I remember picking up this CD shortly after Wayne's World came out. Everyone was going nuts over Bohemian Rhapsody, which was cool, but I wanted to know more from the band. I wanted more than just one simple song, so I picked up the album that contained Queen's biggest hit.
The album kicks off with We Will Rock You. You know it. I know it. Anyone that's ever been to a sporting event knows it. It's a fantastically simple song, that has a bitchin' solo. I use to love playing this song live in my band days, just to hear my buddy Matt play that solo. He would nail it every time and it was awesome.
That's followed up by the only song that can follow We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions. Personally I don't like the song. It's amazing musically. Between Freddy Mercury's piano work and Brian May's guitar playing it's like a little slice of mellow heaven, as long as you care for the song. My big issue with the song is that it's just shy of three minutes, but feels like it's closer to five.
For me the album doesn't officially start until track three, which is Sheer Heart Attack. The is a fast, heart racing song that captures the vibe of the song just perfectly. I'm not fond of the over production on the vocals, but I understand the artistic vibe they were going for when they did it.
I will say that one of my biggest problems with this album is that the bass is often lost in the mix, or left out all together on many songs. Granted I eat those words on the next song All Dead, All Dead. I love this song. It's mellow, and has an older vibe to it, like you might hear in the 1930's. It really reminds me of Chris De Burgh. Lyrically it's amazing. "She came without a farthing / A babe without a name / So much ado 'bout nothing / Is what she'd try to say / So much ado my lover / So many games we played / Through ev'ry fleeted summer / Through ev'ry precious day / All dead all dead / All the dreams we had / And I wonder why I still live on / All dead all dead / And alone I'm spared / My sweeter half instead / All dead and gone all dead / All dead all dead / At the rainbow's end / And still I hear her own sweet song / All dead all dead / Take me back again / You know my little friend's / All dead and gone / Her ways are always with me / I wander all the while / But please you must forgive me / I am old but still a child / All dead all dead / But I should not grieve / In time it comes to ev'ryone / All dead all dead / But in hope I breathe / Of course I don't believe / You're dead and gone / All dead and gone".
Spread Your Wings is picked up from the last track, but the vibe is very similar. In fact I almost want to say that much of this album was inspired by Chris De Burgh's Spanish Train And Other Stories, which had come out two years prior. With the exception that this album has more power, especially with the guitar.
Now it's time to get funky with Fight From The Inside. First off this song is killer, and it's sung by drummer Roger Taylor. He sings on a variety of tracks on this album, as well as playing rhythm guitar and bass. I find it funny when I look at the notes about these songs online and see that so many songs were not played by the musicians that one might think would play them. If I had to call any song on this album my favourite it would be Get Down, Make Love. This song has everything that makes a song great. Sure the lyrical content is all sex, and I mean it drips of sex like a salivating horny teenager, but musically it's styled and written beautifully. It's artistically grandious, and totally over produced, but it really works.
Sleeping On The Side Walk is sung by Brian May, and I have to say that he isn't bad. He's not as good as Mercury or Taylor, but on this song he really captures the Blues vibe and feel, that was inspired by ZZ Top. However, what needs to be really mentioned about this song is that musically it was recorded in one take. Vocals were added later. This is one of those songs that captures the true vibe of what music can and often should be.
I don't care for Who Needs You. I've never really cared for songs with a Carribean flavour, with the exception of Led Zeppelin's D'yer Mak'er. Many would say that this song is more Spanish sounding, but I don't feel that, except with the tone of the Spanish guitars being played by both May and Deacon.
It's Late is the longest song on the album. This is another song I'm not big on, mainly because of how long it drags on in feel. The biggest problem with this song is that it's 6:27 of continuous repetitiveness. Sure there are some fills and soloing that are decent, but only the last minute sounds different from the rest of the song in any way that's noticeable.
My Melancholy Blues finishes off the original album. I understand why they would make it a closer, but I think it was a bad choice. It's like listening to a Liza Minnelli Jazz song, which isn't cool with me. I like my Jazz to have more of soul and vibe.
Now this version of my CD ends with a We Will Rock You (1991 Bonus Remix Ruined By Rick Rubin), and yes that is how it's officially listed. It's not a clever caption either. I have no clue what Rubin was thinking when he did this, and I'm not sure I want to know. I will say that over the years this track has grown on me a little bit especially when you hit 2:21 and a whole new music section that was never on the original opens up. It's not going to be for everyone, but it does have some acceptable uniqueness to it. It's a better closer than My Melancholy Blue had originally been.
I'm not going to say that this album is a must buy, but since some of the better songs aren't available on any greatest hits, or best of package, you may want to consider grabbing this album. Especially if you can find it for the right price.
7/10 - content
8/10 - production
7/10 - personal bias