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Queen - Made In Heaven CD (album) cover




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3.28 | 304 ratings

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4 stars 'Made in Heaven' is the final studio album from Queen, one of the mosr popular art rock bands ever.

Released posthumously after Freddie Mercury's death, it consists of stuff recorded in a long period of time between 1980 and 1991, and includes re-worked out-takes from various sessions from that time, remixed songs from Freddie Mercury's solo album 'Mr. Bad Guy' and Roger Taylor's The Cross' 'Shove It', as well as a couple of songs done after 'Innuendo' sessions, which were the last ever recordings from Freddie Mercury.

Overall it's one of the brightest-sounding albums from Queen, a very quiet and tranquil album, especially after dark, tragic and menacing 'Innuendo'. Despite of lack of the new material, the album still holds listener's attention on highest level, because the re-works of previously known tracks are much superior to the versions released before, and the new songs are great as well.

The album opens with short and still (expect for one loud guitar burst) song 'It's a Beautiful Day', which was recorded back in 1980 and was never intended to be finished for any album, because it was a small improvisation with piano. For 'Made in Heaven' some light atmospheric synths were recorded, as well as new guitars, which made some spacey feelings to that track.

The spacey atmosphere formed by the first track is getting interrupted with a powerful rocking track 'Made in Heaven', which is based on a song Mercury released on 'Mr Bad Guy' with newly recorded heavy backing track. The only word to describe this song would be 'symphonic hard rock', because of very symphonic feel in the guitar sound, mixed with heavy drums.

'Let Me Live' started in 1983 with Rod Stewart, but the final verion doesn't includes his vocals, but rather the contribution from all three singing members of Queen. This is a powerful ballad number with gospel-like vocal chioir. Needless to say, the most interesting part of this song is the one with vocals from Roger Taylor.

'Mother Love' was the last song Freddie Mercury recorded. It was written by Brian May and Recorded in Montreaux in 1991. Originally Mercury recorded three takes of each vocal line to chose best sounding ones for the final mix, but hasn't finished the last verse, so it is sung by Brian May. It's probably the darkest song here, yet, despite of its high historical value, it remains my least favourite from the album.

'My Life Has Been Saved' was recorded during 'The Miracle' sessions and originally released as a B-side of 'Scandal' single in 1989. This is the only track on 'Made in Heaven' which is inferior to thepreviously released version, because guitar intro was replaced with pianos and some extra vocals at the end were removed. But still by and large it's a great song and if you haven't heard the original 1989 mix you won't notice any flaws here.

'I Was Born to Love You', like 'Made in Heaven', was released on Mercury's solo effort. Orignially a dancey disco song, this one turns into the fast and filled with energy hard rock track with new backing track full of heavy guitars, which fit with excellent vocals much better than poor-sounding synthy original.

'Heaven for Everyone' was originally recorded by The Cross in two versions, with Mercury's vocals and the other with Taylor's ones. Though I always prefered Taylor's version between those two, Queen's one beats them both. Only Mercury sings lead vocals here, but the song was noticeably re-done in 1995, adding great new guitar parts and overall more rock atmosphere. One of the highlights here.

'Too Much Love Will Kill You', originally released on Brian May's solo album 'Back to the Light', was originally recorded in 1988 for' The Miracle' and the version here is the same as on 'The Miracle' demo tape ? no reworking was done. Still, this version is much better than lately recorded (but earlier released) Brian May's solo track. It's a hard rock ballad with deep touching lyrics and short but powerful guitar solo, one of the most notable guitar solos in the entire Queen discography. Again, one of the brightest highlights from the album.

'You Don't Fool Me' was constructed in 1995 from bits and pieces of unfinished track started after 'Innuendo' sessions. It's a surprisingly dancey song here, but it still fits the aesthetics of that LP.

'A Winter's Tale' is another post-Innuendo song here. Though it was written in late 80's, it was recorded in 1991, noticeably all the vocals were done in a single take. Some really unnoticeable flaws in original vocal track were blurred for the final version, but that's only because of Queen's perfectionism. Still, untouched vocal take can be heard on a remixed version released as a bonus track on 2011 reissue. A bit surrealist and very psychedelic song, a great track with nice atmosphere greatly maintained throughout the track..

'It's a Beautiful Day (Reprise)' sounds a bit more intriguing that the opening part, mostly because of adding hard rock section at the end with great guitars and some nice pianos (extracted from 'Seven Seas of Rhye' though).

After it all, the album rollis into 22 and a half minutes long untitled ambiend piece which sums up the album and makes the final point in Queen's studio album discography.

This is a really good album. It retains great Queen's melodism and mixes it with excellent modern production, without 80's poppiness. It's a surprisingly consistent album from Queen, who usually, driven by their eclectism, hardly could make even two similar sounding songs on the same LP. But here all the songs bear the same spacey atmosphere - yet, without any lack of eclectism. Definitely, this is one of the finest moments for Queen after 70's.

I believe, 8/10 would be a fair rating for this excellently done LP, which would share a lot of great moments for the listener.

ole-the-first | 4/5 |


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