Not long ago this week I wondered about the quality between the two last albums from Queen in the 80’s. I felt that The
Miracle had an obvious edge to A Kind of Magic in possibly every aspect. Although very moving and great improvement from a bleak and very boring álbum as “The Works, AKOM was stunted by a very creative, deep and what seemed to be a return to the musical roots with TM.
I wanted to know if any of you agreed with this idea after listening both albums carefully. To my surprise most of the
answers were positives, I was actually waitiing for a more reluctant turn. Some of the answers caught my attention
because they tended to speak up about the next álbum to TM: “Innuendo” when I never even mentioned it but the turn was natural. Some of the post were:
-“When first listening to Innuendo on day of
release, I hadn't felt that kind of exhilleration since The Game.”
-“I absolutely agree that Innuendo stands
shoulder-to-shoulder with their '70's work”
-“And to this day it's a real "Miracle" to me how they could come
up with a strong album like "Innuendo" after this. “
-“Innuendo was the real miracle.......”
Which led me to another dilema that has circled my mind in various ocations following the quality topic:
Was Innuendo really that good?.
Why Queen fans claim this álbum was the biggest since the 70’s?
Of course If you listen it (despite some exceptions) this seem to an even more moving, deep and back to the roots álbum.
And has some mistery too, not only in the words “Innuendo” or “I ll soon be turning round the corner” the music has it’s mistery as well. Roger Taylor says it well when asked about the álbum after the release :(regarding TM )
“It’s less poppy, but it’s deeper musically. We feel this is one of our finest Works lately”
Well, you gotta believe the drummer don’t you? And I do. I’ve belived him since I’ve Heard people telling me this álbum competed with any of the 70’s work. Even watching video reviews on TV, praising works such as Innuendo, The Show must go on, The Hitman, and on. Especially in the conditions Freddie recorded. So the notion of a great album standed for years.
I wanted to see what other people thought about this álbum when it came out, If they were as astonished as I am right now. Even if they caught the bands blink of Freddie’s near departure and how corauge he had. Or if they agreed with what most of Queen fans think. So I checked the press releases from 1991:
02-01-1991 - Innuendo - The Orange County
“(…)Unfortunately, too much of
"Innuendo" is given over to would-be arena roof-raisers such as
"Headlong," "I Can't Live With You" and "Hitman,"
all ordinary rockers. (…) Queen is a
figurehead these days -- its brand of progressive rock is hardly progressive
anymore -- but it looks as if it will clamber back on the album-rock radio
02-15-1991 - Innuendo - LA Times
“(…)The rest of the time, Queen puts on its
customary regal garb for heroic statements about undying love, lust for life,
belief in God and other grand notions. It's typical Queen, full of theatrical
sound and fury with massed choruses of whooshing voices and treated guitars,
all huff and puff. You know, the sort of bollocks the Sex Pistols quite rightly
told us to never mind. “
04-01-1991 - Innuendo - People Weekly
“(…)And, as a
bonus, the album's best tune is the lounge-lizardish "I'm Going Slightly
Mad," on which lead singer Freddie Mercury croons uneasily, like a
cocktail jazz singer crazy after one too many requests for"Feelings."(…)If
this is cartoon rock and roll, at least it's good and brazenly cartoonish.”
03-15-1991 - Innuendo - St. LouisPost-Dispatch
“(…)Innuendo isn't likely to turn around
Queen's decade-long downward spiral of popularity, but the album has a few
semiprecious gems: Freddie Mercury singing a love song to his cat on Delilah,
lead guitarist Brian May kicking in with unrestrained axing on the hard-hitting
The Hitman and serving a brisk metal set on Headlong, drummer Roger Taylor and
bassist John Deacon jolting a spirit of abandon into Ride the Wild Wind. “
03-07-1991 - Innuendo - Rolling Stone (Issue
“(…)Innuendo is so lightweight you'll forget
it as soon as it's over – which, with this band, should go without saying anyway
– but there's nothing cynical about it. Unlike most fortyish rock relics, the
boys in Queen are still too kooky and insincere to settle for any of that
"well-earned wisdom of middle age" bunk. They just throw food at the
wall, and if it sticks, fine. And if it doesn't stick, well, that's fine too.
But the remaining tracks are disappointing,
and generally Innuendo is yet another misfire in the group's slumping output. “
...Well, most of the reviews tells us this is a mediocre álbum at best. These reviews got me real confused and popped
some questions in my head:
- How come most of the articles I read dismiss Queen’s great comeback and degrade it to a mere “recurrent decline since the 80’s”?
-How come non of the reporters were moved when listening “Inside my heart is breaking, my make up maybe flaking but my smile still stays on” or the final “I still love you” from Freddie.? I mean how could they not even notice some kind of message in Queen music, that this is their final stance. And the effort the band was making by recording this one?
Im just too Young to know what people thought about this álbum when it came out. Thats why I turn to all of you to ask: Did you all think that this could be a great álbum when it came out?
Of course to answer I ask you guys to leave the illness factors aside. Just the music in terms of quality.
Here’s what I think: I think this press releases are pretty much accuratte. Innuendo without the fact that Freddie was
in a critical situation never had much appeal, sadly. Left alone, to me, this is GREAT álbum in every aspect: sound,
lyrics, creativity, Freddie’s voice, band’s cooperation., etc. But this is my opionion as a fan, to the world wide conception this is probably (excluding Innuendo track) another álbum. BUT when you start putting the ties together it’s when you realize how VALUEABLE this álbum is and was. Freddie’s condition, the stenght he had to record, the bands cooperation and still making a great work is what I think puts the álbum as one of the finest Queen works. Unfortunatly the álbum alone cannot make and impact by it self if you don’t tie it to the bands situation and that is what I think the reporters didn’t see then but
today they do. They just heard the songs but never put their minds into it and when you do that is WHEN you realice the complexity of this work. How is all greatly put, how to close brillantly a legendary musical carrer that sadly shined most
in the 70’s and dissappointed in the 80’s but ended correctly in 1991.
Sorry for the long post, but I really wanted to express myself and Im looking forward to know what you think.
I have a man-crush on Brian's solo on Delilah