Added on 30-Apr-2009
Aimed to make available and replicate in faithful detail every one of Queenâ€™s singles to have made the upper reaches of the charts anywhere in the world, the collection was launched last December with a set covering the bandâ€™s career from the early years 1973 â€“ 1979.
This latest Volume 2 box set covers the subsequent period of mid 1979 â€“ 1984 with 13 singles drawn from the albums Live Killers (79), The Game (80), Flash Gordon (80), Hot Space (82) and The Works (84).
The subsequent volumes will follow the bandâ€™s singles through to the final Queen studio album, Made In Heaven from 1995.
While focusing primarily on the bandâ€™s complete UK singles output, the importance of the series is amplified by the inclusion on many singles only released abroad as well as rare non-album B-sides, live tracks, and some seldom-heard alternative mixes. This is a collection made up of the singles in their true original form, delivering every top 40 Queen single heard on the radio anywhere across the world.
This collection highlights one of the most adventurous periods in Queenâ€™s history which saw the band constantly reaching out into new territory, both as studio musicians and live performers. Considering the band was seldom away from touring it is remarkable they were able to achieve such an output of new recorded work. In the five year period these singles cover the band toured Europe three times, Japan three times, the USA twice and even managed to break open the Latin America countries with a series of logic and â€“ some would say â€“ sense-defying stadium concerts which Queen would later return to for the 1985 historic Rock in Rio concerts.
Recording wise, Queen released their first totally live album, Live Killers, strayed from the rock path to create some classic pop singles â€“ Another One Bites the Dust, Radio Ga Ga and I Want to Break Free, flirted with dance music with Hot Space, made an all-time classic track with David Bowie, and brilliantly crossed the boundary into films soundtracks with the Flash Gordon album, something they would do even more successfully several years on with the Highlander soundtrack, released as the A Kind of Magic album.
Another Freddie song, and yet another musical departure â€“ this time a rockabilly foray – Crazy Little Thing Called Love would become the band’s first No. 1 single in the USA. It reached the same position in several other territories too, as would the album on which it later appeared, The Game (1980).
Brian May’s ballad Save Me, Freddie’s Play The Game, with its non-album Roger Taylor B-side A Human Body (this boxed set being its CD debut), and the next American No.1, John Deacon’s Another One Bites The Dust, continued a string of singles from the band’s most successful album up to that point, and got the 80s off to a promising start.
Queenâ€™s first venture into film, with the soundtrack to Flash Gordon produced the single Flash, known in some parts of the world as Flashâ€™s Theme (AKA Flash), and here it is presented in another beautiful sleeve produced for the US release.
Another first would find the band recording with another musical artist, David Bowie, for the No 1 single Under Pressure in 1981, a true collaboration emerging from a studio jam session in Montreux. This single also featured a little known non-album B-side, in Soul Brother (written and performed by Queen).
Freddie’s funky Body Language and Brian’s South American tour inspired Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love) were the next singles, followed by Roger’s first ever ‘A’ side single Calling All Girls â€“from the Hot Space album. Released only in America, Australasia and Canada, it would make the top 40 in the latter country only. John Deacon’s Back Chat, released in the summer of 1982, was the very first Queen remixed single.
Queen took the following year off in terms of single releases, and touring, but 1984 began with the band back on top form with the Taylor penned Radio Ga Ga reaching No 1 in 19 countries and giving Roger his first international hit. A heavy rock number from Brian, I Go Crazy, was the B-side, and yet another track not featured on an album, in this case The Works.
Packaged in lift off top box, the 13 CD singles feature a selection of authentically reproduced cover artwork from around the world. Released by EMI June 15, 2009.