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Posted: 10 May 10, 06:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Works was a very short Queen album with 9 tracks. A large number of people think that it's stronger than Hot Space and competes with A Kind of Magic to be one of Queen's best albums of the 1980s. Hit wise, the album was very sucessful and probably the strongest for many years with three top ten hits. Is The Works a good album, average or is it no better than Hot Space.!

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Posted: 10 May 10, 06:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Personally i like Hot Space there is nothing wrong with it  but i would have to say The Works is better only because the songs are a stronger quality

I like Radio Gaga
Its a hard life
I want to break free
Hammer to Fall
Is this the world we created
Tear it up

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Posted: 10 May 10, 08:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok, let's go.

Radio Ga Ga- like it. But never was so mad about it. 
Tear It Up- love the riff. 
It's A Hard Life- ok.
Man On The Prowl- so-so. Never was keen on it.
Machines- like this one too. Good potential.
I Want To Break Free- like it. But the video is even better. :D
Keep Passing The Open Windows- ok.
Hammer To Fall- love it! Superb.
Is This The World We Created- love it! Simple and brilliant.

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Posted: 10 May 10, 09:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I most often regard The Works as Queen's worst ever album. The album is dominated by an aspect I definitely do not like: synthesizers. Now, of course Hot Space featured a lot of them as well and later 80s albums too, but at least they had some good songwriting to at least be able to look past the synths. The Works is a hit machine, and that is another aspect that I dislike to the fullest. I hate commercial albums. Not because they're successful, but because they are mostly simplistic and boring, much like The Works. All of this is of course just my opinion, but I don't think I'm the only one. Hot Space had character, The Works doesn't.

Radio Gaga - Annoying
Tear it Up - Unoriginal
It's a Hard Life - Play the Game reprise, but sounds good nevertheless
Man on the Prowl - Skip-worthy
Machines (Back to Humans) - Not worth my time
I Want to Break Free - Not as good as any other Queen song
Keep Passing the Open Windows - Keep Passing them...
Hammer to Fall - Rocks your socks off, despite its simplicity. Best track off the album.
Is This the World we created? - Cheesy lyrics and forced.

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Posted: 10 May 10, 10:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Radio Gaga - unusual opener. Nicely done. Very catchy.
It's a Hard Life - A great little song. Has all the Queen trademarks.
Man on the Prowl - Can't stand this style of music.
Machines (Back to Humans) - Good idea, nciely put together. Not great, but not bad eitehr.
I Want to Break Free - Lightweight, but catchy.
Keep Passing the Open Windows - Perhaps the Queen song I listen to least. Not bad necessarily, just forgetable.
Hammer to Fall - Agree, best track on the album.
Is This the World we created? - Weird attempt to do a studio version of the live version of Love of My Life. Nice but forgetable.

Overall, a weak album. Compare it to anything from the 1970s and it looks really poor.


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Posted: 10 May 10, 12:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The_CrY wrote: I most often regard The Works as Queen's worst ever album. The album is dominated by an aspect I definitely do not like: synthesizers. Now, of course Hot Space featured a lot of them as well and later 80s albums too, but at least they had some good songwriting to at least be able to look past the synths. The Works is a hit machine, and that is another aspect that I dislike to the fullest. I hate commercial albums. Not because they're successful, but because they are mostly simplistic and boring, much like The Works. All of this is of course just my opinion, but I don't think I'm the only one. Hot Space had character, The Works doesn't.

Radio Gaga - Annoying
Tear it Up - Unoriginal
It's a Hard Life - Play the Game reprise, but sounds good nevertheless
Man on the Prowl - Skip-worthy
Machines (Back to Humans) - Not worth my time
I Want to Break Free - Not as good as any other Queen song
Keep Passing the Open Windows - Keep Passing them...
Hammer to Fall - Rocks your socks off, despite its simplicity. Best track off the album.
Is This the World we created? - Cheesy lyrics and forced.

........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Are you sure you actually like Queen ?


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Posted: 10 May 10, 14:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Works - pretty listenable after Hot Space but nowhere nearly as original

To me it's paint by numbers Queen style -  with the exception of Radio Gaga, every song is derived from a previous Queen song (or Joe Jackson in the case of Passing the Open Windows)

It's Queen on safe ground reclaiming the territory lost by Hot Space. Might as well have rerecorded GH1 with different lyrics!

Wonder why it bombed in America - should've sold by the truckload!!

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Posted: 10 May 10, 14:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

IMO, 'The Works' competes with 'Magic' for being the worst album of the band. 'Hot Space' is a masterpiece compared to 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: 10 May 10, 15:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Having not heard it from start to finish for some years now this is my opinion, it confirms what Queen became in 1980's a "singles" band which having 3 top ten UK singles backs this up & to add to only have 1 non album b-side from the singles is disappointing, I agree with Sebastian it isn't a great album, personally I think A Kind Of Magic is slightly worse as an album as a whole

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Posted: 10 May 10, 17:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have mixed feeling about the works....not a bad album by any means, but not great either.  a weaker version of the game i think.  My rating for this album.

Radio ga ga- 9/10  stood the test of time
tear it up-  3/10  a weak rock song IMO
hard life-  10/10 Favorite on the album
man on the prowl-  3/10  not a fan of this one
Machines-  6/10 not bad, but forgettable
Break free-  8/10  simple but catchy pop song
Hammer to fall-  9/10  Good song
world we created-  8/10  a nice ballad....better live.
bonus track I go crazy.-  9/10  Should have been on the original album

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Posted: 10 May 10, 17:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I just have to voice my opinion on this one, because I think this album is way too underrated - specifically by people who call themselves Queen fans. "The Works" was amongst the first 5 albums I had thoroughly listened to from Queen, and I have certain nice memories of situations when I used to listen to it a lot, so I maybe a bit biased towards it, but I'll try to give an honest view on all the songs anyway.

1. Radio Ga Ga: one of those stadium anthems that made what Queen really was towards the end of their time with Freddie. Not very much to say musically, but the video is brilliant, and while the lyrics are definitely Rogery, they're not without a valid point. At least, at the time. Sounds a bit dated with the synth sounds and drum machine, but would you honestly want it to sound otherwise?

2. Tear It Up: while the riff is nice enough, it goes into my Top 5 Uninteresting Queen Rock Songs list. Sweet Lady is brilliant compared to this. The only two reasons I can think of this being here, instead of "I Go Crazy" is because this fits in better on the album, and there's a slight bit of (perhaps unintentional) linkage to "Radio Ga Ga" at the end of this one.

3. It's A Hard Life: in my opinion, one of Queen's best songs from the 80's. This is around when Freddie learned how to be musically more subtle, while everything else about it would be completely over the top.

4. Man On The Prowl: very underrated, but I always loved when Freddie went a bit Elvis. Sure, it's nothing spectacular, but it's stylish and nicely different, and don't you just love the arrogance of ending the song abruptly with the piano thing at the end?

5. Machines (or Back To Humans): meh. Took me a long time to get into this one, and I still don't really like it too much. Kinda sloppy occasionally, and the subject leads to some awkward rhyming. For me, the lowest point of the album.

6. I Want To Break Free: yeah, I don't like it all that much, but there's a reason for it to be a hit single - and it's not just the (at the time) outrageous video, although it helped. John Deacon knew how to get a song straight into the head of a regular radio listener. And the solo is just so cool, it's offensive.

7. Keep Passing The Open Windows: another strangely underrated song, which I always thought was brilliant. Just because it's a blatantly upbeat pop song with a bit of awkwardly positive lyrics, don't hold it against it, because it's a very finely tuned composition. I'd die a happy man knowing that I'd ever written a song with that brilliant a structure, and not berating myself for copying it from here.

8. Hammer To Fall: I know some of you are going to lynch me for this, but while it has the merit of being a hit song with a brilliantly clichéd stadium rock video, it's still a very traditional, and frankly boring rock anthem - up until the bridge part kicks in. But then, I always thought that the extra solo bits in the album version were just pushing it too far; the single version was beautiful in its relative compactness. The lyrics are nice, though.

9. Is This The World We Created...?: a nice try to make a companion for Love Of My Life, but that's all it managed to be - a nice try. Still, I think it's a better choice than "There Must Be More To Life Than This" to end the album. Anyway, it's not nearly as pathetic as what Phil Collins, Sting and Bob Geldof were starting to do with their careers at that point, and Bono a bit later.

If you add "I Go Crazy" to the mix, there's another fine rocker, which just didn't happen to fit in, but it's surely more fun than "Tear It Up".

AND NOW, let's take a closer look at the ten songs above. Some of you hate this album for the overusage of synthesizers, but in reality, there's only 4 songs here with synthesizers, two on which they are only used as a bit of a spice. Some of you don't like the lack of good rockers here - there's 3 straight rock songs and a couple that have a nice rockish beat to them. My only real complaint is that it lacks one good track to earn the title "The Works" as how they wanted the title to represent the album, and it would've been in the funk/disco category, as they had done with the last two albums and revisited that idea in a lot of different ways later on.

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Posted: 10 May 10, 18:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen had certainly become a singles band by then. Why else would a crap album like A Kind of Magic have 7 out of 9 songs released as singles in various countries: AKOM, One Vision, Friends Will Be Friends and Who Wants to Live Forever widely available, Princes of the Universe (Elektra territories), Pain is So Close to Pleasure (U.S., Germany) and One Year Of Love (France, Spain).

Being fair with AKOM, it's got some great tracks in there, but it is hardly a proper album, if you get my drift.

Back to "The Works", It's almost an insult that it's got only 9 tracks and that they left out "There must be more to life than this" and "I Go Crazy" in favor of "Is this the world we created?".

It still "feels" like an album for me, though. I don't know, maybe it's the whole Metropolis - Ga Ga/Machines - synths vs. guitars -wheels/cogs theme. And it also has some album tracks that make it worthwhile to own, like Tear it Up and Machines.

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Posted: 10 May 10, 19:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You mention I Go Crazy - they must have been to leave it off.

When I played in a band years ago, we used to play a very striped-down version of it. People loved it - thought we wrote it, actually - but only because they'd never heard it anywhere else.

Great tune, much under-rated.




"Just tryin' to have a little fun, folks..."
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Posted: 10 May 10, 20:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think the first draft of the track-list was a better idea than what ended up happening.


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: 10 May 10, 21:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Radio Ga Ga - Great single
Tear It Up - Just a riff; poor lyrics, sound incomplete
It's A Hard Life - A Play the Game clone, like Life Is Real and Friends Will Be Friends - just Okay
Man On The Prowl - I like this one. They tried to clone Crazy Little Thing - and were partially successful
Machines- A waste of time.
I Want To Break Free- Okay, but single version was better.
Keep Passing The Open Windows- Good one.
Hammer To Fall- Brian's best song on the album by far, but also not half as good as Tie Your Mother Down
Is This The World We Created- Tried to clone the live Love of My Life, with little success - decent, but not spectacular

All in all, I like The Works. It kind of brought them back into the Rock and Roll game after Hot Space, which really confused their  fan base. IMHO, with Hot Space, they were trying to duplicate the success of Another One Bites the Dust across (most of) an entire album, and it just didn't work. It seems to me that they completed the first side of Hot Space, saw that it was less than successful, and tried to fit a few more traditional Queen songs on the second side. The Works took them back into the Rock and Roll arena, but, perhaps, not as thoroughly as they had hoped. They tried to rock out even more on A Kind of Magic, but, again, the material just wasn't strong enough to duplicate the success of The Game or News of The World. In fact, again IMHO, Queen really wouldn't challenge their classic period again until Innuendo - and even that album has nothing on Opera, or Races, or Sheer Heart Attack - or even Queen II.

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Posted: 11 May 10, 03:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It could be Go Crazy didn't appear on the album because they needed an incentive for fans to buy the single. An unreleased B-Side is a bigger incentive than an album track. Queen really needed The Works to be a success, otherwise it was probably all over for them as a band (their own words).


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Posted: 11 May 10, 06:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks to the beauty of iTunes playlists, I have my own "The Works - Resequenced" playlist, which i far far prefer.

1 - Tear It Up
2 - I Go Crazy
3 - It's A Hard Life
4 - Man On Fire
5 - Machines
6 - Let Me Live
7 - Man On The Prowl
8 - Radio Ga Ga
9 - Man Made Paradise
10 - Hammer To Fall

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Posted: 11 May 10, 08:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Works?

At the time I loved it, but I would have anything Queen at the time.

Considering it was released in 1984 - when a lot of rock bands lost the way, it weathered the storm pretty good.  Radio Gaga is a strong song - yes I'm sick of it, but only because I've heard it 8 billion times.  Same for I Want to Break Free and Hammer To Fall.

The rest of the album is kinda meh.  It's a Hard Life is a decent ballad, Keep Passing Open Windows is a decent Joe Jackson cover...

I dunno, it's a solid 7/10 Queen album.  Nowhere near the greatness of the 70s or Innuendo revival, but IMO better than Hot Space or the Miracle... and yes, they definitely should have added I Go Crazy.

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Posted: 12 May 10, 16:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Radio Ga Ga:  Very good song musically but the synthesizer based sound is so dull and lifeless. To be honest, never liked the studio version. I prefer the more "natural" and rocker live take of this song, and then it is more listenable in my opinion. Vocoder was an excellent idea though.

Tear It Up:  A very very good riff! But the song repeats it's "hook" too much. If they had pushed the song more further, the results would have been much better. Perhaps even a challenger to another arena rock song...We Will Rock You.

It's Hard Life: It's ok. It consists the trademarks of Queen and is indeed a listenable ballad penned by Freddie. What else can you say?

Man On The Prowl: One of my favourites really! I don't get it why everybody hates it. Very underrated. Perhaps not catchy as Crazy Little Thing Called Love but I like more the piano base than the acoustic guitar base in this kind of genre. I like oldies! The piano finale is one of the best moments of Queen's music (don't kill me, I'm a pianist). The (dull) guitar solo just extends the song too much - straight to the piano ending would have been better. Note the use of occasional triplets by Freddie, very effective.

Machines (Or Back to Humans): The theme of the song is a nice idea but the song itself is boring. Actually one of the worst Queen song in my opinion. Never liked this, but I'll try.

I Want to Break Free: I think that no-one can deny that this is a nice catchy tune. A radio song. The overall pop sound is not for my taste though. The single version is much better than the studio version.

Keep Passing the Open Windows: It's ok actually. Roger's drumming work is very precise and admirable. The intro/pre-chorus is very catchy and I wished when I heard this song for the first time that it would have had more prominent role. Perhaps an another Don't Stop Me Now would have evolved from this? After all, average song I think.

Hammer to Fall: This totally rocks! My favourite from this album. Brian's solo is stunning. Very enjoyable song in live too. One of the best songs from Queen's 80's. Piano or Hammond organ should replace the "candy-floss" sound.

Is This the World We Created...?: I've always loved this one. Very sensitive and beautiful vocals by Freddie. Easily one of the best ballads of Queen, only second to Love of My Life in my opinion. Why everybody says "it's okay", it's fantastic! Queen never used a Mellotron as far as I'm concerned, but to this song it would have fitted magically.

I Go Crazy: A nice standard rocker by Brian. Not Tie Your Mother Down but still a decent song. I don't get it why the album didn't include this one.

My overall review is very critical and contains a lot of "what if...".
Sorry, not my favourite albums.  At least they tried.

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Posted: 12 May 10, 18:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

maxpower wrote: Having not heard it from start to finish for some years now this is my opinion, it confirms what Queen became in 1980's a "singles" band which having 3 top ten UK singles backs this up & to add to only have 1 non album b-side from the singles is disappointing, I agree with Sebastian it isn't a great album, personally I think A Kind Of Magic is slightly worse as an album as a whole
When I heard this first time round it was such a "return to form" after the really experimental and change of direction Hot Space. As you say, Queen's first really "singles band" album of the eighties.  They were desperate for a successful single after the Hot Space album. Not their best album by a mile but better than AKOM, but a lot weaker than Innuendo which is their best of the eighties by a mile.

Their eighties albums are not a patch on their seventies albums. GH1 outselling GH2 is an example but then sequel albums are not as good as the originals anyway. Really an example of many supergroups over the ages - early works exceptional and then lesser, weaker albums over the yeras. However, Innuendo is a great album.


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Brian May Wembley Pavilion 11.05.05.