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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 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)

3.66 | 555 ratings
Queen
1973
4.36 | 851 ratings
Queen II
1974
3.97 | 626 ratings
Sheer Heart Attack
1974
4.30 | 986 ratings
A Night At The Opera
1975
3.78 | 560 ratings
A Day At The Races
1976
3.25 | 510 ratings
News Of The World
1977
3.49 | 504 ratings
Jazz
1978
2.84 | 433 ratings
The Game
1980
2.15 | 351 ratings
Flash Gordon (OST)
1980
1.88 | 394 ratings
Hot Space
1982
2.91 | 361 ratings
The Works
1984
3.00 | 387 ratings
A Kind Of Magic
1986
3.20 | 375 ratings
The Miracle
1989
3.88 | 549 ratings
Innuendo
1991
3.28 | 315 ratings
Made In Heaven
1995
1.93 | 170 ratings
Queen + Paul Rodgers: The Cosmos Rocks
2008

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

3.54 | 172 ratings
Live Killers
1979
1.84 | 85 ratings
Live Magic
1986
3.49 | 55 ratings
At The Beeb
1989
3.99 | 130 ratings
Live At Wembley '86
1992
3.89 | 64 ratings
Queen on fire - Live at the Bowl
2004
2.80 | 41 ratings
Queen & Paul Rodgers: Return Of The Champions
2005
4.13 | 54 ratings
Rock Montreal
2007
3.33 | 18 ratings
Queen and Paul Rodgers - Live in Ukraine
2009
4.00 | 4 ratings
Hungarian Rhapsody - Live In Budapest
2012
3.93 | 38 ratings
Live At The Rainbow '74
2014
4.37 | 19 ratings
A Night At The Odeon
2015
4.75 | 11 ratings
On Air
2016

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

2.67 | 14 ratings
We Will Rock You
1984
3.51 | 11 ratings
Rare Live : A Concert Through Time And Space
1989
3.27 | 21 ratings
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
1999
3.41 | 37 ratings
Greatest Video Hits 1
2002
3.93 | 30 ratings
Greatest Video Hits 2
2003
4.27 | 81 ratings
Live at Wembley Stadium (DVD)
2003
4.24 | 32 ratings
Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl
2004
3.96 | 16 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
4.60 | 5 ratings
Days of Our Lives
2011
4.08 | 20 ratings
Queen - Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest (1986)
2012
4.80 | 25 ratings
Live At The Rainbow '74
2014
4.73 | 11 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 | 96 ratings
Greatest Hits
1981
3.79 | 5 ratings
The Complete Works
1985
3.22 | 67 ratings
Greatest Hits II
1991
3.69 | 13 ratings
Classic Queen
1992
4.00 | 16 ratings
Queen Rocks
1997
3.11 | 18 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
3.42 | 12 ratings
Forever
2014
4.25 | 4 ratings
On Air (Deluxe Edition)
2016
3.75 | 7 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
3.97 | 24 ratings
Seven Seas of Rhye / See What a Fool I've Been
1974
4.22 | 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
3.50 | 11 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
2.31 | 10 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's First E.P. by QUEEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
3.50 | 11 ratings

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Queen's First E.P.
Queen Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

3 stars More than a single, less than a full-length album, but still so, a nice memento taken from the period 1974 - 1976, when Queen were gaining momentum, and putting the basis for success and stardom.

1. Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy: Good nifty little music-hall-like piece of sophisticated pop-rock.

2. Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...): Hard rock with all the angry bitterness suggested by the title. Don't miss the awesome attack of the "backing" vocals on the chorus (the "feel good" part).

3. Tenement Funster: If mini-suites could have under three minutes of running time, this would be one of them. Please, don't let go unnoticed the fantastic vocals by Roger Taylor.

4. White Queen (As It Began): The epic of repressed forbidden passion on a quasi-symphonic setting. Nice touches of acoustic guitar by Brian, also.

 Killer Queen / Flick of the Wrist by QUEEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
4.22 | 23 ratings

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Killer Queen / Flick of the Wrist
Queen Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars Double-A sided single taken from Queen's third studio album, "Sheer Heart Attack".

What may one to say about plain perfection? That is pop, music-hall, operatic, symphonic perfection? Who cares, perfection just don't have to request anybody's permission. Exquisite melody underpinned by the piano, choral harmonies soaked in flanger, blistering electric guitar solo, all that co-existing in the space founded by Taylor's idyosincratic drumming.

"Flick of the Wrist" suffers from lack of proper start & ending, since it was taken from the middle of a series of tracks which segue from one to the next. The music is amazing, yet. Modal mid-eastern flavoured tone, on-fire electric guitar, all kind of delicious and unexpected modulations, complex choral arrangements, the whole package.

 Seven Seas of Rhye / See What a Fool I've Been by QUEEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1974
3.97 | 24 ratings

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Seven Seas of Rhye / See What a Fool I've Been
Queen Prog Related

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars This version of "Seven Seas of Rhye", the one with vocals added, was the closing track for "Queen II".

Plenty to enjoy here, really: great rocking performance, with the rythm seccion on fire, and head diving into a full blown ride. Fantastically tasty overdubs by May on the electric guitar, and the vocals..., well, let's say that they don't leave you craving for nothing. Freddie's vocals have all the punch that we learned to expect from him, and the harmonies go off in you face as it's supposed to happen.

"See What a Fool I've Been", on the flip side, sounds pretty much like a blues-rock mid-tempo warming workout for the band, with a bit of echo added to the voice. The kind of take that never make it to the proper album.

 Queen by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.66 | 555 ratings

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Queen
Queen Prog Related

Review by Hector Enrique

4 stars The first Queen album was rudimentary and blunt: it didn't have many repercussions when it was released, and even nowadays (with all the fame Queen has) it is not a very much appreciated production. Only Keep Yourself Alive and the instrumental Seven Seas of Rhye (whose lyrics were later incorporated, in Queen II) achieved a certain degree of notoriety. And probably that style so contrasted with their later works, much more produced and full of textures and sound layers pushed to the limit of the technical capabilities of recording studios, is what gives Queen I that little identification with the rest of their discography.

Nevertheless, it is without a doubt an excellent album. Queen I is deeply related to the heavy rock genre that dominated the early 70's musical trend. Its songs, with their powerful guitar riffs, deliver a mass of energy just like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The aforementioned Keep yourself alive and the eagers Great King Rat, My Fairy King, Liar, Modern Times of Rock and Roll, and Father and Son, are a proof of it.

On the other hand they also give us glimpses of his sensitivity and versatility that is to come, with the beautiful and changing Doing All Right, or the intense and interesting reference to the biblical Jesus, in the song that bears his name.

Queen I is an album that in my opinion deserves to be accommodated within the rest of the group's legacy, which at that time was in search of its own sound and place in the world of rock.

 Innuendo by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.88 | 549 ratings

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Innuendo
Queen Prog Related

Review by Hector Enrique

4 stars The last album Queen released while Freddie Mercury was alive but at the time severely affected by AIDS, and making superhuman efforts to finish the recording of his parts. Still, Mercury was not going to allow illness to stop him from completing Innuendo.

And they leave us the best work of the band since the distant A Day at The Races, published 15 years ago. Lots of water ran under the bridge in Queen's musical adventures, with an evolution towards more commercial and digestible styles, the loss of the staunch fans of the early times, and an expansion to the global market that seems unstoppable even until today.

Innuendo was the return to the sources, it seems that after going around the world several times the trip ended, and it was time to return home to meet his first affections. It is true, 20 years later they could no longer claim the same results, everything evolves, but the spirit and soul were there, intact.

Pieces like the progressive, dense and powerful Innuendo, with the collaboration of Steve Howe on flamenco guitars, the extremely heartfelt These Are the Days of Our Lives, the jewel not sufficiently valued that Bijou is, and the heartbreaking Show Must Go On for close the album, all of them return us to the best Queen.There is also room for its rock side with the dynamics "Headlong", I Can't Live With You, Ride the Wild Wind, and Hitman. The band even had the pleasure of making Delilah, a tribute to Mercury's favorite pets, the cats.

Innuendo is one of the best works of Queen, although it is one step below his masterpieces Queen II and A Night at The Opera. It confirms that Queen is one of the leading rock groups of all time, and Freddie Mercury one of its most emblematic figures.

 A Night At The Opera by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.30 | 986 ratings

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A Night At The Opera
Queen Prog Related

Review by Hector Enrique

5 stars A Night At The Opera, Queen's quintessential masterpiece, features the mega-famous Bohemian Rhapsody, considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The genius of Mercury to compose a combination of rock, opera and choirs in less than 6 minutes is out of this world, so much so that at a time when radio stations didn't broadcast songs of more than 3 or 4 minutes, they surrendered to the originality and forcefulness of the proposal, and it became an obligatory piece of radio programs. Of course, it is not the only outstanding song on the album, probably the very progressive and powerful Prophet's Song would be considered the "Bohemian Rhapsody" if it had not existed, its more than 8 minutes in which it combines dense and calm passages with changes of dramatic rhythms and a cappella choirs, also make it a gem and one of the band's best compositions, followed by the beautiful Love of my Life, much better known for its live performance devoid of piano and harp arrangements from the studio version.

The rest of the songs maintain a high level, from the criticism of their original manager in Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To ...), to the fun and short cabaret-style song Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Roger Taylor's passion for the cars in I'm In Love With My Car, sung by Taylor himself, acoustic '39, among others, to end the album with his adaptation of the UK's national anthem God Save The Queen, whose pre-recorded version is It would become the closings of all the band's live performances.

With A Night At The Opera, Queen became one of the reference groups of the rock scene of the seventies and eighties.

 Sheer Heart Attack by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.97 | 626 ratings

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Sheer Heart Attack
Queen Prog Related

Review by Hector Enrique

4 stars Sheer Heart Attack, without achieving the brilliance of the predecessor Queen II, manages to confirm that the group was making an important place in the rock music scene. With a less complex structure, we once again enjoy the great compositional and musical quality of Freddie Mercury and Brian May, their main visible axes. In subsequent albums, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon would gain more relevance composing some of the band's successes.

It also meant his serious entry into the great North American market by the rocker Now Iīm Here, but above all the successful single Killer Queen, a composition that in just 3 minutes transmits the dynamic and unique energy of the group, including a guitar solo so personal and unmistakable by May.

In addition to those 2 songs, and from the strings of May's Red Special guitar, we enjoy his expertise and mastery of the effects in the super rocker and powerful Brighton Rock, giving the sensation of being in the presence of 2 or 3 guitarists simultaneously. Brighton Rock became a must in their live performances. A highlight of the album is marked by Tenement Funster, Flick Of The Wrist and Lily Of The Valley, 3 fused songs that seem like one, perfectly assembled, of more than 8 minutes full of nuances and changes of atmospheres; definitely the most accomplished and progressive of the Sheer Heart Attack. Very interesting is the solemn Dear Friends, the very entertaining and vaudeville-style Bring Back That Leroy Brown, the hymn In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisited, ideal to be chanted in live shows but that finally didnīt have the favor from the audience; Stone Cold Crazy, mentioned as one of the sources of inspiration for bands of the future genre trash metal and covered by Metallica years later, and the disturbing She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilettoes). In The Lap Of The Gods and Misfire are the other songs that complete the work, while still having some salvageable elements, they donīt represent a significant contribution.

Sheer Heart Attack is an excellent album and one of the best on Queen's discography.

 Hot Space by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1982
1.88 | 394 ratings

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Hot Space
Queen Prog Related

Review by Hector Enrique

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, but there are evolutions, and "evolutions" ...

Hot Space was widely controversial for the great legion of fans who had already achieved loyalty until then, and who didn't expect such a radical change in their proposal, although there were already indications with their previous Another One Bites The Dust of The Game. It was the last job they were able to promote live in the United States, after which the doors of that market were closed to them.

Redeemable the successful Under Pressure, the collaboration with David Bowie, the tribute to John Lennon in Life is Real, clearly influenced by the singer and main composer of the Beatles, something of the guitars in the rocker Put Out The Fire, and something also in the sweet Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love), with its verse in Spanish but light and far from the previous Queen.

Of the rest of the songs, to say that they will not go down in history except for the risk of their proposal. Nothing more than that. Queen's least happy album.

 Queen II by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 851 ratings

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Queen II
Queen Prog Related

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars

Despite having loved some of the band's later work (notably A Night at the Opera) since my childhood, I never really explored a lot of Queen's output until relatively recently.

That was a colossal mistake.

Queen II is quite possibly the best album the band ever recorded. It's by far the most progressive - and simultaneously, the heaviest - the band ever got. Twenty-nine and a half of the album's forty-one minutes are taken up by three epic suites that range in length from just over eight to just over twelve minutes, encompassing all but three of the album's songs.

I won't attempt to summarise the numerous twists and turns the album takes over that time, but it's almost impossible to believe it was put together over the span of a month by a group of lads who were in their early to mid-twenties. The arrangement of "The March of the Black Queen", an obvious precursor to "Bohemian Rhapsody" (and possibly even better than its more famous successor), required so many overdubs that the sixteen-track tape wore to transparent. The maturity of the songwriting is remarkable; sandwiched in between the fantasy-themed lyrics are some particularly poignant observations on love and family relationships. The album is incredibly stylistically diverse, reflecting the influence of prog bands like Genesis and Yes, pop bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and hard rock bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin; there are some obvious pop moments like the "Be My Baby" pastiche "Funny How Love Is" (which is fantastic by the way), but they somehow manage to feel progressive anyway, because of how they're worked into longer suites.

I could write another two thousand words raving about this album, but I'm not sure there'd be a point. The only major flaw I can identify here is that Roger Taylor's contribution "The Loser in the End" feels out of place. It's not even a bad song; in fact, it's actually a fantastic hard rock song, but it just feels like it belongs on another album. In retrospect, this album is a strong candidate for one of the launching points of progressive metal, alongside the works bands like King Crimson and Rush were doing around the same time. I feel absolutely foolish for not giving it a listen much sooner, and I've had it almost on repeat for most of the past couple of days - it's been a long time since an album has provoked me to do that.

If all you know of Queen is the radio singles and perhaps A Night at the Opera, do yourself a favour and check this out. If you're interested enough in prog music to be reading this site, you probably won't be disappointed.

 Sheer Heart Attack by QUEEN album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.97 | 626 ratings

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Sheer Heart Attack
Queen Prog Related

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars After some moderate success with Queen II, which was released in February 1974, barely 6 months had passed and the powers that be were demanding a follow up album, so in July of the same year, the band was writing new music for another album to be released by the end of the same year. There was a major problem, however, and that was the band was unable to even finish their previous tour because Brian May had been hospitalized after contracting hepatitis from a vaccination required for traveling to Austrailia, and then to make matters worse, he was re-hospitalized for a stomach ulcer. The band, after all of this, had to write the new album. The parts had to be recorded leaving out May's guitar and vocal parts.

When "Sheer Heart Attack" was finally finished, the result turned out to have more variety and less heaviness from its predecessors. It ended up signaling a movement of the band away from the progressively heavy sound to a more accessible, yet varied sound with songs ranging from hard, stadium rock to vaudeville style music. This formula would work well with the band and would end up giving the band its famous and sometimes unpredictable sound. However, whatever style the band tried would end up being top-notch music, never sounding very contrived most of the time, and also lending to the glam rock persona that Mercury and the band adopted. It's this glam rock style that helped the band retain its progressive status even with most of the music being more accessible.

The album surprised a lot of fans, yet most of them remained faithful and were eager to follow the band with this new sound. However, the album, being the first example of this new sound, can seem a bit choppy and uneven to most people. Personally, it is one of my favorites since I love the courage of the band to do this, and it is obvious they are trying to make this new formula work. The album appropriately begins with "Brighton Rock", a track that was actually written long before even the first Queen albums. It was originally intended for the Queen II album, but was left off because the band felt it didn't fit with the rest of that album. It starts off the album with a rousing and killer guitar solo after some vocals from Mercury. The guitar solo here is multi-tracked to give it that multi-guitar sound that May would become famous for and is considered one of the best solos ever. Honestly, it does sit up there with the best with May being the sole player through most of it. May was back from his illnesses with a vengeance.

Following this is the band's first radio hit "Killer Queen", and at this point the band takes a sharp turn from their previous sound. It definitely paid off for the band and gave them the song that would define its sound for several years. Following this is a sort-of medley of three songs that are masterfully connected to each other: "Tenement Funster" sung by Roger Taylor and John Deacon subbing for May on guitar, the fast and furious "Flick of the Wrist" with Mercury's octave wide vocals and May back at the guitar, and then the more ballad-like "Lily of the Valley" where Mercury gets to show off his Broadway style vocalizations. The first side ends with "Now I'm Here" returns to a heavier rock sound with some excellent guitar riffs from May and more Mercury style antics with a song about Queen's touring days with "Mott the Hoople"

Side two is bookended by the two parts of "In the Lap of the Gods", though the songs are completely unrelated. The trademark vocal overdubs are quite apparent in this track as the music almost takes on an operatic, choir sound, another thing the band would become famous for. The overdubs are done by Mercury and Taylor. The thing that is featured here mostly is Taylor's operatic style voice that ranges from deep notes to extremely high vocals that are apparently still in Taylor's normal range, not falsetto. This is followed up with "Stone Cold Crazy", the song that has been credited for being a foreshadowing of thrash metal and hinted at punk music (not for the last time for the band) and has been famously covered by Metallica. Again, the extremity of styles continues to be showcased with the short ballad "Dear Friends", and then the more happy sounding track "Misfire" which was John Deacon's first song written solely by him for the band where he plays most of the guitars.

The variety continues with the Jim Croce-inspired, ragtime sounding song "Bring Back that Leroy Brown". Queen proved it could flit from one style to the next with ease, and they would continue this for several albums to come. This was the band's strength. The vocals are again layered and overdubbed with Mercury singing and playing grand and honky-tonk style pianos and May playing a quick banjo-ukulele solo. The heavier and much darker track "She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettos)" brings in the brooding feel of the band with a nice May-written and sung track featuring him and Deacon on acoustic guitars and dramatic effects at the end of the track. The album ends with what was considered a song that an audience could sing to "In the Lap of the Gods? Revisited". It was a foreshadowing of the stadium tracks that band would love to make like "We Are the Champions" with a repeated wordless vocal melody that the audience could easily mimic and served for an effective barnburning show ender up until 1977.

Every one of the tracks on this album is non-filler and serves to showcase the band's versatility, and Queen still is the band that sits first in most people's minds as the band that could play any style and make it sound like they invented it. Even though each individual track, for the most part, might not be considered progressive in and of itself, but the fact that an album could unpredictably move from one musical style to another without a hitch while throwing in their amazing trademark over-the-top sounds and performances makes this band truly a progressive band, at least up through the "Jazz" album. There are several bands out there that are "Glam" bands that are also considered progressive, like Roxy Music, David Bowie, Be Bop Deluxe, and others. Glam and Progressive music at one time were usually synonymous during the seventies, which is why these bands are considered progressive as long as they could stretch the boundaries of rock, which Queen also did, but more through the meshing of styles from other genres. This is my argument that Queen is a progressive band, but these days many people don't seem to agree with this. Their individual songs might not have been as complex as "Genesis" for example, yet even "Genesis" in their early days had elements of the glam bands in their shows and music.

As far as this album, it has always been a favorite of mine, and I could easily give it a five star rating just out of emotion and personal preference, but for progressive purposes, it only rates as a four star, mostly because the sound is a bit more choppy not flowing quite as well as some of their future, more popular albums would be. I think if it hadn't been so rushed that it could have been as slick as "Night at the Opera" or "News of the World", but it does showcase a band that was brave to stretch rock beyond its normal boundaries by adopting and infusing other styles. No one did it better than Queen did and they paved the way for other bands to do the same in the future.

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

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