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QUEEN

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Queen picture
Queen biography
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 had to be perfect, with drama, bombast and excess in the record...
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Buy QUEEN Music


Greatest Hits I, II & III - The Platinum Collection (3CD)Greatest Hits I, II & III - The Platinum Collection (3CD)
Box set
Hollywood Records 2002
Audio CD$14.99
$12.89 (used)
Greatest Hits: Greatest Hits: "We Will Rock You" Edition
Remastered · Special Edition
Hollywood Records 2004
Audio CD$8.94
$2.00 (used)
Queen: Greatest Hits I & IIQueen: Greatest Hits I & II
Hollywood Records 1995
Audio CD$13.58
$4.73 (used)
A Night at the Opera [Vinyl]A Night at the Opera [Vinyl]
Hollywood Records 2008
Vinyl$19.24
$17.99 (used)
InnuendoInnuendo
Hollywood Records 1994
Audio CD$9.33
$3.71 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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QUEEN - JAZZ - 12" LP VINYL - 1978 - ORIGINAL U.S. PRESSING USD $12.50 [2 bids]
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ost FM Japan 1978 NM 2-LP+Obi BOSTON,DOOBIE BROTHERS,BILLY JOEL,QUEEN,JOE WALSH+ USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 48m
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3h 24m
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"King & Queen" (Gospel) By James Cleveland & Shirley Caesar CD 1992 Hob Records USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4h 15m
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4h 29m
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Queen News Of The World USD $9.99 [0 bids]
4h 34m
Queen , A Day At The Races USD $9.99 [0 bids]
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QUEEN shows & tickets


QUEEN has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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)

3.63 | 416 ratings
Queen
1973
4.36 | 664 ratings
Queen II
1974
3.98 | 486 ratings
Sheer Heart Attack
1974
4.27 | 765 ratings
A Night At The Opera
1975
3.75 | 432 ratings
A Day At The Races
1976
3.20 | 397 ratings
News Of The World
1977
3.44 | 384 ratings
Jazz
1978
2.75 | 331 ratings
The Game
1980
2.14 | 276 ratings
Flash Gordon
1980
1.83 | 302 ratings
Hot Space
1982
2.95 | 280 ratings
The Works
1984
3.00 | 300 ratings
A Kind Of Magic
1986
3.17 | 292 ratings
The Miracle
1989
3.86 | 436 ratings
Innuendo
1991
3.26 | 251 ratings
Made in Heaven
1995
1.92 | 145 ratings
The Cosmos Rocks (with Paul Rodgers)
2008

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

3.52 | 142 ratings
Live Killers
1979
1.74 | 69 ratings
Live Magic
1986
3.46 | 47 ratings
At The Beeb
1989
3.99 | 107 ratings
Live At Wembley '86
1992
3.85 | 52 ratings
Queen on fire - Live at the Bowl
2004
2.71 | 34 ratings
Queen & Paul Rodgers: Return Of The Champions
2005
4.04 | 40 ratings
Rock Montreal
2007
3.21 | 14 ratings
Queen and Paul Rodgers - Live in Ukraine
2009
4.20 | 15 ratings
Live At The Rainbow '74
2014
2.00 | 1 ratings
A Night At The Odeon
2015

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

2.55 | 10 ratings
We Will Rock You
1984
3.54 | 8 ratings
Rare Live : A Concert Through Time And Space
1989
3.26 | 17 ratings
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
1999
3.48 | 27 ratings
Greatest Video Hits 1
2002
3.83 | 23 ratings
Greatest Video Hits 2
2003
4.23 | 65 ratings
Live At Wembley Stadium (DVD)
2003
4.23 | 24 ratings
Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl
2004
4.00 | 15 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers - Return Of The Champions
2005
4.30 | 10 ratings
Classic Albums: A Night At The Opera
2006
3.47 | 29 ratings
Rock Montreal (DVD)
2007
3.57 | 14 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers - Live in Ukraine
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Days of Our Lives
2011
4.06 | 16 ratings
Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest (1986)
2012
4.83 | 12 ratings
Live At The Rainbow '74
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Night At The Odeon
2015

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

2.29 | 5 ratings
The Best Of Queen
1976
3.39 | 82 ratings
Greatest Hits
1981
3.79 | 5 ratings
The Complete Works
1985
3.15 | 55 ratings
Greatest Hits II
1991
3.86 | 7 ratings
Classic Queen
1992
4.10 | 12 ratings
Queen Rocks
1997
3.10 | 11 ratings
Smile: Ghost Of A Smile
1997
2.18 | 33 ratings
Greatest Hits III
1999
2.17 | 5 ratings
Stone Cold Classics
2006
2.21 | 5 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 1
2008
2.17 | 4 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 2
2009
2.12 | 8 ratings
Absolute Greatest
2009
2.17 | 5 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 3
2010
2.17 | 4 ratings
The Singles Collection Volume 4
2010
4.50 | 2 ratings
Deep Cuts, Volume 1 (1973-1976)
2011
4.00 | 2 ratings
Deep Cuts, Volume 2 (1977-1982)
2011
4.00 | 2 ratings
Deep Cuts, Volume 3 (1984-1995)
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Icon
2013
3.00 | 5 ratings
Forever
2014

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

3.50 | 12 ratings
Keep Yourself Alive / Son and Daughter
1973
3.43 | 14 ratings
Liar / Doing All Right
1974
3.89 | 19 ratings
Seven Seas of Rhye / See What a Fool I've Been
1974
4.13 | 16 ratings
Killer Queen / Flick of the Wrist
1974
4.20 | 15 ratings
Now I'm Here / Lily of the Valley
1975
3.78 | 9 ratings
Lily of the Valley / Keep Yourself Alive
1975
4.00 | 22 ratings
Bohemian Rhapsody / I'm in Love With My Car
1975
3.21 | 20 ratings
You're My Best Friend / '39
1976
3.81 | 19 ratings
Somebody to Love / White Man
1976
3.92 | 13 ratings
Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) / Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
1977
3.54 | 13 ratings
Tie Your Mother Down / You and I
1977
3.44 | 9 ratings
Long Away / You and I
1977
3.23 | 22 ratings
We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You
1977
4.00 | 8 ratings
Queen's First E.P.
1977
3.38 | 18 ratings
Spread Your Wings / Sheer Heart Attack
1978
4.00 | 12 ratings
Mustapha / Dead on Time
1978
3.11 | 9 ratings
Mustapha / In Only Seven Days
1978
3.88 | 8 ratings
It's Late / Sheer Heart Attack
1978
2.77 | 19 ratings
Bicycle Race / Fat Bottomed Girls
1978
4.00 | 5 ratings
Love of My Life [Live] / Now I'm Here [Live]
1979
3.88 | 16 ratings
Don't Stop Me Now / In Only Seven Days
1979
3.20 | 5 ratings
Jealousy / Fun It
1979
2.50 | 4 ratings
We Will Rock You [Live] / Let Me Entertain You [Live]
1979
2.75 | 8 ratings
Crazy Little Thing Called Love / We Will Rock You [Live]
1979
3.00 | 8 ratings
Crazy Little Thing Called Love / Spread Your Wings
1979
3.63 | 8 ratings
Save Me / Let Me Entertain You [Live]
1980
2.78 | 9 ratings
Play the Game / A Human Body
1980
2.62 | 14 ratings
Another One Bites the Dust / Dragon Attack
1980
3.00 | 4 ratings
Need Your Loving Tonight / Rock It (Prime Jive)
1980
3.00 | 5 ratings
Flash / Football Fight
1980
3.26 | 16 ratings
Under Pressure / Soul Brother
1981
2.40 | 5 ratings
Staying Power / Calling All Girls
1982
1.67 | 6 ratings
Body Language / Life Is Real
1982
3.17 | 6 ratings
Las Palabras De Amor / Cool Cat
1982
2.60 | 5 ratings
Calling All Girls / Put Out the Fire
1982
2.86 | 7 ratings
Back Chat / Staying Power
1982
3.15 | 13 ratings
Radio Ga Ga / I Go Crazy
1984
2.80 | 10 ratings
I Want to Break Free / Machines
1984
3.00 | 8 ratings
It's a Hard Life / Is This the World We Created...?
1984
3.50 | 6 ratings
Hammer to Fall / Tear It Up
1984
2.25 | 4 ratings
Thank God It's Christmas
1984
1.26 | 8 ratings
One Vision
1985
2.33 | 3 ratings
One Year of Love / Gimme the Prize
1986
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Highlander Selection
1986
3.33 | 3 ratings
Princes of the Universe / A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling
1986
2.75 | 4 ratings
A Kind of Magic / A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling
1986
2.67 | 3 ratings
A Kind of Magic [Picture Disc]
1986
2.07 | 9 ratings
Friends Will Be Friends / Seven Seas of Rhye
1986
2.04 | 4 ratings
Pain Is So Close to Pleasure / Don't Lose Your Head
1986
2.35 | 7 ratings
Who Wants to Live Forever / Killer Queen
1986
4.08 | 7 ratings
Princes of the Universe / Gimme the Prize
1986
3.55 | 11 ratings
I Want It All
1989
3.43 | 7 ratings
Breakthru/Stealin'
1989
3.40 | 5 ratings
The Invisible Man / Hijack My Heart
1989
4.00 | 5 ratings
Scandal / My Life Has Been Saved
1989
3.71 | 7 ratings
The Miracle / Stone Cold Crazy [Live]
1989
3.29 | 9 ratings
These Are the Days of Our Lives / Bijou
1991
4.61 | 18 ratings
Innuendo / Bijou
1991
4.67 | 12 ratings
Innuendo (Explosive Version)
1991
4.42 | 12 ratings
I'm Going Slightly Mad
1991
2.31 | 7 ratings
Headlong
1991
4.06 | 13 ratings
The Show Must Go On / Keep Yourself Alive
1991
2.43 | 7 ratings
We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions [EP]
1991
2.08 | 18 ratings
George Michael and Queen With Lisa Stansfield: Five Live
1993
1.44 | 6 ratings
Heaven For Everyone
1995
3.67 | 3 ratings
A Winter's Tale / Thank God It's Christmas
1995
1.36 | 8 ratings
Too Much Love Will Kill You
1996
2.75 | 4 ratings
Let Me Live
1996
3.00 | 5 ratings
You Don't Fool Me - The Remixes
1996
3.75 | 4 ratings
No One But You / Tie Your Mother Down
1997
2.60 | 5 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: Live From Italy
2005
2.60 | 5 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: Reaching Out / Tie Your Mother Down / Fat Bottomed Girls
2005
2.83 | 6 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: Say It's Not True
2007
2.86 | 7 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: C-lebrity / Fire & Water
2008
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stormtroopers In Stilettos
2011

QUEEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Under Pressure / Soul Brother by QUEEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
3.26 | 16 ratings

BUY
Under Pressure / Soul Brother
Queen Prog Related

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The eighties also made QUEEN change their musical style. Maybe their musical style started to change with their "The Game" album from 1980, becoming more simple, less elaborated, and less influenced by Progressive Rock music.

For the other part, I never have been a fan of DAVID BOWIE's music. I never have liked Glam Rock bands or "Theatrical music" very much. BOWIE was a "musical chameleon", as many people considers him. He played a lot of musical styles in his life, but for me his "personal and musical essence" was always very present, even with the constant changes of looks. So, he has a lot of fans. Not me, but I have to say that he had a very good voice and he was a very good singer. He also was an innovator in the kind of music that he liked, and I think that he was a very big influence in the development and in the music of a lot of artists like BRYAN FERRY, ROXY MUSIC, ALICE COOPER (maybe there were mutual influences), PETER GABRIEL, and others on which the visual and theatrical elements were brought to their music. The influences of looks and visual elements. How to impress audiences with visual elements and looks during the concerts. I'm not a fan of all these things. Maybe they are important for some people, but I prefer music, not theatre or looks or fashions.

I listened to the "Under Pressure" song several times through the years. I even watched to the video of the song a lot of time ago. I like the song and the video. I think that it was very good collaboration between BOWIE and QUEEN, with a very good arrangement, lyrics and interpretation. BOWIE and FREDDIE MERCURY really worked very well as singers, with their voices sounding very well together. The song also has a very characteristic bass riff which has been sampled or used by some Rap music artists."Under Pressure" is a very good song which still is played in the radio.

The Side "B" of this single has a song called "Soul Brother", also maybe recorded during the recording sessions for their "Hot Space" album from 1982. It really sounds like a Soul music / Blues song, with even Mercury sounding a bit like trying to imitate some Soul singers. It is also a good song, which was included as a bonus track in the re-issued "Hot Space" album some years ago.

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 Hot Space by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1982
1.83 | 302 ratings

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Hot Space
Queen Prog Related

Review by Glubluk

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. No, I generally agree that this is one of the lowest points in Queen's career (followed by 'Flash Gordon' and 'A Kind of Magic'), but the reasons might lie in places other than those usually quoted.

Let's try an untypical review format here, a track-by-track analysis of what is wrong with each of them:

1. Staying Power ' strangely enough, nothing much is wrong. The track achieves its objective perfectly: it's a funk-inspired, horn-heavy bouncer that honestly is quite effective. Of course, the lyrics are dumb, the drum machines artificial, and Brian May's guitar an afterthought, but as there is the live version from 'Queen on Fire' that serves as an excellent alternative for those who wish this song to rock (and it does), it's easier to accept is in its actual form. 2. Dancer ' the most un-May track ever of those he penned. What does not work here is the unexciting vocal melody and the arrangement that cannot decide whether to rock or to groove. As it is, it does neither, sounding rather clumsy ad overlong (a problem that befalls most tracks here). 3. Back Chat ' of all the dance/funk experiments by Queen (including Another One Bites the Dust), this one is by far the best in my opinion (Dragon Attack being almost as good). Everything here just clicks and all the non-rock elements, like the synths and the hi-hat, actually enhance the song. 4. Body Language ' the favourite object of derision, mainly for its explicitly sexual nature. Well, remember Get Down, Make Love? The same kind of stuff, so I never understood the general confusion, but Body Language is actually the better one for the simple reason that it has an absolutely killer (synth) bass line. Of course the lyrics and the vocal delivery are dumb beyond belief, but think of it: Queen always put those off-beat, quirky tracks on their albums, and Body Language is nothing but yet another Seaside Randezvous or Bring Back That Leroy Brown, only intentionally dumbed-down and too long (and this time they flirt headlong with a genre not generally considered worthy). 5. Action This Day ' well, this is where the real problem with 'Hot Space' starts. I actually prefer well-done 'black' tunes than clumsy, strangely plodding 'rockers'. Let's face it, the chorus is all right, but the verses are plain awful. The arrangement is also too unfocused to work. 6. Put Out the Fire ' an average guitar-based track (comparable to Sweet Lady). Not Queen's greatest song, but I enjoy it. 7. Life Is Real (Song for Lennon) ' my favourite 'Hot Space' song. Aside from the oddness of the very idea of Mercury's tribute to Lennon, this is a a beautiful, well-sung ballad. 8. Calling All Girls ' see Action This Day, exactly the same issues here. Mr Taylor, whose songs on Queen albums I usually find enjoyable, misses the mark completely on 'Hot Space' 9. Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love) ' second best song on the album. I really like it, but still there are two problems: the title sung in different languages (I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I find this idea dumber even than Body Language lyrics). Second, some synth embellishments don't work for me. All in all, these are minor issues, and the song is among Queen's best ballads. 10. Cool Cat ' I used to hate this track. Not anymore, as somehow I started to really appreciate the laid-back atmosphere and the understated arrangement. The falsetto vocals still grate a bit, but I guess they just fit the mood. 11. Under Pressure ' a good song that never resonated with me. Nothing particular to fault, though.

So what's the verdict? In my very personal opinion the public focused so much on the flirt with disco that they overlooked the fact that the problem lies mostly with how ineffective the other facet of the album is: there are hardly any good rock ideas here. The dance tracks are hit or miss, but can work surprisingly well, and the ballads are excellent. Plus Mercury is at the peak of his vocal powers and the synths are a generation behind the truly offensive kinds that would appear later in the 80's (and on 'The Works'). Apparently, Queen could delve into a variety of genres, provided they were of the respectable kind ' this combined with 'No Synthesizers' backfiring doomed a perfectly enjoyable album.

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 Sheer Heart Attack by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.98 | 486 ratings

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Sheer Heart Attack
Queen Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sheer Heart Attack is a strong album in a great band's library that shows has all the right combination of Queen's sound: rousing guitar work by May, memorable vocals by Freddie Mercury, creative song writing, and lots of variety to enjoy. It's not a prog album like it's predecessor, though it is more creative than consistently enjoyable than some of the albums that follow. It moves along at a brisk pace, cranking out a steady of rotation of driving hard rock, playful pop, and lush balladry. Sheer Heart Attack doesn't have any of the band's truly iconic songs ("Killer Queen" almost being an exception, but it doesn't pack the punch of, say, "Bohemian Rhapsody"), but the album remains great from start to finish, and is a perfect way to check out the band's library beyond their greatest hits.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 4 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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 A Night At The Opera by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.27 | 765 ratings

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A Night At The Opera
Queen Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In reading the reviews of Queen's well-regarded Night at the Opera one can see many different opinions on whether this album is "prog," vaudeville, classic rock, or '70's pop-rock. The answer is that the album is a little bit of all of those. It's an enjoyable blend of Queen's bouncy throwbacks, hard hitting arena-rock, artistic extravagance, and flamboyant style. While I think the album is very over rated here on Prog Archives, Night at the Opera has some real gems that rightfully help it stand out among the rest of Queen's offerings, even if the album as a whole isn't really a master piece.

"Death on Two Legs" is a creative and noisy hard rock opener with lots of style that makes it easy to imagine Mercury strutting around in a neckerchief and phallic microphone baton singing his heart out. Same goes for "Sweet Lady," one of the forgotten Queen gems that sounds great but won't make it into the Greatest Hits. "I'm in Love with My Car" has appealing instrumentals but eye-rolling lyrics, making it a mixed bag. These are the only classic-rock songs to be heard, and the band plays them well and energetically.

Scattered throughout this album are four (!) playful and folksy songs that end up being homages to vintage sounds of earlier days (think barbershop). They're well produced, often with layers of vocal overdubs and a variety of guitar sounds; however, with the notable exception of "'39" they're little more than diversions that'll get your toe-tapping for two minutes while you're waiting for something more interesting to come up. Bouncy, fun, and forgettable.

"'39" is deserves talking about though. This is a warm acoustic ballad with an irresistible feel and lead vocals by May, whose voice fits very well here. The story and lyrics are beautiful, as is the lush production of the song. A standout track.

"The Prophet's Song" is the other big song here. It's a heavy, plodding, and dramatic song that, although qualifying as prog in the sense that its: A) long, B) weird, and C) ambitious, isn't all it's cracked up to be. It feels like an experiment that sort of misfires. The 2.5 minutes of experimental vocal overdubs haven't aged well, and May's guitar soloing doesn't impress. It's not bad, just not amazing.

What is amazing, however, is "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's a rare example of artistic excess that has all the right elements to make it a mega-hit and classic-rock staple. This song is over played and well known, and deserves it.

So in the end a very enjoyable experience. Certainly recommended for fans of the band or those thinking about exploring Queen beyond "Greatest Hits". I'm close to giving Night at the Opera 4-stars, but it's inconsistency in instrumental work and song writing makes it fit better as a good but not essential release. However, those who purchased this album just for "Bohemian Rhapsody" should find plenty more to enjoy.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

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 Hot Space by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1982
1.83 | 302 ratings

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Hot Space
Queen Prog Related

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 News Of The World by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.20 | 397 ratings

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News Of The World
Queen Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars News of the World is one of those orphaned classic rock albums that features one hit that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE knows, and then a bunch of forgotten tunes that will never hear the light of day for most listeners - even those who would confess being fans of the artist. With this album, Queen treads water within a rapidly transforming musical landscape, producing a familiar blend of hard rock and homages to vintage styles of music that inspired them as young musicians.

The rock songs on the album are mixed bag. The big ones, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" use massive hooks to and even more massive vocals to make them all-time standouts. They're simple, epic, memorable, and uplifting... and not very progressive. The other upbeat tunes on this album are a mixed bag. "Sheer Heart Attack" is schizophrenic, punk-rock like, and an experiment that doesn't really work for the band. On the other hand, "Spread Your Wings" and "It's Late" a impressive and rousing ballads that actually pretty good, being forgotten Queen classics. "It's Late" especially has a great rock feel, sultry Vocals by Mercury, and exciting tempo shifts. How did this one not make it in to a Greatest Hits collection?

"Fight From the Inside" is another hidden gem. It's got Taylor taking the lead with a huge bass groove that crushes the listener with feedback fuzz and Deacon's great vocals. Deacon in general is an under rated vocalist; if he weren't in a band with Freddie Mercury, he would easily be remembered as a strong voice in the genre.

Many of the other songs feel like homages or experiments that don't always work. "All Dead" has interesting piano textures, but doesn't stick with me. "Get Down Make Love" is another misfire, "Sleeping on the Sidewalk" is vintage blues that May's guitar and voice doesn't do justice. Meanwhile "Who Needs You" is a Latin pastiche with nice vocal harmonies, but not much else. These songs aren't bad, but are not mentioned when we talk about Queen for a reason.

News of the World will remembered for it's two opening tracks, and for fans of the band's stronger works it's still a worthy purchase for great songs like "It's Late." Bumped up to 3-stars, because even Queen on the mediocre side is still great fun and the good parts are legitimately good.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 2 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

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 Queen II by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 664 ratings

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Queen II
Queen Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

5 stars It's my 500th review! To celebrate all of the amazing music I've discovered by finding this website and its reviewers, I thought I'd celebrate by talking about what I consider my best find in a long time... the theatrical, amazing, energetic, jaw-dropping, memorable, and all together unexpected surprise that is Queen II.

First, a bit of background. I think that Queen came into my awareness from the scene in the film "Wayne's World" (I was about 11 years old then). "Bohemian Rhapsody" has a lot of nostalgia for me, heck, all of Queen's hits do, because they're great! Queen is an mainstay of classic rock FM, and I can sing along to pretty much anything that comes on. Unfortunately, none of the songs on Queen II will ever be played on the radio again. This means that, had I not been curious about its high rating here on PA, I probably never would have decided to check it out, being content to belt out "Somebody to Love" and call it good.

Queen II came out in 1974, a great year for Prog, and while Queen put in enough art and complexity and ambition into this album to make it stand-up next to other "real" Prog bands of the era, this is probably one of the most enjoyable records in my entire collection. It's a blast to listen to.

The opening guitar textures gives way to a dramatic opening filled with pomp, heavy riffing, powerful vocals and great guitar work. "White Queen" is just perfect, using elegant vocals and guitar textures to create a feeling of awakening or unveiling, building to another dramatic high. It's genuinely amazing at how good Queen is at filling their songs with music; "White Queen" is only 4.5 minutes long yet it feels as complete as other prog epics.

The next two tracks or sort of the "normal" songs, and while they disrupt the epic flow of the album, they're definitely not filler. "Some Day One Day" uses warm guitar strumming and melodic bass work to great a pleasant tone, and "The Loser in the End" is feedback filled, fuzzy, quirky, and enjoyable; sort of a forgotten gem.

Then... holy cow, what may be the best 17 minutes I've ever heard.

"Ogre Battle" is a huge, noisy, intense, playful, dramatic, shocking, and memorable art rock spectacle. The band plays at maybe they're most aggressive ever. Incredibly tight and ambitious, this song will grab hold of you, smash you like an ogre, and leave you begging for more.

Oh you want more! "Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" is playful and bouncy, featuring non-stop melodies and fun rhymes thrown into a storm of vocal overdubs and time signature changes. Mercury's harpsichord and singing will leave you addicted.

So you're addicted, eh? How about you come down to the soulful elegance of "Nevermore," an achingly beautiful ballad impeccably performed by Mercury's voice and piano, accompanied by the melodic bass of Deacon. A dramatic and emotional crescendo that makes one just weep for the loss of Mercury's talent and wonder how the album could possibly get any better.

Here's how it gets better: "The March of the Black Queen." This song is so packed with drama, sweeping melody, lush crescendos, and Brian May at his absolute best with numerous solos and positively irresistible riffing. Scratch that... the entire band is at their absolute best. The dynamic transitions are some of the most memorable and beautiful and energetic I've ever heard.

The album closes with the wonderful "Funny How Love Is" and "Seven Seas of Rhye," which while not quite as dramatic are a satisfying conclusion to what has become one of my favorite Prog albums.

If you're never heard Queen II, give yourself what I hope will become a cherished gift and check it out today!

That's it for my 500th review! If you've read this far into my gushing review - thanks, you're one of the reasons that Prog Archives is such a great place to share and discover music.

Songwriting: 5 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Lyrics/Vocals: 5 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 6!

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 A Kind Of Magic by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.00 | 300 ratings

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A Kind Of Magic
Queen Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After some of the disappointment caused by 1982's dance-influenced Hot Space and 1984's bland rehash The Works, Queen needed an album that would bring them back into the spotlight. While 1986's A Kind of Magic was mostly a return to form in retrospect, people weren't really convinced back then to buy it. The album only managed to go Gold in the U.S. (and for such a popular band like Queen, that was unheard of back then) and was widely considered another disappointment. So looking back on the record, did it really deserve these distinctions? Definitely not.

While A Kind of Magic is pretty inconsistent in spots, there's also some fantastic music going on here. Stylistically, Queen decided to take the "rehash formula" of The Works and expand upon it, also adding much more hard rock that was reminiscent of their 70s heyday. More importantly, it feels as though Queen sounded more fresh and inspired when it came to the songwriting and arrangements. Along with maintaining a nice array of varied riffs and more textural arrangements, there's some really heartfelt and beautiful stuff to offer as well. Essentially, this record represents the first step in pulling Queen out of the quicksand they put themselves in musically.

The album takes most of its lyrical inspiration from Highlander, giving many of the heavier tracks a more "epic" feel. This is mostly represented with songs such as the string-laden hard rock opener "One Vision," the slower and more distorted "Gimme the Prize," and album highlight "Princes of the Universe." The latter is particularly notable for featuring more of a heavy metal influence than the other songs, Brian May laying down some hard- hitting rhythm guitar work. The harmonized vocals are as fresh now as they were back then, providing those traditional bombastic arrangements we all know and love. "One Vision," while still rooted in 70s hard rock, begins drenched in lavish strings provided by a synthesizer played by Brian May. This gives a great backdrop for the rest of the song to build from, and the musicianship in the hard rock section that follows is as tight as ever.

The ballads can be hit-and-miss, but some are pretty great. I could go on for hours and hours about how good "Who Wants to Live Forever" is, for example. Beginning with a quiet, emotional verse sung by Brian May over a Yamaha keyboard, Freddie Mercury takes over on the next verse as the song builds steam. There's a really melancholic undertone to the piece, but once the chorus kicks in, sadness is all but forgotten. This is one of the great choruses in the history of rock music, combining beautiful harmonized vocal work from Freddie with a nicely orchestrated backdrop for said vocal melodies to follow. Once Brian May sings the final verse, "Who waits forever anyway," the song ends with food for thought for the listener and represents closure for a perfect piece of music. The other ballads can be good, but definitely don't reach the same level. "Pain Is So Close to Pleasure" and "Friends Will Be Friends" are your typical Queen affairs, and "One Year of Love" is just way too sappy at times, but the songs are at least serviceable ballads.

Unfortunately, the album is indeed very flawed. The ballads, as I said, are just kind of decent with one great exception, but two songs almost kill the album unless you're willing to look past them: the title track and "Don't Lose Your Head." The former is an extremely boring mid-tempo number that brings almost nothing to the table; it really feels like a B-side to The Works. The stretch from the middle to the end is particularly painful, with a bunch of melodies and vocal harmonies going absolutely nowhere while John Deacon just sits in the back and plays his bassline aimlessly. "Don't Lose Your Head" is also annoying, being an entirely forgettable dance number forged out of Hot Space's songwriting template. The vocals are a bit bland compared to Freddie's typical singing quality, and the programmed drum track just makes you wish for Roger Taylor to return to the kit as quickly as possible.

The reason this still gets a 3.5, though, is because the music that works well works REALLY well. The rockers are fantastic, the ballads range from decent to fantastic, and the music sounds like Queen returning to their old 70s glories with an 80s coat of paint. Despite some songs that almost derail this experience, I'd still recommend it. It's worth trudging through the flaws to get to the good stuff... or in this case, the wonderful stuff.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 Queen II by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 664 ratings

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Queen II
Queen Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I like to see progressive rock epics and albums as rock's own answer to classical symphonies and suites... complex, multifaceted, and brimming with technical skill. With the help of bands like Kansas, Genesis, Yes, and whoever else gets categorized in so-called "symphonic prog," 70s prog was able to be played on heavy rotation by those who didn't want to listen to the more simplistic forms of rock at the time. However, 70s-era Queen were always of a different breed. Yes, their music was complex. Yes, it was multifaceted. Yes, it contained varying time signatures. But what was so different? What really stood out? The charisma and bombast.

Freddie Mercury and co. were one of the very few acts to marry the complexity of prog with the mainstream success and streamlined nature of pop almost perfectly, something even Supertramp couldn't fully pull off (but they tried their best, that's for sure). "Queen" is such a fitting name for a group who could pull off pomp and eccentricity with such elegance and taste... and of course, there's the eclectic genre-bending involved as well. The band tried ragtime, hard rock, classical, jazz, gospel, metal, you name it. Oh sure, it felt a bit forced and out- of-control on occasion, but you can't really blame a band who are trying to expand the normal confines of hard rock. But here's the craziest thing: the album that only began to develop Queen's signature sound also happened to be one of their very best... perhaps their best, in fact. That, my friends, is Queen II.

Make no mistake, this is a full-fledged progressive rock album. Multitracked vocal harmonies run rampant, time signatures change quite frequently, and the band's signature stylistic shifts are here in full-form. Right from the dark funeral-like guitar overdubs of "Procession," you know you're in for a pretty unusual record from the get go; even more unique is the way the band had set up this epic album. First is Brian May's "white" side of the album which focuses on more beautiful and light tunes, whereas Mercury's "black" side is absolutely warped, outrageously bombastic, and extremely dark. With that said, let's just say that you shouldn't expect a whole lotta camp from this one like in later Queen works. Most of the material here replaces the band's usual humor and lightheartedness with more dramatic lyricism, much of it focusing on fantasy-influenced storytelling. Expect a dark record through and through, basically.

Aside from that, though, the real draw is in how well everyone in the band works in tandem with each other. John Deacon's bass perfectly compliments Freddie's piano playing in the somber "Nevermore," just like how Brian May's heavy guitar riffing and Roger Taylor's hollow and rough drum sound are a great fit in a hard-hitting song like "The Loser in the End." There's a genuine chemistry between the band members, something that seemed so powerful even in this phase of their career. Also, this is the first album in which the group's layered vocal harmonies came into high prominence, and they couldn't feel more welcome with the grandiose arrangements. The slow buildup in "Ogre Battle" leads into an incredibly loud burst of vocal bombast that has to be heard to be believed, and "March of the Black Queen"'s use of counterpoint brings out many highlights of this nature as well. That's not to say there aren't poppier or more tightly packed arrangements on here as well, as "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "Funny How Love Is" can prove, and these are placed right at the end to bring an optimistic end to a beautifully dark journey.

If Queen's debut was their set of musical blueprints, this is the towering skyscraper they were arranged to construct... and indeed it towers over most of its contemporaries, progressive rock or otherwise. It's beautiful, brutal, dark, florid, complex, and everything in between. But above all, it's simply a masterpiece. The combination of instrumental prowess and emotional depth is breathtaking... and to think that this was only the band's second record! It was clear that Queen's future would be bright, but it's cool to know that they had already mastered their craft early on; in any case, get this. I don't care if you enjoy rock, pop, classical, jazz, whatever. Just get this.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 Jazz by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.44 | 384 ratings

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Jazz
Queen Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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