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Queen Innuendo album cover
3.88 | 619 ratings | 31 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Innuendo (6:31)
2. I'm Going Slightly Mad (4:22)
3. Headlong (4:38)
4. I Can't Live With You (4:33)
5. Don't Try So Hard (3:38)
6. Ride the Wild Wind (4:42)
7. All God's People (4:21)
8. These Are the Days of Our Lives (4:15)
9. Delilah (3:35)
10. Hitman (4:56)
11. Bijou (3:36)
12. Show Must Go On (4:32)

Total Time 53:39

Line-up / Musicians

- Freddie Mercury / lead & backing vocals, piano, keyboards, programming (2,9)
- Brian May / electric, slide & classical guitars, keyboards (3,4,12), piano (3), programming (3,4), vocals
- John Deacon / bass, keyboards
- Roger Taylor / drums, percussion, keyboards (6,8), programming (2,7), lead (6) & backing vocals

- Steve Howe / classical guitar (1)
- Mike Moran / piano & keyboards (7)
- David Richards / programming (1), keyboards (4,8), co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Jean Gérard "Grandville" (1803-1847) and Angela Lumley

CD Parlophone ‎- CDPCSD 115 (1991, UK)
CD Island Records - 278 000 3 (2011, Europe) New 2011 Bob Ludwig remaster

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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QUEEN Innuendo ratings distribution

(619 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

QUEEN Innuendo reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I think this is the best album of QUEEN, which is a band that I'm not too keen on. Freddie already knew about his fatal illness when "Innuendo" album was recorded, which probably motivated him to give his all efforts to the composing, performing and recording.

The opening song is in my opinion the best rock song from the 90's, featuring also STEVE HOWE on acoustic guitar at the Spanish sounding part. The last song would also be OK, but the constant radio playing of it has made me got fed up with it. There aren't so many filler rocker's on this one as there are on their previous releases in my opinion. Cover art is also nice, which is an exception in their stylistic line which I don't like.

If I would review this in a non-prog connection, I would give it four stars. But I can't say this album is an "excellent addition to any prog music collection", so let's go for the three ones. If you find "Innuendo" as a single or EP, get it at least! There's a large family of LP sized vinyl EP's from the tracks of this album moving around, I sighted the one from the title tune at Helsinki costing over 20?.

Review by Eclipse
2 stars Definitely not a full prog album as you can see on tracks like "Headlong" and "I Can't Live With You", Innuendo still manages to be a good one even for Queen's standards (i'm not bashing Queen, i actually was a fan of them some time ago but got easily bored of their music). One has to recognize that this album has its ground-shaking moments. The opening track is without a question prog, and features a spanish guitar section at the middle that is very cool. I can't stand Freddie's "ooh ooh oohs" during the song though. I am also not a fan of his vocals in this particular record, if you listened to Queen's later works, you probably realised that their more recent to the 90's recordings show Freddie's vocals going a bit harsher and less melodic than his early ones. Anyway, this opening track despite the "ooh oohs" is still amazing and has to rank among my favorites of the Queen catalogue. The second song, "I'm Going Slightly Mad", is a very fun moment and has a neat video-clip (if you have watched it you probably had laughed a lot at the band's visual jokes during the film). I prefer this track on the video, where Freddie looks a lot like Willy Wonka from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Much of the songs from now on are very radio friendly and probably make this album pratically not prog and neither very interesting at all, but we then have this awesome closing track called "The Show Must Go On", carried with drama and emotion, showing that Freddie's last day was coming and we do feel that in his performance. This song is so beautiful and touches me a lot emotionally, and it is another gem from this...almost nice Queen's album.

This may not appeal to the prog-fan and it is definitely not essential on a prog collection, but it is still good for music listeners in general and has its few great moments despite the huge number of tracks where the "skip" button can be used. Three stars would be enough, but i still think that two and a half would be the best ranking, since the album doesn't survive well with the time and is less prog than pop. If you want some more well crafted and complex music go for "Queen II" before trying this one.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars What made me purchase this album (cassette format) was the fact that Steve Howe of Yes was involved in this album even though only contributing part of one track "Innuendo". I believe this opening track can be considered as a prog track as it has changing styles and moods throughout the song. The involvement of Steve Howe in this song is attractive for me. It's hard to believe that Queen has ever made this album. Even under the next track "I'm Going Slightly Mad" (4:22) I can find a bit of prog nuance even though it's not accurately correct and the song is quite boring because of repetitive rhythm style - which is keyboard-based. "Don't Try So Hard" (3:38) is a good track with mellow opening followed with high register notes of Freddie's vocal work. "Hitman" is a straight rocker with relatively fast tempo. "Bijou" is interesting track especially with Brian May's explorative guitar solo backed up with keyboard work. The way he plays his guitar is different with his typical style. It's a mellow and melodic song, one of tunes that I like from this album due to May's guitar work. "The Show Must Go On" is also another good track with keyboard / synthesizer main rhythm section. "Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance. / Another heartache - another failed romance. On and on! / Does anybody know what we are living for? / I guess i'm learning / I must be warmer now.. / I'll soon be turning round the corner now. / Outside the dawn is breaking, / But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free!"

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Oscar Wilde meets Led Zeppelin...

Last Queen's album (if we don't count posthumous tacky swan song, "Made In Heaven") is a potpourri of different styles that will please many tastes but will also leave a lot to be desired. The effort is mature and eclectic, but certainly not 100% cohesive or focused although the main motifs are life, death and religion. No wonder, knowing that Freddie was about to die, and very aware of that (he was suffering of very strong pain during the recording).

The cold, clinical, reviewing eye (and ear) reveals a bunch of below par pop tunes, a few good rock numbers and one masterpiece, labeled progressive rock. Indeed the song Innuendo is masterpiece that will please many a sophisticated taste; utilising great guitar works, collaboration with Mr. Howe, excellent lyrics, tight playing and goose bumps atmosphere. This is progressive rock as it should be, with homogenic structure, great parts, and nothing too protracted or overplayed. The best thing that happened and could happen in the year of 1990. The video spot is great too, sort of "Oscar Wilde meets Led Zeppelin" thing (as described by one of the band members, I don't remember exactly who), utilising animated clay puppets, Harlequins and paiazzos and some great stop-motion artwork. The aforementioned tag about Irish writer and hard rock monster could be applied to the song itself too, as well as to some other parts of the album.

The rest of the songs vary in quality and expression: I'm Going Slightly Mad is not much more adventurous than an average 80's QUEEN pop-rock song, but the atmosphere is great and the song is enjoyable. And unusual, due to the weird timbres provided from the Korg M1 digital synth. Video spot reveals Freddie with one foot in the grave, frighteningly slim (tons of make-up was not enough to hide it), but still as great entertainer who rules the scene. The video spot is no less bizarre than the song (which also hit the UK chart).

Headlong can be bunched together with The Hitman; although Headlong reached the charts, they're both not-so-inspiring, very heavy songs with lack of melody on par with the band's level. The initial band's idea was to make Headlong as a slow, keyboard-based song with little or no drums at all. One could only wonder what would the album sound like...speaking of that, there's a rumour that band record an untitled song, powerful, progressive, similar in atmosphere to the song Innuendo, but it was never published because of various reason and the the tape is lying somewhere in the recording studio now...of course that could be only a false rumour, but such stories were always tangled around Queen's path.

Delilah and Ride The Wild Wind are another two sub par songs. Delilah is just ridiculous. Freddie dedicated the song to his cat (he loved cats and had plenty), so I won't say anything else. The nice sparkle is Brian's skilful "meaow" on guitar. Which I can't say about the other song which is some sort of ride, with sampled sound of racing car passing useless. Especially if we recall that during the A Night At The Opera period Brian did not need any recorded samples to make his axe roar like an engine.

I Can't Live With You is another bubblegum pop-rock tune without much common sense (and with stupid lyrics again), but this will probably appeal to an average QUEEN fan because it has that certain band's bravurosity. I like it, I have to admit.

All God's People touches the question of religion again, but not as a title song do; basically this is a soul song, and souls is a genre that band utilised rarely (Jesus, 1972, Somebody To Love, 1976, Soul Man, 1981, Breakthru, 1989, and several times in Freddie's solo career), but soul fits QUEEN nicely and this one is just a decent song.

These Are The Days Of Our Lives is slow-paced ballad, again with resemblance on (Freddie's) life and again with a hint of soul within. A bit tacky, poppish. I can't help myself but every time listening to this song (or simply seeing the title on a track list) I remember that Lisa Stansfield's interpretation...ugh. The less I say, the better.

Bijou is three-and-a-half minute long and it's beautiful. It's a closest thing to progressive rock after the title song. It's a lovely tapestry of Brian's guitar weepings layered together in pleasant atmospheres, with some nice chord progressions (and keyboards), but the song is, in my opinion, spoiled with two or three lines sung at the very end. The should have left it as an instrumental.

Finally, the grand finale: The Show Must Go On, borrowing the title (and, let's admit it, a few harmonies too) from the PINK FLOYD song, but everything else is pure QUEEN: a great song to close a great album and a career of a great band. Not prog, but who cares...powerful song, lyrics are shining again, music is great. I wish there's more songs around that are half as strong and crafted as this one.

A the end of the day (and, alas, the career) this is good album, far from perfect, with two or three great (or little) gems and majority of fillers. It's not great, but it's a good final chapter perfectly representing a turbulent career (and songwriting) of a unique band with all ups and downs, masterpieces, mediocrity, failures, experience, intelligence, wittiness. And eclecticism at first place. Thank you, Queen.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars It has been a very painful experience to have reviewed Queen's work from "The Game" through "Hot Space". And the other albums from the eighties could really interest me. Just average, at best.

The first time I listened to "Innuendo" (the track), I couldn't believe my ears. This one was a song like they were used to write during their splendid early albums (up to "A Day At The Races"). There is even a rarity involved on this track. Steve Howe himself is playing the Spanish acoustic guitar. An excellent moment during this long number (for "Queen" standards). The return of the giant .rhapsody.

IMHHO, this song belongs to the great ones from the band. Oppressive beat, but since it was a tribute to "Kashmir" there is no wonder. One has to go back to "Death On Two Legs" from "A Night At The Opera" to find such a great opener. A highlight of course.

And even if "I'm Going Slightly Mad" hold more aspects from Bryan Ferry's work it is an enjoyable moment. The band also reverts to its great rocking style (even heavy in this case). "Headlong" is another good song featured on "Innuendo". It is so pleasant to listen to such a number after all those useless albums! Would have it been so simple and nice to release only songs as this one, instead of those horrible tracks for almost a decade!

But the great thing is that the band DID make a great come back. But several other bands did so : "Yes", "Kansas", the Heep, and Purple to name a few.

All of a sudden, these disgusting and synthetic sounds are gone. Some good and punchy songs as during their earlier releases is what you get here. Jump at ease into this album, It is such a rejuvenating experience for oldies as I am and probably a great discovery for newer generations. To finally (re) discover a great band is always a poignant adventure.

Freddie is particularly emotional during the nice ballad "Don't Try So Hard". How these guys managed to be so inspired all of a sudden is really wonderful. But all knew of course that this one would be the last true "Queen" album. Just like Led Zep couldn't be Led Zep any longer after Bonham's death, "Queen" couldn't be "Queen" after Freddie's farewell.

To believe that only two years separates "Innuendo" from "the Miracle" is quite unbelievable (but almost the same applied between "A Day." and "The Game", but on the reverse side).

The very dynamic and melodic "Ride The Wild Wind" is probably the more electro pop one of this offering, but so much better than all their crappy tunes from the eighties. I can't help to find some optimism in such a song, which should have contrasted with the atmosphere felt during these recordings.

There won't be twelve masterpieces on this album of course, but these vocals arrangements on the average "All Gods People" would have been more than welcome on any of their previous six studio albums. And we get the usual "Queen" ballad (but written by Rodger). The video for this track is the last appearance from Freddie.

Maybe it is emotion, but I can't help! Even a simplistic song as "Delilah" is able to raise it substantially on my side when I listen to it. But I understand that very few people should feel the same. Circumstances, I guess.

Having reviewed all of their albums, I have a mixed feeling about their work as a whole. I have been rather harsh on most of their eighties work, but this band has procured me so much joy during the early mid seventies that to listen to such a work is just an enchantment to my ears.

Some more heavy beats with "Hitman" and I will just tell you that "Bijou" means jewel in French. When you have listened to the superb guitar intro, you understand why.The song is truly atmospheric, almost progressive, my friends. Un bijou, indeed.

Did you say passionate, emotional, thrilling, wonderful, grandiose? Did you say "The Show Must Go On"? I just love this song and it leaves me speechless. Each time I listen to it. A fantastic song. So intimately linked with the last days of the band. I can't imagine how difficult it should have been to record such a song at this time of their career. Fabulous. But the show will stop, unfortunately.

This album is on par with their first five ones. I am rating this album with four stars, and yes : there will be definitely half more added when available. Purely on the sentimental fibre.

Thanks a lot Freddie, Brian, Roger and John. Your contribution to rock music has been immense. And you will never disappear from my heart.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars Great album! One of Queen's best works. It contains some of band's best songs, including the homonimous Innuendo and Show Must Go on. Actually, this is not progressive rock album at all, but it's something special indeed. The unique is that this album is requiem by Freddie Mercury dedicated to himself and his legacy. His last artistic whisper to the world and he knеw that. He had endeavour to create supreme work. The whole album carries the forthcoming grief. Innuendo is full of melancholic feelings and is trying to explain the matters of life. Innuendo is Freddie's last advises to the world and his bandmates. He described his life and his most important moments. Highly recommended for emocional music lovers!
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars The show must go on

Innuendo is a very special album for me for many reasons. Firstly, it is the strongest Queen album since A Night At The Opera, released about 15 years earlier! The title track is the first truly progressive song Queen did since Bohemian Rhapsody and The Prophet's Song from that same 1975 album. Innuendo, the song, is a masterpiece of progressive rock with amazing acoustic and electric guitar work by the great Brian May. The incredible Flamenco style acoustic middle-section also features a guest appearance of Steve Howe. Since May and Howe are two of my favourite guitarists of all time it is very special for me to hear the two of them playing together. The theme introduced by the Spanish guitars is then repeated on electric guitar accompanied by some of the best drumming of Roger Taylor. This part of the song is perhaps the closest Queen ever got to metal music. The contrast between the Spanish guitars and the fast-paced section that follows it is one of my favourite Queen moments and makes Innuendo one of my favourite songs ever!

The rest of the songs sadly do not have the same strong drumming, but a rather synthetic sound more in line with the 80's releases. But this is counterbalanced by Brian's incredible guitar solos that save every song. Even the least interesting songs are graced by excellent melodic guitar solos that make you want to play air-guitar. This album is possibly Brian's finest hour.

If I'm not mistaken the artist who made the great cover art work for Innuendo is the same one who did the cover art for Genesis Trick Of The Tale album. The art fits the music well and it is perhaps the best cover art ever to grace a Queen album, at least since the 70's.

Yet another reason this album is very special is, of course, that it is the last one they could ever do. You all know the tragic story of Freddie's illness. It is amazing that they were able to make this album with the knowledge that very soon Freddie was not going to be there any more. The lyrics strongly reflect this sad situation and make Innuendo the most emotional album that I have ever heard. The Show Must Go On is extremely telling and one of the most moving moments in rock history.

As you probably see this album is one of my personal favourites and I consider it an essential Prog related album. But only the title track and The Show Must Go On are of masterpiece rank.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What an album! Freddie Mercury is on the verge of death, and yet he has time to bring back the Queen sound of old and put it into this album! All of the raw emotion can definately be heard when listening especially in the pure classics Innuendo and The Show Must Go On, but also in lesser known songs like Don't Try So Hard and Bijou. He still manages to show some humor in I'm Going Slightly Mad which is definately a highlight! When listening to the album though, I'm overcome with a feeling of sadness, because I know this was Freddie saying goodbye to the world. He tries to stay strong with inspirational tracks like These Are the Days of Our Lives and All Gods People but the sadness always is there. The title track is a modern day Bohemian Rhapsody (I love the flamenco guitar solo (played by Steve Howe!) and the same solo played on electric after a short bridge,) it's just Queen at their songwriting best. Great way to end it Freddie! You will not be forgotten!
Review by TGM: Orb
3 stars Innuendo, Queen, 1990

I have to admit, as an at best partial devotee of Queen, Innuendo was basically a blind selection (I was completely unaware of the background, or how respected it was)... saw it in a store, picked it up. I also have to admit it's probably got more good songs on it than any album from 1990 has a right to. It being Queen, the vocals, guitar-work and most of the basic melodies are top notch, there are interesting ideas all around. It being Queen, the more meaningful the lyrics are trying to be, the more they annoy me. But there's a flaw I wouldn't have attributed to the other Queen material I've heard (Greatest Hits 1,2, 3, Queens I+II)... just about anywhere that something is repeated or not a lot is happening, something (generally a nonsense sound) is thrown in, even if a tasteful rest would have been fine. Most of said somethings are entirely unimpressive. Still, a good album, even if I can't help feeling that with a little less superfluous polish, the real qualities of the album would shine through far more.

Innuendo is big. Not only does it last about six and a half minutes, throw in surprisingly hard guitar tones and include the most rough and belting vocals of the album, it also features militaristic drumming and a damn flamenco interlude (courtesy of Steve Howe). OK, the lyrics aren't great, the drumming is a bit too lethargic for me, and a more defined set of keys wouldn't hurt but any song with that great a trio of guitar solos (May's reprise of Howe's flamenco theme is just amazing) is at least a minor classic.

Kicking onwards, pop song 1: I'm Going Slightly Mad is a wonderfully crazy little pop number, complemented by a rather odd synth atmosphere, some weird and wonderful guitar tweaks and an exceptional warped cabaret-sounding Mercury vocal. Headlong is a lot heavier, doesn't quite manage the same atmospheric pull, the major highlight is the trippy synth part in the instrumental break... the piece seems to be padded a bit beyond its potential, but it's still a fun song.

I Can't Live With You... well, no idea how to classify this one, Mercury's vocal twists and turns like a twisty turny thing and it is just perfect. It sort of seems to alternate between a darker bluesy part and a pop  chorus and then a slightly queasy set of guitar solos. A reserved yes. Don't Try So Hard is a fairly bland bit of Mercury pseudo-preaching which slips into the unbearably dim category... musically speaking, the verses are basically nice with a charming little guitar bit, smooth synths and a lush vocal, while the choruses/verse extensions are basically cheap and tacky. A reserved no.

And onto rock song 2: Ride The Wild Wind, which alternates between basically asinine and insanely cool... the driving main rhythm, the vocal twists at the end of that basically daft chorus are delicious, the guitar soloing is great. I'd guess I like the good bits just about enough to forgive how long the bad bits go on. All God's People, On The Other Hand, is a soul-based track, which seems to assume you'll be wowed enough by May pulling out his trademark guitar sound and Mercury's vocal to forgive the limp harmonies and rather odious backbone of the song. Have to admit I'm a bit fonder of the heavier bits, but still, I can certainly live without this one. These Are The Days Of Our Lives is a rather better soft piece constructed around a worldy set of percussion, and the lyrics aren't trying so hard and prove much more simply touching. May's guitar parts are just gorgeous here.

Delilah is basically daft. I think you can't make a great song out of one guitar-miaow. Cute as the whole cat theme is, it remains a silly song. But still, a fairly nice silly song. I just find it difficult to be angry at a song about cats. We are a cat person.

Huzzah, now, Hitman. A surprisingly cutting guitar riff, which can basically hold up the song alone in combination with the neat mass vocal chorus. Well, I don't feel the vocal is the album's most creative, but it fits it nicely, and there isn't all that much diversity, but it doesn't really hurt it.

And even better, Bijou, which is basically a gorgeous May solo thrown over some very loose keyboard chords, plus a short and sweet vocal. Just about perfect. But even better, now, what we've all been waiting for, easily, easily the album's best song: The Show Must Go On. Haunting, dark vocals, precise fills and bass parts, an array of menacing synthesisers, weeping, but tremendously potent guitar... an entirely appropriate set of lyrics... it's simply an incredible song.

So, a variety of stuff, both in style and quality, and while there are a few things about Queen in general and this album in particular that annoy me, it's still generally very strong, and for the last two songs alone deserves a comfortable three stars. An altogether good album, and, even if you wouldn't consider yourself a big Queen fan (I don't), you could do worse than picking up Innuendo. Rating: Three Stars, 10/15 or so Favourite Track: The Show Must Go On

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I've only heard this album recently after hearing the track Innuendo on a compilation album Greatest Hits II. Since I've totally ignored most of Queen's '80s output except for the hits from the compilations here and there I had no real expectations when listening to this album for the first time.

To tell you the truth I was pleasantly surprised by the production. With the exception of a typical rock tune here and there the rest of the album was a comeback to the "Sheer Heart Attack"-formula. Unfortunately this time around there were a lot more weak tracks in comparison to the highlights which is mainly because Queen haven't really left their '80s sound. The drums and bass sound very dated compared to what was typical of the early '90s production.

All in all, Innuendo might not be the comeback many people give it credit for but it's definitely a nice to see the band try to do something creative after a whole decade of decadence. A perfect example of a good but non-essential album!

***** star songs: Show Must Go On (4:32)

**** star songs: Innuendo (6:31) I'm Going Slightly Mad (4:22) Don't Try So Hard (3:38) All God's People (4:21) These Are the Days Of Our Lives (4:15) Delilah (3:35) Bijou (3:36)

*** star songs: Headlong (4:38) I Can't Live With You (4:33) Ride The Wild Wind (4:42) Hitman (4:56)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars It is a shame that for Queen to return to making any progressive rock at all, Freddie Mercury had to be on his deathbed. Tales of Mercury's heroic efforts to overcome his terminal illness and record one last album are inspiring. And surprisingly, his voice sounds quite good throughout the album.

The album opens and closes with the most progessive songs, as well as the most progressive music Queen had recorded in over a decade. Innuendo opens the album with a hint of the darkness that once made the early Queen albums so enjoyable. Brian May plays spectacularly on this track (as he does on most of the album - check out his guitar- based cat noises on Delilah), and Yes' Steve Howe even makes a cameo.

I'M Going Slightly Mad is more basic, but the synthesizer (*gasp*) backing gives it an eerie feel.

The middle of the album is standard 80's Queen fare, a mixture of romantic pop and harder rock pieces. The impending doom of the singer, however, gives the songs a little more poignancy.

Bijou is primarily a guitar piece, and a very nice one at that, which leads into The Show Must Go On, which again, because of Mercury's condition, had added meaning.

Not a masterpiece, but this was a good farewell album from a once great band.

(Let's hope they don't regroup with a singer with very little range...)

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Innuendo from 1991 is not only last album of this legendary band but in same time one of their most acomplished works from their catalogue, going hand in hand with their best works from the '70s. Even Mercury health was very very poor , he manage to pull some of his best moments on this release, the vocal lines are truly excellent on many passages. May guitar never sounded better since glory days, the bass of Decon are great and very expresive, Taylor drums are very consistent all in all a very strong farewell from mighty Queen. There are some outstanding moments like Innuendo, Ride the Wild Wind , Show Must Go On and my personal fav pieces from the album and among my fav Queen pieces ever the smooth and elegant Bijou, the very expresive I'm Going Slightly Mad and the very sad but beautiful These Are the Days of Our Lives this pieces gives me shivers down the spine every time I've listing to them. A very worthy release that stands the test of time very well, is like the last hurrah of one of the most well known if not the most well known band in rock history. Easy 4 stars and recommended, if there is someone who don't know this release already.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Most bands can only stay in style after so long until the masses reach for the next "big" thing. There's a fine line to tread when being a recording artist, between critical acclaim and how the public will react to the music. Luckily, some artists don't seem to go out of style, and they transcend new trends and ideas. Queen, with the exception of some albums like Hot Space, had this luxury going for them, even going as far as being the 3rd highest-selling rock band in the world (just behind The Beatles and Led Zeppelin). After years of ups and downs, Innuendo is Queen's finale... their last triumph with Freddie Mercury.

One thing you immediately notice about the record when you fire it up is the 70's vibe it has. The band got out of the small rut they had in the 80's and decided to cater to fans of their old material. It was a good move; The band sound more excited than ever on this release despite Freddie Mercury's growing illness. Such excitement is present in the opening title track, a mini-epic seemingly about surviving and persevering through a world of changes. This song boldly defines the band's energy and creativity at work in the album; The track goes through all of Queen's old-school tempo changes, shifting styles, and sly pastiche, as well as a knack for bombast.

Also, when I say "shifting styles," I honestly MEAN it; there's a ridiculous amount of genres utilized on the album, most of them done well. Present are classic rock, heavy metal, opera, symphonic, latin, pop, some folk, and soft rock, among others. Freddie Mercury is suited very well to cater each style with his vocals, and the rest of the band follow suit. Much like the Beatles' last recorded (not last released, that's Let it Be) album, Abbey Road, Queen seem to be making a diverse but cohesive effort designed for the band to go out strong here.

On the heavy side of things, we have "Hitman," "Headlong," and "Ride the Wild Wind." "Hitman" is exceptionally heavy song with an extensive solo by Brian May. Needless to say, this track was certainly made for him, although the solo really wears the listener out due to being a bit self-indulgent. "Headlong" was one of the hit singles off the album, and has a very nice aggressive beginning riff. As with "Hitman," this track heavily features Brian May, although Freddie Mercury gets more input. Overall, the song is very polished, yet very strong. Then we have "Ride the Wild Wind," a very... different track. The band add a dose of speed metal here, yet the track doesn't really feel like "Stone Cold Crazy" off Sheer Heart Attack. This is bit more punk-influenced, along with having some interesting synth work in the background, which effectively supports and balances the guitar playing.

The softer end of things, on the other hand, is a bit of a mixed bag. One thing can be said here: The best ballad of the album is EASILY "Don't Try so Hard." It absolutely slays almost any ballad since 70's era Queen. For one thing, Freddie's voice is phenomenal in the track, specifically in the chorus, and especially for having his sickness by this time. The band does a great job of supporting the overall free atmosphere of the track, which is a beautiful one concerning working hard in life, but having time to admire the beauty and carefree moments all the same. Sadly, the other ballads don't exactly live up to it. "Delilah," an ode to Mercury's cat (What?!), is an overall bland an uninspired track that hardly brings up Queen's signature energy. "These are the Days of our Lives" is a good ballad, but is hampered by the same problem... a lack of energy. It sounds like a tired rehash of some of Queen's 80's ballads (with the exception of "Who Wants to Live Forever," of course), and just doesn't work very well overall.

There's one more song to note: "The Show Must Go On." This song is absolutely glorious; The pitch-perfect chorus, the lyrics about going on and doing your best until the very end, the great (sometimes in a subtle way) instrumental work... everything just works. The song embodies how well Queen could rock, could write, and could play.

Despite so many good aspects of the album, there are flaws nonetheless. One was mentioned earlier: a couple of the ballads. These songs, among some others, also bring about another flaw: some inconsistency in the album. Some of the album feels like a mix-mash of concepts, and an imbalanced one at that; I suppose that it might simply be the track placement that's the problem. Putting a track like "Delilah" in the very middle of the album seems like an odd decision, considering the band would probably want the listener to keep his/her attention on the album to the very end. Either way, consistency is the main flaw plaguing the album.

Even with the flaws though, Innuendo remains to be Queen's best "later" album, and remains a personal favorite of mine. Freddie Mercury wasn't ready to succumb to fate just yet; he had to make, with the band, one final mark on the world. If that was Queen's final mission, then it was a job well done.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Usually asked if I have already watched "Bohemian Rhapsody The Movie". Actually I've not yet. Yes let me say I would not eternally. To be honest, I'm afraid I could not accept such an abrupt change of my QUEEN's image itself. This album 'Innuendo" that I've listened to for over 20 years should just be my image of QUEEN, especially Freddie MERCURY. In those days Freddie suffered from serious dyspnea owing to Pneunocystis jirovecii pneumonia (they say he would have difficulty in breathing not only to sing but also to move his own body slightly). However, he should get God's voices in the studios to record material for this "last" album ... I guess. Sorry for other three geniuses, but this album "Innuendo" can be called as Freddie's artistic portfolio.

The first titled track sounds exactly like a combination of brightness and darkness. In collaboration with lots of session musicians or artists, Freddie's crystallized voices go forward dynamically and enthusiastically. Brian, John, and Roger play more and more brilliantly due to the crystal. Dramatic theatrical development is just like the eccentric sleeve pic. On the contrary, his smooth voices in "Headlong" are crazy speed-stars really. Multiple appearances (but all are gorgeous and superior) are exactly his characteristic and musical innovation, which incredible power could navigate other three fellows. "I Can't Live With You" has superb chorus delight like in previous works in their golden days.

"These Are The Days Of Our Lives" is quite pop, catchy, and melodically simple but you can get absorbed in their heartwarming voices and lyrics ... one thing is still true, this is he loves the audience. In "The Hitman" Brian's thrilling powerful guitar play climbs up the large mountain as if Brian had appreciated Freddie's whole life and history. And the very last ... sadly the last ... "The Show Must Go On" sounds like QUEEN's strong intention for going on. Freddie's blood-boiling voices and all instruments are excessively explosive and progressive. Like the last reverberation, they will never die. QUEEN's got to be the legend. You cannot help feeling lonesome though.

In conclusion, this album should be QUEEN themselves. Their story can be mentioned even only via this creation ... I would like to say.

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.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 1. Innuendo the intro, the clip, the rise, Roger's hit, Freddie's scream; time slowing down with this break.... divine, the guitar yes that of...the 'Pâte à modeling' break yes this clip seen in the morning at 7 a.m. before seeing you leave, that's right of emotion in bar, the prog standard bar, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2312243) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, February 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 8/10 The show must go on. I wonder how a guy dying like Freddie could still sing with such intensity as here, Innuendo. Gotta be honest: I believe this is the best performance in his entire career. Consicência Perhaps because of its inevitable and tragic end led him to give his best, and t ... (read more)

Report this review (#747748) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, May 2, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Queen's last album during Freddie's life is often considered one of their best, and while it is highly enjoyable, they definitely have better than this. For prog rock lovers, the opening track "Innuendo" is very proggy, and my favorite of the album. Great melody, guitars and vocals, and the ... (read more)

Report this review (#457993) | Posted by Buh | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Innuendo ? 1991 (2/5) a solid 2 for once! 8 ? Best Song: Innuendo As with all returns to the salts of the earth, indebted to the more open minded nature of the 1990's, we arrive back where we began. I'm typing here, and it's inessential. My thoughts and feelings on popular music are fairly ... (read more)

Report this review (#445886) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Innuendo is possibly one of my favourite albums from Queen, besides being Freddy Mercury's last vocal legacy in life. This record has a serious collection of potential hit songs from the British act, in fact, I think there's a lot of musical progression that is oriented to different styles but ... (read more)

Report this review (#232508) | Posted by Epsilon | Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Innuendo, Innuendo, how much I like you ... 'Innuendo' is essential song. And this lyrics ... 'surrender your ego be free to yourself...' And nice spanish-sound guitar. But this is not Brian, it's Steve. It's a pity. I think that Brian will make it. But don't worry, let's go to some more impor ... (read more)

Report this review (#228511) | Posted by Colourful | Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Queen's swan song is certainly a great album, I'd like to give it 4.5 but I can't and I'm not going to call it a MASTERPIECE of progressive music, but it certainly is a must own for fans of the band and fans of classic rock in general. The opener Innuendo is brilliant and brings back the epic ... (read more)

Report this review (#165546) | Posted by SilverEclipse | Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars can a describe this reallY good. 1. Innuendo--fantastic song .really prog and the add of steve howe on acoustic guitar and great playing of brian may make even better 2. I'm Going Slightly Mad--really good,funny and odd song 3. Headlong--good rock song with good guitar parts ... (read more)

Report this review (#120649) | Posted by martinprog77 | Thursday, May 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow, what can I say... is QUEEN, they were gods in their time, even until our nowdays. Innuendo is possibly my Queen's favourite album, that was the last vocal legacy from Freddy Mercury (in my opinion), in this there are many awesome songs. For me "Innuendo", is a absolute masterpiece of prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#93229) | Posted by | Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the best Queen albums. No doubt. First song - Innuendo - is a real progressive masterpiece. Plenty of acoustic guitars, great climat. 5/5 The second one - I'm going slightly mad - is different, not very proggy, but very stylish. I really enjoy it. 4/5 Headlong - fast, great, har ... (read more)

Report this review (#74922) | Posted by Roman W. | Friday, April 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is not a prog album, but I can tell you now that it will get a 5-star rating from me until the day I die!!!!!! I wrote something of a short novel on the band's previous release "The Miracle" in 1989. Several of the songs here started as demos during the sessions for "The Miracle" but many ... (read more)

Report this review (#70578) | Posted by silversaw | Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Queen was the band who inluenced me much at early 90's. I remember when I was 11 years when Freddie died. I was very sad... This album is one of the bests Queen-albums. It's not full prog-album, because there are many "straight" songs. I Specially like "Innuendo" and "Bijou". Innuendo is so ... (read more)

Report this review (#66606) | Posted by Toomio | Wednesday, January 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Not as great as I thought!Innuendo is a good song, The show must go on too, but the rest is...absolutely overrated. I can't live with you is a very bad song, the same for Bijou (except for the guitar solo)...lots of the songs seem to be written just to complete the space of the album.....I don't lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#65641) | Posted by Kord | Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am so sad because this album is the final page of the legendary Queen! But this album is great.Queen did an impressive finale! It contains very good songs and the epic Innuendo!!The gyitar in Bijou is marvellous,very emotional solo and at the end we have The Show Must Go On.What a feeling! ... (read more)

Report this review (#65634) | Posted by | Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars O.K. , Innuendo is the last Queen record as an entire band (the last with Freddie alive). Well, the first song, innuendo, is BASICALLY a real queen-ish song with a dark style, it's a return to the early Rock n' roll Queen roots. It can be compared with Bohemian Rhapsody, in some way, because i ... (read more)

Report this review (#59717) | Posted by | Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Buy now this was the last Queen album to be recorded with Freddie Mercury, Innuendo has it's Progressive moments - and for a big band like QUEEN to do this in the 1990s is a suprise to me. My favourite tracks include the hilarious "I'm Going Slightly Mad" quite novelty in a way but not real ... (read more)

Report this review (#47633) | Posted by PROGMAN | Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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