Innuendo (1991)


 
1. Innuendo 2. I'm Going Slightly Mad 3. Headlong 4. I Can't Live Without You 5. Don't Try So Hard 6. Ride the Wild Wind 7. All God's People 8. These are the Days of Our Lives 9. Deliah 10.The Hitman 11.Bijou 12.The Show Must Go On

 

Although the public was unaware of it at the time, Freddie Mercury was slowly dying to the horrible AIDS disease. He was kept out of public viewing during the recording of this record as the band was wanting to keep something very personal, private from the masses. So sadly, this would be the last "legitimate" Queen album. "Legitimate" meaning the band was working together throughout the whole record. There would be a posthumous record Made in Heaven that would come out several years later that the band assembled from various snippets from when Freddie was still with us. Although public reaction was mixed towards this record, I found it one of the band's best from the last decade.

They've gotten, once again, away from the "dance craze" thing, and are trying for a more straight-ahead combination of sounds and styles that always made them so popular. It's not all great, far from it, but when the band is great, they're incredibly spectacular. They sandwich this album between arguably two of the best songs that the band ever recorded, although sadly they're not as well known as a fan might think should be. The first song, Innuendo is their most complex, diverse piece that they've done since Bohemian Rhapsody. They throw so many styles into this six-and-a-half minute epic, that it's quite the miracle that they make the final product sound so stellar. It really makes you wish they would have gone after more songs like this during their history. The closer, The Show Must Go On is a perfect, intense rocker, that was probably included to intentionally say "goodbye" to the audience, while telling them that life goes on, even after a tragedy such as what they were experiencing.

With these two songs on any album, it would make a good record sound great, and even though they're the strongest pieces here, the album is peppered enough with strong songs that make the overall experience enjoyable. Headlong rocks very hard. Bijou doesn't, really, but that's some mean guitar playing by Brian May. These are the Days of Our Lives is another track that seems to be sort of geared towards "saying goodbye". Also it was the first song by Queen that I had heard on American radio in well over a decade.

Yes, there are times when the band sputters. Deliah a song about Freddie Mercury's cat is pretty stupid (I seem to recall a line about peeing on furniture, but I could be mistaken), but as great as this band was, they always seemed to have at least one or two filler songs on every album. Sadly, it took Freddie Mercury's passing to wake up a lot of people and make them take notice just how great this band was. Oodles and oodles of material (mostly live and best of packages) would be released in the next several years. Some was received well, but eventually it did become a bit too much. It was sad it had to end.

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