Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Lester's Album Discussion Thread - Queen II

forum rss feed
Author

Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 5870 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Jul 05, 12:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As always, the rules:


1. If you don't own the album, do not contribute. I want this to be a discussion, and posts by somebody saying only "I like 'Keep Yourself Alive' on Classic Queen, is that on this album?" or something to that nature contributes nothing to the discussion.

2. As most people have been quick to jump down the throats of foreign posters about their English, I can only ask that those not familiar with the language do their best. For those who speak English as their first language, there really is no excuse. Try to formulate your thoughts so that everyone can enjoy them. No speaking in tongues, please.

3. You don't need to like the album - these aren't appreciation threads, these are discussion threads. If you don't like the album, don't be afraid to say so! Everyone should be responsive to constructive criticism, so if the album isn't one of your favorites, explain why in a decent manner instead of just saying, "This album sucks because of X song."

3a. Disagreements are encouraged. Well, okay... not exactly encouraged, but don't be afraid to disagree with someone as long as you disagree in a dignified manner.

BAD:
Poster A: "'The Kiss' is probably my favorite song off the album."
Poster B: "WHAT?! 'THE KISS' IS ABSOLUTELY THE WORST SONG RELEASED BY QUEEN! YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT, YOU JACKASS! ANYONE WHO LIKES 'THE KISS' LIKES BOILS ON THEIR FACE AND BEING TORTURED BY TOADS BITING THEIR FINGERNAILS! A POX ON YOUR FAMILY AND ANYTHING YOU SHOULD SPAWN, YOU HEATHEN!"
Poster A: "..."

GOOD:
Poster A: "'The Kiss' is probably my favorite song off the album."
Poster B: "It's not that great, in my opinion, but what do you like about it?"
Poster A: "I like the segue from 'Execution Of Flash' and the orchestration. Freddie's vocalisations are just great."
Poster B: "Hmm. That's exactly what I don't like about it."

*Posters A and B share a beer and become best friends*

4. These will be posted every two weeks. They won't necessarily follow the chronological order of Queen albums, nor will they be restricted to Queen-only albums. I know that many people don't have the solo albums, myself included - I do not possess any of The Cross's records - so if there is someone who would like to take control of those three albums, please let me know and I would be more than happy to surrender my duties in those instances. However, for the most part, I'm going to be in charge of this. If anything should happen to me, then I would hope the album discussion threads would be the LEAST of your worries!


I apologize for not posting these quite as frequently as I said I would initially; I've been busy at work and blah blah blah, so here we go. I know I said I wouldn't go in chronological order, and I didn't! Hah!

Anyway, a bit of history with this album. After their first album was released, the band went right back into Trident Studios to work on the follow-up. They used several songs that had been written many years ago but left unrecorded: 'Father To Son', 'White Queen', 'Ogre Battle', and 'Seven Seas Of Rhye', though these all received live airings at some point between 1970 and 1974.

This album also marked the first time that the band attempted to tell a kind of story. It wasn't a concept album (no, Queen would let the likes of Pete Townshend and Ray Davies, wordsmiths extraordinaires, do those), but there was a very loose common theme running through all the songs. Brian's songs ('Procession', 'Father To Son', 'White Queen', and 'Some Day, One Day') and Roger's sole contribution, 'The Loser In The End', were considered lighter than Freddie's contributions, and so was put on the first side, or, as it was labeled, the White Side; Freddie's songs, which very well may be one very long song a la The Beatles' "Abbey Road", were placed on the second side, or the Black Side.

The band started

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6328 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Jul 05, 13:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sometimes with mates we use to do "introduce a band" meetings. Each of us brings the album of certain band, that we consider to represent them, or that we consider quite underrated outside the fandom. When I did Pink Floyd I brought Division and everyone hated it until the end of High Hopes - then they felt relieved.

In one of those meetings they asked me to introduce Queen to them, since they only knew the overplayed hits and News Of The World. I brought Queen II and they were stunned. No wonder. I remember the first time I listened to it: my brother had asked my dad to get some Queen albums for his birthday (no matter if they were burned, I must admit).

He got home with Queen II, The Miracle, Innuendo, A Kind Of Magic, Rocks and Made In Heaven. I had heard (probably here in this forum, I'm speaking about May Y2K) that March Of The Black Queen was outstanding, so I decided to put Queen II first. The CDs had been burned so I didn't know which track was each, I "had to" listen to the entire album waiting for "a song in which Roger sings a line somewhere in the middle".

Procession didn't surprise me very much, but I quite liked Father To Son and White Queen. Someday was all right, as well as Loser... then I heard about 10 seconds of "silence", so I turned up the volume. Then I realised it was a fade in, and of course the entire family woke up with the big scream of 'Ogre'. I didn't turn the vol down anyway... I liked the psychedelic guitars (I didn't notice they had been reversed). I loved the crazy interlude with screams and guitar noises, then before I notice the song segues into something that sounded like a Beetlejuice theme. Loved it from day one.

Then Nevermore: I always like those kind of piano ballads, and now they had some beautiful choirs, what else could I ask? then something started... I thought "this sounds like a March so this must be the bloody track I was looking for". I was far from being dissapointed: absolutely loved it. My brother hated the song, but I liked how bizarre it was. When it slowed down and guitar plays an "ending" my brother felt relieved, I felt sad. But then piano enters again and they continue with that "singalong/lullabies" bit. It reminded me of 'November Rain' in that trick; to this day I still believe William Bailey must have been at least partially inspired by The March.

Funny had to grow on me, I learned to like it just last year. Seven Seas is all right, I've never been particualrly fond of it but it doesn't bother me.


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.
brENsKi user not visiting Queenzone.com
How shall we f**k off, Oh Lord
brENsKi
Deity: 8088 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Jul 05, 18:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i have to admit to playing 'black' more than white these days. don't gte me wrong - i love 'white' but when i want totally blitzing away to kingdom come, or when i want to remember just how magnificent Queen were BEFORE Bo-Rhap - i always play 'black'. from the moment i heard the first chords of FFMS i knew i was sold on this album. the speed, frenetic air and general kitchen sink production make it the complete rock album. the lush tones and delicate piano of Nevermore have mede this my all-time favourite song - and it's remained so for nigh-on 30 years. If nevermore has one failing (heresy) - it's that it's perhaps too perfect and approx 1-2 mins too short!. The majestic power and deliverance in Seven Seas and March are complimented by the over exhuberance of FUNNY. Many queen fans don't take to FUNNY immediately - but i have always loved it - i think that breaking up March and Seven with Queen's own Larry Lurex Mk2 is an excellent idea and an all-round masterstroke (pardon pun)...let's face it HOW would YOU segue March into Seven - it just wouldn't go!!!

If you still have Queen albums to complete your collection and this is one - get it first - and get it soon!!! - if you don't see the embryo of Bo-Rhap in 'black' then you clearly don't get Queen!
Get this album and I guarantee you'll never listen to AKOM again


go deo na hÉireann
Roy Queen user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 221 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Jul 05, 20:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The first time I heard this album I really didn't get it. I thought it was to noisy and just a mess. But after playing it over again I could hear that it was something behind all the screaming. The first song I "fell in love with" was The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke. At once I heard the "crazy" orgel in the beginning I felt that I was been sucked into a fantasyworld with ogres and that kind of stuff. I heard TFFMS over and over again, and then Nevermore, over and over again, and then the song that should be my favorite song of all songs, The March Of The Black Queen. I have never heard a song with this power, energy and magic, and I don't think it will come a song like this either. This song blows everthing away. This song has everything to capture me, and the song is an adventure in itself. Queen II is the most played Queen album I have, and I have them all.


heyheyheyhey, it was the DNA...
djaef user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 887 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 19 Jul 05, 21:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I’ve been waiting for this one Lester… :)

Lester Burnham wrote:

Queen fans have consistently labeled this as their favorite album, usually also along with A Day At The Races.


Queen II and ADATR are indeed my two favourites Queen albums. I look forward to the ADATR thread when it comes as well, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Queen II is indeed one of the absolute best Queen albums ever recorded. Looking at any bands career in terms of chronological releases is an interesting exercise, and second albums are often special. Queen I was a solid album, but was more showing potential than fully delivering. It was clear that this band would develop, but I don’t think anyone expected the quantum leap that was Queen II.

Freddie is the key to this album for me. It is a historical document of the burgeoning genius that was Freddie Mercury. He always wanted to be a star. He knew May was a special guitarist and plagued them (Smile) until he could join. They got a recording contract and put out an excellent debut, and songs like Liar and Keep Yourself Alive show that from the start Freddie was a real talent.

But with Queen II he takes off into the stratosphere. His songwriting on this album is superb. Side Black is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the very best “sides” in rock history, up there with Side 1 of Dark Side of The Moon, or Side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV.

Lester Burnham wrote:

It wasn't a concept album (no, Queen would let the likes of Pete Townshend and Ray Davies, wordsmiths extraordinaires, do those), but there was a very loose common theme running through all the songs.


It is the closest Queen ever came to making a concept album, and despite what Lester says, I think it came remarkably close, and that with a few small changes could have been an even better album than it is. The mystical / mythical element WAS the concept, they just didn’t fine tune it. Look at another classic concept album from the same era. “Demons and Wizards” by Uriah Heep is a fantastic album. Lyrically, there is no detailed concept, but together the songs revolve around a mystical world of wizards and magic. It is a brilliant piece of work. Queen II comes so close to this, but to me it seems they were just not as focussed on the possibility of such a coherent concept album coming out of it. I really don’t understand it. Maybe they never saw it as a concept album (though they clearly did in a way, what with the Side Black and White). In the end it remains a mystery to me why they didn’t fine tune this album. With a couple of changes, it could have reached rock perfection.

Lester Burnham wrote:

...and while reviews were fairly hit or miss, Queen II (which replaced "Over The Top" as the title) showed a side of Queen that hadn't been (or wouldn't again be) explored, a kind of mythical and mystical story of white and black queens, ogres, and fairies (and their master-strokes!).


And what a tragedy this genre was not explored further. What I would give for more Freddie Mercury songs in this style. Queen always wanted to stretch themselves and I suppose their not wanting to be creatively stagnant was one of their greatest attributes, but my God, when you are on a good thing…

Procession and Father to Son are indeed great openers for this album. I still think that Father to Son would have been a great second single from the album, although the length precluded that possibility I suppose. One of the best songs on the album.

White Queen is a magical number that shows Brian May’s wonderful sensitive songwriting abilities.

Someday One Day is nice, and fits the theme (a misty castle waits for you and you shall be a Queen) but I think it is slightly (and only very slightly) below the rest of the album in quality.

The Loser in The End though, should simply not be on this album. It’s not good enough, and it


djaef - Queen fan since 1678, after the Dorog concert!
Gunpowder Gelatine user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 2541 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Jul 05, 01:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen II is an album that I think gets the respect it deserves from fans, but definitely not from others. It's an underrated masterpiece that should be played to anyone who thinks Queen was just throwaway pop songs. Freddie may have said his songs were like disposable razors, but they have stood the test of time, especially this album.

Procession starts everything off - slightly stark, looming layers of guitar, and the wedding march is a perfect lead-in to the white side. White usually conveys purity, which ties in with the marriage, and a contrast to Freddie's black side of devils and ogres.

Next is Father To Son, which is a song that took me awhile to discover, but after a few years, it's one of my favorites. The lyrics are some of Brian's best, proving that he was an amazing lyricist straight from the start. And it hardly needs to be mentioned how good the guitars are!

White Queen is another one of my favorites, from the beginning with the fuzzy, acoustic guitar to the lyrics which tell a poetic story that's so easy to picture. It's just got kind of a soundscape to it, and it just takes me away when I listen to it.

I've always liked Some Day One Day, though you never hear much about it. I like Brian's vocals and the slightly sensitive lyrics. I think it fits in with the White Side's theme...which leads to The Loser In The End which really doesn't. It's not an awful song, but it does bring down the album. I like the effects in it, though, with the door slamming on cue with the lyrics.

On to Side Black...which is another mastery within a mastery of an album! It's dark, it's evil, it's heavy - it's perfectly Freddie and it's amazing to listen to this and think that this is the same mind who brought us Body Language! But he was a genius, and I would've loved to been inside his head for this album especially.

Starting off with Ogre Battle, which is one of my newer favorites. The reversed, crunchy guitar is the best part of the song for me, but the harmonies deserve a mention. Queen were always known for their harmonies and this is just the same. This song is just as good live, with Freddie belting out "Ogre battle lives forevermore!" always being the part I wait for!

The Fairy Feller's Masterstroke...it's amazing how much he could pack into that song from Richard Dadd's painting. Every detail is put into the lyrics and I love hearing his high, pre-smoking seventies pitch.

I agree with with djaef, I wish Nevermore was longer! The three shortest songs (Dear Friends, Lily Of The Valley and Nevermore, and I'm excluding the three second reprise as a song!) have always been my favorites - short and sweet. The piano is so beautiful and the lyrics always hit me hard for some reason...

The March Of The Black Queen is hard to put into words. It's a pre-Bohemian Rhapsody, and crams in so many switches in style in it's 6:33. It's just fantastic how something so seemingly all over the place comes together so seemlessly.

I've never truly warmed up to Funny How Love Is, but it's not a bad song. I like the lyrics but it's kind of a throwaway song for me. I could do without it and I'd like the album just as much.

Seven Seas Of Rhye...Queen's breakthrough! It's a good song, but not truly up to the standards the rest of the album set. The guitar solo kind of veers off course but I do like how the end ties in with the beginning of Brighton Rock on the next album.

So overall, like everyone's said, it's a brilliant album. It's a masterpiece, and shows just how amazingly versatile the band were. It's a must for any music lover...I wish music today could hold a candle to this!




Resistance is futile. You are now an orb.

its_a_hard_life user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 949 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Jul 05, 10:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

wow lots of writing my eyes hurt from it all...


"I'm a greedy bitch" - Freddie Mercury

REST IN PEACE FREDDIE MERCURY!!
djaef user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 887 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Jul 05, 22:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

come on guys. This is one of Queen's best ever albums. Praise be to Cesaer!!!


djaef - Queen fan since 1678, after the Dorog concert!
Suigi user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 856 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 20 Jul 05, 23:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmmm...I'll play through the album and tell ya what I thinks.
Procession: Wow. Talk about gravitas. Right from the get-go, you can picture the curtain rising on an opera of some kind. There's this sense that something revolutionary IS on this album.
Father To Son: If it's influenced by the Who, I ain't seeing it. A good tune nonetheless, but IMO, I don't really dig this one that much. A bit on the long side for my taste.
White Queen: Fragile and shimmering, as the title suggests. Again, not too fond of it.
Someday One Day: My favourite tune on the white side of the album, I always pictured this describing two travellers in love, trying desperately to get back to where they came from. "someday one day...we'll come home..."
The Loser In The End: Yich. I just flat out don't like this one. Not saying that Rog is a bad vocalist, but something just irks me.

Before I continue, I must say that the black side of Queen II is the greatest story arc in their discography EVAR. And the best album side, as well.

Ogre Battle: Thumping drums, ripping guitars, and Freddie's virtuoso voice. Just brilliant.
Fairy Feller: This thing has "WTF?!" written all over it. A good tune when taken as a part of the whole arc, sort of the comedic relief in the side. On its own, however, it stinx0rs.
Nevermore: Hauntingly beautiful. The first time I heard this tune, I honestly cried a bit. I tear up a little every time I hear it again. Waaay too short, but this would be the tragedy element of the saga.
March of the Black Queen: Talk about a climax! The drums are infectious to me, and it definitely paints a clear picture. The segue into Funny is pure genius. "...surrender to the city of the fireflies..."
Funny How Love Is: The denouement and conclusion of this epic tale. After hearing the side to this point, I felt emotionally and physically drained. In other words, Freddie did his job right.
Seven Seas Of Rhye:...and the ethereal experience comes to a screeching halt. If this and Someday One Day were switched around, I think it'd be a much better feel to the album. It's the reverse of Fairy Feller IMO, a good song on its own, but as part of Queen II's black side, it's very much out of place.

All things considered, this is the best of the 70's Queen albums. A little too artsy-fartsy for my tastes, but still right up there with Works, Jazz and Miracle for my fave album.


HE ROCKS US STILL.

Proud Supporter of the Queen Lives Compilation
7Innuendo7 user not visiting Queenzone.com
7Innuendo7
Bohemian: 816 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 21 Jul 05, 00:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

sometimes it's like one long song, a heavy moebius strip wrapped around glittering layers of guitars, rippling with a dark backbeat and ethereal vocals. imho QII and Innuendo are the purest albums, several others close


When a red hot man meets a white hot lady, Hoop Diddy Diddy, Hoop Diddy Doo!
GreatKingSam user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 670 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 21 Jul 05, 06:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry, but for some reason, probably in the same way some of you don't like it, I really love The Loser In The End.

I've always had a thing for Roger's Queen songs, and I just think this is phenomenal. The ending especially, with the constant constant drum rolls and fills, and the ad-libbed guitar from Bri - awesome.

Boy Thomas Raker user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 969 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 21 Jul 05, 10:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think this is the album the band found themselves, and started to become Queen. The first album was Zeppelin-esque, riff heavy, and though great, but through crazy studio hours etc., it wasn't as coherent as Queen II. The production is a lot better, harmonies are fuller, and Brian's guitar found it's voice more than it did on the debut. Personal faves are White Queen, which is probably my favourite Brian lyric, Ogre Battle, which is incredibly heavy, and Nevermore, one of those gems that only Queen fans know about. This album is Brian's fave, and Extreme's Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt got together musically after discussing Queen II and finding it was both of their favourite albums.


You know, good times are now.
RainMustFall2 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 129 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 22 Jul 05, 22:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like how there's some inklings to their mysical world in Queen I, like MFK and Great King Rat... and there's an epilogue on Sheer Heart Attack, a la Lily of the Valley (in my interpretation.)

brENsKi user not visiting Queenzone.com
How shall we f**k off, Oh Lord
brENsKi
Deity: 8088 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Jul 05, 07:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

one thing to add to my missive

father to Son: i always liked it but i wasn't sure i got the point of it for a while. until about 1977 when Queen were interviewed on a UK Saturday morning TV show called TISWAS. Not sure if it was Chris Tarrant or Sally James (ooh!!) talking to them, but what i do remember was a 'live clip' of father to Son (possibly from the Rainbow) playing behind them - then I got it!!!

father To Son - is written by brian especially to be played live - he designed it to BE the show opener - and it stayed that way for the early years....it certainly worked!


go deo na hÉireann
bitesthedust user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 3242 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Jul 05, 11:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen II.

Never gave this album time of day until a few years ago when I happened to play it one day.

It is a tremendous album, has its downsides in my opinion....Some Day, Fairy Fellers, Funny How Love Is but netherless both "white" and "black" possess some classics!

out of 10:

Procession 8/10
Father To Son 7/10
White Queen 9/10
Some Day One Day 5/10
Loser In The End 7/10
Ogre Battle 8/10
Fairy 4/10
Nevermore 6/10
March Of The Black Queen 9/10
Funny How Love Is 4/10
Seven Seas Of Rhye 8/10


The Fairy King user not visiting Queenzone.com
The Fairy King
Deity: 8686 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Jul 05, 11:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen II is my fave album from the moment i got it. The albums i got after this one couldn't top it. It has for me the best songwriting, melodies, feeling and quality. 10/10




Killed by drones.
mike hunt user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 2770 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Jul 05, 20:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

queen2 is my fav queen album, slightly ahead of 'opera' sheer heart attack and adatr. side black is perfect. black queen is their best along with bo rap. also fairy fellers is among my favorites. the only down side for me is roger's 'loser in the end' on of queen's worst songs ever, i admit i like some of the drum fills, but the song itself stinks. i think one of freddie's or brians throwaways would have been better. i think they were being a bit to loyal to their friend roger in this case.

The Black Queen user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 852 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Jul 05, 04:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

7Innuendo7 wrote:

sometimes it's like one long song, a heavy moebius strip wrapped around glittering layers of guitars, rippling with a dark backbeat and ethereal vocals. imho QII and Innuendo are the purest albums, several others close


That was so beautiful.

I'm crying right now.


Freddie about Roger 'Trouser Snake' Taylor:

"A nice guy, but dont ever let him show you his home videos...the dirty little sod."