarrassment of this album happened.

All through the first side of this album, you can expect nothing but dance/disco flavors that are so apparent, it must have been shocking to fans when they put this album on the first time. The horn arrangements of the opening track "Staying Power" are typical disco arrangements and no one even tried to hide that fact. "Dancer" follows along the same lines, but since it was written by May, at least he has some crunching guitar riffs that he manages to bring in, but the disappointment can't be ignored. More disco mentality continues in the over produced synthesized orchestra sound of "Back Chat" and the missing guitar can't be ignored in the hit "Body Language" which tries to recall some of the experimental sounds of earlier years, but ends up falling on it's face. "Action This Day" continues with programmed drums and a new wave mentality and even though it's a Taylor-penned track, the "punk" style of his previous songs is almost completely missing.

The 2nd side at least veers away from the overabundance of disco music, but it seems that the damage has been done, and there just isn't any soul or heart in the music. The only exception is with the nice ballad-style track "Life is Real (Song for Lennon)" which brings back some of the spirit that has been missing in Mercury's delivery. Everything else here seems to be trying to copy the classic sound of the band, but without bringing back any of the excitement or spirit from before. "Cool Cat" seems like it could be something interesting, but never gets to develop much. Apparently, David Bowie was supposed to be a guest vocalist for this track, but he didn't like his performance on the song and asked that it be pulled before the record was released. The other saving grace for the album besides "Life is Real" is the closing track that everyone knows, "Under Pressure". The interesting thing here is that track was recorded long before this album, so it wasn't influenced by the move to disco, and that could explain why it has a more infectious riff and why it has been the only song considered a classic on the entire album, not to mention the fact that Bowie's vocals were still on this track.

In 2011, there was a CD reissue that tries to resurrect this album. It attempts to take away the disco-oriented sound of the album by including 3 live versions of the songs "Staying Power", "Calling All Girls" and "Action This Day" by using real drums and getting rid of the disco horns, but it's still hard to ignore the fact that these songs just didn't seem that inspired, and the new wave style is still there (they were recorded the same year as the album). They also include the non-album b-side for "Under Pressure" a song called "Soul Brother" which at least also hints at the soulful sound of Mercury's voice from their classic music, which also shows the direction of the band if the disco influence hadn't won out. There is also a single version of "Back Chat" that doesn't really help out much.

It wouldn't take long for the band to figure out the damage had been done. Unfortunately, for Queen, they would never be able to be taken seriously on any of their future albums even if they did manage to produce better songs than what was on "Hot Space". It was still difficult for the band to match the heights of their previous stardom as the music was now to be more commercialized than before and feature a lot less variety, which I always thought was their biggest strength. The days before "Hot Space" were the times I thought that Queen could play anything and make it sound amazing and unique. The only thing this album proved was that I was wrong.

Review by VianaProghead
1 stars Review N 669

"Hot Space" is the tenth studio album of Queen and that was released in 1982. This musical phase is marked by many changes, a notable shift in the direction from their earlier works. The band employed on it, many musical elements from pop, disco, rhythm and blues and dance music. By the other hand, the band included the use of synthesizers and electronic drums on albums and concerts. So, the final result was a very different style adopted by them in the 70's. It made of "Hot Space" less popular with fans that preferred the traditional rock style that was associated with the band.

"Hot Space" has eleven tracks. The first track "Staying Power" written by Freddie Mercury was released as a single in Japan and United States only. It's the only Queen's song, in all history of the band, to have a horn section. It's a song driven by a funky styled synthesizer bass riff that sounds as an electro-disco song. This is a very weak song. It's an awful way to open the album. The second track "Dancer" written by Brian May is a kind of a fusion between rock and disco. It searches to fuse heavy elements with danceable ones. It sounds as a Bee Gees' song they could have written during their disco phase. The third track "Back Chat" written by John Deacon was also chosen to be released as a single. It's the song on the album most influenced by the black music. It has a rock funky tune made to be dance music. The main interesting thing on it is a nice Brian May guitar solo. The fourth track "Body Language" written by Freddie Mercury was the second single of the album. This is a typical Queen's song of this musical period inspired in disco, funk and soul music, when the band temporarily abandoned their glam and experimental rock roots. It was a big dance hit that received an extensive radio play at the time. The fifth track "Action This Day" written by Roger Taylor, is clearly influenced by the style of the new wave, so in vogue at the time. It's a song driven by a pounding electronic drum machine. The only interesting things on it are the vocal duets and the chorus sung by Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor. The sixth track "Put Out The Fire" written by Brian May, is the most traditional Queen's song here. It was chosen to be released as the B side of their single "Calling All Girls". It has lead vocals by Freddie Mercury with Brian May singing lead vocals in falsetto at the end of the verse. It has a nice guitar solo by Brian May. It isn't a bad song, but it's a bit repetitive and I don't like of the Bee Gees' vocal parts. This isn't one of Brian May's best songs. The seventh track "Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)" written by Freddie Mercury, was chosen to be released as the B side of the single "Body Language". As it indicates, it's a tribute to John Lennon who was murdered in 1980. As most of John Lennon's songs, it features a piano based musical arrangement and a melancholic tone. It's a nice ballad that shows a different song from the preceding ones. I like this song that represents one of the few positive points on the album. The eighth track "Calling All Girls" written by Roger Taylor, was the fourth song chosen to be a single. He composed the song on guitar, playing feedback noises during the break. It's a tolerable pop song nice and pleasant to hear. It isn't a bad song, but I can't see anything special on it. The ninth track "Las Palabras De Amor" written by Brian May was the third single of the album. It's a rock ballad with vocals provided by Freddie Mercury with Brian May on the high vocal harmony. It's a good and beautiful song, a fine Brian May's ballad, beautifully sung, some good acoustic guitar work and a nice synthesizer performance. It's one of the few highlights on the album. The tenth track "Cool Cat" written by Freddie Mercury and John Deacon was chosen to be the B side of the single "Las Palabras De Amor". All instruments are played by John Deacon. It's a pop song with some rhythm and blues influence and where Freddie Mercury sings on the top of his voice. Some says this is a good song, but this isn't my cup of tea. The eleventh track "Under Pressure" written by David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor, was released as a single and was a big hit. It's a collaboration work between Queen and David Bowie. The song was largely played live by the band, was included on some of their "Greatest Hits" and is one of the best known songs worldwide. This is song with some great musical moments, especially the excellent and unforgettable vocal duet between Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.

Conclusion: "Hot Space" is, without any doubt, the worst album ever made by Queen. It has, in my humble opinion, only three real good musical moments, "Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)", "Las Palabras De Amor" and "Under Pressure". The rest of the album is average or even really bad. Overall, we can't really say that "Hot Space" is the worst album ever, but certainly is a very low point in the band's discography, the lowest point, in my humble opinion. In reality, "Under Pressure" is the only reason that most listeners remember this album, which is as much a testament to the song's strength as it is to the rather desultory nature of the rest of "Hot Space". Although for different reasons, unfortunately it comes to my mind another album, "Giant For A Day" of Gentle Giant, which is also an awful album. These are two of the very few albums I rated with only 1 star. And since I like both bands it was painful for me to do so.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars It is difficult to process that those who composed one of the greatest rock songs of all time, Bohemian Rhapsody, 8 years later create pieces as far from that path as Back Chat, Body Language or Cool Cat, to name the most divergent. Evolution is part of the almost natural process of all groups, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2412095) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I don't know why really, but the other day I felt a pressing need to re-listen and re-view this album. As much as I do often have a stance on a particular album that differs from the common consensus to a greater or lesser extent, in the case of 'Hot Space' I won't try to hail it as a masterpiece ... (read more)

Report this review (#1516016) | Posted by Glubluk | Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | Review Permanlink

2 stars 3/10 My God. I can not even digest it. But what is a remarkable change ... even for the worst. Queen has made considerable changes in their music, turning his pop-rock including rock and R & B, soul, disco-music and synth-pop. I can only say one thing: God help us. Yes, I join the great ... (read more)

Report this review (#727659) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, April 14, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Hot Space ? 1981 (1.6/5) Real bad, almost 1 star 7 ? Best Song: Life is Real, but I can't stop laughing You want to hear a joke? What do you get when you cross Queen and the 1980's after they stopped making money? A cold, lifeless cash-in of the times! Hey, I'm on a roll. I wonder if we're ... (read more)

Report this review (#445881) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Even if you are a huge disco or pop fan there would be no need to buy this album as there is only one decent track here which is Under Pressure and you could just download that track and forget the rest of this album. Queen had some success riding the tide of the disco era with the Game attrac ... (read more)

Report this review (#410519) | Posted by By--Tor | Thursday, March 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 'I mean it's only a bloody record! People get so excited about these things!' ... said Freddie on a lovely June evening in 1982 on a packed Bowl in Milton Keynes, some two weeks after the release of Hot Space. Yes, the Album-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, the wizardry Queen world's very own Voldemort; t ... (read more)

Report this review (#374327) | Posted by Lizzy | Thursday, January 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

1 stars To rescue the album is a flight emergency. there is only one title that is listenable on the album, it must be said, is "Body Language" which is not bad at all, the rest is just pop uninteresting, the most bad album of Queen's possible. Queen could not make this album just keep a song and work on ... (read more)

Report this review (#228512) | Posted by Discographia | Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars First of all, I must compliment album's cover. I like it. Nice colours. But i can't say the same about alb's content. It's got some excellent things for me like 'Under Pressure' or 'Put Out The Fire', but first song 'Staying Power' looks like work for Jackson, not for Freddie. 80's did their e ... (read more)

Report this review (#228508) | Posted by Colourful | Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars A bad case of body language INTRODUCTION Why reviewing this album? Well, I'd like to review all Queen albums and starting with this one has the advantage that after this one it only can get better. Queen always had a way of blending several musical styles, and in their earlier albums it worked ... (read more)

Report this review (#97145) | Posted by Draconean | Sunday, November 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am a Queen fan have been since 1976 thats about 27 years now, im not saying that all of Queens music is great no most of it is fantastic. what most people are forgetting when reviewing hotspace is that this record was put togetherin thir quiet years that is the spell when they had there upt ... (read more)

Report this review (#92492) | Posted by dale | Thursday, September 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars SSSSSS......AGHHHHHHHRRRRR.....oh, no! Is this Queen? Are these the same guys who did genious pieces such as "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Prophet's song", "Death on two legs" and "The march of the black Queen" ? Yes, they are. Freddie Mercury used to be one of the best songwriters and piano players e ... (read more)

Report this review (#91092) | Posted by N-man | Friday, September 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Okay, even as one of those die-hard Queen fans, I will not try to fool anyone into believing this is a great album. If we take out the "Flash Gordon" soundtrack, which I certainly am, this is the worst album of the band's career. That's not to say it doesn't have its moments!! Some people ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#70561) | Posted by silversaw | Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars It's not a prog album at all! Anyway there are not great songs, it's a pop album, too commercial for my tastes...Queen passed better periods, absolutely, and this one testifies their 'pop' corruption, their change of style. I prefer the old Queen: News of the world and A day at the races...So I can' ... (read more)

Report this review (#66990) | Posted by Kord | Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think this album is one of the best albums that I've heard by Queen, but I can't say I'm a big fan and there are a few albums in their catalogue thay I've never heard. I also think it's interesting to read all the reviews about it, since I can't understand the low rates. Take "Innuendo" for ... (read more)

Report this review (#65873) | Posted by 1971 | Saturday, January 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars OK., let's cool off for a while. It's their worst labum -I agree with that. But there are some good moments in it. Isn't 'Las Palabras de Amor' a great song? Aren't 'Put Out The Fire' and 'Life Is Real' more than OK? And, finally, whether you like it or not, 'Under Pressure' is their best 80s ... (read more)

Report this review (#65841) | Posted by | Saturday, January 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Queen is one of only a few bands, perhaps the only one, that throughout its career has played virtually all genres of modern music. I don't really know a person that doesn't like some of their stuff, some of them like the 70's stuff more, the other 80's thing, and some 90's. They're all differen ... (read more)

Report this review (#60538) | Posted by nuncjusz | Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This album is horrible. It's Queen's worst album and one of the worst albums I have ever heard. It is not only not prog, but it's more disco than rock. "Under Pressure" and "Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love)" are the only two decent songs on Hotspace and even these are sub par for Queen. O ... (read more)

Report this review (#50664) | Posted by | Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars After the succes of previous albums, each having a music-style theme running through it, this time it's dance and disco music they desided to have a go at, I'm torn apart about this album, I like it very much, and it probably is the album that I listen to most, but it is miles away from what I ... (read more)

Report this review (#41218) | Posted by tuxon | Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I really have problems when I hear the whole album...the music is so popish...The Works and The Game are really better than this one...Just to mention Calling All Girls, Cool Cat, Dancer and even Stayin Power are tracks that disappointed me when I finished hearing the album (even when I gave ... (read more)

Report this review (#40926) | Posted by Carlos | Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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