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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 February 2014
I bought Queen I when it first came out and I was into science fantasy books like Michael Moorcock's Runestaff trilogy and Robert E. Howard's original and best Conan series. The tracks on this album just fitted those worlds beautifully. 'Keep Yourself Alive' has already been lauded, quite rightly, but my favourites are 'Liar' and 'Doing Alright'. Watch Queen performing 'Liar' on YouTube - it's classic stuff. Brian May isn't only learning his craft in these tracks, he's already there, in fact the whole band are and the opening of 'Liar' is a great stage for their talents.
The only downside of Queen I and II is the inclusion of tracks that don't fit the concept. These albums are dark and fantastic, Queen I's weak track is 'Modern Times Rock and Roll', for Queen II it's 'The Loser in the End'. Aside from those I would pick these albums way above the body of work coming in the later years. If you pine for or wish you were around in the 70s, the era of Dungeons and Dragons and science fantasy, then these albums will set the mood - castles, ogres, Queens, Faeries, hard driving rock with edge. You can't beat it.
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on 24 June 2002
Although this album did not storm through the charts and was critisized for not being accessible enough, I feel that it was a stepping stone in Queen going on to conquer the world. 'Keep Yourself Alive' is a great tune, unquestionably the best on the album with Brians strumming technique dictating the pace for the rest of the song. 'Doing Alright' is a slow paced biographical song with Brian May describing the life of a typical art student.(Die-Hard Queen fans should note that this is the only song on any official Queen album that is partly written by Tim Staffell, who was in Smile with Roger and Brian). 'Great King Rat' and 'My Fairy King' are songs created by the innovative and imaginative Mercury who writes about 'horses with eagles wings' and 'dragons that fly like sparrows thru the air' etc. 'Liar' is a song in which Freddie(or perhaps a fictional character) is begging for forgiveness and shows how Brian has the makings for a world-class guitar player. Brian then cultures a unique song in 'The Night Comes Down' which is slightly more progressive than the others because very little electric guitar work can be heard on it. Roger's contibution to the album is the 2-minute rocker 'Modern Times Rock'n'Roll' which leads into the heavy 'Son and Daughter' which is very much a twin to 'Sweet Lady' on 'A Night at the Opera'. Freddie shows his interest in religion in 'Jesus' and the album finishes with the original version of 'Seven Seas of Rhye' which is instrumental.
The only criticism of this album is that it only has one truely outstanding song and Freddies vocal range has clearly not developed to it's true potential. However I would highly recommend buying it and any Queen fan who does not own it should be ashamed of themselves!!!!
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on 6 September 2000
this album was realeased in 1973 but some songs are from earlier on when they formed in 1971. every song bar jesus and the unfinished 7 seas of rhye are exellent,my personal favorite and the one i cant seem to get out of my head is "the night comes down" with its neck tingling guitars and freddie`s soaring vocals. this album is an absolute must for rock fans out there. if this album came inbeetween say sheer heart attack and night at the opera,no one would have batted an eyelid,but because its a debut it gets top marks.
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on 7 March 2017
I have the UK issue 1986 CD pressing, the 1991 Hollywood Records pressing, the 1993 UK issue Digital master series pressing, the 2001 Japanese vinyl replica, i have the 2011 remaster in the 40th Anniversary box set and awaiting the 2016 Japanese SACD pressing. I have the original vinyl pressing from back in 1974, 'The Complete Works' 1985 box set vinyl pressing and the 2015 180g Vinyl pressing.
If your a Queen fan and you are fussy, like me, and want the purest sound quality you can get, the closest to the Studio Master Tape then it is the first pressing of the original vinyl from 1974. Its superb.
Content is superb, this is Queen recorded properly and great care taken unlike the later albums from Queen that were rushed and 'that will do' attitude to recording.
Queen at their very best.
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on 25 October 2008
Doesn't matter how many 'best ofs' you buy, you still need to hear Queen and Queen II to understand what they were like when some of us were lucky enough to see them perform in university music venues before they became a supergroup. I loved this album then and I love it now. You don't need a video of their amazing stage performances to enjoy it just as music. Why haven't you bought it yet??
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on 16 October 2012
Queen's first album must be one of the most stunning debuts in rock history. They fused the best elements of heavy, progressive and glam rock to create a totally unique sound. There's the phased swagger of 'Keep Yourself Alive', the swashbuckling 'Great King Rat' with it's blistering guitar workout and the plaintive, sumptuous 'My Fairy King'. But the tour de force has to be 'Liar' which pitches Freddie's tender, vulnerable vocals against a bone-crunching heavy metal backdrop.
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on 28 January 2005
Ah, early Queen, the halcyon days before they went out and bought that synthesiser...
Queen's debut is often overlooked by casual fans, and those unfamiliar with their early output will find this album almost unrecognisable from their 80s hits. For fans of hard rock however, this is probably the most satisfying album of the band's output.
Kicking off with 'Keep Yourself Alive', with Brian May's phased guitar riff reminiscent of Led Zeppelin (their influence is apparent on several numbers here), we are then taken down a little with the slowie 'Doing All Right' (written with former 'Smile' colleague Tim Stafell). The Freddie epics arrive with 'Great King Rat' and 'My Fairy King', the latter of which is a precursor to much of what is found on Mercury's 'Side Black' of the next album. Roger Taylor's high-pitched shriek is introduced here, and is a feature of their early material.
The real meat of the album comes with 'Liar' and 'Son and Daughter', which will satisfy even the hardest rockers, but this album features plenty of good chunky guitar throughout. 'Liar' even has a bit you can play air bass to, along with 'Deacon John' (as he was credited here)!
Drummer Roger Taylor gets to exercise his voice with the fast paced 'Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll', which leads into 'Son and Daughter'. The album closes with the gospel inspired 'Jesus' and the unfinished 'Seven Seas of Rhye'.
Quibbles? Too short, no real need for a partially completed track to close the album, and the production does sound a little 'muddy' - but we are talking about a debut album that has passed its 30th birthday. Speaking as a fan of heavy rock in general however, this album is one I remain drawn to when reaching for the Queen section of my record collection and so I award it the full five stars.
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on 9 August 2006
Queen is one of the forgotten like Queen II Most of the songs are unheard off. However the most memorable song Keep Yourself Alive does show that Queen had the protential to be legends even then.

And the instrumental of Seven Seas of Rhye shows how good they are instrumentally as well as singing.

A really good album which should be kept alive and not be forgotten anymore
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on 24 February 2007
Before Queen found their feet and decided to be a flambouyant, slightly glam and later a tongue-in-cheek rock band, Queen were churning out well-crafted no-nonsense heavy rock classics.

This album is a mixture of ballads (Doin' Alright) and classy heavy metal (Liar and Great King Rat).

The whole effect is far less pretentious than their later offerings, and a bit unsure of itself but great fun, nasty and loud.
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on 19 May 2004
In 1973, a few friends and acquaintances got together who had already been in a couple of bands, and had already kind of got their faces semi-known on the gig circuit. These bands were called 'Smile' and 'Larry Lurex.' Brian May and Roger Taylor were in Smile, and Frederick Bulsara, also known as Freddie Mercury, was in Larry Lurex. When these young up and coming musicians got together, along with John Deacon, little did they know they were creating musical history....
So we are all familiar with Queen, i'm sure every single one of us knows the words to at least one Queen song, and i'm sure we all headbang when the heavy bit of Bohemian Rhapsody comes on, thanks to Waynes World! But the very first couple of Queen albums, don't really contain any of their hits, and are reasonably under-heard. On this, their debut album, they were still finding their feet, and hadn't really developed much of their trademark styles. For instance, Freddie Mercury's vocals weren't quite as operatic as they would later become, and Brian May's guitar didn't fully sound like, well, Brian May's guitar! But this album does contain little signs that they were about to become great.
The album starts with 'Keep yourself alive', which is a great fast paced intro to the album, and my favourite track here. May's guitar riffs are brilliantly played, and Taylor's drumming is in top form. A great anthem.
The next track 'Doing alright' changes speed and sound quite drastically, more of a ballad. Although it does break into a heavy rock solo in the middle, before going back to its chilled sound to end the song.
'Great king rat' follows, and along with 'My fairy king', provides a fantasy playground for Mercury's lyrics, which thinking of the Queen we know and love, doesn't seem to fit too well in my eyes. The music is good, and the musicianship is still top quality, but the lyrics seem to be a little far fetched.
The next track 'Liar', is a good song, albeit a little repetitive, but still rocks, whilst 'The night comes down' once again changes the pace and the feel of the album, forgetting the fantasy characters, and giving us a good old ballad style song.
Roger Taylor takes over lead vocal duties on 'Modern times rock n roll', and this is a short, snappy rock song, coming in at under 2 minutes. Very good though, despite being short, great pace.
The next track 'Son and Daughter' contains a heavy metal riff that Black Sabbath would be proud of, easily the heaviest sound on the album, a great tune indeed. Second best here i think.
'Jesus' follows, and this is just a little too religious and tacky for my liking, with lyrics such as 'they followed a star took them to Bethlehem.' Now i'm not anti-religion, but i just don't really like religious songs, so this doesn't do it for me.
The album ends with a short instrumental version of 'Seven seas of rhye', which is a nice little end to the album, but you kinda keep expecting the vocals to kick in if you've heard the version off 'Greatest hits'.
So, a mixed bag in my opinion, but a mixed bag with some greatness. A little rock, a little metal, a little balladery, some fantasy and great musicianship throughout. The seed which had been planted on this album, was to continue to grow and flourish, and would still be growing some 30 odd years later. Long live Queen!!
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