Here at 2 Loud 2 Old Music, we went through and reviewed all the Studio Albums for the band Queen. And to do this, we are used the 40th Anniversary 2011 Remastered CDs as our source as I picked up the 3 Volume Box Set for Christmas 2020. And with any good series, we will start with their debut album and work our way through all the studio albums in chronological order. There were 15 albums and all with the same band members of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. How many bands can say that? Not many.
What was great about going through them all in order is that you see how the band evolved over time and how much they experimented whether it was successful or not. You see the highs and the lows, where the band hit its groove and where they were wandering around lost. They did move soundtracks, the rocked out, they had fantasy songs, rockabilly, disco and even metal. They did it all. Now let’s go through and see where they ranked worst to first.
THE WORST – ‘MADE IN HEAVEN’ (1995):
The album did not have a cohesive feel and it shouldn’t since it wasn’t really written as an album. It was a last ditch effort to pull as many Freddie songs together as they could for one final release. And I don’t think it is one they should’ve done mainly because all these songs aren’t really up to the Queen Standard in my book. There were way too many ballads, they used two songs that were already released as Freddie solo songs and I don’t think the material was all that great to begin with. I feel they should’ve left well enough alone as I think ‘Innuendo’ was a great way to go out, but what do I know. My Overall Score is a 2.0 Out of 5.0 Stars. There were a few tracks worth having, but overall not enough to make this a must have album.
Before the band could record their fourth album, they had to go through a lot of a business crap. Money was becoming an issue in the fact they weren’t getting any. They were extremely disappointed, to say the least, with their current management and record label, Trident. The hired a lawyer and for nine months, battled back and forth until they were successful in getting released from the Trident deal. But it was costly. They were able to get ownership back of their first few albums, but it cost them 1% royalty on the next 6 as well as pay £100,000 and the tour that was scheduled had to be cancelled because it was set up by the old management. Now this was 1975, so that is a lot of freaking money.
Queen was able to get new management and they singed with EMI (UK) / Elektra (US) and were set to create their next masterpiece. This album would be the most expensive album ever to be made (at the time of 1975). It cost £40,000 (or $338,000 in today’s dollars). It was so expensive due to the fact they recorded the album in seven different studios, over 4 months and required a lot of multi-tracking and they ended up using a 24-Track set up. Their last album only used a 16-Track tape. Queen was going big or going home. And if you know them at all, going big is the only way they know.
For Christmas of 2020, I received the ‘Queen 40’ Box Set, all three volumes. You would think, John, you have most of these on vinyl, why do you want the CDs? Well, easy…these are all remastered CDs from 2011 and each album includes an extra CD E.P. with anywhere from 5 to 7 Bonus tracks that I don’t have on the vinyl. So, that is why I wanted this set.
Let me tell you this set is great. They broke it up in to 3 separate volumes with each Volume getting 5 Studio albums so for the cost conscious person, you can buy one volume at a time or if money doesn’t matter, get all 3. Now that I have all 3 Volumes, with all 15 Studio albums, I am going to clue you in on something. Each Studio album will get its own, detailed review. My goal is to review all these albums by the end of 2021 and then do an Album Ranking of what I thought was the worst all the way to the one that is first on the list. It is going to be an exciting time at 2 Loud 2 Old Music for 2021!!
Let’s go through each Volume starting, of course, with Volume 1…
For My Sunday Song #224, we are going to discuss one of Queen’s fun songs, “I’m in Love With My Car”. The song is off the album, “A Night at the Opera” which was released in 1975. The song was written by Roger Taylor and is one of his more famous songs mainly because it was the B-Side to a little known Queen hit “Bohemian Rhapsody”, you may have heard of that one. There is a whole story to that which we will get to shortly.
The song was actually inspired by one of the band’s roadies, Johnathan Harris. Johnathan loved his car to death which was a Triumph TR4. Roger wrote it and played all the instruments for the demo and the band kind of thought of it as a joke, but Roger wasn’t joking. They recorded the song and Roger pitched a royal tantrum to get on the B-Side of “Bohemian Rhapsody” which the band finally caved after Roger had locked himself in a closet (or cupboard) until Freddie finally agreed. This ended up causing a lot of tension between him and Freddie because Freddie was pissed he got as much in royalties for that “Bohemian Rhapsody” single he didn’t write-it. But because his song was on the B-Side he got a big piece of the pie as well. Turned out that whole tantrum trick worked out quite nicely in Roger’s favor.
The song is actually pretty great. What guy hasn’t fallen in love with his car. I had a friend that spent so many long hours fixing up their 69 Firebird and they loved their car so much. It was also fun to do burnouts with. And I love my car now as it is fun to drive and just hugs the road. So I get it. Musically, Brain May’s guitar work is great as he recorded it with his own Red Special guitar. Freddy is on the piano playing away and Roger’s vocals sound great. The song ends with a motor revving and that was Roger’s own car which was an Alfa Romeo.