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The Crown Jewels

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(63 Reviews)

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  • I am going to give a disc-by-disc analysis of this great set.QUEEN: The band’s first disc, not their best, but still quite good. This one contains the classic “Keep Yourself Alive,” plus great songs like “Great King Rat,” “My Fairy King,” and a tune written for Brian May’s previous band, Smile, “Doing Alright.” The standout track on the album is easily “Liar,” a 6+ minute epic track, full of many different parts. Definitely reccomended.QUEEN II: One of my favorites in the set. The theme for the album is somewhat midieval, which provides a great feel to it and makes it all the more unique. “March of the Black Queen” should not be missed by any follower of rock music, it is just incredible. It has a lot of tempo changing, like a rock operetta. Brian May makes his vocal debut on this album with “Some Day One Day” (Roger’s was on the previous album with “Modern Times Rock & Roll.”) Other great songs are “Ogre Battle,” “Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke,” “Father to Son,” “White Queen,” all of them are good, I highly reccomend this album.SHEER HEART ATTACK: One of the most popular albums among staunch Queen fans. It contains the classics “Killer Queen,” “Now I’m Here,” and “Stone Cold Crazy.” One of the many standout tracks is “Brighton Rock,” which features Brian May going crazy, and Freddie Mercury showcasing his amazing vocal capabilities. “In The Lap Of The Gods” (both of them) is absolutely amazing. This album also features John Deacon’s songwriting debut, “Misfire.”A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: One of the band’s best-loved and best-known albums. Some fans have described a lot of the tracks as quirky (whatever that means), but the album remains a true classic in rock and roll. It contains the band’s most famous song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which needs no introduction whatsoever, unless the reader of this is from another planet. “Good Company” sounds like something from the 1940’s, “‘39″ is a great folk song, “Seaside Rendezvous” is campy but excellent, “Death On Two Legs” is a vicious song dedicated to their manager who screwed them over. All of them are good, but the track that stands out the most is “The Prophet’s Song,” a little over eight minutes long, with beautiful guitar work from Brian May, and an amazing a capella interlude from the vocal god Freddie Mercury. A DAY AT THE RACES: The amazing follow-up to ANATO, the cover is similar its predecessor. Contains the classic rocker “Tie Your Mother Down,” plus the classics “Somebody to Love” and one of my favorites, “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy.” Two beautiful tracks are “You Take My Breath Away” (will easily bring a major softie to tears), and “Teo Torriatte” (sung partially in Japanese). One of the standout tracks is the incredible “Millionaire Waltz,” excellent track which is as musically complex as a classical work. “White Man” is another unkown classic of Brian May’s, a tad reminicent of “The Prophet’s Song,” found on ANATO. Excellent piece of work.NEWS OF THE WORLD: The album that hosted “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” an automatic essential in the Queen catalog. Also contains great songs such as the 1940-ish “Who Needs You” and “My Melancholy Blues,” plus Roger Taylor’s fast, heavy ode to punk rock “Sheer Heart Attack,” and also another Brian May classic, the blues tune “Sleeping On the Sidewalk.” Though John Deacon was not a singer, he was an amazing songwriter, and it definitely shows in “Spread Your Wings” and “Who Needs You.” Needless to say, this is a great album, and should not be missed by anyone anywhere.JAZZ: Another amazing piece of work from these amazing musicians. Contains the classics “Bicycle Race,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and “Don’t Stop Me Now,” plus the middle-eastern-ish “Mustapha,” and the heavy rocking “Let Me Entertain You.” Queen is definitely one of the most diverse bands on the planet, and it definitely shows in the jazzy “Dreamers Ball,” and Queen’s first foray into funk, “Fun It.” Another cool thing about this particular purchase is that this release comes with the famous nude bicycle race poster that came with the original vynil release, which makes this set a gem for collectors.THE GAME: Another one of Queen’s best-loved and best-remembered albums. This album hosts the classics “Another One Bites the Dust”(the Deacon-penned song that became their biggest hit to date) and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Also contains the upbeat rocker “Dragon Attack,” plus ballads such as “Play the Game,” “Sail Away Sweet Sister,” and “Save Me,” plus other rockers such as “Rock It (prime jive)” and “Need Your Lovin’ Tonight” (Another Deacon classic). This album should not and cannot be missed by fans of Queen or classic rock albums.All in all, this is a great set, with a booklet chock full of lyrics, a few pictures, and some background info on each album (producer, etc). One of the really positive things about this set is that there are no bonus tracks, and each album is packaged exactly as it originally was on the vynil release (sides of the records, etc). If you purchase these albums separately, they contain bonus tracks, most of which are really bad remixes. You have two choices, go buy them separately and get stuck with the bad bonus tracks, or get all eight albums for cheaper than it would be to buy them separately, hear them as they were originally intended, and really get your money’s worth. The sound quality is also very good, better than one would expect from an old album released on CD. Anyway, this is a great set, and if you plan on getting all eight of these albums, do yourself a favor, buy this set and hear it all as it was originaly intended. It is one of the best sets you will ever buy. Buy this set and experience some of the best work by one of rock’s greatest bands of all time, crank up the volume and experience the bliss, power, passion, and beauty of this great music.LONG LIVE QUEEN!

    Posted on November 24, 2009