Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Queen - Greatest Hits II


In our collection, there's a disturbing amount of Queen.  And there's a reason for this.  In my previous incarnation as a creator of radio programming, I once put together a series of vignettes for the Queen's Birthday holiday here in Australia.  This involved sections of interviews with the various members of Queen plus other celebrities, all taking about Queen songs, to be played in front of a Queen song.  And in order to do this, I rang up the record company distributing their music, and received - free - their entire back catalogue of greatest hits.

So it's not entirely strange that the pointy stick hit on Queen.  What is strange is that I've kept all of this.  Especially this one, which has only a few songs to recommend it.  I really disturbed myself by singing along to I Want It All  and I Want To Break Free - but I've always loved Radio Ga Ga.  Go figure.  Anyhoo, time to keep the songs we like, and dump the rest.  I'm sure there'll be no argument from YourZ.  Although the Live At Wembley CD is pretty good.



There's no mistaking that voice, being one of the most recognisable in the world.  Ah Freddy, I can't help wonder what you'd be singing today

Freddy built his career on his operatic range and grand sweeping gestures, which so suited the stadium rock the rest of Queen built behind him.  They've been part of my life since I first heard Night At The Opera in the late 70s, a favourite album of my best friend at the time.  While I would try to get him to share my love of Status Quo, Deep Purple, Zeppelin, Kiss and Cheap Trick, he would try to do the same with Queen (and Nazareth, if I remember rightly).  But it never really took.

Don't get me wrong, though.  I really like Queen a lot.  I've just never owned any of their albums.  What I have owned, over the years, is a succession of the same edition of Queens Greatest Hits (isn't there an old joke about if you leave a cassette in a glove box long enough it will morph into Queens Greatest Hits?). (Mine says: either Ben Elton or Douglas Adams came up with that, can't remember).  As Mine has pointed out, we have a lot of Queen in the collection.  The bugger is the pointy stick landed on this one, instead of Greatest Hits I, which has what I consider to be their best songs.

Oh yes, this does have Under Pressure, with that bass line (ice ice baby...) and Radio Gaga, which apparently inspired Lady Gaga's name, if you believe the hype.  It also has I Want To Break Free, which caused my friends and I no end of amusement when it first came out not because of the campy video that accompanied it but for the overwhelming presence of Freddy's lisp.  Just picture the scene, if you will, of the rest of Queen sitting around in the studio, trying not to laugh as he sings 'I want to bwake fwee, I want to bwake fwee...' and see if you don't laugh too.  Puerile, I know, but I've never said I wasn't.

Anyway, I agree with Mine on this one.  I don't recognise most of the songs on this collection and there's far too much bad 80s reverb on the drums of most of these tracks for my liking.  Let's get rid of the chaff and keep the wheat.


For more information: http://www.queenonline.com/

In our collection we also have: Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits III, Made in Heaven and Live At Wembley '86

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