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Thread: Queen's Prog Moments & Album Ranking

  1. #1
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Queen's Prog Moments & Album Ranking

    Question 1- What are their most progressive tunes?

    Question 2- What order would you rank the albums you are familiar with?

  2. #2
    Queen holds a special place in my heart for they were the group that kick started my interest in music. Bohemian Rhapsody of course blew my mind the first time I heard it and is easily one of their "proggiest" moments, and it continues to blow my mind that the song is essentially common cultural knowledge. As for other "proggy" moments, I would say The March of the Black Queen, Prophet's Song, Millionaire Waltz, '39, and White Queen are the ones that stick out the most in my mind at the moment. For as long as these songs have been a part of my life, I could not objectively rate their albums, but I think most "prog" fans would find enough to enjoy in their albums from Queen II through A Day at the Races.
    A vie, a mort, et apres...

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    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Question 1- What are their most progressive tunes?
    Great King Rat, Liar, The March of the Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Prophet's Song, Was It All Worth It (kinda), Innuendo.

    Question 2- What order would you rank the albums you are familiar with?
    I'll be alone on this one, I think.

    1) Sheer Heart Attack
    2) The Works (yes, really)
    3) A Day at the Races
    4) Jazz
    5) Innuendo
    6) Queen
    7) Queen II
    8) The Miracle
    9) A Night at the Opera
    10) A Kind of Magic
    11) News of the World
    12) The Game
    13) Made In Heaven
    14) Hot Space

    Not familiar with the "Flash Gordon" soundtrack apart from the title track.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Question 1- What are their most progressive tunes?
    I never thought of Queen as a Progressive Rock band, but here are the songs I think that most clearly display nods in a "proggy" direction:

    Liar
    Great King Rat

    Procession/Father to Son/White Queen
    Ogre Battle/Fairy Feller's Master Stroke/Nevermore
    March of the Black Queen

    Prophet's Song
    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Millionaire Waltz, sort of

    That's pretty much it in my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Question 2- What order would you rank the albums you are familiar with?
    Night at the Opera
    Sheer Heart Attack
    Queen II
    Queen
    News of the World
    Day at the Races
    Jazz

    {Gap}

    The Game
    Innuendo
    The Miracle

    {Enormous gap}

    Everything else

    Bill

  5. #5
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    The Prophets Song is my fave Queen prog song no doubt. Innuendo is probably up there too along with '39, Death On Two Legs & Bo Rhap of course.
    Fave Queen albums: Sheer Heart Attack, A Night At The Opera and News Of The World.

  6. #6
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Get Down, Make Love is one of my favorite Queen tunes. It has a pretty neat arrangement but not proggy prog really....just sort of artistic.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Question 1- What are their most progressive tunes?
    “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Prophet’s Song,” “Millionaire Waltz,” “Bicycle Race” and most of Side Black from Queen II.

    Question 2- What order would you rank the albums you are familiar with?
    1. Queen II
    2. A Night at the Opera
    3. Sheer Heart Attack
    4. A Day at the Races
    5. Jazz
    6. The Game
    7. 1st album
    8. News of the World
    9. Hot Space



    Don’t really know of much of their later stuff, apart from [some of] the singles.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    Lots of progressive-inclined moments on Queen II through to A Day At The Races. But I'd say Queen II and 'The Prophet's Song' from A Night At The Opera deliver the most.

    Starting with News Of The World (save for 'It's Late') they became a little less grandiose and epic, but the respective title tracks of The Miracle and Innuendo (the latter having Steve Howe on it, funnily enough) are a throwback to the old days.

    Album rankings...

    A Night At The Opera
    Queen II
    Sheer Heart Attack
    A Day At The Races
    News Of The World
    Queen
    The Game
    Jazz
    Innuendo
    The Works
    Made In Heaven
    A Kind Of Magic
    The Miracle
    Hot Space
    Flash

    Avoid The Cosmos Rocks at all costs. Disastrous from the title on.

  9. #9
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I can't do the ranking thing, so I won't. I'm sort of a weird Queen fan in that I like the band a lot, but haven't actually listened to the first couple of albums that much. Although I do love some songs on Queen II. The first album is a bit too straight forward rock for me.

    ThomasKDye, I'm with you on The Works! I love most of the album and listened to it a lot when it came out. I remember it coming out I think on the same day as Gilmour's About Face, and buying both the same day. In fact, just yesterday I watched the videos for I Want to Break Free and Radio Gaga. I find the synthy stuff on those (at least, I THINK it's synth) to be excellent ear candy, and kind of proggy IMO.

    I even like most of Hot Space - Las Palabras de Amor and Calling All Boys and of course Under Pressure are all high points for me.

    Although I think Queen has some proggy tendencies, my favorite songs are the ones written by Freddie that have a sort of ballad sound, and anything with a great, melodic solo from Brian May.
    "Of course you are allowed to trumpet your profound ignorance by disagreeing with me." -- Facelift

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Innuendo (the latter having Steve Howe on it, funnily enough)
    Love that song, it was Queens first #1 in the U.K. (and various other countries) since Under Pressure. And their last of course,

    Howe had gone to visit Queen in the studio after he’d heard through a mutual acquaintance that the group was working on its new album. Upon hearing “Innuendo,” he said, “I was fucking blown away.” When they asked him to play on it, he thought they’d lost their minds. Eventually, they convinced him to play “some crazy Spanish guitar flying around over the top,” Howe recalled. It took him hours to work something around the song’s structure, but the results speak for themselves. “They jokingly said I could do a bit of Paco De Lucia with it. I could see what they were after so I did some improvising and they loved it. I was so proud to be on that record.”

    Last edited by Wah3; 1 Week Ago at 07:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    2) The Works (yes, really)
    Actually, I just bought this album the other week after seeing the movie, and am pretty much blown away by how great it is. This is a stellar 80's era album. Great synth work and pop writing abound. Certainly a track or two might fall a bit short... but being an older person now, than a youthful lad rocking out to Queen II... this album hits the spot right now and I rank among their very best.

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    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    Rack me up as another Queen II -> A Day at the Races. May said that Queen II remained his personal favourite of the bunch. Mine too.
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

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    Don’t really have much to add to the proggy songs that others have not already mentioned. As for ranking. Off the top of my head I would go:

    1. Queen II
    2. A Night At The Opera
    3. Innuendo
    4. A Day At The Races
    5. Sheer Heart Attack
    6. The Miracle
    7. News Of The World
    8. Queen I
    9. A Kind Of Magic
    10. Jazz
    11. The Works
    12. The Game
    13. Made In Heaven
    14. Hot Space

    Along with the studio stuff Queen have several great live albums. Of the ones I own I would rank them:

    1. Queen Rocks Montreal
    2. Live At The Rainbow 74
    3. Live Killers
    4. Live At Wembley 86

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    No ranking for me, but the sequence from SHA through NotW are solid gold in my book and I would have a hard time choosing one over the others.
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  15. #15
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    I've only ever owned two Queen albums, and the second one I only bought about a month ago.

    1. Queen II
    2. Jazz

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    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Question 1- What are their most progressive tunes?
    Great King Rat, Liar, Procession/Father to Son/White Queen
    Ogre Battle/Master Stroke/Nevermore
    March of the Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Prophet's Song, Mustapha/Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Rage


    Question 2- What order would you rank the albums you are familiar with?
    Queen, II, Jazz
    space
    Attack, Opera, Live Killers
    space
    Races, News


    biiiiiig space:

    the rest (though I confess not being too familiar with Innuendo), but I despise everything between The Game until Magic
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  17. #17
    I love Hot Space soooo much. Innuendo is my #1, though.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man In The Mountain View Post
    Actually, I just bought this album the other week after seeing the movie, and am pretty much blown away by how great it is. This is a stellar 80's era album. Great synth work and pop writing abound. Certainly a track or two might fall a bit short... but being an older person now, than a youthful lad rocking out to Queen II... this album hits the spot right now and I rank among their very best.
    Is The Works featured in the movie in some way? Man, I need to go see that!
    "Of course you are allowed to trumpet your profound ignorance by disagreeing with me." -- Facelift

  19. #19
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    ThomasKDye, I'm with you on The Works!
    Quote Originally Posted by Man In The Mountain View Post
    Actually, I just bought this album the other week after seeing the movie, and am pretty much blown away by how great it is. This is a stellar 80's era album.
    "Tear It Up" is definitely a weaker track (a pity it's the second one) and "Man on the Prowl" is okay if you like the rockabilly thing (which I do in small doses - plus Fred Mandel's piano work at the end is killer). Everything else, though, is superb: "It's a Hard Life" and "Keep Passing The Open Windows" are Freddie at his most majestic; "Machines (or 'Back to Humans')" uses electronics in a GOOD way; "I Want to Break Free" is a nice palate-cleanser of a pop ditty; "Hammer to Fall" is pure excellence in anthemic rock; and "Is This The World We Created?" is a beautiful closer. And yeah, I've always enjoyed "Radio Ga Ga" as well.

    I really also like the rasp that developed in Freddie's voice at this time. He could still sing notes around the best of them, but the rasp gave his voice a deeper character than the crystalline tones he had in the seventies. It's not a good reason to start smoking like a chimney the way he did, but at least it had one positive side effect.

    The Works was the one eighties album that didn't give in heavily to "trends": We all know about Hot Space, of course. A Kind of Magic is very digital in its sound, and feels disjointed (due to it being a de facto Highlander soundtrack album with other unrelated songs thrown in). The Works just felt like its own entity; unafraid of new technology, but using it to be QUEEN, rather than using it to make Queen sound like everybody else.
    Last edited by ThomasKDye; 1 Week Ago at 11:42 PM.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  20. #20
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craigory View Post
    I love Hot Space soooo much.
    There are Queen fans who might reconsider some of Hot Space's material if it had been performed like THIS:



    You gotta love John Deacon on the rhythm guitar. It's almost like "Okay, John, YOU do the funk end on guitar, the rest of us are going to rock this mother."
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  21. #21
    I saw them on this tour, their last in the USA. This is better than the studio version, it rocks a bit more. But it still pales to me in comparison with their 70s material. There are the roots of a good song here, but it just doesn't develop, nothing stands out. It's a dance groove. It's fine for what it is, but even as a dance/pop song, this is pretty unmemorable.

    I saw them on The Game tour as well, and the difference between the two tours was palpable, a real drop-off with Hot Space. They just never caught a groove, ironically; never really got going. I think they were just lost in this period, as were a lot of bands. IMO, they never really came out of that. Others obviously like their later work, but it never did much for me.

    Bill

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Is The Works featured in the movie in some way? Man, I need to go see that!
    Yeah, it climaxes with Live Aid which has Hammer To Fall & Radio Ga Ga. Plus they do a bit with I Want to Break Free.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    "Tear It Up" is definitely a weaker track (a pity it's the second one) and "Man on the Prowl" is okay if you like the rockabilly thing (which I do in small doses - plus Fred Mandel's piano work at the end is killer). Everything else, though, is superb: "It's a Hard Life" and "Keep Passing The Open Windows" are Freddie at his most majestic; "Machines (or 'Back to Humans')" uses electronics in a GOOD way; "I Want to Break Free" is a nice palate-cleanser of a pop ditty; "Hammer to Fall" is pure excellence in anthemic rock; and "Is This The World We Created?" is a beautiful closer. And yeah, I've always enjoyed "Radio Ga Ga" as well.
    This exactly. And yes, the 2nd track "Tear It Up", is the only real dud which unfortunately sets you up to think you're in for a lame album. But no... not at all.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post

    You gotta love John Deacon on the rhythm guitar. It's almost like "Okay, John, YOU do the funk end on guitar, the rest of us are going to rock this mother."
    Yeah, I think that's the only song where he played rhythm guitar onstage. He actually played a lot of guitar on the songs that he brought to the band. Like on Another Bites The Dust, that's him playing pretty much all the guitars, except for the noise guitar stuff during the break down, which of course is Dr Brian. I remember when Brian was interviewed in Guitar Player, the guy doing the interview said something to the effect that the guitar playing on Back Chat was outside his normal style, and he responded, "That's because it's John playing, not me".

    I think the first Queen album was a good first album. They wisely opened with the best song on the record, Keep Yourself Alive.

    But they started to hit their stride on Queen II. The entire run from Queen II up through News Of The World are all awesome. Those records are all golden to my ears. I love all of them.

    Jazz, I think is where they sort of fall of that a little bit, with duds like Fun It and If You Can't Beat Them. But I think the rest of the album is great, particularly Let Me Entertain You (though it was better on Live Killers), Leaving Home Ain't Easy, Bicycle Race, and More Of That Jazz.

    Live Killers I always dug. A decent double live album. Love the acoustic set and the extended version of Brighton Rock.

    The Game, again, I think there's no one or two songs that weren't very good, specifically Don't Try Suicide and I don't think Coming Soon was very good either. The rest of the record, again, I think is great. Sail Away Sweet Sister and Save Me are my favorites here.

    The Flash Gordon soundtrack is a weird record. Everyone remembers Flash, and there's various musical themes throughout I think are fantastic, notably Ming's Theme, The Seduction Of Dale, Football Fight, Vultan's Theme, Battle Theme, and the rendition of the Wedding March (if I ever get married, that's the version I want to be played for the procession). The Hero is one of my favorite Queen songs, featuring a super cool guitar solo from Brian (and I love the fills he plays when they come back to the Flash motif at the end).

    Hot Space I think was an interesting record. They decided to do something different, and a lot of people gave it the thumbs down. I think Roger Taylor once said "We got sidetracked by the success of Another Bites The Dust down a road that wasn't really 'Queen music'". So you may say, Roger, but I think there's some good songs on this record. My favorites here are Staying Power (hate the drum machine, though), Action This Day, and Calling All Girls (love the intro to this song, and the feedback guitars, which I think Brian said were played by Roger).

    For whatever reason, I've never owned the next two records, The Works and A Kind Of Magic, though I know a lot of the songs from live albums, videos, etc. I don't care what anyone says, Radio Ga-Ga is a great song, I always tear up when I hear Freddie sing "So stick around/Because we might miss you" (and I LOVED the News Of The World robot leading the handclaps when they did the song the last time I saw Brian and Roger, with Adam Lambert). And I laugh every time I see the I Want To Break Free video, when Freddie appears. How can you not find that hilarious?!

    The Miracle I think is a fine record. Again, there's a couple songs I'm not so into, like The Invisible Man and Khasoggi's Ship. But songs like The Miracle itself (which also had a very fun video) and I Want It All remind one of Queen's old power.

    I've never owned Innuendo or that record that came out after Freddie passed away, I think it was called Made In Heaven?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Get Down, Make Love is one of my favorite Queen tunes. It has a pretty neat arrangement but not proggy prog really....just sort of artistic.
    I like the verses, with the bass line, piano and drums, lots of space in that arrangement, and the freak out in the middle is awesome. Note: all those weird noises are all Brian, the Old Lady, and a first generation Harmonizer.

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