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  1. #276
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    I was surprised to see that Freddie had recorded vocals for Too Much Love Will Kill You as early as 1985. For some reason, I had just assumed it was recorded during The Miracle/Innuendo sessions. And it was only recently I became aware of the true history regarding Let Me Live, as well. I'll have to investigate this album a bit further, I think. Si is quite right though when he says that this shouldn't affect what we think of the music...I think it's amazing how they managed to put together such a great album from what fragments they had.

  2. #277
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    I was surprised to see that Freddie had recorded vocals for Too Much Love Will Kill You as early as 1985.
    He didn't!
    For some reason, I had just assumed it was recorded during The Miracle/Innuendo sessions.
    It was! It was an off-cut from that album.

    Si.

  3. #278
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    Wikipedia isn't the most reliable guide... Still, the point is that there was very little new material he recorded for Made In Heaven. This whole business of him retreating to a quiet studio somewhere and signing until he died was a bit overstated. Unless there's 100 unused vocal tracks in the archives...
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #279
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    Mother Love

    The two genuine "new" Post-Innuendo tracks on this album represent two heartbreaking "lasts". "A Winters Tale" is the last song Freddie Mercury wrote, this is the last one he sung. And in fact, it's only half a song (well, missing the last verse) because he didn't even manage to finish it; this may explain the atypical (for this period) Mercury/May co-writing credit. May maintains they wrote it between them, but I wonder if Freddie was just writing and singing and came up with half a song, May writing and singing the final section himself, later.

    The song itself is marvellous, and very original in sound. Doom-laden, the almost funeral march of the drums shuffle steadily along while huge, epic guitar chords echo down like thunderous strokes of an axe. You could write a thesis about the lyrics, coming as they do from a man mere months from death:

    I don't want to make no waves
    But you can give me all the love that I crave
    I can't take if you see me cry
    I long for peace before I die
    All I want to know that you're there
    You're gonna give me all your sweet -
    Mother love


    Interestingly, this is written about a "woman", though it's possible the "Mother" refers to Mother Earth. Is it about dying and going back "into the ground"? At the end of the song, we hear clips from Queen's live show at Wembley in 1986 (specifically Freddie's 'call and response' to the crowd) and then a speeded up run of clips from (apparently) every single Queen song, seemingly running backwards (we end with an extended blast of "Goin Back", Freddie's first solo single, which predates even Queen) until it ends in a baby's cry. Has Freddie metaphorically travelled backwards in time, back to the womb, and back into the ground? Now recall the critics who dismissed this album as a lazy collection of off-cuts and see how pathetic they seem.

    Back to that guitar solo. Freddie's (almost) last words on tape are "I long for peace before I die". It's amazing not only how frank he is being, but how strong his voice is, soaring above the music. He sounds better than ever! And here's the thing - the bugger dies mid-song. He dies mid-song. His last words are a whispered "Mother Love", then he leaves during the guitar solo. When it's over, Brian May has picked up the last verse. Interestingly, it scarcely seems to matter what May is singing about now. Freddie has left the building.

    My Life Has Been Saved

    It's interesting that song-wise we go from quite clearly dying/returning to the ground to "being saved"; maybe it's about re-incarnation, being born again? This was obviously not the original meaning of the song - the vocal is ripped from a "Miracle" b-side. The song, despite being maybe the weakest on the album, is perfectly servicable, making you wonder why they were so blase about tossing off material back in 1989; a song like this was wasted as a b-side, but a few years later they would be rummaging around for early eighties demos to use as source material.

    In one sense, this song is a "cheat" in that it wasn't among Freddie's final recordings. Then again, does it matter? It was still recorded in his final years, his voice is from around the same era (it's telling no demos pre-1980 are utilised here, Freddie's vocal style changing dramatically from about the time of "Hot Space") and most people would probably have been none the wiser. In a way, this is STILL about teasing out Freddie's "final pieces" whether they were recorded a few months from his death or two years before.

    I Was Born To Love You

    The second Freddie Solo single dusted off and freed of its horrid eighties sound to be given a fresh, Queen make-over. Again, interesting that a less obvious song has been neglected in favour of one that would have been well known (making it obvious this wasn't a "last days" recording) but which suits the theme of the album; the third song title so far to directly mention being born, life or living.

    Personally I love this deep, meaty Queen arrangement of the song and it's one of my favourite Queen tracks I think, being especially good on the running machine. It has such a strong tempo that it actually sets a perfect fast jogging speed; then, marvellously, the tempo increases and it gets EVEN FASTER. The Queen version adds a much welcome racuious Red Special Guitar Solo, and then at the end someone on the editing desk goes a bit mad editing together ad-libs from previous songs to manufacture effectively a new spoken word section. You'll spot recognisable bits of spoken lyrics from "A Kind of Magic" and "Living On My Own" among others, and when stitched together the "ghost Freddie" (for the real man never spoke these words, in this order) yells out "It's magic! Woo! What? Haha! I Get so lonely, lonely, lonely, yeah!". It works perfectly with the song.

    Heaven For Everyone

    This is the one that made me into a proper Queen fan. They were in my DNA of course, having been brought up on a staple diet of Queen Hits, and I loved all the old tunes off by heart. But when I went to University in 1995, my sheltered teenage years in a small seaside town had provided me with no musical taste beyond a sack of crap club tunes and a Morrissey CD brought from Clacton Shopping Village. Then, somehow, this record appeared.

    What I loved about it was that it felt like Queen were back, almost as if Freddie's death in 1991 had been misreported and this was a brand new recording (at this point I thought this was a genuine unheard 1991 song); it sounded like Queen - what I call the "Queen Voice", that harmonising mix of Brian, Freddie and Roger, was intact and God I'd missed it. I've never quite lost my dislike of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" for keeping this off Number One.

    Of course, this isn't a new song. In 1987, Roger Taylor was arsing around with another band, called The Cross, and "Heaven For Everyone" was a single; one day Freddie popped into the studio and decided to try out his own vocal for the track. I have the original Freddie/Cross version and it isn't that good; wishy washy and a bit lifeless. With added Queen, this is as good as any Queen song. I love the gentle chugging rhythm, like waves crashing on a shore, and the magnificent guitar solo, and the bit where it goes mental in the middle.

    what people do to other souls
    They take their lives - destroy their goals
    Their basic pride and dignity
    Is stripped and torn and shown no pity
    When this should be heaven for everyone


    Also, of course, the title once more references Heaven, keeping up the theme of life and death, although in the context of the song it's more metaphorical; if we are all nice to each other, life could be like "Heaven" here on Earth.

    Also kudos to Queen for not only no shying away from the "black irony" of some of Freddie's innocently-recorded words, but for embracing them. Here we have the breathtaking sound of a man not four years dead screaming out "This could be Heaven for me!" from beyond the grave... and they make it the lead single.

    Too Much Love Will Kill You

    This is a beautiful song, and one with a rather chequered history. Written for The Miracle, albeit with an odd co-credit for two other people, it was somehow not deemed good enough for that album (wtf?), it re-surfaced later in a Brian May solo incarnation, and finally was resurrected for "Made In Heaven". This was possibly the song that really hooked me into the album. There are some deluded fools out there that prefer the Brian May version, but Freddie's soaring, powerful vocals really show up how much of a better singer he was. There is, I concede, a case for saying that May sings his own words with more feeling, but the power in Freddie's vocal is undeniable.

    Again, Queen don't care about allowing the irony of their friend, killed by his own sexual promiscuity, singing "Too much love will kill you every time".

    I do like the way that the metronome/gentle drum beat doesn't come in until almost two minutes into the song, lending it a sudden welcome pace. In 1995, it felt like it was being sung by a ghost; an iconic, strong figure sharing a warning from beyond the grave. "You're the victim of your crime". It's almost too much.

    You Don't Fool Me

    Now THIS is an interesting one. The Queen scholar will find no trace of this song before 1995; it didn't exist. It is, to all intents and purposes, new. And yet this is not a song that Freddie, or anyone else, wrote or sung. It was quite simply magicked up out of thin air. Taking Brian May's wish to bring out "the last pieces of Freddie" quite literally, Producer David Richards took some noodling fragments recorded just before Freddie died, and came up with this. How he did it is beyond me; it certainly sounds like a fully formed song. I guess a few minutes worth of 'scatting' were performed one day and technical wizardry did the rest.

    Many say this a throwback to "Hot Space" but that's lazy; it's nothing like white eighties disco is it? It's a modern dance track, layered with harmonies, and I'm especially fond of the video, in which a youth sees his girlfriend in a nightclub with another guy. The song perfectly evokes that melancholy feeling of young teenage heartbreak, and I like the way that Queen were hitting the clubs once again. I recommend the "Late Mix" off the single if you can track it down, it rather brilliantly incorporates Freddie's audience "Shout Outs" from Wembley in 1986 into the music.

    A Winters Tale

    So we reach that rare thing, a genuine unheard 1991 song, written and sung by Freddie. There's no trickery or fakery here! This is an actual lost sung. As he sat by the lake in Montreux, Freddie wrote the lyrics (which are almost little more than a simple poem) and it eventually became a sort of "Christmas single", released in December 1995 with "Thank God It's Christmas" on the b-side. One cannot hear this without imagining Freddie by the lake, as per the album cover, watching the swans and scribbling on his note pad. As a song, it's impossible not be moved by the simplicity of it, even if (whisper it) it isn't the best song in the world. I've always been bothered by the ending, which doesn't seem quite final enough. Freddie says "It's bliss!" and then it just sort of stops.

    It's A Beautiful Day (reprise)

    The other "half" of this posthumously assembled track, this is far more rocky and serves as an outro. It then crash-lands into:

    Track 12

    Which is Freddie saying "Yeah" from "Don't Try Suicide" in 1979. Quite why this is on here is anyone's guess. It's quite the most bizarre thing. Actually one of the things I always thought mysterious was that none of the members of Queen talked about this album for a long, long time. They said what it was, and how it came about, but no-one EVER spoke about the choice of songs, how they made it, why they made the choices they did. It was almost like they'd been a pact of silence. This, to me, leant the whole project a kind of secret aura. Who knows what guided Freddie's last "Yeah"? Let alone...

    Track 13

    The hidden track. What on Earth is this? Half an hour of a dense, barely audible soundscape, an aural fog from which extends the odd distant cry or reverberation.

    It's appropriate at this point to reflect on the point of this album, or more specifically, if there is a theme or concept running through it. As I mentioned before, the songs clearly arn't picked in a quest to find unheard Freddie material to pad it out; there were far rarer recordings they could have dug up but instead they opted for songs that had been huge hits; thereby scuppering any attempt to "fool" the buyer into believing these were "last days" recordings. So why did they pick the songs they did, and in the order they did? It seems to be than the album is intended to conceptualise some kind of complete cycle; dawn to dusk, or even birth to death (and beyond?). Or possibly both; an entire life, from being born to dying, reflected in the period of daybreak to darkness. Let's prove this by equating each song to its point in the "cycle":

    It's A Beautiful Day - we hear birds singing; the sense is very much of daybreak or early morning. Freddie begins, as many might on opening the curtains in the morning, by remarking that "It's a Beautiful Day!"

    Made In Heaven - A very bouncy, optimistic song, the title references death (Heaven) but maybe it's put here because it's about the upbeat nature of life - "I'm taking my ride with destiny...willing to play by part". The early, optimistic period of life.

    Let Me Live- Again, the title references life, living. The title might in retrospect be about someone pleading for life, but the tone is upbeat and spiritual; suggesting the joy of living, hence it's early position in the running order

    Mother Love- As discussed, this is the chronicling of someone at the end of his life, and actually dying, and possibly being reborn in the middle of the song. The title could reference the love between child and Mother, the earliest form of love that a person knows, or "returning to the ground". It ends with what sounds like the first cry of a child after being born

    My Life Has Been Saved - from dying, this person has been somehow saved. It's like, mid-album, we have returned to life to live again. Note, the title again references life and living.

    I Was Born To Love You - Born = being born, living

    Heaven For Everyone - Heaven = the afterlife

    Too Much Love Will Kill You - Love killing someone, dying. Since "Mother Love", there is no sense of "the journey" or "the day/night", but all the songs have been about the meaning of life itself; being born to love someone, love killing you etc.

    You Don't Fool Me - The dance sound, and the video, suggest an evening/night time

    A Winters Tale - The video and single cover show sunset, another evening; furthermore the vocal represents the 'night' of Freddie's life. At the same time, the subject is "Winter" which, for us, falls at the end of a year

    So is the hidden track what comes beyond nightfall? Is it death, or the afterlife? Or perhaps with Death and ressurection occurring around track 4, this is the end of the second life, the life that was saved? It's a long, lost twilight beyond the night. And at the end of it all, Freddie signals his approval of the whole, the life, the album. "Fab!"

    When we were listening to this album at University, my friend Mark and I were drawn to studied silence, listening intently ub nt riin. Then, all of a sudden, we both saw something out the corner of our eye, AT THE SAME TIME. We both looked into the corner of an empty room, but we both swear something was there. It was a most peculiar shared moment, and I've never forgotten it.

    Si.

  5. #280

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    Not got around to reviewing this album but... switch over to BBC Four in less than an hour or reading this message.
    "The Great Pretender" directors cut of a Freddie doc and then Queen At Budapest straight after.

  6. #281
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    Oh my god I still haven't gotten round to this.

    I keep listening to the album thinking I'll do the review soon. It's a good album, I've decided. Though it's taken me a long time to get there.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #282
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    It's a grower, Steve!

    Speaking of which, I'll have to do my own review ASAP as well!

  8. #283
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    Made In Heaven

    First off, I'd like to say how fabulous Si's review was. I love the idea of this as a concept album covering a day (or a life?). It's not quite such a special album to me, but it's grown on me tremendously as I've re-listened to it.

    It's A Beautiful Day

    By using a very early Queen track, it creates the image of Freddie, still full of energy. When I listen to it, I think of him in the cool surroundings of the lakeside studio at Montreux. He's got up before everyone else and he's sat at the piano, with his breakfast perched on top of it. Crunchy oats as per the doctor's orders; not what he'd prefer, he'd normally go for bacon and eggs but this morning it seems right to have the healthy choice.

    Light comes in through the window, catching the dust slightly. He looks out and sees that the sun has arrived, warming the surface of the lake and revealing in soft and tender hues the beauty of the world.

    He smiles and strikes the piano. This needs something simple. There's no need for artistry or metaphor. Only the truth.

    'It's a beautiful day...'

    A complete fallacy of course, but it sets out the stall. This is going to be very different from the darkness of Innuendo.
    8/10

    Made in Heaven
    This one starts off as a very heavy, pompous introduction, almost a throwback to Queen's early albums. It's completely at odds with the rest of the song once Freddie starts singing.

    It's an overlong and overblown number, as Queen like to do. It's strange that like so many songs on this album it's been geared towards the stadium market. There's loads of energy and a great sing-along chorus. As the title track to the album though, I've never found it that special.
    6/10

    Let Me Live
    So this is the first one that seems to be about Freddie's condition. The bizarre thing is not how well it fits into the theme of the album, but that Queen spent the previous decade recording songs that could be about someone dying of AIDS and then judging that those songs should be discarded - so that by the time this album comes, they've got a wealth of material waiting.

    Thrillingly, Wikipedia hints that there's a Queen & Rod Stewart version of this song in existence somewhere.

    This is a big gospel number. I can't think of another Queen song where they get a whole choir in to fill in the backing vocals. Usually they multi-track Freddie, Brian and Roger. It's a great upbeat number with equally billing for the three singers in the band, each taking one verse each.
    7/10

    Mother Love
    Now this one is more interesting. It breaks into the upbeat tone of the album and goes so far the other way. It's one of Queen's most bleak and desolate songs. The lyrics are incredibly downbeat. It's a hypnotic and honest progression from Innuendo.

    I'm not sure if it needed Brian to fill in the last verse. It's a very poignant touch, but it's such a short verse that it seems to upset the balance of the song.

    Then there's that ending, which probably has the most obvious bits of recycling on the album, with excerpts from One Vision and the live call-and-response sections. The way it reverses through Freddie's life before ending up with a baby crying is chilling and feels very unnatural.

    I kind of see why this wasn't the last song on the album. It's simply too dark a place to leave things. Yet I don't think it was right to sneak it in as Track 4 either. I'd have put it as the last but one song.
    9/10

    My Life Has Been Saved
    Anyway, straight back into the joy of life. This song is a fairly dull plodder, yet it keeps sneaking up on me as being one of my best-remembered songs on the album.

    Although this song was written by Deacon, his bass playing is notably uninspired. In my opinion, Freddie isn't the only member of Queen substantially missing from this album. Made In Heaven seems to me to be a Brian / Roger effort in terms of production and execution. Everything is so polished and awash with synths. There's very little grit. Whether you could attribute this to John Deacon's seeming lack of involvement or not I don't know.

    This isn't a special song, but it's decent enough. Which isn't really enough.
    6/10

    I Was Born to Love You
    This one is kind of great. Loads of energy and with a churning rhythm that drives it forward in a similar way to Headlong or Don't Stop Me Now. It also has some of Brian's best guitar work on the album. They really let rip on this one.

    The only odd choice was including the lines from A Kind of Magic and Living On My OWn. They fit perfectly into the song, but they're too recognisable from other things in my opinion. It's one of the touches that emphasises Freddie's absence, which is especially odd given as this is such an upbeat song.
    8/10

    Heaven for Everyone
    I'll admit it. This one is actually superb. When it came out as a single I thought it was good but a bit twee. I'd stand by that judgment today; except that I'd add that it is wonderfully warm and atmospheric. Once again, Queen get away with a song saying 'Wouldn't the world be great if we were all nice to each other?'

    Yet again AIDS cast it's shadow over the song. 'In these days of cold affection' sets the tone of being in a bad way, but contemplating the future and how things could be better for the world. When Freddie's talking about 'basic pride and dignity' that is 'stripped and torn and shown no pity' he could be railing against the disesase that is killing him. Or not!
    9/10

    Too Much Love Will Kill You
    I really like this song too. How can it not be about suffering from a terminal disease? Yet it was written prior to The Miracle by Brian, in collaboration with other people. Perhaps it was written about Freddie. I don't know.

    Freddie sings it with perfect passion. The ending is great too, with a slight fade on the vocal before finishing on a suspended note. Not quite dead yet...
    8/10

    You Don't Fool Me
    Except this song does fool you. It sounds like any other song, a live recording in the studio from start to finish. Yet apparently they cooked this one together out of nothing. It's rather wonderful as well, Queen in sly and aggressive mode rather than joyful and upbeat.

    Taken on it's own terms, it's a decent little workout for the band with a memorable chorus and a good pace to it. I'd have put Mother Love after this song.
    8/10


    A Winter's Tale
    Now Freddie really is sitting at the piano in the studio at Montreux. The sun goes down... and there's a last moment of absolute joy, a release from all the pain into something beautiful.

    Queen are there to bolster him up, but his voice still has all it's power and majesty. There might be a slight slur in some places, but it's hard to pin down.

    It's almost perfect. Sadly, I found one of the lines to be a load of stupid rot: 'And the dreams of the child are the hope of the hope of the maaaaannn!!!' It sails too far over the top for me. Fortunately we go straight back to Freddie, for a lovely, poignant end to the song.
    9/10

    It's a Beautiful Day (Reprise)
    Pretty similar to the first time out, but with added rock. Always nice to hear The Seven Seas of Rhye popping up again.
    8/10

    Yeah
    Yeah?
    0/10

    Overall this is far, far better than it had any right to be. It's bereft of all-time-classics, but it's a great listen and quite moving at times. It even avoids being too maudlin or miserable; after all, this is Queen and they are all about the entertainment. And this album entertains.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  9. #284
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    And now, to kill this thread totally once and for all, I shall listen to Queen + Paul Rodgers.



    the cosmos rocks

    Cosmos Rockin'
    Time to Shine
    Still Burnin'
    Small
    Warboys
    We Believe
    Call Me
    Voodoo
    Some Things That Glitter
    C-lebrity
    Through the Night
    Say It's Not True
    Surf's Up... School's Out!
    Small Reprise
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Cosmos Rockin'
    Whale song opening... the classic May guitar sound, a bit of One Vision... wow, this is exciting! Here we go!

    Then the hand claps kick in. And Paul starts singing. His voice is good, a decent rock frontman. However when we get to the chorus the wheels come flying off and the whole thing screeches into the ditch.

    Because it becomes apparent that this isn't Queen + Paul Rodgers, this is Status Quo + Def Leppard. In some ways they're taking the Queen sound back to the 70's, as though everything after Jazz never happened.

    Then this song dribbles on for an extra minute after it should have stopped and exploded in a big ball of flame.
    4/10

    Time to Shine
    A bit of chanting, some upbeat piano. This is the first Rodgers song and it's... already better than Roger Taylor's opening salvo. It's got a great racing feel to it and Paul gets the chance to show off his vocal talents in the chorus with some rock wailing.

    A bit folk-rock-y, a bit Clannad-ish perhaps? Should have had some bagpipes.
    7/10

    Still Burnin'
    And now it's Brian's turn to write something. This song is all over the place. A dog's dinner of mixed up riffs, unclear lyrics and very little for an audience to hold on to. Even the guitar solo doesn't really have any ideas beyond filling it's time with some fancy fretwork. Then we get a bit of 'We Will Rock You' stomp.

    This song has nothing - just nothing.
    3/10

    Small
    A nice acoustic number that keeps threatening to explode into BIG, BIG ROCK but fortunately never does. Instead we get a bit of sing-along harmony towards the end, but it's not the classic Queen harmonies of old. It sounds like they got in a bunch of football fans to sing along instead. What happened to Brian and Roger's voices complementing each other?

    Still, Roger's going to have to do a lot more than this to redeem himself after that opening number.
    6/10

    Warboys
    Sadly not a song about Mrs Warboys from One Foot In The Grave. Another one that doesn't sound like much of anything. It's a fair paced rocker with a slightly harder edge than anything on the album so far. 'Here come the Warboys!' they shout as explosions go off in the background.

    So not the Meldrew's inviting their friends' family around to lunch then.
    4/10

    We Believe
    And here's the inevitable 'Look guys let's stop being silly and sort the world out with peace and harmony you fools' Rich Rock Superstar number.

    Good grief, it's six minutes long and I'm fed up after 1:39.

    Oh here we go, the big chorus moment. Except it's not very big, the 'We Believe' lines are scarcely mumbled before Paul unleashes a torrent of lyrics on us.

    Part of this album's problem is that there's so very many lyrics. The band have got a heck of a lot to say. Sometimes a simple 'Ooo yeah baaaaby' covers all your lyrical needs.

    The days of Brian's great guitar solos are gone too, these interchangable and uninspired pieces of fretwankery are merely there to fill the time rather than to be the emotional and pyrotechnical high points of the songs.
    3/10

    Call Me
    Yay! Queen cover Blondie?

    No, no, no, no. Nothing that marvelous. In fact, I think we have a contender for Worst Song On The Album and therefore Worst Song Associated With Queen Of All Time.

    Sounds like a plonking and irritating Rod Stewart number. Or worse, this could have been written by Toploader.
    1/10

    Voodoo
    A laid back, noodley little number. One of those ones where they've worked incredibly hard to make it sound spontaneous. It goes in a bit of unexpected, more upbeat direction for the chorus though.

    A blues song then, but lacking the charm of similar stuff that Queen produced in the eighties.
    5/10

    Some Things That Glitter
    All things that glitter can't be gold, Paul tells us. Thanks Paul.

    Plodding.

    But wait! Some things that glitter MAY BE gold! Yes!

    More plodding.
    4/10

    C-lebrity
    Letting through a song title with a stupid pun like 'C-lebrity' was an early identifier of the commitment to quality on this album and probably put off a few hundred thousand potential listeners.

    The song itself is quite stompy, with a decent dirty riff from Brian - and a rare appearance of some decent harmonies on the chorus! Holy Red Special, Rodg-Man! There's some ex-members of Queen on this album somewhere!
    6/10

    Through the Night
    A return to Blues-style, which seems to be a strength for the band on this album. Or maybe it's a hangover from Innuendo that I'm remembering.

    "I wander through the night / the stars are shining bright / searching for a guiding light / I wander through the night."

    Are you even trying? Ah well, only another three songs to go. And one of them is two minutes long!
    5/10

    Say It's Not True
    Hello, is Roger singing the intro? It's a blessed relief and feels like a return of an old friend.

    Oh my word! Now Brian's singing a verse! And it's a heart-felt song about AIDS. This almost crosses the line into 'Good'!

    Paul Rodgers comes in along with shedloads of guitar and drums for the BIG BUILD UP AND FINALE.

    Of course, the real disaster here is that this song was a single - and that the cover proudly proclaimed: Queen And Paul Rodgers - Say It's Not True.
    7/10

    Surf's Up... School's Out!
    Oh seriously? What. The. Living. F**k.

    There's a huge, frightening and toe-curling YEAAAAAAHHHH before the harmonica kicks in. Then we find out Mr Rodgers has a 'Criminal urge to twist and shout'.

    I can't even pretend that this one is good, or that it's even approaching to being listenable. Any Queen fan who made it this far would definitely turn off the album now, even though there's only one short track left.

    Come on! Follow that DeReeeeaaammmMUH!!!! YEAAAAHHHHHHHAAAHAHHH!!!!

    But oh the dream is dead. And buried. Five miles down. Under a Rotten Pyramid. On an asteroid. In another dimension. Of hell.
    2/10

    Small Reprise
    Um?
    3/10

    Wow! Thirteen utterly unmemorable songs. People blame Paul Rodgers for the quality of this album, but he's just along for the ride. Some of his songs are OK. No, the finger points elsewhere... the criminals are in the room and have been ALL ALONG! Brian May and Roger Taylor - J'accuse!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  11. #286
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    My review:

    I quite like "Small".

    Si.

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    More than it deserves, Si.

    It was only an album to promote a tour anyway.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    My curiosity got the better of me and I had to listen to "Call Me" on You Tube.
    And... that's that. I think I lasted one minute twenty.
    In 2010, through no fault of my own, I met two people I used to know who had become alcoholics.
    One of them insisted this album was great and Paul was a better singer than Freddie.
    I was tempted to call him out on it, but thought I didn't have any evidence. Until now!

    Imagine the archive live sets they are going to have to bring out to undo this!

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    Made In Heaven

    After the disappointment that was Innuendo, I was rather dreading this album but excited at the same time. For the most part, there was no need to worry because despite the lack of Freddie in person, against all the odds they were able to create what would become one of my favourite Queen albums ever. It has only been in recent years become apparent just how much of this album was actually recorded many years earlier, but that knowledge doesn't diminish any of my enjoyment of what we have here.


    It's A Beautiful Day
    There's not much to this, it serves more of an intro to the album rather than a proper song. Like Steve says, with the birdsong included it creates a false illusion of Freddie at his piano by the lakeside early in the morning, a nice picture. A false one maybe, but it works. Flimsy stuff, and although not a proper song, very listenable. 7/10.

    Made In Heaven
    Now this one, I love. It's amazing the difference it can make to a song by stripping it down to the bare vocals and totally re-recording the backing track. What was a catchy enough little number on Freddie's solo Mr Bad Guy album was also a song which had very little substance...it was a pretty weak solo single in 1985 but the rest of the band managed to beef it up into one of the highlights of this album. (Mr Bad Guy suffered from the same problem throughout...every song on it was really catchy and well sung, but very flat and lacked any sort of substance...the tracks used on this album show just how good the Mr Bad Guy songs could have been guiven the right treatment) 8/10

    Let Me Live Another cracker. For many years I assumed that this was one of those last songs which Freddie just didn't manage to complete, so you can imagine my surprise to discover that it was actually a demo recorded with Rod Stewart during the Works sessions in 1984. It doesn't change the fact that this is simply one of the best Queen songs ever released, so reminiscent of Somebody To Love with it's gospel sound. 9/10.

    Mother Love Sadly, especially because this turns out to actually be the last unfinished song by Freddie, this is a song I've never been particularly keen on. Slow, ponderous and depressing...however I've tried listening to it in a differnt light recently given that it was Freddies last recording...sadly, it still doesn't work for me. Not unlistenable but not particularly enjoyable, the low point of the album for me. 5/10.

    More to come later!

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    Yay Kenny! Surprised you don't like Mother Love though. Dark and Brooding doesn't seem to be your brand of Queen.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    You could be right there Steve, although I had never actually thought of it till now. It's not that Mother Love is a song I dislike, ie I don't think I've ever skipped it when I've listened to the album, unlike numerous other songs I can mention. It just doesn't appeal to me in the same way most of the other songs do...and I have been giving it another chance in recent weeks after reading what you guys thought, and after all there have been other Queen songs on earlier albums I wasn't initially keen on which, years later, suddenly became firm favourites. Unfortunately, my views on it didn't change...I could maybe appreciate it a little more now, understanding its background...but I still didn't enjoy it any more than before.

    I suppose I do prefer my Queen generally loud, brash and cheerful...

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    The shame of being late to this thread - but holiday means no excuses (although in my defence I started Innuendo about a month ago)

    Innuendo

    Innuendo ***** Dear God, what a start. And what a huge move to make this the first single. OK Ė minor key, love; churning guitars, Freddie booming out the vocal Ė all things to love. And then, the quiet middle and Spanish guitar Ė Huzzah. I remember when I first say the video and felt so proud to be a Queen fan. ďYou can be anything you want to beĒ. I love it. I have no idea what itís about, but donít care. ďWeíll keep on trying Öto the End of TimeĒ

    Iím Going Slightly Mad **** Again, minor key is good, but itís not a depressing song. Itís a cross between a Noel Coward homage and a Queen style gospel. And while the story behind the song is sad, itís Freddie celebrating the style heís always brought to Queen. ď And there you have it ď
    Headlong *** Breakthru part 2 Ė similar driving rhythm and guitars and vocal motifs. The lyrics are a riot though. Another Playlist winner Ė thatís 3 out of 3 so far !

    I Canít Live with You *** Love the chorus, but find the verses a bit more of a struggle. Itís a strong enough song, but the interest wains a bit as it goes on with only minimal variation, and then the very odd bits that donít really fit.

    Donít Try so Hard *** itís not a bad song, but it hurts to hear Freddie seemingly find this more of a struggle then when at the height of his power. He warms into it, and never gives less than his all, and there are some nice flashbacks to the past.

    Ride the Wild Wind Ĺ Nothing much to say here Ė lets move along.

    All Godís People **1/2 Its Gospel time ! But note weíre minoring again. Itís a bit of a one trick pony really, but it does its job.

    These are the Days of our Lives **** Beautiful Ė love the Caribbean rhythm feel, and Freddie just seems so comfortable with the vocal line. Thereís nothing big or clever to hide the sentiment and feelings in the lyrics, just a simple ballad.

    Delilah ** Itís a bit of fun, but itís no musical masterpiece. A fluffy bit of filler

    The Hitman *** A nod to the heavy rock of the past, and Freddie can still cut it. The lyrics are a bit cringeworthy though.

    Bijou **1/2 Now this is a strange little item Ė something Iíd expect more on a Brian solo album. As Si said, it deserves a wider, fuller role Ė here itís out of place , but not just making up the numbers.

    The Show Must go On ***** The Big brother of Let Me Entertain You and More of That Jazz, itís the final chapter in the story of the life of Queen, the band of megastars. And it doesnít disappoint Ė I can listen to this track on multiple repeats (when I taped the album I had it on the end of both sides, twice). It starts off so simply, but Freddie is going to go out in a Supernova. Thereís everything we love, for the very last time Ė driving bass, soaring guitars, multitrack vocals and above it all the Ultimate Showman determined to have his last say.
    And though it may be a clip show, the video always makes me smile.

    So Ė what to say in summary ? One of the best Queen albums ever, with some of the strongest tracks that non-fans do themselves a disservice by for not remembering them. Yes, Queen will always be Bo Rhap, and Flash, and Donít but this is the End of an Era (although the actual moment has been prepared forÖÖ)
    Bazinga !

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    Made in Heaven

    Firstly, Kudos to the real Queen fans on here, for all their useful and informed comment on the origin and history of the tracks. Iíve found it really interesting to learn about where and why these things came about.

    However, to continue on my ignorance though, I thought it would only be fair to judge the tracks as Iíve done for the other albums, on what they sound like.

    Itís a Beautiful Day ** Itís a deep and interesting sound, but itís really just a taster to bookmark the album. Thereís a quite a nice jam feel to the vocal line.

    Made in Heaven *** Quite an ominous opening for a very pleasant song with single written all over it. One of those not quite ballads that Queen have always done so well. Just a slightly disappointing ending.

    Let Me Live ***1/2 Another semi-ballad, but made so much more by the gospel style backing, and then WTF Ė Roger !! So much better than his rocking vocals, and then weíre almost into a duet before ÖBrian !! You could imagine this being a real concert favourite had circumstances allowed. ďGo for it, baby !Ē

    Mother Love ** Not so keen on this one; I can appreciate the darker tone and some of the harmonies are interesting, but it wanders around too much in structure for my liking, and Iíd have preferred an acoustic guitar.

    My Life Has Been Saved ** 1/2 Nice to have a strong piano intro, and itís fairly inoffensive, but itís not a strong Queen track

    I was Born to Love You ***1/2 Now this is a whole lot of fun. I had heard the solo version before, but this has been cranked up through the Queen machine to produce a depth and strength that serves it really well. Another great concert song in the making.

    Heaven for Everyone **** Slow, smooth and a delightful set of lyrics make this a classic. Only criticism Ė itís a bit too long, so that even a stonking guitar solo doesnít give enough variation.

    Too Much Love will Kill You **** To be fair, I heard the Brian version first on his solo album, and what a brave decision to allow a much better vocal version to be let loose. Of course, Freddie rips all over the vocal line, but Iím less convinced by the floaty backing vocals that pop up and I miss the orchestra and the multitracked bit.

    You Donít Fool Me * Itís OK Ė itís variety, itís a dance track a la The Miracle, itís just not my cup of tea

    A Winterís Tale ***** Whereas, for me, this is the best track on the album. Freddie has never been clearer and more precise and beautiful in his vocals, and we have a beautifully sensitive accompaniment that lets him get on with it, a stunning guitar solo and the final outing of the choral ensemble that is Queen. Love it.

    Itís a Beautiful Day Reprise ***1/2 And weíre back Ė strong piano, but also bass and orchestra until we start driving onwards as the guitars burst in and Roger explodes. We get echoes of former glory too . Just make it one whole track ! (Iíve always taken the yeah of track 12 to in fact be the end of this track Ė coz it happens straight away)

    Track 13 Ė Never normally bother to listen; sounds like something youíd get over the end credits of a film.


    So, as a whole ? Itís so difficult to judge because itís not a normal album, is it ? It comes with such a huge influence on it Ė the last, the end. To judge it against the others, itís probably a middle ranker for me Ė thereís great tracks but thereís a far few I donít miss if I donít hear them so often.

    But that completely misses the point. The fact that it even exists, the fact that these songs were created, makes it so much more than the sum of its parts.

    See ya, Freddie.
    Bazinga !

  19. #294
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    Hurrah! Another past the finish post

    Interesting on Innuendo - I agree it's a great album, but a lot of the middle tracks haven't got very high marks from you (or most people). A bit rare for a Queen album, it's stronger than the sum of it's parts.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    My Life Has Been Saved I really like this one, both the original version from The Miracle sessions and this more polished version. A nice catchy, uplifting track. Nothing spectacular though, but it steadies the boat after Mother Love. 7/10

    I Was Born To Love You I've always loved this song, I have 3 versions of it which are all completely different and which I find really enjoyable...Freddie's solo Mr Bad Guy version, the 12" extended single version, and this. But like Made In Heaven, this Queened-up version stands head and shoulders above the others just by its sheer power. One of the albums highlights, a track which would be well placed on any 'Best Of' compliation. 9/10.

    Heaven For Everyone
    At the risk of repeating myself once again, but they've done exactly the same here. The original Roger Taylor/The Cross version from Shove It was a catchy enough little number, but that was about it...an OK song. But again by adding May, Taylor and Deacon to the mix they've given us another cracker. 9/10.

    Too Much Love Will Kill You The only reworked song on the album I don't prefer to the original. Granted, Freddie has a much stronger, more powerful voice but I just thought that Brian's voice suited this song perfectly when I heard the original several years previous to this. Nice to hear an alternative version, though. And not that it's at all bad, I just prefer the original. 7/10.

    You Don't Fool Me
    Just like Beautiful Day, they've created a track out of almost nothing. It's certainly different, very catchy but at the same time so obviously lacking in depth and substance. However it's a miracle they managed to get what they did from this, and I quite like it. Easily the flimsiest of the singles, though. 6/10.

    A Winters Tale Easily the albums highlight for me. One of the few original songs here, I don't know if it's the knowledge that this was the last song Freddie ever wrote (but not last recorded), but I love it. A powerful, poignant little song to go out on. Pure class. 10/10.

    It's A Beautiful Day (Reprise) Innofensive but rather pointless. I just Feel that this works better as the album opener, and this reprise just feels out of place here for me. 6/10.

    Track 13...I never listen to this!

    One extra track worth a mention which no-one else has mentioned...a couple of years later Queen released a compilation album, Queen Rocks, releasing one final single featuring what remained of the original line-up. Brian and Roger shared lead vocals, with John on bass.

    No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young) The only original Queen single ever released without Freddie's presence, but a powerful ballad which wouldn't have been out of place as the closing number for Made In Heaven. A nice end to the band's career; John retired after this and never played with them again. The end of an era, and a fitting song to mark it. I love it...9/10

    And as for the Paul Rogers era, I tried to like it....I really did. I love Rogers, but his style just didn't mesh easily with that of May and Taylor and the album is a bit of a mess. A largely boring mess which I have no plans to sit through if possible. There's one great song among them though, worth a mention...Say It's Not True is easily the highlight of the album, even though it was recorded a few years ealier than the rest. It actually manages to sound like Queen with vocals from Brian, Roger and Paul...I really do like this one (I'd give it a 8/10) but the rest of the album has little going for it. Cosmos Rocking....loud, catchy but poor lyrics, Small and C-Lebrity being the best efforts all clocking in about 5/10. And that's about it.

    But the one thing that Made In Heaven proved is that there is still mileage in reworking stuff from their solo careers if they wanted...there are plenty of great, catchy solo songs out ther from Freddie, Brian and Roger which simply lack the quality they had together as Queen. Perhaps if they managed to round up the best of these solo tracks, talk John back into the fold and rework them as Queen recordings there could eventually be one final great Queen album awaiting us in the future...we can but dream!

  21. #296

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    In newsagents for £7.99 there's a special magazine of Queen. All their albums given great write up by journalists who love their particular album.
    Somehow I think this thread will have the edge on it!

  22. #297
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    I shall purchase said magazine and read the reviews and "Pah!" I will say. "Pah!"
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    We have lots of those magazines. It's fun disagreeing with their reviews!

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    I picked it up but decided there was a little electronic thing in my pocket I could look at if I wanted to read what people I didn't know thought about Queen albums.

    Si.

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