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Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Jan 05, 00:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As a sort of preface, this following thread is sort of an assignment. If you wish to post in here, you must be willing to post thoughtful, insightful posts about your favorite Queen album, or Queen albums you have recently re-discovered. Your basic job will be to explain why your favorite Queen album is your favorite, or what you have discovered about an album you haven't heard in a long time.

I'll start.

In 1993, my mother, sister, and I moved into a new home, which was a financial strain on my mother (my parents had divorced three years prior). Two weeks after we moved, my 10th birthday came up, and I knew my mother wouldn't have enough money to get me gifts like she had in the past. But, imagine my surprise when I received my first real cassette player and three tapes: Eric Clapton's "Unplugged", a Snoopy tape, and Queen's "News Of The World".

It was the first Queen tape I had ever had, nearly eighteen months after I had first seen a news report on Freddie Mercury. I had asked my mom then who Queen were, and she briefly explained as much as she knew, then gave me "Hot Space", the only cassette tape she had of theirs, to listen to. But I never did, for whatever reason.

When I first listened to "News Of The World", it was a different kind of experience. Remember that this was the era that rap was really big, as well as grunge - I hadn't yet really decided what kind of music I was going to listen to (in fact, I probably didn't even care too much at that point) - so getting a Queen tape might have been a bit out of place. Regardless, I put it into the cassette player and instantly fell in love with the album, playing it so much that I wore it out and had to replace it a year or two later.

Now, obviously, I have aged quite a bit (eleven years - crikey), and my music tastes have expanded. While I still collected Queen regularly, I also collected nearly four hundred CDs in the eleven years, but it wasn't until recently that I listened to "News Of The World" out of morbid curiousity, to sort of discover what I had loved so much about that album when I got it as a wide-eyed ten year old.

'We Will Rock You' and 'We Are The Champions' were the obvious songs, as I remember singing along loudly to both when I had first gotten the album. Then, I hadn't grown sick of them, but when I listened to them again, I found they were a bit overbearing, and, especially placed alongside the other tracks on the album, were even overrated. However, I admired 'We Are The Champions', as it was clearly a winner's song, and very anthemic (I proudly blasted it after I aced the SATs and the pointless graduation project in my final year of high school); I loved the simplicity of 'We Will Rock You', and the guitar solo I always found to be completely unpretentious and very rock 'n' roll.

Then I moved on to 'Sheer Heart Attack', the neo-punk excursion that I found a bit peculiar upon first listening in 1993, but loved it all the more when I discovered what a proficient guitarist/bass guitarist Roger was. My ears still hurt after listening to the feedback-drenched sections, yet I appreciated the song more upon listening to several live versions, which I always found were superior to the album version. 'All Dead, All Dead' was an odd way to follow such a raucous punk number, but I always loved the piano and vocals of Brian, with some delightful harmonies from Freddie (in later years, I would equate this to Brian's version of 'The Long And Winding Road', albeit a thousand times better). 'Spread Your Wings' is still a timeless classic, and a very understated Queen performance - John Deacon always seemed to have a knack for writing the most pop-friendly material.

'Fight From The Inside' has turned out to be my favorite song, as it's almost exclusively performed by Roger. I'm a sucker for the bass guitar, and I find Roger's chunky bass work on this song irresistable. I still remember wondering

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Posted: 14 Jan 05, 08:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Jazz...
I started doing some Polish site with the Queen album reviews I wrote, some kind of Guide for the Beginners; it's out there:
http://www.queen.one.pl
but of course in polish, as I feel far more comfortable in my mother tongue (I'm still learning English, as you can see :) ). And as I was going through all the albums there was a time for JAZZ. Some time ago I decided I don't like it anymore- singles are weak (Bicycle Race, Don't Stop Me Now) and some songs are just fillers (If You Can't Beat Them, In only Seven Days, more Of That jazz, Fun It). I put it on a shelf and forgot all about it.
By the time I started writing the review I put CD into the player and started listening to it- in a different way, though. Trying to find refferences to different artists, trying to listen more carefully to guitar sound, production, bass lines... I was absolutely AMAZED! This album sounded extremely interesting, full of ideas and experiments. JUST GREAT!

"Mustapha" has a great dynamics- the use of mono / stereo trick works miracles. Every time I find myself turning the volume up on the beginning and than being smashed with the heavy guitars. Recently, it became one of my favourite Queen songs of all time! Fat Bottomed Girls I've heard so many times... and I'm surprised I have never even noticed how nicely bass works with guitar. It's just beautiful! And the lyrics... They're great! One of my fav. songs to sing!

Bicycle Race and Don't Stop Me Now I still find boring, although I noticed incredible vocal on the latter one and graet piano work. But the other songs I thought have nothing in them turned to be extremely interesting- If You Can't Beat Them has a very interesting structure and nice guitar sound, More Of That Jazz has an awesome guitar work and great Roger's performance. How come I've never noticed that before????

Jealousy I always liked, but In Only seven Days is a real re-discovery. I used to skip it a lot thinking of it as naive. But... that's probably the strength of it...? I love the guitar immitating melotrone, making all those soundscapes- AWESOME!

But the biggest surprise was Dead On Time. I love heavy tracks, in fact- those are my fav Queen songs (Stone Cold Crazy, Death On Two Legs, It's Late, White Man), but this one always seemed to me chaotic, loud and pretty pointless. Not any more! Guitar work is fabulous, dynamics are great, the structure interesting (not chaotic...), vocals- immensely difficult. I love it now!

There are few more- Let Me Entertain You has again mono/stereo trick (I think...) but I would love the riff to be a little bit more in front. Doesn't "Leaving Home Ain't easy" sound like ABBA...? musically, it does! Oh, and I still don't like Fun It. Sorry, can't stand it.
All in all- I love the album again and recently it doesn't leave my hi-fi which hasn't happened since I first time bought it; back in 1991! Maybe I needed to mature to that one...? It's not easy album, I agree. But when you try to use it as something more than just a walpaper- it reveals all it's glory! Even if you have to skip Bicycle Race...

PS
Jazz review is still not on the site, though... :) Can't find the time to do it...

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Posted: 14 Jan 05, 13:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

right on to both of these reviews. News Of The World will always be my favorite, for all and more of the reasons listed above. it was the first Queen studio album I bought (Live Killers was the first proper album I bought after being given greatest hits) back in 92. This album defines rock of the 70s for me. Jazz is probably one of the most eclectic albums ever released. I love it. I still cant stand the chessiness of If You Can't Beat em. Tha's my only complaint, and if I was making a burn of that album to help turn a friend on to Queen, I'd leave that track off.

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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 14:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That's an excellent review Lester, and I'm replying to it as it deserves a bump to the top.

I won't go into great detail, simply because I can't be arsed, but 'A Day At The Races' is still my favourite album. Compare it song versus song, in order, with any other album you like and it will come out on top.
Hated Drowse and White Man for years but then I rediscovered 'em after reading the lyrics and now I always look forward to listening to 'em instead of skipping.
Such is the strength of this album, that when I first played it, Teo Torriatte was my favourite track and now, all these long, hard years later, I mark it as my least favourite. Gems such as Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy and Millionaire's Waltz never fail to put a smile on my chops, with their swinging vaudevillian tempos interspersed with moments of sheer whimsy. A headbanging heavy rocker (Tie Your Mother Down) to kickstart proceedings, a moody ballad (You Take My Breath Away) to give you a nice brandy break, one of Brian's strongest songs (Long Away) and a Deacy classic (You And I) to keep your noggin bobbing. On top of all this, chuck in arguably Queen's greatest ever song (Somebody To Love) and you have before you a veritable masterpiece, undeseverdly placed in the shadow of its sister album, A Night At The Opera.

Shite, I said I wasn't going to go into details...


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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 16:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it "RE-discovering", because ever since I got all the studio albums (plus a couple live ones), I listen to at least one of them daily. Overall though, I have to say that my favorite album is the one that the public dislike the most - Hot Space. Why? I guess you might say I respect Queen greatly for taking that twist into the "funk-black category", because you know what? In my view, it worked, and worked great.

Staying Power was a FABTASTIC way to kick off the album! I loved how it really made you wanna groove, and with the addition of brass instruments and the COWBELL, how could anyone NOT love this song? I had my friend listen to it, and he liked it so much he ended up repeating the track 3 times! Dancer, to my knowledge, was frowned upon by the quote-unquote "critics", but I saw it as a kick-ass song with a GREAT bass line! Back Chat - WOW! What can I say about Back Chat? Deacon does it again! Speaking of bass lines, this was also a funky lil' tune. Not to mention Roger's electronic drum solo (ROG IS #1). It's because of him that I've began playing the drums. Body Language was, shall we say, purely seductive. That was Freddie's intention, so mission accomplished. Have you SEEN the video? HOT (SPACE) DAMN! Action This Day is one of my 3 favs on the album (Staying Power and Back Chat are the other two). The track is just plain powerful, and it really puts things in perspective. Is the world using us? Well, in a manner of speaking, yes. I saw it also as a message of peace, and hey, stop and marvel and the concept. Queen's always been gung-ho on world peace! Put Out The Fire was excellent (especially live), and again with the peace message ("You need a gun like a hole in the head"). Life Is Real was a nice touch to the album, mostly because it was a great tribute to John Lennon, and reminded us all just what life can be like. Calling All Girls....can't really explain this one. Queen gave a message of love to the world, that's about it. Las Palabras de Amor is one of my favorite slower songs of Queen, and the video was quite unique. It's not every day you see Freddie in a tuxedo NOT moving around and jivin' to the music. I thought it was great, and a helluva wake-up call to those who thought Freddie was always how he was on stage. DUMBASSES! Cool Cat was, well, cool. A slower funky tune that has Freddie singing some of the highest notes I've ever heard him sing, it really showed his vocal range in a big way. Ah, and then there's Under Pressure. A big THANK YOU to Mr. David Bowie for his contribution to this song. My only negative thought about the song is that Bowie never once joined Queen to sing this LIVE!

So there you have it! Hot Space was so different, yet I loved every part of it. For those of you who hate this album...well, fuck off. BIG YAY for HOT SPACE!!!


Give us the right key, f#@! sakes...
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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 17:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I won't write a long explanation but my favourite album has to be Queen. I have only listened to a limited number of albums the whole way through so my choice may be sub-standard. I love it simply because it has my favourite songs ever on it that are guarenteed to get me in a rockin mood :P. I simply adore them.
I think Liar was the second Queen song I ever heard which is why I think I love it so much. Its really stuck with me.
Great King Rat is just such a great song for me because IMO its written about a strange subject.
The Night Comes Down is really peaceful , imo, and mellow.
Modern Times Rock n Roll, I like because I love Rogers voice.
And every other track is pure gold, imo.

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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 19:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I remember when I was about seven, I was laying awake on the loungeroom floor and mom put A Night At The Opera on and the family was in the loungeroom listening and drinking wine. I couldnt help but fall in love with the songs on it so I pinched the cd and listened to it in my room... after that night, I lost the cd and it was never found again.
When I bought A Night At The Opera... it was like I was listening to a bit of my past all over again and I knew all the words to most of the songs without having to listen to it twice because it was still in my memory from so long ago....


~_*-+_Let us cling together as the years go by..._+-*_~
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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 19:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

foxxy_moron wrote:

I pinched the cd and listened to it in my room... after that night, I lost the cd and it was never found again.


Retribution within a sentence. That's quick work.


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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 19:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I feel bad for losing it...
but i bought the new one out of my own hard earned money :) which made me feel good....


~_*-+_Let us cling together as the years go by..._+-*_~
Flashman user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 19:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*Steals foxxymoron's CD in crafty fashion*

:-P


FLASHMAN STRIKES AGAIN!



Paul Rodgers is not the best thing since fried Fred.
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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 19:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*shocked face*
lol


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Flashman user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 15 Jan 05, 19:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*Loses foxxymoron's CD in suspicious circumstances*

Oh dear. How careless of me.


FLASHMAN STRIKES AGAIN!



Paul Rodgers is not the best thing since fried Fred.