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'Staying Power' whilst 'Under Pressure'?
on 2 November 2012
DISC 1 (The Album)
OK, it's not typical Queen. OK, it's not aged well. OK, Roger and Brian (in particular) are now openly honest about the tensions this album caused within the band when Freddie was pushing for a certain 'sound'... 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 easily slot into any other Queen album and "Las Palabras de Amor" is my all time personal favourite Queen song and it deserved to do better in the charts and sadly gets lost amongst the pop/funk/dance that clearly dominates the album. Even so, each track has something to offer Queen fans old and new and the album is still a diverse blend of the four talents of Messrs Deacon, May, Mercury and Taylor. The majority 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 when the stresses and tensions pushed the band even further creatively.
DISC 2 (The EP)
The purpose of the 2011 'Deluxe Editions' (putting all cynical marketing, profit-making, blood-from-a-stone comments to one side) is to give a bonus 'EP' of rare or previously unreleased tracks which compliment the original album. So we get a b-side, an a-side remix and three live tracks. Wow. Perhaps there is not too much in the vaults from this period of Queen's life but it certainly would have been nice to get the extended versions of Back Chat and Staying Power which are quite difficult to get hold of and exist only on 12" vinyl singles (officially). The inclusion of live tracks actually from around the time of the album (rather than much later and out of context) is certainly welcome though, as that is not always the case in this series.