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4.7 out of 5 stars
Made In Heaven
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2005
It would be really churlish to give this, the final Queen album proper, anything less than 5 stars. A truly moving collection of some of the saddest and yet at the same time the most hopeful Queen songs ever written. We can only guess at the emotions that must have been running through the guys when this was recorded.
Admittedly the album does feature several songs that appeared on band member's solo albums before this recording, but I would say without hesitation that it is in this form they sound the best. "Too Much Love Will Kill You" really benefits from Freddie's strong vocals and "Made in Heaven" sounds much better with the magnificent orchestra-sound it gets here. Of the "new" tracks the outstanding one in my humble opinion is "Let Me Live", featuring the vocals of Freddie, Roger and Brian it is just a lovely celebration of this fantastic group.
A fantastic album, full of emotion, full of feeling and full of great songs.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2003
Queen in my opinion and the greatest and most important band ever to grace our planet. No other vocalist in a band could come close to Mercury's playful voice. Brian May's great guitar solos and catchy poppy tunes, were always my favourites. If I needed a lift it was always 'Somebody To Love' in the cassette player, and without any exception, the task was done. But that's what Queen was all about. Doing their job, getting it done and going home. But they just did it so well. And I always loved the playfulness of them, the fact they felt they could do anything. So when I layed my mits on Made In Heaven, which I sort of knew was going to be pretty sombre anyway, being released 3 years after Mercury's death, I was very cautious even looking at the titles (Let Me Live, My Life Has Been Saved, Too Much Love Will Kill You...), but I took it home with me instead. And it is different. This is Queen, but not quite what you know. Those aspects are there...but there's more. Much more. And now I can safely say that this is the best album that Queen ever made, and is one of the best albums of all time.
You could always tell Freddie was a worker...up until his dying days he was singing whatever was put in front of him, when he could, as his disease held him down so much it was awfully difficult. But when he sang, boy did he sing. Just listening to the likes of 'Heaven For Everyone' and 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' just show that Mercury was giving it his all, right until the end. You also knew that only death was going to stop this band.
The instrumentation throughout is stunning. 'It's A Beautiful Day' begins with strings and early morning birds chirping gleefully and the typical Queen piano, followed by the first Mercury vocal...'It's A Beautiful Day, The Sun Is Shining, I Feel Good, and No-one's Gonna Stop Me Now', unfortunatly the truth didn't turn out to be quite as beautiful as the song itself. 'Made In Heaven' is certainly one of the highlights. A magnificent, yet out of character riff, and an atmosphere of pure unsureity opens the track and ends as it started. 'Mother Love' was the last song Mercury ever sang. And you can tell. His voice sounds slightly distorted and he couldn't go his true length, and although it's still stunning to hear, you can't help but feel that one of the greatest, has left before the curtain was supposed to fall. 'Heaven For Everyone' the band's first single from the album, is stunningly put together and is another quiet-loud song, that Nirvana would be proud of if they were this human. And that's something else about this. It's human. Doesn't seem quite Queen...but it's brilliant all the same. The other tracks follow suit in their own way, and the album also includes an instrumental song, at over 20 MINUTES long! Watch out for Freddie's laughter and him saying 'Are You Running?' throughout. It's certainly haunting. But you get the feeling he'd have wanted it this way...
Queen will ALWAYS be remembered for that 6 minute long, groudbreaking classic that shook the charts twice (three times?), but to the fan, and to anyone else who cares to listen to a band who were always at the top of thier game, Queen also need to be remembered for their stunning end, and encore if you will. It just shows that such shocking tragedy can bring the absolute best out of a band who were already the greatest of all time. And as I've read before, Mercury came in as he went out. As a diva. 5 Stars.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2004
After writing a review of the preceding album 'Innuendo', it's hard not to connect the two together. The darkness that is apparent in 'Innuendo' still lingers here, but there is a new sense of hope that we only saw a climpse of in 'Innuendo'. With the title song 'Made in Heaven', Mercury hangs us in the balance between hope and despair. Like in 'Innuendo', Freddie reaches out to society, only here in a more direct way. 'Mother Love' and 'Heaven for everyone' is a critique of modern man, and the lack of true spirituality and morality within our age. But this critique is made far more meaningful in relating it to his own life, a tragic life. Yet despite of all the tragedy and all the pain within society and his own life, there is hope. And in the songs of 'My life has been saved', and 'A Winter's tale' (Freddie's last ever song), he points us towards this hope, a hope that is not found outside in society, but a hope that is found within. Such is the power of this album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2014
Firstly, I have to take issue with the ignoramus who wrote the product review for Amazon: this idiot has no idea what the hell he is talking about! To suggest that the remaining members of Queen may have made this last record as a last chance to 'cash-in' on Freddie is highly insulting and absolutely ignorant - he needs to do his research a bit better. This album was a labour of love (and I think the members of Queen have enough money in the bank anyway), and it was also Freddie's wish that his final recordings see the light of day. To be honest, ignorant and biased reviewers like this moron have always had it in for Queen and always probably will: they just hate the fact that this band is still loved so much by so many.

Secondly, and more importantly, the album itself. As a lifelong Queen fan, I would put this one up with Innuendo, A Night at the Opera and Sheer Heart attack. It is strong throughout. I won't bother to write about the story behind this album, as most people into music will already know its history. But if you still haven't bought this jewel of an album, just damn well do. It is a strangely uplifting album (considering the fact that it includes Freddie's final recordings): there is so much positivity and warmth emanating from it. It is all about life and love, and Freddie sings his heart out. Only on the sombre and heart breaking Mother Love do we hear Freddie sound a little less upbeat (and considering this was his final recording, who can blame the man?); but listen to the middle eight on this track and tell me you do not hear a dying man (who at this stage could barely even stand) sing from his very soul with every last drop of power and emotion his frail body contained. A beautifully haunting track from one of the finest singers this world is ever likely to hear.

If nothing moves you on this album, check your pulse - because you must be dead.

This is a wonderful and fitting ending to the recording career of one of the world's finest and most innovative bands. God save our Queen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2010
Well I've been a Queen fan since their still AWESOME 'Bohemian Rhapsody' reached No1 back in 1975. I've heard virtually every track they've ever released and owned every one of their officially released albums (excluding complilations)

I had great hopes for this album. Containing the stunning 'Heaven For Everyone' could it really fail?

Of course not...

So why the Three Star rating..?

Well I believe 'Made in Heaven' was a necessary release for historic purposes, in other words to ensure that some of their best work came out.

A fair chunk of the vocals here was a battle against time.

Freddie was in the advanced stages of his battle against AIDS-he was in great pain and extremely ill for some of the recording.

In fact when he was laying down the vocals for 'Mother Love' he came to the point where he could no longer go on and Brian May had to finish off.

A few of the tracks such as 'A Winters Tale', 'Heaven for Everyone' and 'Mother Love' are gems in the crown.

Sadly the rest of the album seems to be cobbled together from recording sessions from 'The Miracle'and'Innuendo'-'It's a Beautiful Day' has its origins back in the 'News of the World' album originally released in 1977.

Yet others such as 'I Was Born To Love You' and 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' from Freddie's and Brian's solo work respectively.

Not forgetting 'Heaven For Everyone' utterly BRILLIANT. But Roger has another version recorded with his band 'The Cross' released much earlier on the album 'Shove It'(where Freddie is on vocals!) which is so similar to what's here they might as well have just dropped that in instead.

Any clued-up Queen fan should be able to pick this out.

So it's a shame in one way. I desperatly wanted this album to be a stunning obituary to Freddie-but sadly it isn't.

It is for most part disjointed and struggles to allow Queen to shine as they always had.

So Three stars it is-not quite scraping the bottom of the barrel but despite the aforementioned glories, a lukewarm effort.

'Innuendo' by comparison pulverises it!

And that is desperately disappointing.

We should have had and deserved to have had more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2011
this is in my honest opnion one of queens finest albums, the haunting sound of mother love is beyond anything i have heard before, and the final verse sung by may as mercury was to ill to sing it. just gives it more of a haunting feeling. i have read a few reviews by other queen fans but i feel as a whole this was a great album to bow out on
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2005
If you know how the album came about and the history then this album has a much deeper impact than others. Freddie Mercury recorded many parts of these songs whilst dying of AIDs, putting his body to much strain. This makes me appreciate this album even more. Even so, it is a truly wonderful album, filled with amazing songs. A must buy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2002
This album was always going to be a dangerous project for Brian,Roger and John as it was likey they would face accusations of "cashing in". However, this is far from being the case. From it's enigmatic opening to it's surreal curtain call this is a materpiece. As fun and funky as any of Queens 80's hits (I Was Born To Love You, You Dont Fool Me). As pompous and grand as they ever were (Made In Heaven, Heaven For Everyone) and at times painful (Mother Love). There are some curio's thrown in for goosd measure too, My Life Has Been Save was a B-side from 1989 but listen to the lyrics and if there is a message anywhere on this album, I think you'll find it here. Buy it.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2011
The final studio album from Queen where Freddie was involved in some of the work is a curious beast. Loved by critics on its release after they decided the suddenly DID like the band after all and one of the biggest sellers from the band it is hard to find many Queen fans who gush with praise about the album.

It certainly has its plus points - namely the tracks Let Me Live, Mother Love and A Winter's Tale, but it also has its minuses - more on them later. Obviously, we now know just how poorly Freddie was when making this album and we know he was on completely borrowed time as the band reconvened in Montreux to work on the tracks, and we also know it was his wish to see the final tracks he worked on released as he laid down final vocals (something he only did after all the arguments about instrumentation and lyrics had stopped!), but as a Queen fan you cannot help but wonder what the final outcome would have been like had he lived?

Praise has to be given at this stage for the work mssrs May, Taylor and Deacon put into the project in terms of shaping and completing these tracks in what must have been very difficult and emotional circumstances but the question of what if remains. Musically the instrumentation on the album is of a universally high standard and the work done on taking some of Freddie's solo material (Made In Heaven and I Was Born To Love You), Roger's Cross track Heaven for Everyone, an old b-side, My Life Has Been Saved and a Brian song, Too Much Love Will Kill You and making them all into fully fledged Queen album songs is again very commendable. However, the problem is the end result is variable. Whilst Made In Heaven and I Was Born To Love You both gain over their Mr. Bad Guy versions they are still average songs on the whole and the same could also be said for Heaven For Everyone. My Life Has Been Saved sounds a lot worse here than on the 1989 b-side to Scandal and interesting though it is to hear Freddie's take on Too Much Love Will Kill You, it perhaps lacks the emotion that many thought would be there when it was known he had recorded it.

It's a Beautiful Day opens and closes the album (with the exception of Track 12 - Yeah and the hidden, mysterious 'Track 13' (ambient music that meanders along far too long and again is a less than fulfilling track. The club influenced You Don't Fool Me has its merits and is the fourth best track off the album - and it is worth tracking down the re-mix versions as well for those interested in them. So, as back in 1995 the 2011 re-mastered version still only has three tracks of any note - as wonderful as the rest of it sounds now it has been cleaned up.

Of the three outstanding tracks, Let Me Live is the one I enjoy the most. Mercury, Taylor and May all take the lead in signing a verse from the song - due of course to Freddie not being there to sing it all and yet is the one song where you could almost believe he was present from start to finish. The gospel choir sounding chorus and May's good guitar solo all help elevate the song and on its single release in 1996 fully deserved its no.9 UK chart slot. A Winter's Tale has become known as a Christmas song but is a wonderful, optimistic appreciation of the natural world and features a very atmospheric solo from Brian and a simply shiver down the spine vocal from Freddie - especially towards the end when he sings 'It's allllllllllllll so beautiful' - proving that despite his illness he could still deliver a song. Mother Love has another similar moment and is the final song Freddie worked upon before his death. A wonderful backing track allies itself with Freddie's emotional vocal perfectly to create a Queen classic, which features May singing the closing verse after Freddie decided he couldn't do anymore and would return to finish it (something he sadly never did).

The bonus CD allows us to compare the two versions of My Life Has Been Saved and for my money the version on the bonus disc is the best, whilst Heaven For Everyone has its single mix included (nice if you like it, not so good if you don't!) and another two b-sides (they featured on the CD releases) are also included - the joined together version of It's A Beautiful Day (still a filler at best) and the terrible Rock In Rio Blues (originally on A Winter's Tale). The other two tracks are the original piano and vocal mix of I Was Born To Love You that would have been on Freddie's 1985 solo album before it was reworked at the record companies insistence and an even more haunting mix of A Winter's Tale that is worth buying the deluxe version for on its own.

A nice farewell from the band given the difficult circumstances it was recorded in but I still wonder if only...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2005
Made In Heaven (1995.) Queen's fifteenth album.
Following the release of Queen's 1991 Innuendo album, tragedy struck the classic rock powerhouse. Freddue Mercury died of AIDS on November 24 of that year. It was a shame that such a talented musician was forced into the premature death that befalls many a rock and roll legend. Although Mercury was gone, his spirit (along with many long-lost recordings) certainly was not. There were a number of recordings Freddie worked on that never made it onto albums - but John Deacon, Brian May, and Roger Taylor decided to release a posthumous album using the material in question. What surfaced was Made In Heaven. Read on for my review of this album.
Although this wasn't released until over three years after the death of Freddie Mercury, and although it takes recordings from various eras, it remains an excellent album. Admittingly, it probably isn't quite as good as Innuendo (since that was a "true" album), but it's still a solid release. Some of these tracks are reworkings of previously-existing recordings, including some old Queen B-Sides and old Freddie Mercury solo tunes. Some are reworkings of existing recordings, some are new recordings altogether. But the good majority of the songs on this album are songs that hadn't been released prior. It really is fascinating that these songs didn't surface until after Mercury's death, because they are all great (it makes you wonder whether or not there are still Freddie Mercury recordings this good just waiting to see the light of day.) In the end the album stands strong. No Queen fan should be without it.
Queen's albums were remastered and rereleased. The remastered versions feature improved sound quality, lyrics, rare band/discography photos, and even some bonus tracks. Of course, in most cases, the bonus tracks on these reissues are just lame remixes that DO NOT differ substantially from the classic versions of the songs. Still, the remasters are better than the older CD versions of the albums, but if you've got the older versions, you're not missing out on much.
Made In Heaven was an excellent posthumous release from Queen. Often, posthumous releases from an artist are disasters, but in the case of Queen, theirs was VERY GOOD. If you're a fan of the group, this album is well worth purchasing. I wouldn't recommend that a new fan start with this recording, but any tried and true fan would be doing themself a real favor picking this up.
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