Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
on 3 February 2013
I'll start by making a confession; I don't like the two big hitters on here, 'Radio Ga Ga' and 'I want to Break Free'. How dare I? Two of Queen's best known songs they may be, but they were results of the bands dabblings with electronic sounds, sounds I was never quite comfortable with.
However, all is not lost. 'Tear it up' barges its way in after the rather dreary 'Ga Ga' opens the album, and is a great stomping rocker (if a little light lyrically) that unfortunately fades out just as Brian May really starts to get going. 'Its a Hard Life' is a Queen ballad by numbers, then we have 'Man on the Prowl'. One of their unsung (so to speak) tracks, maybe because its little more than an amped up version of 'Crazy Little thing Called Love', but it does have a rather enjoyable piano bashing outro. Things hit the buffers next when we come to 'Machines'. Sorry, always hated this one. Another synthesizer soaked song with more wonky if well intentioned lyrics about mankind succumbing to computers, this would be another nomination for Queen's 'Worst of'. After 'Break Free', it picks up again with 'Keep Passing the Open Windows'. One of those numbers where Queen's pop and rock tendancies collide, its a decent enough song propelled by John Deacon's always immaculate bass playing. Then May's axe returns for one of his most celebrated rockers, 'Hammer to Fall'. Alright, its not the most ground breaking song you'll hear, but its always great to hear the guitar ring out. The short accoustic musings of 'Is This the World we Created' closes the album off, but to be honest, I've usually pressed stop by then.
One of the great things about these deluxe editions is that, while the extras may appear a little meagre at times, you do discover the odd 'new' classic. The one non album track here, 'I Go Crazy' was unknown to me before but I'm glad i got there in the end. Its a cracking, knock about rocker that gives you the feeling that they really enjoyed playing. Why oh why this couldn't have been included in the album originally (Instead of 'Machines' maybe) only the band will know but it would have improved it no end. As for the rest, its live and slightly altered versions of various album tracks, which you probably won't listen to over and over. Oh, and you get 'Thank God its Christmas', Queen's stab at yuletide imortality. I think, however, that Slade and Wizzard and the rest slept soundly after hearing it.
Overall then, its not the first album I'd grab in the proverbial house fire, but I'd certainly replace it afterwards.