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Queen - Queen II CD (album) cover




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4.36 | 889 ratings

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3 stars This album has been exhaustively reviewed by many before me, and I don't really have anything new to say on the subject of its music. Let me just add that, for me, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA will always remain the apex of Queen's career, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, even if that album happens to be a multi-million seller. QUEEN II, on the other hand, is an astonishing curiosity. As others have pointed out, its original B-side sounds proggier than lots of prog.

What's interesting about the album's THEMES, is that Freddy Mercury and his mates serve up the usual post-hippy brew of fairy-tales, half-remembered nursery rhymes, private mythology (can anyone explain "The Seven Seas of Rhye"?) and fake medievalism. But in contrast to mid-seventies Genesis, Jethro Tull and the like, this band combine all of the above with high-octane rock 'n' roll, camp vocals(the background vocals have to be heard to be believed; if anything, they're even more over the top than A NIGHT AT THE OPERA) and unabashed eroticism.

One little thing I'd like to point out (obsessive Queen fans will know this already) is that "The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke" is not about some kind of hallucination. It's the musical version of a magnificent little 19th century painting by a certain Richard Dadd, which is there for everyone to see at Tate Britain, London. (If you google its name, it comes up.) The painting in turn is inspired by the "Queen Mab speech" from William Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET. It's small in size but crammed with detail and not just a little crazy. More or less like Queen's second album!

fuxi | 3/5 |


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