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4.0 out of 5 stars
Hot Space
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 April 2006
'Hot Space' is infamous as being Queen's sole 'flop' album, as aside from the David Bowie collaboration 'Under Pressure' (which itself dates from a separate session a year before the album proper, and so in a sense could be described as a tacked on extra here) the singles from this album all failed to make an impact on the charts and the album was quickly dismissed as a misfire. Looking back while 'Hot Space' could never be described as one of their best albums it's certainly massively underrated, and to my ears is a far more interesting album than follow-up 'The Works' (by which point the band seemed so desperate for a hit single that the album feels more like a shallow compilation of A and B sides).

The big sticking point for any Queen fans will be 'Hot Space's original A-Side, where the band jumped onto the funk/disco genre with wild abandon. With 'Another One Bites The Dust' being such a big hit for them before Queen seem to have become temporarily disco obsessed, and the first 5 tracks are all based heavily around massive bass riffs. Where on 'The Game' the band had begun to use synthesisers they were mostly laid over the top of the normal Queen sound, but now the bass guitar is replaced by keyboards, the drums are replaced by drum machines and Brian May's signature guitar is cut back to a bare minimum. It's undoubtedly a shock, but for the most part the songs DO work, where the band may have overstepped the mark is in giving over an entire half of the album to this genre.

Even for those who aren't convinced by the disco/funk tracks Side-B is a return to the more familiar Queen rock/pop sound, with 'Put Out The Fire' being the albums sole heavy guitar rock song, while elsewhere the band provide a pair of ballads ('Life Is Real' and 'Las Palabras De Amor') the up-empo guitar pop of 'Calling All Girls' and the slow funky 'Cool Cat' which features Freddie in falsetto voice throughout.

'Hot Space' shows many of the faults common to the bands 80's output: too much synthesiser and a lack of the genre-hopping and invention of the bands 70's work, and this is also the first Queen album where Freddie is the sole lead vocalist on every song (Brian and Roger now relegated to backing vocals and the odd solo line here and there), a sad mistake which unfortunately would hold true for each of their remaining albums and stripped the band of the variety they once possessed: however, compared with the albums they produced before and after this is by no means a 'misfire', and worthy of rediscovery.

Not a classic, but by no means a failure either, 'Hot Space' is a good solid Queen album.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2002
Hop Space as an album has that extra bounce that makes it stand out from the rest of Queen's Albums. It gives us a large insite in to Freddie's full range of musicical talent which ranges from Rock, Opera, Pop and now dance and funk, as well as the versatility of Brian May's Guitar playing. But does this album really deserve all the flack that the press gave it.
The first for tracks (Staying Power,Dancer,Back Chat and Body Language) are mainly lively Discotec songs that would of first shocked any harder Queen fan.
Action this Day and Put out the Fire bring us back to the real rock motivated song that Queen produce so well as seen before in their last album The Game.
In this great mixture of an album two very heart felt songs Life is real(Song for Lennon) and The Words of Love involve us in deep emotion which most listerns may indentify too.
Then back to funk with Calling all Girls and Cool Cat but the grand Finale is one song that will live forever Under Pressure.
This song is the light at the end of the tunnel, Mercury and Bowie compliment each over so well and Deacon's bass line is pure genius. So is this album all bad.
No Not at all it just shows a groovy side to Queen and i think it has stood the test of time very well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 March 2002
OK, it's not typical Queen. OK, it's not aged well. BUT have those who dismissed this album truly explored all it has to offer? The lyrics and delivery of "Life is Real" by Freddie could easilly slot into any other Queen album and "Las Palabras de Amor" is my all time personal favourite Queen song that deserved to do better in the charts.
The rest of the album has a mix of songs that were a major departure but gave Queen the space to experiment with sounds that would later come together much stronger in "The Works" for example.
Oh, and what about "Under Pressure"??!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2001
This is the most hated Queen album - unfairly. The only weak songs on here are the mega-sleazy Body Language and the pointless Calling All Girls. Every other song on the album is an improvement on these - the genius of Under Pressure, the wonderful Las Palabras, the topical Put Out the Fire, and the authentic Lennonism of Life is Real. Even the funk songs, aside from Body Language, are worth listening to. The fact is that this album is far more inventive and interesting than the two which came on either side of it: The Game, which is good but not very varied or innovative, and The Works, whose for best songs are available on one compilation, leaving a five-track disc of good but unnotable tracks. Hot Space is a far better album. Buy this - it is worth the money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2010
By common opinion, 70's Queen beats 80's hands down. More innovative, more invention, better lyrics, performances and just better songs. Bless 'em though, this was a real attempt to do something different and it may have been ill-advised, commercial suicide (particularly in the US) and it may even have a rubbish sleeve but this is still interesting and, I would add, far more interesting than the intelligence insulting 'A kind of Magic' four years later...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2013
Being a diehard fan of Queen's 1973-1978 work, it is always difficult for me to assess 1980's Queen albums.
The fact is that 80's and beyond albums such as The Game (1980) Flash (1981), , The Works (1984) and A Kind of Magic (1986) , do have some really great songs on them , but they also have a lot of mediocre and flat stuff , unlike the 70's albums which where absolute works of art complete in themselves.

Hot Space is the best Queen album of the 1980's but a far cry from the glorious rock opera/hard rock of the 1970-1976 period.

There was the transitional period of News of the World (1977), Jazz (1978) and The Game (1980), before the launch into disco music with Hot Space.

If you are a fan of 70's Queen thi9s takes some getting used to, but I have changed my mind about the album after a few more listens and decides it really rocks.

In this album, there are some really good songs:

Life Is Real: a beautiful piece dedicated to John Lennon, who had died less than 2 years before. The words of this song are poetic and do justice to the best of Queen.

Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love): This is the stuff Queen should have carried on doing, although the fashions at the time justified their move to the funky disco music, on most of this album. Queen's fantastic collaboration with David Bowie: Under Pressure - A great all-time classic.

There is the bluesy Cool Cat, the raunchy Body Language, the sexy Dancer

Staying Power, Calling All Girls, with it's high energy synthesis, have good lyrics and a nice beat.

Action This Day is full of energy and vigour, and then there is the sassy Backchat.

This is a good album, real good disco music, event though in my case, I love Queen's rock opera 70's music best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2009
Brian May and queen had become so well known as a quasi heavy metal/pop crossover band from their live performances their high energy once starting a riot at a show in New York in the 70's that metal head May's genius in the studio is often overlooked as the key to their singles successes. It may seem strange that May would shelve the overlaid guitars and Roger's backing vocals high notes but when listened to in its entirety as a studio album it is a work of genius that they could succeed so well in a totally different genre as they would show again with "A Kind Of Magic" in later years. Freddie imparts great emotion with the air rushing through his Zoroastrian overbite with great power without the usual rescue remedy of whisky sound he frequently used before live concerts having to rely on Roger to cover the high notes for him. If you remember that these four men were all highly intelligent individuals who could beat Motorhead for pure violent volume if they chose, Hot Space is a wonderful demonstration of Queen's control over the direction of their work that allowed their brain power to be put to the best use. No Queen fan can be dissapointed with Hot Space, it further cemented their reputation as a legend. In any case Roger's lumbering drumming, Deacon's clockwork four string fingering, May's screaming six string and Freddie's vocal posturing will as always go straight to your heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2008
In 1981 fan's were expecting 'The Game' part 2-- more pop rock-- and were shocked by 'Hot Space' an unabashedly funky disco album. Fan backlash (ie lack of sales) caused the band to go on hiatus and pretty well sunk them in the US. All rather a shame, as taking 'Hot Space' on it's own terms makes it a very entertaining album to take, full of catchy funk and disco, plus some soaring pop rockers on side 2 that mark some of Queen's most underrated material. Indeed, as an LP side 2 is much stronger than side 1, whiche ended with the pretty woeful 'Action This Day'. But 'Put Out The Fire', 'Calling All Girls', 'Las Palabras D.Amour' are all terrific songs-very much in the vein of 'The Game' and the album ends with the classic Bowie collaboration 'Under Pressure'. Tracks 1-5 are the funk/disco songs, some pretty good: 'Staying Power', 'Dancer' and the minor hit 'Body language' are all fine, but are far softer in elctronic/synth execution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2008
This album has always been rated as Queens worst and i really dont know why. It showcases an alternate side to a great rock band and in all truth is so much better than the following album The Works. The stand out track is the timeless classic Under Pressure but there are other tracks that deserve similar credit. Back Chat and Body Language both have infectious bass lines and great vocal delivery (although from Freddie there couldnt be anything else!). Calling All Girls is a great acoustic pop song and Put Out The Fire is what you could expect from Brian, a great rock song. Action This Day is the track that really comes close to Under Pressure. It is a duet between Roger and Freddie and is similar to sheer heart attack in the way it has a huge pounding drum sound and like most of this album a great bass line. I recomend this album to anyone who likes pop rock or pop or easy listening music. Great stuff!
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on 1 April 2012
The early 1980s in pop music was feeling a lot of resurgence in disco music from the previous decade, amongst the rising trend of having synthesisers becoming a common standard in pop music practice during that time. Even long-established bands, like Queen, were delving into this kind of electronic dance music. Such tracks as Staying Power, Action This Way, and Body Language, proved that they were capable of making such music to a great degree of audible success.
So whilst Hot Space feels like A Night at the Discotheque rather then A Night at the Opera, the dance-rock vibes seems to be replaced with their trademark rock music, with Under Pressure and Life is Real being the real stand-outs in that regard. But that does means that Hot Space does divide a lot of Queen fans over whether they like the album as a whole, or dismiss either one half of the album over the other, usually the dance-rock, for their similar sound from their previous albums. However, whilst there is nothing with hearing Las Palabras De Amor or Put Out the Fire, you do feel that is not much of the hook in contrast to the tracks that have a lively- and arguably vintage- dance vibe to them.
Hot Space may not be Queen's finest album in their expansive career; it does have a lot of charm, and is worth a listen. Whilst the dance-rock may not sound like the material from the likes of The Prodigy, Scissor Sisters, or The Killers, it gives it an interesting impression into the kind of music that got people dancing, and rocking to, during that era.
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