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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2003
After the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink production of "A Night At The Opera" and its follow-up "A Day At The Races", where on Earth could Queen go? Somewhere completely different is the answer this album provides.
Despite opening with two of Queen's most famous anthems (the second of which, "We Are The Champions", is possibly their most classically Queen-sounding single alongside "Bohemian Rhapsody"), this album is largely free of the bombastic, grandiloquent production which had become their trademark. This was 1977, the year of punk, and this album seems to represent Queen acknowledging the shift in public tastes to embrace a more stripped down, fuzzier, dirtier sound. Their equivalent of recording in the garage, perhaps - albeit a garage decorated with Persian rugs, chandeliers, marble cherubs, and fountains spewing champagne.
"Sheer Heart Attack" is the most prominent example of this. Fast, energetic and intense (and a staple encore in their live set for a few years subsequently), this is Queen letting off steam in a way most unusual for them on record.
The tender and melancholy "All Dead, All Dead", written and sung by Brian May, immediately switches the mood, and is one of only three songs containing his marque complex multitracked guitar work.
John Deacon's "Spread Your Wings" is simply beautiful; a narrative lyric about an unhappy young man's resolve to escape the confines of his small-town existence, dead-end job under a sneering boss and "leave his dead life behind". The sparse production adds an extra dimension to the song - I could be a little over-analytical here and suggest that it emphasises the emptiness of the protagonist's life and the desperation of his plight, but that would be a bit pretentious. Oh well, I've done it now anyway.
"Get Down, Make Love" is something of an oddity. Stark production rules again, bringing Roger Taylor's heavy drums to the fore alongside Freddie Mercury's lusty vocals, until the guitar-led chorus. Then we get to the middle section - a cornucopia of very strange noises indeed. A variety of effects are applied to Mercury's vocal gymnastics, and a listener unfamiliar with Queen's "No Synthesisers" ethic during the 70's could be forgiven for thinking they are hearing one here. It's actually May's guitar, played through something very technical and clever (at the time) that I know absolutely nothing about, other than that it makes his guitar sound very other-worldly and not at all like a guitar...
"Sleeping On The Sidewalk" is a one-take almost-live blues song. In many ways it sums up the overall feel of the album - the sound of a real band playing together and enjoying themselves. According to May, the first take was recorded totally live as a guide, but subsequent attempts to capture it lacked the "lazy" feel of the original, so what we hear on the album is for the most part assembled from the original take.
"Who Needs You", another Deacon composition, is again a simple arrangement simply produced, before "It's Late" returns us to the bleary, muddy, dirty sound explored earlier on the album. This is all-out hairy rock with a great stadium chorus, overblown but not over-produced and an energising, invigorating listen. Turn it right up.
One would think that this would be the logical big finish for the album, but Queen instead opt for a more subdued ending with Mercury's "My Melancholy Blues", a comment on his new-found glamourous lifestyle and its downside. It's actually quite a dark piece - Mercury reminds us here that despite his wealth and the allure attached to being a rock star, he's still a human being with human frailties. Even rock stars get lonely.
This album successfully bridges the gap between the bombast and operatics concluded on "A Day At The Races" the previous year, and the more poppy sound explored on "Jazz" the following year. Always prepared for a challenge and never satisfied to simply stick to one formula, Queen would continue to explore new sounds throughout their career. "News Of The World" is a fine example, and represents one of several significant and refreshing moves forward.
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on 6 May 2001
This is a truly fantastic album, the 1977 follow up of "A Day at the Races". Whether you're a Queen fan or not, you'll know at least two of these songs as the album opens with Brian's "We Will Rock You" and Freddie's "We Are The Champions". So if you've never bought any Queen before, this is a good place to start! Personally, my favourite tracks are "Spread Your Wings", the epic and emotional "It's Late" and "My Melancholy Blues", a spectacular and powerful blues-style masterpiece. As I was brought up on Queen, I love this album, there isn't a single track on it I don't like but I think anyone would think this, life long fan or not! I highly recommend it to anyone, young or old! I'm only 17 but still think it's fantastic, Queen still have, (and always will have!) that special something, whether it's in Brain's outstanding talents, Freddie's beautiful voice or just the combination of the right people at the right time. So if you're young, I still recommend you buy this - you won't regret it, they're fantastic!
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on 10 June 2016
Queen's 6th studio album (1977) sees the band shifting further away from their familiar, no-nonsense rock roots although, in the shape of the anthemic 'We Are The Champions', 'We Will Rock You' and Brian May's brilliant 'It's Late', traditional Queen fans should be more than satisfied. May also serves up the lovely 'All Dead, All Dead', John Deacon's 'Spread Your Wings' is superb (and should definitely have done better than #34 in the singles chart) whilst Mercury's 'My Melancholy Blues' rounds things off in a suitably relaxed fashion. Even though this release is not a masterpiece by any means, most fans of the band should find enough here to keep them royally entertained.
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on 26 July 2000
Coming on the back of Queen's biggest albums of the time - A Night at the Opera and A day at the Races - this record was a marked change in style, both songwriting and production wise. Whereas those two records were dripping with overdubs and high production values, News of the World revelled in more straight forward drum/bass & guitar numbers such as We Will Rock You, It's Late and the lovely blues pastiche Sleeping On The Sidewalk. That's not to say the big numbers aren't there - We Are The Champions is a stadium classic and how Spread Your Wings didn't make it on to any of the Greatest Hits albums remains a mystery. But there are less celebrated gems here like Brian May's All Dead All Dead and, best of all, Freddie's most overlooked song, My Melancholy Blues - a beautiful jazz lounge number that Queen pull off perfectly. A favourite with many Queen fans, this album showed all four members making significant contributions throughout, and marked a turning phase with its more democratic approach to songwriting. From its great sci-fi magazine parody sleeve to the cracking songs within, this is a terrific album. Well worth a listen - and for any Queen fans that don't have it - for shame!
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When Queen released this album Punk and New Wave were about to change the music that a generation of teenagers bought. So from the beginning this album was unlikely to be received as well as previous Queen albums - and it wasn't.

Certainly there is nothing on this album that matches Bohemian Rhapsody from two years earlier. However, I prefer this album to "A Night At The Opera" over all. For me the anthemic qualities of "We are the Champions" and "Spread Your Wings", together with the stylistic variety of "Sleeping on the Sidewalk" (Rhythm and Blues) and "My Melancholy Blues" (Piano Ballad) is what made Queen such a great band. Sometimes its the little things on this album that I really like, such as Roger Taylors fabulous drum break at 2:48 near the end of "Sheer Heart Attack". If that isn't enough have a listen "Its Late". As the Amazon reviewer said this is the best track on the album. If I had to pick only one Queen track this would be it. Its over 6 minutes long but it has everything you'd expect from a great Queen track. The only quick way I can think of describing it is that they should have performed it at Live Aid - it would have fitted perfectly into the great set they did there.

There are a few weak tracks in my view, hence only 4 stars, but overall this a better album than its given credit for. Any Queen fan will know this already, but for anybodyelse, apart from a compilation this is as a good a place to start if you're buying Queen for the first time.
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on 3 April 2015
even though we will rock you & champions are present, there are 2 better tracks on this , namely it's late and their most underated song spread your wings. this was purchased to replace my vinyl record and is the last of their classic albums. the bonus cd is what it is,a bonus. the 1st track on it, I won't name is their worse even more so than body language! 5 stars for album 4 stars for bonus.
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2002
This album marked the end of "early Queen" (in my opinion) before the raw, hard edge gave way to a more polished and studio-based feel with later albums.
Hardly a bad track on it (although "Fight from the Inside" and "Get Down, Make Love" won't be to everyone's taste) the highlights are certainly the delightful Deacon classic "Spread Your Wings" and the energetic, rocky "It's Late" in which Brian and Roger really let go!
In being drawn to the more obvious tracks ("Champions" and "Rock You") don't overlook the hidden gems including "Sleeping on the Sidewalk" and "All Dead, All Dead" (both with Brian on lead vocals) and Freddie's "My Melancholy Blues" which ends the album on a poignant note as Freddie opens his heart to us at the piano!
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on 3 April 2015
I was a huge fan of the early stuff of Queen and got all their albums up to A Day At The Races. So I had never heard this album apart from the singles. Why Spread your wings isn't played more I don't know. The singles are the best tracks by far and the rest are ok but worth adding to the collection.
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on 27 June 2011
Fab album! But never been too keen on Fight from the Inside or Get down Make Love. Remaster sounds good but the extra trax!! Again you don't get many!! There must be loads from that time! I know there used to be a fast version of We will Rock you recorded at the BBC as i taped it off the radio when i was a youngster! This is just another live recording which has appeared on almost all the later live CDs! Spread your Wings is brilliant! It improves on the original with its Rock and Roll ending. Not sure of the group version of Melancholy Blues, but Freddie does a sweet laugh at the end!
'Live Killers' needs a remastering! As I always thought it sounds a bit duff, but don't think they're doin that!
I wanna hear or see some quality 70's concerts when the boys were at their finest! Hyde Park etc Come lads! Be reasonable!! Release something worth buying!!
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on 21 February 2016
I used to have this album years ago but some how lost it.Whilst looking on Amazon for something else I came across this and it took me right back to yesteryear.I totally loved it and knew I had to purchase it.The tracks on it are awesome and for any queen fan this is a must.The cover is amazing and shows the band members being held in a robots hands.I think covers from that time are truly inspiring and the designers put copious amounts of effort into making them real masterpieces.
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