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An album pulled together from a variety of times and places
on 3 November 2012
Despite the fact that this album contains a re-working of already-known songs from various sources ("Made in Heaven" and "I Was Born to Love You" had first appeared on Freddie's 1985 solo album "Mr Bad Guy", "My Life Has Been Saved" was a 'b' side from "The Miracle" era, "Too Much Love.." had been done by Brian a couple of years previously and "Heaven for Everyone" first appeared on Roger Taylor's solo project with "The Cross" in 1988 on their "Shove It" album) it actually works very well as a collection of new and old.
The re-working of "I Was Born To Love You" is excellent as it is given a rocky, up-beat tempo and Brian and Roger are obviously having a ball playing along to this under-rated song but it is the newer material that really stands out. "You Don't Fool Me" is a top tune with a nod back to the "Hot Space" days but with a lively, modern feel, thumping bass line and excellent guitar work. "Mother Love" will send a shiver down your spine as you can hear, feel and sense the emotion and energy in Freddie's voice despite his failing health at the time he recorded it.
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. In the case of this last album it was always going to be a difficult choice of what to include as the Queen 'machine' has rolled on continuously since this album was compiled and there have been endless tributes, re-mixes, collaborations, live concerts, solo projects, etc. So in the end they have played it safe and included only the two b-sides and edited single version of "Heaven for Everyone" along with an alternative mix of "A Winter's Tale" on the 2nd disc (the 'EP'). As a result there is nothing really new or unheard here. Even the various remixes from the multi-format single release of "You Don't Fool Me" have been ignored. It is interesting that the 1989 version of "My Life Has Been Saved" is included (it was originally the b-side to "Scandal") as is an early demo of the Freddie solo track "I Was Born to Love You" from around 1984. It's a shame then that this logic was not extended to include either version of "Heaven For Everyone" from Roger's band "The Cross" (the 1988 album version with Freddie's vocals or the rarer single version with Roger doing lead vocals) or Brian's solo version of "Too Much Love Will Kill You". It would have been equally logical to include a demo and/or official version of Freddie's 1985 solo track "Made in Heaven" which was re-visited here in the same way as was "I Was Born to Love You". In the end I think the choices are as lazy as they are random so you end up with a bonus disc which is neither complete nor of much interest.