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on September 5, 2012
So, is it time time to trade up, time to get rid of your earlier versions of Greatest Video Hits I & II?


If you don't have your Queen videos then go ahead, have fun discovering what MTV used to be all about before it went "all reality, all the time." For those of you who already have this stuff, you're safe in passing this one by. I mean, sure, if having the "audio remixed for DTS 5.1 Surround Sound" makes you all moist and tingly then, yes, buy these landmark films all over again. But, what about the visuals?

Visually, there's nothing new here at all. "All videos are restored and shown in 16:9 widescreen." Too bad they weren't FILMED that way. The originals were created when televisions were, roughly speaking, square. 4:3 format. Nowadays, widescreen is the standard, so the "restoration team" had four choices:

One: maintain the entire image as it was created, by plunking the original image down "as is," a square in the middle of a rectangle, meaning there's going to be black areas on either side of your widescreen monitor or screen.

Two: stretch the image to fill the screen; this has the unfortunate effect of squishing everything and making things - like musicians and singers - look as if they were filmed on a planet with ten times the gravity of Earth.

Three: chop off the tops and bottoms of the image in a way that destroys its carefully planned look. It's butchery but it WOULD make the square image fit a wide screen.

Four: give viewers the choice to see these films as Queen created them or as stretched/squished/butchered monstrosities.

As in previous releases of Queen's video legacy, the choice was a combination of Option One, Option Two AND Option Three. Mostly, these wonderful creations get the stretched/squished/butchered treatment although, as in "The Invisible Man," someone forgot to chop or squish the film and, Oh My Goodness, we're actually able to see the video as originally filmed, as originally seen, as originally intended by Queen, their directors, designers, and editors.

Even if you've never seen these videos, many of them look wrong. Since the "restorations" are erratic, the films are incredibly inconsistent. Widescreen is followed by flattened images ("It's a Kind of Magic" gives us compressed members of Queen; your brain will struggle to cope with "The Flat Freddie Effect") or something that looks right. Sorta.

Queen's growth from eclectic glam rockers to accomplished rock virtuosos is worth seeing, going from "Killer Queen" to "Radio Ga Ga" to the touching optimism of "The Miracle," filmed two years before Freddie Mercury's death. The arc of their career is made incomprehensible by the random order the videos are presented in. They start with "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975) then move ahead five years to "Another One Bites the Dust"(1980) and then jump BACK six years to "Killer Queen," a video done the year BEFORE "Bohemian Rhapsody." then we go to '78, '75, '78, '80, '76, '77, '80, '76, '77, '86, '89, '84, '89, back eight years to '81, then back to '89, '86, '89, '84, '89, '82 . . .

You get the idea. There is no pattern, no logic to any of this. Does it matter? Hell, yes! Ignoring thing like hairstyles going out of fashion and coming back into style and Freddie's moustache coming and going, this is like doing a Beatles collection that begins with "Penny Lane," skips to "Hey Jude," jumps to "Yesterday" to "Blackbird" to "Twist and Shout" to "Yellow Submarine" to "A Hard Day's Night," etc., and ending with "Here Comes the Sun." All I can say is, if you absolutely MUST do cocaine or weed, don't let anyone put you in charge of arranging Queen's music in chronological order - that's just ASKING for people to hate you . . . AND the company you work for (Eagle Rock Entertainment).

Fans of Queen (Heck, fans of looking at things!) have complained about the crappy presentation of these videos for years. All that complaining has led to . . . nothing. Eagle Rock Entertainment didn't do a damn thing and I pity any new Queen fans seeing this 2-DVD mess for the first time.

This is straightforward repackaging - as sloppy, lazy, cheap, and greedy as it gets.

Why did I buy it? Because I didn't have a copy of Queen's Greatest Video Hits I. Even with this set, I'm pretty sure I still don't.

"All videos are restored." Yeah. Right. Sure.
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on March 6, 2013
My favorite band has long been STYX, as my favorite musician of any and all genre's has always been Tommy Shaw. Other favorite bands have included the Bill Bruford/ Rick Wakeman incarnations of YES, the Terry Kath era CHICAGO and others. Never, would I have included the band QUEEN among them, although I liked several of their songs.

My perception of what constituted this band, in hindsight, was horribly mistaken. Never had I realized that among such pomposity as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST and FAT BOTTOM GIRLS, that the band had incredible depth and intellect that far exceeded "MY BEST FRIEND"... until now.

Listening first to many of the lesser known songs (albeit hits in their own rights), the depth of introspection and spirituality just astonished me. Listening then to the commentaries from Brian May and Roger Taylor opened my eyes to the idealogoes, the myths and the truths about some of their music which garnered my respect.

From their, opening my ears to the later albums, I was truly blown away by the sincerity and intelligence of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. It almost seems to me that once they decided to share writing credits, that they finally gelled as a single unit (instead of a band of 4 contrasting musicians) and wrote their best music... indisputably their most heart-felt music.

I can now understand the hullabaloo about QUEEN in the late 70's and 1980's and argue along with most QUEEN fans to beleive that QUEEN was the best rock and roll band of that era. JOURNEY, REO SPEEDWAGON, BAD COMPANY and all others just could not hold a candle to QUEEN. STYX in their best years made for great competition, but STYX' best years were few before the band divided into a group of "contrasting musicians." QUEEN carried on until death did they part... and only got better with age.

If you are a true QUEEN fan, you already own this fabulous DVD set (QUEEN's GREATEST VIDEO HITS 1 & 2)... If you are not, YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF to buy this and see and hear what was best about the so-called arena rock/ progressive rock/ anthemic rock era. QUEEN was far more than their pomposity. They were a genuine, talented band that made great music across many spectrums (which is what I liked best about STYX.)
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on July 10, 2014
Artistically, this collection is excellent. Don't get me wrong, the classic videos themselves especially the older ones, are really tacky and shot with poor quality video, but for those of us who grew up listening to Queen's Greatest Hits, this is just beautiful. It's a piece of nostalgia accompanied by the best music ever. However, when it comes to the technical side, it's absolutely horrible, especially disc 1, which contains the classics from the 70's.

Granted, these were shot in video rather than film, and video in the 70's had very poor quality, added to the fact that the master tapes are probably in bad shape. However, many of the videos have an excessive amount of color noise, and THAT can be fixed. I transferred the DVD to my hard drive, loaded it in Premiere and applied the NeatVideo plugin to certain songs where the color noise was more evident. It was quite an improvement, and it makes me wonder why Eagle Vision didn't do that themselves. They did, however, a pretty good job with the audio, both the PCM and DTS tracks sound very good.

The other thing is the colossal mess that the aspect ratio is set to. I'm not sure about the disc 2 videos because they're newer, but the disc one videos were shot on video, at least most of them. This means that they were shot at 4:3 aspect ratio, and there wasn't anything left on the sides to add and produce a decent 16:9 AR. Yet Eagle Vision decided to cut off a big section at the top and bottom just so it would take up the whole screen, although they might have butchered them in some other way because some of the videos look slightly enlarged horizontally.

Then we get to disc 2, which is a different disaster. While the color noise is not so present, there are huge aspect ratio screw-ups. For example "A Kind of Magic" appears enlarged horizontally, because they enlarged the original 4:3 to 16:9. The most ridiculous thing here is that the video has black bars at the top and bottom because it was shot as 16:9 and letterboxed. So the negligence of this company is even more blatant in this case.

A couple songs later we have Radio GaGa, which was shot on film but 4:3, and in this case Eagle Vision left it that way. So why would they leave one song at the original aspect ratio, and then massacre another? This is also the case with "Invisible Man", shot on 4:3 and left that way.

Then we have "Breakthru" also with a noticeable amount of color noise that they could have easily got rid of using NeatVideo or a similar plugin.

"Under Pressure" has another technical sin, although this one I can't verify that it was their doing or it was originally that way. If you have a more or less new TV set you know of that gimmick called Auto Motion Plus or similar names, where it makes 24 fps footage look like 60 fps or more. Well, this video has that applied in the video itself (I verified that it was off in my TV set), which looks horrible because this video has some old film footage that just looks ridiculous at 60 fps.

"Hammer To Fall" is another aspect ratio disaster. It seems to me that it was shot on 2.39:1 AR and here is shown in 16:9 without the black bars on top and bottom, so the members of Queen look vertically enlarged or horizontally shrunk if you prefer.

Overall, only on the video technical part, this edition is an insult to the memory of Freddy Mercury and to one of the greatest rock bands in the history of music. Let's hope that in the future some other company other than Eagle Vision that knows how to improve the quality of old material, especially when it doesn't cost a fortune (NeatVideo is about $100, and an Adobe CC subscription is about $50/month), and a company that at least tries to make it right. Needless to say, my one star rating has nothing to do with Queen, but only with Eagle Vision, because they butchered this video release unnecessarily.
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on December 27, 2012
A wonderful collection of Queen's hit videos.

Bought this for my wife's surprise Christmas gift and spent a lot of Christmas morning doing nothing but watching Queen. Most enjoyable and well worth the purchase price
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on June 14, 2015
I value all my music dvd's. This is another great purchase for me personally. I know the record companies want to push the cd's for every dollar they can.
I whish groups like Queen, the Stones and even Kiss would ban together and push "MTV" to release a combined set of cd's and dvd's together for the 80's and 90's.
The sets I have seen are poor at best.
It is great to have the Queen Vids.
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on June 12, 2015
I seriously can't take a whole lot of looking a Freddy on stage, but I could listen to him all day. It's a genuine treat to watch the band perform. They are an excellent group of musicians and vocalists. If you're a Queen fan, you've to to own this DVD set.
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on January 18, 2016
I was a bit torn about how to rate this DVD. I'm a huge Queen fan, so I would rate the songs and videos themselves 5 stars, but I don't think this DVD collection really does them justice. I already had a similar Queen video collection on VHS, so I decided to "upgrade" to DVD. Sadly, the picture quality on these DVD's isn't really any better than the old VHS I had. It's still pretty fuzzy and the aspect ratio seems off on some of them. I thought when stuff came out on DVD it was supposed to get digitally remastered and higher resolution and all that good stuff. There's got to be enough of us Queen fans out there to make it profitable for someone to put something like that together, right?

I think most if not all of these videos are on YouTube, so if you want to save some money and just watch them on YouTube, you won't be missing out on much.
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on March 21, 2015
It was great having all of their early videos on this set. However, I was disappointed as I didn't realize that it didn't contain ALL of their videos, which was what I was expecting. Is there a Greatest Hits Video II?

Also, while playing the first disk in the set, the video portion started blacking out periodically, sometimes up to 30 seconds at a time. That became very annoying. It doesn't happen with my other pre-recorded DVD's, so I'm wondering if it was the way in which it was transferred to the DVD. It also didn't happen with the second disk in the set. I am considering returning it for that reason.
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on May 31, 2015
legendary band. how can you forget Brian Mays guitar playing and Freddie Mercury who was the ultimate front man. the songs he wrote were allmost the most popular and wre in some cases anthems. RIP Freddie.
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on August 22, 2015
I love Queen. Some of these videos, well, I guess its the 70's/early 80's lack of imagination or maybe Queen just had no clue how to make a video. The redeeming videos, just as with Queen's best songs, are when they rock out. When they perform live they are fantastic. Freddy's over the top theatrics are stereotypical, but also plain fun to watch. Maybe just watch Queen Live in Montreal, very good. But on this video, I'd pass.
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