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on 25 March 2010
So here we are again, with volume 3. None of the lessons from volumes 1 and 2 have been learned, and I don't hold out much hope for volume 4 either, as EMI have so far preserved the same format across all 3 collections.

Firstly, this is aimed squarely at hard core collectors. If you are new to Queen, you'll find the majority of tracks on Greatest Hits 2. Fans should already have the albums that this set spans (A Kind Of Magic, The Works and The Miracle), and if not, you should be able to pick up all 3 cheaper than this set.

No, this set is designed to replicate the original 7 inch singles from that era, and partly succeeds.
This was more fun on the earlier boxes where the UK singles didn't always have picture sleeves, so we got replicas of early sleeves from Germany, Portugal, France... these later singles mostly had standard sleeves in all teritories. So most sleeves are based on the UK versions, apart from Hard Life (unusual but dull plain black USA sleeve), Hammer To Fall (the withdrawn 'live' sleeve being a nice touch), A Kind Of Magic (Japanese variant, only marginally different from the UK one anyway, the USA one would have been nicer) and the 2 singles never released in the UK (One Year Of Love, Pain Is So Close).

The disks themselves bear an unimaginitive design, regular CDs with plain blue labels. Compare this to the picture disks in the Marillion singles collections, or glorious vinyl replicas from the Elvis collections (with actual black-coloured CDs with replica RCA/HMV labels to look like tiny vinyl singles!) and this is pretty weak.

All that remains is the B-sides. Most are album tracks anyway. The last 3 singles were released on CD anyway and many true collectors will have these already. There's a remix of Pain Is So Close To Pleasure that is arguably better than the album version, and the intrumental Blurred Vision track which makes its first CD appearance. But where are the 12 inch mixes? A true singles collection from the era would have the 12 extended versions released on the 12-inch formats for these releases, and there's no sign. It is called a singles collection, and is missing a huge amount of material. The Marillion collections included ALL the tracks from the 7 and 12 inch formats, and was cheaper than this to boot.

Finally, if we excuse all that on the grounds that these are supposed to be replicas of the 7 inch singles only, they haven't even got all the B sides right. The B-side of Friends Will Be Friends was Seven Seas Of Rhye, and the B-side of Who Wants To Live Forever was Killer Queen. These were A-sides released in Box 1 so presumably the decision was made to change these here, but the fact remains: you're either going to stick to your convictions and release a true 7 inch colelction, or not. This is, quite frankly, a mess.

If you already got box 1 and 2, you'll get this anyway. But it could have been so much better.
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on 12 October 2012
As the big music lover i am, music i nearly my life i cant understand not only for collector reasons but also for pleasing loyal fans why the F*** hasnt the 12 inch versions NOT been included the price is high you dont get something really special so why not please people with the 12 inch versions of many of the songs theres something i really doesnt understand the record companies are making suicides !!!!! what a shame ???? i have bougt all 4 of the boxes but GOD!!!!! i feel nothing really value because the real b-sides 12 inch mixes and instrumental versions are not included SHAME ON YOU EMI!!!!!
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on 19 July 2010
This is a must for COLLECTORS only - giving the different covers available for "Hard Life","Hammer","Pain" & "One Year"
Its nice to see and have - but do not buy this thinking its a greatest hits compilation because there's only 2 or 3 songs per cd. The majority of the songs are available on Greatest Hits 2.Wait for Christmas and I'm sure Amazon will have "Queen - The Platinum Collection" (greatest hits 1/2/3)for a special price with over 60 songs. I have already bought vol 1 & 2 and will also buy vol 4 when it comes - but am still waiting in vain for it all to be issued on 7" vinyl.Overall its nice to add the "The Collection"
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on 9 February 2013
Whilst the music in this box set is excellent (and worthy of 5 stars), the product itself has a number of issues.

Firstly the 12" mixes (in particular from the Miracle singles) should have been included. They were released on the original CD singles so their exclusion is strange.

Although the box and cardboard inserts are reasonable quality, the external artwork (light blue bit with the band logo) is printed on thin shiny paper which is glued on to the main carcas of the box. This can be quite easily damaged as it is quite thin.

Given that this is a box set that is designed to sit with the other 3 volumes, it would be nice if box numbers (on the side spine of each box) lined up across all 4 volumes. Although not a show stopper, it is indicative of the lack of attention to detail with these box sets.

Finally and most worrying one of the CD's in this set (a kind of magic) is showing signs of CD rot. Given that this CD has only been used twice and has been stored in a dry cupboard which has a consistent temperature, I suspect there may be a manufacturing defect (although I could have been unlucky). All the other CDs are fine, but anyone purchasing this set should check all discs thoroughly.

It is nice to have the original singles covers in one place; however this box set is very expensive especially when purchased with the other volumes. Most of the tracks are available elsewhere for considerably lower cost and the fact that the discs have only been used twice (to import into the music library on my computer) says it all.
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on 6 September 2011
Good value for price paid and prompt delivery
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THANK YOU SO MUCH
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