To this day-and this is after having had-and loving ‘Innuendo’ for almost twelve years now-this album still blows me away for many reasons. One? The songs. (&) Two? The collective brilliance of how Brian May,Roger Taylor,John Deacon-and most stupefyingly-Freddie Mercury defied the odds and crafted such a stirring swan song as ‘Innuendo’. How Is It that one man can sing better than he ever had (oh,did he…) and be thisclose to succumbing to terminal illness? My Lord: “Innuendo”,”The Show Must Go On”,”Headlong”,”I’m Going Slightly Mad”,”Delilah”,”All God’s People”,”These Are The Days Of Our Lives”….It’s been said that upon learning his time was very limited here on earth,Freddie insisted he and Queen return to the studio pronto and do as much work as God would give them time-wise… As Brian May has said in interviews following Freddie’s passing in autumn 1991,Freddie was typically only physically able to sing what he did an hour or two at a time each recording session until he was unfortunately spent by the rigors of his illness.. Only to try again until he just couldn’t do anymore that day by propping himself up against the console and having a crack at it all again: Never Giving In. Let THAT be a lesson to ANYONE about it not being how much time you put into something you do,but How Much The Time Vested COUNTS. Freddie could sing in an hour’s time in a studio what ten vocalists couldn’t in a week’s time… Need a better picture of what I mean here? Then hear ‘Innuendo’ front to back: from the amazing opener “Innuendo” through to the more-apt-than-apt album closer “The Show Must Go On”(which features some of Freddie’s most…unreal yet very real….singing ever heard).Amazing,AMAZING stuff. Let there be no mistake though: as fine as everyone’s performances are on ‘Innuendo’,Freddie basically steals the show here with ‘Innuendo’ as being as super-human a vocalist and spirit as he so certainly does on ‘Innuendo’. Don’t be swayed by all of these 5 star reviews and have a cynical tongue in that cheek there: Freddie never sang this amazingly; his range even got more broader and intense than at any other time in Queen’s history… But moreover,’Innuendo’ contains some of THE Very Best Queen material ever released. Period. (And,no,I’m not being too sentimental in light of how the band ended with Freddie’s death. This Record-By Itself-Is Brilliant. Period. ) Every element that ever characterized Queen up until ‘Innuendo’ with all sorts of facets that seal the deal in how ‘Innuendo’ is as timeless and solid a Queen album as even ‘A Night At The Opera’,'Sheer Heart Attack’,'The Game’ or ‘Queen II’. Perhaps moreso ‘Innuendo’ than the other albums for it’s overall scope of content and it’s true from-the-gut intensity. I can’t say enough words that hit the mark enough to give this album justice. I can only hope any one of you reading a review like this here can find out for yourself by buying and listening to ‘Innuendo’ for yourselves… I’m still blown away by what Freddie had pulled out of his soul for ‘Innuendo’(he and all of Queen),and the heartwarming fact that all four members bandied together as productively as they had and brewed up such a potent,potent album that has all of their whimsy,humor and good spirits served up with a fitting,superbly-poignant overall-dose of grasping one’s own mortality-staring in the face of it as if to say “I dare ya to take me when I’ve got THIS to do yet!” -and THEN creating said album. (If you should find yourself into ‘Innuendo’,the posthumously-released ‘Made In Heaven’ record from 1995 is worthy of mention; for it contains the very last studio sessions of what began with ‘Innuendo’.. Fine album in itself..) Above ALL else: one of the best pop/rock star personalities ever; one of the most naturally-charismatic frontmen of any genre of music (And Queen is many genres; as ‘Innuendo’ but one example attests…) and above any tragedy or any sexuality,Freddie Mercury was,is and remains one of the most gifted vocalists,musicians and songwriters ever. But Mostly,after knowing him through the music and times of Queen,he stands tallest as being as truly beautiful a person as he was. Period. Ask any self-respecting singer in just about any band or outfit and I’m sure they’ll be quick to give Freddie his due props in admiration,affection,respect and awe for the vocal chops and command Freddie Mercury most certainly had (and has; as records=immortality). God Bless You Always: Freddie and the surviving members of Queen. ‘Innuendo’ is as good as it gets in serving up an unfortunately-premature salvo to such a legendary career. Yep; ‘Innuendo’ is one of the most solid,all-around brilliant records Queen has EVER made. ANd imagine that it was the last one made and released while Freddie Mercury was alive…Who better than them to lay claim to that? After all,they’ve created so many timeless and incredible songs and albums since 1973.. It’s so beautiful that they captured every element of joy and duress as they have with ‘Innuendo’ and with Freddie hanging on as brilliantly as he did while having the grace to accept his fate as he did.Brilliant album overall. Do yourself a favor and check it out/buy it.Thank You,Tim GoyerUSA
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
You will know I love many eclectic styles of music when I say that my current CD changer is occupied by Astrud Gilberto, Hank Williams, Louis Prima, Brothers Johnson, Johnny Cash, and Queen. And while these may seem to be hopelessly disconnected, I realized with a start today that the Cash and Queen CDs actually did share one bittersweet connection: both are sad but stirring farewells from artists of unparalelled excellence.
Of course, the particular Queen CD occupying my CD changer at this time is INNUENDO, and it has ranked as my favorite Queen CD during the past 15 years. Though it may not be as consistent as, say, NIGHT AT THE OPERA, it does hit several high points that continue to be deeply moving and revelatory in their brilliance.
This CD does really hold together strongly thematically, as Freddie Mercury ponders the most profound issues of life and death, and does so with a determined–even hopeful–gleam in his eye. The Zepplin-esque leadoff title track is as epic and powerful as anything the band has ever done, Mercury’s vocals soaring on waves of sonic blasts courtesy of Brian May’s guitar symphonics and guest guitarist Steve Howe’s Spanish-style picking.
“I’m Going Slightly Mad” is somewhat chilling in light of reality, but Mercury infuses it with his usual tongue-in-cheek defiant humor, and “Headlong” is a pleasingly crunchy rocker highlighted by Queen’s groovy rhythm section of Taylor and Deacon. Other highlights include the exhilirating “Ride the Wild Wind” and the beautifully lilting “These Are the Days of Our Lives” (one of the band’s finest ballads, and one that is not maudlin in any way).
As brilliant as all of the above are, the coup de grace is “The Show Must Go On,” where Mercury faces his fate “with a grin,” and sings “on with the show” with such conviction, passion, and pathos that it both breaks your heart and causes the hair on your arm to rise. The lush instrumentation here is incredibly powerful–only a voice like Mercury’s could keep up with, and even transcend it.
Absolutely, I give this my highest recommendation for a symphonic rock album–it’s a classic of the genre and still holds up brilliantly today. Great music, regardless of style, is both timely and timeless. INNUENDO is a moving document of the passing of one of music’s finest vocalists, the incomparable Freddie Mercury, and for that reason alone, makes this album indespensible. But beyond that, it is a stellar collection of songs, masterfully performed, by a powerful band at the top of their game.
It’s hard to believe that this is the last album Queen released as a foursome. Released in 1991, not too long before Freddie’s death, this truly shows Queen at their finest. It’s one of those albums you can listen to all the way through. Starting with the six-minute epic “Innuendo”, and ending with the powerful “The Show Must Go On,” this album is a must have for any Queen fan, or any rock fan for that matter.
1. Innuendo (10/10)
2. I’m Going slightly Mad (10/10)
3. Headlong (8/10)
4. I Can’t Live with You (7.5/10)
5. Don’t Try So Hard (9/10)
6. Ride the Wild Wind (8/10)
7. All God’s People (7.5/10)
8. These Are the Days of Our Lives (10/10)
9. Delilah (8/10)
10. The Hitman (8.5/10)
11. Bijou (9.5/10)
12. The Show Must Go On (10+)
The last song on the CD is, in my opinion, one of the best Queen songs ever. As you listen to Freddie sing, it’s not apparent in any way he was ill. His voice was still as beautiful as ever, and he went out at the top. It pains me to listen to the song, because it seems like a song Freddie wrote about his battle with his illness. “The Days of our Lives” seems like Freddie’s farewell song. When he says at the end, “I still love you,” I tear up. Freddie Mercury was the best songwriter/singer/performer that I have ever known, and I will remember him forever!
Forget everything you know about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Buy this CD for the brilliant music alone…
This is simply rock music at the highest level – a great band probably playing at its peak. Every song is a masterpiece, pure and simple.
And then remember Queen and Freddie Mercury. They knew this CD would probably be their last as Queen. And they, as a group, gave it their all. Music, lyrics, performance -its all here.
Listen to the CD again. And then you can cry for what we have lost.
There is no word in the English dictionary that accurately describes this work of genius. It is absolutely amazing, unbelieveable, incredible. I have almost every Queen album, this was the first one I purchased aside from the greatest hits, and it still reigns supreme over all the other Queen albums. “Innuendo” (the song) is my favorite Queen song, it is amazing. It opens with a drum roll which makes you jump upon first listen. Freddie Mercury sounds better than ever before. The highlight of the track is the “wandering minstrel” guitar interlude beginning at 3:16, it starts out in 5/4 time, then goes into 6/4 after a couple of choruses. Absolutely amazing. “I’m Going Slightly Mad” is a humorous track, which is somewhat Noel Coward-ish. “Headlong” is an excellent rocker, will please metalheads everywhere with its heavily distorted guitar riffs and excellent solos. “I Can’t Live With You” is a fantastic song, with great lyrics and instrumentation. “Don’t Try So Hard” features one of Freddie Mercury’s ultimate vocal performances, absolutely beautiful, will bring tears to some eyes, no joke. Roger Taylor must have been the primary force behind “Ride The Wild Wind,” as his drums really stand out on this fast, heart-pumping track. “All God’s People” is classic Freddie Mercury, with its complex, multilayered vocals ala “Somebody To Love” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Next is the haunting track “These Are The Days Of Our Lives,” a song about looking back on childhood and enjoying life as an adult. This song was also the last music video filmed by Queen as a foursome with Freddie. “Delilah” is a cute, little ditty about Freddie’s favorite cat of the same name. Then in charges “The Hitman,” which rocks and reels us all like just like the album’s earlier track “Headlong.” Next is “Bijou,” an instrumental with a brief lyric from Freddie. This track features incredible guitar work by virtuoso Brian May himself, beautiful.Finally, the all-out finale “The Show Must Go On” closes the album. This song is most likely the track that defines the Innuendo album. As most of you know, this was the last album Queen released before Freddie Mercury died. He said to his bandmates that he wanted to keep on making records until he was no longer alive to record more music. This song speaks of his attitude toward his state. Freddie was extremely ill with AIDS at the time of recording this album, and was determined to give it his all. “Inside my heart is breaking, my makeup may be flaking but my smile still stays on.” This lyric speaks of his exact feeling, sometimes it got so bad he had to prop himself up on the desk and sing. It means that AIDS is taking over him, but he will ignore it and keep going, “I’ll face it with a grin, I’m never giving in, on with the show….”Innuendo was released on February 5, 1991. On November 24th of that same year, Freddie Mercury was dead. He left this world after he and his bandmates released an album of the most incredible music they could ever do. They knew they were on borrowed time, so they pushed themselves to the limits, and by doing so, they did it better than they ever could have done, with one simple thought of determination, “the show must go on.” They continued right up until Freddie was to ill to work. Now and forever, the show will go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on………..