Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
Good, but it could be a LOT better
on September 11, 2008
Queen have had countless compilations released over the years. We have tons of releases called 'Greatest Hits.' There's a mediocre U.S. version, than there's a great import release. Of course, there is a 'Greatest Hits II,' focusing on the 1981-1991 material. And finally, there is even a 'Greatest Hits III' released (I strongly recommend you avoid that release at all costs).
So, in the early 2000s, Hollywood Records decided to release yet another Queen 'Greatest Hits' album. But this one is far different from the standard 'Greatest Hits' release.
There is nothing from the 1981-1991 period. That means, no 'Radio Ga Ga,' 'I'm Going Slightly Mad,' 'A Kind Of Magic,' 'Who Wants To Live Forever' or 'Hammer To Fall.' That's a letdown. Now, this covers the early years of Queen. Read on.
Tracks from Queen (1973)
Review: No 'Keep Yourself Alive'? Come on! The U.K. version of 'Greatest Hits' also unfairly omitted this classic. Only 'Classic Queen' offers that track. That's the only compilation. A disappointment indeed.
Tracks from Queen II (1974)
'Seven Seas Of Rhye'
Review: A great song, one of the best. I have no complaints. Definitely the best song from the album. A classic pick.
Tracks from Sheer Heart Attack (1974)
'Killer Queen,' 'Now I'm Here'
Review: 'STONE COLD CRAZY'!?! Where the heck is it? This is supposed to be 'Greatest Hits'! ARGH! At least they included 'Killer Queen,' perhaps my favorite Queen song of the '70s. But the omission of 'Stone Cold Crazy' is just frustrating.
Tracks from A Night At The Opera (1975)
'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'You're My Best Friend,' 'I'm In Love With My Car'
Review: Excellent. The three great tracks from arguably their best album are here. And unlike the previous release, this one actually includes 'Bohemian Rhapsody'! All I have to say is IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!
Tracks from A Day At The Races (1976)
'Somebody To Love,' 'Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy'
Review: Superb choices, my two favorites from the album. 'Tie Your Mother Down' is here, but in an inferior live version. Still, the follow up to 'A Night At The Opera' gets great coverage here. Hollywood Records got these picks right.
Tracks from News Of The World (1977)
'We Will Rock You,' 'We Are The Champions'
Review: Queen were at their peak when they released 'News Of The World.' So glad to see 'We Will Rock You' and 'We Are The Champions,' the two ultimate sports anthems here, but 'Sheer Heart Attack' should also be here from this album as well.
Tracks from Jazz (1978)
'Fat Bottomed Girls,' 'Bicycle Race'
Review: The two hits from the album are here. Disappointed to see that an album track like 'If You Can't Beat 'Em' isn't here, but that's minor stuff. 'Jazz' has always been one of my favorite Queen albums, and these are my two favorites from the album, so I have no major complaints. Excellent choices.
Tracks from The Game (1980)
'Crazy Little Thing Called Love,' 'Save Me,' 'Another One Bites The Dust,' 'Play The Game'
Review: 'The Game' gets the record for the most songs from an album on this compilation, and rightfully so. Queen were at a career highpoint here, and it shows. 'Another One Bites The Dust' remains one of their biggest hits, and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' is a classic rock radio staple. A great album with great picks. Not a single complaint.
Tracks from Flash Gordon (1980)
Review: A great song, but it seems somewhat out of place here. I'm glad it's here, don't get me wrong, but this collection is made for their 1973-1980 stuff, and while this was recorded and released in 1980, Queen were moving towards the direction they would take in the '80s here.
Tracks from Hot Space (1982)
Review: Technically, what's written above is inaccurate, because 'Under Pressure' is here indeed, but it is a live version. Similar to 'Tie Your Mother Down,' the studio version is far superior to the live version.
'Under Pressure,' 'Tie Your Mother Down'
Review: Both are far inferior to the studio versions. I question Hollywood Records move to include the live versions of these Queen classics over the studio versions. A little disappointing. I strongly recommend seeking out the studio versions of both of these Queen classics as well.
Overall, this is somewhat disappointing. Everything here (well, except for maybe the live tracks) is five stars. I would buy this only if I were a casual Queen fan who wants their 1973-1980 output or if I were starting my Queen collection, but that would be the only reason I would buy this.
And while three stars may seem offensive to some, to me, it's perfectly reasonable. The picks here are five stars, but Hollywood could have done a far better job, no doubt about it.
Just seek out 'The Platinum Collection' or 'Greatest Hits I & II.' There, you will find all of the Queen the casual fan will ever need. If you are a Queen die-hard or a serious fan, just buy the studio albums. Oh yeah, and just download 'Keep Yourself Alive.'
This is recommended, but only for casual or new Queen fans. Otherwise, I would skip this in favor of better Queen compilations.