Queen (1973)


 
1. Keep Yourself Alive 2. Doing All Right 3. Great King Rat 4. My Fairy King 5. Liar 6. The Night Comes Down 7. Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll 8. Son and Daughter 9. Jesus 10.Seven Seas of Rhye

 

There are few bands that could ever really claim to be as diverse as Queen. My favorite thing about these guys is what they accomplished as individuals within the group as well as the group as a whole. Each one of its four members could write songs for the group on their own, and each four managed to write a well known top ten hit at some point during this band's illustrious career. Being that the four songwriters are so strong, it's almost a miracle that the guys never developed inflated egos, and managed to stay together as long as they did. One listen to their very first album shows, to some extent, most of their styles and trademarks to a degree of overkill. That's o.k., though. They needed to show off to the world what they could pull off, and they weren't afraid by the fact that they weren't known by anyone yet.

Because these guys are going in every conceivable direction, the overall songs by themselves tend to suffer a bit. It's a bit hard to appreciate this record on a track by track basis, yet instead, you should listen for its emotion and energy and even that can be a bit overwhelming at times. The two lead off tracks are undoubtedly the strongest. The only song to survive in terms of memorability is the first song Keep Yourself Alive, which, not ironically is the most simple, straight forward thing here. The only other time where they achieve such a distinction is the follow up track, the much more melodic and slowed down Doing All Right.

Once we get passed these two songs, things get a bit weird. Just look at many of the song titles and you can almost guess what the atmosphere will be for many of these tracks. Songs such as My Fairy King, Seven Seas of Rhye and Great King Rat all come across as simply a bit too much. It's as if they're trying to combine rock and roll with dungeons and dragons, or something. Had the band not been so well-tuned and powerful, it would have come across as laughable. Fortunately, though, the tracks are so impressive in their arrangements, that the silliness is easily forgiven.

Other tracks such as Jesus and Liar have their strengths, but seem as though they would be more at home in an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical as opposed to on a rock and roll album. Then, when drummer Roger Taylor takes the lead on his track Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, it's a bit hard not to laugh through it since what was modern in 1973 is pretty laughable now.

Had they continued in this vein, they would have never made it very far at all. Fortunately, they were able to take many of the styles and directions and ideas and fine tune them over the career to be much more focused and therefore much more powerful. You have to give them credit for showing the world just what they were capable of doing, though.

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