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Queen - Queen II CD (album) cover




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4.36 | 880 ratings

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3 stars Queen II is the progressive high point of the band's recorded history. For their first 6 albums, Queen proudly proclaimed that they used no synthesizers during the creation and recording of their music. That made Brian May an incredibly busy guitarist, overdubbing and utilizing any number of different guitar and studio 'effects'.

The result is at times such a "wall of sound" that somewhere along the way during the creation of this album, he stopped simply "playing the guitar" and expanded his focus to where he was "playing the studio". Or perhaps it would be more correct for me to say he collaborated with producer Roy Thomas Baker to effectively "utilize the recording studio as a musical instrument".

The same can be said for the multi-layered vocals of Freddy Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor. (Many casual fans are surprised to discover that the highest vocal harmony vocals are typically performed by Roger Taylor ? not by Freddy Mercury. For an example, listen to the ending vocal of "Ogre Battle").

In any event, the band took their "no synthesizers" oath very seriously it seems. On the song "Nevermore", someone reportedly plucked the piano strings while Mercury played the piano keys to create a unique keyboard timbre without the aid of a synthesizer. The entire "Black side" and much of the "White Side" of the album is intricately constructed and exquisitely produced by any standard, especially for 1974 technology.

All the tracks on Side "White" were written by Brian may (except for the powerful rocker "Loser in the End" which was penned and sung by drummer Roger Taylor). All tracks on Side "Black" were written by Freddy Mercury.

For a classic rock band, this album is surprisingly "progressive". If you enjoy artistic hard rock with a dramatic flair, consider this album essential. As a 70's rock album, this is a "5". As a Prog Rock item, I rate it a very rock-solid 3.

progpositivity | 3/5 |


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