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Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen II (1974) [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen II (1974)


The Infidel
01-19-10, 12:30 PM
Queen II: released March 1974

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/The_Infidel/Queen_II.png

Personnel:
Freddie Mercury - vocals, piano/harpsichord
Brian May - guitars, piano, vocals, bells
John Deacon - bass guitar, acoustic guitar
Roger Meddows-Taylor - percussion, vocals

Produced by Roy Thomas Baker and Queen
Additional production by Robin Geoffrey Cable and Queen
Engineered by Mike Stone at Trident Studios, London

Virtuoso castanets by Roy Thomas Baker...and nobody played synthesizer...again.

Track listing:
Side White
All songs written by Brian May, unless noted otherwise.

1. Procession – 1:12
2. Father to Son – 6:12
3. White Queen (As It Began) – 4:33
4. Some Day One Day – 4:21
5. The Loser in the End (Roger Taylor) – 4:01

Side Black
All songs written by Freddie Mercury.

1. Ogre Battle – 4:08
2. The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke (http://www.bohemia-place.net/fairyfeller.htm) – 2:39
3. Nevermore – 1:17
4. The March of the Black Queen – 6:03
5. Funny How Love Is – 3:14
6. Seven Seas of Rhye – 2:48

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Bonus track:

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Factoid:
The cover of the album was inspired by a photograph shown to the band by photographer Mick Rock, of actress Marlene Dietrich on the set of Shanghai Express:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/The_Infidel/Marlene_Dietrich-04.jpg

Spiderbite
01-22-10, 10:38 AM
Well, don't everybody post your thoughts at once.

I am listening to this album right now after not having listened to it in quite some time. It is definitely not one of my favorites and judging by the response so far, many must agree with me.

Even for all the pomp of the cover, the music inside is just kinda bland for some reason. I just find my mind drifting when listening to it. There are some hints of brilliance and it does again give a stepping stone as to what is to come. But the lyrics on this album pretty much suck. Granted I am not a big "fantasy" kinda guy, but I can't see many really enjoying this album at the time it was released or even today.

It just takes itself too seriously and is not a fun listen. You do hear the beginnings of May's famous guitar sound evolving (especially in Procession of course) but again, the songs...they just don't hold up well even with the better production than their previous album.

I do like Father To Son but it is the best dull song on the entire dull side A. White Queen, Some Day, & Loser will just put you to sleep.

Things get better for Side B with the awesome opening on Ogre Battle but then you have to listen to the lyrics which brings the song down. Poor lyrics seem to be the outstanding problem for Side B since it ups the music quality from Side A. My favorite song on this side is the too short Nevermore. Black Queen suffers the same fate as Ogre Battle and Funny How Love Is just seems to be a throwaway song. End it with the obnoxious (but complete) Seven Seas of Rhye and there you have it...the answer as to why no one is discussing this album.

This is honestly Queen's most lackluster album until The Works in the early 80's. (fuck you, I like Hot Space) Thankfully Queen goes in a completely different direction with their following album Sheer Heart Attack.

My rating: ** out of *****

slop101
01-22-10, 11:29 AM
This not the best Queen album, but it is my favorite Queen album - took a while to warm up to though - about a decade....

Oh, and Hot Space is fucking turd of an album.

Ginwen
01-22-10, 11:45 AM
I don't much like fantasy, and I find this album to be really goofy, but I enjoy it a lot. It's the album that got me back into Queen after years of not listening to them (when somebody at my job gave me a tape of Queen and Queen II).

The Infidel
01-22-10, 11:55 AM
I'm sentimental about this album, mainly because it was the first album I actually owned after being exposed to Queen via a neighbor's copy of Night at the Opera. I owned Queen II on 8-track, and to this day, I can still hear the program breaks in my head while listening to certain tracks on the album. :lol:

I hate to keep overusing a term, but I can't think of another, simpler way to describe it. The production on this one, as well as the first album, is still muddy. The vocals, on a great deal of the album's tracks, are pretty well buried under the music. The music is great, and the songs are great, it's just a little distracting to not be able to understand what the heck they're saying. I spent a lot of years trying to sing along with the songs, but just wound up mumbling something phonetically similar. I mean, I could pick out things here and there, and I had a rough idea what most of the songs were about...I just couldn't understand what they were saying!

Queen I was more of a rocker, while Queen II is more...experimental, shall we say? This is why Sheer Heart Attack is probably my favorite album. They tried two different things with the first albums, and had it all ironed out by the third.

Spiderbite
01-22-10, 12:16 PM
Oh, and Hot Space is fucking turd of an album.

Grrr...I have always felt that I was the only Queen fan who liked that album but that is another discussion for forthcoming thread...hopefully. (hint, hint...start replying people or we may not get that far.)

Supermallet
01-22-10, 12:54 PM
This album shows the kind of music Queen wanted to make, but as The Infidel said, the production isn't there. Neither, for that matter, is the songwriting, once you really pay attention. But it's a step up from the first album. Apparently Trent Reznor played this every night on his tour bus on one of the NIN tours, so someone loves it.

Fist of Doom
01-22-10, 03:08 PM
My song-by-song review:

Procession - A nice intro for the album, with Brian's trademark sound.

Father to Son - One of Queen's best. This really showcases how Queen could alternate between balladry and hard rock. Freddie's vocals are amazing, and the final chorus is beautiful.

White Queen - Nice work by Brian May, but for me this song doesn't achieve the grandeur that it seems to promise. The chorus stalls the song instead of opening it up.

Some Day One Day - Pleasant little ditty, nothing more.

The Loser in the End - Other than the cool percussive intro, this is a forgettable track. And it doesn't fit in with the feel of the rest of the album at all.

Ogre Battle - Operatic and heavy. Medieval and funny. Completely insane. Love it.

The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke - More wonderful Freddie insanity that continues the medieval feel of Ogre Battle.

Nevermore - Very pretty ballad that sets the table for the next track...

The March of the Black Queen - Epic. This may be the quintessential Queen song. It has some crazy lyrics, switches tempos and moods, features some great guitar and drums, and showcases both Freddie's and the rest of the band's vocals.

Funny How Love Is - Meh. This track features probably the best production, though.

Seven Seas of Rhye - A nice little rocker, but nothing special.

I hate to keep overusing a term, but I can't think of another, simpler way to describe it. The production on this one, as well as the first album, is still muddy. The vocals, on a great deal of the album's tracks, are pretty well buried under the music.

I have to agree. Overall, Queen II is wonderfully odd and very Queen-like with its mix of ballads/operatic vocals/heaviness, but suffers from production issues. Some great songs, though Side Black is the more successful, to me.

One thing I think we can all agree on, though: the album cover is a classic.

The Infidel
01-23-10, 02:10 AM
Pretty much any Roger Taylor track on any Queen album - ...this is a forgettable track. And it doesn't fit in with the feel of the rest of the album at all.
Fixed. :)

Spiderbite
01-23-10, 08:00 AM
Fixed. :)

Hate to say it but that is pretty true. He gets better over the years but his stuff is always the weakest of the four members.

Fist of Doom
01-23-10, 06:03 PM
Fixed. :)

Hate to say it but that is pretty true. He gets better over the years but his stuff is always the weakest of the four members.

:eek:

I can't believe this is coming from Queen fans! Granted, he isn't the greatest lyricist, but a Queen album just isn't the same without a Taylor track. And he's written some really cool ones:

Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll
Tenement Funster
I'm In Love With My Car
Drowse
Sheer Heart Attack

I don't think his song works on Queen II, because, besides being a pretty crappy song, Queen II feels like a concept album, and Loser In The End just doesn't fit in.

Jack Straw
01-23-10, 06:53 PM
The black side (II) of this album ROCKS my socks off! Ogre Battle and March of the Black Queen being the highlights. Total operatic-rock blissfulness. Easily my favorite of their early catalog.

The Infidel
01-24-10, 01:35 AM
I never said Roger's tracks were bad, but for the most part, I do think they end up being "forgettable". When I was younger, and experiencing Queen more and more with each album, there was just something about his songs I didn't like, and, honestly, I skipped over them for quite a long time. After a while, I became accustomed to listening to albums in general as a whole, from start to finish, and his songs grew on me some. They're definitely unique when compared to the feel of Freddie's and Brian's songs on the album.