Queen

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
With all the talk about Death Magnetic by Metallica, some people may not have noticed that another legendary band released a great comeback album on the very same day: Queen. Or, to be precise, Queen + Paul Rodgers.



The new album, which depending on your point of view, is the follow-up to 1999's Greatest Hits III, 1997's Queen Rocks, 1995's posthumous album Made In Heaven or the last regular studio album, 1991's Innuendo, is called The Cosmos Rocks.
The album is very much unlike all other Queen studio albums, with very few  "classic Queen" moments. But to be fair, the musical gap between The Cosmos Rocks and Innuendo is not wider than that between Innuendo and the first album- the only difference is that here the musical progression was documented, while the most recent reference points we have now are the last solo albums by Brian May and Roger Taylor, and those are already ten years old as well.
So, what is the new album like? It is a very grainy, down-to-earth, bluesy rock album. It is very honest and not very commercial-sounding at all. For the most part, it is rather laid-back and groovy, and is particularly a great showcase of Brian May's guitar-playing skills, even outshining his solo albums at that.

In other news, Queen + Paul Rodgers embarked on a world tour supporting the new album last week, kicking off with a gig playing to 350,000 people in Kharkiv, Ukraine, before playing two dates in Moscow, Russia, and one in Riga, Latvia. Tonight, they will be playing in Berlin, Germany- and guess who's going to be there. I'm very excited, because until even two weeks ago, I never thought I'd ever see my all-time favourite band (next to Maiden, of course) live. I'll keep you updated. :)  :yey:
 

Albie

Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.
Perun said:
It is a very grainy, down-to-earth, bluesy rock album. It is very honest and not very commercial-sounding at all. For the most part, it is rather laid-back and groovy, and is particularly a great showcase of Brian May's guitar-playing skills, even outshining his solo albums at that.
Rogers has obviously put his mark on this then.

I do remember, a year or so ago, seeing some live footage of Queen + Paul Rogers doing classic Queen/Free/Bad Co. stuff and I must say it sounded quite good. I may give this album a serious listen.

Being that I don't really keep up with Queen, as a whole, I can't help but wonder why is there only three members on the cover. Where is Mr Deacon?
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Some kind of disagreement. I think he never wanted to continue the band without Mercury.
Pink Floyd wouldn't/won't (make your own choice ;) ) continue with only two members I think.

Maybe that's why this is called: Queen + Paul Rodgers and not Queen.

I hope the gig turns out well! Let us know!
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
I gotta think that the album title and cover have something to do with May's astrophysics activities.[hr][/hr]
Forostar said:
Some kind of disagreement. I think he never wanted to continue the band without Mercury.
Pink Floyd wouldn't/won't (make your own choice ;) ) continue with only two members I think.

Maybe that's why this is called: Queen + Paul Rodgers and not Queen.
I think I read somewhere that, as far as May/Taylor are concerned, Q+PR is a totally separate band from Queen. They're using the word "Queen" for the commercial benefits and because they play Queen songs live, but this was never meant to be a direct continuation of Queen.

And as a bassist, I say it's not Queen without John Deacon either. Great bassist and songwriter, even if he didn't write as much as the others.
 

Wästed The Great

Minister Of Chicks, Metal&Beer; Cool & Froody Dude
Staff member
Didn't Q+PR go on a tour 2+ years back?  I was thinking that there was a web-site that allowed the fans to vote on songs that they would like to see Rodgers sing, ones that they didn't want him to sing, and a list of songs that he just wasn't going to attempt.  I don't know if that live recording was released in the States, but I remember seeing it online a while back.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
John Deacon officially retired after the release of Made In Heaven. He only returned for 1997's recording of No-One But You and a special live performance of The Show Must Go On with Elton John on vocals in the same year, I think. Except for one instance (a recording of We Are The Champions with Robbie Williams, which he publicly slagged), he never got in the way of the other members, though, and he tolerates what they are doing now. He also gets "special thanks" everywhere they go.

Brian and Roger teamed up with Paul Rodgers a few years ago and did a world tour in 2005. They released a very good live album/DVD called Return Of The Champions.

Now, onto the gig. It was brilliant. It was literally a childhood dream come true, and just beautiful at that. They played for way over two hours, and they didn't do that much of a nostalgia thing- they played five songs from their new album and four from Paul's catalogue. The setlist was:

Intro (Thunderstorm + Album Intro)
Surf's Up... School's Out (From Cosmos Rocks)
Tie Your Mother Down
Fat-Bottomed Girls
Another One Bites The Dust
I Want It All
I Want To Break Free
C-Lebrity (From Cosmos Rocks)
Seagull (Paul)
Love Of My Life
'39
Drum Solo (Plus Roger's very own interpretation of a 'bass drum'- he was playing a bass guitar with drum sticks)
I'm In Love With My Car
Say It's Not True (From Cosmos Rocks)
Bad Company (Paul)
War Boys (From Cosmos Rocks)
Feel Like Makin' Love (Paul)
Guitar Solo Medley:
-Brighton Rock
-Bijou (with Freddie vocals from tape)
-Last Horizon
A Kind Of Magic
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
Radio Ga Ga
Bohemian Rhapsody
---
Cosmos Rocks (From Cosmos Rocks)
All Right Now (Paul)
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions
God Save The Queen (tape)
Outro (Track 13 from Made In Heaven

The highlight of the gig was obviously the acoustic sing-along stuff, '39 and mostly Love Of My Life. Brian actually wiped away some tears afterwards!

The band was in a great mood, and so was the audience. It was great fun and a wonderful experience, which I would recommend to anyone, regardless whether they're die-hard fans or just know the greatest hits.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
The Show Must Go On
was there :) It was also one of the show's highlights.

Amazing long set, especially if you consider that there was a lot of instrumental stuff going on. They played roughly two and a half hours! I'm still thrilled :)
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I wish it was! It sure starts off great, but those clunkers towards the end really drag the whole thing down.

Dragon Attack is amazing, though, and for some reason I really love Sail Away Sweet Sister.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I think Side 2 is better than you think. "Rock It" is a straightforward rocker with a wicked (but short) Brian May guitar solo and a very cool introductory passage. "Suicide" is my least favorite track on the album, because I don't love rockabilly, but they pull it off well and give it the kind of weird twist that made Queen so unique. "Sail Away Sweet Sister" is great, as you note, and I happen to think "Coming Soon" is solid: another rocker with a soaring chorus that tests Freddie's range. And "Save Me" is the best song on the album, and in my view, the third-best song Queen ever recorded, behind only "It's Late" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- it is a gorgeous, perfectly constructed track that rocks, with a truly great guitar solo. As they often did, they recognized a new trend in music -- the power ballad -- gave it a go, and in so doing damn near topped them all.
 
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Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Much of The Game is something like a compendium of rock history from the 1950s through the 1970s. Since a lot of it explores the early history of rock in tracks like Crazy Little Thing (rock 'n' roll), Suicide (rockabilly) and Need Your Loving Tonight (60's rock) that mostly happened in America, it's no surprise to me that it is by far their most successful album there. Personally, I think it's their most diverse album musically, for better or worse. But I think it displays many of the daring artistic steps that made them stay relevant in the eighties, even if to some people, it meant selling out.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
it is by far their most successful album there
News of the World came fairly close, I think. Like The Game, it was certified 4X Platinum by RIAA. Of course, Greatest Hits dwarfs them both at 8X Platinum. I think The Game was so popular in the U.S. mostly because of the disco track, "Another One Bites the Dust," which was an enormous hit.
 

Stardust

A Blue Sector Mirage
If we're talking about good Queen albums, A Night At The Opera is the first one to come to mind. A Day At The Races is fine but gets way over the border by the end and some of the somgs are really weak like "White Man" for example. Innuendo, their penultimate album is emotional and features some really amazing songs, my favourite being the title track, if only for the cool spanish-flamenco style instrumental section. Otherwise, The Show Must Go On takes the crown. A very underrated album is Jazz. I think the inventive-ish vibe on that album is pretty good.

News Of The World? Meh all the way. Queen (the album)? Great! I hope songs like My Fairy King goes far! Queen II? That's my second favourite album by Queen. The Game, which is why I'm talking about Queen right now as you brought it up, is also great. Possibly, their most consistant album. The other albums? Decent but a lot of filler, especially albums like Sheer Heart Attack and The Miracle.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
"Save Me" is the best song on the album, and in my view, the third-best song Queen ever recorded, behind only "It's Late" and "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Agreed that "Save Me" is best on that album, with "Sail Away Sweet Sister" a close second. The two big hits, "Play The Game" and "Dragon Attack" are great tracks, but those two often-overlooked ballads really stand out for me.

Also agreed that "It's Late" is one of their best. I rate it over Rhapsody. In fact, thinking about it, it's my #1 Queen song. Only "March of the Black Queen" rivals it.

I think it's their most diverse album musically
Can't question your expertise, but I'm surprised. I would have thought one of the earlier albums, with stuff like their vaudeville-type songs, would win that title.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Can't question your expertise, but I'm surprised. I would have thought one of the earlier albums, with stuff like their vaudeville-type songs, would win that title.
It depends on how you define their diversity. There's no doubt that A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races are experimental and diverse, but somehow, it's still possible to connect those songs stylistically and see a thread running through the album. You can almost always hear where it's coming from. With The Game, I have the feeling the band deliberately picked specific genres they were trying to emulate, making for a much more varied collection of songs. Less consistent, less experimental, but varied nonetheless.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Also agreed that "It's Late" is one of their best. I rate it over Rhapsody. In fact, thinking about it, it's my #1 Queen song.
For the record, It's Late is my #1 too, with Rhapsody second, then Save Me, then ... hey wait a minute, this calls for a Top 10 list! My favorites:

1. It's Late
2. Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Save Me
4. '39
5. Son and Daughter
6. March of the Black Queen
7. Spread Your Wings
8. Somebody To Love
9. I Want It All
10. More of That Jazz

Honorable mention to the Live Aid performance of "Radio Ga-Ga." I didn't like the single when it first came out, but that live performance is still goosebump-inducing, in particular the crowd's seemingly choreographed involvement, all the more remarkable when one considers this was not even a Queen concert.
 

Stardust

A Blue Sector Mirage
Agreed that "Save Me" is best on that album, with "Sail Away Sweet Sister" a close second. The two big hits, "Play The Game" and "Dragon Attack" are great tracks, but those two often-overlooked ballads really stand out for me.

Also agreed that "It's Late" is one of their best. I rate it over Rhapsody. In fact, thinking about it, it's my #1 Queen song. Only "March of the Black Queen" rivals it.



Can't question your expertise, but I'm surprised. I would have thought one of the earlier albums, with stuff like their vaudeville-type songs, would win that title.
For the record, It's Late is my #1 too, with Rhapsody second, then Save Me, then ... hey wait a minute, this calls for a Top 10 list! My favorites:

1. It's Late
2. Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Save Me
4. '39
5. Son and Daughter
6. March of the Black Queen
7. Spread Your Wings
8. Somebody To Love
9. I Want It All
10. More of That Jazz

Honorable mention to the Live Aid performance of "Radio Ga-Ga." I didn't like the single when it first came out, but that live performance is still goosebump-inducing, in particular the crowd's seemingly choreographed involvement, all the more remarkable when one considers this was not even a Queen concert.
Interesting choices. My top ten would consist of:

(From worst to best)

10: Seven Seas Of Rhye (Freddie's Dream Land!)
9: Another One Bites The Dust (You know, dust is usually pretty tiny. It would be hard to bite, in that case)
8: Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To...) (Welp, Freddie's even frightening me now!)
7: Brighton Rock (Wow! Brighton sure rocks!)
6: The Show Must Go On (And it did! It's not as good, though...still good, though)
5: Don't Stop Me Now (SCREW YOU, AIRLINES COMMERCIAL. DON'T RUIN THIS SONG!)
4: Somebody To Love (I sung this on a party. Nobody liked it...)
3: My Fairy King (That ending section...that's something else...)
2: The March Of The Black Queen (It only gets better as it goes on...amazing...)
1: Bohemi-The Prophet's Song (When I listen to this song, it feels like I'm in sync with the band. Yeah, it's "harmony"! OHHHHHHHHHHHH)
 
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