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£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal Music Division Mercury Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 19, 2018 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Booklet
Not to be confused with 1981's Greatest Hits, 1992's Classic Queen, or 1992's reissue of 1981's Greatest Hits, 2004's Greatest Hits is a superb 20-track sampler of Queen's best, eclipsing all of the aforementioned packages. Excepting their late-career singles, this set spans the British group's tenure, from 1974's "Seven Seas of Rhye" to a 1984 live performance of "Under Pressure." In between are a host of the ambitious, distinctive, and often brilliant songs on which Queen built their name. The multi-part "Bohemian Rhapsody," with its lilting melodies, layered operatic vocals, studio trickery, and heavy metal breakdowns, epitomizes the group's recombinant aesthetic and cheeky flair. The spare, disco-funk of "Another One Bites the Dust" and the breezy, music hall-like "Killer Queen" should be familiar to anyone within earshot of a radio in the '70s and '80s. The givens -- the camp-rockabilly "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and perennial stadium anthems "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" -- are here, but surprises like the exuberant "Don't Stop Me Now" give a well-rounded perspective on the band. With Brian May's unique guitar sound and Freddie Mercury's brash, personality-filled vocal performances, Queen was one of the most original and popular acts in rock history, and Greatest Hits brings the group's peak moments together on one remarkable disc. ~ Anthony Tognazzini
£16.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Virgin EMI

£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Booklet
£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

If Day at the Races was a sleek, streamlined album, its 1977 successor, News of the World, was its polar opposite, an explosion of styles that didn't seem to hold to any particular center. It's front-loaded with two of Queen's biggest anthems -- the stomping, stadium-filling chant "We Will Rock You" and its triumphant companion, "We Are the Champions" -- which are quickly followed by the ferocious "Sheer Heart Attack," a frenzied rocker that hits harder than anything on the album that shares its name (a remarkable achievement in itself). Three songs, three quick shifts in mood, but that's hardly the end of it. As the News rolls on, you're treated to the arch, campy crooning of "My Melancholy Blues," a shticky blues shuffle in "Sleeping on the Sidewalk," and breezy Latin rhythms on "Who Needs You." Then there's the neo-disco of "Fight from the Inside," which is eclipsed by the mechanical funk of "Get Down, Make Love," a dirty grind that's stripped of sensuality. That cold streak on "Get Down, Make Love" runs through the album as a whole. Despite the explosion of sounds and rhythms, this album doesn't add up to party thanks to that slightly distancing chilly vibe that hangs over the album. Nevertheless, many of these songs work well on their own as entities, so there is plenty to savor here, especially from Brian May. Whether he's doing the strangely subdued eccentric English pop "All Dead, All Dead" or especially the majestic yet nimble rocker "It's Late," he turns in work that gives this album some lightness, which it needs. And that's the reason News of the World was a monster hit despite its coldness -- when it works, it's massive, earth-shaking rock & roll, the sound of a band beginning to revel in its superstardom. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

By the release of 1986's A Kind of Magic, Queen's stature as a prominent rock band in the U.S. had slipped considerably, while in all other parts of the world (especially Europe), they remained superstar hitmakers. A Kind of Magic was their biggest album yet in England, where it reached number one, remained on the charts for 63 weeks, and spawned several hit singles -- the epic title track, the tuneful pop/rocker "Friends Will Be Friends," and one of their most haunting ballads, "Who Wants to Live Forever" (also included was the Live Aid-inspired hit anthem "One Vision," which was originally released as a single in 1985). Most of the songs were written for the movie Highlander -- "Gimme the Prize (Kurgan's Theme)," "Princes of the Universe," the aforementioned "Who Wants to Live Forever," etc. -- but instead of issuing just a movie soundtrack, the band added a few non-movie tracks and made an official Queen release out of it. It may not have been as cohesive as some of their other albums, but A Kind of Magic was their best work in some time. Queen would embark on a sold-out tour of outdoor stadiums in Europe upon the album's release, which would sadly turn out to be their final tour. ~ Greg Prato
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Anybody who was a little dismayed by the pop inclinations of The Game would have been totally distressed by Queen's 1982 follow-up, Hot Space, an unabashed pop and dance album. The band that once proudly proclaimed not to use synthesizers on their albums has suddenly, dramatically reversed course, devoting the entire first side of the album to robotic, new wave dance-pop, all driven by drum machines and colored by keyboards, with Brian May's guitar coming in as flavor only on occasion. The second side is better, as it finds the group rocking, but there are still electronic drums. But the Beatlesque "Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)" is a sweet, if a bit too literal, tribute and with "Calling All Girls" Queen finally gets synth-driven new wave rock right, resulting in a sharp piece of pop. But the album's undeniable saving grace is the concluding "Under Pressure," an utterly majestic, otherworldly duet with David Bowie that recaptures the effortless grace of Queen's mid-'70s peak, but is underscored with a truly affecting melancholy heart that gives it a genuine human warmth unheard in much of their music. Frankly, "Under Pressure" is the only reason most listeners remember this album, which is as much a testament to the song's strength as it is to the rather desultory nature of the rest of Hot Space. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Unbeknownst to the public, Freddie Mercury had been diagnosed with the AIDS virus in the late '80s. Although his health weakened by the '90s, Mercury insisted that the band work on music until the very end; their final album turned out to be 1991's Innuendo. Although it didn't receive the same critical praise as its predecessor, 1989's The Miracle, it was another strong album and global hit (again going gold in the U.S.). With hindsight, the song's lyrics are blatantly autobiographical from Mercury's standpoint, such as the reflective "These Are the Days of Our Lives" and the bold "The Show Must Go On." Also included are a pair of tracks that deal with mankind's inability to live harmoniously (the superb epic title track and "All God's People") and a humorous tribute to Mercury's beloved pet felines ("Delilah"). Queen's heavier side is represented by both the rock radio hit "Headlong" and "The Hitman," while "I'm Going Slightly Mad," "I Can't Live With You," and "Don't Try So Hard" show the band's pop sensibilities in full force, and on "Bijou," Brian May gets to show off his guitar chops. Innuendo was a fitting way to end one of rock's most successful careers. ~ Greg Prato
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

£12.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released November 4, 2016 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

In one regard, Queen II does indeed provide more of the same thing as on the band's debut. Certainly, of all the other albums in Queen's catalog it bears the closest resemblance to its immediate predecessor, particularly in its lean, hard attack and in how it has only one song that is well-known to listeners outside of their hardcore cult: in this case, it's "Seven Seas of Rhye," which is itself more elliptical than "Keep Yourself Alive," the big song from the debut. But these similarities are superficial and Queen II is a very different beast than its predecessor, an album that is richer, darker, and weirder, an album that finds Queen growing as a band by leaps and bounds. There is still a surplus of ideas, but their energies are better focused this time around, channeled into a over-inflated, pompous rock that could be called prog if it wasn't so heavy. Even with all the queens and ogres that populate Queen II, this never feels as fantastical as Genesis or Uriah Heep, and that's because Queen hits hard as a rock band here, where even the blasts of vocal harmonies feel like power chords, no matter how florid they are. Besides, these grandiose harmonies, along with the handful of wistful ballads here, are overshadowed by the onslaught of guitars and pummeling rhythms that give Queen II majesty and menace. Queen is coiled, tense, and vicious here, delivering on their inherent sense of drama, and that gives Queen II real power as music, as well as a true cohesion. The one thing that is missing is any semblance of a pop sensibility, even when they flirt with a mock Phil Spector production on "Funny How Love Is." This hits like heavy metal but has an art-rock sensibility through and through, which also means that it has no true hook in for those who don't want to succumb to Queen's world. But that kind of insular drama is quite alluring in its own right, which is why Queen II is one of the favorites of their hardcore fans. At the very least, it illustrates that Queen is starting to pull all their ambitions and influences into a signature sound, and it's quite powerful in that regard. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin EMI

Artist

Queen in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Minute #11
    The Qobuz Minute #11 Presented by Barry Moore, The Qobuz Minute sweeps you away to the 4 corners of the musical universe to bring you an eclectic mix of today's brightest talents. Jazz, Electro, Classical, World music ...