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on 8 September 2011
The final studio album from Queen where Freddie was involved in some of the work is a curious beast. Loved by critics on its release after they decided the suddenly DID like the band after all and one of the biggest sellers from the band it is hard to find many Queen fans who gush with praise about the album.

It certainly has its plus points - namely the tracks Let Me Live, Mother Love and A Winter's Tale, but it also has its minuses - more on them later. Obviously, we now know just how poorly Freddie was when making this album and we know he was on completely borrowed time as the band reconvened in Montreux to work on the tracks, and we also know it was his wish to see the final tracks he worked on released as he laid down final vocals (something he only did after all the arguments about instrumentation and lyrics had stopped!), but as a Queen fan you cannot help but wonder what the final outcome would have been like had he lived?

Praise has to be given at this stage for the work mssrs May, Taylor and Deacon put into the project in terms of shaping and completing these tracks in what must have been very difficult and emotional circumstances but the question of what if remains. Musically the instrumentation on the album is of a universally high standard and the work done on taking some of Freddie's solo material (Made In Heaven and I Was Born To Love You), Roger's Cross track Heaven for Everyone, an old b-side, My Life Has Been Saved and a Brian song, Too Much Love Will Kill You and making them all into fully fledged Queen album songs is again very commendable. However, the problem is the end result is variable. Whilst Made In Heaven and I Was Born To Love You both gain over their Mr. Bad Guy versions they are still average songs on the whole and the same could also be said for Heaven For Everyone. My Life Has Been Saved sounds a lot worse here than on the 1989 b-side to Scandal and interesting though it is to hear Freddie's take on Too Much Love Will Kill You, it perhaps lacks the emotion that many thought would be there when it was known he had recorded it.

It's a Beautiful Day opens and closes the album (with the exception of Track 12 - Yeah and the hidden, mysterious 'Track 13' (ambient music that meanders along far too long and again is a less than fulfilling track. The club influenced You Don't Fool Me has its merits and is the fourth best track off the album - and it is worth tracking down the re-mix versions as well for those interested in them. So, as back in 1995 the 2011 re-mastered version still only has three tracks of any note - as wonderful as the rest of it sounds now it has been cleaned up.

Of the three outstanding tracks, Let Me Live is the one I enjoy the most. Mercury, Taylor and May all take the lead in signing a verse from the song - due of course to Freddie not being there to sing it all and yet is the one song where you could almost believe he was present from start to finish. The gospel choir sounding chorus and May's good guitar solo all help elevate the song and on its single release in 1996 fully deserved its no.9 UK chart slot. A Winter's Tale has become known as a Christmas song but is a wonderful, optimistic appreciation of the natural world and features a very atmospheric solo from Brian and a simply shiver down the spine vocal from Freddie - especially towards the end when he sings 'It's allllllllllllll so beautiful' - proving that despite his illness he could still deliver a song. Mother Love has another similar moment and is the final song Freddie worked upon before his death. A wonderful backing track allies itself with Freddie's emotional vocal perfectly to create a Queen classic, which features May singing the closing verse after Freddie decided he couldn't do anymore and would return to finish it (something he sadly never did).

The bonus CD allows us to compare the two versions of My Life Has Been Saved and for my money the version on the bonus disc is the best, whilst Heaven For Everyone has its single mix included (nice if you like it, not so good if you don't!) and another two b-sides (they featured on the CD releases) are also included - the joined together version of It's A Beautiful Day (still a filler at best) and the terrible Rock In Rio Blues (originally on A Winter's Tale). The other two tracks are the original piano and vocal mix of I Was Born To Love You that would have been on Freddie's 1985 solo album before it was reworked at the record companies insistence and an even more haunting mix of A Winter's Tale that is worth buying the deluxe version for on its own.

A nice farewell from the band given the difficult circumstances it was recorded in but I still wonder if only...
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on 23 June 2014
Firstly, I have to take issue with the ignoramus who wrote the product review for Amazon: this idiot has no idea what the hell he is talking about! To suggest that the remaining members of Queen may have made this last record as a last chance to 'cash-in' on Freddie is highly insulting and absolutely ignorant - he needs to do his research a bit better. This album was a labour of love (and I think the members of Queen have enough money in the bank anyway), and it was also Freddie's wish that his final recordings see the light of day. To be honest, ignorant and biased reviewers like this moron have always had it in for Queen and always probably will: they just hate the fact that this band is still loved so much by so many.

Secondly, and more importantly, the album itself. As a lifelong Queen fan, I would put this one up with Innuendo, A Night at the Opera and Sheer Heart attack. It is strong throughout. I won't bother to write about the story behind this album, as most people into music will already know its history. But if you still haven't bought this jewel of an album, just damn well do. It is a strangely uplifting album (considering the fact that it includes Freddie's final recordings): there is so much positivity and warmth emanating from it. It is all about life and love, and Freddie sings his heart out. Only on the sombre and heart breaking Mother Love do we hear Freddie sound a little less upbeat (and considering this was his final recording, who can blame the man?); but listen to the middle eight on this track and tell me you do not hear a dying man (who at this stage could barely even stand) sing from his very soul with every last drop of power and emotion his frail body contained. A beautifully haunting track from one of the finest singers this world is ever likely to hear.

If nothing moves you on this album, check your pulse - because you must be dead.

This is a wonderful and fitting ending to the recording career of one of the world's finest and most innovative bands. God save our Queen.
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on 2 October 2011
This is the Queen album in least need of remastering, as it originally came out in the mid-1990s. There are some of us who wish it didn't come out in the first place.

Queen famously never left much on the cutting room floor. There's unlikely to ever be a Queen Bootleg Series, or if there is, it won't throw up much that we haven't heard before in some shape or form. So when the prospect of 'Made In Heaven' was raised in the wake of Freddie's death, Queen fans hoped this meant there was a full LP's worth of songs that the irreplaceable lead singer had laid down.

Far from it. This album consists of a couple of newish songs, revamped solo songs, renewed Cross songs, and reheated rehearsal work. And there's a macabre, loose theme, which concerns nothing less than birth, life and death. 'I Was Born To Love You', 'Let Me Live', 'Too Much Love Will Kill You', 'My Life Has Been Saved', 'Heaven For Everyone', 'Made In Heaven' and 'A Winter's Tale'.

They all date from across the previous 15 years and are good songs, given the full Queen treatment. 'Let Me Live' is notable for being one of the very few Queen songs which feature all three lead vocalists singing their own parts (the others are 'March Of The Black Queen', 'Rock It (Prime Jive)' and-- if you include Roger's scream-- 'I Go Crazy').

May's guitar is very prominent throughout, and this is a good thing. He soars in the clouds during the reprise of 'It's A Beautiful Day'. The best track on the album, however, is 'Mother Love'. It's simply awesome, and it's given added weight as reportedly being the last vocal Freddie recorded.

The final ambient piece simply can't be described or explained. It's worth the price of admission alone.

On the other hand, 'You Don't Fool Me' has shades of what they were doing in 1982 and while it isn't bad, the song doesn't really fit with the life-death-love theme.

The annoying thing is how bits of old Queen songs keep popping up.

The reprise of 'It's A Beautiful Day' is probably an appropriate place to drop in parts of 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' and whatever else. But all over the album, we hear samples of 'A Kind Of Magic', the live version of 'One Vision', and 'Goin' Back', for heaven's sake. Maybe Queen were saying, hey, everyone's sampling everyone else (and us), so we'll just sample ourselves.

The thing is that we KNEW it was the last we'd hear from the classic lineup of Queen, so why lay it on? They should've finished with 'Innuendo' (one of their best), and then put out a rarities album.

Perhaps the original release really needs to be seen in the context of money-making exercises like 'Live Magic', the 'Rocks' CD of 1997, the musical, and recent developments which may lead to a series of official Queen cover bands.

The extras include the original 'Miracle' era b-side version of 'My Life Has Been Saved', which was an arresting song the first time around. The vocal & piano version of 'Born To Love You' appears to be the earliest recording of what was an original Freddie solo song, yet this isn't made entirely clear. 'Rock In Rio Blues' is thoroughly useless, and is little more than a 'had to be there' moment.

It still gets three stars, though, because for all the moments of bad taste, it's very rewarding listening overall. And-- at this point-- it's still Queen.
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on 29 October 2015
I received this today and was very disappointed as the description said it was from Nov 1995. When I unpacked it the reverse side of the case identified it as the 2011 digitally remastered version. I checked the images again tonight and the reverse side has no such printing on it. I'm keeping the CD but I'm really disappointed with my purchase.
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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on 28 January 2017
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on 14 September 2000
Freddie Mercury never gave up. He kept singing and recording until he was physically unable to get up. It was because of this, and the agony which AIDS was causing him after Innuendo, that people tend to review this album with a tear in the eye, and the thought of what could have been. If you listen to the album several times however, after a while, the poigniancy disappears, and you are left with 11 songs, most of which could be on any album. And they don't dissappoint either. Freddie Mercury's solo contributions, Made in Heaven and I was Born to Love you, are superb, the latter being perhaps one of his finest, and the tragic air about A Winters Tale, Mother Love and Too Much Love will Kill you, leave one reflecting on the power of this spirit that Mercury must have possessed. Brian May said "There were times when he could hardly stand up during the sessions, but I never once saw him put his head in his hands and say he'd had enough" and it shows. His voice is as good as ever, and though "my life has been saved" is not too good, though endlessly ironic, this album stands up without tragedy, as a really good listen...
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on 12 November 2016
This is my favorite album from QUEEN
love this one
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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2006
Following the completion of the final Queen album `Innuendo' the band almost immediately set about recording a follow-up but sadly Freddie Mercury died with very little material completed, leaving the band with the unenviable position of piecing together `Made in Heaven' from whatever bits and pieces they could find. As such `Made in Heaven' is inevitably a bit of an uneven collection, and though worth it for the Queen completists this album is nowhere near the quality of `Innuendo'.

Probably the most questionable aspect of this release was the bands decision to revisit previously released material with fully half of the album consisting of new versions of old songs, and one's enjoyment of this album will undoubtedly be coloured by how familiar one is with these tracks - if you come to this album with no previous knowledge of these songs then you can instantly add another star to the rating. Of the reworked songs two are from Freddie's solo album `Mr Bad Guy' (`Made in Heaven' and `I Was Born to Love You') and are essentially an exercise in karaoke in reverse, with the band playing along with Freddie's old vocals, and slightly altering the arrangements - this results in more rock orientated versions, but they're not really improvements on the originals, just slightly different versions. `Too Much Love Will Kill You' was previously a solo hit for Brian May, but here we have an older version with Freddie on lead vocals, but while it's undoubtedly poignant to hear him sing this song in truth it's probably better suited to Brian's voice. `Heaven For Everyone' has been lifted off of Roger Taylor's side-project album from `The Cross' but has so little altered it feels like a slightly pointless exercise while `My Life Has Been Saved' had previously been released in different form as a B-Side on the single `Scandal'. Again, none of these tracks are bad, but if you are already familiar with them then inevitably they will be slightly disappointing to hear instead of new tracks.

Two tracks have been rescued from unreleased obscurity in the Queen archives, but though `It's A Beautiful Day' is a pleasant enough tune doubling it up to bookend the album can't help but disguise the fact that it is a tiny snapshot of a piece Freddie was working on rather than a complete song. Much better, and probably the highlight of the album is the fantastic `Let Me Live', a gospel song with Roger and Brian contributing additional lead vocals to complete the song.

The only 3 songs here that actually originate from after `Innuendo' are `You Don't Fool Me', `A Winter's Tale' and `Mother Love'. `You Don't Fool Me' is a catchy repetitious funk/dance track, though it does feel a little out of place in the tone of the album, feeling more in the vein of the bands `Hot Space'-period style. `A Winter's Tale' is a pleasant song with some interesting music and a great guitar solo, though the Xmas single style lyrics may be a little too saccharine for some. Finally `Mother Love' is a very moody piece which seems to see Freddie facing head on his imminent death (indeed he died before he could record the final verse for the track), a very bleak but moving track. There's also an unexpected bonus with the 20-minute untitled ambient piece at the end of the album which works surprisingly well.

With the death of Freddie this record turned from being a Queen album into a Freddie Mercury tribute album, which is entirely understandable, but personally I could have done with a little less of the reworked material and heavy handed production tricks (Freddie's trip back through time to end as a baby at the end of `Mother Love' for example) for some new tracks with vocals by Brian and Roger, but obviously this was a difficult endeavour for all involved. Ultimately a slightly uneven collection of old and new material, `Made in Heaven' is nevertheless a worthwhile coda to a great bands career.
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on 4 March 2000
... This is an excellent album, refelcting many musical styles with haunting lyrics. Many of these tracks were recorded in the final months of Freddie's death, when he was too weak to stand up, and needed shots of tequila to keep him going. This reflects the immense song-writing talents of all of the band. Also, look out for trak 11, a clever track mixing 'It's a Beautiful Day' with parts of 'Seven Seas of Rhye' and other classic tracks. Plus, there's the secret 20 minute track 13...... An excellent album.
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