Top positive review
Well, I've loved a million men in a belladonic haze...
October 25, 2018
This release is a good snapshot of Queen's career with Freddy but shouldn't be considered as a "greatest hits" collection. There are some very interesting alternate versions of some of their most iconic songs and overall it makes for a very enjoyable listen.
I was into Queen from the very beginning and still think their first 2 albums are a couple of the best hard rock albums of all time. Then they lost me when their music started to become increasingly kitschy and cabaret. I still thought it was well done but it was no longer to my taste. The band was by then mostly a vehicle for Freddy Mercury's campy musical vision, although the vastly underrated Brian May did contribute some of their best music, and John Deacon (the George Harrison of Queen), was able to produce a couple of huge hits through sheer perseverance as the odd man out.
I haven't seen the film but from what I've read I think that Sasha Baron Cohen was more on the right track with his more raw version of the film than the band members (May and Taylor) who allegedly wanted to whitewash certain grim truths about Freddy's double lives. I understand that they wanted to respect his legacy, but the circumstances surrounding his death are a huge part of that legacy. The fact that he was gay is of no consequence to me. Freddy was one of the greatest of all time - period, and it was certainly his right to remain secretive up to his death. However, I thought it was sad that he left no cautionary statements about dangerous, irresponsiblesexual behavior in an age when AIDS was already rampant but still misunderstood. I will eventually see the film and I hope my mind will be changed about their version of the band's history. I really want to like it.
But this CD release is all about a lot of great music that the band left behind. I haven't had much interest in the band's various incarnations since then but they are right to continue to perform their music. I think May and Taylor are still "Queen" in the same sense that Daltrey and Townshend are still "The Who" or Lynyrd Skynyrd or any other classic band with 1 or 2 original member. Maybe legally but not really...