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4.7 out of 5 stars
Queen: Greatest Hits I & II
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288 of 297 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2000
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.
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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2005
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.

Positives:
-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.

Negatives:
-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.
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126 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 1998
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.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon October 5, 2003
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.
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2000
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2002
If ever there was a bigger than life rock band that epitomized the meaning of "Rock And Roll Band", it is Queen. No questions asked. Queen was incredibly different. They could have wild, loud rockers one minute, and the next they would have a pretty ballad, or even better, they would have some bizarre song that was filled with their british charm. Freddie Mercury was one of the greatest ever. They broke the mold when they made him. This 2 CD set is all that you need. It has everything you could possibly want. A review down below is laughable saying that a 2 CD set is too much. I guess that guy doesn't realize that the band has had a lot of songs. All of the classics are here. The arena rock of "Tie Your Mother Down", "Stone Cold Crazy", "I Want It All", and more. The ultimate classics in "We Will Rock You", "We Are The Champions", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Under Pressure", "Another One Bites The Dust", and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". There are some songs on here that aren't on other greatest hits packages, like "Breakthru", "The Invisible Man", and "Friends Will Be Friends". It would be great if there is an updated re-issue that includes some of the songs off their last album, "Made In Heaven", back in 1995. The best thing about this band is that they didn't take this too seriously at all. It was all about the fun. The show. The performance. They were there to simply have fun and give people some entertainment. Their mission succeeded. The other good thing about this band is that they were good guys. Queen were also real trailblazers in music videos. Some of them were real cool and ahead of their time. Queen was more successful in the UK than in the U.S., but they did pretty darn good here. Sadly, the world lost one of the most influential frontmen and voices in rock history, when Freddie died in 1991 of AIDS at the age of 46. Such songs as "The Show Must Go On", and "These Are The Days Of Our Lives", were great and sad songs all at the same time. There will never be another one like him. One only wonders what fun and entertainment he could've given us in the future. We'll never know. A musical is in the works of the band. That should be interesting. So, here it is folks. A great introduction to the band. This is as good a place as any to start. Maybe the only place to go since Queen was more of a 'singles band' than an 'album band'. Get this and let Queen rock you. They are the champions.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2001
Queen is one of my all time favorite groups, so it's no surprise that I really love this collection of songs. It also fixes up the mess created by Hollywood Records when they released "Classic Queen" and then "Greatest Hits".
One problem I do have with this collection is that I prefer the full versions of "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Hammer To Fall" over the single versions that appear on this collection. And why were other songs like "Under Pressure" and "I'm Going Slightly Mad" chopped up as well? The other problem I have with this collection is that it's missing "Tie Your Mother Down" and "Keep Yourself Alive" (the only thing that Hollywood did right was include them on "Classic Queen").
Putting those two things aside, I would recommend anyone who wants to get into Queen's music to start with this 2 CD set.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2000
Where do I start? It's hard to say what I loved most about this CD. I definitely love Freddie Mercury's voice. Who doesn't? I think he was a brilliant songwriter. His voice is so electric, and Brian May's guitar is awesome! I especially love the songs "We Are the Champions," "Killer Queen," "Play the Game," "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy," and "Don't Stop Me Now." Those are just my favorites. I hope that whoever reads this considers buying it, because it is such a great CD. If you love Queen as much as I do, you'll want to buy it today! When I first heard Queen, it was "We Are the Champions" and I thought, "Who's that?" I wanted to know some more of their music and along the way I heard "Bohemian Rhapsody" and loved it! I thought that song was so creative, sad, with great guitar. There is a story in the song and I thought Freddie's voice was so beautiful. That's how I came to love Queen! I guess I should tell you about why I like the songs I said I love. I think that "We Are the Champions" is a classic. It's a song that can make you feel good when your day isn't going well. "Killer Queen" is cool and has really good lyrics, although I'll be honest when I say that the first time I heard it I couldn't understand him through the whole thing. "Play the Game" has a soft touch to it. I like the tone in Freddie's voice and I like the feel of the song. "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" is a great song, and the thing I love most about it is the idea of him being a really smooth guy and how he'll take a girl out and have a good time. "Don't Stop Me Now" reminded me about Freddie's life, how he was going too fast and he didn't slow down in time. It just seems rather ironic to me when I hear it. I hope this has been in a way helpful to you. I wanted to be helpful, but at the same time I wanted to share with you my love for the most diverse band that ever lived!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
It is so hard to imagine Greatest Hits records these days. They all seem to be anticipated very well at first, but they all seem to lack a lot of great songs in the process. It just never ends. Even some of the greatest Rock N' Roll bands also have that problem. That comes with the case of Queen. Although Freddie Mercury died several years ago, his feeling for what Pop music is in the industry, was more imaginitive and creative than anything that has ever come out. Still, there are a whole amount of people who want to cash in on Queen. Recently, Britney Spears, Pink, and Beyonce Knowles conjured their version of We Will Rock You for a Pepsi commercial, which was the worst remake ever, considering they don't have what Queen had, a legacy.
Queen Greatest Hits 1 & 2, released in 1994, was a combination plate of the first two Queen hits collections. The songs that Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor created were all their own. The legacy Queen made is truly felt right here. The first disc contained hits from their days in the 70's and early 80's. The songs include a wide amount of hits including operatic classics Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle Race, and Somebody To Love, as well as classic Rock anthems like We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. The songs range here so well by Queen from Rock, R&B, Dance, Opera, and much more.
The second disc is where their popularity failed in the U.S. during the 80's, but still recieved massive airplay in Europe. The songs here are also widely recieved including Radio Ga Ga, The upbeat Invisible Man, Under Pressure with David Bowie, the dramatic Innuendo, and one of their most covered classics The Show Must Go On. The only dissapointment with this collection, is that a vast amount of songs here could've been added, including live performances, and songs like Tie Your Mother Down. Largely considering, the first disc was much shorther than the second one in the process.
Considering with this collection, a lot of fans might be torn into 2 different directions. In 2002, the colection was reissued with the Greatest Hits Volume 3. Another factor is that both collections are about the same price too. If you can't find this collection, get The Platinum Collection instead. It is one of the best Greatest Hits collections out there.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2006
I'll tell you. 12 songs (six on each set). So it comes down to what you like. I'll take these six songs from Classic Queen:

1. Stone Cold Crazy

2. One Year of Love

3. Tie Your Mother Down

4. These are the Days of Our Lives

5. Keep Yourself Alive

6. Body Language

over these six songs from Greatest Hits I and II any day of the week:

1. Flash

2. Innuendo

3. It's a Hard Life

4. Breakthru

5. The Invisible Man

6. Friends Will be Friends

Any questions?
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