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News of the World

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(110 Reviews)

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  • This would be the first album to actually do better in America than the U.K.The track listing has never made any sense as it opens with the classic anthems “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”. The album should end with these two.1977 was the year of punk and the boys from Queen felt the heat. Along comes “Sheer Heart Attack”, a blistering, ear splitting punk track that sounded light years better than the Sex Pistols. Deacon, once again, penned the weakest tracks from the album, the cliche ridden “Spread Your Wings” and the horribly poppy “Who Needs You”.The bright spot for me was Roger unleashing “Fight From The Inside”, a scathing commentary on music artists who sell out or who were vacuous to start with. “You’re just another picture on a teenage wall. You’re just another sucker ready for a fall.” Can we say Backstreet Boys?Queen’s blues number “Sleeping On The Sidewalk” (sung by Brian) was recorded in just one take! This was a source of criticism hurled at the band by critics. NOTW was the first to be solely produced by Queen and to be honest, it shows. There is no real direction with the tracks and as an album, it fails to sound smooth but if you take it song by song, it’s a winner.The album’s cover was an adaptation of a piece of science fiction artwork. The original had a giant robot causing havoc, etc. The album cover had it killing off Queen! It should also be noted that some years later Trent Reznor himself would do a cover version of “Get Down Make Love”.

    Posted on March 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • With the exception of the over-raunchy “Get Down Make Love” and that horrid remix of “We Will Rock You”, every song on this album is a classic. However, I must take issue with one reviewer from LA who thought this album was mainly filler and that Brian May was the only true talent in Queen (also, John Deacon wrote “Who Needs You”, not Freddie Mercury). Aside from that, Roger Taylor’s “Sheer Heart Attack” is campy punk, but “Fight From the Inside” is more of a funky “message” song (note that he played most of the instruments on both tracks). John’s “Who Needs You” features some unique Latino-jazz (with some fine acoustic work from Brian). “Spread Your Wings” is classic Queen, as are the hits “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” (Freddie had said that all Queen fans were the champions, all on the same team). “It’s Late” is a poignant rocker(which is a mini-soap opera story from Brian) and “All Dead All Dead” is about the passing away of Brian’s cat. “Sleeping On the Sidewalk” is a charming blues shuffle and “My Melancholy Blues” has more of a swing-jazz feel, two of Queen’s most unique songs ever.

    Posted on January 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • We’ve seen mountains & mountains of albums where you hear the artist’s hit tune, followed by track after track of filler. Then there are a decent amount of albums that contain a healthy dose of quality music in addition to the familiar hit. This album, however, is one of those rare works that is GREAT music from the opening hit tracks ’til the closer. Unless you’ve been tucked away in the wilderness since 1977, you no doubt have heard snippets of “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions?” on TV, in movies, or at the end of various victorious home team games. What follows is a collection of some of Queen’s greatest work, most of which does not make it onto the “Best Of” compilations. If you love Queen?s musical legacy, but only have one or two of their albums, you really should grab “News of the World.” In my humble book, it ranks as a greatest hits CD unto itself.The melodic “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” is followed by a high quality-high-speed “Sheer Heart Attack,” and then shifts into a slow and beautiful mournful tune called “All Dead.” The next song is one of the most underrated of Freddie Mercury?s vocal efforts in “Spread Your Wings.” It’s not one of those songs where Mercury hits those mind-blowing high notes like he does in “Somebody to Love” or “Lily of the Valley,” but there is a passion in his voice that makes this song tops. I remember it getting a smattering of airplay when it came out in ?77, but it should have received much more radio time than it did. “Get Down, Make Love” is one of those fashionably guttural tunes in the same vein of “Tie Your Mother Down.” “Sleeping on the Sidewalk” is a cute rags-to-riches-to-rags tune, just this shy of being an acoustic folky piece. “Who Needs You” is one cute and campy tune which reminds me of some of their wackier songs from the “Radio-Ga-Ga” era, “It’s Late” is one of their rawer efforts, and “My Melancholy Blues” is another sweet sad song where Mercury really grand-slams his vocal range.From the cover art work to the lyrics to the music, this is one of Queen’s finest.

    Posted on January 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • 1977 was the year punk and disco exploded on the pop scene. It was also the year that Queen’s fellow rock dinosaurs Pink Floyd sang about pigs,dogs and sheep (as opposed to sex, drugs and rock’n'roll), Sun worshippers YES came up with “Going for the One” with an album cover of a naked man gazing at a tall building …whatever Mr. Anderson meant by that, Genesis thought the timing was right to release a double live album featuring a 25 minute ditty about a SUPPER that is READY for consumption…and Led Zeppelin did not have any new albums to offer whatsoever.No wonder, then, that The Sex Pistols and their spitting likes as well as Serious-groin-problem-bros Bee Gees had an easy task of topping the charts. The world had been fed on heavy prog rock as main course for a whole decade, and now wanted some light dessert to ease up on the digestive system. Sure, Queen could have released their “A Night at the Opera part III”(more Marx Brothers titles anyone? ) and join the brigade of “boring old farts” as the prog rockers were called by the late 70s. But having covered most themes in the art rock book, i.e. mad prophets, adventure, pseudo religious “good vs. evil” themes and science fiction they instead simplified their approach and delivered a no nonsense and refreshing hard rock album that was more in tune with the new musical directions of the times.”News of the World” was leather rather than silk and ballet. The Stomping “We Will Rock You”, the ultra heavy “Sheer Heart Attack”, “Fight from the inside” (which somehow makes me think of the colour black)and the steamy “Get Down Make Love” sum up their raunchy new styles very nicely.Pomp is of course still here, but in controlled proportions, in the shape of the lone tongue in cheek “We are the champions”. It just functions SO WELL sandwiched as it is by “We will rock you” and “Sheer Heart Attack”.Ballads like “All Dead All Dead” and “My Melancholy Blues” have a bitter taste to them rather than sugary, the latter sounding naked and lonely as opposed to previous album closers by the group which were mostly pomp and circumstance.Pop tunes are inventive and differ greatly in styles. “Spread Your Wings” has Queen written all over it…irresistably catchy chorus. “Who Needs You”, features wonderful spanish guitar runs from Brian May as well as a playful Freddie Mercury. Then there’s “Sleeping on the Sidewalk” which has groove to last a whole blues festival…”It’s Late” proves that there was still some heavy progrock left in them, epic in proportions as it is. However, instead of multilayered vocal mid sections or guitar orchestras for that matter, you get pure and true heavy metal thrown in your face somewhere in the middle. Furthermore, a simple love story makes the framework of the piece. No madmen in sight.If you are new to Queen, News of the World is definately an essential FIRST.Other musts? One idea for a newcomer to the world of Queen could be building a collection by getting one album from each “stage” (as I see it) of their prolific career:1. 73-74 Heavy Metal: Queen II 2. 75-76 Art Rock: A Night At the opera 3. 77-79 Hard Rock: News Of the World 4. 80-82 Pop/Funk: The Game 5. 84-86 Pop/Rock: A Kind of Magic 6. 89-91 Hard Rock revisited: InnuendoThen you could start “filling it up” by sticking to whatever personal preferences you may have in musical styles (HM, pop, disco…), or follow my excample:BUY EVERYTHING IN SIGHT! Finally one plead to EMI: PLEASE, PLEASE RELEASE “EARL’S COURT 1977″ !

    Posted on January 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I just got done listening to this album tonight on vinyl as I have it on cd and haven’t heard it in it’s original analog glory in a while. I heard people slagging it and thought I’d help defend what is one of Queen’s best albums ever. Most everyone knows We will rock you/we are the champions so I won’t go into that. Sheer Heart Attack is a song that must be played LOUD and with a bunch of unsuspecting friends in the room so you can see their faces when the weird noise part comes up. Always a question of what’s wrong with your stereo comes up. All Dead, all dead is a great Brian May song with a nice Beatles harmony in it. Spread your wings is great but even better if you can find the BBC version of. More rocking at the end. Fight From the inside is ok but it does stick in your head. Get Down make Love is pretty good. Probably written to take advantage of the latest technology of the time. Sleeping on the sidewalk is a nice bit of boogie blues by Brian. Who needs you is a great little piece that features acoustic guitars by both Brian and John. IF you pan your speakers to one side you can hear just the spanish guitar without the vocals. It’s Late is one of my all time favorite Queen songs. Great solos and and a great riff and a rocking drum fill by Roger at the end of the song. It’s a great workout piece and shows the band at some of it’s heaviest. The album closes with My Melancholy Blues. A bit of a Jazz/Blues piece by Freddie that makes you feel as if you are in a blues club. A nice way to end the album. Try and find a bootleg of Queen at the Beeb in 77. They play Spread Your wings which has a new ending to it (think Saturday night is alright for fighting), It’s Late which samples some of Get Down Make Love in the middle. A much better version of Melancholy Blues which has Brian playing along. The version they should have used on the album! And Finally a slow and fast version of WE Will Rock you…The same that you would hear on Live Killers except in the studio. Hopefully these will be on the Box set whenever it comes out!!!! The CD also has a remix of We Will Rock You. It’s worth hearing just for the extended guitar solo and also a sample of the solo from Stone Cold Crazy thrown into the mix. Overall a great cd from one of the greatest bands of all time!

    Posted on January 8, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now