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  1. #76
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    I'm doing it tomorrow morning!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #77
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    Now I'm Here...

    ...now I'm there!

    Sheer Heart Attack is different. The next album, 'A Night At The Opera', would set the format for the future Queen albums. But Sheer Heart Attack doesn't really feel like a bridge between the progressive rock madness of 'Queen II' and what they later became. It's a bit rockier and less polished, but it seems that the progressive kitchen sink production has been ditched to make an altogether more accessible album. But it's not as good.

    Brighton Rock
    I don't like this one at all. There's a chortling, irritating funfair noise, before some swirly guitar kicks in. Someone seems to be cracking a whip as well? That intro is a bit of an assault really, but not one I can get behind. It's not exciting rock, it's more annoying. Whereas I could really get into the density of Queen and Queen II, this seems to be lacking in sparkle.

    The moment the chorus comes in is fantastic. Instead of cutting to the beef of the song though, it leads straight into an endless, flabby guitar solo. Why doesn't this solo work? Brian's certainly showing ace musicianship. Yet it's a bloody chore to listen to. There's some more shrieking lyrics at the end of the song, before the whole thing descends into Roger Taylor laughter.
    4/10

    Killer Queen
    Best enjoyed as A Tribute to Servalan.
    10/10.

    Though I do wonder if this 'Killer Queen' with her insatiable appetite for caviar, cigarettes and etiquette was a bit portly.

    It's 100 times more polished than any track we've had so far, the rhythm is hypnotic, the harmonies are pitch perfect, the guitar solo is tight and contained, you can hum the tune after one listen, it's classy and exciting. Hearing this after 'Brighton Rock' is like walking from a stinking, decaying sea-side death-town into the most salubrious underground joint, the secret Ritz-within-the-Ritz. Awesome.

    And then, I'll bury YOU.

    Tenement Funster
    Hey dudes! Are we still trying to be like, Led Zeppelin maaan? Mind you, if you were 12 years' old, Roger's hymn to teenage rebellion might be the most exciting track on the album. To anyone else, all the stuff about having strange hair and getting a fast car is a bit silly and embarrassing. At least it's about something!
    5/10.

    Flick of the Wrist
    Interlude to say that the bridge between these two songs, as the guitar playing slows down and the piano comes in, is absolutely superb. Neither of the actual songs are as good as the link between them though!

    A bit of genuine anger here, as Freddie flicks the wrist at all the postmen, estate agents, in fact any bastard who wears a suit.

    I think what might have made this work is if they'd left the lyrics vague enough so it could have been about a rip-off love affair as much as being about the music industry.

    Do you know what I think? This song is funny! It's so fist-shakingly earnest that you can only laugh. There's a song coming up on the next album that is even more hilarious too!
    6/10

    Lily of the Valley
    They're undeniably very good at these mini-ballads, but I don't like this one as much as Nevermore from 'Queen II'. There's an odd link in the lyrics to the Seven Seas of Rhye, making this a sequel. Yet it doesn't really compliment the previous track in any real way.

    There's a bit of a crescendo at the end as the guitars come back in, but I don't like the tone of this one so much. Again, I can't quite tell you why this one isn't so good.
    4/10.

    Flip the record!

    Now I'm Here
    Another 'Greatest Hit' and a song I adore. I love the echoing from speaker to speaker and the steady build up to the explosion of guitars. The actual song when it kicks in is pretty good too. It's a bit of old-school rock, but the effects and the harmonies give it a real lift and make it something special. As usual there's loads going on, I keep spotting the Hammond-style organ buried deep in the mix, along with the piano and at least two or three guitar lines.

    The lyrics are nicely kinky too. I do wonder if this song contains a few oblique references to sexual practices that perhaps are better left undescribed? Do ya think?

    But the album version is possibly the weakest available. This song becomes truly epic when performed live.
    8/10

    In the Lap of the Gods
    What's this?

    Not very good, that's what it is.

    It's 22 seconds longer than Killer Queen! Waste!
    4/10


    Stone Cold Crazy
    This is a damn fine rocker actually, isn't it? I love the break where it's just Freddie singing with that clicking sound on the drums. Everything's pulling in the same direction, which is good.

    I don't think you want to over-analyse rock like this, it's a slap in the face, it's a punch in the stomach and it's bloody hard to dance too!
    7/10

    Dear Friends
    Another good quiet ballad, a lullaby in the style of 'Good-Night' or 'Golden Slumbers' by The Beatles. Should have been a hidden bonus track, because there's not much meat to it. Then again, it does make a good bridge between Stone Cold Crazy and Misfire.
    6/10

    Misfire
    This is a lovely, bright and breezy number isn't it? The metaphor is a bit odd though. Is it about taking drugs?

    Despite being straightforward in some ways, there's still a lot of experimentation going on. Freddie's singing with two different voices, one in each speaker. John provides a lovely, bouncy bass-line and Brian is doing all kinds of crazy stuff with his guitar; the simple acoustic line that runs through it was just a feint!
    7/10

    Bring Back That Leroy Brown
    OK, this shows that Queen are versatile. Which must be a good thing, right?

    Right?

    Well, I wouldn't ever choose to play this to anyone. I don't really know much about this kind of music. The lyrics are quite hard to follow, it's quite cheesy and could be quite irritating if you were in the wrong mood.

    I'd like to imagine that it's John Deacon doing the incredibly deep 'Bring Back Leeroy Brown' but it probably isn't.
    5/10

    She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettos)
    Wow, this one has come in for a lot of vitriol! It's quite plodding and very long, but I don't feel that offended by it. The combination of Brian May vocals and guitar gives it that wistful feel, there's a sense of longing to it. The extended outro reminds the world that they still have some progressive blood in their veins.

    It's never going to set the world on fire, but I found it quite nice!

    And what the hell is this about a Stormtrooper in Stilettos? That's got NOTHING to do with ANYTHING!!!
    6/10

    In the Lap of the Gods… Revisited
    What's this?

    Far better than the first version, that's what it is!

    The first half of the song is by far the best piano-ballad number on the album. There's pathos to the lyrics, 'It's so easy, but I can't do it', something that I've certainly felt at times in my life. I'm not that keen on all the 'Wo, wo, lala laas' but it makes for a good ending to the album as a whole. I like the way it all crashes into a big, distorted cymbal-like sound at the end too.

    The only thing that really ruins it is the horrible suspicion that it's about the record industry again.
    8/10

    And for a Freddie Bonus:

    Now I'm Here (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, December 1975)
    Yes, it's better live.

    Flick of the Wrist (BBC Session, October 1974)
    Tenement Funster (BBC Session, October 1974)

    These sound slightly different! The piano playing's a bit sharper on Flick of The Wrist. I'd be hard pushed to tell you why Tenament Funster was different - aside from Roger's vocal line being a bit more echoey - and I'll be damned if I'm going to listen to it a dozen times to find out.

    Bring Back That Leroy Brown (A Cappella Mix 2011)
    This is quite interesting! When you get rid of the jangly banjo sound and piano, this song seems that much more interesting and enjoyable. You can just sit back and enjoy the harmonies.

    In the Lap of the Gods ... Revisited (Live at Wembley Stadium, July 1986)"
    This version of 'In The Lap of The Gods ... Revisited' is simply astounding. I love it. Suddenly, the lyrics take on an extra dimension. Freddie sings it a dozen times better. Well done to the three people who clap it's arrival!

    Wo, wo, la la laa,
    Wo, wo, la, la.
    Woah wa woo!

    Repeat to fade...
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #78
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    for Lily of the Valley , for She Makes Me
    Bazinga !

  4. #79
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    Maybe on another day Lily of The Valley might win me over. But it just sounds a bit drab to me. I don't like the chords...
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  5. #80
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    Nice one Steve. Maybe "Stormtrooper in Stilettos" was Freddie's idea for a better title so as a compromise they put it in brackets?

    I'd dispute that "A Night At The Opera" sets the Queen template though. IMO it's very much a one-off, with "A Day At The Races" perhaps echoing it a little, but then indulgence strikes and we get "Jazz" which is nothing like it, and then we get "The Game" which is essentially a handful of hit singles padded out so they could finish the album and then the White Funk years. Queen just changed all the time didn't they? The only constant was fantastic hit singles.

    The BIG ONE coming up tomorrow. Suck my....










    .... blood like a leech!

    Si.

  6. #81
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    "And here's where the opera section comes in dears!"




    Death On Two Legs
    Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
    I'm In Love With My Car
    You're My Best Friend
    '39
    Sweet Lady
    Seaside Rendezvous

    The Prophets Song
    Love Of My Life
    Good Company
    Bohemian Rhapsody
    God Save The Queen

  7. #82
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    Death On Two Legs

    This is actually superb, despite the subject matter. I say "despite", because songs where rock stars moan about the "evil" record company bosses that let them while away their days locked in recording studios noodling around with overdubs come over as tedious at best, embarassing at worst, especially when actual death is wished for, as here (get a real job if you don't like it). I wish this was about some aggrieved lover. That said, does it matter? This is a storming, rocking, vitriolic start to the album. The lyrics are precise and passionate and the guitar is striking and expertly played. It feels disciplined, DESPITE the anger, and all the signs are that Queen are working together, in unison, and on top of their game of sonic experimentation. But this is just a damn fine song, and time has been kind. 8/10

    Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon

    A minute long 1920's skiffle pastiche, but this time it doesn't feel unfinished or sketchy, but perfectly formed. The younger brother of "Seaside Rendezvous" this is the inferior of the two if you had to choose. Small and beautiful, it forms a great contrast to the previous track and tells the listener that this is not going to be a predictable album! 7/10

    I'm In Love With My Car

    Oh dear. Now, let's just say that, both listening for the first time and in hindsight, this is an amazing album and every track seems different from the previous one without creating something that doesn't make sense. So in this context, this song doesn't ruin this album. In fact, with its chugging rock slant, it actually makes sense.

    However, there's no escaping the fact that as a song in its own right, this is pretty terrible. It's now clear that Roger Taylor is lagging behind the other band members in terms of talent of any kind, and it's no wonder Brian May thought the song a joke when it was first presented; this song's subject matter is so basic and juvenile that you almost conclude that it's being ironic. But it probably wasn't, was it?

    It's a song about how much he loves his car. Amid the musical diversity and rich lyrics of, say, "Seaside Rendezvous" or "Bohemian Rhapsody" this seems almost laughable. "The machine of a dream!" he growls, before rhyming "Carbouretta" with "forget her". FFS. The others add music which seems like it doesn't feel like it barely needs to try, like it's desperate to escape onto a better song.

    It's no wonder Freddie's nose was put out of joint when this got onto the b-side of Bo Rhap and consequently won Roger as much cash as Freddie did for the a-side.

    2/10

    You're My Best Friend

    Now this is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh and breezy, it's a perfect pop song. After the quite lovely "Misfire", and now this, that John Deacon fellow should write more songs! A perfect Queen pop single, the sentiment is lovely - "Whenever this world is cruel to me/You help me forgive/You're my best friend", it doesn't outstay its welcome and is perfect single material. On any other album, it would be a highlight. On "Night At The Opera", it's still a highlight but it's just one of many. 9/10

    '39

    This is not quite as good as the previous track, but is the sort of song that one might easily find becoming a favourite. It's quite whimsical and almost medieval sounding, with a strumming guitar, a memorable chorus and lyrics about sailing away on the seas. "Write your letters in the sand/For the day I take your hand/In the land that our grandparents knew". It's not Brian's strongest song, but it's one of his best to date at this time, and like much of this album, it's perfectly focussed and startlingly different enough from every other song, but still fits in to make a coherant whole.

    7/10

    Sweet Lady

    This is perhaps the most forgettable song on the album. The opening guitar riff is the best part, and sounds classic and Faces-esque, but the rest is unmemorable May rock fare, and not half as good or as memorable as "Now I'm Here" or the later "Tie Your Mother Down". Next!

    3/10

    Seaside Rendezvous

    Now this is special, a song which I have a rather unique personal connection to. A few years ago on a day out to Clacton seaside, I took some video footage of my family, focussing mainly on my little neice Daisy. When I got home I spliced very short clips of video into a montage set to this song. It went down an absolute storm. To this day my neice and little nephew still watch the video over and over. I've done many other videos since, but this is still their favourite. What's bizarre for me is seeing these two under 5's singing along perfectly to this little known Queen album track!

    The track itself is a cream-covered slice of promenade-infused pop goodness, a sweet but small whole that you probably wouldn't alter a single note of if you could. According to Wiki all the "instruments" in the solo (including what sounds like a kazoo) are created vocally by Mercury and Taylor! Of Roger's various contributions to this album, his kazoo here far outweighs the whole of "I'm In Love With My Car" for worth. Of many highlights are Freddie's whirlitzer and the impossibly camp "Tres charmant my dear!"

    Watch Clacton Rendezvous here!

    10/10

    The Prophets Song

    The temptation with this one is to say "Oh look! There's another Bohemian Rhapsody tucked away on the album!". Unfortunately when actually listening to "Prophet's Song", it becomes clear that it's not actually very good. My favourite bit is the grand "And two by two!" section from Freddie, but the bulk of the song is lumpy and there is a great chunk in the middle which is neither particuarly clever nor favouring a repeated listen. Yes, they can overlap vocals. Yes look, there's some random chunks of echoeing guitar. But shouldn't this stuff be left on the cutting room floor? Minutes on end of someone shouting "And now I know!" over and over do not a beautiful song make.

    There's a reason why "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the single and this wasn't.

    3/10

    Love Of My Life

    And then, proving the inconsistency of song quality here, comes another wonderful ballad. "Love of my Life" is one of the crowning Queen glories, a heartfelt, string-laden love song that probably should have been a proper single. Like "You're my Best Friend", it's a gorgeous song in its own right but also a powerful and quiet canon in the arsenal of the album.

    8/10

    Good Company

    Another Brian May number, sitting somewhere in the middle of his catalogue quality-wise. It's either expert pastiche or a bit middling, but again it sits fine in a collection of songs which never stick with one style long enough to make any of them seem out of place.

    5/10

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    A bit unmemorable this one.

    1/10

    God Save The Queen

    Recorded with "Sheer Heart Attack" for a b-side and tacked on when they needed to end the album, this is a fine closer to the set - an audacious instrumental. Somehow gives Queen, and the record as a whole, a regal theme.

    6/10

    Queen, and this record, is now a bold, experimental, wonderfully talented creature capable of always surprising us. But they would never again assemble a collection this diverse. I was surprised to discover that many songs here are far from perfect, but as a whole it all just works. "A Night At The Opera" is a marvellous album.

    Si.

  8. #83
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    Excellent stuff Si - and Clacton Rendezvous was very sweet
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  9. #84
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    Bohemian Rhapsody

    From where I'm sitting, the appeal of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a lot simpler than might be expected. The first part of the song is a beautiful piano ballad about redemption; whether or not it's literal (actually about a murder) or metaphorical and something to do with sexuality, only Freddie could perhaps have known, and he won't be telling any time soon.

    One thing you don't often read about the song is how lyrically beautiful it is; mainly because people are too busy enjoying the Rock Out Bit and the Silly Bit. But like all the best lyrics ever sung, it's beautiful and heartfelt in the most simple, honest way. Perhaps "Any way the wind blows, nothing really matters to me" is one of the finest lyrics ever? Certainly "I don't want to die/I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all" is devastatingly frank.

    A few notes about the music; vocally, it's a typically great Freddie performance. The tune is a winner. But it's the Queen sheen that really makes this; which came first, the "classic" Queen sound, or maybe this track defined it in the first place? The piano, combined with Brian May's Red Special guitar and those vocal overdubs, forms a delicate, part-rock part-operatic mix that is irrisistable. Of particular note is the cymbal "shiver" when Freddie sings the "Shivers down my spine" line. At the end of "... never been born at all", the soaring vocal line gives way to a wonderful, sweeping guitar part that's cripplingly singable. This is sheer, pretty melody, and it's partly why this song is so loved.

    At exactly the point where the listener might have heard all the song has to offer, or even be wondering what's next, or perhaps expecting some kind of predictable middle-eight, Freddie pulls a master-stroke and just adds something ridiculously daft that every single person to subsequently hear the song could joyously sing along to.

    "I see a little silhouetto of a man!
    Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
    Thunderbolt and lightning - very very frightening me
    Gallileo, Gallileo,
    Gallileo, Gallileo,
    Gallileo Figaro - magnifico

    But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me..."


    It means, crucially, that nobody can ever understand the song (because surely it's nonsense) thus ensuring it remains an enigma forever. Incidentally, "Bismillah" is the opening word in the Qu'ran (Koran) language and literally means "In the name of Allah", "Scaramouch" according to the dictionary means "a stock character who appears as a boastful coward" and "Beelzebub" is one of the many names given to "The Devil"

    After all the "meeeee's", the song then crashes round another beserk corner, turning into a thrashy, head-banging guitar solo, again easily immitable. From there, as if naturally, it seages into this wonderful creeping piano line which sweeps back into Brian May's epic guitar. This then, from a minute before being a raging, metal beast, settles on the most gentle, fragile refrain as Freddie begins to close the song with "Nothing really matters... anyone can see..."

    It's just genius. Not just the constituent parts, but the way they hug together and the song swoops and glides towards its conclusion. At this point, the listener feels on the crest of a wave that has just lapped onto shore; as if he's been through a war but the world is now about to end. And ridiculously, deliriously happy. This is not a song, it's a journey.

    And how else to end but by repeating that lovely line - "Nothing really matters to me... any way the wind blows...."

    A cymbal crashes. And we know we have just heard, for the millionth time, something that is completely perfect and curiously will never age.

    10/10

    Si.

  10. #85
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    Death on Two Legs **** One of the most iconic album openings – piano intro building up and them sinister minor guitars, then …boom – a truly dark and vicious song in terms of the lyrics, but so damnably singable. “But now you can kiss my ass goodbye”. Brilliant contrasts between the choral backing vocals and the down and dirty guitar solos.

    Lazing ***1/2 The middle of the triple sandwich – it’s quirky time and as usual it’s a perfectly formed idea that needed to be expanded into a full song before we rock into

    I’m in Love with My Car ** - Hi, RT !! It’s catchy enough, but the lyrics are pretty dire with some very stretched rhymes (and the worse tagged on ending ever)

    You’re My Best Friend **1/2 – nice enough, and obviously did well as a single to earn its place on Greatest Hits, but I’m just not a big fan of it (there are better single tracks on NATO that should have replaced it IMO)

    39’ *** Very sweet sound with the acoustic guitars and skiffle beat. Interesting to read the back story – I’d always thought it was about a sailing ship heading to the New World. The wailing backing vocals are better here than on Prophet IMO.

    Sweet Lady ** Given the rest of the album this seems like a throwback to a much more prog sound but the irregular time sig makes it an interesting listen (but difficult to rock out to !)

    Seaside Rendezvous *** Comedy time ! It’s like a Night at the Variety Hall, but fits perfectly into the rest of the album. Love the vocal windband midsection, and the lovely clean ending

    Prophet’s Song *** It’s time to go epic ! Can’t get enough of the acoustic vibe and slow intro, and then the accelerating and building vocal lines before the drums and electrics kick in for the verse. BUT – while the echoing-repeating vocal midsection is fine, it just goes on and on and on and… a bit of editing down here would turn a good track into a great one. Clearly Brian’s fever – medication combo in hospital was a good one, and I’ll have three please.

    But it’s almost forgiven because we seague into
    Love of My Life ***** At last, a beautiful Freddie Ballad that actually has enough time to grow and develop as a full song. I’m probably risking scorn and derision, but isn’t LOML the best track on the album ? On any other album it would be. Not a lyric, line, solo or backing section out of place. Should have been on Greatest Hits.

    Good Company *** Well, we need a stopgap between two giants, but this is actually much more (and I’m sure on the tape version of the album this was switched with Seaside where it perhaps went better). Love the whaa-whaa sound and gentle vocals.

    Bohemian Rhapsody ***** The one that started it all for me. The brilliant video. The heart-aching melody of the first section. The startling sounds and lyrics. “Let Me Go”. “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me”. Charge around the playground like an idiot during that solo, then compete with your mates to do the big Freddie Finale. Has everything they’ve done up to now been a trial run for this, honing their skills and techniques ? It seems so.

    And Wayne’s World can go f@#k off – we didn’t need you to tell us what a masterpiece it was. We always knew.

    God Save the Queen **** And everyone be upstanding, not just for a perfect ensemble piece but the perfect ending to an almost perfect album.

    So, NATO….a huge albatross around the neck of Queen because they would never produce a better album ever again ? Of course not. It is a truly great album with a majority of very good tracks, but it only represents one way of making a great album. It showed the band having confidence to take some of the ideas they had played with on albums 1-3, and pushed them further. It perhaps led to the death of the ‘prog’ phase but saw the birth of the ‘perfectly formed song’ phase.
    To me , it never sounds old or jaded but on a nostalgia level it takes me right back to the time of my youth when I heard it and fell in love with Queen.
    Bazinga !

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    Hurrah for Jon! I think you nailed the appeal of the album in your final paragraph, "just one way to make a great album"

    Look forward to Steve & Kenny's thoughts.

    Si.

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    Death On Two Legs
    How much fun is this? Loads, that's how much fun. Queen take down the Music Biz in the only way they know how - by being utterly pompous, ridiculous and musically brilliant. It's hard to say which lyric is funniest. Could it be 'Was the fin on your back part of the deal... SHARK!' or maybe 'Do you feel like suicide? I think you should!' It's the avalanche of vitriol that makes this one so entertaining.

    Strip it of the lyrics though and you've still got a fabulous bit of music. Brian is doing some particularly inventive guitar fills and there's a real controlled power to the playing. The overlaps between Freddie's lines are quite interesting.

    But what a perfect start to the album! It's a huge, swaggering number that you can really get into.
    8/10

    Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
    This is more of a little sketch than a full blown song, but it's still great. Camp? Yes sir! The guitar solo on this one is like a blaze of sunshine, reflecting off Freddie's straw boater and striped blazer as he promenades down a pier.

    The best thing about it is that something so radically different can sit happily between the two rock tracks either side. It instantly gives the album flavour and tone.

    Listen out for John Deacon's bass playing too. It's years before the bass line gets flushed into the foreground, but you can hear that he's working hard here. He knows exactly when to bounce along in the background and when to inject a bit of extra melody.
    7/10

    I'm In Love With My Car
    This is no more ludicrous than 'Death On Two Legs' really... or 'Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon'! Strip it of the lyrics and you've got a superb slow rock track. Despite the slow tempo, it really moves along. Each guitar thrash seems to lean into the next one, underlined by the harmonies. It's got an epic, searing quality to it.

    It might be Roger's best effort to date, though those lyrics need work. Perhaps someone could buy him a new carburettor?
    7/10


    You're My Best Friend
    It's one of those tracks that doesn't stand out on Greatest Hits, at least, not at first.

    But then you'll have a day when it catches you unawares, or you find yourself humming it, or someone points out that it's one of the best f***ing songs on the album and it clicks.

    After three songs of campy silliness, the tongue comes out of the cheek and we get an honest-to-god, heartfelt and warm number about friendship. It even seems devoid of sexual connotations, so this could apply to any relationship; two schoolgirls playing together, a father and son, an old man and his dog.

    Queen find something real that they can get behind and it totally hits the spot.

    Absolutely beautiful.
    10/10

    '39
    This is more in a similar direction, though not as good as Deacon's effort. This is a lovely little song though, one that would have been brilliant as an acoustic number, preferably sung on the deck of a big ship. It feels like an old folk song that they've covered rather than a new track.

    The mood of the piece and the lyrics paint a picture; they build their own world and this time it's got nothing to do with Fairy Feller's or Ogre Battles, which makes it much more accessible.

    Brian's vocals suit the song too, I can't tell if Freddie is singing on this one at all.

    I'm in a really good mood, so I'm going to give it:
    9/10

    Sweet Lady
    A straightforward rock song! This might be about as middle-of-the-road as Queen get. It seems to be about two sides of a relationship, eventually reconciling. Neither bad nor especially memorable, it's hard to know what to say about it!

    Guitar - check. Strong Freddie vocal - check. Harmonies - check. Go!

    But I'd bet it'd go down a storm live.
    6/10

    Seaside Rendezvous
    It's back to the beach for Seaside Rendezvous! There's almost a theme developing here, a nostalgia for 1930's / 40's end-of-pier entertainment. I love that the whole middle section is the band doing some silly vocal and kazoo experimentation!

    At 2.14 it's another little breeze of sunshine in the album.
    8/10

    The Prophets Song
    Then we get a throwback to Queen's first two albums. This might be their last high-fantasy themed song. The multi-tracked vocal section fits in reasonably well with the idea of the Prophet's voice and at least makes this one different and distinctive. And fortunately Freddie has an outstanding voice, so if he's going to be a one-man-choir then at least it'll be a well-sung choir. I rather like it - even if it does go on...

    Overall though, they've done this sort of song a lot better in the past, although the production is much, much crisper on this album.
    5/10

    Love Of My Life
    Did I mention they were getting really, really good at these little acoustic ballads? Well here's one of their absolute best. Given a decent length and a simple chorus, it's a thing of beauty. This one can steal your heart any time.

    The album versions seems rather weird though, with it's harp, piano, bass guitar and electric guitar solo. It's only getting 9/10, because when they do it live and it's just Brian with his nylon-string guitar and Freddie singing, it's far, far better.
    9/10

    Good Company
    I've only just realised that there are THREE ludicrous, end-of-pier sunshine songs on this album.

    One too many, possibly. This kind of fifties schtick was pretty shitty when Paul McCartney did it on 'Your Mother Should Know' and others. This is cut from the same cloth. In fact this could have been snuck onto a Macca album and no-one would have batted an eyelid.

    Aside from having a ukulele on it, there's nothing very memorable. Oh, they try hard and Brian makes his guitar sound exactly like a trombone in the last few bars, but it's a bit of an all round dud. The only real dud on the album!
    4/10

    Bohemian Rhapsody
    Si's comments on this were excellent. What can I add?!
    I'll come back to this one someday.
    10/10

    God Save The Queen
    ALL RISE!

    This gave them a magnificent excuse to finish their concerts with the national anthem. They do it bloody well; an answer to Jimi Hendrix playing 'The Star Spangled Banner' perhaps? Probably, as Brian ended up playing it on top of Buckingham Palace in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.

    I like our national anthem anyway.
    9/10


    Bonus me up!

    Keep Yourself Alive (Long-Lost Retake, June 1975)
    A slightly sharper re-take. Dunno why it's on this album's bonus tracks though?

    Bohemian Rhapsody (Operatic Section A-cappella Mix)
    Brilliant! I love this kind of stuff. Though I'd equally love to hear most of the rest of the song stripped down like this. Just the guitar parts! Just the bass line! Just Freddie! Please?

    You're My Best Friend (Backing Track Mix)
    Nice, shows what a great pop song it is.

    I'm in Love With My Car (Guitar & Vocal Mix)
    A Roger Taylor song without the drums, this really highlights how excruciating the lyrics are.

    '39 (Live at Earl's Court, June 1977)
    At a live performance, Freddie sings one of Brian's songs. Guess what? He does it better.

    Love of My Life (South American Live Single, June 1979)
    This is how it should sound frankly, and I'm glad they included it as a bonus track. Still my favourite version is on the Wembley CD.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  13. #88

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    NME has just ranked all the Queen albums. See if you can guess which one is which from these quotes?

    http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?bl...&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

    Might cause a few arguments... (And I'm enjoying this thread. I picked the right time to develop a hearing problem! )

  14. #89
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    That NME chart is... wrong! News of The World and Sheer Heart Attack at the top?! A disrespect for The Miracle and Made In Heaven?

    A few comments I agree with though.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post
    Hurrah for Jon! I think you nailed the appeal of the album in your final paragraph, "just one way to make a great album"

    Look forward to Steve & Kenny's thoughts.

    Si.
    First thing tomorrow morning. I've simply just not had enough time over the last few days...sorry!

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    Death On Two Legs The best album opener yet. This shouldn't work, fillied as it is with vitriol and venom from the first line to the last, but the lyrics are taken to such an extreme that the song is simply dripping with venom and hatred; which combined with such a fantastic piece of music makes for one of the strongest Queen songs yet. So over the top, It's brilliant! I love this one! 10/10

    Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon Again, this shouldn't work...a bit of music-hall style whimsy following such a powerful rocker? But it's a testament to Queen's confidence that they even attempted this, and that it works so well. It may be short, but it's one of those songs that I can't get out of my head. 8/10

    I'm In Love With My Car Again, I love this. Yes, maybe Rogers lyric's still leave something to be desired but his vocals are a nice contrast to Freddies and his songwriting skills are improving all the time. This is easily Roger's best song to date, and boy does it rock. You can look at the lyrics in one of two ways, can't you? You guys seem to favour the 'ridiculous lyrics' route but I favour the 'ridiculous OTT lyrics in the exaggerated manner of Death On Two Legs' route. Ridiculous, yes and certainly OTT but fitting in perfectly with the rest of the album. 9/10.

    You're My Best Friend Another great song. I've always liked this one, John Deacon's songwriting is improving as well. As Si says, on another album this would be a highlight but it just doesn't stand out from the crowd here, surrounded as it is by such a strong set of songs. 9/10.

    '39 Possibly Brian May's best effort to date, a simple little science fiction tale not about sailing out not to sea but rather to the stars. Brian puts his understanding of physics to good use here, as the story is about a group of people who voyage into space close to the speed of light (and as we all know theoretically time passes differently for someone travelling at such a speed) and they come back to Earth generations later to "the land that our grandchildren knew". A great wee song, not quite as strong as the others so far but still an 8/10

    Sweet Lady
    Filler. A poor 4/10. One of the two songs which let the album down. A great opening riff offers so much promise, but the rest of the song is such a damp squib.

    Seaside Rendezvous This is more like it. Fun, camp and really catchy...again, a song like this should have no place on a rock album but like Lazing... this fits perfectly. Great stuff 8.5/10

    The Prophets Song
    Another great rocker, a nod to the past with one last fantasy-type song. I love this song as well, although the vocal-only section is a bit on the long side. I tend to skip through this part, and it's enough to drop my rating to 7/10. Shame though, if it was shorter I'd have given it a much stronger score.

    Love Of My Life
    This is probably Queen's first great ballad. There have been a few shorts on previous albums such as Nevermore and Lily Of The Valley, but unlike those tracks it has time to breath. It fulfills the potential shown by those earlier songs, and makes you wish that they had the confidence to expand said songs to finished works such as this. I'm surprised this was never a single, it would have been a huge hit. 9/10.

    Good Company
    Another attempt at music-hall, but one too far and it rather falls on it's face. It's just not as good and lets the side down. One I usually skip, and listening to it last week did nothing to change my views. A catchy enough little song but a bit on the dull side. 5/10

    Bohemian Rhapsody I remember being not terribly impressed the first time I ever heard this. Not that I was a particularly big Queen fan at the time, they were just another group you hear on the radio. But it wasn't long before the song started to grab me, bit by bit. I wasn't the operatic bit which got me at first, but the second segment "Mama, just killed a man" which stuck in my head to begin with. I then started to look forward to the rockier ending and to tell the truth I wasn't really impressed by the operatic section for a number of years until I got their Greatest Hits and listened to it in stereo with my headphones on. I was blown away! It was only then that I appreciated it's brilliance! An excellent song, and a great conclusion to the album proper... The reason I love this song so much today is, oddly enough, the exact same reason why I wasn't particularly keen on it as a youngster...ie largely, the lack of any discernable singalong chorus, I probably just wasn't old enough to appreciate how the song was structured. 10/10

    God Save The Queen A decent version to finish the album off with, but I usually skip it. 6/10
    Last edited by MacNimon; 21st May 2012 at 7:12 AM.

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    Once again, are there any songs over the past few albums which you reckon should have been released as singles but weren't?

    Personally, I think White Queen and Ogre Battle from Queen II were both strong candidates, while Misfire was the only obvious one from Sheer Heart Attack. And Love Of My Life would almost certainly have been a massive hit, had it been released.

    I'll have to make up a playlist of such songs for my iPod as we go along. I've never listened to these songs like this, as a group of 'should-have-been hits'. Could end up a great tracklisting! An alternative Greatest Hits package from another dimension!

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    Just Love of my Life really. It was actually a single in 1978 in its live version to promote "Live Killers" but only got to #63. It's a shame it has to stand as a "flop", but then at the time it wasn't traditional to release more than 2 singles per album, as happened on all Queen's albums up to this point. Yet the very next album "A Day At The Races" kicked off the singles age, with 3 or 4 single releases. So LoML just missed out.

    Si.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    That NME chart is... wrong! News of The World and Sheer Heart Attack at the top?! A disrespect for The Miracle and Made In Heaven?

    A few comments I agree with though.
    That was an interesting article, although I feel that their positioning of Made In Heaven in particular was well out. News Of The World & Sheer Heart Attack are up among their better works but don't belong at the top of the pile either, imo.

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    I really have never liked News of the World at all, so it's going to be interesting when that comes around.

    We'll have a breather this week to allow everyone to catch up, and open "A Day At The Races" on Monday!

    If anyone is "looking in" and likes Queen, please don't feel you have missed the boat - feel free to dip in and comment on any of the songs we are talking about at any time.

    Si.

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    I will make some contributions as soon as I can, when time and studies allow, although I'm afraid I won't be able to offer full reviews as I sold the few Queen albums I had last year, and so I'll have to go on memories. However, I have got a copy of 'Sheer Heart Attack' knocking around, as well as 'A Night At The Opera' on LP (actually my two favourite Queen albums) so I might be able to do more indepth write-ups.
    Last edited by Dave Tudor; 25th May 2012 at 5:49 PM. Reason: shocking spelling

  22. #97
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    Just to what you can Dave! The only rule is, only post thoughts/reviews of albums about or before the one we're on.

    To recap, next up will be "A Day At The Races" but I'm on holiday next week so it's up to you if you wait for me or launch it and I'll catch up when I get back!

    Si.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post
    Just to what you can Dave! The only rule is, only post thoughts/reviews of albums about or before the one we're on.
    Okey dokey, Si - judging by some of the comments, one of my first tasks may be to offer a strong defence of 'Sheer Heart Attack'!

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    That's fightin' talk!

    Si.

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    Have we stalled ? Or shall I start
    Last edited by Jon Masters; 15th Jun 2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: To remove partial post
    Bazinga !

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