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Customer Review

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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4.4 out of 5 stars
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