Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > The Works - back to basics (Queen by numbers)...

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Wiley user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 27 Sep 06, 13:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was thinking some time ago about this and I might have brought it up in some other thread back then. I know Queen made a huge experiment with Hot Space and it wasn't very successful and they needed a strong album to follow it. Then came 'The Works', where I think they wanted to play it safe and get back on their feet.

I had never cared a lot about this album, apart from the singles and Machines (but never as a whole) and I can only imagine how this album could have been recieved by the fans (I was 3 years old back then). Maybe someone can bring some memories of it back?

On the other hand, I can't help but notice similarities of this album's tracks with Queen's past hits. For instance:

* It's a Hard Life - Typical Freddie ballad reminiscent of Play the game.
* Man on the Prowl - a bit in the style of Crazy Little Thing Called Love
* Tear it up - A bit of We will rock you in there (beat oriented track with A/D riffs)
* ITTWWC - Acoustic little number reminiscent of Love of my life

and that's almost half of the album, hehe :).

What do you guys think?

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Posted: 27 Sep 06, 16:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

In my opinion “The Works” is a crappy album. It sounds to me as if they were simply going through the motions. You are absolutely right about the songs you mentioned. There just re-writes of pervious songs. The entire record sounds uninspired and flat. Drenched in awful synthesizers. The only decent song in that line up is “Hammer to fall”.
I was 22 years old when that album was released and it only cemented the downfall of Queen in the USA for most fans. US Radio stations didn’t even bother playing anything of it. Most Queen fans in the USA refers to “Radio Ga Ga” as “Radio Ca Ca” (That means shit in Spanish) Every album except for “Innuendo” from them on was pretty much sub-par at best. Most fans in Europe will disagree with me, but Queen could fart on a record and most fans in Europe would praise it as pure genius.



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Posted: 27 Sep 06, 16:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:

In my opinion “The Works” is a crappy album. It sounds to me as if they were simply going through the motions. You are absolutely right about the songs you mentioned. There just re-writes of pervious songs. The entire record sounds uninspired and flat. Drenched in awful synthesizers. The only decent song in that line up is “Hammer to fall”.
I was 22 years old when that album and it only cemented the downfall of Queen in the USA for most fans. US Radio stations didn’t even bother playing anything of it. Most Queen fans in the USA refers to “Radio Ga Ga” as “Radio Ca Ca” (That means shit in Spanish) Every album except for “Innuendo” from them on was pretty much sub-par at best. Most fans in Europe will disagree with me, but Queen could fart on a record and most fans in Europe would praise it as pure genius.


Funny you mention Radio Ga Ga. The original title was Radio Ca Ca, which is also "sh!t" in French.

http://rapidshare.de/files/15532899/Limo_89.avi.html

It's also on youtube, but I can't link the video since I'm at work.

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Posted: 27 Sep 06, 23:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:

In my opinion “The Works” is a crappy album. It sounds to me as if they were simply going through the motions. You are absolutely right about the songs you mentioned. There just re-writes of pervious songs. The entire record sounds uninspired and flat. Drenched in awful synthesizers. The only decent song in that line up is “Hammer to fall”.
I was 22 years old when that album and it only cemented the downfall of Queen in the USA for most fans. US Radio stations didn’t even bother playing anything of it. Most Queen fans in the USA refers to “Radio Ga Ga” as “Radio Ca Ca” (That means shit in Spanish) Every album except for “Innuendo” from them on was pretty much sub-par at best. Most fans in Europe will disagree with me, but Queen could fart on a record and most fans in Europe would praise it as pure genius.


I pretty much agree with you. Hammer to Fall was the best song on that album, very strong powerful song. Those other songs, I want to break free, radio ga ga, its a hard life, ITTWC are all decent songs...but they aren't very strong. I think it was the works that did it in for the USA fans as well. Hot Space didn't do as badly as people say....I mean cmon body language was a bigger hit than anything from the works haha


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 07:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Whilst I agree with you about the album as a whole (basically an album to placate EMI and eventual exploitation of the fan base by releasing every song from the album in some version on a single / 12" release), I believe Keep Passing The Open Windows to be one of the band's finest moments.

I wonder if there was ever any more material recorded for that aborted film soundtrack?


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 07:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:

Most fans in Europe will disagree with me, but Queen could fart on a record and most fans in Europe would praise it as pure genius.


Please, Europeans have taste...Americans don't. Just look at the top 10 of your charts ffs!

The Works isn't a bad album and the follow-ups aren't either. They still sounded better than the other shit that was going on in the 80's...especially in America.



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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 09:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<b><font color="#FF1493">The Fairy King wrote:

louvox wrote:

Most fans in Europe will disagree with me, but Queen could fart on a record and most fans in Europe would praise it as pure genius.


Please, Europeans have taste...Americans don't. Just look at the top 10 of your charts ffs!

The Works isn't a bad album and the follow-ups aren't either. They still sounded better than the other shit that was going on in the 80's...especially in America.


Im not being funny, but look at the top of our chart! Crazy Frogs, un-inspirational generic emo-rock, Busted clones, knob-heads like Chico... we can't exactly talk can we?!

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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GreatKingSam wrote:

<b><font color="#FF1493">The Fairy King wrote:

louvox wrote:

Most fans in Europe will disagree with me, but Queen could fart on a record and most fans in Europe would praise it as pure genius.


Please, Europeans have taste...Americans don't. Just look at the top 10 of your charts ffs!

The Works isn't a bad album and the follow-ups aren't either. They still sounded better than the other shit that was going on in the 80's...especially in America.


Im not being funny, but look at the top of our chart! Crazy Frogs, un-inspirational generic emo-rock, Busted clones, knob-heads like Chico... we can't exactly talk can we?!


UK? It's not a bad top 10 at the moment compared to the US.

1. Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
2 Killers - When You Were Young
3 Justin Timberlake - Sexyback
4 Nelly Furtado Ft Timbaland - Promiscuous
5 Fergie - London Bridge
6 Shakira Ft Wyclef Jean - Hips Don't Lie
7 Cascada - Everytime We Touch
8 Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
9 Jamelia - Something About You
10 Pink - U & Ur Hand

US:

1 Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
2 Ludacris Feat. Pharrell - Money Maker
3 The Fray - How To Save A Life
4 Fergie - London Bridge
5 Hinder - Lips Of An Angel
6 Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
7 JoJo - Too Little Too
8 Jibbs - Chain Hang Low
9 Chingy Feat. Tyrese - Pullin' Me Back
10 The Pussycat Dolls Feat. Snoop Dogg - Buttons


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 10:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think the songs on The Works are great, but that they suck because they were produced so bad. The drums sound so terrible and the guitars are so thin.

If they would've recorded a song like Tear it Up or Keep Passing the Open Windows in the late 70's (NOTW/JAZZ) it could've been huge hits


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 10:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

I think the songs on The Works are great, but that they suck because they were produced so bad. The drums sound so terrible and the guitars are so thin.

If they would've recorded a song like Tear it Up or Keep Passing the Open Windows in the late 70's (NOTW/JAZZ) it could've been huge hits


I agree with the above, except that I don't think that Keep Passing The Open Windows could ever have been a hit, even with different arrangement. It's not a bad song, but not catchy enough to become a hit single. Nothing wrong with that, it's a good "album" song.

When I think of "The Works" I always think it is a weak album, but when I consider the individual songs, then I actually like them all, more-or-less. Perhaps Machines is a weaker track, but again that is a song that suffers more from weakish production than being a truly bad song. IWTBF, ITTWWC, RGG, HTF are all truly outstanding songs.

The album is definately too short, with just 9 songs, and being under 40 minutes. I wish they included "I Go Crazy" on this album. It's a good song and could have made the album a bit harder and edgier.

So, on the whole, as an album The Works doesn't stand out, but the individual songs range from average to very good, which is better than, say, A Kind Of Magic or Hot Space which contain some weaker songs.


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 10:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I stand by my opinion. I am an ardent Queen fan and have been since 1976 when I was lucky enough to see them live in concert for the first time. I believe they are one of the best bands of all time and sometimes they don’t get the recognition they so richly deserve especially here in the USA. The reason for that in my opinion is that after nearly a decade of grand, carefully crafted & uniquely sonic albums; Queen abandoned its original sound and premise. They started to copy and imitate what was going on around them at that time. Most fans will agree and support Queen branching out and trying new sounds, styles & rhythms. I don’t think any true fan can fault them for that, but instead of incorporating those new sounds and making it their own (i.e. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin) they simply copied what others were doing at that time and therefore as one you so aptly put it; became part of the same shit that was going on in the 80’s in the USA & Europe. You couldn’t really tell them apart from the rest of those Euro-trash-pop-synth bands turning out weak dance tunes.


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 11:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Works is a masterpeace IMO !

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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 11:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have to say that I really don't like The Works as an album. It has some god tunes (eg keep passing the open windows, it's a hard life and man on the prowl), but the crap like machines and Radio Gaga just spoils it for me. This is my own opinion of course (and considering that my 3 equal favourite Queen Albums are Queen, Queen 2 and Hot Space it probably won't be shared)but whereas the few electro/disco stylings of Hot Space sounded like a band experimenting with something new and enjoying it (whether they did or not!) Alot of the works just sounds to me like a band going through the motions. Definitely my least favourite album.



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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 12:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote: You couldn’t really tell them apart from the rest of those Euro-trash-pop-synth bands turning out weak dance tunes.



DOn't agreee with you at all I'm afraid!

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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 12:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

great king rat 1138 wrote:

considering that my 3 equal favourite Queen Albums are Queen, Queen 2 and Hot Space


It's good to see that I'm not the only one who likes Hot Space, hahaha :). It never comes out of my car's CD player. It's the only Queen studio album that I ever listen to while driving. It's either Hot Space or any of the Greatest Hits. I would feel weird or stupid listening to the Prophet's Song or March of the Black Queen in my car with somebody else.

Back to "The Works", I think the album was Queen's last try to get America back. They even started recording the album in Los Angeles before heading back to Munich. Maybe if they had released Hammer to Fall as their first single in America?? Don't get me wrong, I like GaGa and BreakFree but they don't have exactly "Billboard hit" written all over them. Oh, crap, they should have toured North America again... but they simply gave up... :S

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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 13:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I used hate hammer to fall now i think its one of their best songs

keep passing the open windows - used to hate that too cos thought was too goody goody but now i love it

Americans are nothing but a bunch of right wing conservative obsessive freaks (not all he he!!)

queen did bad in the states cos freddie was gay - as simple as that - and america is the land of the free??? I dont think so. Europe is far more liberal

Anyway that american guy did say that we in europe think everythin he did was great - i agree there, like the way we hear freddie is no 1 in UK charts - it doesnt matter

But i know better - i didnt buy lover of life, singer of songs cos whats the point buying it? we already have the songs on how many issues already???

but yes europeans have better tastes in music - or shud i say americans like rubbish? I mean ye produce shows like gerry springer (i know he's english), jenny jones (spelling) etc.

A president wins an election over gay marriage, and ye shoot john lennon.

By the way i love america


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 13:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

una999 wrote:

I used hate hammer to fall now i think its one of their best songs

keep passing the open windows - used to hate that too cos thought was too goody goody but now i love it

Americans are nothing but a bunch of right wing conservative obsessive freaks (not all he he!!)

queen did bad in the states cos freddie was gay - as simple as that - and america is the land of the free??? I dont think so. Europe is far more liberal

Anyway that american guy did say that we in europe think everythin he did was great - i agree there, like the way we hear freddie is no 1 in UK charts - it doesnt matter

But i know better - i didnt buy lover of life, singer of songs cos whats the point buying it? we already have the songs on how many issues already???

but yes europeans have better tastes in music - or shud i say americans like rubbish? I mean ye produce shows like gerry springer (i know he's english), jenny jones (spelling) etc.

A president wins an election over gay marriage, and ye shoot john lennon.

By the way i love america


What the hell. Honestly people, can we keep the America bashing to a minimum, especially when related to a Queen album? There were still fans in America, and I'm sure the band would have toured there except to do so would involve a lot of time and a lot of energy, neither of which the band had in 1984 or 1985. Also, Freddie's manager, Paul Prenter, was saying some disparaging things to journalists at the time, and Capitol Records wasn't interested in promoting Queen.

Just remember that 'Radio Ga Ga' reached No. 16 in the US, and that there was a controversy at Capitol that was similar (I believe) to the Payola scandal from the 1960s, and Queen lost a lot of important allies in the states because of this scandal.

Men appearing in drag may have been new to Americans at the time, but it wasn't frowned upon: Dustin Hoffman won serious plaudits for Tootsie, released in 1982, and even bands like the New York Dolls and Twisted Sister wore heavy make-up and things like that. If anything, you'd think that Freddie prancing around in a one-piece, low-cut leotard would clue people in to his sexuality, not prancing around in white jeans and a moustache. I'm sure the 'Break Free' caused SOME controversy, but not all of America turned their backs to the band. So why not do a bit of research next time before blindly shooting off your mouth?

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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 13:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To Lester Burnham,
Well said. The “gay” card seems to be the excuse offered up by most Europeans on why Queen didn’t tour in the USA anymore or why their popularity declined. That had absolutely nothing to do with it. What is the excuse for never returning to Japan? It was quite simply the music they were putting out at the time. In spite of all the success they were having in Europe the music was crappy and just because something is successful; it doesn’t necessarily make it good.



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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 14:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen's worst material was better than most bands best because of their vocal and instrumental talent. However, comparing The Works to anything from the debut album to Jazz, it's a like a different group, with inferior songwriting. Good points on the "gay card", total copout by people who can't see that America didn't accept Queen as a keyboard heavy pop band after 7 albums of being a guitar heavy rock band.


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Posted: 28 Sep 06, 14:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Both Roger and Brian have said the IWTBF video is what killed any chance of a Queen comeback in the States. IWTBF was banned from MTV due to having men in drag! The ban was lifted in 1991.