Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Am I Alone? (late-era Queen)

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ActionFletch user not visiting Queenzone.com
ActionFletch
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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 00:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As an newbie upstart :) here, I want to know if many other fans were aghast at the last two proper albums? i.e. The Miracle and Innuendo.

I grew up in the 80s and went backwards in time listening to everything Queen had ever done. So I was incredibly excited when The Miracle was released. After listening to it a few times, I tried to like it but ultimately I felt the band had sold out, to simply make as many top 40 hits as possible, and worse than that, they just weren`t great songs.
The funny thing is, i can`t listen to that album these days, but I have lots of time for the B-sides, Hang On In There, Stealin & My Life Has Been Saved. For me, all those B-sides are terrific vintage Queen, and well recorded with great sounds.
When Innuendo was released, again I was excited and then quickly disappointed. Songs like Ride The Wild Wind are pure trash, absolute cringe worthy cliches. I`m sorry to say, there`s is not one song that ever made me think, `what a great band`.

I`ve read a few of the "best album/worst album, best song" etc threads, and I know that a lot of people rate Innuendo highly. Please understand liking music is a very subjective subject. :) I mean no disrespect, but would like to know if many (or anyone) has similar feelings to these albums in particular as myself.
I`ve noticed quite a few people have mentioned not liking the A Kind Of Magic album, whereas I absolutely love the whole thing. Maybe I`m just odd!

ActionFletch user not visiting Queenzone.com
ActionFletch
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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 01:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So to clarify my position...

i would give an absolute 10 out of 10 to every album Queen ever did (inc Flash/Hot Space) right up to and including A Kind Of Magic.
Then i would, personally, vote down below 5, the next two! Except for the b-sides i mentioned!

lol!

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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 03:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ActionFletch wrote:

Maybe I`m just odd!
===

Nobody's normal, we're all odd and we all have different opinions. This actually made me think a bit and if you allow me to go slightly offtopic I'll express those thoughts further. There's nothing I hate more than seeing people argue over their opinions. See this youtube example:
'mj is the best evah, nobody can defeat him'
 'wtf you idiot, freddie destroys all'
Whenever I see these youtube comments I have to control myself and not reply. There's no such thing as the best artist. There's just artists/bands people like best, but they're not the best per se. MJ-fans often are the worst and most agressive in their thinking. But anyway, to get back to the point and be ontopic, I don't think it's weird and you're surely not alone, but I do like those last two albums alot, although there's often something, on many of the albums, I'd rather skip, but not one song on Innuendo (not even Delilah!) as every song seems to fit within the album. As a stand-alone song, I wouldn't really bother to listen to Delilah though, but to me it fits in the context of the album. On The Miracle, I'd skip My Baby Does Me but I don't dislike it that much.

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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 04:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I can also add that all this rating is absurd. When you are an artist and do an album you are working in the context of your time and you can only use the ideas that are there. And when you are doing that you never know how things develop or what will stand the test of time.
All those people that write things like "album X was bad and had poor songs...how could they do that..." should ask themselves if everything they did in their lives so far was always "perfect" or "brilliant". Those who paint, write or make music know very well, that sometimes the ideas flow and then there is an emptiness. Things you didn't really enjoy doing can turn out to become your masterpiece. 
And especially for the last two Queen albums everyone should consider what they knew, when they created them. And to this day it's a miracle to me how Brian May could write a song like "Show must go on", that has become a timeless classic.
And never forget....most artists in pop music are just "one hit wonders".

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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 17:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ActionFletch wrote: So to clarify my position...

i would give an absolute 10 out of 10 to every album Queen ever did (inc Flash/Hot Space) right up to and including A Kind Of Magic.
Then i would, personally, vote down below 5, the next two! Except for the b-sides i mentioned!

lol!
Are you crazy?

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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 19:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's cool if that's what you feel.

To *me*, Innuendo is an album that SHOUTS "what a great band".

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Posted: 28 Feb 11, 20:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A lot people don't like the synthetic or plastic sound of The Miracle, so no, you're not alone.

I like The Miracle, so I won't be keeping you company on that side of the fence. Sorry :-)

I like the cool, dispassionate feeling this album displays. I like the clean, clinical sound. Did other artists at the time do it better? Sure, but that's beside the point. It's Queen's trademark sounds as they imagined it through that style and when I first hear The Miracle album, it struck me as somewhat refreshing, and different for them. Keep in mind, my advancement through Queen's catalogue was not linear. I bought albums in the order I found them. The Miracle was one of the last. It was owned by the brother of a friend of mine on CD and I borrowed it and copied it to cassette. CDs were new-ish and less common, so it was interesting to hear how clean and clear that medium was (my other Queen albums were either on cassette or LP). I knew "I Want It All" and "The Miracle" from Classic Queen, but imagine my surprise at hearing the full versions of each. From the start, this album was fun (come on, "Party" and "Khashoggi's Ship" are just plain fun). I like that there are no sad songs here. The closest they get is "My Baby Does Me," which is not really sad as much as it's a bluesy lament. It's not in the same category of sad as, say, "White Queen," "Love Of My Life," "Nevermore," "Dear Friends," or "Save Me." No, I liked this album all the way through, even the two bonus tracks, "Hang On In There," and "Chinese Torture."

I do agree that the B-Sides are just as strong as the album tracks, if not the singles, and if there was indeed enough extra material (B-Sides + Unreleased tracks) for a second album, as is rumored, it's a shame that second LP never got out. We know two of those mythical tracks were "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "Dog With a Bone."

Innuendo, for me, is among their most theatrical in concept. A Day At The Races is often considered the sister album to A Night At The Opera, and in many ways it is, but for me, there are parallels between Opera and Innuendo. Opera always had for me a vaudevillian feeling, like we're seeing a bunch of different routines in a show, some serious and some zany. Innuendo, as I imagine it, is us peeking backstage to see the dark madness behind the scenes as the show continues on stage, becoming gradually more out of control and insane. The artwork used for the album and singles, that of JJ Grandville, is so appropriate to this idea, the slightly skewed, off-kilter view of the world. I picked a collection of his work, "Fantastic Illustrations Of Grandville," which contain the images used for the albums and singles and in the Innuendo video. Speaking of the videos, I love how stylistically they mesh together (everything manic, weird and theatrical). I prefer the animated "Days Of Our Lives" video, but there's a lot to love in the Black & White Version. 

It's also interesting that in the EPK for Innuendo, Roger says the album began as a continuation of The Miracle, and the demos for Innuendo seem to support that, but the end result shows two very different works, both of which I like for different reasons.

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Posted: 01 Mar 11, 15:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I remember this thread from 15 years ago...

Benn user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 02 Mar 11, 08:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've been saying this for years.

Once they scored in the US with AOBTD, EMI used them as puppets to write singles.  All their previous flair and creativity was lost post Hot Space and they never took a chance again.

There is the odd highlight in the 80's, but very few and far between.  You kind of wish they'd not bothered to re-form for Live-Aid, don't you....?


Benn
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Posted: 02 Mar 11, 09:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

br5946 wrote: I think The Miracle album is one of Queen's finest works. Complete fluidity throughout. And if the singles off Innuendo are anything to run by, that album proves to be a good one as well (shock, horror, I don't have it, just its singles off GH2 and These are the Days off GH3!) Here's a taster of my top 50 Queen songs to give hints of my opinion of Innuendo's singles:

#41 - I'm Going Slightly Mad
#29 - title track (I know, I know, but its my opinion, so don't flare up too much for it)
#21 - TSMGO (again, I know people think it's epic, but still...)
#15 - These Are the Days
#8 - Headlong

And now for entries in my top 50 from the Miracle album

#45 - Rain Must Fall
#36 - The Invisible Man
#28 - title track
#23 - I Want It All
#20 - Breakthru

Some fans might get angry, some fans will be intrigued. If you want me to load the entire fifty in a post so you can give feedback, I'll do so!
-----------------------------------------------------------

How can anyone decide which song is better than another when most of them are great? Which one is better, Headlong or Breakthru? TSMGO or Innuendo? Impossible to tell!

BTW, Innuendo is my favourite album (although I don't like all the songs, it is perfect from the beginning to the end; even the artwork is amazing) and The Miracle one of my least favourites.

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Posted: 08 Apr 11, 02:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I remember reading Peter Freestone's book, with him saying that Freddie wasn't really over the moon about The Miracle, but that he put his heart and soul into Innuendo. I liked The Miracle when it first came out, it was catchy, pop fun. But compare it to the works of something like Innuendo, and it doesn't hold a candle. Innuendo was made by four men who had the passion to make a bad ass album, and that they did. Ok, I'm not a big fan of Delilah, but who gives a shit? Someone else on this forum said something close to the same thing, and I have to agree that it fits the continuity of the album. But when you have things like The Show Must Go On and the title track, the light heartedness of Delilah can be over looked.


I Want It All And I Want It Now!!
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Posted: 08 Apr 11, 11:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote:

I like The Miracle, so I won't be keeping you company on that side of the fence. Sorry :-)

So you're the other guy who likes that album, huh? :D

I love "The Miracle". It's one of their top 5 albums in my opinion.

V.


I'm as mad as HELL, and I'm not going to take this anymore!

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Posted: 08 Apr 11, 14:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Innuendo is my favorite album in their catalogue.


Hoo-RAY!
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Posted: 09 Apr 11, 11:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

bambams-paradise wrote: I remember reading Peter Freestone's book, with him saying that Freddie wasn't really over the moon about The Miracle, but that he put his heart and soul into Innuendo. I liked The Miracle when it first came out, it was catchy, pop fun. But compare it to the works of something like Innuendo, and it doesn't hold a candle. Innuendo was made by four men who had the passion to make a bad ass album, and that they did. Ok, I'm not a big fan of Delilah, but who gives a shit? Someone else on this forum said something close to the same thing, and I have to agree that it fits the continuity of the album. But when you have things like The Show Must Go On and the title track, the light heartedness of Delilah can be over looked.
I think you mean  skipped on the CD!  :)   F**ken awful song that along with All God's People ruined a big part of Innuendo (yes, my opinion).   The Miracle was more miss than hit for my liking. Haven't listened to it in a long time.

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Posted: 11 Apr 11, 07:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Miracle and Innuendo are much better albums than The Game, Hot Space or Flash Gordon. Some of the songs on these three albums are shit. Like the (Comming soon, Rock it, Action thise days, Calling all girls).

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Posted: 11 Apr 11, 09:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, you likely are alone, or very close to it.  You won't find too many Queen fans who don't rate Innuendo as one of their strongest records - particularly the strongest post-Game record.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Apr 11, 10:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

People usually like the Innuendo album for one or several or all of the following reasons:

* Wonderful vocals from Freddie, hitting some very high notes with such power and emotion.
* Wonderful instrumentation - no synth-bass for a change (first time since The Game/Flash).
* Wonderful drumming - real drums for most of the songs. Roger played very well.
* Wonderful guitar work - Days of Our Lives is the favourite solo of many people (me included).
* Steve Howe is there!
* It's got some marvellous songs - Show Must Go On, Innuendo, etc.
* The last album made before Freddie died.
* All four Queennies seemed to have loved it.

But I've also found people who don't like it, usually citing:

* Delilah.
* The fact the album Fred's swan song may've distorted the public's perception.
* Too many synths.
* MIDI drums on some songs, rather than Roger's actual playing.
* Too much processing on vocals ... it makes it sound 'fake' to some people.
* Headlong et al are considered good rockers, but (to some) very weak compared to their 70's heavy ditties.
* Some of the lyrics (as per usual on Queen albums).
* Innuendo (the song) being, reportedly, not even close to their 70's epics.
* Show Must Go On being, to some, a bit predictable (same sequence for 90+% of the song).
* Great solos, but not too much multi-tracking as in the golden era.
* Little to no piano.
* Remember when they used those wonderful acoustic guitars?

I think, at the end of the day, a lot of people are entitled to love the album, a lot of people are entitled to prefer, by far, their 70's output.


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: 11 Apr 11, 11:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For me those two albums are the best they did in '80 (and start of '90 to be precise). IMHO their albums from The Game to The Works were the lowest point of their music. Starting with A Kind Of Magic it seemed to be better and better again. And I count Innuendo to their best works (oh well, I don't like Delilah, but so what?). When I first heard song Innuendo, I was shocked how good it sounded.

So... no, I'm not in the same company as you are. Even as I love Queen's old works the most (say from Queen to Jazz), I have to admit their last two albums are very good/great. (I don't count Made In Heaven to this, as it's another story).

And of course I speak from my point of view, as music is very subjective thing and I understand every (Queen) listener has different opinion to every (Queen) piece of music.


But now it's time to be gone - forever...
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Posted: 11 Apr 11, 21:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian...of course, I can only speak for myself, but I LOVED Innuendo on the day of it's release.

I had know idea that Freddie was near death(most American fans didn't).  I saw it as an album that totally exceeded my diminishing expectations.  The Miracle was quite good, to my ears, so I was optimistic that Queen were rebounding.

I'll never forget when I first played it...I was floored!  Yes, there are a lot of synths...but they sounded great and added atmosphere.

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Posted: 11 Apr 11, 21:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Miracle, as I view it, was a good album for the most part, but sounds slightly dated. But it was the late 80's, and the sound fits in for THAT period of time. Gotta remember, the 80's were very synth heavy. I Want It All was the song that baited me when I was only 9 years old. Didn't get alot of radio airplay here in the states, but when I DID hear it, I was hooked. That drew me in. This was long before I knew anything about Freddie or any of the other guys, or long before AIDS became a big epidemic. I liked the music. Innuendo was even better. Headlong was a jam. I still love that song. The Hitman, Innuendo. The band was actually sounding like a band, not just a couple band members and a drum machine and synth bass.


I Want It All And I Want It Now!!