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Greatest Hits I, II & III - The Platinum Collection (3CD)

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  • 3 discs, 17 songs each, 51 songs. The Platinum Collection supplants the gold Greatest Hits I & II CD along with the third greatest hits CD that came out later. But is uniting them justifiable? For Queen completists, this is the best thing barring a box set collecting all their albums together. For me, the sound of Freddie’s voice, backed by the operatic backing vocals of the others did it for me.On the first disc, all the familiar tracks that have been played to death on radio are here. The perennial classic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” leads the disc. The disc ends with another all-time classic, the overplayed “We Will Rock You” and its companion track, “We Are The Champions.” which will be heard as long as America has sports events. Then there’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Bicycle Race.” “Flash” is a campy but fun track from Flash Gordon, and I always had a thing for the skiffle/50’s rock of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”Two Highlander songs are on disc two, “A Kind Of Magic” and “Who Wants To Live Forever.” The classic David Bowie collaboration “Under Pressure” is also here. “I Want It All” is a hard-driving rocker from The Miracle. A quick note: I was at NMSU when Freddie Mercury died, and my colleagues Nicholas and Frank speculated that “Who Wants To Live Forever” and “The Show Must Go On” took on new meanings, as we figured that Freddie knew he was dying and had stoically accepted his fate. The same can be said for “Too Much Love Will Kill You”, on disc three.The third disc should not, repeat, be denounced as a plate of warmed over leftovers. Far from it, most of them have Freddie Mercury on vocals, whether with Queen or solo. Elton John proves himself worthy of subbing for Freddie in “The Show Must Go On,” a tragic anthem that fit both Freddie and Princess Diana. The mix of “Under Pressure” isn’t that bad either. And the anthemic “Princes Of The Universe” from Highlander is thankfully included. The hard driving (pardon the pun) “Driven By You” proves that Brian May has got what it takes to be the new lead singer should he and the other two decide to make an album as a threesome. And the inclusion of Wyclef Jean’s take on “Another One Bites The Dust” is tolerable.My personal favorites: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Under Pressure”, “The Show Must Go On”, “Who Wants To Live Forever”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “Flash”, “I Want It All”, “Headlong”, “Somebody To Love”, and “Driven By You”.The history and chart successes of each single, along with the picture of each single album cover in the booklet really helps out. I had to laugh at the members in drag on the “I Want To Break Free” single.If one has the gold Queen double CD along with the third greatest hits volume, this collection is superfluous. However, for those who want a crash course in Queen, this is ideal.

    Posted on March 5, 2010