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  1. #101
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    Good call Jon - hopefully I'll be able to do my review on Sunday!

    Could be controversial this one.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #102
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    Have we stalled ? Or shall I start


    Tie Your Mother Down
    You take My Breath Away
    Long Away
    The Millionaire Waltz
    You and I
    Somebody to Love
    White Man
    Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
    Drowse
    Teo Torriatte
    Bazinga !

  3. #103
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    Warning - this review may start an argument or upset those of a Queen loving disposition...

    Tie Your Mother Down *** A good track once it gets going, but the decision to lumber it with that odd intro is a bad one. A very clean rock sound, almost Status Quo like but embellished by delightful May solos. A great opening track, so easy to see why it was a concert opener.

    Take My Breath Away ** Now, this should tick all my boxes as a Freddie ballad. But somehow, it just seems too overworked. The basic song itself is a good one, but all the fiddling about seems to diminish rather than embellish it. Can’t put my finger on it but I’ve always been disappointed (and I hate the tagged on ending)

    Long Away *** I like this one – a great tune and pop sound, and Brian’s vocals fit really nicely with the much lighter sound overall. This could have been a good single.

    Millionaires Waltz ***1/2 Its Queen go bonkers time. A throwback to the multi-style tracks of the early albums, with outrageous key changes and shifts in tone and effect. Not quite sure that it combines to make a good complete track but it is a good deal of fun.

    You and I **1/2 Another well-constructed pop song, nothing offensive but nothing particularly to get excited about.

    Somebody to Love ****** OK, confession time. If I could only listen to one Queen track for the rest of my life this would be the one (hence my cheating by giving 6 starts out of 5). The choice of a gospel style one is inspired, given the group’s talent for creating choirs by multitracking, but its so much more. Freddie’s vocals have never sounded better or more powerful, and the whole group tie together as a perfect unit – beautiful piano, stonking bass part, a faultless (and in keeping) guitar solo and RT sublime throughout. And who can’t love the sing along section from about ľ through. Faultless.

    White Man ** Oh dear. It’s fine to have a ‘subject/issues’ song, and to give it a style in keeping. But it needs to be a good song in its own right, and this just isn’t. (the test is – can you hum the song if you didn’t know the words, and therefore the subject matter ?). Always glad when this one’s over.

    GOFLB *** A return to the quirky piano driven old fashioned style tracks of previous albums, but this is probably the most successful of the genre. The multitracking really shines in this one.

    Drowse **1/2 Another fairly innocuous track, although its great to see RT doing something other than heavy rock. I do love the change at about 1:55 where the switch to minor makes it seem more interesting. The lyrics are a bit tortuous though.

    Teo Torriatte ** Another ‘genre’ track that just doesn’t work for me. It’s just too dull for Queen – worse, it seems like an attempt to create a ‘concert – wave-your-lighter’ track. And it drags – not just because I don’t like it, its just too long.

    So, ADATR overall ? – for me, something of a disappointment. Take away the sublime Somebody to Love and the rest really don’t represent a band moving on from the success of ANATO, but relying on putting together a bunch of tracks with similar styles to their previous albums and hoping for the best. There are odd flashes of greatness but not enough to make these tracks better than average.

    Have Queen peaked ? – maybe the News of the World will save us…..
    Bazinga !

  4. #104
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    Have Queen Peaked? That's the question.

    If they had peaked, I don't think it was with this album sadly.

    Tie Your Mother Down
    Does this simple, hard rock, riff-based crowd pleaser really need a minute of noodling sound effects at the start? How much better this album would have been if they'd jumped straight in with that punchy guitar riff!

    The lyrics are straight out of the Roger Taylor song book of Being Super Cool Man, but it's not Roger. This is Brian May showing him how it's done properly. Yet you can feel that the whole band got behind this track and gave it every inch of their love. Freddie's thinking how great it would sound live, Deacon is doing solid work in the background and Taylor is thundering away. It even gets a MASSIVE Queen-style rock-out ending. Gorgeous.

    Best of all, there's clearly more money for production. From now on, Queen's rock tracks will sound ultra-clean, without losing their rock edge (most of the time!). The sound is silky and accessible, rather than the dense and scratchy feel of their earlier songs. So really, this is a watershed moment.

    Anyway, there's no point in analysing this one too much. It's a hit single! 8/10

    You Take My Breath Away
    Why is this song a disaster? As has been mentioned, it's got a lot going for it. A grand emotional ballad with Freddie's beautiful voice and piano playing complementing each other perfectly. There's a nice bit of guitar playing and then an FX special ending.

    Yet it sounds bloody dull, doesn't it? More like You Drain My Strength Away. There's a couple of possibilities: firstly, it doesn't seem even remotely quirky. There's no sci-fi angle or world-building, all we get is Freddie saying how much he loves someone. Bah.

    Secondly, it comes right after Tie Your Mother Down. That's like leading with a strong right fist but following up with a floppy bag of feathers. After the excitement of the opening, all kudos that the album has gained is dissipated.

    Boring. 4/10

    Long Away
    This one is nice though! A bit like the '39's of the last album, a really good guitar sound and Brian vocals.

    It's lacking a decent chorus though, which is probably why it gets forgotten. At least it picks up the pace a bit, which is what this album badly needs. 5/10

    The Millionaire Waltz
    Ooo! Deacon gets put in the foreground for the intro! This one has an absolutely superb bass-line, frilly and complex, that suits the fancy-pants poshness of the track.

    Yet again, this is a good effort that ostensibly has nothing wrong with it. Yet it doesn't really have bite, it doesn't have that focus. The rock-out section in the middle simply doesn't fit in the song, although the chorused solo that follows it is very good.

    I don't know what they were trying to achieve here. Perhaps they were trying to push further in the direction of Bohemian Rhapsody, but it seems BR is about as far as you can go in that direction. Still, The Millionaire Waltz is dense and musically pleasing. 6/10

    You and I
    I think I've pinpointed the problem with this album - we've had four tracks in a row now without a single chorus. It's all very well playing about with form and style, but people need something to hook on to, so that they can be lead into appreciating the music. This is probably the best track of the four, sincere and upbeat with a cracking pace.

    Wikipedia says "The song was never played live." A sad epitaph! 7/10

    Somebody to Love
    Can....

    Anybodeeeeeeeee....

    See! Stick a chorus in and suddenly you have an absolute masterpiece!

    I absolutely adore the gospel harmony on this track, it's brilliant. I'm glad they only did one song like this one, because they absolutely nailed it. Here's the whole of Queen working together and producing something magical. 9/10

    White Man
    A big old Brian May Rock Number, possibly one of the heaviest that Queen have done. It's also their first 'issues' song, but it kind of makes sense here. After a gospel song we have a protest song, albeit with guitars 'Massive' rather than 'Acoustic'.

    It's all very tight and well controlled, a pretty decent track even if it's not one I can imagine listening to a great deal. 7/10.

    Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
    So here's the third brilliant track on the album and the third single. The gulf between single and album tracks is pretty huge by now. Like the other two, you get the sense of Queen working together on this one, whereas the duller tracks feel more like solo efforts.

    Freddie is just so cheeky in this one. Where did he get it from? The good old fashioned school of lover boys! The 'We'll meet at nine precisely' line followed by the backing vocals 'One two three four five six seven eight nine - o'clock' is a moment of camp genius.

    It's a classy number too. There's a sense that this lover boy is dripping in money and can take any girl (or boy?) out and show them a fabulous time, darlings!

    Cracking tune. 9/10

    Drowse
    Drowse, eh? Sums up the album really. Roger Taylor turns up and joins in with the 'Dud' theme of the album tracks by delivering this meandering wiffle - where he literally gives up on the lyrics in the last 30 seconds and starts talking about the stars who he'd rather be.

    So this song is about being bored. It's also a recreation of the feeling of being bored. Therefore, it's boring. I don't hate this song, but it's not very good.

    It's a touch closer to a Roger Waters Pink Floyd song than his previous Zeppelin-inspired efforts. Is that interesting? No? 3/10

    Teo Torriatte
    Let us cling together! I'd write this track off as well, except it's been going round in my head for weeks and it's the first song I think of when I consider 'A Day At The Races'.

    The shift from the minor (sad) key feel of the verse to the upbeat (major) key feel of the is absolutely beautiful; effortless. There's a clinging tension in the opening verse that's resolved in the stadium-friendly chorus. It's good, but it lacks a little bite.

    Why is Freddie singing in foreign though? How is anyone supposed to sing along?

    Then we get the start of the album again, though it makes a bit more sense here. You may even want to listen to 'Tie Your Mother Down' again. But you'd probably stop after that. 7/10

    Overall - a complete mess. I really wanted to like this one as much as 'A Night At the Opera', but 'A Day At the Races' has so many failures that it sinks like a crate full of bricks. It's a shame because it drags down three or four great tracks as well.

    Do I have to do the bonus tracks? If I must!

    Tie Your Mother Down (Backing Track Mix 2011)
    Great! I still love these. Although 'Tie Your Mother Down' isn't the most musically varied of songs, which makes it's inclusion here without vocals seem a bit odd. The sleeve notes say that removing the vocals results 'in a strangely unfamiliar take on a much loved Queen classic', so they clearly don't have a clue why either.

    Somebody to Love (Live at Milton Keynes, June 1982)
    This is brilliant. Freddie clearly adores playing this song and the long, teasing lead-in is a real joy - he gets the crowd cheering just by singing the word 'Can...'!

    You Take My Breath Away (Live in Hyde Park, September 1976)
    Even having Freddie play this one with a piano all on his own isn't enough to make it interesting.

    Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy (Top of the Pops, July 1977)
    Why the hell is this included? It's just a mono version of the track with a bit of clapping at the end. Absolutely bizarre!

    Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) (HD Mix)
    Why? WHY? Apart from ditching the FX ending, this seems exactly the same to me.

    Actually, ditching the FX ending was a worthwhile exercise. Well done team.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  5. #105
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    Somebody to love is such a stonkin track that it stands head and shoulders above the other performances at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. You can see where the idea of George Michael touring with the band came from.
    Bazinga !

  6. #106
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    I've got to admit that, from the early 80s when I first heard this album through to about 2005/5 when I finally bought it on cd, that I would have been totally in agreement with all of the comments above. However at that time I actually surprised myself when I found that a number of the tracks were deserving of reappraisal...

    However, At first glance this appears to be simply a carbon-copy watered-down version of the previous album, doesn’t it? Because of both the album title and sleeve design, it’s pretty hard to avoid making a direct comparison with Opera. I don’t know whose idea it was, packaging the album like this – whether it was the group or record label/management - but in doing so, this does the album a bit of a mis-service. If you try to directly compare the two albums then yes, it does appear initially that this doesn’t have the same depth and quality that it’s predecessor had. However, a closer look also shows that while the high points may not be quite as high, neither are the low points as low making this the most evenly balanced album that Queen had released to date.

    To fully appreciate this album, you have to totally strip it of all its packaging/baggage and just listen to it as another Queen album. No more similar (or different for that matter) to it’s predecessor than any other Queen album is from it’s predecessor throughout their career. It’s certainly not as ‘arty’ for want of a better description – as their previous albums, but it's certainly a more confident effort...the whimsical songs (Millionaire Waltz/Lover Boy), while still here, are toned down a bit and, yes of course the operatic style backing vocals are in evidence but for the first time this is a simple, straightforward rock album.

    Tie Your Mother Down: I’ve always liked this song, a simple straightforward rocker – possibly the most straightforward one they’d recorded up till this point – no fancy airs and graces, just simple, no-nonsense rock. And It works. It’s not quite on my list of all-time favourites, though, but bubbling under.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Tie Your Mother Down
    Does this simple, hard rock, riff-based crowd pleaser really need a minute of noodling sound effects at the start? How much better this album would have been if they'd jumped straight in with that punchy guitar riff!

    I'm not particularly keen on the intro, but at the same time I appreciate how they reprised the end of the albums final track as the intro here, bringing the album full circle…however it unnecessarily slows things down a bit immediately and for that I'm docking the version as it appears here half a point. Steve's right though, this would have been much better if they'd just launched straight into the song. A much stronger start. So 7.5 out of 10 instead of the 8 it deserves...

    You Take My Breath Away: For a long time, probably 20 years or so, this was one of the songs I tended to skip, it just didn’t appeal to me, I always found it rather dull and boring. It was only when I finally got a hold of the album on cd around 2004/2005 that I really gave it a second chance and found it was certainly worthy of reappraisal. I love most of it now, although I still really don't like the end section...it's rather pointless, messy and like the intro to the album, totally unnecessary. The song works better with this section cut off...again, points deducted for this; I'm giving this a 6.5 instead of the 7 it possibly deserves.


    Long Away
    : Quite simply one of the best Brian May songs the group ever recorded. Great vocals, Brians voice is perfect for this song as it is. Great tune, one that really sticks in your head without being annoying. 8/10.


    Millionaires Waltz: An interesting mish-mash of styles here…what initially appears to be this albums whimsical style song is suddenly and unexpectedly jazzed/rocked up before dropping back into the realms of whimsy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Yet again, this is a good effort that ostensibly has nothing wrong with it. Yet it doesn't really have bite, it doesn't have that focus. The rock-out section in the middle simply doesn't fit in the song, although the chorused solo that follows it is very good.

    I don't know what they were trying to achieve here....
    I agree. The song lacks focus and bite and I really haven't a clue what they were trying to do, but as Jon says, it's also fun. So 7/10 from me.


    You And I: John Deacon’s songwriting just seems to keep improving! I love this song, it’s the highlight of the side (possibly the album) for me. While there's nothing particularly special about it, it's simply a really nice, upbeat catchy pop rocker which is brilliantly performed. Brilliant and most definitely under-rated! 10/10.

    Somebody To Love: Just as good as You And I, and one of Queen’s strongest hits. Quite simply, this is probably the best hit single they ever had, and why it never got to number one I'll never know. The album is on a roll by this point. 10/10. Brilliant.

    The album may be on a roll, but then along comes...

    White Man which almost brings it crashing to a halt.Thgis is another which I wasn’t keen on for a long time, but when I bought the cd I found it wasn’t nearly as bad as I first thought. It’s still the album’s weak point though, but it’s a much stronger song than I first thought it was. Queen getting all political regarding the plight of native Americans, while laudable, doesn’t quite work. It's not so bad that I'd skip the song, but still not a favourite. 5/10.


    Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy: A nod to the music hall whimsy of earlier albums, but more confident and better performed. But while on Opera, etc those songs felt like an interlude between the serious stuff, here it feels like an integral part of the album. Another great song which really gets the album back on track…and another great single. 8/10


    Drowse: Roger Taylor finally shows that he can do something other than heavy rock. Although it’s another I wasn’t initially keen on, it has really grown on me over the years. A song about nothing much in particular, just daydreaming, being bored. This song has a dreamy/drowsy sound to it as you’d expect given the title. I agree, it's a bit more Pink Floyd than Led Zep but it works. Great to hear Roger doing something a bit more mellow and pointless, and I love it. 8/10.

    Teo Torreate: I love this as well. It’s certainly a bit contrived and forced, an anthem supposedly dedicated to their Japanese fans, but despite this it works pretty well, in much the same way In The Lap Of The Gods (Reprise) worked on Sheer Heart Attack. Again , it's the sort of song which really sticks in your head. Listening to it, you know that you are coming to the end of the album, it quite simply has that feel to it. And in retrospect, to me it actually feels like the end of an era…it’s as if the group knew that they had reached the end of the road with the sort of music (whimsy, music hall etc) which had brought them so much success so far and knew they had to diversify in future if they wanted that success to continue. This song just bookmarks the end of an era for me. 7/10.


    So overall, while it's not an album which breaks new ground in any way whatsoever, it's an album which consolidates Queen's position. It's an album which features new songs in all of the different styles which had got them to this point rather than pushing any boundaries or experimenting. That comes next time. Personally I now find this to be one of the most evenly balanced albums (with White Man being the only real letdown, and the majority of songs getting a 7 or over) that they ever recorded, despite my earlier disappointment in it.

  7. #107
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    I'm going to mention a few things from the off. Firstly, I listen to 2/3rds of this album on a regular basis throughout my life. The tracks I never listen to, and am largely unfamiliar with, are "Long Away", "White Man" and "Drowse". That's two May's and a Taylor. Fancy that!

    Having now listened, for pretty much the first time, to the whole album in order, for this Planet Skaro trek, I can recommend omitting these tracks as it gives one a far more favourable view of the album! Somehow these songs 'dilute' the whole experience of the album, and make even the great songs sink down into the sludge. In isolation, among the remaining tracks, there is much to love and not a great deal to fault.

    "Tie Your Mother Down"

    Not a big hit (number 31, and not on the Greatest Hits) I adore this track. The star is largely the rolling guitar line. The lyrics are belted out and wonderfully vicious - scream out "get your pigtail down and get your HEART BEATIN' BABY!". Snarl "That's all I ever get from yooooouu!" and pout "Take your little brother swimming with a brick!". Brilliant! The bit on "All your love toniiiiiight" where the drums stop and the guitar line continues looping requires nothing less than to stand fully erect with fist in the air in the pose now immortalised by the Freddie Mercury statue in Montreux (and seen on the Made In Heaven album cover) which makes this track inadvisable to play on headphones in the middle of Top Man. Also you have to go absolutely bonkers on "big big big big big daddy out of dooooors!". This ROCKS. 8.5/10

    "Take My Breath Away"

    Now I adore this song, but I'm not sure how much of that is down to context, having first grown to know and love it when it was used to soundtrack the "Freddie dies" section of the "Champions of the World" documentary which makes it unbelievably poignant. I'd love to know how I'd like this track if I'd found it on my own. But the piano line is possibly the saddest and most haunting thing I've ever heard in my life. It's the sound of lost memories. I love the way it lingers and rolls, pauses and then swoops. There is a bit of mournful guitar in the middle, and a beautiful vocal. The lyrics are simple, but it's a simple love song and no less complex than "Love of my Life" for example. I've no problem with the sequencing, which is no different to putting "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" after "Death On Two Legs" on the last album, for example.

    My one problem with this song is the ending. I don't so much mind the bolted on intro, but this song finishes perfectly, with the piano line tailing off as if falling from a cliff... it should stop there, but then we get a silly and overindulgent bit of vocal effects quite unrequired on a lovely ballad like this. A shame, as it almost ruins the song.

    9/10

    "Long Away"

    A "new song" for me. And it's not half bad! I think I like this more than its cousin on ANATO, "'39" although in truth it really does expose the limitations in Brian May's weedy, shallow, emotionless voice. Is it time to let Freddie do all the singing I wonder?

    6.5/10

    "The Millionaire Waltz"

    A Freddie number, in which the word "Millionaire" is made very camp. I've always liked this song, but in hindsight it was odd to have a brace of quite simple poppers at the core of the album, and this is the least great of the two. But still lots to love - the title, the refrain "Feel.... like a millionaire" and the cat-like waltz section in the middle. Not single material, but above filler.

    7/10

    "You and I"

    Now this I like. A simple pop track, and one of those songs that I imagine had it been selected to be a single, would have been a big hit, ended up on Greatest Hits, and be one of those songs everyone knows and covers from time to time. I do like the unusual snarling middle eight too:

    "You know I never could forsee the future years
    You know I never could see
    Where life was leading me
    But will we be together forever?
    What will be my love?
    Can't you see that I just don't know..."

    Leading into a skipping, whooping instrumental. Also big up to the bongo-type drums.

    A lost treasure!

    8/10

    "Somebody to Love"

    Obviously an all-time classic, and one of Freddie's finest songs. It's totally epic, and very clever indeed. The way the harmonies interact with the verse lyrics is pure gospel, for example "He works hard (he works hard!)". There's a very clever bit in the last verse where "Got no feel/I got no rhythm/I just keep losing my beat" is accompanied by the song itself skipping a beat and coming out of time - amazing. My Mum, however, misheard the lyrics as "Feel like I'm in a river/I just keep losing my feet", the silly moo.

    Years later, the build-up of the tom-tom drums bit and then the enormous cascade back in of the chorus would give George Michael an epic moment at Wembley, it's just a shame it wasn't Freddie up there claiming it as he was, and always will be, a thousand times the front man that daft old George is. Michael got credit for the performance, but in truth you can sit a child in a mercedes and it will still be a beautiful car.

    10/10

    "White Man"

    Another new one on me, but sadly this one is largely just rubbish. A lumpen rocker with no real redeeming features. Let's move on...

    2/10

    "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy"

    What amazes me about this song is how there can ever have been any ambiguity about Freddie's sexuality after its release. Ok, we didn't arrest Eminem for being a murderer after "Stan", but Freddie wrote and sung this and there it is, in black and white. It's not even veiled. "Ooh lover boy, what you doing tonight? Set my alarm, turn on my charm!" he sings before describing a romantic date in what must be the campest moment of all time in popular music.

    Describing dining at "The Ritz" (where else?) Freddie wants to meet at "nine o'clock precisely!" and at that moment the remaining members of Queen count down the hours until the magic hour, culiminating in a big gay "ding!" as the clock strikes nine. And how else to get home from the date but "in my saloon, do quite nicely!". Mercifully, the verse ends as Freddie pleads for his dinner companion to "take me back to yours that will be fine!" before ending with a lusty "Come and get it!". Oh my!

    And that's without dwelling on "Come and sit on my hot seat of love"!

    My favourite section, however, is "Hey boy, where did you get it from? Hey boy where did you go? I learned my passion in the good old fashioned school of lover boys!". Where is this place? And why couldn't I go there instead of Colbayns High School?

    But there it is, all over, "Hey boy!". I'm a little baffled as to how Steve ponders that this could be about a girl. Like Freddie, it's as gay as a daffodil, dear.

    What makes it a classic is none of this though, but the fact that, like "Killer Queen", it's stunningly and skillfully economic and fits its under three minutes like a beautifully formed diamond-studded glove. You wouldn't change a note.

    10/10

    "Drowse"

    Oh Roger. This is, at least, better than "I'm in Love With My Car". In fact, as a tune it scales the heights of adequate. The trouble is, it just doesn't fit onto the album. Unless Roger just happened to come up with one tune everyone liked every year, they are obviously giving him a song to write and sing on each record for the sake of it - and is this any way to choose the material? This cascades out to the rest of the album and makes it start to feel like it has a formula, which is a bad thing. Worse, Roger's songs are consistently below the high standard set by the other band members, and five albums in, why are they still indulging him? What's wrong with just drumming? They should have taken the names off the songs and chosen them purely on merit. But then, I doubt "Drowse" (which resorts to some unintelligable muttering) would have made even a b-side.

    3/10

    "Teo Torriate (Let Us Cling Together)"

    This is to "Who Wants To Live Forever" what "Lap of the Gods" is to "We Are The Champions" - a sort of prototype torch song which was later re-attempted and immortalised in Queen legend. No-one remembers this any more, which is a shame as it's pretty and a lovely album closer. I imagine it being sung only amid a room full of candles. The childrens choir bit has dated slightly, but it's still gorgeous and another unsung Queen classic. And it IS of course possible to learn the Japanese bits, I always sing along you know. It doesn't impress anyone but me, but that's enough. Freddie is singing in this language for the bands (at that time) significant Japanese fanbase. And why not? Why shouldn't he? At this time, Queen belonged to everyone. It's a lovely gesture.

    8.5/10

    Overall, I stand by my oroginal opinion. I think I actually love this album more than "Opera", simply because there's as many great songs. It's not perfect, and I think it is better off without the three songs I usually shun which (with the possible exception of "Long Away") I shall continue not to listen to. I love the fact that the cover is the reverse of "Night", making a nice set. "Night" is possibly more poppy and less experimental than "Day", or rather the experimental bits of "Night" seem more contrived and tacked on. It demonstrated that, perhaps against their wishes, what Queen were leaning towards was writing snappy pop numbers and not prog epics. They need to stop Roger writing and May singing though.

    Si.

  8. #108
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    Great set of reviews, guys, even if I don't necessarily agree with them (I think the next 2 albums may be even more devisive...)

    But

    Michael got credit for the performance, but in truth you can sit a child in a mercedes and it will still be a beautiful car.
    Now, Mr Hunt . I would not consider myself in any way a fan of Mr Michael's work. And it may be true that singing STL gave him an advantage (or maybe he was the only one brave enough to attempt it ? ), but re-watching the concert on YouTube last week I was struck by how many 'big stars' taking part not only were miles off the very high bar that Freddie set, but were actually pretty poor kareoke versions of classic Queen songs. How anyone can make crowd pleasers like Radio, Hammer and I want it All sound so dull, Bohemian Rhapsody was murdered, and Bowie wasn't brave enought to do anything other than his own songs.

    George, like some others IMO, did what Freddie always did - went out, gave their all and damn well enjoyed themselves so much that the crowd could do nothing but go along with them.
    Bazinga !

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    I agree with much of what Si says (but I don't think we'll ever agree when it comes to Roger!) but a few minor tweaks makes this album so much stronger. I've got a playlist on my iPod which is basically this album, but it begins with the version of Tie Your Mother Down from Queen Rocks, I used audio software to snip off the ending of You Take My Breath Away, and White Man has been totally omitted. These few changes make the album so much tighter and much better to listen to. Having read Steve's post I'll have to listen to that Teo Torreate bonus track, it sounds as if that version may improve things even more. It has taken almost 30 years, but this album is slowly emerging as one of my all-time favourite albums of all time (and not only by Queen!)

  10. #110
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    but this album is slowly emerging as one of my all-time favourite albums of all time (and not only by Queen!)
    I find that really surprising! I would have thought that this album wouldn't have been strong enough to be anybody's all time favourite. Perhaps it needs a few dozen more listens.

    Looking at my Last.FM account, I see that Queen have gone from 400 plays to 1,400 plays in the last 12 months and are now pushing David Bowie for the top slot as my most listened to artist!

    Since getting a smartphone, Last.FM has been a lot closer to the music I've actually been listening to. If I'd bought one a year or two earlier, Pink Floyd would definitely be rammed at the top, but I listened to most PF on an unconnected MP3 player. So Queen and Bowie - there can be only ONE!

    And at the moment it's Bowie.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  11. #111
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    Why don't I see your last.fm Top 3 each week on Twitter Steve?

    Si.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    I find that really surprising! I would have thought that this album wouldn't have been strong enough to be anybody's all time favourite. Perhaps it needs a few dozen more listens.
    Or another 20 years worth of listening!

    You've maybe all missed my comment that for 20 years or so when I only owned the LP version, my opinion of the album very much mirrored that of your own (and Jon's). In fact for many of those years I didn't even listen to the LP itself, but rather an edited version I recorded onto cassette but from which I omitted four songs I didn't like in the slightest (at the time) ie You Take My Breath Away, Long Away, White Man and Drowse. I hated having to lift the stylus from the record to skip the songs I didn't like...It was many years before I really even gave most of these a second chance but it was really only around 7 or 8 years ago that I finally got a copy on cd and really got a chance to reappraise it. I don't know if it was the lack of new Queen material available which made me give it another chance, or not.

    To be honest, I'm glad I did though. While the album certainly isn't perfect (far from it) and maybe doesn't stand up to close comparison to its predecessors, nowadays I find it mostly to be highly enjoyable in its own right. It's far from being the disappointment I long considered it to be.

    Give it another chance sometime down the line. It's a grower.

  13. #113
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    Give it another chance sometime down the line. It's a grower.
    Hmm... well the guitar line from Drowse got caught in my head today...

    Why don't I see your last.fm Top 3 each week on Twitter Steve?
    God only knows. It doesn't connect for some reason!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    So we are all agreed. We delete "White Man" and "Drowse" from our playlists and the album is a classic!

    Si.

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    Incidentally, Queen are 4th in my all-time last.fm list, but only about 60 plays seperate 4th from 2nd!

    Si.

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    For those of us following the 1977 Top of the Pops on BBC4, the edition featuring Queen's Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (16/6/77) should be shown in two weeks time. It'll be good to see it in context with other contemporary acts including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Muppets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Morgan View Post
    For those of us following the 1977 Top of the Pops on BBC4, the edition featuring Queen's Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (16/6/77) should be shown in two weeks time. It'll be good to see it in context with other contemporary acts including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Muppets.
    Thanks for the heads up, Steve. I would watch out for it but I'll be out of the country at the time so I think I'll have to check it out online at a later date!

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    You'll all just have to continue without me for a couple of weeks now, it's my turn to go on holiday so I won't be able to post any replies for the next two weeks or so. I'll just have to play catch-up when I return, but as I've got a rough set of notes typed out for the next couple of albums - NOTW and Jazz - that hopefully won't be a major problem...I'll probably just need to do a bit of tweaking to fit in replies to other comments etc.

    Needless to say I'll be lying in the sun (with a nice cold beer) listening to later albums on my iPod in preparation for this thread as well...

  19. #119
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    Shall we do News of The World this weekend then?

    A while ago I would have put it down as the all-time worst Queen album, but I may be revising that opinion.

    Or not... (?!)
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  20. #120
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    I hate it too.

    It's better than "Jazz" though.

    Si.

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    Since Jazz is one of the best Queen albums, that's quite some claim
    Bazinga !

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    Anyway, in the meantime here's a little thing to keep us going!

    What is your favourite Queen Album Cover?



    All in all they're a fairly rum bunch with a mix of group photos, artwork and computer trickery. Which ones do you like best? Which are just rubbish?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  23. #123
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    Some of the best (and worst)

    Queen 2 is the most iconic album cover - remember that at this stage the video didn't exist, so it was a superb image. Now, it looks like a screen grab.

    A Night At the Opera and A Day At The Races make lovely inverted bookends, featuring the intricate Queen logo.

    News of the World - oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Let's make our album look like a tatty Isaac Asimov novel re-printed in 1983 and located at the back of a charity shop.

    Jazz - new band Queen Queen Queen Queen can't think what to put on their album, so they draw some circles and stamp the title on it. Job done. I like the little cyclists at the bottom though. Got bored. Drew them on for something to do. Do you like it? Shit? Yeah, I guess.

    The Game/The Works - worthy only by dating of the band via bad hair/now unfashionable shades and bulges that are ill-advised 30 years on. And were probably ill-advised then as well. But then, as Freddie's assistant Peter Freestone noted in a documentary many years later, "His cock was huge. It was the envy of many, and the pleasure of many."

    A Kind Of Magic - again, alone it's brilliant, a lovely arty take on the traditional band portrait. The video, however, and the inflatables, came later and now this looks like a stolen image.

    Hot Space - fantastic, art-wise. So good Blur would one day parody it. Splendid.

    The Miracle - Wonderful, slightly sinister, inventive bit of design, before everything was photoshopped as a matter of course. Also helps hide Freddie's gaunt features amid the faces.

    Made In Heaven - Iconic, sealing Freddie's memory in that epic pose (and you can't even tell it's only a statue). The rest of Queen standing with their back to him is chillingly prophetic.

    Si.

  24. #124
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    It's not Sunday but it's time for


    We Will Rock You
    We are the Champions
    Sheer Heart Attack
    All Dead, All Dead
    Spread Your Wings
    Fight from the Inside
    Get Down, Make Love
    Sleeping on the Sidewalk
    Who Needs You ?
    It's Late
    My Melancholy Blues

    Turn that dial full up to ROCK !!
    Bazinga !

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    I listened to it. It was a fine album. We Are The Champions should have closed the album in triumph, in the same way We Will Rock You opens it in triumph.

    That's my thoughts.

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

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