on October 3, 2000
There is no word in the English dictionary that accurately describes this work of genius. It is absolutely amazing, unbelieveable, incredible. I have almost every Queen album, this was the first one I purchased aside from the greatest hits, and it still reigns supreme over all the other Queen albums.
"Innuendo" (the song) is my favorite Queen song, it is amazing. It opens with a drum roll which makes you jump upon first listen. Freddie Mercury sounds better than ever before. The highlight of the track is the "wandering minstrel" guitar interlude beginning at 3:16, it starts out in 5/4 time, then goes into 6/4 after a couple of choruses. Absolutely amazing. "I'm Going Slightly Mad" is a humorous track, which is somewhat Noel Coward-ish. "Headlong" is an excellent rocker, will please metalheads everywhere with its heavily distorted guitar riffs and excellent solos. "I Can't Live With You" is a fantastic song, with great lyrics and instrumentation. "Don't Try So Hard" features one of Freddie Mercury's ultimate vocal performances, absolutely beautiful, will bring tears to some eyes, no joke. Roger Taylor must have been the primary force behind "Ride The Wild Wind," as his drums really stand out on this fast, heart-pumping track. "All God's People" is classic Freddie Mercury, with its complex, multilayered vocals ala "Somebody To Love" or "Bohemian Rhapsody." Next is the haunting track "These Are The Days Of Our Lives," a song about looking back on childhood and enjoying life as an adult. This song was also the last music video filmed by Queen as a foursome with Freddie. "Delilah" is a cute, little ditty about Freddie's favorite cat of the same name. Then in charges "The Hitman," which rocks and reels us all like just like the album's earlier track "Headlong." Next is "Bijou," an instrumental with a brief lyric from Freddie. This track features incredible guitar work by virtuoso Brian May himself, beautiful.
Finally, the all-out finale "The Show Must Go On" closes the album. This song is most likely the track that defines the Innuendo album. As most of you know, this was the last album Queen released before Freddie Mercury died. He said to his bandmates that he wanted to keep on making records until he was no longer alive to record more music. This song speaks of his attitude toward his state. Freddie was extremely ill with AIDS at the time of recording this album, and was determined to give it his all. "Inside my heart is breaking, my makeup may be flaking but my smile still stays on." This lyric speaks of his exact feeling, sometimes it got so bad he had to prop himself up on the desk and sing. It means that AIDS is taking over him, but he will ignore it and keep going, "I'll face it with a grin, I'm never giving in, on with the show...."
Innuendo was released on February 5, 1991. On November 24th of that same year, Freddie Mercury was dead. He left this world after he and his bandmates released an album of the most incredible music they could ever do. They knew they were on borrowed time, so they pushed themselves to the limits, and by doing so, they did it better than they ever could have done, with one simple thought of determination, "the show must go on." They continued right up until Freddie was to ill to work. Now and forever, the show will go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on...........
on September 29, 2004
It's hard to believe that this is the last album Queen released as a foursome. Released in 1991, not too long before Freddie's death, this truly shows Queen at their finest. It's one of those albums you can listen to all the way through. Starting with the six-minute epic "Innuendo", and ending with the powerful "The Show Must Go On," this album is a must have for any Queen fan, or any rock fan for that matter.
1. Innuendo (10/10)
2. I'm Going slightly Mad (10/10)
3. Headlong (8/10)
4. I Can't Live with You (7.5/10)
5. Don't Try So Hard (9/10)
6. Ride the Wild Wind (8/10)
7. All God's People (7.5/10)
8. These Are the Days of Our Lives (10/10)
9. Delilah (8/10)
10. The Hitman (8.5/10)
11. Bijou (9.5/10)
12. The Show Must Go On (10+)
The last song on the CD is, in my opinion, one of the best Queen songs ever. As you listen to Freddie sing, it's not apparent in any way he was ill. His voice was still as beautiful as ever, and he went out at the top. It pains me to listen to the song, because it seems like a song Freddie wrote about his battle with his illness. "The Days of our Lives" seems like Freddie's farewell song. When he says at the end, "I still love you," I tear up. Freddie Mercury was the best songwriter/singer/performer that I have ever known, and I will remember him forever!
on October 10, 2005
Forget everything you know about Queen and Freddie Mercury. Buy this CD for the brilliant music alone...
This is simply rock music at the highest level - a great band probably playing at its peak. Every song is a masterpiece, pure and simple.
And then remember Queen and Freddie Mercury. They knew this CD would probably be their last as Queen. And they, as a group, gave it their all. Music, lyrics, performance -its all here.
Listen to the CD again. And then you can cry for what we have lost.
on August 24, 2006
You will know I love many eclectic styles of music when I say that my current CD changer is occupied by Astrud Gilberto, Hank Williams, Louis Prima, Brothers Johnson, Johnny Cash, and Queen. And while these may seem to be hopelessly disconnected, I realized with a start today that the Cash and Queen CDs actually did share one bittersweet connection: both are sad but stirring farewells from artists of unparalelled excellence.
Of course, the particular Queen CD occupying my CD changer at this time is INNUENDO, and it has ranked as my favorite Queen CD during the past 15 years. Though it may not be as consistent as, say, NIGHT AT THE OPERA, it does hit several high points that continue to be deeply moving and revelatory in their brilliance.
This CD does really hold together strongly thematically, as Freddie Mercury ponders the most profound issues of life and death, and does so with a determined--even hopeful--gleam in his eye. The Zepplin-esque leadoff title track is as epic and powerful as anything the band has ever done, Mercury's vocals soaring on waves of sonic blasts courtesy of Brian May's guitar symphonics and guest guitarist Steve Howe's Spanish-style picking.
"I'm Going Slightly Mad" is somewhat chilling in light of reality, but Mercury infuses it with his usual tongue-in-cheek defiant humor, and "Headlong" is a pleasingly crunchy rocker highlighted by Queen's groovy rhythm section of Taylor and Deacon. Other highlights include the exhilirating "Ride the Wild Wind" and the beautifully lilting "These Are the Days of Our Lives" (one of the band's finest ballads, and one that is not maudlin in any way).
As brilliant as all of the above are, the coup de grace is "The Show Must Go On," where Mercury faces his fate "with a grin," and sings "on with the show" with such conviction, passion, and pathos that it both breaks your heart and causes the hair on your arm to rise. The lush instrumentation here is incredibly powerful--only a voice like Mercury's could keep up with, and even transcend it.
Absolutely, I give this my highest recommendation for a symphonic rock album--it's a classic of the genre and still holds up brilliantly today. Great music, regardless of style, is both timely and timeless. INNUENDO is a moving document of the passing of one of music's finest vocalists, the incomparable Freddie Mercury, and for that reason alone, makes this album indespensible. But beyond that, it is a stellar collection of songs, masterfully performed, by a powerful band at the top of their game.
on July 14, 2002
To this day-and this is after having had-and loving 'Innuendo' for almost twelve years now-this album still blows me away for many reasons. One? The songs. (&) Two? The collective brilliance of how Brian May,Roger Taylor,John Deacon-and most stupefyingly-Freddie Mercury defied the odds and crafted such a stirring swan song as 'Innuendo'. How Is It that one man can sing better than he ever had (oh,did he...) and be thisclose to succumbing to terminal illness? My Lord: "Innuendo","The Show Must Go On","Headlong","I'm Going Slightly Mad","Delilah","All God's People","These Are The Days Of Our Lives"....
It's been said that upon learning his time was very limited here on earth,Freddie insisted he and Queen return to the studio pronto and do as much work as God would give them time-wise... As Brian May has said in interviews following Freddie's passing in autumn 1991,Freddie was typically only physically able to sing what he did an hour or two at a time each recording session until he was unfortunately spent by the rigors of his illness.. Only to try again until he just couldn't do anymore that day by propping himself up against the console and having a crack at it all again: Never Giving In. Let THAT be a lesson to ANYONE about it not being how much time you put into something you do,but How Much The Time Vested COUNTS. Freddie could sing in an hour's time in a studio what ten vocalists couldn't in a week's time... Need a better picture of what I mean here? Then hear 'Innuendo' front to back: from the amazing opener "Innuendo" through to the more-apt-than-apt album closer "The Show Must Go On"(which features some of Freddie's most...unreal yet very real....singing ever heard).
Amazing,AMAZING stuff. Let there be no mistake though: as fine as everyone's performances are on 'Innuendo',Freddie basically steals the show here with 'Innuendo' as being as super-human a vocalist and spirit as he so certainly does on 'Innuendo'. Don't be swayed by all of these 5 star reviews and have a cynical tongue in that cheek there: Freddie never sang this amazingly; his range even got more broader and intense than at any other time in Queen's history... But moreover,'Innuendo' contains some of THE Very Best Queen material ever released. Period. (And,no,I'm not being too sentimental in light of how the band ended with Freddie's death. This Record-By Itself-Is Brilliant. Period. ) Every element that ever characterized Queen up until 'Innuendo' with all sorts of facets that seal the deal in how 'Innuendo' is as timeless and solid a Queen album as even 'A Night At The Opera','Sheer Heart Attack','The Game' or 'Queen II'. Perhaps moreso 'Innuendo' than the other albums for it's overall scope of content and it's true from-the-gut intensity. I can't say enough words that hit the mark enough to give this album justice. I can only hope any one of you reading a review like this here can find out for yourself by buying and listening to 'Innuendo' for yourselves...
I'm still blown away by what Freddie had pulled out of his soul for 'Innuendo'(he and all of Queen),and the heartwarming fact that all four members bandied together as productively as they had and brewed up such a potent,potent album that has all of their whimsy,humor and good spirits served up with a fitting,superbly-poignant overall-dose of grasping one's own mortality-staring in the face of it as if to say "I dare ya to take me when I've got THIS to do yet!" -and THEN creating said album. (If you should find yourself into 'Innuendo',the posthumously-released 'Made In Heaven' record from 1995 is worthy of mention; for it contains the very last studio sessions of what began with 'Innuendo'.. Fine album in itself..)
Above ALL else: one of the best pop/rock star personalities ever; one of the most naturally-charismatic frontmen of any genre of music (And Queen is many genres; as 'Innuendo' but one example attests...) and above any tragedy or any sexuality,Freddie Mercury was,is and remains one of the most gifted vocalists,musicians and songwriters ever. But Mostly,after knowing him through the music and times of Queen,he stands tallest as being as truly beautiful a person as he was. Period. Ask any self-respecting singer in just about any band or outfit and I'm sure they'll be quick to give Freddie his due props in admiration,affection,respect and awe for the vocal chops and command Freddie Mercury most certainly had (and has; as records=immortality). God Bless You Always: Freddie and the surviving members of Queen. 'Innuendo' is as good as it gets in serving up an unfortunately-premature salvo to such a legendary career. Yep; 'Innuendo' is one of the most solid,all-around brilliant records Queen has EVER made. ANd imagine that it was the last one made and released while Freddie Mercury was alive...
Who better than them to lay claim to that? After all,they've created so many timeless and incredible songs and albums since 1973.. It's so beautiful that they captured every element of joy and duress as they have with 'Innuendo' and with Freddie hanging on as brilliantly as he did while having the grace to accept his fate as he did.
Brilliant album overall. Do yourself a favor and check it out/buy it.
on May 7, 2006
It still suprises me to think that Freddie was dying when he made this because this is one of the greatest albums ever. You might expect someone who is dying of such a terrible disease such as AIDS to complain or stay in bed but not Freddie he had to go out on top, and that he did. It begins with "Innuendo" a six minute progressive epic song that went straight to number 1 in England. The song probably has alot to due with Freddie dying even if it was mostly written by Roger. Regardless who wrote it is the best song Queen has written since Bohemian Rhapsody. The following hit is a weird one. "I'm Going Slightly Mad" has a playful video and music yet its lyrics are depressing. The song talks about what Freddie was going through during his illness with lines such as "I'm one card short of a full deck" and "I'm one wave short of a ship wreck". Depressing indeed. Next is the rocker "Headlong" which is one of the most upbeat songs on the album. I have no clue what the song is about but I sure do love it. "I Can't Live With You" is the next rocker song, while better on the later Queen Rocks album this song is pretty good with catchy lyrics and a nice rock stance to go along with it. "Don't Try So Hard" is a ballad that is very powerful with Freddie singing in falsetto for some of it and it the middle is very strong "Oh what a beautiful world / this is the life for me" that part gives me shivers everytime. Next is the Roger penned "Ride the Wild Wind" and Queen vets will know this is a Roger song right away with the fast tempo and the race car sounds. It also has some very catchy YEAH YEAH YEAH's in it. The next is the Barcelona album demo "All God's People" and since Tim Rice worked with Freddie on Barcelona and he also did the Lion King it makes me wonder if he was inspired by this song because they sound very similiar. Overally it's a good song with a powerful beginning but kind of dies off towards the end. The next is one of the tearjerkers on the album called "These Are The Days Of Our Lives". It features a video with Freddie's last on screen appearance and animation from Disney. The song is beautiful and the final line "I Still Love You" is very emotional to any Queen fan. Now for a complete change of pace we go to "Delilah" which is a song about Freddie's favorite feline companion. Not a very good song, kind of poppy and features the band mates with some terrible "Meows". Roger hated this song and I can't blame him, yet I still respect Freddie that he wanted to write a song for his beloved cat. The next is a little better, Brian May's "Hitman" is one of Queen's heaviest songs yet has some of the worst lyrics. The Hitman referred to in the song can be a reference to the AIDS virus that was killing Freddie. It's a fun song to bang your head too just don't listen to the lyrics too carefully. Now we close out the album with two magnificent songs. "Bijou" has one of the best guitar solos i've heard. It does not have many lyrics but it does not need them as that guitar is just amazing and very sad. It sets up the next song perfectly too. Now for Queen's last epic song "The Show Must Go On". Ask any Queen what their favorite Queen songs are and more than likely they will say this one. It is an intense song about life continuing after Freddie was gone. Freddie delivers on this song as his vocals really lift the song to an incredible high. Overall if you're not sold yet than you probably won't be. Innunedo is an album that defines a group like Queen. It shows what kind of character they have, that they can go into the studio and create such a wonderful album with only a little time remaining. What a fabulous group they were, and what a fabulous album this is.
on November 22, 2000
After finishing "The Miracle", the boys went straight to recording this priceless album.This is quite possibly Queen's most personal work as it was recorded during Freddie's last days.Freddie was reported to have said to the rest of the band (para-phrasing) "Write something for me to sing, I don't care what." He was in incredible pain throughout and often had to rest for long periods. Queen did not know if Freddie would even live long enough for the album to be completed.He did and we are richer for it.The album, comprised of songs dealing with mortality, sadness and yet, the light at the end of the tunnel, leaves you with mixed emotions. Not to the quality of the songs but what you actually feel inside.It all begins with the epic, title track "Innuendo", recalling the glory days of "Bohemian Rhapsody" with it's THREE styles of music included...it's lyrical nature very Zeppelin-esque."I'm Going Slightly Mad" sounds like The Cure with pep.The album's emotional weight comes from two main tracks. "These Are the Days of Our Lives" has Freddie "going back through life on a roller-coaster ride", reliving his past joys. "The Show Must Go On"...even with AIDS ravaging his body, his voice was never stronger singing with courage "My make-up may be flaking but my smile still stays on..." & "I'll face it with a grin, I'm never giving in.."This album isn't all morbid as evidenced by the all for nothing rockers "Headlong" and "The Hitman". Even silliness reigns with Freddie's own dedication to his favorite cat in "Delilah".The shame of it all...this was released with much fanfare as it was the first from a new contract with the Disney owned Holywood Records. Queen were getting good reviews...videos played on MTV and their new rock tracks finding heavy rotation on America's AOR stations. Sadly, Freddie died some nine months later at his home in London.Freddie shone through here, facing it all...wearing a grin. This entry in Queen's catalog is a must for any "music fan".
on October 21, 2015
This would be the last Queen album recorded while Freddie Mercury was alive. Those that knew him best knew that his condition was deteriorating and that time was not on his side. Yet somehow, despite all of this, Freddie put in a commendable performance. There is a certain amount of expected introspection, as evidenced by the heartbreaking ballad These Are The Days Of Our Lives, but also a surprising amount of whimsy with I'm Going Slightly Mad and Delilah, written by Freddie about his favorite cat. Innuendo, the first and title track, is a stunning masterpiece featuring flamenco guitar by Yes' Steve Howe, while Don't Try So Hard seems an eerie and haunting ode to letting go. But in my opinion the album's masterstroke is its final track, the chilling and powerful The Show Must Go On. In an interview with Brian May, the band wasn't entirely sure Freddie would be able to pull off the vocals, as his condition continued to steadily worsen. But though he had difficulty standing and was otherwise physically weak, Freddie belted out the words with a power and virtuosity that sends chills up my spine every single time I hear it. Though not perfect, with a few less than stellar tracks filling the space of the almost hour-long album, Innuendo manages to capture some of the eclectic mix of sounds that highlighted Queen's earlier works. In the end, it is a good album and one I listen to often, certainly more so than its predecessor The Miracle or its successor Made In Heaven, which was a sort of posthumous tribute made from recordings of Freddie while he was alive. As the last of the line, it is worth owning, but as a Queen album it is worth listening to as well. Sadly, nine months after this album was released, Freddie Mercury succumbed to pneumonia brought on by the decimation of his immune system by AIDS. The world was a better place for his presence.
on January 30, 2008
Much like Warren Zevon's "The Wind" album, "Innuendo" is the final portrait of a dying man. At the time of it's recording, Freddie Mercury was in the last months of dying from AIDs. Incredibly he threw himself into the recording process on days when he was physically able, and he and the band came up with what in my opinion is one of their best albums. One would really have to go all the way back to "A Day At The Races" in 1976 to find an album that is even close to this one. The majority of this disc deals with death, but incredibly it is not really a downbeat album and in fact finds Freddie and the boys in a reflective yet hopeful mood. The album did not make too much of a splash in the U.S. although the single "Headlong" did get some AOR airplay. It is a great rocker and one of the best singles the band ever release in my opinion. Just about every song on this disc is great. The one exception being "Delilah", a song about Freddie's cat. Yea, it is pretty horrible, but I am guessing that the band let Fred indulge a bit on this one due to his condition. Other than that the tracks are all strong. The title track "Innuendo" is as loud and bombastic Queen at it's best with a nice Spanish guitar interlude provided by special guest Steve Howe (Yes, Asia). Other highlights include "I'm Going Slightly Mad", "I Can't Live With You", "Don't Try So Hard", "Ride The Wild Wind", "The Hitman" and "Bijou". Probably two of the most effective songs on the album are "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" which finds Freddie looking back on his life and forward to his demise. The final track, "The Show Must Go On" is the high point of the album and really sums up Freddie and his love of the stage. Even to this day when I listen to him belting out this tour de force it brings a bit of a lump to my throat. When the Beatles ended their career the final statement on "Abby Road" of "and in the end, the love you make, is equal to the love you make", was the perfect coda for the end of the band. To me "The Show Must Go On" has the same impact in its message. With Freddie's final words "on with the show" he summed up the entire career of one of the most innovative bands in the history of rock n roll. If you are a Queen fan and don't own this one you need to pick it up.
on December 27, 2000
I don't remember being aware that Freddie was dying of AIDS when this beautiful gem came out with little fanfare in 1991. Some of the heaviest songs Queen ever recorded are to be found here, with near-metal songs like "The Hitman" and "Innuendo", with its superb Brian May/Steve Howe-led flamenco interlude leading the charge. The album posessed an intense character unlike any Queen that I had ever heard before that - along with a little of silliness that I did recall. But after Freddie's sad announcement and what seemed like his almost immediate death after that, what had already been a near-brilliant album suddenly opened itself up as a rich, complex, beautifully-woven epitaph to the Queen legend. The lyrics speak simply but eloquently of frustration ("I'm Going Slightly Mad"), external mis-perception ("Innuendo"), reflection ("These Are The Days Of Our Lives"), delight in the simplest of life's pleasures ("Delilah"), and unflinching optimism ("The Show Must Go On"). Mercury writes with an unpretentious pen that startles you with its frankness, but never wears you down with the weight of the reality that he was trapped within. I think its in the glorious construction of Queen's sound that allows you to see the beauty even through the agony and sadness that the lyrics speak of. That having been said, even the seemingly less consequential songs resonate with the sad and subtle knowledge that this was a man working on borrowed time. It's hard not to shed a tear when you hear the final echoes of Freddie's voice on "The Show Must Go On" close the album - arguably Mercury's greatest vocal performance ever - but its not a tear of sadness, but a tear of rapture for the beauty that you have just had the privilege of experiencing.