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Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Old 01-12-10, 01:59 PM
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Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

By suggestion, I'd like to take it upon myself to start the "Album by Album" threads of Queen. Not that the suggestion was for me to do it, but you know what I mean.

Instead of discussing all the albums in one thread over time (since an expansive career like Queen's would eventually result in the thread being closed for length), I'd like to start one thread per album, starting a new thread for the following album the following week. That should give everyone plenty of time to get varying opinions out in the open, and you can always go back to the thread without fear of crossing over discussions of subsequent albums.

Queen: released July, 1973



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

"...and nobody played synthesizer."

"Representing at last something of what Queen music has been over the last three years, this album was produced by John Anthony, Roy Baker and Queen at Trident Studios, London, for Neptune Productions, and engineered by Roy Baker, Mike Stone, Ted Sharpe, Dave Hentschel."

Track listing:
Keep Yourself Alive (May) (3:46)
Doing All Right (May, Tim Staffell) (4:09)
Great King Rat (Mercury) (5:42)
My Fairy King (Mercury) (4:07)
Liar (Mercury) (6:26)
The Night Comes Down (May) (4:23)
Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll (Taylor) (1:48)
Song and Daughter (May) (3:20)
Jesus (Mercury) (3:44)
Seven Seas of Rhye... (Mercury) (1:06)













Bonus track:


Last edited by The Infidel; 01-12-10 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 01-12-10, 02:40 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Their first album feels embryonic to me. Keep Yourself Alive is great, and a few of the other tracks are enjoyable (Great King Rat and Liar especially), but on the whole it doesn't hold up.
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Old 01-12-10, 03:37 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

This has always been my least favorite of their early albums, but it grows on me the more I listen to it (I'm listening to it now and it all sounds pretty good except the bonus track). In addition to other songs mentioned, I've always really liked Seven Seas of Rhye (although as pointed out below it's just a fragment of the total).

My favorite thing about this album is the idea of these unknown guys playing this sort of strange music with operatic bits live in public in front of people who had no idea what they were going to get.

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Old 01-12-10, 03:37 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Some good songs that with a bit more re-work and production could have been much better. The album sounds like it might have been rushed out a bit. The writing styles were still undeveloped and unrefined in hindsight. However, this album being the band's first release, it's understandable and not unlike many others' freshman efforts. While "Keep Yourself Alive" seems to get most of the recognition and airplay, "Liar" is more my cup of tea.

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Old 01-12-10, 04:17 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

As far as the producing goes, I feel that Queen pretty much knew what they wanted to do, and maybe even the sound they wanted, but they had so many people working on this album, and Queen's music was so strange for the time, that everyone probably wasn't completely sure how it should be treated.

By the way, I didn't include Seven Seas in the YouTube links above, since it wasn't much of a song on the first album. It was unfinished, and I'm not sure why Queen included it in the first place.
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Old 01-12-10, 09:37 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

"Queen" is probably their most spotty 1970's album, but if anything, that's a testament to how great they were then. I just listened to it for the first time in quite awhile. I think "Liar" is one of their forgotten classics and of course "Keep Yourself Alive" is the song we all know and love.
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Old 01-13-10, 02:54 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

One of the best debut albums ever. It's got a nice heavy sound with Queen's trademark vocals and harmonizing. With the exception of the throwaway Seven Seas of Rye, I think every track is strong. My Fairy King seems more fitting for Queen II, though. I do agree that the production isn't great.

One nitpick: I never liked the cover. It looks more like a Deep Purple album cover.
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Old 01-13-10, 04:53 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Really? I think the album cover fits the band perfectly.
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Old 01-13-10, 11:18 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

I agree. It's a great first album cover. It simply says "here we are", and lets the music do the rest.
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Old 01-13-10, 05:38 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

I like the cover, it really shows who Freddie was and is no-frills.

Of course, in terms of covers, it doesn't compare to the next one we'll be talking about, but still for a first time out for a band that was unknown in 1973, it was great.
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Old 01-13-10, 09:12 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

I really like the first Queen album. I like it a lot more than Queen II, and almost as much as Sheer Heart Attack.

"Keep Yourself Alive," "Liar," "Great King Rat," "Modern Times Rock and Roll," and "Son and Daughter," are all really good songs.
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Old 01-14-10, 01:19 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

this is a great album and these songs sounded even better live back then. Son and Daughter has a great heavy riff, might be my favorite track on it with Keep Yourself Alive
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Old 01-14-10, 02:31 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Since we were discussing the album cover, I forgot to mention that I couldn't find a good pic of the original cover online, so I just took a picture of my original vinyl album cover. I absolutely hate what they did with the reissue. Would it really have been so hard to just reproduce the original?

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Old 01-14-10, 02:54 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Woah. That looks way better.
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Old 01-14-10, 08:31 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

My favorite band. I originally heard this album after hearing the other 70s classics first. I wasn't as excited by it as I was the others even though I did like the material. When I listen to it now in context of when it was released, I think it's a really strong debut and a perfect introduction to their sound.

I remember reading that they had to wait for odd hours in the studio to record this, which might explain why some people feel it sounds rushed.
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Old 01-14-10, 10:09 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
Woah. That looks way better.
I sincerely hope you're kidding, because it looks like shit.

I can appreciate what they attempted to do, but it looks like a second grade art project. They took a photograph of a spotlight, and cut and pasted the "Freddie" figure down into the corner and made it much smaller. Then they took the Queen logo, made it a darker color that makes it difficult to see against the background, and put it in a place that makes it look like they just closed their eyes and stuck it somewhere.

So again, why not just reproduce the original artwork?

Last edited by The Infidel; 01-14-10 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 01-14-10, 04:37 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

I like the cd cover more myself, just looks better IMO. It wasn't really a great cover to begin with though.
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Old 01-14-10, 06:28 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by The Infidel View Post
I sincerely hope you're kidding, because it looks like shit.

I can appreciate what they attempted to do, but it looks like a second grade art project. They took a photograph of a spotlight, and cut and pasted the "Freddie" figure down into the corner and made it much smaller. Then they took the Queen logo, made it a darker color that makes it difficult to see against the background, and put it in a place that makes it look like they just closed their eyes and stuck it somewhere.

So again, why not just reproduce the original artwork?
No, it's a more striking image that better represents what the band was about. The vinyl image is muddy.
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Old 01-14-10, 06:52 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

I guess it matches the production then!

(It might have just been my camera, too. It sucks.)
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Old 01-14-10, 08:51 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by The Infidel View Post
Instead of discussing all the albums in one thread over time (since an expansive career like Queen's would eventually result in the thread being closed for length), I'd like to start one thread per album, starting a new thread for the following album the following week. That should give everyone plenty of time to get varying opinions out in the open, and you can always go back to the thread without fear of crossing over discussions of subsequent albums.
I don't see what the big deal would be to have it all in one thread. We did the KISS thread that way and had no issues. If someone missed saying something about an album that had already been discussed, they mentioned in where they were. No big deal. And length should be a problem. KISS has over 30 albums!

On to Queen:

Hadn't listened to this in awhile and ran thru it. This is a decent debut album and I do agree that the production does feel muddy and low budget (which it was). The lyrics aren't that great in most places but the album, as a whole, has a harder edge than any following Queen album in my opinion. Granted they are Led Zeppelin lite on this release but at times, you can see where Queen will be going in the near future. And their sound matures quite quickly.

Keep Yourself Alive may be the main song this album is known for but in my opinion, Liar is the best song on the album. Tons of tempo changes, some good lyrics, a really bad nothing chorus, a nice long, heavy instrumental beginning, Freddie singing high, low and everywhere in between...this song has it all. Very ambitious from a band on it's first album.

Most songs have a sing along quality except for My Fairy King which is just as strange and silly as the song suggests. Taylor's first song, Modern Times Rock N' Roll is quite forgettable and The Night Comes Down is a little dull to me.

Son And Daughter has a heavy sound to it and is probably my second favorite song on the album. Never really understood the song Jesus. Is Mercury just singing various songs about various myths and this is thrown into that group? I have actually heard some Christians complain about the song since he states "all going down" yet it never struck me as being sung offensively and the song main lyrics are certainly too tame to offend even the most Bible-beating'ist Christian. Just another odd song I guess.

The instrumental minute long Seven Seas Of Rhye always gets on my nerves and as others has stated, I have no idea why they included it. Hell, the full song is not one of my favorites but why include a half-ass version on this release. Another odd decision.

Chalk me up as another who doesn't care for the album cover. Boring and bland, it looks like the person who created it was an art major and worked at a flea market.

My rating for Queen: *** out of *****
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Old 01-14-10, 09:43 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
I don't see what the big deal would be to have it all in one thread. We did the KISS thread that way and had no issues. If someone missed saying something about an album that had already been discussed, they mentioned in where they were. No big deal. And length should be a problem. KISS has over 30 albums!
I saw the KISS thread as a big mess. Personally, I don't want to have to search over umpteen pages to find which album I want to talk about, find out if someone has already made a point I want to make, or just plain read over posts about albums I couldn't care less about.

One album, one thread.

Hey! It's a kind of organization!

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Old 01-15-10, 11:12 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by The Infidel View Post
I saw the KISS thread as a big mess. Personally, I don't want to have to search over umpteen pages to find which album I want to talk about, find out if someone has already made a point I want to make, or just plain read over posts about albums I couldn't care less about.

One album, one thread.

Hey! It's a kind of organization!
If you want to take on that responsibility, then you da man! just please don't stop after a few. I have a couple of interesting child trauma stories to share regarding a few of their albums. Funny and scary stuff.

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Old 01-15-10, 04:55 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by The Infidel View Post
I saw the KISS thread as a big mess. Personally, I don't want to have to search over umpteen pages to find which album I want to talk about, find out if someone has already made a point I want to make, or just plain read over posts about albums I couldn't care less about.

One album, one thread.

Hey! It's a kind of organization!
I agree with this. If someone wanted to talk about Destroyer when we were at Hot In The Shade, it wouldn't have worked.
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Old 01-15-10, 05:06 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Queen (1973)

Originally Posted by nothingfails View Post
I agree with this. If someone wanted to talk about Destroyer when we were at Hot In The Shade, it wouldn't have worked.
To be fair, nobody wanted to talk about Hot In The Shade.

Regarding QUEEN (the album), definitely not one of my favorites. A few listenable songs, but nothing extraordinary. I like the outtake version of KYA better than the album cut, it has more energy, a stronger vibe, and doesn't feel as lazy. Otherwise, meh. * * 1/2 out of * * * * *. I'd go into a track by track commentary but suddenly I am run over by a truck.
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