How do I review what isn't here? Strong Queen fans will know all 17 songs. Most of their biggest hits are here. Most. Not all. Not even one of the biggest songs they've ever had.
Even an American Idol contestant knows "Bohemian Rhapsody" is part of the rock-n-roll canon. What was Hollywood Records thinking to leave out such a great hit?
What is here is mostly good. Freddie Mercury's range and dramatic intonations, paired with guitar maestro Brian May's capacity to ignite a note, and songs like "Killer Queen" go from being interesting to incredible.
Part of the problem was Queen. They had too many good hits gracing more than one genre. Most bands wish they had the difficulty of choosing greatest hits choices.
Questionable choices are obvious: "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy."
"Seven Seas" has a hard rock, guitar-driven sound but does not meet the usual Queen level of quality.
"Good Old" is a nice demonstration of Freddie Mercury's great voice, but lyrically is weak.
The closest economical solution is to buy instead "Queen - Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2" Get all the songs below except "Keep Yourself Alive." 34 songs in all.
Missing from the play list:
* Bohemian Rhapsody
* Under Pressure
* Tie Your Mother Down
* Keep Yourself Alive
* Radio Ga Ga
The play list:
* We Will Rock You
* We Are the Champions
* Another One Bites the Dust
* Killer Queen
* Somebody to Love
* Fat Bottomed Girls
* Bicycle Race
* You're My Best Friend
* Crazy Little Thing Called Love
* Now I'm Here
* Play the Game
* Seven Seas of Rhye
* Body Language
* Save Me
* Don't Stop Me Now
* Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
* I Want to Break Free
Why four stars after criticizing what is missing? These are still great tunes, every one of them. The weakest song is still better than much of the radio fodder today.
Queen released albums from 1973 to 1995. In that time Queen made a lot of music that was "great". Thus, as with most artists that have been around for more than 20 years, it is impossible to capture all of their hits or best music on a single CD. Recently this difficulty was recognized with a boxed set of three CDs that captured a much greater cross section of their music.
I consider this collection of Queen music their popular music. Much of it was mellow or radio friendly, and thus much of it hit the top 10. Given that Queen had a very eclectic repertoire, you'll find quirky songs such as "Fat Bottomed Girls" next to the mellow love song "Somebody to Love". Queen's progressive rock and harder rock songs are only barely represented on this particular collection, though strains of their harder edge show through in songs like "Bicycle Race" and "Another One Bites the Dust".
In many ways Queen was an album group. While most of their albums stop short of being true concept albums, most of their albums did have a theme. Also, their music was organized carefully to provide a presentation of the music that was greater than the sum of the individual songs. Thus, listening to a "greatest" collection does little to express the true scope of this group. I recommend this CD as one that provides a small sampling of Queen, and some of their more mellow music at that. You need to also have "Classic Queen" to additional hits such as "Bohemian Rhapsody". You may also want to consider "The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II and III", which is perhaps the most comprehensive set short of buying albums.
Though this CD is lacking in its breadth, I still give it 5 stars because Queen was such a great group, and the songs here do represent a small portion of their incredible talent.
on May 5, 2003
I'm starting to get angry at all these compilation CDs that are hitting the shelves. It's not just Queen it's all these bands that have been around for 20 + years. There are "Greatest Hits", "The Best of", "Classics", "Ultimate Collections" etc. ... but if you inspect them you always find 1 or 2 great songs on a different compilation and have to decide, "which songs can I live without?".
I thought I did this when I decided to go with Queen's Greatest Hits. During my inspection I concentrated on some of the minor songs, only to find out later that `Bohemian Rhapsody' was NOT on it. (Yeah my bad but COME ON!) So I thought "Do I return it and get the Platinum Collection?" Well there is a bunch of stuff (on the 3rd CD) that I'd never listen too and it's missing songs off of "Classic Queen" like `Tie Your Mother Down' and some others. So I went out and bought "Queen Classics" along with an empty CD case that holds two CDS. So now I can combine "Queen's Greatest Hits" and "Classic Queen" into my very own custom made "Very Best Greatest Hits Ultimate Collection of Queen".
on April 20, 2000
This is arguably one of Hollywood Records smartest moves. Every song on this album is perfect, from the feet-thumping anthem WE WILL ROCK YOU to the last track I WANT TO BREAK FREE, leading on to Classic Queen, which along with this album, shows Queen at their ultimate best. The much revered WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS is in there, mingling with the afore-mentioned WE WILL ROCK YOU, and ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST, all classics and all damn good songs. "The Game", in my view Queen's best album, is well represented from the perfectly constructed PLAY THE GAME to the immaculate SAVE ME, without which the compilation wouldn't be complete, via CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE, a personal favourite especially when played live, and naturally ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST. The unclassifiable KILLER QUEEN is right up there with all the epics (BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY et al; alright, so it's not on the album, but keep your shirt on, the world won't stop turning), and SOMEBODY TO LOVE is as fantastic as it is murder to sing live. The inseparable duo of FAT-BOTTOMED GIRLS and BICYCLE RACE are brilliant if somewhat loutish in the lyrics department, and YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND, based on a terrific bassline from John Deacon, is one of my favourites from the '701s. NOW I'M HERE combines the irrevocable talents of Freddie Mercury and Brian May, as well as some pretty good drumming too. SEVEN SEAS OF RHYE is one of Queen's earliest songs, and also one of their best, thanks to the catchy piano solo at the beginning. BODY LANGUAGE, despite the constant criticism aimed at "Hot Space", its album, is a blinder of a song and if the band had to sacrifice their usual style to make it then so be it. I'm also amazed that DON1T STOP ME NOW appeared so low down in the pecking order of the American charts, as it's a great song (nuff said). GOOD OLD-FASHIONED LOVER BOY is excellent in both lyrics and music departments but the next track, and the modernest of the lot, i.e. I WANT TO BREAK FREE isn't really to my taste. It becomes quite catchy after a while though, and the video is out of this world! The CD is definitely worth buying, along with Classic Queen and, at a push, Greatest Hits III, if you1re a newcomer on the Queen scene and want to get a feel of their remarkable music.
on July 3, 1999
This CD is essential to all Queen fans. With the exception of the tracks off The Game, the singles Body Language, and I Want to Break Free, this represents the hard rocking Queen complete with the opera-style vocals. It features not only the hits like "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions", "Somebody to Love" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", but more obscure songs like "Don't Stop Me Now", "Now I'm Here", "Save Me" (although a hit in the UK), and "The 7 Seas of Rhye". If you were a fan of early Queen, you must own this. Then grab Classic Queen to appreciate their later efforts!
on June 3, 2009
How can you call a Queen album 'Greatest Hits' if it doesn't have Bohemian Rhapsody on the playlist?
on March 15, 2000
Hollywood Records released Classic Queen, a compilation that covered Queen's hits from 1982 to it's demise in 1991 with a few older songs thrown in. Then it released this album collection, its US version of Greatest Hits which is a 15-track album that deletes the songs from the first Greatest Hits [UK] version that also appeared on Classics (among them Queen's biggest hit "Bohemian Rhapsody") and adds a few tracks from the 1973-1982 era that did not appear on the original release label Elektra. Fans don't seem to have minded, as this other Greatest Hits CD sold better instead!
on April 20, 2003
This 1992 U.S. version of "Greatest Hits" was released in response to the phenominal success of "Classic Queen". At the time it acted as a "companion" piece to "Classic Queen", rounding up hits and other popular tracks that were not covered on the earlier release. However, because the earlier release contained songs which I would consider amongst their "greatest" hits, like "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Under Pressure", and "Radio Ga Ga", this cd doesn't truly represent all of Queen's Greatest Hits. Hollywood should have released "Greatest Hits" first (instead of "Classic Queen") and had it be a true representation of the songs that were Queen's Greatest Hits in the U.S., which I see as the following:
- The first 9 tracks off this version of "Greatest Hits" (from WWRY to CLTCL)
- Body Language (not a favorite of mine personally but it did make the Top 20 in the U.S.)
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Under Pressure
- Radio Ga Ga
- Tie Your Mother Down
- Keep Yourself Alive
Then Hollywood could have released a "Classic Queen" or "Greatest Hits 2" or whatever they wanted to call it and had the best of the leftover tracks (such as "Now I'm Here", "Stone Cold Crazy", "I Want It All", "Hammer To Fall", etc.) on it.
Despite the flaws in track listings on both this and "Classic Queen", I still have to give both cds 4 stars on the strength of the music itself. I also will give Hollywood a little credit for putting the full version of "Fat Bottomed Girls", which is the version that classic rock radio in the U.S. usually plays, on this Hits instead of the chopped up single version you get with the UK version of Hits.
on July 19, 2004
This is one of those rare high quality "greatest hits" compilations that deal a hearty selection of great Queen Songs during their finest hours. If you want only one Queen CD with a solid grouping of Queen's work, this package is the way to go. You not only get their signature songs, but also a great sampling of their best songs that got little radio play like "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy," "Seven Seas of Rhye," and "Now I'm Here."
All of Queen's albums from their debut up until the 1978 release of "Jazz" are, in my opinion, such excellent pieces of work that any could qualify as a "Greatest Hits" collection. In fact, the only reason I would want to steer you away from this CD is because while everything here is very good, there is so much premium Queen music packed into each of their individual albums of that era. "Sheer Heart Attack" is a masterpiece, and "News of the World" is such a strong album that it is almost one big song unto itself.
My only disappointment with this CD is the lack of material from their first two albums. Songs like "Keep Yourself Alive," "King Rat" and "Ogre Battle" would have been great on this collection. Still, this is a minor complaint, since this CD is a much tighter and solid collection than the other two prominent Queen compilations: "Classic Queen" does have "Keep Yourself Alive" but is a hit-&-miss album overall, and the 2 disc "Greatest Hits" is good, but does not let the band's greatness shine like this CD does.
If you are just getting familiar with Queen's work and want to sample a CD to get a feel which tunes grab you, this is a really good place to start.
on April 11, 2006
Needless to say, the music on this CD is all terrific. Queen were and remain one of the most glorious, most fantastic rock bands in history. What I'd like to refer to here is the compilation itself. Queen's hits were originally compiled on three albums: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 was released in 1981 and contained songs recorded between 1973 and 1980; Greatest Hits Vol. 2 was released in 1991 and contained songs recorded between 1981 and 1991; and finally, Greatest Hits Vol. 3 contained oddities, rarities, songs that were somehow omitted from the first compilations, solo recordings and Queen songs recorded by others - a mess, altogether. Those three can now be obtained together as 'The Platinum Collection'.
That music was re-compiled as 'Greatest Hits' and 'Classic Queen'. Put together, song by song, these are better than the original compilations; they include 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives', which appeared on Greatest Hits Vol. 3, as well as 'Keep Yourself Alive' from Queen's first album (on the original compilations, the first album was not represented) and 'Tie Your Mother Down', one of Queen's most popular songs in live recordings which was not included in the original compilations simply because it wasn't released as a single. All that on the expense of less impressive tracks which were successful singles but have dated badly - 'Flash', 'It's A Hard Life', 'Friends Will Be Friends' and 'The Invisible Man'. However, it also omits several excellent songs - 'Innuendo' and 'Breakthru'.
Taking all this into account, even if we accept these lost songs, this new compilation is unjustifiably messy. It seems the producers have played a nasty trick on us. If, like myself, you prefer Queen's 70s hits, you'd like to get 'Greatest Hits'. This is in fact the exact same album as the original Greatest Hits Vol. 1, except - and this is a big EXCEPT - Bohemian Rhapsody was stricken down from it and moved to 'Classic Queen'! Bohemian Rhapsody is undeniably the signature song of early Queen, so to have it you would have to buy both CDs. If you prefer the 80s material, you would be wise to get 'Classic Queen'... only 'I Want To Break Free' is on 'Greatest Hits'! Likewise, this song is one of the signature songs of 80s Queen. Both 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'I Want To Brake Free' feel completely out of place in their new homes. So does 'Body Language', a song from 1982 which was not included in the original Greatest Hits and we were all better off that way.
So if you want an old and experienced Queen fan's advice on which compilation to buy, I will simply say - there is not good compilation out there yet, or at least not a perfect one. I can't recommend 'Greatest Hits' and 'Classic Queen'. Overall, I think the best way to approach Queen is the way I did when I first fell in love with them: Start with Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 (Forget 3); these two have most of their most popular hits, and are bound to become frequent and welcomed visitors to your player. Next go to albums 2 through 5 and Innuendo, then the first album, 'News of the World', 'Jazz' and 'The Game', then the rest. It's expensive, sure, but they're worth it. Or you can just wait until a good compilation is released.