14 September 2005

The Rest of Queen's Albums

Here is the list of all the albums recorded by Queen before the demise of Freddie Mercury:

News of The World (1977)
"News of The World" was released in 1977. The album cover depicted a giant intelligent robot dead bodies of all the members of Queen as if they were dead. Actually, the album cover was a painting by American sci-fi artist Kelly Freas. Containing such hit songs as "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" and "Spread Your Wings" the album went four times platinum in the United States alone. It is considered one of Queen's strongest albums.

Jazz (1978)
Jazz is a 1978 album by British rock band Queen. It was the band's seventh studio album, and consisted of a mix of very different styles of music, from disco-funk ("Fun It") to vaudeville ("Dreamer's Ball") to good old rock and roll ("Dead On Time"). Curiously, it contains nothing recognizable as jazz, except perhaps the music-hall swing of "Dreamer's Ball." The album's eclecticism was alternately praised and criticised; it was at the time victim to a viciously scathing Rolling Stone review which included the line, "Indeed, Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band." Nevertheless, the album made it to #6 on the American Billboard 200.

The band had intended to sell the album with a poster depicting the all-female nude bicycle race staged to promote "Fat Bottomed Girls," but in the USA it was only available through mail-order so as not to upset retailers.

Amongst other attributions in the liner notes, in reference to the crash of thunder heard at the end of the song "Dead On Time," one may find the line "Thunderbolt courtesy of God."

The album artwork was created by Roger Taylor, who previously saw a similar design painted on the Berlin Wall.

Live Killers (1979)
Live Killers is a double vinyl and compact disc live album by British rock band Queen. It was recorded live during the Jazz world tour and released on June 26, 1979.
The album hit #16 on the US Billboard Pop Albums charts and was certified Double
Platinum in the US.

The Game (1980)
Released June 30, 1980, The Game was the first Queen album to reach the #1 position in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Though the album had simpler song arrangements than previous Queen albums, The Game launched Queen into global megastars. Notable songs on the album include the bass driven "Another One Bites The Dust" and the rockabilly "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", both of which reached number 1 in the United States. The Game was the first Queen album to use synthesizers, and the album's popularity inspired the band members to continue using them heavily for the rest of the band's career, with somewhat mixed results.

The album's working title was "Play The Game", but Taylor voiced concern about its possible overtones of conformity, so it was changed to simply, "The Game".

"Dragon Attack", though credited to Brian May as composer, was actually the result of an impromptu jam by all four members. May found the really outstanding bits and edited them together. He then layered on heavy guitar arrangements to make it sound more complete and had the band add some additional harmonies through out.

"Save Me" was widely acclaimed as a fan-favourite and was released as a single in early 1980, before the album itself in June. It is arguably the most accomplished song of the album, and one of Brian's most touching ballads.

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was written by Freddie Mercury while lounging in the bath. He recorded the acoustic guitar himself in the studio before the band arrived and played the tape back for them. May said Mercury's playing was perfect and only added a Telecaster guitar solo to middle on the advice of producer Mack, rather than mimicking the Telecaster sound from his famous Red Special guitar. Mercury would go on to play rhythm guitar on all Queen's live versions, the only time he would sport an instrument other than the piano or tambourine.

Flash Gordon - The Sountrack (1980)
Flash Gordon is a 1980 album. It is the soundtrack album to the science fiction movie Flash Gordon.

All but two of the tracks on the album ("Flash's Theme" and "The Hero") are instrumentals. The album makes extensive use of synthesizers; prior to Queen's previous recording, The Game, the band had been keen to point out that "no synthesizers were used on this album".

"Flash's Theme" was the only single to be released from the album, under the title "Flash". It reached number 10 in the UK charts and number 42 in the US. The track is notable for its pounding, repetitive bassline and the camp humour of the snippets of dialogue from the movie that it contains.

Hot Space (1982)
Hot Space was released in 1982. The album was a notable shift from Queen's earlier work, featuring heavy disco and dance influences. This made it unpopular with many old-time fans who preferred the straight rock style they had come to associate with Queen, though the album did fit in with the Queen tradition of incorporating many influences into their music. The album cover may have been the inspiration for Blur's Best Of.

The Works (1984)
The Works Queen originally released in 1984.

After a two year break, Queen returned to the studio. Much had changed in the music world since their previous album "Hot Space", which was something of a commercial failure and a poorly received album by many fans. In the two years following, Mercury, May and Taylor indugled in solo projects, taking the chance to stretch in individual directions.

The album's title comes from a comment Roger Taylor made as recording began for the new album, "Let's give them the works!" And the band did just that, with a fusion of synth and hard rock, hailing back to the early days of their career. All of Queen's trademarks are present, from rich arrangements, powerhouse vocals and catchy guitar riffs, and the band pull no punches.

"Keep Passing The Open Windows" was written originally for a proposed film of the novel "The Hotel New Hampshire". Queen were to write songs for film, but the project fell through. This song was already completed and band liked it so much, they included it on the album. When the film was eventually made, Queen had already moved on and this song was not used.

A Kind of Magic (1986)
A Kind of Magic is a 1986 album. It was the band's twelfth studio album, and was the soundtrack for the film Highlander, the first in a series directed by Russell Mulcahy. Though the album hit #46 in the America, it rocketed to #1 in the United Kingdom, remaining in the charts for sixty-three weeks and spawning 3 hit singles. It eventually went Gold in the US in 2002.

Live Magic (1986)
Live Magic is a vinyl and compact disc live album. It was recorded live during the A Kind of Magic world tour and released on December 1, 1986. However, it wasn't released in the United States until August of 1996. It received strong criticism by several critics and fans, due to the
massive editing of nearly all of the song included. Most of the performances were recorded at Knebworth Park (the band's last ever concert with its classic line-up).

The Miracle (1989)
The Miracle is a 1989 album by British rock band Queen. It was the band's twelfth studio album, recorded as the band recovered from guitarist Brian May's marital problems, vocalist Freddie Mercury's not-yet-public AIDS diagnosis, and subsequent near-breakup. The album peaked at 24th on the American Billboard 200 chart.

Innuendo (1991)
Innuendo is a 1991 album. It was the band's thirteenth studio album and the last to be released while lead singer Freddie Mercury was still alive. The album was praised by some critics and fans as one of Queen's strongest albums of their later career. It reached number one on the UK album charts and number 30 in the United States.

The album was recorded when Freddie Mercury was in the final stages of a battle with AIDS. Much of the material on the album deals with the band's coming to terms with his imminent death. The morbid theme is also reflected in the music, which can be heavy and arresting ("Innuendo" and "Headlong") but also bleak and dark ("The Show Must Go On" and "Don't Try So Hard") and very often both ("Bijou").

Innuendo was released as a single in January 1991, and as an album the following month. It was a top 10 hit in almost every country it charted in.

Made in Heaven (1995)
Made in Heaven which was released in November 1995 was Queen's last proper album. After Freddie Mercury's death in 1991, the remaining members Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor worked with Mercury's pre-recorded vocals to create the final Queen album.

It's a Beautiful Day is a great opening with lush synthesizers and great guitars to set the mood. The title track was actually a solo song by Freddie Mercury from the mid 80's. "Let Me Live", a gospel-influenced track, started life as a jam with Rod Stewart in the 80's. This one has the least Freddie input as Brian and Roger sing all of it, save the first verse and chorus, with the help of backing singers. The next, the bluesy "Mother Love", was the last song Mercury recorded before his death; its coda featured snatches of Mercury live, and a sample of him singing "Going Back" and a final sound of a baby crying. "My Life Has Been Saved" started life in 1989 as a b-side, and the remaining members reworked it into a pop song. Another Freddie solo track gets the Queen treatment in "I Was Born To Love You".

Roger Taylor's "Heaven For Everyone", written with his band The Cross and released in 1987 with Freddie's vocals. A song calling for peace and understanding and the complete opposite of the next song: Brian's "Too Much Love Will Kill You." "You Don't Fool Me" features a classic guitar solo by Brian May while "A Winter's Tale" is a poignant look at winter in Switzerland where Queen recorded. A reprise of "It's A Beautiful Day", a heavy rocker featuring May's eastern-tinged guitar and shades of the band's early hit "Seven Seas of Rhye," closes the album.


Lye Hock said...

I'm a fan of Freddie Mercury & Queen too! Have the "Made In Heaven" album (1995) probably the last album before he died...Sad

Chan Kok Kuen said...

Great to know that! Freddie Mercury just celebrated his birthday recently, the thought of him make me feel to put up all the posting of the albums that I have listened to. In a way, my postings serve as amemorail to the GREAT Freddie Mercury.