A celebration and deflation of stadium and progressive rock. Old farts that are cool enough for young hipsters to like. Very smart music by very smart guys.

Information: Queen Online
Suggested first purchase/best of: Greatest Hits (1994)
Suggested first album: A Night at the Opera

A Night at the Opera (1975) -- The big, fun, bombastic album: the one with "Bohemian Rhapsody."  To go along with that masterpiece are a number of other pastiches like "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" and "Good Company," some ballads like "Love of My Life," and some good pop like "You're My Best Friend."  This and that fills out the album, and sometimes it hits me right and sometimes not, but it's always fairly enjoyable. B

Flash Gordon (1981) -- I don't have this, but I've heard it enough. It's better than the movie (which is just stupid, unless you like it on some camp level or something), and it's kind of interesting to listen to (even with, or perhaps in part because of, audio from the movie). B

Greatest Hits (1992) -- This and Classic Queen are really all you need if you're not a serious Queen fan (even though they didn't include "Don't Try Suicide" and possibly a few others than fans would have picked, but you can't have them all), and Greatest Hits is a better, brighter collection than Classic Queen (though you need them both). It has the sports anthems "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions" and many of the other songs that made them famous. The more "gay" songs are the highlights for me, with "Killer Queen," "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy," and the super-hyper "Don't Stop Me Now" standing tall. Every song is good, even sometimes "Body Language." A

Classic Queen (1992) -- Not quite as good as Greatest Hits but still pretty great, this collection covers the stuff that couldn't fit on the first collection (focusing on their latter albums where Greatest Hits focused on their earlier ones), including the famous "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the excellent "Under Pressure." If you prefer stadium rock to gay rock, you'll like this collection better; it also has a darker feel, probably because of the problems (AIDS and death, among other things) Queen was going through at the end of the band's career. B

Greatest Hits (1994) -- Yet another one called Greatest Hits (there was also one in 1992 and 1981), this one is slightly better, including the songs "Flash" and "Bohemian Rhapsody," so if you need one single disc, this might be it.

Greatest Hits I and II (1995) -- The non-US version of the above two albums, this is sold together as one set and replaces the songs "Body Language," "Stone Cold Crazy," "One Year of Love," "Tie Your Mother Down," "These are the Days of Our Lives," and "Keep Yourself Alive" with "Flash," "Innuendo," "It's a Hard Life," Breakthrough," "The Invisible Man," and "A Friend is a Friend." Having heard none of the latter songs (except "Flash") I can't say which collection is better, though I can say that all of the songs being replaced are the more mediocre ones and that this collection comes with a 40 page booklet.

Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition (2004) -- Yet another greatest hits named Greatest Hits. Too many by this point. This one has bonus tracks. Whatever. Any of them are good. Maybe just buy the albums?

Copyright (c) Aug 2001 - Jun 2006 by Rusty Likes Music