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The Game (+ Bonus Track)

4.5 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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The Game
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Audio CD, October 17, 1994
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Another One Bites the Dust and You're My Best Friend highlight this 1980 smash!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hollywood Records
  • ASIN: B000000OAJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,949 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By W. Langan on October 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album has to be Queen's most transitional album. There is less heavy metal style guitar (as featured on Queen, Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack) and even less campiness (which was featured on A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races and Jazz). On the liner notes, they admit that they used synthesizer "for the 1st time" (for the 1st 6 albums, they proudly boasted that synthesizers were not used at all). They even looked different with the shorter haircuts (sans Brian, whose long curly locks remained unshorned). But I digress. On with the review.

4 of the songs were written and performed for a mini tour called the "Crazy Little Tour." One of them, an uncharacteristic rockabilly tune "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," which lead singer Freddie Mercury wrote. This gave them a big hit in the 1980's. 2 of the songs are sensitive ballads written by versatile guitarist Brian May, "Sail Away Sweet Sister" (Brian sings lead on this, with Freddie singing on the bridge) and the powerful "Save Me" (a minour hit in the UK). Drummer Roger Taylor penned "Coming Soon," which sounds a lot like the Cars (he was the band's true classic rock fan).

The rest of the album was recorded in the 1980's. Around the same time, Queen was preparing the Flash Gordon soundtrack (that's another review). The Game opens with Freddie's "Play the Game," which captures Queen's "classic" sound and features an interesting synthesizer intro (a minour hit for them). Bass player John Deacon had his biggest hit with the funky "Another One Bites the Dust" (he admits it was originally going to be a cowboy song, but for some reason changed it). Other songs include the heavy "Dragon Attack" (written by Brian, "Slow down, don't take no prisoners!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In my youth, I had a longing desire to own "The Game", but when I was nine, Queen's adult-themed subtext was not deemed appropriate by my vigilant parents. I was exposed to "The Game" by way of my friends, but did not personally own it. As an elementary school student in the late `70s, Queen's image and lyric content were not deemed proper by the "powers that were." As a result, I have kept Queen's most critically acclaimed albums from the '70's on the back burner, knowing that I would return to them when the time was right.

Of course, as with any band worth their salt, Queen kept coming up. In the short term, when I started driving my own car, I bought "Queen's Greatest Hits" in the mid-80's. Even later, as a curiosity, I picked up "Innuendo" before Freddie's death in the in the`90s, but up to a certain point gauging their career by a "Queen's Greatest Hits" album is doing the both the band and listener a disservice. Arguably, one could say that "The Game" is this point. While a Greatest Hits compilation may give you "Another One Bites the Dust", you will also be missing out on great tunes like "Dragon Attack.", "Coming Soon", "Sail Away, Sweet Sister", and "Need Your Loving Tonight".

"The Game" represents a division in Queen's sound, the radio-friendly flipside to the "Flash Gordon" soundtrack. These two sides of Queen's personality diverged in the early 80's, and eventually met again on "Who Wants To Live Forever" and a significant part of "Innuendo". This streamlining is most likely a direct reaction to the punk movement, which discouraged prog-rock. This was streamlined into a radio-friendly, song-based album while "Flash Gordon" was instrumental and melodramatically theatrical.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of Queen's best albums and a definite improvement from their last two albums. Contained here are Queen's two biggest U.S. hits - Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites The Dust. From start to finish this album is great with some minor exceptions.

Play The Game - 9/10 nice opener and classic Freddie song

Dragon Attack - 9/10 each band member has their own solo in this one. great rocker

Another One Bites The Dust - 9/10 not my personal favorite but it was Queen's biggest single ever

Need Your Loving Tonight - 8/10 nice setup for the next track

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - 10/10 featuring Freddie on guitar for the first time. great song

Rock It (Prime Jive) - 8/10 duet by Roger and Freddie. good up-tempo song

Don't Try Suicide - 7/10 the only exception to the greatness that is The Game. I agree with another review. good lyrics not great music

Sail Away Sweet Sister - 10/10 a Brian May gem. Sung by both Freddie and Brian, this song is a masterpiece

Coming Soon - 7/10 sort of filler but still kinda fun

Save Me - 10/10 fantastic ballad to close this awesome album.

overall rating: 87/100 one of Queen's best albums. I recommend Innuendo, The Miracle, A Night At The Opera, and The Works also if you want to get some of Queen's other fine albums
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Format: Audio CD
It's hard to argue with success.

The Game was Queen's first no. 1 album in the US, and it's easy to see why. The Game is definitely Queen's first pop album, yet it proves that 'commercial' isn't necessarily a dirty word. In fact, The Game, which is truly straight-out mainstream directed at an audience as large as possible, is at least as, if not more enjoyable and fulfilling than News of the World or Jazz, definitely better albums but ones that can't decide whether they want to be pop, hard rock or progressive. On 'The Game' Queen went very deliberately for a somewhat lower common denominator, and in the process created one of the most perfect pop-rock albums ever made.

So naturally, The Game lacks the depth of Queen's first five albums, as well as the edge and power New of the World had. But how can you argue with songs like 'Another One Bites the Dust' and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'? In fact, how can you argue with any track on this album? There are no symphonic epics here - each track is designed to create a very specific mood, and does so seamlessly. Whether it's the straight out rock, heavy bass hard rock of 'Dragon Attack' (and Queen's rhythm section gets to shine here more than ever before, if only slightly at the expense of guitar god Brian May, showing that they can deliver the goods too), the gorgeous ballad that is 'Sail Away Sweet Sister', the perfect pop of 'Play The Game' (a precursor to some latter day hits like 'The Miracle' and 'One Vision'), the light-hearted rockabilly of 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love', or the delicious dark funk of 'Another One Bites The Dust' - The Game is an album that keeps a slight smile on your face throughout the entire thirty five minutes of it.
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