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Queen: Greatest Hits III

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  • Does this collection of songs deserve to be sold under the title of “Greatest Hits”? I’m still not sure about that, but I do know that there are several incredible songs on this album, which make it a must-buy.There are two live tracks with guest vocalists filling in for Freddie Mercury – George Michael on “Somebody To Love” (recorded at the tribute concert in 1992) and Elton John on “The Show Must Go On”. Both are done well, although I prefer the originals.Next come remixes. “Another One Bites The Dust” is remixed with added vocals from Wyclef Jean. The one song I skip over every time I play this CD, and one which was sensibly left off the video counterpart to the album. On the other hand, the remix of “Under Pressure” is surprisingly good and – dare I say – perhaps better than the original. The difference between this and other Queen albums is that solo work is included. You have Freddie Mercury’s Olympic anthem “Barcelona” (with Montserrat Caballe), the 1993 remix of his fabulous “Living On My Own” and of course his cover of the song he related to so well, “The Great Pretender”. Brian May’s “Driven By You” is also featured on the album, a song that made me want to go out and buy all of his solo work. Great song.There’s only one non-Freddie Queen song – “No One But You (Only The Good Die Young)” is an absolutely stunning, heartbreaking piece about those who have died too soon – inspired by the premature deaths of Princess Diana and of course Freddie himself.Finally, the ‘real’ stuff, the fresh, never-before-on-a-greatest-hits-CD Queen tracks. There are eight of these, comprising almost half the album. “Heaven For Everyone” and “Princes of the Universe” are spectacular, the type of song you keep on replaying over and over again. “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” breaks my heart every time I hear it, due in large part to the fact that the video plays out in my head each time. Brilliant, brilliant song. “Thank God It’s Christmas” is great. “Too Much Love Will Kill You” and “Las Palabras del Amor” are softer, ballad-like songs than a lot of Queen’s stuff, but both powerful, and immensely enjoyable. “You Don’t Fool Me” is a dance song, but in a good way. The only one I’m not too sure about is “Let Me Live” – it has a gospel-choir feel to it (mostly, I suppose, due to the choir singing “So let me live…”) and although it is a good song, it wouldn’t rate among my favourites.So let’s recap, shall we? Maybe not worthy of the Greatest Hits title, but certainly a great collection of songs, a tribute to an incredible man, and a CD that’s getting five stars from me due to the fact that once you slip it into the CD player, it’s almost impossible to stop listening to it.

    Posted on February 1, 2010