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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2012
A highly successful collection of songs and the album that introduced me to Queen as a 12 year old many years ago!

When I first heard "Radio Ga Ga" I was amazed and it is STILL as good today. Every song on the album was released as either an 'a' or 'b' side in the UK which alone suggests that Queen had produced the ultimate commercial rock album.

The democratic process and tension surrounding the production of the album brings out the best in Queen and the four singles especially so (each written by a different member of the band). But even if you've got them already on 'Greatest Hits II' buy this album for "Is this the World We Created?" - a beautiful track sung by Freddie with Brian on guitar. "Keep Passing the Open Windows" is another Queen classic and "Tear it Up" allows Brian to re-create some of that early Queen feel, as does Freddie's tongue-in-cheek "Man on the Prowl" with just a slight nod to "Good old fashioned loverboy". "Machines" is possibly the weakest track which has not aged well, but that is a minor niggle.

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 the later albums it was always going to be a difficult choice of what to leave off as there are any number of tracks that could have been included when this was the time when remixes, extended versions and instrumentals were so popular and the marketing machine started to kick in with 12" singles and alternate single versions a-plenty.

So we actually get a non-album a-side, a non-album b-side, an a-side remix, a 12" remix and two live tracks on the second disc. Not bad. But, appreciating limitations on space, I think that still omits the following tracks as officially released during this time:
- Radio Ga Ga (Extended Version) - 12" single release
- Radio Ga Ga (Instrumental Version) - Also on the 12" single release
- I Want to Break Free (Extended Version)- 12" single release
- Machines (Instrumental Remix) - Only released in USA (On the 7" & 12" single releases of "I Want to Break Free")
- It's a Hard Life (Extended Version)- 12" single release
- Keep Passing the Open Windows (Extended Version)- On the 12" single release of "Thank God it's Christmas"
- Man on the Prowl (Extended Version)- On the 12" single release of "Thank God it's Christmas"
Given that the rare (and incomplete) 12" Collection album is long deleted then that leaves quite a number of vinyl records to hold on to for completists!

Anyhow, buy this album (deluxe or not) - you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to get out the hoover and clean the house!
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on 24 November 2011
I am pinning the following comments to all of the Queen back catalogue (excepting "Flash" which I wont get on cd) as they apply right across the board. I wont comment on the music - others have done so very well. I want to praise the sound.

Modern mastering technology will in most cases demonstrate more noticeable improvements in older recordings. I have now bought and listened to all of the recent Queen reissues and chronologically the benefits of the 2011 remastering lessen as recording technology and technique improved album by album.

The biggest improvement is to the earlier analogue work, which to my ear sound more "Queen" than the digitally recorded stuff - more bite and attack - irrespective of musical direction. My view is that digital recording "rounded" the Queen sound, particularly Brian May's guitar.

However, notwithstanding this there are clear improvements throughout the catalogue, even the later ones which were recorded using digital technology to whatever degree. Music is more open, brighter and fuller in a very revealing, listenable and non-tiring way. Bass and drum parts are now very clear as are the vocals which are expressive warm and very detailed - many more sibilants can now be heard which really brightens up "Queen 2" and "A Night At The Opera" for example where there were a tremendous number of overdubs which saturated the sound in places.

As I said in a previous review of "Greatest Hits", those who have a fair or passing interest in Queen will be happy with earlier issues, but for the enthusiast these remasters really are rewarding listens and well worth investing in. They really are very good indeed.
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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.
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on 11 January 2014
I'd always liked Queen but I can't say I really appreciated them. Playing air guitar along with Brian May you realise what great songs they are. Sounding really pretentious, he starts in A Major then goes into a Bb - very expertly done.
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on 24 November 2011
This is them getting back to there best.....Radio GAGA at live aid is so iconic and it is on this album (the actual song, not the live version)Hammer to fall is a great rock song written by one of the best guitarist of all time. The last song "World we created" is a very nice touch just to listen to the lyrics...and they are right.R.I.P. Freddie
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on 6 September 2011
Queen had a lot to do after Hot Space, which divided fans completely. When Radio GA GA was released it seemed Queen had reached a compromise between their Rock roots and the experimental Hot space, it was and still is a great Queen track. Then came I want to break free, loved by the UK but because of the video hated and ignored by USA. After that single Queen had little success it the US and never toured again I think personally they did miss out on some great singles that came out in the 80's.As for the works Freddie's It's a hard life was a typical over blown track, Hammer to fall was a good Brian May Rock track the last single from the album and there were a few good album tracks too, namely is this the world we created. For me the 80'saw Queen have a lot of strong singles but the album tracks were at time a bit patchy, I think personally Queen played it safe having achieved so much in the 70's. Of cause live aid followed around the corner, and it is a memory I will treasure for ever, Queen proved they were the best live act, and for me no other group has ever beaten them.I missed the works tour but saw a kind of magic tour and it was great. Radio Ga Ga was such a crowd pleaser by then,as was hammer to fall. The Works may not be a fantastic Queen album but it is not bad and better than some others. So as for the re-master yes it is good not to loud compromising loudness for quality,but don't expect leaps and bounds from the EMI master, is it worth buying, well it depends how big a Queen fan you are, the bonus track are not exactly rare or special the single mix of I want to Break free is on Greatest hits 2 anyway and thank god its Christmas is on 3, and there is nothing extra in the packaging either.
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on 30 May 2016
One of their less known albums with some excellent tracks. Fairly short so no fillers
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on 13 June 2015
I bought this as a replacement for my LP If you like Queen this is worth buying
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on 17 November 2012
Track for track the best Queen album. Sure, there are better songs in the Queen reportoire, but no other album is as consistent as The Works. Radio Gaga, I Want To Break Free, It's a Hard Life, Hammer to Fall and Is This The World We Created...? are all classic tracks and Tear It Up and Keep on Passing the Open Windows are underrated belters.Even the B-side I Go Crazy is a great track. I own all of Queens albums and i probably listen to this one the most.
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on 29 January 2015
The lads are excellent, enjoying the remaster in the car
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