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Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Old 02-24-10, 03:19 AM
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Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Jazz: released November 1978



Personnel:
John Deacon - bass guitar
Brian May - guitar, backing vocals
Freddie Mercury - vocals, piano
Roger Taylor - drums, backing vocals

A Queen/Roy Thomas Baker production
Engineered by Geoff Workman

Track listing:
Mustapha (Mercury) 3:01
Fat Bottomed Girls (May) 4:16
Jealousy (Mercury) 3:14
Bicycle Race (Mercury) 3:01
If You Can't Beat Them (Deacon) 4:15
Let Me Entertain You (Mercury) 3:01
Dead On Time (May) 3:23
In Only Seven Days (Deacon) 2:30
Dreamers Ball (May) 3:30
Fun It (Taylor) 3:29
Leaving Home Ain't Easy (May) 3:15
Don't Stop Me Now (Mercury) 3:29
More Of That Jazz (Taylor) 4:16



















And, as a special, NSFW bonus:

Spoiler:
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Old 02-24-10, 09:26 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

I think this album is remembered as a novelty more than a great album. The two singles were, let's face it, kind of jokes. I think Queen started turning most of their songs into "anthems". We all loved it in high school but it hasn't aged well. I find it pretty much unlistenable at this point. But it had a great statement of purpose for Freddie with "Don't Stop Me Now".
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Old 02-24-10, 09:31 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
I think this album is remembered as a novelty more than a great album. The two singles were, let's face it, kind of jokes. I think Queen started turning most of their songs into "anthems". We all loved it in high school but it hasn't aged well. I find it pretty much unlistenable at this point. But it had a great statement of purpose for Freddie with "Don't Stop Me Now".
This is pretty much how I feel, though I do love the insanity that is "Mustapha." The Roger tracks on this are awful. I wouldn't call it unlistenable, but I think Queen's brilliance ended with a thud with Jazz.

Last edited by Fist of Doom; 02-24-10 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 02-24-10, 10:32 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

I think Dead On Time is one of their rockers and If You Can't Beat Them a pretty good pop/rock song. The rest is mostly nostalgia for me. Had this on cassette in my car during holidays/winter 78-79 and listened to it probably a zillion times. Hearing it now reminds me of that time quite a bit.
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Old 02-24-10, 11:11 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

I like Jazz a lot more than their previous 2 albums, Day at the Races and News of the World.
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Old 02-24-10, 11:28 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

I guess I will be the lone person on this one but I fucking love this album. Probably my personal favorite Queen album next to The Game but it is probably nostalgia and sing-along ability more than anything. I bought this in 6th grade around 1984 so I was again a little late to the game but I wore the fucker out.

Mustapha is so out of left field that you have to love a popular group just even attempting this. What's strange is how catchy it is and how I still find myself singing along even though I still haven't attempted to find out what the fuck they are saying.

Fat Bottomed Girls and Bicycle Race are great singalongs with humorous and fun lyrics. I knew both of these from their Greatest Hits album so they were not new to me. But from there I had heard nothing else from this album and everything was fresh.

It's interesting to me how this album has several extremely depressing songs on it and then has a lot of good-time fun songs. Jealousy, In Only Seven Days, and Leaving Home Ain't Easy are all extremely sad songs which really affected me as a teen (especially IOSD and LHAE) and have stayed with me since. You could even go so far as to include Dreamer's Ball and More Of That Jazz in that group depending on how you interpret the lyrics.

Then you have tons of fun with Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race, If You Can't Beat Them, Let Me Entertain You, Fun It (definitely the weakest song on the album but I do liked the Taylor/Mercury back and forth) and Don't Stop Me Now. Dead On Time is really the only major rocker on the album but it is still weaker than say, Tie Your Mother Down.

Listening to it again as I type this, I still love the album and find it far from "unlistenable" as someone stated. It may not hold up as well as some of their earlier albums but jeez, look what they had done so far! And the album's bi-polar natured "happy one minute, crying the next" songs may turn off others. I think the songs show that each member of Queen were going thru some personal issues at the time but that's just me reading between the lines.

My rating: ****1/2 out of *****
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Old 02-24-10, 11:40 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

By the way, can we all agree that this is one of the worst album covers ever. Who green lighted this bad spirogragh mess? For a band that put so much into their overall image including covers, it's hard to imagine they approved it. I bet someone out there thinks this album is by "Queen Queen Queen Queen"

Last edited by cungar; 02-24-10 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-24-10, 11:53 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Agreed. The album cover sucks but the included poster redeems it.
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Old 02-24-10, 11:57 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

From Wikipedia:

The album artwork was suggested by Roger Taylor, who previously saw a similar design painted on the Berlin Wall.
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Old 02-24-10, 12:10 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Again, not my favorite album, but I like it just a little more than NOTW previously. This album has a little more looser feel, like they weren't necessarily trying to make artwork like Races and Opera. Almost a "live in studio" feel, if you catch my meaning.

I've always loved "Mustapha" as an opening track. Pretty laid back song at first, then turns into an all-out rocker when Brian comes in with the guitar. Fun track.

As a whole, not entirely "unlistenable", but I don't "go-to" this one very often, nor NOTW. Pretty much when I've tired of listening to their other favorite albums of mine. "Don't Stop Me Now" is probably the one track from this album, IMO, that's gotten the most attention over the years, being covered a lot and used in movies. It's a damn catchy, feel-good, sing-along song.

I've always loved "Dreamers Ball" as well. I tend to lean toward anything acoustic. I love the vocals and guitars here. Brian brings back the "Dixieland band" feel, and although its use isn't as effective as in "Good Company" on ANATO, it's a nice listen. Apparently this song was written as a tribute to Elvis, who had just died the year before.

Last edited by The Infidel; 02-24-10 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 02-24-10, 12:44 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

It's not my favorite but it's not terrible. It does have a few pretty weak songs IMO. More of that Jazz is just crap, and Fun It is pretty bad, and I don't much like Let Me Entertain You, Bicycle Race is almost like Shrek with all its pop culture references, but the rest of it is I think alright, and Don't Stop Me Now I like a lot (although I prefer the Live Killers version of that song to the album version). Actually I also like Jealousy a fair amount as well.
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Old 02-24-10, 01:04 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Another thing I forgot to note: the 5.1 mix of "Bicycle Race" from the Greatest Video Hits DVD sounds AWESOME on a surround sound system!
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Old 02-24-10, 02:33 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

My favorite Queen album. Love pretty much every song, especially the callbacks on the final track. Easily better than both A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and A DAY IN THE RACES, this album represents the high point from which Queen would slowly descend. Still some fine albums to come, but nothing before or since topped JAZZ.

I never understood the ambivalence/indifference/disaapointment fans had towards the album, but most people's taste is in their tukhas.
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Old 02-24-10, 03:27 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Not a bad album, but some filler does creep in. I think what I like most about Jazz was the willingness to have fun. Mustapha, Don't Stop Me Now, Let Me Entertain You, Fat Bottomed Girls, and Bicycle Race all show a band that is laughing and making jokes. Because of that, the filler doesn't feel as out of place. I do enjoy Jazz, but I don't love it.
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Old 02-24-10, 03:40 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
Easily better than both A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and A DAY IN THE RACES, this album represents the high point from which Queen would slowly descend.
Put.....down.....the crack pipe.
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Old 02-24-10, 04:56 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
Easily better than both A NIGHT AT THE OPERA and A DAY IN THE RACES, this album represents the high point from which Queen would slowly descend.

And Face Dances is easily better than Who's Next and Quadrophenia.
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Old 02-24-10, 05:50 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Both of you can suck it. JAZZ rules, baby!

Last edited by Hokeyboy; 02-24-10 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 02-24-10, 06:05 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Out of the first 8 Queen albums, Jazz is my 3rd favorite:

1) Queen II
2) Sheer Heart Attack
3) Jazz
4) Night at the Opera
5) The Game
6) Queen I
7) News of the World
8) Day at the Races
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Old 02-24-10, 07:26 PM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

OK seriously, what I like about the album -- what I love about the album -- is how it's gleefully structured like a bombastic cross-genre Broadway show, absurdities and all. Exotic (Mustapha), hard rocking (Fat Bottomed Girls, Dead On Time), gleeful power pop (If You Can't Beat Them), playing-to-the-back-of-the-theater exhibitionism (Let Me Entertain You), funky-operatic (Bicycle Race), swing (Dreamers Ball), 70s Broadway rock opera (Don't Stop Me Now), self-reflective poor-me'ism ballady (Jealousy, Leaving Home Aint Easy), new-wavish disco (Fun It), and then all wrapped up with More of that Jazz.

And a big piece of shit song in In Only Seven Days, but you know there's no glory of God without the threat of Satan. Unless you're Jewish. What?

I really love this album. Wore the tape out back in the day. Of all the Queen albums (and I love many), this is the one I go back to the most. Infinitely listenable and re-playable. Much butter than fruit cup!

Last edited by Hokeyboy; 02-24-10 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 02-25-10, 09:43 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
And a big piece of shit song in In Only Seven Days, but you know there's no glory of God without the threat of Satan. Unless you're Jewish. What?
I was with you all the way until that comment. Obviously you never had heartbreak on the Redneck Riviera as a teenager with Queen helping to sooth your ravaged hormones. I feel sorry for you.
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Old 02-25-10, 10:18 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Originally Posted by brianluvdvd View Post
I was with you all the way until that comment. Obviously you never had heartbreak on the Redneck Riviera as a teenager with Queen helping to sooth your ravaged hormones. I feel sorry for you.
12 years old, early 80s, at the local skating rink, watching the girl who just broke my heart do a "couples skate only" with the local jock douchebag, hand-in-hand, while Air Supply's "All Out Of Love" is blasting over the sound system.

Some wounds... never heal...
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Old 02-25-10, 10:21 AM
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Re: Queen: Album by Album Discussion, Jazz (1978)

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
12 years old, early 80s, at the local skating rink, watching the girl who just broke my heart do a "couples skate only" with the local jock douchebag, hand-in-hand, while Air Supply's "All Out Of Love" is blasting over the sound system.

Some wounds... never heal...
I feel better now.
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