Libera et impera!
Ogre, March and Rhye are the best songs in this stage. Great King Rat is probably the strongest on the debut for me.
As someone who is a big fan of Queen II, I disagree with you, but understand what you mean. Queen II is a fascinating document of a band that is still finding itself. When the debut came out, the band was dissatisfied, because it had taken almost a year from recording to release, and they had significantly evolved since then. Hence, they did not feel it properly represented them and their style anymore. Like many debuts, it was a collection of songs that had been developed and refined over several years, tried and tested live, and thus the album seems comparatively tight and structured. Queen II is a mess. But that, I think, is what is so great about it. You can hear so many brilliant ideas that are not yet dealt with in the disciplined manner of a professional recording artist. On the one hand, it makes you wonder what would have happened had they decided to further explore a certain set of ideas or continued on this or that avenue. On the other hand, you can hear masterpieces in the making. What is March of the Black Queen if not an embryonic version of Bohemian Rhapsody? This song deserves much more attention as a document of the development of musical ideas. Freddie reportedly had been working on Bohemian Rhapsody since the late sixties, and I think this is the first time he tried to shape his ideas into a coherent song. It is certainly not as coherent, refined and composed as Bohemian Rhapsody, but it's a remarkable glimpse into the mind of a genius nevertheless.I know II is held in high esteem - a cult favourite at least and an out-and-out great album for some.
I think it's overrated.
I agree with this. "White Queen" is one of my favorite Queen tracks, ever. A perfect representation of the band at that point in time. Live version from Hammersmith is awesome too.Hard to believe White Queen has more votes than Great King Rat, Liar, Father to Son and even Ogre Battle.