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Posted: 14 May 07, 16:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



*****(Classic) ****(Excellent) ***(Good) **(Fair) *(Poor) = overall album ratings.

Queen I ***
Considering what they went through to record this album, it’s a nice debut. The drum sound isn’t quite developed and sounds a little dated.
Strongest song: “Keep your self alive”


Queen II ****
Probably one of the best follow ups of all time. They find their signature and set the bar for future releases. The sonic textures, complexity & performances are all there. Although the over all mood on this album is dark, it only adds to the sophistication and allure.
Strongest song: “March of the black queen”


Sheer heart attack ***1/2
Although many consider this offering to be one of their best, I find it to sound a bit unfinished or unfocused. Probably because of what they were going through at the time with Brian’s illness and they way that it was recorded. Although “Brighton rock” worked well as live song, here it sounds labored. The album should have opened with “In the lap of the gods” instead. “Dear friends” sounds like a demo rather than a proper recording and “She makes me” I find just plain boring.
Strongest song: “Killer queen”


A night at the opera *****
What can I say that hasn’t already been said of this? A true masterpiece.
Strongest song: “Bohemian rhapsody”


A day at the races *****
This album never seems to get the recognition it so richly deserves. Every bit as good as it’s predecessor and in some ways better. My personal favorite.
Strongest song: “Somebody to love”



News of the world ***
A solid record. One of their minimalist period. Some of the songs sound like demos (Spread your wings, My melancholy blues & Sleeping on the sidewalk) but the depth and drive are still present. I find the track listing a bit odd. They should have included the fast version of “We will rock you” or at least release it as a b-side.
Strongest song: “It’s late”



Jazz **1/2
I always found this album to be uninspired and somewhat stale. Almost like they were simply going through the motions. Some of the songs sound flat & unfocused. Not really sure why Roy Thomas Baker was even there. It doesn’t seem like his touch is anywhere to be found. Again the track listing seems odd, like there wasn’t much thought put into it. I would have opened the album up with “Let me entertain you” instead of “Mustapha.
Strongest song: “Don’t stop me now”


Live Killers ***
Their greatest hits live at that point. Would have been nice if they had included something new on it.

The Game ***1/2
This album has always sounded tight & compressed to me. Gone is the vastness & grandeur they became famous for. Starting to incorporate what was happening around them instead of forging new ground. This is their turning point.
Strongest song: “Crazy little thing called love”


Flash Gordon *1/2
Sounds like a soundtrack album of its time. Nothing special.

Hot space ½
I am all for artist trying new things, but there is nothing new here. All you have here is bad disco, funk & techno recorded with no heart, soul or inspiration. The production quality is just plain awful. It’s hard to believe that same group who gave us “Bo Rap” also gave us “Body language”. I will admit the live versions of “Staying power, “Calling all girls” & “Back chat” show potential. Had they recorded that album with the same drive & depth as the live recordings it probably would have faired better.
Strongest song: “Under pressure”


The works *
This album always sounds to me like they simply ran out of new ideas and just started to repeat them selves. Again the production is plain terrible. The entire album sounds sterile. There is nothing worse when an artist starts ripping them selves off. Contrary to popular belief in Europe the “break free” video had nothing to do with the decline in popularity in the USA.
Strongest song: “Hammer to fall”


A kind of magic ½
This album is just plain BORIN


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Posted: 14 May 07, 17:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'd give MIH 3 1/2 stars due to Let Me Live, A Winter's Tale, and that it was a better 'coda' than Zeppelin and other bands.

Other than that, I agree with 99% of what you said. Your reviews were to the point, written as a long time fan, and fair.

Well done.


"Ladies and gentlemen... I guess that takes in most of you..." Groucho Marx, 'A Night at the Opera'



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Posted: 14 May 07, 17:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

goodco wrote:

I'd give MIH 3 1/2 stars due to Let Me Live, A Winter's Tale, and that it was a better 'coda' than Zeppelin and other bands.

Other than that, I agree with 99% of what you said. Your reviews were to the point, written as a long time fan, and fair.

Well done.

Thank you. Those are good songs you named, but as a whole that ablbum (Made in Heaven)could have been better. It's hard to believe there wasen't better or more intersting stuff in the archives to work with.


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Posted: 15 May 07, 05:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You made some good points. A couple of things that caught my attention.

SHA: You might be on to something here. Especially the B-side of the album sounds unfocused with all those short songs going to different directions.

The Works: For some reason I like this album. It's one of those few occasions when Queen tried to make a point with their songs. World We Created, Hammer To Fall, Machines. I also recall Radio Ga Ga was originally intended as a protest song against MTV (or something??). Apparently Freddie changed some lyrics as well. Musically, it's not so interested and the band recycle their old ideas, but the album has its moments. I think Keep Passing The Open Windows and Machines are way underrated.

AKOM: I agree, as an album it's not coherent. They probably should have make a proper soundtrack album instead. But can you honestly say, that Who Wants To Live Forever isn't one of the strongest songs they wrote in the 80's??

MIH: I actually like this one as well, even if it's robbing Freddie's grave (if he had one) in some ways. But I like the album as a whole. There's a good atmosphere, and it's a good farewell album.

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Posted: 15 May 07, 07:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Some very good points although I disagree about Hotspace which was not so bad at the time imo.

Mainly I agree 100% about ADATR which was the peak of the band's songwriting but was always overshadowed by ANATO and never properly recognized for the truly amazing songs on it.

Also your comments on Jazz, AKOM, Miracle, Innuendo are very much to the point.


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Posted: 15 May 07, 08:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know a lot of people don't like "She Makes Me", but for me it is a powerful song of obsession which fits beautifully between the frivolity of BBTLB and the emotion of ITLOTGR.

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Posted: 15 May 07, 08:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmmm....You must have taken a vacation on Queen in the 80's. Brutalizing HOT SPACE, THE WORKS, and A KIND OF MAGIC. I will say this I never am surprised when people dump on JAZZ. I myself think JAZZ was a strong album and the last one they put out that showcased just what diversity they had. Isn't that why A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is so loved? You tell me what they did on that album that makes it such a masterpiece besides BO RAP?? They was all over the place on that album. Hard Rock, Metal, Vaudeville, Ballads, Pop Rock, and I can name a few more......JAZZ was the same. I agreed for the most part about all your reviews of the albums from the 70's but with the 80's I think not only did Queen lose you but You LOST QUEEN....LoL.....Also THE GAME for what it was I thought was a classic and very bold first attempt into the world of rhythmic rock and the use of synthesizers.....Hope you don't think I came at your review too harsh. Peace......


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Posted: 15 May 07, 11:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:




Hot space ½
I am all for artist trying new things, but there is nothing new here. All you have here is bad disco, funk & techno recorded with no heart, soul or inspiration. The production quality is just plain awful. It’s hard to believe that same group who gave us “Bo Rap” also gave us “Body language”. I will admit the live versions of “Staying power, “Calling all girls” & “Back chat” show potential. Had they recorded that album with the same drive & depth as the live recordings it probably would have faired better.
Strongest song: “Under pressure”
The works *
Innuendo ****


Well, Louvox, you need to go listen to the last few Queen albums again, not just the one time you apparently listened to them. I see the four stars you gave Innuendo, and then I wonder why. Tell me one piece of guitar work that is better than BACKCHAT on Innuendo. Just one. You can't. Well, maybe Steve's, but he'll just tell you he was doodling.

Plus for songwriting? Body Language vs. Delilah? Body Language is no better or worse than Ride The Wild Wind. Jerks to the left. Freaks to the right. Oh yeah, some of Queen's best lyrics. Give me a break.

Yeah Freddie's voice got better, but what vocal on The Works or Innuendo is better than COOL CAT? That's a two & a half octave vocal range there. Tell me where he did that on The Miracle?

Las Palabras has all the elements of the older Queen material that obviously is your only enjoyment in Queen. Yet you don't even mention that song.

Plus we get to hear John come out of his shell more. C'mon, bass lines on classic rock are pretty mundane. This guy can really thump on the bass. Have you listened to the low end on this album? Uninspired? No Soul?

Don't you even remember when all the rappers started using samplers? And what did they sample? Earth Wind & Fire, Rick James, James Brown, Sly & The Family Stone, Parlaiment, AND JOHN FREAKING DEACON!!!!

Uninspired? No Soul?

No, Louvox, that was just your one dimensional Queen album review. And there's nothing wrong with just being a Classic Rock fan, it's just that there's so much more to music than that. Freddie was just touching the surface of what could have been some great, ageless material.

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Posted: 15 May 07, 12:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry, but when someone says a song sounds like a demo, i.e. Dear Friends. That's when I get a little jaded with their opinion. And I also echo the AKOM song, WWTLForever as being very strong. And lastly, talking of The Miracle album as being drenched in pop songs and synth driven songs then praises Innuendo?! Ehm...was I the only one who thought a lot of what he said there is very evident on Innuendo?? Innuendo is better because of the songs, tone of the album and also the sounds they created. But I must admit that there was a time when I felt Innuendo and Miracle had both aged badly because of the synths, but not so much now.

I find the reviews a bit uneven. If this person didn't like the 80's Queen, that doesn't bode well for any material Queen made during this time, good or bad. There's plenty of material in that time that seems passed over. Poor John with a nice song like One Year of Love, Brian's Las Palabras De Amour or The Works album. Completely slated. And why? Because they were seen to be repeating themselves?? So they don't create something that completely satisfies you. But there were great songs made, e.g. KPTOWindows, Radio GaGa, Machines, ITTWWCreated, etc. One star..? Yikes.

There's an annoying trend that pops up from time to time here. The, what I think is correct syndrome. And the whole idea that, because a person doesn't like something, it's considered crap.
Example - Hey! Look at that Elton John...he's an untalented gimp. To you, maybe, but he is (fact) talented. Or that idea when people called Beyonce shit and untalented. WHAT?
There are people that just don't give credit where credit's due. For instance, I may not like Beyonce's music or care to listen to her stuff, but at least I can see she's a talented singer.

Adam.

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Posted: 15 May 07, 14:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i think the only thing we are all going to agree on is that a vast majority of US fans just didnt like Queen's 80's output while the UK,most of Europe and the rest of the world did.
i agree with the 70's review apart from the review of Jazz,where i agree with what microwave says,but i throw my hands in the air with disbelief once the reviewer gets to Hot Space and beyond.theres some great pop/rock radio friendly songs throughout that period that were massive hits around the world [apart from the US]


isnt innuendo an italian suppository?

im gonna ride the wild wind!

its_a_hard_life wrote:you nutcase you rule!

joxer replies: but in a nice way :-]

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Posted: 15 May 07, 14:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Part of the problem when someone does a post like louvox did is that everything is up for discussion. I agree with a lot of his thoughts and chronologically agree with when they lost their way for a while. However, the 80s stuff, albeit weaker in virtually every aspect than the 70s stuff, is part of why we all like Queen. I loved everything from the 70s, liked the Game, didn't mind Hot Space, disliked the Works, hated AKOM and the Miracle, really liked Innuendo, and hate MIH. But they're all totally different albums. Nothing is worse than groups trying to replicate stuff (see Tear it up aka WWRY.) For the most part, Queen were a totally different band in the 80s than they were in the beginning. Hard rock to smooth pop. But they wouldn't have experienced the success they did if they stayed stuck in a time period as a lot their peers did.

As for a song like Dear Friends, have to totally disagree with "demo" thought. It's a complete song that is like a lullaby, and is played and sung as such. The one thing I think Queen did better than most groups was play for the song. Nothing could be added to Dear Friends to make it a better song. Respectfully sung by Freddie, no need for bells and whistles, it's a beautiful tune.


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Posted: 15 May 07, 15:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

(see Tear it up aka WWRY.)

sorry but i dont think, other than a similar drum beat, they are alike at all.

and sleeping on the sidewalk was done in one live take(if you listen closely you can hear bass misakes from john). this may explain the so called "demo" sound, but i think it gives the track a nice edge.

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Posted: 15 May 07, 15:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

the whole "opinion" thing is subjective...be a dull old world if we all agreed
for what it's worth most of us agree with some of the reviews...it's natural

to the guy who said "cool cat" had a 2½ octave range...so what? doesn't make it a good song...it may just be a shitty song with a big range

my own personal opinion?...
Queen & Queen II - top notch (queen II) being the peak of tha bands quality (creatively, song writing and production)...the breathtaking tenderness of "nevermore" sandwiched between the hectic chaos of "Fairy Feller" and the manicly-melodic "Black Queen" make for the most anticpated appetiser for Bo-Rhap you could hope for....
"Races" - in my opinion produced much better songs than "Opera" - and their own production techniques gave it more of the band's own feel
"Jazz" - is a great pop album - in the past i've likened it's feel and layout to "Rubber Soul" (one of my most cherished beatles recordings...
"NOTW" - it was meant to feel sparse....it was almost in keeping with the times (punk was breaking out all over, and the sex pistols were in the next studio to queen)....



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Posted: 15 May 07, 15:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Kudo's to Louvox for having the stones to express an opinion on this site. A true glutton for punishment!

I don't completely agree with everything he wrote, but generally I'd say that I feel very similar about the Queen albums. Being old enough to remember when the 80's stuff came out, I remember my excitement when I purchased each LP, and my huge disappointment when I put on Hot Space and The Miracle. Sure, I was able to find something I liked on there (Las Palabras De Amore for instance), but overall I couldn't help wonder what had happened to the band that had made ANATO. (In the US, we were not fully aware of Freddie's illness when the Miracle came out, but that explains a lot.)

I will say that AKOM was very welcome after buying Flash, Hot Space and The Works. Princes of the Universe was worth the album in and of itself! It's not ANATO, but then what is?

I love Sheer Heart Attack. It's halfway between the polish of ANATO and the mayhem of Queen II. And I've always thought Jazz suffered from absolutely horrible production. The songs are there, the performances are there (listen to Freddie and Brian on Dead on Time), but that album sounds like it was recorded in a closet. The other issue with Jazz for me is that it was the record where Queen started recorded a bunch of singles instead of an album. Definitely a change in the bands approach to recording.

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Posted: 15 May 07, 18:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen I **/***
Best songs: “My fairy king; Son and Daughter"


Queen II ***
Very cured, but nothing really tops the bill.
Best song. "White Queen".

Sheer heart attack ***1/2
Well balanced, innovative, typically Queen.
Best songs: “Killer queen”; In the lap of the Gods; Now I'm here; Tenement Funster


A night at the opera *****
A true masterpiece.
Best songs: ALL


A day at the races *****
This album never seems to get the recognition it so richly deserves. Every bit as good as it’s predecessor.
Best songs “Somebody to love”; "Teo torriatte"; "Millionaire Waltz"; Long Away


News of the world ****
Essential; Diverse; Intense.
Vest songs: I like all of them. (Fight from the inside with a special mention).


Jazz **1/2
Queen doing Queen for Queen's sake.
Honest but it could have become their "end of the track" without the renovation they made with "The Game".
Best song: “Don’t stop me now”


Live Killers ***
Their greatest hits live at that point. Would have been nice if they had included something new on it.

The Game ***1/2
This is their turning point, I agree.
Essential, diverse and direct like "News of the world, but there are many interesting news, beginning from Freddie's new vocal impostation.

Best songs: “Crazy little thing called love”; Bites the Dust; Sail alway sweet sister; Play the Game; Save me.


Flash Gordon *1/2
Sounds like a soundtrack album of its time. Nothing special.

Hot space ***
I am not too critical to this album. I think it was an important passage in the development of Queen's sound in the 80's. There are interesting solutions and experimentations, especially in the sound engineerings. It may have been somewhere a failure but I'm sure that Queen earned a lot from that experience.

Best songs: “Under pressure”; Life is Real; Back Chat.


The works ****
This record could be easily seen as Queen revisiting themselves, but it is not a sterile collection of stereotypes (as Jazz would perhaps sound, to be a little strict): some songs are really moving, others really interesting. Radio Ga Ga is a very nice '80s song, Hammer to Fall a great Anthem, Is this the world we created the natural song that would come after love of my life in a live performance, and there's the beautiful "Hard life".

Best songs: “Hammer to fall”, Radio Ga Ga, Hard Life.


A kind of magic **/***
Let's be honest. It is not an album, but a collection of songs done here and there. Had it included songs like Freddie's "Born to love you", or a version of "Love me like there's no tomorrow", or "Made in Heaven itself" - all played and arranged as Queen, it would have been much better... but we have to wait for MIH to see this happen.

It contains, anyway, a very nice song "A kind of Magic", an interesting experiment "Don't lose your head"; and a real pearl: "Who wants to live forever".


Live magic *


The miracle ***

I used to like it very much, but now I think that it is an album made of 5 singles and 5 b-sides, not really cured in the general sounds (just think of what they'll do 2 years later with Innuendo). Still, it has some very nice songs, now become real classics.

Best songs: “Was it all worth it”, "I want it all", "Scandal", Breakthrough.


Innuendo *****
The real masterpiece. Innovative; Emotional; Perfect.
Sad that it was a "final destination".. but perhaps that's what made it become so wonderful.

Best song: “Show must go on”, but also all the others are great (ok... except Delilah!).


Made in Heaven ***/****
I'm not a too severe critic. I think they made an honest job and some real good jobs (the title track, Let me live, I was born to love you), and it is a respectful tribute to Freddie. The only thing I don't really like is the arrangement they did on "Too

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Posted: 16 May 07, 08:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

louvox wrote:

Contrary to popular belief in Europe the “break free” video had nothing to do with the decline in popularity in the USA.


First of all I respect everyone's opinions on this. Still I wanted to mention this.

UNDER PRESSURE (released October '81):
Highest UK Chart Position: #1 (11 weeks on chart)
Highest USA Chart Position: #29 (15 weeks on chart)

BODY LANGUAGE (released April '82):
Highest UK Chart Position: #25 (6 weeks on chart)
Highest USA Chart Position: #11 (14 weeks on chart)

IMHO, saying that the USA stopped liking Queen only because of their new pop sound simply isn't true. But there have been endless discussions about this already so I probably shouldn't have mentioned this.

I do agree with you though that, looking back on their entire career, it was Queen's least interesting period album-wise.


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Posted: 16 May 07, 09:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Break-Free video DID end Queen's career in the US and i base this on absolutely nothing.


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Posted: 16 May 07, 15:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

August R. wrote:

You made some good points. A couple of things that caught my attention.

SHA: You might be on to something here. Especially the B-side of the album sounds unfocused with all those short songs going to different directions.

The Works: For some reason I like this album. It's one of those few occasions when Queen tried to make a point with their songs. World We Created, Hammer To Fall, Machines. I also recall Radio Ga Ga was originally intended as a protest song against MTV (or something??). Apparently Freddie changed some lyrics as well. Musically, it's not so interested and the band recycle their old ideas, but the album has its moments. I think Keep Passing The Open Windows and Machines are way underrated.

AKOM: I agree, as an album it's not coherent. They probably should have make a proper soundtrack album instead. But can you honestly say, that Who Wants To Live Forever isn't one of the strongest songs they wrote in the 80's??

MIH: I actually like this one as well, even if it's robbing Freddie's grave (if he had one) in some ways. But I like the album as a whole. There's a good atmosphere, and it's a good farewell album.
You're right, the best song on "Magic" is "Who want's to live forever", but reminds me of a typical power ballad of the time.


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Posted: 16 May 07, 15:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

lyricalassasin_77 wrote:

Hmmm....You must have taken a vacation on Queen in the 80's. Brutalizing HOT SPACE, THE WORKS, and A KIND OF MAGIC. I will say this I never am surprised when people dump on JAZZ. I myself think JAZZ was a strong album and the last one they put out that showcased just what diversity they had. Isn't that why A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is so loved? You tell me what they did on that album that makes it such a masterpiece besides BO RAP?? They was all over the place on that album. Hard Rock, Metal, Vaudeville, Ballads, Pop Rock, and I can name a few more......JAZZ was the same. I agreed for the most part about all your reviews of the albums from the 70's but with the 80's I think not only did Queen lose you but You LOST QUEEN....LoL.....Also THE GAME for what it was I thought was a classic and very bold first attempt into the world of rhythmic rock and the use of synthesizers.....Hope you don't think I came at your review too harsh. Peace......
Just about everything on "Opera" is stellar with the exception of "Sweet Lady". Plus the production and presentation are unequalled. I never lost Queen at any point. Most of their problems I have with their albums in the 80's is the producing and the fact they stopped trying to make things their own. All they did for the most part was copy what others were doing at the time.


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Posted: 16 May 07, 15:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=green>Bren<font color=orange>ski wrote:

the whole "opinion" thing is subjective...be a dull old world if we all agreed
for what it's worth most of us agree with some of the reviews...it's natural

to the guy who said "cool cat" had a 2½ octave range...so what? doesn't make it a good song...it may just be a shitty song with a big range

my own personal opinion?...
Queen & Queen II - top notch (queen II) being the peak of tha bands quality (creatively, song writing and production)...the breathtaking tenderness of "nevermore" sandwiched between the hectic chaos of "Fairy Feller" and the manicly-melodic "Black Queen" make for the most anticpated appetiser for Bo-Rhap you could hope for....
"Races" - in my opinion produced much better songs than "Opera" - and their own production techniques gave it more of the band's own feel
"Jazz" - is a great pop album - in the past i've likened it's feel and layout to "Rubber Soul" (one of my most cherished beatles recordings...
"NOTW" - it was meant to feel sparse....it was almost in keeping with the times (punk was breaking out all over, and the sex pistols were in the next studio to queen)....
Very well said.


Louis

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