Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Lester's Album Discussion Thread - "The Game"

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Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 11:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To put it simply: it's back.


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. NO NUMERICAL RATINGS, PLEASE!!! Discussion threads do not equal giving something a grade. If this was called "Let's rate the albums", that would be different, but I want people to discuss the albums. There's no point in listing your favorite songs without giving some kind of insight.

5. These will be posted whenever I damn well please. I know I initially said every two weeks, but sometimes inspiration strikes and you gotta post, man. Or sometimes I get so damn busy, I'll just forget about it and all that.

6. For other discussion threads, check out:
Queen (first album): http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=569759
Queen II: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=587802
Brian May's solo albums: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=575007
Sheer Heart Attack: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=648592
A Day At The Races: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=670647
News Of The World: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=684170
Jazz: http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/forumnew/forum_topic_view.aspx?Q=687482


Go!

Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 11:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, considering that I've been writing about Queen's albums for the last few months or so, I must admit that I'm a bit burned out on this whole subject, so I'm really trusting you guys to take it and go. The other threads have been fairly successful, so let's keep it going, okay?

As far as I'm concerned, The Game is a great collection of songs, but doesn't have the cohesiveness of the albums from the 1970s. Queen were obviously straying away from the more conceptual, grandiose ideas they had prided their first seven albums on, and were now focusing on creating songs for the hit parade.

I would say that my least favorite songs are 'Play The Game' and 'Coming Soon', yet they're still decent and better than some of the poorer ones from this album's predecessor. 'Play The Game' worked better live, and 'Coming Soon' isn't THAT bad, but would've been a better B-side and with 'A Human Body' on the album. There are some really great songs on here otherwise: 'Sail Away', 'Save Me', and 'Rock It' are all superb, while the obvious classics like 'Crazy Little Thing' and 'Another One Bites The Dust' are enjoyable and timeless. 'Dragon Attack' is a nice bit of funk that would, unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your opinion), give birth to the Hot Space album.

The presence of synthesizers was also an issue; Queen had never needed them before, and they added very little to the sound. However, they're most successful as a background noise, such as on 'Sail Away' and 'Save Me'; only on 'Play The Game' and 'Rock It' do they really sound weird and unnecessary.

However, the album, only 10 songs long and clocking in just over 35 minutes, still feels like it's missing something, something keeping everything together. Queen albums wouldn't be the same after this, with the exception of Innuendo, and The Game is all to blame.

Micrówave user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 12:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Game was my first Queen album. I ended up burning through two elektra cassettes within a year.

Side A may be Queen's finest Side A of all their albums, and quite a good summary of the band. There's a little bit of everything there. Will we ever get any other non album tracks released besides A Human Body?

YourValentine user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 12:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it's safe to say that "The Game" was a turning point in the music by Queen. Even more than Hot Space the album confronted the faithful followers with a radical change of the musical and production style.

CLTCL which was recorded and released prior to the album was playing with the "rockabilly" genre and as such a great tune and well done. True to the genre there was only a very stripped down guitar solo which was okay for the song but soon the fans would start missing the Red Special dominance.

There are always one or two songs on a Queen album I loathe and could do without. On The Game there are even three songs I usually skip: Need Your Loving Tonight, Don't Try Suicide ad Coming Soon.

The most conspicuous songs on the album are of course Another One Bites The Dust and Dragon Attack - the first real "crossover" tracks which won the band a whole new audience in the USA. Till this day both songs sound fresh. They stood the test of time and even in the recent QPR tour Dragon Attack seemed to be one ot the highlights. AOBTD was always one of the great songs which developed in concerts - away from the original studio sound to a very own live sound.

The song which makes the album for me is Save Me. Great feeling, phantastic, very poetic lyrics, the dramatic piano to guitar buildup of the song and imo one of the best vocal performances by Freddie ever. Save Me is one of the songs I never get tired of.

Edit: again it took me so long to type this all up, I apologise for repeating some of what Lester already said.


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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 12:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Game is my favourite Queen album. I like to think of it as the half-way point in their career, between Early Queen and Classic Queen. I like all the tracks but my favourites are Play The Game, Another One Bites The Dust, Dragon Attack, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Need Your Loving Tonight.

I love the inside photos of it as well.

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 12:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote:

On The Game there are even three songs I usually skip: Need Your Loving Tonight, Don't Try Suicide ad Coming Soon.


I'm with you there, but I really enjoy NYLT as much as the other tracks on side 1. That is straight-forward Rock & Roll all the way. I would have enjoyed Suicide more, had they chosen a different theme, like Don't Try Asparagus or something.

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 12:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Agreed that while it has many good songs, it shows the start of a band struggling internally with their future direction. As Lester noted, the synths are merely candy floss, and work in but a few sections. Unfortunately, the synths would lead to plodding songs like Body Language and Dancer on Hot Space. Personally, I feel that Brian's songs were more "traditional" Queen with even the funky Dragon Attack rocking hard, while Roger, John's and Freddie's songs went to a sparser, more raw sound. With the exception of Save Me and a snippet of Sail Away, the first album where Brian's harmony lines style of playing wasn't a big factor.


You know, good times are now.
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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 12:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is my third favourite album - personally I think it's great and is the best of the 80's in my opinion. It is a very versatile album and features new styles for the group - funk, dance and hip-hop, as well as the trademark Queen roots of rock and ballads but is strikingly different in the production. Gone are the layers and overdubs of the earlier albums; I've always felt the sound is very minimalistic in as much as "never play two notes where one will do" and of course this is the first album to feature the band working with Mack and also the use of synthesizers....

Going through the tracks themselves...I feel there are 7 really strong tracks, 2 clangers and 1 average filler....the album gets off to a good start and the a-side is certainly one of the strongest the band ever put together. Roger's Rock It is a good track and transfers well live, and perhaps if it had been on either Hot Space/The Works it may have been a great success but it is overshadowed somewhat here...Don't Try Suicide and Coming Soon are the two clangers of the album in my opinion and although DTS has a very similar riff to The Police's Walking On The Moon it is not the same class. Brian's two ballads though help compensate for an otherwise average b-side, Save Me providing the band with a #11 UK hit. Why Sail Away Sweet Sister was never performed live I don't know, and would have made an excellent single release as the b-side to Save Me.

The only non-album b-side from this era is A Human Body....which I will elaborate on here...I think it should have been included in the album proper, and if you replace another one of Roger's tracks, Coming Soon with it it provides a stronger tracklisting.

In a lot of ways the album is a hotch-potch of various sounds and styles, the phomenonal success of Dust lead to the next studio album in some ways. Certainly for the older fan I would imagine The Game was the start of a slippery slope, but for me personally it is the best complete album of the 1980's and certainly marked a new era for Queen, in terms of sound, style and production.

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 13:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I can be very short about this: The best bass-album of Queen. John is really flying on this album.


John: "It's the one thing I wish I could do - sing."

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 17:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

being a queen and beatles fan i hope you'll excuse my beatles parallels....
you know - i have always regarded this album highly, but not high enough up there with queen, II, ANATO, Innuendo, Jazz etc.
and i think i know why....those other that i mentioned were Queen doing what queen always did well - being queen

Game (not just because of the infamous debut of a synthesiser on a queen lp) was a huge diversion for the band. where the first six albums were parallels to the beatles 62-65 (ie sticking to the working formular. Jazz became their Rubber Soul...the first signs of diversity.

The Game became their Revolver...and like Revolver - you either love it or hate it....and while (as i said at the top of this) i've always regarded this album highly - it's never been in the upper echelons of queen's music (imo)...

the only reason i can think of is the "almost desperate need to find a new sound" left a very souless finished product. btw - much as i love revolver, it's nowhere near my favourite beatles album.


go deo na hÉireann
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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 17:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lester,

I have to ask whether you've mentioned in the manuscript of your book the story behind "Coming Soon"?

According to an "Innerview" interview that was posted here in MP3 format some time ago, Roger was originally aiming for a 1960s style with this track, and the lyrics were meant to be about advertising ("Coming soon to a mall near you, etc."). Somewhere along the lines, the theme got muddled and turned into the track that we know today.

If you can find a copy of that interview, you'll be able to get an exact quote from Roger.

Ian.

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 17:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I missed those topics.

The Game was, together with The Works, the last album I downloaded (I admit I only bought three).

I think it's quite good with some rather poor bits. Don't Try Suicide is one of the most stupid lyrics ever, but I like the bass parts.

'Save Me' is one of my very favourite songs, and one of my favourite recordings as well with those beautiful acoustic (the scale before the solo sends shivers down my spine), the electric choir and the walking bass. Brian's piano after "sale or rent" is wonderful. And his backing vocals in that same section as well. Probably his finest moment in the studio imo.

The other two I really love in the album are 'Sail Away' with the bass-solo at the end and 'Need Your Loving Tonight', beautiful lyrics.


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.
Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 18:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ian R wrote:

Lester,

I have to ask whether you've mentioned in the manuscript of your book the story behind "Coming Soon"?

According to an "Innerview" interview that was posted here in MP3 format some time ago, Roger was originally aiming for a 1960s style with this track, and the lyrics were meant to be about advertising ("Coming soon to a mall near you, etc."). Somewhere along the lines, the theme got muddled and turned into the track that we know today.

If you can find a copy of that interview, you'll be able to get an exact quote from Roger.

Ian.


Crap, I missed that. Must've been during a self-professed break from QZ.

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 20:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Feel free to thank me profusely in the forward of your new book Lester!

(By the way, my real name isn't "Ivor Biggun" as I suggested a while back, but "Ian Regan" instead. Hint, hint!)

Ian.

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Lester Burnham user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 01 Aug 06, 21:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, I found that I had it stashed away on my hard drive somewhere - thanks for bringing it to my attention, Ian! Your name has been duly entered ;)

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Posted: 02 Aug 06, 02:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it's queens best album of the '80's
The album has some great songs...but as always they are sounding so much better live...(for instance need your lovin' tonight)

Together with innueondo and Night at the opera this is in fact the only album which I listen to without skipping one or two tracks...




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Posted: 02 Aug 06, 05:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


Well, Lester, THE GAME, whether one likes it or not was a turning point. It's the beggining of a new era.

- Notice that from now on, the albuns do not count anymore as a "whole" but instead as a "sum of songs";

- 80's (vomit) debut;

- There are no bad tracks, but also no masterpieces;

- Best Song (IMO): Save Me;
Worst Songs: DTS and CS
(but even CS turns out to great live)

All in all, it is a solid and very good album. Most people here forget one crucial aspect in their analisis: one must place the album in the time it was released (world , music, band and so many other tendencies)



Being a Scolar when it comes to Queen...
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Posted: 02 Aug 06, 06:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Al TurHao wrote:




- Best Song (IMO): Save Me;
Worst Songs: DTS and CS
(but even CS turns out to great live)



What are you talkin' about??? Queen NEVER performed Coming Soon live....

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Posted: 02 Aug 06, 08:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Side 1 is perhaps the best side EVER for a Queen album. With the exception of Save Me, side 2 isn't all that great. DTS and CS are garbage. SASS is ok. This was the beginning of the end for Queen and thank God they made Innuendo, although at that point it was too little, too late in some ways (like USA popularity).


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