Queen Absolute Greatest mastered by Bob Ludwig from the original flat master mix tapes.
Queen. Someone ought to erect a monument to them. Think about it: theyâ€™ve ruled their game longer than many of our most famous leaders, their words can be repeated by many more than can recite our most celebrated writers, and despite more than three generations passing since they first blasted their way into our consciences, theyâ€™re just as omnipresent today as they ever were. Just for starters (and more to follow):
And letâ€™s not forget Queenâ€™s unmatched global dominance as live artists. Thereâ€™s not a continent in the world Queenâ€™s legendary tours havenâ€™t touched down in, in many cases arriving ahead of anyone else: think South America, Mexico, the Eastern Bloc. And who but the wisest would know that even somewhere down there in the desert of Antarctica sits a permanent plaque bearing Queenâ€™s name?
Beyond that, Queen continue to sell out concerts, are ready to lend their celebrity power unreservedly when they see just causes â€“ such as Nelson Mandelaâ€™s 46664 campaign; have quietly collected and distributed over $15 million dollars through their own charity the Mercury Phoenix Trust – fighting AIDS worldwide, and most telling of all, continue to be held in the highest esteem by the lead runners in todayâ€™s Rock Pack who cite the bandâ€™s influence over them in their founding years.
Letâ€™s face it: few other acts have so embedded themselves into our lives that we canâ€™t imagine a time when Queen werenâ€™t around, or can imagine such a time in the future.
So what is it about Queen that makes it all so?
You have to look no further than the forthcoming Absolute Greatest hits package, released November 9 (November 10, USA) in four different CD and LP, compact and luxury sets, illustrated with some fine photos and videos, to see where it all comes from.
Charting over 21 years of making people rock, feel, sense and celebrate, Absolute Greatest reminds us just what fine, and smart, rock and pop writers and musicians Messrs Deacon, May, Mercury and Taylor were (are). Also that they had a sense of humour, which is perhaps another thing that made them so accessible.
The earliest hit presented here, Seven Seas of Rhye (1974) reminds us of those days when we wondered about why they had chosen the name Queen, whether they really were just an arrogant bunch pushing their luck in Zandra Rhodes frocks and black nail varnish, or whether they really were the future of Progressive Rock ? To make us further wonder, they didnâ€™t stop there – they went on to defiantly title their next single Killer Queen.
Then they flashed the wit and made us all smile and feel good at the same time with those jaunty ditties like Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, and I Want To Break Free. And hell, who would have thought that Roger Taylor would look so fetching in that pre-Britney schoolgirl outfit ?
And if you wanted a mass celebration, who better than Queen, who could bond tens of thousands of total strangers and get them chanting or arm-waving in unison to Mayâ€™s terse We Will Rock You or Mercuryâ€™s more emotionally charged We Are The Champions.
They could at the drop of a hat be romantic, as Deacon proved with Youâ€™re My Best Friend, or friends to heartbreak, as we saw in Mercuryâ€™s Somebody to Love or Mayâ€™s Who Wants to Live Forever.
Queen provided a mood and backdrop for every time and every occasion, and were often at their best when they went for almost breath-taking high drama: aided by David Bowie they gave us the brooding heart pounding rhythms of Under Pressure, the operatically ballistic Bohemian Rhapsody, and perhaps the ultimate curtain-call rock song, The Show Must Go On.
A joyous celebration of Queenâ€™s – and many of our own – greatest moments, Absolute Greatest also comes in very personalized versions in which band members Brian May and Roger Taylor share their own memories about the tracks chosen for this collection.
In a limited-edition book version, the Queen photo archives are opened up with 52 pages of unseen and rare photos, and handwritten song lyrics by each member of the band (including corrections and rewrites).
Certain versions provide exclusive access to online streaming of 20 of Queenâ€™s greatest live performances.
OK – so it should not be expected we will see the likenesses of Queen carved into Mount Rushmore, or find their way to a Trafalgar Square plinth (now thereâ€™s an idea), so for the moment letâ€™s accept that Absolute Greatest will serve as a terrific tribute to a monumental music history. Ah, these are (indeed) the days of our lives.
Queen Absolute Greatest has been mastered by Bob Ludwig from the original flat master mix tapes.
UK: Ivor Novello Awards. Queen Receive Song of the Decade (70â€™s) â€“ Bohemian Rhapsody. May 26, 2005
In the most anticipated chart of all time, VH1 teamed up with The Official UK Charts Company to release a definitive list of the Top 100 Best Selling Albums ever. The chart was made up of actual sales figures from the last fifty years. The chart revealed that legendary rockers Queen have outsold all other artists to claim the coveted title of the UKâ€™s favourite album with their Greatest Hits compilation selling a staggering 5,407,587. The Beatles occupied second place with â€˜Sgt Pepperâ€™s Lonely Heartâ€™s Club Band.â€™