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QUEEN

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Queen picture
Queen biography
Founded in London, UK in 1971 - Still active as of 2017

QUEEN are a four piece English Art rock band, formerly fronted by the flamboyant Freddie Mercury on vocals and piano, Brian May on guitar, Roger-Meddows-Taylor on drums and John Deacon on bass-guitar. Despite numerous rumours about Queen splitting up over the years, they never actually did, and the four remained together until the untimely death of Freddie Mercury on November 24th of 1991. Currently (2005) they are touring with Paul Rodgers (ex Free) on vocals.

The origins of Queen date back as early as 1967, when Roger Taylor and Brian May joined forces, and together with singer bass-player Tim Staffel started the psychedelic hard rock group Smile.

SMILE

Smile played a few gigs, supporting such recently formed groups as YES and PINK FLOYD, playing mostly covers, but extending them up to 20 minutes or so, changing tempos frequently. The album "Ghost of a Smile", released posthumously in 1998, is a pale reflection of what the band achieved on the live circuits.

Brian May and Tim Staffel were the main writers in Smile, and they released a single in the US ("Earth"), which didn't do much on the charts. Some other attempts at making a breakthrough were made, but due to the absence of commercial success Tim Staffel decided to try his luck with another band (Humpy Bong). Freddie (original name Farrokh Bulsara), was no stranger to Smile, and had already started performing with Wreckage and later Sour Milk Sea. He had attended several gigs of Smile, being both a friend of Tim Staffel and Roger Taylor, and was interested in joining the band. Freddie already had a vision for the direction Smile had to take, introducing flamboyance, bombast, glamour and visual presentation to their music and live shows.

QUEEN

Shortly after becoming a member Freddie proposed the new name for the band which would remain with them. He also decided to change his surname to something more becoming of a rock star. Mercury, being the winged messenger of the gods was an audacious name to take, but it suited Freddie fine. After the search for a bass player came to an end with John Deacon, Queen was ready for success, but it still took them 2 years before they could create their debut album.

The 1970s were a time for excess, especially in rock music, and few bands came quite as close to epitomising this excess as Queen. Queen intended to be a larger than life rock group, the music ...
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QUEEN Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy QUEEN Music


The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & IIIThe Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III
Box set
Hollywood Records 2002
$21.70
$17.39 (used)
Bohemian RhapsodyBohemian Rhapsody
Hollywood Records 2018
$11.52
$6.42 (used)
Greatest Hits: Greatest Hits: "We Will Rock You" Edition
Remastered · Special Edition
Hollywood Records 2004
$11.76
$5.77 (used)
A Night At The Opera [Remastered]A Night At The Opera [Remastered]
Remastered
Hollywood Records 2011
$10.98
$12.92 (used)
Queen: Greatest Hits I & IIQueen: Greatest Hits I & II
Hollywood Records 1995
$16.69
$14.99 (used)
Live at Wembley StadiumLive at Wembley Stadium
Extra tracks · Remastered
Hollywood Records 2003
$13.79
$15.99 (used)
InnuendoInnuendo
Hollywood Records 1994
$12.85
$3.90 (used)
Greatest Hits II [2 LP]Greatest Hits II [2 LP]
Hollywood Records 2017
$28.79
$27.81 (used)
Sheer Heart Attack [Remastered]Sheer Heart Attack [Remastered]
Remastered
Hollywood Records 2011
$10.99
$16.16 (used)
A Day At The Races [Remastered]A Day At The Races [Remastered]
Remastered
Hollywood Records 2011
$10.99
$13.37 (used)
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QUEEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

QUEEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 505 ratings
Queen
1973
4.36 | 781 ratings
Queen II
1974
3.97 | 578 ratings
Sheer Heart Attack
1974
4.29 | 907 ratings
A Night At The Opera
1975
3.77 | 514 ratings
A Day At The Races
1976
3.23 | 472 ratings
News Of The World
1977
3.48 | 464 ratings
Jazz
1978
2.82 | 396 ratings
The Game
1980
2.14 | 324 ratings
Flash Gordon (OST)
1980
1.87 | 357 ratings
Hot Space
1982
2.91 | 333 ratings
The Works
1984
3.00 | 356 ratings
A Kind Of Magic
1986
3.19 | 343 ratings
The Miracle
1989
3.88 | 511 ratings
Innuendo
1991
3.28 | 298 ratings
Made In Heaven
1995
1.93 | 162 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: The Cosmos Rocks
2008

QUEEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 164 ratings
Live Killers
1979
1.83 | 82 ratings
Live Magic
1986
3.49 | 53 ratings
At The Beeb
1989
3.98 | 124 ratings
Live At Wembley '86
1992
3.89 | 61 ratings
Queen on fire - Live at the Bowl
2004
2.74 | 37 ratings
Queen & Paul Rodgers: Return Of The Champions
2005
4.11 | 51 ratings
Rock Montreal
2007
3.19 | 16 ratings
Queen and Paul Rodgers - Live in Ukraine
2009
3.92 | 3 ratings
Hungarian Rhapsody - Live In Budapest
2012
4.43 | 30 ratings
Live At The Rainbow '74
2014
4.29 | 14 ratings
A Night At The Odeon
2015
4.72 | 9 ratings
On Air
2016

QUEEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.59 | 13 ratings
We Will Rock You
1984
3.51 | 11 ratings
Rare Live : A Concert Through Time And Space
1989
3.26 | 20 ratings
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
1999
3.39 | 34 ratings
Greatest Video Hits 1
2002
3.85 | 27 ratings
Greatest Video Hits 2
2003
4.26 | 78 ratings
Live At Wembley Stadium (DVD)
2003
4.24 | 31 ratings
Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl
2004
4.00 | 15 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers - Return Of The Champions
2005
4.43 | 14 ratings
Classic Albums: A Night At The Opera
2006
3.52 | 37 ratings
Rock Montreal (DVD)
2007
3.57 | 14 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers - Live in Ukraine
2009
4.50 | 4 ratings
Days of Our Lives
2011
4.08 | 20 ratings
Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest (1986)
2012
4.82 | 22 ratings
Live At The Rainbow '74
2014
4.67 | 9 ratings
A Night At The Odeon
2015

QUEEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.47 | 6 ratings
The Best Of Queen
1976
3.43 | 92 ratings
Greatest Hits
1981
3.79 | 5 ratings
The Complete Works
1985
3.19 | 63 ratings
Greatest Hits II
1991
3.75 | 12 ratings
Classic Queen
1992
4.00 | 16 ratings
Queen Rocks
1997
3.09 | 17 ratings
Smile: Ghost Of A Smile
1997
2.20 | 42 ratings
Greatest Hits III
1999
2.28 | 6 ratings
Stone Cold Classics
2006
2.32 | 6 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 1
2008
2.29 | 5 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 2
2009
2.35 | 11 ratings
Absolute Greatest
2009
2.28 | 6 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 3
2010
2.29 | 5 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 4
2010
4.20 | 5 ratings
Deep Cuts, Volume 1 (1973-1976)
2011
3.80 | 5 ratings
Deep Cuts, Volume 2 (1977-1982)
2011
3.80 | 5 ratings
Deep Cuts, Volume 3 (1984-1995)
2011
3.05 | 3 ratings
Icon
2013
3.45 | 11 ratings
Forever
2014
4.25 | 4 ratings
On Air (Deluxe Edition)
2016
3.85 | 4 ratings
Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack)
2018

QUEEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 16 ratings
Keep Yourself Alive / Son and Daughter
1973
3.52 | 18 ratings
Liar / Doing All Right
1974
3.96 | 23 ratings
Seven Seas of Rhye / See What a Fool I've Been
1974
4.35 | 23 ratings
Killer Queen / Flick of the Wrist
1974
4.20 | 20 ratings
Now I'm Here / Lily of the Valley
1975
3.85 | 13 ratings
Lily of the Valley / Keep Yourself Alive
1975
4.16 | 29 ratings
Bohemian Rhapsody / I'm in Love With My Car
1975
3.28 | 23 ratings
You're My Best Friend / '39
1976
3.88 | 23 ratings
Somebody to Love / White Man
1976
4.00 | 16 ratings
Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) / Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
1977
3.76 | 17 ratings
Tie Your Mother Down / You and I
1977
3.62 | 13 ratings
Long Away / You and I
1977
3.33 | 28 ratings
We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You
1977
4.00 | 9 ratings
Queen's First E.P.
1977
3.50 | 23 ratings
Spread Your Wings / Sheer Heart Attack
1978
4.00 | 16 ratings
Mustapha / Dead on Time
1978
3.19 | 12 ratings
Mustapha / In Only Seven Days
1978
3.92 | 12 ratings
It's Late / Sheer Heart Attack
1978
2.96 | 26 ratings
Bicycle Race / Fat Bottomed Girls
1978
3.75 | 8 ratings
Love of My Life [Live] / Now I'm Here [Live]
1979
3.90 | 20 ratings
Don't Stop Me Now / In Only Seven Days
1979
3.30 | 10 ratings
Jealousy / Fun It
1979
2.67 | 6 ratings
We Will Rock You [Live] / Let Me Entertain You [Live]
1979
2.85 | 13 ratings
Crazy Little Thing Called Love / We Will Rock You [Live]
1979
3.00 | 11 ratings
Crazy Little Thing Called Love / Spread Your Wings
1979
3.58 | 12 ratings
Save Me / Let Me Entertain You [Live]
1980
2.77 | 13 ratings
Play the Game / A Human Body
1980
2.70 | 18 ratings
Another One Bites the Dust / Dragon Attack
1980
3.00 | 8 ratings
Need Your Loving Tonight / Rock It (Prime Jive)
1980
3.00 | 9 ratings
Flash / Football Fight
1980
3.31 | 20 ratings
Under Pressure / Soul Brother
1981
2.90 | 10 ratings
Staying Power / Calling All Girls
1982
2.27 | 11 ratings
Body Language / Life Is Real
1982
3.10 | 10 ratings
Las Palabras De Amor / Cool Cat
1982
2.78 | 9 ratings
Calling All Girls / Put Out the Fire
1982
2.91 | 11 ratings
Back Chat / Staying Power
1982
3.35 | 17 ratings
Radio Ga Ga / I Go Crazy
1984
3.07 | 15 ratings
I Want to Break Free / Machines
1984
3.08 | 12 ratings
It's a Hard Life / Is This the World We Created...?
1984
3.60 | 10 ratings
Hammer to Fall / Tear It Up
1984
2.44 | 9 ratings
Thank God It's Christmas
1984
1.72 | 13 ratings
One Vision
1985
2.75 | 8 ratings
One Year of Love / Gimme the Prize
1986
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Highlander Selection
1986
3.29 | 7 ratings
Princes of the Universe / A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling
1986
2.75 | 8 ratings
A Kind of Magic / A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling
1986
3.00 | 5 ratings
A Kind of Magic [Picture Disc]
1986
2.18 | 14 ratings
Friends Will Be Friends / Seven Seas of Rhye
1986
2.19 | 8 ratings
Pain Is So Close to Pleasure / Don't Lose Your Head
1986
2.57 | 11 ratings
Who Wants to Live Forever / Killer Queen
1986
4.07 | 10 ratings
Princes of the Universe / Gimme the Prize
1986
3.67 | 15 ratings
I Want It All
1989
3.45 | 11 ratings
Breakthru/Stealin'
1989
3.33 | 9 ratings
The Invisible Man / Hijack My Heart
1989
3.78 | 9 ratings
Scandal / My Life Has Been Saved
1989
3.70 | 10 ratings
The Miracle / Stone Cold Crazy [Live]
1989
3.38 | 13 ratings
These Are the Days of Our Lives / Bijou
1991
4.62 | 22 ratings
Innuendo / Bijou
1991
4.67 | 15 ratings
Innuendo (Explosive Version)
1991
4.13 | 16 ratings
I'm Going Slightly Mad
1991
2.53 | 13 ratings
Headlong
1991
4.11 | 17 ratings
The Show Must Go On / Keep Yourself Alive
1991
2.78 | 9 ratings
We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions [EP]
1991
2.13 | 20 ratings
George Michael and Queen With Lisa Stansfield: Five Live
1993
1.80 | 11 ratings
Heaven For Everyone
1995
3.33 | 6 ratings
A Winter's Tale / Thank God It's Christmas
1995
1.63 | 12 ratings
Too Much Love Will Kill You
1996
3.14 | 7 ratings
Let Me Live
1996
3.00 | 7 ratings
You Don't Fool Me - The Remixes
1996
4.00 | 6 ratings
No One But You / Tie Your Mother Down
1997
2.60 | 5 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: Live From Italy
2005
2.67 | 6 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: Reaching Out / Tie Your Mother Down / Fat Bottomed Girls
2005
2.78 | 9 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: Say It's Not True
2007
2.78 | 9 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: C-lebrity / Fire & Water
2008
3.33 | 3 ratings
Stormtroopers In Stilettos
2011

QUEEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Queen by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.62 | 505 ratings

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Queen
Queen Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Queen stormed out of the blocks with this killer debut and everybody had to sit up and take notice. It is a grand entrance onto the music stage with some of the best rocking Queen tracks in their huge catalogue. The prog influences were there from the get go and the band were certainly headed for stardom with their innovative approach to music and their sheer boldness and audacity at exploring the experimental side of music. Freddie Mercury was the ace card with his powerhouse vocals, but the guitar work of Brian May cannot be underrated, nor can the rhythm section of Taylor and Deacon. It bursts through the gates with the proto metal guitar driven "Keep Yourself Alive". Brian May's guitar rhythms are thunderous with chops and crunches that must have inspired budding metal guitarists. "Doing All Right" is another rocker and is followed by the progressive off the wall "Great King Rat". It has many time changes and odd lyrics that place it towards the top of the proggiest on the album. The frenetic pace and energy of the band is evident and the band is exciting when they are in full flight like this. Queen unleashed are a thing of beauty and they were not taking any prisoners on this album.

"My Fairy King" showcase Mercury's high register vocals, and the harmonies that became a trademark for Queen. "Liar" is drenched in guitars and powerful harmonies and is a fan favourite. "The Night Comes Down" explores some blues tones with May outstanding on guitar.

"The Night Comes Down" is rhythmic and catchy with progressive nuances. The chord changes on this are very strange, angular guitar and choir effects add to the weird atmospheres. "Modern Times Rock'n'Roll" is a bit of a throwaway but still streets ahead of anything you will hear on the Hot Space album. This segues into "Son and Daughter" and feels a lot like Led Zeppelin but a very odd structure permeates it. "Jesus" is not my favourite, in fact it is mediocre at best, but has a fine solo section. It closes with the masterful art rock of "Seven Seas Of Rhye" which is very short but of course later explored at length on subsequent albums. Overall this debut is a grandiose entrance for Queen; the shape of things to come foreshadowing when they became a legendary supergroup.

 Hot Space by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1982
1.87 | 357 ratings

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Hot Space
Queen Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

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.

 Greatest Hits III by QUEEN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
2.20 | 42 ratings

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Greatest Hits III
Queen Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars After the very successful Greatest Hits I and II it was inevitable that there would be a release of what was left and here it is. It should be retitled "Queen: Hits that were not good enough to be released on the first two compilations". In all honesty this is quite a nicely packaged album as far as the artwork and liner notes are concerned but none of these tracks can really measure up to the classics of the first compilations. Queen purists may be interested but there is nothing of major value here on offer apart from a few tracks that are already on many other compilations.

The tracks that measure up are The Show Must Go On with Elton John, and Under Pressure with David Bowie. Undoubtedly they are masterfully executed and will always be remembered by the music community. I am also a massive fan of Princes Of The Universe, the Highlander theme. I absolutely love it for all its pompous bombasity and oversaturated production value.

What we are then left with is a lot of Freddie Mercury solo material, that I honestly cannot get into. Also the other Queen tracks are lesser known and mainly flopped on the charts. There is even a Brian May solo single Driven By You, a decent track with nice lead guitar. Another One Bites The Dust returns but this time with Wyclef Jean. It ends with Thank God It's Christmas, which is as corny as it sounds.

There are a lot of great Queen compilations out there to revel in. Unfortunately this is not one of them. Definitely for collectors or completists only.

 Icon by QUEEN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Icon
Queen Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Queen are the talk of the town at the moment due to that little film Bo Rap so I am going to smash out some reviews from my Queen collection. This is a compilation with not many songs and some odd choices but it has nice packaging at least and is very very cheap in my local CD store so why not? It begins with raucous shouty Stone Cold Crazy that blasts for about 2 minutes and then we have another thrasher with Tie Your Mother Down. A good start as the rock side of Queen is where my interest lies.

Fat Bottomed Girls follows and I have heard it too many times to appreciate it now but the next track is the masterpiece with killer bass line Another One Bites The Dust. In the new bio film it is a fantastic sequence where the band argue and are silenced as the bassline for this is played and the whole band know they are onto a winner. It even has the mystique that if you play the chorus backwards you hear "Decide to smoke Marijuana..." Interesting as it really does sound like that.

Next is the treasure We Will Rock You followed by We Are the Champions; both Quintessential Queen Quassics! Radio Ga Ga is next and we all know it and the quirky hand clap that goes with it. Masterpiece of prog is next with Bohemian Rhapsody; and I never get tired of this especially the operatic section and the metal headbanging ending. An oddity follows with I'm in Love with My Car; really a song about how a car can cause you to fall head over pedals for it, check out those lyrics!

It ends with I Want It All - a stunning hedonistic classic and then The Show Must Go On, a weird way to finish it but satisfactory as the song is great. So there you have it a slice of Queen with some of their gems mixed in with random detours. None of it is going to excite Queen fans who own all these tracks on other CDs but it is still great as a taster for what this brilliant supergroup have to offer.

 Queen II by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 781 ratings

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Queen II
Queen Prog Related

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars And the true Queen's legend was born with Queen II!

If their debut album brought an immature but very promising band, Queen II is the confirmation that they were here to stay. Produced again by Roy Thomas Baker with the help of Robin Geoffrey Cable along with the band, here we can here the true Queen sound with the spectacular choirs, heavy guitars and tons of symphonic and operatic elements brought by Mercury himself.

The White Side is a bit more conventional, composed mainly by May with the exception of The Loser in the End by Roger Taylor. And it's also more irregular in quality despite the splendid and very prog Father to Son and the psychedelic White Queen.

But it is in the Black Side composed by Freddie Mercury, which acts more as a long suite, were this album really gets wings offering a true masterpiece of symphonic prog with really original vocal melodies and impressive musicianship. Truly incredible!

Best Tracks: the whole black side!

Conclusion: the White Side of the album is not really remarkable but the black side is maybe one of the finest and most beautiful symphonic rock compositions of the 70's, which deserves to be in every prog collection.

My rating: ****

 Queen by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.62 | 505 ratings

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Queen
Queen Prog Related

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Debut from one of the most beloved bands of all time!

Produced by John Anthony and Roy Thomas Baker, the album shows the early influences of the band before they developed their true personal sound with their much better second effort.

Nevertheless, is great to hear that some of the band's trademarks were here yet like the shining Freddie Mercury's vocals, the talented and multi-layered Brian May guitars, the solid Deacon's bass lines and powerful Roger Taylor drums, who also showed some compositive capabilities along with the much more songwriting-oriented May and Mercury.

And of course, the typical polyphonic choirs of the band made their first appearance here, along with some fantasy oriented lyrics typical of the band's early years.

Best Tracks: Keep Yourself Alive and Liar are two early classics of the band. But I also really enjoy the Black Sabbath influenced Son and Daughter (which can be considered a primordial stoner rock song) and the preliminary instrumental part of Seven Seas of Rhye.

Conclusion: heavily influenced by bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, Queen showed tons of potential thanks to the diverse and very talented Mercury's vocals, some symphonic-pop capabilities and a very solid musicianship from every member of the band.

My rating: ****

 Innuendo by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.88 | 511 ratings

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Innuendo
Queen Prog Related

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Usually asked if I have already watched "Bohemian Rhapsody The Movie". Actually I've not yet. Yes let me say I would not eternally. To be honest, I'm afraid I could not accept such an abrupt change of my QUEEN's image itself. This album 'Innuendo" that I've listened to for over 20 years should just be my image of QUEEN, especially Freddie MERCURY. In those days Freddie suffered from serious dyspnea owing to Pneunocystis jirovecii pneumonia (they say he would have difficulty in breathing not only to sing but also to move his own body slightly). However, he should get God's voices in the studios to record material for this "last" album ... I guess. Sorry for other three geniuses, but this album "Innuendo" can be called as Freddie's artistic portfolio.

The first titled track sounds exactly like a combination of brightness and darkness. In collaboration with lots of session musicians or artists, Freddie's crystallized voices go forward dynamically and enthusiastically. Brian, John, and Roger play more and more brilliantly due to the crystal. Dramatic theatrical development is just like the eccentric sleeve pic. On the contrary, his smooth voices in "Headlong" are crazy speed-stars really. Multiple appearances (but all are gorgeous and superior) are exactly his characteristic and musical innovation, which incredible power could navigate other three fellows. "I Can't Live With You" has superb chorus delight like in previous works in their golden days.

"These Are The Days Of Our Lives" is quite pop, catchy, and melodically simple but you can get absorbed in their heartwarming voices and lyrics ... one thing is still true, this is he loves the audience. In "The Hitman" Brian's thrilling powerful guitar play climbs up the large mountain as if Brian had appreciated Freddie's whole life and history. And the very last ... sadly the last ... "The Show Must Go On" sounds like QUEEN's strong intention for going on. Freddie's blood-boiling voices and all instruments are excessively explosive and progressive. Like the last reverberation, they will never die. QUEEN's got to be the legend. You cannot help feeling lonesome though.

In conclusion, this album should be QUEEN themselves. Their story can be mentioned even only via this creation ... I would like to say.

 Jazz by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.48 | 464 ratings

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Jazz
Queen Prog Related

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.

 News Of The World by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.23 | 472 ratings

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News Of The World
Queen Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars From the very beginning, QUEEN cleverly walked that line that skirted a pigeonholed genre definition and rather crafted a unique mix of hard rock, piano pop ballads, touches of jazz, Victorian music hall and subtle and not so hints of progressive rock which culminated on their hugely successful album "A Night At The Opera" which continued on the followup and sequel "A Day At The Races." While the progressive rock scene was fading and then suddenly practically obliterated once the Sex Pistols detonated their punk rock bomb onto an unsuspecting music industry which once unleashed, the world would never be the same. Wise bands either folded completely or adapted. QUEEN wasn't going anywhere and found a way to sally forth without completely abandoning their signature idiosyncrasies but by merely streamlining them into more digestible packets that would find them in a more commercial mood on their sixth album NEWS OF THE WORLD.

The punk rock scene was predominantly a backlash against the pompous fantasy bands that were more engaged in escapism than confronting the realities and injustices of the world that surrounded them. While the true prog acts were the most greatly affected, pseudo-prog light bands like QUEEN felt the impact as well but had less of a problem adapting since they were already half way there. Indeed, the relevance of the early 70s arena rock bands was fading and a new brand of ugly in-yer-face stripped down errancy was in the works ranging from the angry anarcho-punk of the Sex Pistols to the more artistic post-punk that followed. Adding to the pressures of change were also the more funk fueled bass grooves of the disco scene. The new audiences either wanted the world go down in flames or they simply wanted to usher in a new form of simplified escapism in the form of the dance floor. Either way, QUEEN was due for a makeover and that's exactly what the doctor ordered and delivered with NEWS OF THE WORLD.

The irony of QUEEN's situation was in that their music was about as far from punk as possible. It was multi-layered, slick and often had more in common with a ballet recital than a rock band but as luck would have it they would record their sixth album in the same studio that the Sex Pistols were working on their landmark punk album "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here Comes The Sex Pistols." Joining the ranks of the once complex bands who were watering down their sound in response to the new wave reality, QUEEN tamed their musical compositions significantly and focused on more straight forward arrangements that kept the tracks more easily categorized with infinitely easier to swallow hooks. The tracks ranged from straight forward blues rock to funk and even a punkish metal guitar driven fury in the form of "Sheer Heart Attack," an unfinished track during the sessions of the album of the same name that was revived for a modern day adaptation.

While QUEEN tamed the complexity, they made no attempt to decrease the diverse elements that made them stand out from the rest of the rock world. NEWS OF THE WORLD finds just as many musical genres nestled into the mix and while the over-the-top production had been tamed and used to create subtleties that weren't so overweening, they were still there to be found. The music on the other hand was a new form of sing-along arena rock that was designed to be played in a live audience setting and nothing conveys this more than the album's opening dynamic duo powerhouse combo of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions," which have been literally played somewhere ceaselessly since they emerged back in 1977, especially after having caught on as being as mandatory as the national anthem at stadium sports events. Although played to death, the anthemic stomp and dripping with attitude lyrical content has guaranteed that the band probably made a billion dollars in royalties off these two tracks alone.

While the two openers are the sounds of dread for many including myself, the rest of the album isn't quite as bad if taken in an arena pop rock context. "Sheer Heart Attack" is a feisty heavy metal punk infused rocker that proves that QUEEN didn't wimp out while they were strolling down simplicity alley and an equal middle finger back to the punk crowds that made fun of their musical style. NEWS OF THE WORLD also became more a democracy for the band with both Roger Taylor and John Deacon composing two songs each. Taylor crafted the heavy ball busting "Sheer Heart Attack" and "Fight From The Inside" whereas Deacon contributed with "Spread Your Wings" and "Who Needs You." May would write four tracks and Mercury only three making this the least Mercury dominant album up to this point in their career.

NEWS OF THE WORLD is a fairly decent set of pop rock tunes laced with other genres minus the first two overplayed tracks that i can no longer tolerate in any way shape or form. The tracks range from the same operatic piano led rock such as "All Dead, All Dead" and "Fight From The Inside" to the more funk and jazz laced tracks like "Get Down, Make Love," "Sleeping On The Sidewalk" and "My Melancholy Blues." Some of the music hall tendencies of the past still emerge briefly in tracks like "It's Late," but have mostly been replaced by bluesy rockers that are more suitable for a live arena rock setting. This was the period when QUEEN were on top of the world as far as playing in live venues.

While most fans of QUEEN's earlier music won't find NEWS OF THE WORLD to be anywhere near the top of their favorite QUEEN albums, the album has remained their most successful commercially speaking with sales exceeding 10 million as well as making them one of the most successful arena rock bands of all time. While i rarely listen to this one, mainly due to the two opening tracks, this is not a bad album for a once mighty progressively infused rock band in simplified form but in terms of sophistication a clear step down the totem pole. The artwork was also a stroke of genius in that it cleverly latched onto the sci-fi themes in the same year that Star Wars stole the public's attention, so no matter what you may think of the music on NEWS OF THE WORLD, one can only gaze back in time in admiration as to how cleverly QUEEN played their cards in terms of a business oriented brand name and laughed all the way to the bank a mere four years after they were in utter poverty. Now that's a true tale of rags to riches if i've ever heard one.

3.5 rounded down

 A Day At The Races by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.77 | 514 ratings

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A Day At The Races
Queen Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Oh how the tides had turned for QUEEN in two short years. After completing the "Sheer Heart Attack" tour the band was destitute despite cracking the top 20 with two singles, having a high charting album and a successful world tour that consisted of 77 live performances. This was mostly due to the miscreancy of their manager Norman Sheffield. After firing the shady bloodsucker, the band hired Elton John's manager John Reid who would instill in them the confidence to sally forth and crank out the best album possible. Lo and behold, QUEEN did just that with the lauded classic "A Night At The Opera," a behemoth work of massive proportion that took everything QUEEN and put it on steroids. The album was considered the most expensive ever to make at the time with lavish production and countless studio time to make it one of the most classic albums in recorded music.

So how does one follow "A Night At The Opera?" Well, with A DAY AT THE RACES of course. Realizing that they had at last found the limelight they deserved with shady managers well behind, QUEEN went the logical route and created a sequel to their 1975 masterpiece with basically the same exact album cover albeit with a black background substituting for a white and yet another Marx Brothers film title which prompted Graucho Marx to contact the band and congratulate them on their success and excellent choice of album titles! The one two punch of Marx Bros film titles prompted the band to promise that there would never be any albums titled "Duck Soup" or "Room Service" in the future and that a new chapter of QUEEN would begin with the very next album.

QUEEN's fifth album was eagerly anticipated and basically went platinum before it even went on sale but it when it did hit the market it shot up to #1 in various countries like the UK, Japan and the Netherlands as well as hitting #5 on the US Billboard 200. QUEEN were now superstars a mere two years after being on skid row and dangerously close to having no future as a band at all. Commercially A DAY AT THE RACES continued all the fortune and fame that "A Night At The Opera" had won this eccentric English quartet however despite the attempt to create a sequel which finds a similar musical approach of incorporating bluesy heavy rock, piano pop, waltzes and Victorian music hall themes with other disparate genres, the album comes off with a completely different feel. Unlike the previous album, this one also has gospel and jazz elements but tends to have less of the progressive rock nuances more present on the first four albums despite the many time signatures that do occur.

While A DAY AT THE RACES very much uses its predecessor as the template, there was a deliberate attempt not to merely carbon copy and paste onto a new album despite the almost identical album covers. Once again the entire band lent a hand in both the songwriting process and multi-instrumentalism with the usual Mercury and May tracks receiving the most exposure. Predictably the May penned tracks are heavier and guitar oriented. The feisty opener "Tie Your Mother Down" actually dated back to 1968 at the time when when May was working on his PhD in Astronomy and wrote the track on a Spanish classical guitar while vacationing in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The track was resurrected and given the heavy metal treatment and one of the better track on the album which made the perfect opener to SHOUT to the world that QUEEN was back.

Likewise, May's other contributions included "Long Away" on which he not only played guitar but sang as well as the closer "Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)" which has two choruses sung in Japanese. The best May penned track is sure the heavy "White Man" which tackles the sticky subject of the atrocities that Native American populations were subjected to by the conquistadors of Europeans who stole and killed with impunity and how they continue to do so. This is one of the heaviest tracks the band has ever cranked out with chunky guitar riffs and rough and tumble harmonic vocal delivers by all the members.

Both Deacon and Taylor contribute a song each just as on the previous album. Deacon's was "You And I" which is a piano driven track where Deacon himself plays acoustic guitar but not nearly as memorable as his outstanding "You're My Best Friend" on "Opera." Likewise Taylor delivered the guitar slide heavy "Drowse" which utilized the same 6/8 time signature that he used with "I'm In Love With My Car" although it sounds nothing like that track. Instead it is a mid-paced rock track with a very bluesy feel. Likewise, while decent not as memorable as "I'm In Love With My Car."

The rest of the lion's share was written by Freddie Mercury who implement this piano jangles as the basis for the songwriting process. He cranked out the expected similar ballads such as "You Take My Breathe Away" which began with a rather cool multi- tracked vocal intro turned piano ballad and outroed the same way. While Mercury would spew with vitriol on "Death On Two Legs" about his former business manager, on "The Millionaire Waltz" he would do the exact opposite by dedicating this one to his current manager John Reid who helped turn the tides. The track is noticeably similar to "Bohemian Rhapsody" in that the piano arrangements utilize the same multi-key and multi-meter elements as well as the multi-tracked guitars and vocal styles. The track also has many time signature changes making this one the most progressive on the album. The tasty "Somebody To Love" was influenced by the gracious gospel work of Aretha Franklin and become the big hit of the album.

While QUEEN was riding high by 1976 as they quickly became one of rock music hottest musical acts, it was also clear that there seemed little they could do to top the majesty of their miracle album "A Night At The Opera." While all the elements were recycled for the following A DAY AT THE RACES, this sequel is clearly not up to par with the magnanimous and outlandishness of its predecessor. While there are many great tracks on board, none have the graced by the hands of god effect that "Opera" delivered with ease. At this point QUEEN was becoming formulaic as a pop rock act and would become more of a brand name rather than a true art rock band that had launched them into the limelight. Despite not living up to the magnitude that "Opera" delivered, A DAY AT THE RACES is still a stellar QUEEN album that delivers all the expected eccentricities, musical diversity and of course seas of overdubs to infinity. While Mercury's wings may have become singed because he flew too high too quickly, at this point he and the rest of QUEEN were still airborne at least.

Thanks to Proglover for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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