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Queen - Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 &2

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Queen brought a whole new meaning to the phrase over the top. While rock & roll flamboyance stretched back at least as far as Little Richard, Freddie Mercury continued to camp it up, taking little seriously and smirking at the music’s growing pretensions while partaking in them no small bit. Many of the band’s singles hold up extremely well, later tracks such as ”Hammer to Fall” as much as prime-era numbers such as ”Bohemian Rhapsody,” ”Killer Queen,” and ”You’re My Best Friend.” The quartet’s canny sense of melody and sophisticated vocal harmonies–not to mention Mercury’s raised eyebrow–have traveled well through the years. –Rickey Wright

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  • This double-CD is by far the most complete of all the greatest hits and best of collections by this theatrical UK band. Although they weren’t always highly regarded by rock critics, Queen’s popularity is remarkably enduring. That is perhaps explained by the fact that they didn’t only offer over-the-top schlock-rock, but created remarkable versatile music, especially in the hit singles. This is best demonstrated on Disc One, where the faux-classical Bohemian Rhapsody appears next to the funky dance classic Another One Bites The Dust. There’s also the rockabilly flavoured Crazy Little Thing Called Love, power ballads like the impressive Somebody To Love and anthemic numbers like We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. On Disc Two my favorites include the catchy Under Pressure (with David Bowie) and the hypnotic, synth-driven Radio Ga Ga. Above all, Queen’s strength lies in their gripping melodies, innovative arrangements and spectacular harmonies. Their best work dates from the seventies and eighties but even the later singles have lost none of their sing-along appeal. This is a great compilation of ageless songs from one of the top UK bands of all time and it comes with a fact- and photo-filled booklet tracing their history and their achievements. An album set that definitely ought to be in every rock lover’s collection.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve heard their song before but even two years ago I didn’t even know their name. I grew up listening to emotionless alternative music which, I believe, blinded me from good music for a couple of years (damned MTV!). But, a couple of my friends told me about Queen and since then, I haven’t kept them out of my mind. They are brilliant (to say the least). They are enduring. They are Queen. Now about the album. The first disc is amazing. Queen is one of the first bands that I’ve heard where the vocals carry the song. And man, can Freddie sing. Bohemian Rhapsody is the best and will always be. It is a mix of vocals and piano, a little bit of opera, and classic rock. Other songs that rock are Another One Bites the Dust, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, Don’t Stop Me Now, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy, Seven Seas of Rhye, We Will Rock You, and of course We Are the Champions. The second disc lives up to the image of Queen, but might disappoint the “Bohemian Rhapsody Type People. ” Its a little less emotional and a little bit harder. Nonetheless, it’s Queen! If there is one thing that you should get from this review it is BUY THIS RECORD (I cannot downplay the importance of the preceeding words). Buy it and enjoy as I did and will continue to do.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This 2-CD set is good, but The 2 Hollywood Discs (“Queen’s Greatest Hits” and “Classic Queen”) are better. Together, those 2 discs cover most of the same songs, and no songs are repeated. The biggest difference is that with “Greatest Hits I & II” you get the song “Flash”, but not the songs “Keep Yourself Alive” and “Tie Your Mother Down”. Personally, I think it’s inexcusable to leave the latter 2 songs of a 2-disc greatest hits compilation, so I bought the 2 Hollywood discs.The other differences are, in my opinion, minor: GH I&II has Innuendo, It’s a Hard Life, Breakthru, The Invisible Man, and Friends Will Be Friends.The 2 Hollywood discs have: Stone Cold Crazy, One year of Love, These Are the Days, and Body Language.

    Posted on November 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Queen is, without question, one of the greatest rock bands of all time. With their incomparable lead singer Freddie Mercury and their canon of some of the greatest songs ever to hit the airwaves, Queen are legends. And of course, with most legendary bands, they have several greatest hits collection out on the market for casual fans. In 1995, Hollywood Records released the two disc collection “Queen – Greatest Hits Vols. 1 & 2″. It contains 34 tracks, is digitally remastered and has most of their hits. How does it hold up? Read on for the positives and negatives.

    -If you’re a casual Queen fan who is only interesting owning their biggest hits, than this is an almost ideal collection, as you will find “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody To Love”, “We Are The Champions”, “Another One Bites The Dust” and all the other classic Queen hits.
    -You will also get a lot of rarely heard tracks such as “Seven Seas Of Rhye”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Now I’m Here”, “Save Me”, and “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy”.
    -Disc two contains a lot of excellent European hits that the North American audiences might not be familliar with, such as “Radio Ga Ga”, “I Want It All”, “The Show Must Go On”, “I Want To Break Free”, “I’m Going Slightly Mad” and “Who Wants To Live Forever”.
    -The liner notes are excellent.
    -All of the songs sound absolutely fantastic.
    -It’s relatively cheap and easy to find.

    -The first disc does not fill the eighty minute time limit, clocking in at a mere 58:29. That means there was enough room to include “Tie Your Mother Down”, “Keep Yourself Alive”, “Stone Cold Crazy” and possibly “Body Language”.
    -If I’m not mistaken, “Bicycle Race” is edited.
    -Disc two failed to include what might be my favorite Queen song ever, “These Are The Days Of Our Lives”. I would’ve knocked off “One Vision” to include that song.
    -Hollywood Records also has two single disc Queen collections out on the market, “Classic Queen” and “Greatest Hits”. On their own, they don’t really stand their ground, as both are missing a great many Queen classics. But when purchased together, you could not ask for a more comprehensive Queen collection, as they are even better than this collection. They include all the missing songs I mentioned as well as some other interesting gems. The only downside is that those cds do not include “Breakthru”, “The Invisble Man”, “Friends Will Be Friends”, “Innuendo” and “It’s A Hard Life”. My advice is to get the two single disc collections and download the songs I just mentioned, so that way a casual fan will have all the Queen he or she will ever need.

    Bottom line: as great as this collection, I recommend “Classic Queen” and “Greatest Hits”, both purchased together. Download the songs on here that are missing from those two and you’ll be set.

    Posted on November 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Hollywood Records goofed big-time when they bought Queen’s back-catalogue. Instead of simply staying true to form and releasing this compilation (the original BRITISH hits collections) straight away, they chose to do their own thing and release Classic Queen and their own ‘Greatest Hits’, both of which are poorly sequenced and feature an inferior selection of tracks. As for this compilation? If you are just itching to dip your feet in the world of Queen, this is definitley the first selection you should buy. It features hits from every single album they’ve put out save their first (Keep yourself Alive is missing, but it’s a minor flaw). Disc one contains tracks that most people should recognize right away, from their most famous (Bohemian Rhapsody) to their biggest chart hits (Crazy Lil Thing Called Love, Another One Bites the Dust) to their early hits (Killer Queen, Seven Seas of Rhye). This is the disc most people will turn to first and more often, but there’s so much more.. Disc 2 is the real treasure here. The only song most people in the US will know is ‘Under Pressure’ and possibly ‘Radio Ga-Ga’. But disc 2 captures Queen at their greatest, in my opinion. Their early days were fun, yes, but their later days found Queen simply getting better and better, most notably Brain May, his guitar work is light-years ahead of his early material. Songs like ‘I want it All’ and ‘The Invisible Man’ demonstrate just what a fantastic axeman this guy was (as opposed to the effects-wizard of his early years). ‘Innuendo’ shows that Queen still feels that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ vibe. In short, for people who think Queen vanished after their album ‘The Game’ (read: people in America) disc 2 is a real eye-opener. Greatest Hits I and II is bar none, the best introduction to one of the greatest bands in history. Don’t bother with the other Hollywood Records slop (Classic Queen, GH, Rocks, etc) unless you just have to have everything. An added bonus are some fantastic liner notes.

    Posted on November 18, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now