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Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Nov 05, 21:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hello everyone.

I feel a little embarrassed about this, as this may be one of those "Google" moments, but I was wondering if anyone has any contemporary reviews for A Night At The Opera and Made In Heaven. Stuff from 1975 and 1995, respectively; any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 12 Nov 05, 13:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen - Made in Heaven:


© ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (U.S.), 10 November 1995, by Jim Farber:

Last Dance
Freddie Mercury's final album with Queen

Freddie Mercury sets his own demise to music on this final record with Queen, MADE IN HEAVEN (Hollywood). Initially recorded while the singer was suffering through the worst stages of AIDS (and completed in the four years since he succumbed), the album represents the last public words from a man approaching his last breath.

But fear not! Mercury - arguably rock's campiest performer - would never let anything (even death) turn things dreary. MADE IN HEAVEN depicts an almost Disneyesque view of the End, opening with the sound of tweeting birds and winding through ballads beaming with gooey wonder. Given the halting construction, it also makes for a surprisingly organic work with no shortage of highlights, from a rock version of Mercury's solo dance hit "I Was Born to Love You," to the wonderfully schmaltzy title song, to a fascinating jaw dropper of an unlisted finale. This last track, a 22-minute wash of celestial ahhs and twinkle, presents what could be rock's first-ever depiction of the afterlife, with heaven presented as some flouncy Hollywood epic. It's the perfect theatrical epitaph for a life dedicated to gorgeous artifice.

B+


© ROLLING STONE (U.S.), 28 December 1995:

The heavy elegy in the air there is suffocating, making muchof this posthumous project - completed by the surviving members of Queen after Freddie Mercury's death of AIDS four years ago - a strange, often discomfiting listening experience. Made in Heaven is composed almost entirely of ballads and midtempo melodrama loaded with double meanings ("It's a Beautiful Day," "Let Me Live," "My Life Has Been Saved") and implicit drama. Did Mercury know his prognosis when he wrote the lines *I'm playing my role in history/Looking to find my goal/Taking in all this misery/But giving it all my soul"? But as a memorial to the breadth and bang of what Mercury really delivered in his prime - the epic vocal corn of "Bohemian Rhapsody," his incandescent wail on Sheer Heart Attack, the playful rockabilly kitsch of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - Made in Heaven falls short, too fraught with its own poignancy. Listen to it for solance, then put on "Keep Yourself Alive" or "Killer Queen" for some real sting.


© VOX (UK), January 1996, by Ian Fortnam:

Heaven's great!

So you thought you'd heard the last of them. Well, think again. Queen were working on new material right up until Freddie Mercury's death in 1991, and almost four years on from 'Innuendo', they've finally completed their 20th and, one would imagine, last album.

It's easy to regard posthumous albums as motivated by nothing more than money. But no such criticism can be levelled at 'Made In Heaven' (an album title that only Queen could get away with). Mercury insisted at the time of his demise that his final work be completed. Wisely so, as 'Made In Heaven' contains some of the finest material of the band's career.

'Made In Heaven' begins on a celebretory note with the plush, optimistic 'It's A Beautiful Day', but it's not until the title track that their mighty pomp rock beast is finally unleashed. Mercury is in astonishingly good voice, drifting effortlessly from featherlight falsettos to lung-bursting raw power with alarming regularity. John Deacon's thunderous bass threatens to dislodge your fillings, and the enormity of Roger Taylor's drumming makes 'We Will Rock You' sound almost feeble by comparison. But this is nothing compared to Brian May's charged guitar work. Every trademark lick has been accentuated, from the opening salvo of his familiar orchestral swooping, to his truly majestic solo. This, without doubt, is Queen at their very best.

'Let Me Live' begins with a straight lyrical lift from Janis Joplin's 'Piece Of My Heart'


"Guten Morgen, Sie wünschen geweckt zu werden!"
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Posted: 12 Nov 05, 13:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen - Made in Heaven:


© MELODY MAKER (UK), 18 November 1995, by David Bennun:

Trite Said Fred

In the wake of the dambursting swell of affection following Freddie Mercury's death, a few points about Queen:
1) Dying does not retrospectively make you a better, finer or more useful person.
2) As lifetime cultural missions go, bringing opera to the masses ranks with bringing Tupperware to an Ann Summers party.
3) Opponents of opera protest that it is élitist, a subsidised pursuit for the wealthy and privileged. This is the best thing to be said for it. If the wealthy and privileged wish to inflict opera upon themselves, so be it. It's their money. And ours too, but who's quibbling? I for one am willing to pay to keep opera the hell away from me. I hold Queen personally responsible for having it invade my life, first in the form of their own grotesqueries, which then laid the path for The Three Tenors to waddle along and blight the airwaves.
4) At least The Three Tenors sing opera proper. You can hear it coming, and duck. But operatic rock...what a grisly idea, what a vile Frankenstein's monster of a genre. Operatic rock. Say it to yourself. It leaves a taste on the tongue like onion-flavoured ice-cream, a queasy, unclean sensation on the skin reminiscent of sex in a bathtub full of beef dripping (The secret of your glossy complexion is out! - Beauty Ed).
5) "Bohemian Rhapsody", in particular, is a travesty beyond the bounds of language as we know it.
6) The subsequent works of Queen - and I use the phrase as I would "works of the Devil" - are even more loathsome, sharing the worst-of-both-worlds mix of flatulence and irony that is "Rhapsody", while lacking its distinctive dreadfulness.
7) "Made In Heaven" (I don't want to think about the nuances of that title) sounds exactly like every Queen record since "A Kind Of Magic".
8) Some have called using the pre-recorded voice of the late Mercury on this album necrophilia. Not me. I have no problem with Freddie making records while dead. No greater problem than I had with him making them while he was alive, anyway.
9) In fact, it doesn't seem to have impeded his performance in any way, and it certainly hasn't done sales any harm.
10) Freddie Mercury was not a martyr of any description. He kept schtum on the subject of his illness for ass long as possible, which was entirely his right, but his contribution to the cause of AIDS awareness over his lifetime was absolutely zilch.


© NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS (UK), 18 November 1995, by Stuart Bailie:

AAARRGH! FREDDIE'S BACK!

What really stinks about this enterprise is the way that Freddie Mercury has been painted up as an untouchable, sainted artist. Sure, the fans say, wasn't he the moustachioed supertrooper who sang and danced right up until the end? And wasn't he even benevolent after his death - his throbbing great songs making millions for AIDS research even as we wiped away our tears of loss?

Let's remember him another way for a bit. Let's ignore the lines in his current single - the ones in 'Heaven For Everyone' which find him warbling on about how "this world should be free, this world could be one". Instead let's recall him as the disgusting hypocrite who played the white man's resort of Sun City in South Africa - a place where all men were emphatically not free, where the notion of one world was rejected for the divisive system of apartheid. Thousands of bands across the world swore never to play in a country where such a rotten regime could exist, but not Queen. Good old Freddie, eh?

But that was a while back, and so you look on the lyrics to this album (the press pack even reproduces the author's enfeebled handwriting) for signs of contrition, for a special, parting message. But there's precious little among the off-cuts from dodgy solo albums, some excerpts from onstage banter and a needless re-run of 'I Was Born To Love You


"Guten Morgen, Sie wünschen geweckt zu werden!"
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Posted: 12 Nov 05, 13:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen - Made in Heaven:


© CHELSEA CHRONICLE (Austria), No. 5/1995, by Werner Bajlicz:

Ein mehr als makabrer Titel für ein Album, das zum musikalischen Denkmal für den im November 1991 an Aids verstorbenen Leadsänger Freddie Mercury werden sollte. Für jenen Mann, der durch seine Exzentrik und gesangliche Brillanz schon zu Lebzeiten Unsterblichkeit erlangte. Für die Verarbeitung seines musikalischen Nachlasses legten die verbliebenen Bandmitglieder ihre ganze Routine in die Waagschale. Das Resultat ist ein nachdenkliches Werk mit tiefschürfenden Textpassagen und einem resümierenden Freddie Mercury. Gewohnt bombastisch arrangiert und mit etlichen potentiellen Hits bestückt.

Ein großartiges und berührendes Album, mit dem ein bedeutendes Kapitel der Musikgeschichte zu Ende geht.


© BACKSTAGE (Austria), November 1995, by Thomas Zeidler:

Stell Dir vor du wartest ein Jahr lang auf Weihnachten und dann sind die Geschenke allesamt Scheiße - genau so fühle ich mich, wenn ich mir dieses Album anhöre: Seit nunmehr 15 Jahren kenne ich jeden Furz den Freddie, Roger, Brian und John im Laufe ihrer 22-jährigen Karriere irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann legal oder illegal aufgenommen haben in- und auswendig und seit exakt 1542 Tagen (so lange liegt die "Innuendo"-Veröffentlichung zurück) fiebere ich neuestem Queen-Stuff entgegen und jetzt wo das letzte (das Letzte!!!) Queen-Album endlich (endlich!!!) da ist fühle ich mich mehr als verraten und verkauft - denn erstmals habe ich das Gefühl, daß ich MEINEN Queen scheißegal bin, denn dieses Album zielt in erster Linie auf mindestens 100 Millionen potentielle Käufer und erst in zweihundertster Linie auf die, die Queen wirklich zig Jahre lang supporten - die eingeschworene Fangemeinde - denn für diese ist "Made In Heaven" gelinde gesagt eine Frechheit: Kaum Gitarrensolos, dafür eine Schlagzeugdominanz, die selbst dem eingefleischtesten Taylor-Fan (=DDSCN) zu penetrant ist, dazu kommen diletantischste Schnitte, wie sie nicht einmal auf der beschissenen "Live Magic" passiert sind. Ganz abgesehen davon, daß ein jeder der sich mit Queen auch nur ein bißchen auskennt, dieses Album immer in zwei Abschnitte einteilen muß: die "Remixes" und den new Stuff. Ersteres sind allesamt durch Beifügung von jeder Menge Schlagzeug, den typischen Bombast-Chören und viel zu wenig Gitarrenspuren auf Queen getrimmt und kommen bis auf den eindeutig als Demo erkennbaren Vocalpart zu "Too Much Love Will Kill You", wo ein todkranker Freddie noch immer um Häuser besser singt als Brian May und das mächtige "I Was Born To Love You" doch mehr als unbefriedigend - das ganze klingt in etwa so wie das Freddie Mercury Remix-Album, nur von fähigeren Leuten gemacht. Womit wir endlich bei den wirklich interessanten Dingen angelangt wären, den neuen Songs: "It's A Beautiful" erweist sich als mit Soundteppichen geschmückte Collage (Floyd schau obe) die sich langsam zum Bombastfinale steigert, das Gospel-artige "Let Me Live" tönt zwar genial, ist aber eigentlich die größte Frechheit, denn hier singt Freddie bloß eine (kurze) Strophe und zwei Zeilen, alle anderen Vocals kommen von Roger, Brian und einem Frauenchor (wie war das nochmals, mit "auf dem letzten Queen Album wird es keinen anderen Sänger als Freddie geben"...) noch dazu ist der Text sowas von fälschlich tendenziös auf "so laßt mich doch bitte weiterleben" getrimmt, daß einem schlecht wird... Beim balladesken "Mother Love" - meinem Favourite - spürt man den nahenden Abschied und die damit verbreitete Stimmung am deutlichsten, "You Don't Fool Me" klingt wie ein zweitklassiges Überbleibsel aus den "Mr. Bad Guy" Sess


"Guten Morgen, Sie wünschen geweckt zu werden!"
Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 Nov 05, 14:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Crikey, many many thanks!