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  1. #1
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    Default The Great Planet Skaro Queen Time Team: Made It to Made In Heaven!

    We begin at the beginning...

    Queen (1973)



    1. Keep Yourself Alive
    2. Doing Alright
    3. Great King Rat
    4. My Fairy King
    5. Liar
    6. The Night Comes Down
    7. Modern Times Rock'n'Roll
    8. Son And Daughter
    9. Jesus
    10. Seven Seas Of Rhye...

    I see that this has been remastered and re-released in a 2-disc format with (apparently) better sound quality. I haven't heard it yet, but that may cancel out one of my main criticisms of this album, the fact that it has always sounded a bit 'flat' at times when compared to later releases.

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    I've never heard this before, so this morning I set out on the long road...

    Keep Yourself Alive

    The single! Unusual for early "prog rock" Queen to dive straight in with a would-be chart hit. Sadly it flopped, but you can see why. The song is lumpen and oddly uninspired, despite being quite catchy. It's almost like the label asked for a single...

    Doing Alright

    This is better, at least at the start, with a beautiful piano line and a touching Freddie vocal. This is a Smile cast-off isn't it? That said, it's good for the first few minutes but then veers off into a bit that sounds like another song entirely. By the end, it just can't help itself noodling away and destroying itself. It's a shame, as I had high hopes for this.

    3. Great King Rat
    4. My Fairy King


    Two songs which, finally, begin to show flashes of the songwriting prowess that would eventually bloom; there are some lovely melodic touches, even if the arrangements and the lyrics are all over the places. I like the lyrics though, bees that have lost their sting and "Mother Mercury, look what they've done to me". Could this be where Fred got his new name from?

    5. Liar

    This is the best track so far, and begins with what today sounds like a rush of vintage Queen for the first time, a chugging Brian May guitar part. The melody is also better, although again it loses its way and should never have lasted for over six minutes. Edited down to three it would have made a better snappy first single than "Keep Yourself Alive", but by the end another wretched chant of "LIAR!" just makes you think "Oh shut up!"

    More later.

    Si.

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    I'll have to write this up another time, but I think I'll be disagreeing with a few points you've raised there!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Keep Yourself Alive ***1/2 A cracking first track – a brilliant driving baseline and drums, then wailing guitar and finally Freddie drops in. My favourite track on this first album – and signs of things to come with choral style backing singing, guitar sequences leading to new keys, multi-layered guitars and a very clever set of lyrics (especially the final refrains). I like it !!

    Doing All Right ** Nice piano and Freddie vocal, but don’t like the way this one keeps wandering from style to style, and the backing vocals are quite screechy.

    Great King Rat *** Another cracking start and feel to this track (Spanish ?) – fine Freddie multivocals and guitar solos keep the whole thing driving on at pace. The change of style at about 3 mins fits in very much better than those in Doin’ and leads back into the first very naturally. A well crafted track IMO.(love the pause for applause at about 5 mins !)

    My Fairy King ** a very Queenlike sound at the start, and fun lyrics but a bit lightweight and some of the multivocals aren’t very well balanced. A bit too long too.

    Liar ** Not a big fan, again too little structure and wild meanderings for my liking.

    The Night Comes Down *1/2 A brilliant intro (heading for prog) but then a pretty insipid song picthed far too high to be enjoyable.

    Modern Times R&R * One of the occasional RT vehicles, but really doesn’t fit in here at all.

    Son and Daughter *1/2 A track of its time – sounds like its should be in one of those films of the 70s, like Dirty Harry, with the droning guitars and vocals. A very poor ending though.

    Jesus * The track I’d rather skip, not for its content but for the tediousness of its structure and again screechy backing vocals. Even the massive change at 2 mins for the middle section isn’t worthy enough to save it.

    Seven Seas of Rhye *** Instantly a step up – clever piano and bass intro, but a track in too early a stage of development to judge as it is. Let’s hang on to it…..

    All in all an album I can listen to quite happily, with some early signs of greatness but equally some tracks I’ll happily skip past. I think they may have a future though…..
    Last edited by Jon Masters; 16th Apr 2012 at 9:08 PM.
    Bazinga !

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    6. The Night Comes Down

    Quite nice and again some good promise, but the song just isn't quite good enough.

    7. Modern Times Rock'n'Roll

    Rather insubstantial Roger Taylor rocker. Again, it's like a few steps in a direction that might be worth pursuing, but stuck here on its own at little over a minute in length, it's pretty worthless.

    8. Son And Daughter
    9. Jesus

    As a song, this shows promise but suddenly, like this album doesn't know what it wants to be, Freddie is playing the lead in a religious musical! It sums up the album in a way, so earnest and pretentious! Jesus - if you'll excuse the phrase - Christ.

    10. Seven Seas Of Rhye...

    And suddenly we are at the end with this splash of an idea, not even developed as far as the vocals.

    The whole album doesn't know what it wants to be. There are merest shades of what Queen would become - the rocky guitars, the delicate Mercury vocals and the occasional flashes of melody. But the whole thing is muddled and ill-thought through, like everyone had so many ideas they just chucked them into the pot without developing any of them. As a whole it makes no sense and there's precious little enjoyment to be had... like rummaging through a page of scribbled notes on a potentially great work. As it stands, this is the first glimmerings of Queen and no more, and I never want to hear it again.

    Si.

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    Queen

    Although this debut album could maybe have benefitted from having a bit of a punchier sound at times (it sounds rather flat in places) there is plenty to enjoy in this first Queen release. Most of the songs are already long and multi-parted (for want of a better word) laying the foundations for the likes ofBohemian Rhapsody, even at this early stage. They are also a heavier rock band here with the operatic vocals toned down a bit compared to later years, although they are present.



    Keep Yourself Alive: It’s easy to see how this was chosen as the group’s first ever single, but it lacks the punch of their later singles and is one of the weakest efforts on this album. It’s a really catchy little number though, one which I’m fond of but not one which I’d ever regard as a favourite. Easily the most commercial song here, but it's one that I feel is a little flat and hopefully will benefit from remastering. 6/10.

    Doin’ Alright: I love this little number, which is apparently a Smile leftover (co-written as it is by Brian May and Tim Stafell). Strong vocals by Freddie, I love how the slow melodic vocal portions contrast with the heavier rock instrumental segments, even though it jars a bit and isn't an easy fit. Early hints of the Queen vocal sound here. While KYA sounds more like a typical Queen single, you can here more of the overall Queen ‘sound’ here. 7/10.

    Great King Rat: Possibly my favourite track. A bit darker lyrically than what we usually get from the group, but a cracker of a track nonetheless. An under-rated gem, imo. 8/10.

    My Fairy King: Another great track, although a bit lightweight and whimsical. It's one of those rather odd but catchy tracks which peppered Queens '70s output, such as Seaside Rendezvous etc later. 7/10.

    Liar: Again, another favourite of mine…another early classic. One of the high points on the album. 8/10

    The Night Comes Down: The weakest track on the album, style over substance is the best description I can give here. 2/10


    Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll
    : Great Roger Taylor track, although a totally different sound to the rest of the album. I love Taylor’s stuff though in general, so again it’s one of the highlights. Good to hear Roger on vocals, his gravelly vocals a nice contrast to Freddie’s work. 6/10

    Son And Daughter: A decent slab of typical 70s blues-influenced rock. Love the chorus “I WANT YOU –to be a woman”. One of those tracks I enjoy when listening to this album but never makes it onto a compilation. 6/10

    Jesus: Rather weak and pointless, just a filler which could easily have been left off. Not bad, just forgettable. 2/10.

    Seven Seas Of Rhye: A work in progress…not much to say about this at the moment

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    Keep Yourself Alive
    It's very 1973- similar perhaps to some other glam stomps of the time. I rather like it- it's not one of their greatest tracks, and it does feature a drum solo, which isn't a good idea under most circumstances unless the drum solo is exceptional, which this isn't. But the vocals and lead guitar are good. As a proto-Queen track it's worthy, but not a winner.


    Doing All Right

    Noodle, noodle, noodle... jazz, never good, mixed with heavy guitars?- it feels schizophrenic. The vocals are all rather lovely and soft, but this song just veers all over the place, and despite lovely harmonies (another thing they'd hone and develop) it doesn't quite work.
    Last edited by SiHart; 16th Apr 2012 at 9:47 PM.

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

  8. #8

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    Curse you FAME re-release budget label! Because of you, I now realise I've heard this album in 50% the wrong order! Why do you this EMI? Why?... (review to follow)

  9. #9
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    Queen! Where did this album come from? There's a lot of influences clearly, but I think at this point Queen most wanted to be Led Zeppelin. The hard rock combined with fairytale/religious imagery is very similar in my opinion. There's a few progressive metal bands similar to Queen at this point; yet I still think Queen have something about them even on their first album that lifts them up above the crowd.

    Obviously, that something is most likely Freddie. His voice is magnificent, self-assured, powerful and capable of a wide range of styles. That's not to belittle the other musicians in the group, all of whom are hard at work on this album.

    The main complaint overall would be that there's too much going on all the time. They seem totally addicted to overdubbing and adding in extra lines of guitars, on top of a three-part vocal harmony, on top of manic drumming, on top of an excited bass-line... then Freddie comes in like the Queen of The Valkyries, screaming down to perch onto a five-hundred-mile high ornate and gothic wedding cake made of equal parts metal, jazz and prog Rock.

    Anyway, let's get rocking.

    Keep Yourself Alive
    I adore this track. Of all the songs on the first two Queen albums, this is the only I feel should have been on the Greatest Hits, aside from Seven Seas of Rhye. I love the chugging guitar line that introduces the song and runs all the way through.

    There's a huge driving energy and a comparative freshness to the track. Although it's as thick and as heavy as the other songs on the album, it feels far more 'pop' friendly with an easily accessible melody line and instant chorus. 8/10

    Doing Alright
    Lovely, lovely piano intro. I particularly like the acoustic-ey bridge into the hard-rock section. Queen would eventually work out how to marry hard and soft rock, but they don't quite manage it here, as others have observed. Yet on it's own the guitar break is pretty damn fine.

    I love the harmony work on this one. 8/10

    Great King Rat
    Here comes the pomp here comes the pomp! This is by far and away the silliest song on the first album (They would top it on Queen II - oh yes!). It's got a fair old gallop to it, rather appropriate to a song about a famous gangster and sexual deviant. At least, that's what I reckon it's about.

    I've always had difficulty telling where one track ended and another started on this album. No wonder, there's an extra song in the middle of Great King Rat which is completely different! 6/10

    My Fairy King
    Yes, they are a poncey Led Zeppelin. Freddie's vocals drift from speaker to speaker in an extended piece of sonic engineering.

    Queen are clearly a very intellectual band and songs like this are built from ideas by obscure poets and many different musical styles. 4/10

    Liar
    This one is brilliant (LIAR!) Another heavy, heavy track, but one that stood out for me when I first heard the album. There's the religious persecution element to the lyrics, which would later come back to such good effect in Bohemian Rhapsody. I like to imagine it's the same guys shouting 'LIAR!' that would later shout 'WILL NOT LET YOU GO!'

    ...And in fact, it is indeed still Brian and Roger. 6/10

    The Night Comes Down
    Bonkers and overcomplicated intro and outro, but the bit in the middle is really good. Bluesy and beguiling. Checking the Wikipedia entry, I see this is a Brian May composition. On reflection, that really shows in the tone of the song. It has that picturesque feel to it. 5/10

    Modern Times Rock'n'Roll
    No, I don't like this one much at all. Sorry Roger, but Freddie sings much better than you. Even though you sing pretty well. This one sets the trend for the Ringo-inspired 'One Song Sung By The Drummer Per Album' tradition. I've always found Roger's lyrics to be facile and fake too, as though he's trying too hard to be cool.

    This song seems about seven minutes longer than it's 1.48 runtime. 2/10

    Son And Daughter
    I! WANT! YOU! To be a woman? Even on the remasters, this one seems incredibly murky and hard work. Freddie's vocal line is particularly distorted. 4/10

    Jesus
    I like this one! Again, it's got an accessible chorus. It puts me in mind of a great procession of Prog Rock musicians heading down to Bethlehem bearing gifts of minor ninths, a wall of feedback and 9/16 time.

    The huge, noodley guitar solo is a bit of an albatross, even more so here for not being in keeping with the rest of the track in any way. 6/10

    Seven Seas Of Rhye...
    Yeah, we're not quite there yet. Even the piano playing is uneven and slower than on the 'finished' version. It's still good though! 7/10


    What's that? Bonus tracks? Well, I suppose I could...

    "Keep Yourself Alive (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)"
    "The Night Comes Down (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)"
    "Great King Rat (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)"
    "Jesus (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)"
    "Liar (De Lane Lea Demo, December 1971)"


    I'm sure these are 'of interest'; however they don't sound substantially different from the final versions to me. Like most demos, they're just not quite as good.

    "Mad the Swine (June 1972)"
    "Been here before, a long time ago - but this time I wear no sandals."
    This is actually a really pleasant track! It doesn't have the HARD ROCK elements of anything else on 'Queen', it just comes in, does it's business and leaves. Sadly, it's none too exciting either. But there's a lot to be said for just having a nice song.

    So - closing thoughts.

    I read Si Hunt's comments and I find it hard to say he's wrong in anything he says. It's not a strong album and it's fairly hard work. There are elements that work fantastically well and some songs that are very exciting, but the band are working far too hard to show how musically literate and talented they are. It's a far cry from the 80's albums where Brian May would phone in a single, five-second guitar solo as his only contribution to each song...

    Things would 'move forward' for Queen II. But would anyone survive?!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Magnificent review Steve!

    Si.

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    While Queen were at Trident studios recording their first album, in house engineer, Robin Geoffrey Cable, was experimenting with re-creating the "Wall of Sound" style favoured by Phil Spector. He recorded cover versions of the following two songs:

    "I Can Hear Music" (written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, which had been a hit for The Ronettes and The Beach Boys)
    "Goin' Back" (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, which had been a hit for Dusty Springfield and The Byrds )

    Cable enlisted Freddie Mercury to perform lead vocals on these tracks. Mercury in turn suggested bringing his band-mates Roger Taylor and Brian May to add percussion, guitar and backing vocals to the recordings.

    The name chosen to release the tracks under was Larry Lurex, a pun on Gary Glitter's name and the metallic yarn, Lurex. The single, sadly did not chart and today commands huge amounts of money whenever one turns up.

    I remember when Keep Yourself Alive was being promoted as a first single I Can Hear Music being played on the radio at the same time, it was no secret that the singer on this record was the same singer with new, emerging band, Queen.

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    So, Larry Lurex failed to chart? Hardly a surprise for a studio offcut and cover version, but it sounds like an intriguing rarity. Something to listen to once only, perhaps!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    On the contrary, I'm rather fond of both Larry Lurex songs, particuarly the Dusty cover "Goin' Back", the end of which appropriately is used at the end of the final mix of the very last song Freddie recorded, "Mother Love". As we hear time roll back over his whole life, the last thing we hear is a snatch of his first recorded song "Goin' Back", and then a baby cry, and then the song stops. But we're a long way from "Mother Love".

    It's a far cry from the 80's albums where Brian May would phone in a single, five-second guitar solo as his only contribution to each song...
    Now Steve has had his compliment, I would just like to tear apart this outrageous statement like a rotweiller chewing the bloody remains of a postman's leg. Queen's eighties output was credited to the band, but it's well known who wrote (or at least started off) each song. So for a start, May wrote "I Want It All", "Show Must Go On", "The Invisible Man" and Who Wants To Live Forever" amongst many others in the eighties. Also for the very reason of the shared credits, eighties Queen's songs were developed in the studio through numerous jams, and all members contributed. Take a look at them hard at work in the "One Vision" studio footage - May contributed more than the five second solo. His guitar is also all over the songs, who can forget the grand opening of "I Want It All", and indeed his distinctive guitar all over that track! And then there's his distinctive vocals, smothering most of the songs that decade which, along with Taylor and Mercury, forge the unique Queen sound.

    I'll just assume you were joking!

    Si.

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    Well, we'll see when we get there! I do think there are a few songs where this does happen, but I may have over-exaggerated. I have to admit that I've paid little attention to who-wrote-what over the years, so I'll try to correct that on this run through.

    You've provided some good counter-examples, but I'll be keeping an eagle eye out for any songs where Brian is slacking.

    It's mostly that in the early years, you get five or six different guitar parts over-dubbed and it makes the hard work that goes into each song that much more visible - even if the songs themselves aren't quite as good!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Mad The Swine has always been a bit of an odditty, I feel...like Steve says, a nice enough song but it just seems like a rather pointless one, with very little in the way of a rock feel to it. It would probably have weakened the album if it had been included. Although I'm familiar with the song, I've never actually heard it played in it's rightful position - ie between Great King Rat and My Fairy King; I'll have to rectify that next listen.

    Larry Lurex, though...although it didn't chart, this is easily the best of the pre-Queen recordings. I much prefer this version to the Beach Boys one, and it's certainly worth one than one listen. That goes for both the songs, as Si says.

    I remember a news story about ten or fifteen years ago, maybe longer, where a workman who was renovating a property found a box full of singles (I think it was about 50 or so of them) by Larry Lurex and never having heard the name before, promptly threw them in the skip with all the other junk. He kept one for himself though out of curiosity and after further investigation was gutted to discover the value (and rarity) of what he'd binned...it turned out that the property had once belonged to someone who was high up in Trident Records in the early 70s and this had been a boxful of unsold Larry Lurex singles!

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    Queen II (1974)




    White Side

    1. "Procession" (Instrumental) 1:12
    2. "Father to Son" 6:14
    3. "White Queen (As It Began)" 4:34
    4. "Some Day One Day" 4:23
    5. "The Loser in the End" (Roger Taylor) 4:02

    Black Side

    1. "Ogre Battle" 4:10
    2. "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" 2:40
    3. "Nevermore" 1:15
    4. "The March of the Black Queen" 6:33
    5. "Funny How Love Is" 2:50
    6. "Seven Seas of Rhye" 2:50

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    Procession

    From the start, this sounds more "together". A bold, clear guitar introduction and it's recognisably Brian May's beloved Red Special for the first time. Somehow just this minute of music sounds more ordered, more.... Queen. As with the cover, the four members are standing together as one for the first time.

    Oh yes, that cover. The image would become so recognisably the "Bohemian Rhapsody" video that it takes some head-scratching to realise that the album cover came first, two albums before, and the video was based on it. My Dad had this on vinyl and when I was a boy I used to gaze at the strange, operatic cover design of the four people standing as if on a smoke-filled theatre stage - for some reason I always imagined they were performing "Chess" or something. Who were they? And who was the strange lady in the middle? It was a beguiling image.

    Oh and back to Procession. Queen has arrived!

    Father To Son

    I'll admit now, I've never really listened to this album either. I lumped it in as "Queen"'s more rocky older brother, but still a stumbling step before "proper" Queen invented hit singles on "Sheer Heart Attack".

    But unlike "Queen" this is... bloody amazing. I adore this track! Again, it's unified and grand and what strikes me is that for the first time, Freddie is paying respect to the music, rather than trying to do his prancing old fairy routine in competition with it. They sound like a group for the first time, and the guitar is simply magnificent, rocky and commanding and wonderful. Fred's vocals are noticably better, and quite beautiful. I don't want to continue on to the next song, I want to listen to this one again!

    Consider me as having discovered a new Queen classic!

    White Queen (As It Began)

    This was a single wasn't it? Oh yes it was. It was for some reason included on "Queen's First EP" some time later. I remember making a scratchy rip from Dad's vinyl when I made my "Complete Queen Singles Collection" triple home-made tape once which, thanks to the inclusion of this and "Tenement Funster" because they were on the EP, made for an unlistenable, uncommercial object of worth to nobody.

    This is a softer song than its predecessor, but still quite delicate and well crafted. There is real discipline here. It's maybe a bit too similar to the last song, and because it joins up with it, it muddies the waters and almost gets lost in with it. But maybe that's the point, is this album turning into some kind of big opera, as hinted at by the "Black" and "White" sides? We shall see.

    Si.

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    Excellent! I'm delighted you're enjoying this one more!

    If only they'd done a 'White' version of the cover, all dressed in white with a white background. That woudl have been cool.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Some Day One Day

    But who's this singing? Yes it's Brian May's first vocal! The song is pleasant enough, but like his offering on "A Night At the Opera", "39", it's a bit wishy washy and his voice is weak. It's not the worst non-Freddie sung track on the album though. That would be...

    The Loser in the End

    This album's dull Roger Meadows-Taylor rocker. His voice is, in fairness, awful and not a patch on Freddie's - he sort of hollars/rasps out the song, there is no clear chorus, and the lyrical tone is vastly at odds with the fairytale imagary of the rest of the album. Taylor wants to sing about traditional rock'n'roll concerns like cars and girls and this song is just tedious. I want Freddie back!

    Si.

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    Ogre Battle
    The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke


    These two tracks continue the albums theme of hard rock mixed with operatic vocals and lyrics about whimiscal, fairytale type concepts. The start of "Ogre Battle" is the end played backwards, beginning with the closing crash of symbols reversed, so it rises up to start the song. Apparently "Ogre Battle" was a live favourite until as late as 1979, which seems very odd! It's all very weird, and of the two songs, "The Fairy Fellers Master Stroke", named after a painting which Freddie spotted, is my favourite; it's gentler and there are some lovely piano sections. I think maybe I'd be more fond of these songs given more listening, but as it stands they are like big ambitious 'works' but both end fairly quickly. And God knows what they are all about - you just wind up thinking it's all quite a load of nonsense, lovely though the evolving Queen sound now is. Never mind, "Killer Queen" will be along soon.

    Nevermore

    I know this! It's lovely. I discovered this fragile, minute long song some years ago and I love it. It has shades of "Love of my Life". If this had been expanded to three minutes, it could have been the first great Queen ballad. Or perhaps it's absolutely perfect as it is.

    Si.

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    The March Of The Black Queen

    I really like this one again, especially Freddie's vocals and a few nice touches, like the 'descending' guitar line early on and some nice piano. There's a good Roger Taylor vocal bit towards the end. It's all very "Who on Earth are Queen and what are they about?". However, although as a piece of music it's quite beautiful, there's not a lot you can actually do with it. It's not catchy enough to learn or sing along to, nor could this ever appear on a compilation. It's not decipherably "about" anything so you can't connect to it emotionally. I guess it's sole function is to be a part of this album, the rest of which is so wildly different to it that it makes so sense there either. An anomaly, but a masterful one.

    Funny How Love Is

    This, on the hand, is a bit of a misfire. Great title, but Freddie's vocals are pushed right back in the mix, and it sounds like another Larry Lurex single. Neither is the song especially great. Sounds like it doesn't belong on this album at all.

    Seven Seas of Rhye

    "Responsible for a lot" probably. My Dad always liked this one, and I suspect it was this track, bolted on the end, which helped spread round word about Queen and persauded them to head in a more pop direction, since it's short, has a recognisable chorus, and it quite anthemic, in it's own way. I've always found it a bit of an oddity, since it's eternally popular yet not, to me, in truth up there with their greatest works. It might however be called the first "proper" Queen single and any decent Greatest Hits or Singles Collection should probably start here. "Queen II" as an album doesn't sound like it should end with a jolly sing-a-long of "We All Like To Be Beside The Seaside".

    So Queen are about to be three albums in and still only finding their feet! The first two albums show them coming on in leaps and bounds in terms of finding their sound, but all the mystical bollocks was about to be dumped in favour of proper songs, albeit keeping some of the sonic trickery they had perfected here, the classic Brian May guitar sound and the theatrical vocals, the multi-layered vocal effects and delicate moments of piano. It was all in the pot, it just needed to be shaped into digestable tunes - and that was coming.

    I think we'll have to leave Queen II open a bit longer as everyone else seems to have given up. Come on everyone, it's a long way to "Made In Heaven" and I don't want to do it on my own!

    Si.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post
    I think we'll have to leave Queen II open a bit longer as everyone else seems to have given up. Come on everyone, it's a long way to "Made In Heaven" and I don't want to do it on my own!

    Si.
    Blimey, it's like being at work !!
    Bazinga !

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    You're not meeting your Queen targets, Jon!!

    Si.

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    Procession** A great piece of music, let alone pop music, but not really anything more than an intro to..

    Father to Son***1/2 A great song with a proper structure, and interesting action from the whole band – a fine ensemble piece with a heavy middle section that doesn’t wander off too far . I’d rather a clear cut ending though.

    White Queen *** Some interesting electronic sounds here mixed perfectly with acoustics and Freddie’s soulful vocal. Again, there’s a much better structure to the whole song than we were getting on the first album.

    Some Day One Day *1/2 Quite tuneful, but a bit weak and bland compared to the other tracks, so it doesn’t really fit. Not one of my favourite BM vocals.

    The Loser in the End*** Sorry, Si, but I really like this RT effort – probably one of my favourite RT rock tracks. I think his rough vocals work well on this, and the song has nice clear lyrics that tell a good story. Love the middle 8 section and even the ending isn’t bad.

    Ogre Battle *1/2
    The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke***
    Nevermore****

    The first example of a staple of later Queen albums – the Triple Bill (usually a rockin’, then a whimsical, then a ballad)
    Ogre Battle has stonking rock sounds going on, and some nice sections but I find the balance a bit off, making it quite difficult to follow the vocal line sometimes.
    But the switch into FF is a masterpiece, and contains some of the funniest lyrics in a whimsical Queen song. Great stuff that seagues into one of the most beautiful Freddie ballads Nevermore. Breathtaking.

    The March of the Black Queen** Definitely designed to be the showpiece track of the album. Lots of switching from one style to another, but again a much better sense of structure than we would have got in Queen 1. And yet, I’m not all that fond of it – it just jumps around a bit too much for me.

    Funny How Love Is* Given the rest of the album, this is a quite conventional (and therefore quite dull) song. If Black Queen was too varied, this is just the opposite – repetitive and dull.

    Seven Seas of Rhye*** Familiarity maybe breeds a bit of contempt, but the intro is stonking – pounding Freddie piano and wailing May guitars, and then a strong driving rhythm pushing it onwards. Worthy of being on a Greatest Hits as the first example of what they could really do in a fairly short track, but never going to be anyone’s favourite Greatest Hit.

    Overall, Q2 is an album I have a lot of time for - it's eminently listenable and has got some great tracks to sing along to. I declare it.....a hit !!
    Bazinga !

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    I'll be catching up. Tomorrow morning!

    Last edited by Rob McCow; 28th Apr 2012 at 9:27 AM.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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