Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Hot space album is actually not bad

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Posted: 30 Mar 10, 10:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


The album might not be liked by many people but when some of the songs were sung during the hot space tour ,the songs came across really well


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Posted: 30 Mar 10, 11:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I personally love the album.


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Posted: 30 Mar 10, 11:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The songs are great, but the album sucks, if you understand what I'm trying to say :-)


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Posted: 30 Mar 10, 20:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I really discovered Queen in the spring of 1993. Freddie was gone and the band had seemlingly come to an end. I was at a point in my teens where I seeking out something different from what my peers were listening to (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, bad '90s dance music). I was delving into the '60 and '70s. I bought Classic Queen and was hooked. I began buying the albums and was impressed at the many directions Queen chose to take in their career. It's funny that even though Hot Space took time to grow on me, not once did I think, "How stupid, disco and funk!" After all, who was I to judge? Maybe it would be different if I'd been a fan in the '70s and HS was new. Maybe, but probably not. Hot Space exists for me the way all Queen releases exist. They simply *are," I like most, but not all, but I accept them equally and try to understand what went into making them and what the enviroment and inspiration was around them. I don't really evaluate them, even if I don't like a song.

An easy trap to get into is: I don't like it, therefore it sucks. Or another common trap is comparing releases: The Works is no Queen II, therefore it sucks. I say to you, in the spirit of a friendly challenge, try to step out of yourself and look at a work objectively. Ask yourself the following questions:

What inspired this direct in the band?
What else were they doing, either in their solo careers or in the trends influencing them at the time?
How much craftsmanship went into the work and why did they make certain creative decisions?

There are no right or wrong answers and no one is expecting that you'll suddenly fall in love with that which you previously disliked, but maybe...just maybe...you won't not-like it as much.


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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 03:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> It's funny that even though Hot Space took time to grow on me, not once did I think, "How stupid, disco and funk!"

The problem is not the style, but the way they did it. Things like Body Language are mediocre at best. Not because of the genre, but because of performance.

> I don't really evaluate them, even if I don't like a song.

Good for you. And it would be silly (no, it would be stupid) to try to convince you to evaluate them. Similarly, those who do like to evaluate them are entitled to.

> An easy trap to get into is: I don't like it, therefore it sucks.

It would be stupid to think that way. But yes, many people do.

> The Works is no Queen II, therefore it sucks.

Loads of albums are no Queen II and don't suck; loads of albums are no Queen II and suck. The Works is on the latter group.

> I say to you, in the spirit of a friendly challenge, try to step out of yourself and look at a work objectively.

Objectively: performance is sub-par for the band, songwriting is sub-par for the band, production is sub-par for the band. Therefore, the album's sub-par for the band.

> What inspired this direct in the band?

The problem's not the direction, but the way they embraced it, by playing way way way way less-good than they could.

> What else were they doing, either in their solo careers or in the trends influencing them at the time?

Regardless of that, if the final product's not good enough, it's not good enough. The problem's not the direction, but the way they embraced it, by playing way way way way less-good than they could.

> How much craftsmanship went into the work and why did they make certain creative decisions?

Regardless of that, if the final product's not good enough, it's not good enough. The problem's not the direction, but the way they embraced it, by playing way way way way less-good than they could.

> There are no right or wrong answers

Actually, there are: it's wrong to say, for instance, 'Nirvana inspired that direct in the band'. It's also wrong to say: 'hip-hop music influenced them'. So there ARE wrong answers.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 04:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



rhyeking wrote:

I really discovered Queen in the spring of 1993. Freddie was gone and the band had seemlingly come to an end. I was at a point in my teens where I seeking out something different from what my peers were listening to (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, bad '90s dance music). I was delving into the '60 and '70s. I bought Classic Queen and was hooked. I began buying the albums and was impressed at the many directions Queen chose to take in their career. It's funny that even though Hot Space took time to grow on me, not once did I think, "How stupid, disco and funk!" After all, who was I to judge? Maybe it would be different if I'd been a fan in the '70s and HS was new. Maybe, but probably not. Hot Space exists for me the way all Queen releases exist. They simply *are," I like most, but not all, but I accept them equally and try to understand what went into making them and what the enviroment and inspiration was around them. I don't really evaluate them, even if I don't like a song.

An easy trap to get into is: I don't like it, therefore it sucks. Or another common trap is comparing releases: The Works is no Queen II, therefore it sucks. I say to you, in the spirit of a friendly challenge, try to step out of yourself and look at a work objectively. Ask yourself the following questions:

What inspired this direct in the band?
What else were they doing, either in their solo careers or in the trends influencing them at the time?
How much craftsmanship went into the work and why did they make certain creative decisions?

There are no right or wrong answers and no one is expecting that you'll suddenly fall in love with that which you previously disliked, but maybe...just maybe...you won't not-like it as much.
 

I fully agree with you, the work of every band should always be seen connected to the times they lived in.
 
Multitracking was no longer exciting. And the enormous success of "Another one bites the Dust" based on a disco groove without any typical guitar sound may have changed the powers in the band.
Looking back "Hot Space" has too little of Brian May on the songs and even Roger Taylors drums were replaced by a computer. And the reason why most of the songs worked much better live is quite simple. Drums and guitar were back....

Surely "Hot Space" is not the highlight of their carreer, but it was probably a necessary step to make them aware of their real strength.
  







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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 08:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> I fully agree with you, the work of every band should always be seen connected to the times they lived in.

So I suppose 'A Night at the Opera' had to be an Osmonds-ersatz thing and 'The Game' should sound like the Village People.

> Multitracking was no longer exciting.

'Hot Space' has a lot of multi-tracking, by the way.

> And the enormous success of "Another one bites the Dust" based on a disco groove without any typical guitar sound may have changed the powers in the band.

It did have 'typical guitar sound' in several parts. More so, statistically, than Don't Stop Me Now.

> Looking back "Hot Space" has too little of Brian May on the songs

False: only one song is Brian-free, all of the others have him. Conversely, John's absent from two songs (one of which was the lead single). Roger and Freddie take part on all of the tracks.

> and even Roger Taylors drums were replaced by a computer.

Actually, they only used computers occasionally back then. It was more about synths or electronic hexagonal pads. But still: ALL of the 'Hot Space' songs feature guitars, MOST of them also feature human drums and/or bass.

> And the reason why most of the songs worked much better live is quite simple. Drums and guitar were back.

They were never absent. The difference is that they were more powerful live (e.g. Staying Power). But all in all 'Hot Space' has a lot more Deacon-less parts than May-less or Taylor-less.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 10:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Sebastian wrote:

> I fully agree with you, the work of every band should always be seen connected to the times they lived in.

So I suppose 'A Night at the Opera' had to be an Osmonds-ersatz thing and 'The Game' should sound like the Village People.

> Multitracking was no longer exciting.

'Hot Space' has a lot of multi-tracking, by the way.


Oh come on...you never forgave me that I can't stand these ranking and rating topics...

And now you want to make me look like an idiot, don't you? 
The first Queen albums are the result of the early 70s studio-technology. Multitracking was the new toy and many bands like Sweet, 10 cc, Boston and even ABBA created their unique sounds this way.

So I don't know why you come up with the Osmonds.....

Please go and rate something...for example "Which of Brian May's fingers plays the best....." 







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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 10:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I consider HS to be Queen's most underrated album. While there is some extremely ordinary stuff on the album (as there is on several other Queen albums), there is also some wonderful stuff. I would put Staying Power, Put Out the Fire and Las Palabras de Amor up against much of Queen's 70's work.  Under Pressure, which I regard to be among Queen's two most overrated songs (along with Who Wants To Live Forever) is in actuality a great song, and Dancer is IMO extremely fun.

The 80's weren't a great decade for Queen, and with the exception of The Game, none of the albums released during that decade were particularly great. However I do think that Hot Space is a very enjoyable album and I wish that Queen members wouldn't express regret for it in public.





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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 10:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't think hot space was bad at all....not great either.   I think the hard rock sound from Queen was losing steam in the 80's, at least for me.  Put out the fire is among my least favorite songs from the band, and a few years later "tear it up" would be another least favorite,  while stayinging power and radio ga ga has much more life to them.   the songs I like on hot space are staying power, back chat, action this day (though I wish these songs were heavier) life is real,  words of love, cool cat, under pressure.  As you could see I like most of the songs, though the album doesn't have any brilliant moments either, except for under pressure.  I guess that's the difference.

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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 11:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just for good order:

It is absolutely and completely impossible to say anything truly objective about anything, least of all a work of art, under which, for want of a better term, Hot Space is also included.



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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> It's funny that even though Hot Space took time to grow on me, not once did I think, "How stupid, disco and funk!"

>>The problem is not the style, but the way they did it. Things like Body Language are mediocre at best. Not because of the genre, but because of performance.

Mediocre by what standard? Its simplicity? Its amusing lyrics? Looking at the entire album, remember, the 'way they did it' was an artistic choice, not an indication of lack of talent or skill. They made their choice, to explore funk and disco a bit more, and on a technical level the album is well performed and well-produced. There's simple material and there's complex material. Are you saying that because they didn't rock out hardcore and cause the earth to shake and mountains to crumble the performance is mediocre? I want to understand what you're saying.

> I don't really evaluate them, even if I don't like a song.

>>Good for you. And it would be silly (no, it would be stupid) to try to convince you to evaluate them. Similarly, those who do like to evaluate them are entitled to.

They are entitled to, yes, but I'd like to challenge them to see things a different way. That's part of the nature of the forum.

> The Works is no Queen II, therefore it sucks.

>>Loads of albums are no Queen II and don't suck; loads of albums are no Queen II and suck. The Works is on the latter group.

Again, by what standard? I know you're above such a simple, glib assessment. Make me see your point of view. "They didn't perform well" is not a well-reasoned argument and is ussually not true, we all know better.

> I say to you, in the spirit of a friendly challenge, try to step out of yourself and look at a work objectively.

>>Objectively: performance is sub-par for the band, songwriting is sub-par for the band, production is sub-par for the band. Therefore, the album's sub-par for the band.

It's not sub-par because they choose not to do what they've done in the past. If it were a one-off live recording, with mistakes and missed notes and flubbed lines, I'd agree that a performance can be called sub-par. Such sloppiness and lack of skill does not exist on Hot Space because when a band known for its meticulousness spends months crafting new material, it refines the album into exactly what they want.

> What inspired this direct in the band?

>>The problem's not the direction, but the way they embraced it, by playing way way way way less-good than they could.

Again, an artistic decision to not use every trick they'd exploited in the past.  

> What else were they doing, either in their solo careers or in the trends influencing them at the time?

>>Regardless of that, if the final product's not good enough, it's not good enough. The problem's not the direction, but the way they embraced it, by playing way way way way less-good than they could.

My point in asking that question was to demostrate that we can see a work, in this case an album, on several levels and perhaps try to better appreciate not just the album as a single entity, but as part of the fabric of what Queen and its members were doing at the time. Hot Space is an example of an album with as many external infuences as internal. Understanding how the band created the album might open a few eyes and show them that the album might be better than they thought.

> How much craftsmanship went into the work and why did they make certain creative decisions?

>>Regardless of that, if the final product's not good enough, it's not good enough. The problem's not the direction, but the way they embraced it, by playing way way way way less-good than they could.

"Regardless"...? Are you unwilling to understand the band on its own terms? And to explore Hot Space on its own terms? If the answer is "Yes, I'm unwilling," then no further discussion is possible. Your opinion and attitude is locked and is unlikely to be broadened by the free exchange of ideas. All I can say is I tried.

> There are no right or wrong answers

>>Actually, there are: it's wrong to say, for instance, 'Nirvana inspired that direct in the band'. It's also wrong to say: 'hip-hop music influenced them'. So there ARE wrong answers.

Forgive me for being subtle. A more specific statement, clarifying my intent, would read: Taking into account all knowable details discovered by individual exploration and research, by way of the parameters outlined and discussed previously in the post, and by applying them accurately, the understanding gained thereby would be neither correct nor incorrect once applied to personal taste and having abandoned all deliberate obtuseness.


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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hot Space is a delightful little album, never understood the bemoaning. I'm continually shocked by criticism of 'The Works' on Queenzone, always regarded it as Queen at a very high standard .' Radio Ga Ga,' ' Keep passing the open Windows', 'Machines' ,' Is This the World we Created', a track performed live to the world ! , .Sorry, but Queen were comfortably coasting here.Perhaps it proves i am truly a Queen fan.

Master Marathon Runner 



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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> Oh come on...you never forgave me that I can't stand these ranking and rating topics...

It's not something to forgive about. If you can't stand them, fine, good for you. But those of us who actually like them, are entitled to like them and participate. And while I (personally) don't intend to convince you to change your perspective, it'd be pointless for you if you tried to convince me to change my way of thinking.

> And now you want to make me look like an idiot, don't you?

I don't. I want many things, but making you look like an idiot is not one of them.

> The first Queen albums are the result of the early 70s studio-technology. Multitracking was the new toy and many bands like Sweet, 10 cc, Boston and even ABBA created their unique sounds this way.

Multitracking existed since mid-50's. It was not new.

> So I don't know why you come up with the Osmonds.....

Because the Osmonds were trendy at the time. However, Queen had no need in imitating them as they knew they could do their own thing.

> Please go and rate something...for example "Which of Brian May's fingers plays the best....."

Forefinger in both hands, as it happens with most guitarists.

> I consider HS to be Queen's most underrated album.

Now, there I agree. While it's not even sort of close to the quality of 'Opera' or 'Races', it certainly is much better than people give it credit for.

> The 80's weren't a great decade for Queen, and with the exception of The Game

And keep in mind that much of the material for 'The Game' was written in the last months of 1979. Part of it was also recorded in June/July that year.

> I wish that Queen members wouldn't express regret for it in public.

TBF, only John and Roger said they were disappointed with the product. Freddie and Brian, IIRC, were dissatisfied with how it sold, but they didn't hate the album. In fact, 'Mr Bad Guy' is virtually a sequel.

> It is absolutely and completely impossible to say anything truly objective about anything, least of all a work of art

So, is 2+2=4 subjective? For the record I'm not saying it is, and I'm not saying it isn't, but I'm interested in your take on it.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> Mediocre by what standard? Its simplicity?

Simplicity's not the problem. Dear Friends is simple, and IMO it's the best track in an album full of wonderful compositions. Same for '39 (which isn't too simple but it's not 'woah how complex' either).

> Looking at the entire album, remember, the 'way they did it' was an artistic choice, not an indication of lack of talent or skill.

That's precisely it: they had enough talent and skill to do somethinf waaaaaaay better. It's not about having 10+ guitars (Is This the World We Created has one and is a lovely ballad, My Melancholy Blues has none and it's great), it's not about having 5+ modulations (White Queen has none - depending on how you interpret the middle-eight - and it's a masterpiece), it's about using 5% of your skills. It's like having Doris Lessing writing 'hey hi wazzup' over and over, when she could write The Golden Notebook.

> They made their choice, to explore funk and disco a bit more, and on a technical level the album is well performed and
well-produced.

But not AS well performed and well produced as others. Some off-pitch notes (on both vocals and guitars), very dry percussion, guitar licks Brian could've performed with an arm chopped off... It's like having Usain Bolt running the hundred metres in half a minute - it's not bad, it's still better than what many can do, but it's waaaaaaaay below his own level.

> There's simple material and there's complex

And that's not related to it being 'good' or 'mediocre'. Lily of the Valley is simple, yet it's outstanding.

> Are you saying that because they didn't rock out hardcore and cause the earth to shake and mountains to crumble the performance is mediocre?

No, I'm saying that because performance was far below their own level, it's mediocre. Not in all cases, but in most (in that album, that is).

> Again, by what standard? I know you're above such a simple, glib assessment. Make me see your point of view.

Songwriting's sub-par, sounds are dated, Hammer to Fall (wonderful song, great vocals [especially Brian's harmonies], awful recording in terms of instruments), Ga Ga is way too robotic, Machines (great song and very underrated) has very little imagination in the arrangement, Freddie's voice (brilliant as it is) is his least-good in the 1984-1986 period (i.e. it's excellent, but not as excellent as before or after). So, by Queen standards, it's not a great album. All of that IMO of course, since there are subjective factors that cannot be measured (e.g. if you proposed to your wife while listening to Break Free [though that would send mixed signals], then it's probably gonna be the best song ever for you).

> It's not sub-par because they choose not to do what they've done in the past.

No, that's not the reason. The reason is having off-pitch notes in a singer that very very rarely sang out of tune; the reason is having subdued bass-lines in some ballads (e.g. Las Palabras de Amor, which is otherwise gorgeous) when they were capable of writing way more interesting arrangements for that instrument (e.g. Teo Torriatte, Show Must Go On). It's not about being simple (and loads of things in 'Hot Space' are not as simple as they appear to be), it's not about using synths, it's not about playing disco, it's about playing it using only a small portion of their skills.

> If it were a one-off live recording, with mistakes and missed notes and flubbed lines, I'd agree that a performance can be called sub-par.

Indeed, that's the thing: they had a year to come up with that. They had time and resources to correct details such as the out of pitch notes in the Back Chat solo (live, Brian's performance was flawless), but they didn't bother. Considering 'Queen II' took them less than a month, it's ... sub-par.

> Such sloppiness and lack of skill does not exist on Hot Space because when a band known for its meticulousness spends months crafting new material, it refines the album into exactly what they want.

But they weren't hungry anymore. While they were never sloppy, they were way less perfectionist than in their golden era. Again: less than a month for 'Queen II', three months for 'Sheer Heart Attack' (and with one of them very seriously ill), over a year for 'Hot Space'... that's sub-par.

> Again, an artistic decision to not use every trick they'd exploited in the past. 

It's not about using every trick, it's about doing it well. When they brought waltz to their catalogue, they did it with flawless performance, amazing production, extraordinary songwriting, imaginative bass-line, astonishing vocals; when they did simple blues, they did it great, with some disorienting rhythm and a great 'loose' vocal that put them in a different level to just 'copycats'. When they did it with funk, they didn't walk the extra mile. Again, it's not a matter of how many guitars or how many diminished chords.

> My point in asking that question was to demostrate that we can see a work, in this case an album, on several levels and perhaps try to better appreciate not just the album as a single entity, but as part of the fabric of what Queen and its members were doing at the time.

Precisely: as part of a band that used to do things way way way way way better, it's sub-par. Had it been their only album, fine, it still sounds well and is generally well-made. But seeing it in the context of what they could do... Usain Bolt running the hundred metres in half a minute.

> Hot Space is an example of an album with as many external infuences as internal.

They all are.

> Understanding how the band created the album might open a few eyes and show them that the album might be better than they thought.

Or worse.

> "Regardless"...? Are you unwilling to understand the band on its own terms? And to explore Hot Space on its own terms?

Your 'on its own terms' remark contradicts the previous 'seeing it in the context' one.

> Your opinion and attitude is locked and is unlikely to be broadened by the free exchange of ideas.

So, because I disagree with you I'm 'locked'? I completely respect your POV and have absolutely no interest in making you change it, as there's nothing wrong with it. So, I'm entitled to get the same courtesy: agree with me? Fine; disagree? Fine. If you can't accept I've got a different opinion, then it is you who's 'locked and unlikely to be broadenes by the free exchange of ideas.'



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Never in my life did I think I'd pull this counter out on a Queen forum, BUT....

> It is absolutely and completely impossible to say anything truly objective about anything, least of all a work of art

>>So, is 2+2=4 subjective? For the record I'm not saying it is, and I'm not saying it isn't, but I'm interested in your take on it.

Well, that's assuming you're using the more common decimal system of mathmatics, which is base 10. The less-common, but scientifically valid Ternary (base 3) numeral system would read more like:

2 + 2 = 11 

Sometimes, everything is not as it seems, huh? :-)

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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

And indeed that was quite the answer I was looking for. However, it's still an objective answer. In decimal system, 2+2=4, full stop. In binary system, 1+1=10, full stop. In hexadecimal, 9+2=b (IIRC), full stop.

Some things are black or white.

Things like 'is Hot Space a good album?' or 'was it a good decision?' are subjective and there are no right or wrong answers.

Things like 'who wrote more songs for Hot Space?' and 'did Deacy have more performing input than Brian?' are measurable and do have right or wrong answers.

Which leads me to my main point: something loads of people mistakenly believe is that Hot Space was a John + Freddie thing. And it wasn't: while Freddie was the dominant songwriter and he probably had a lot to do with the style (shocking) swerve, John had less input on the album (physically speaking, not in metaphysical ambiguous terms) than Brian or Roger. And that can be measured.

We've got one Brian-less song vs no Roger-less songs vs two John-less songs; one song with little playing from Brian vs no songs with little playing from Roger vs two/three songs with little playing from John; we've got no songs without guitar vs three songs without human bass. And so on.



John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



master marathon runner wrote:

Hot Space is a delightful little album, never understood the bemoaning. I'm continually shocked by criticism of 'The Works' on Queenzone, always regarded it as Queen at a very high standard .' Radio Ga Ga,' ' Keep passing the open Windows', 'Machines' ,' Is This the World we Created', a track performed live to the world ! , .Sorry, but Queen were comfortably coasting here.Perhaps it proves i am truly a Queen fan.

Master Marathon Runner 

The works isn't as bad as queenzoner's make it out to be......Radio Ga ga and break free has stood the test of time...it's a hard life is a personal favorite of mine.  Hammer to fall is good, though live it's much better.  machines is pretty good...keep passing the open windows I alway's liked.  Is this the world we created?....very nice, both studio and live.  that leaves me with 2 songs I don't like,  man on the prowl, and tear it up.  A freddie and brian song, that's very rare for me.   Of course the album isn't on par with the golden era. (the first 8 albums) or Innuendo,  but it's still pretty good.






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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The last two or three years, Hot Space has been the Queen record I've listened to most. It's a lot of fun!



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Posted: 31 Mar 10, 12:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



>>Seb: So, because I disagree with you I'm 'locked'? I completely respect your POV and have absolutely no interest in making you change it, as there's nothing wrong with it.



 


I do respect your opinion and always have, despite disagreeing with it on certain points. One reason I come in hard sometimes is that not as many people have thought their positions out and because our points of view differ in places, it's of benefit, particularly to new fans, to see all views intelligently. Too many posts here are of the "it sucks!" or "it rocks!" type, which is boring. Please excuse me if I seemed to be picking a fight. You do present a position worth considering and I hope you and others think the same of my posts.