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Innuendo - Queen

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Queen / Audio CD released 1991-02-04 at Parlophone

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      17.09.2012 17:32
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      A mixed bag, but a very noble effort given the context

      Queen were one of the very first bands I was ever aware of, hearing them at a very young age and they left a permanent impression upon me. And even though I was only 9 years old when Freddie Mercury died, it also made a lasting impression on me. Having recently found a box of Queen album's that appeared when I recently moved house, it was nigh time to give it another spin, as I remember enjoying it a lot as a kid.

      This album opens with an immense anthem, one of Queen's best songs in my opinion. The title track is an epic replete with Eastern-sounding modes and scales, reminiscent in a way of Rainbow's 'Gates of Babylon' or Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir'. Queen were always at their best when throwing everything at the mixing desk and wearing out the tapes with layers of overdubs, and this is no exception. The band are on fine form, with Roger Taylor crashing his way round the percussion, Brian May conjuring some sonic majesty and mystery from his guitar, and Mercury being unmistakeable and inimitable as ever. It's even more remarkable as at this point in his life, Mercury was suffering from all the effects of AIDS, and it was evident from the music videos at the time, and subsequent documentaries, that he was in a lot of pain and very fatigued by his ordeal. With that in mind, his vocal performances are even more outstanding.

      'I'm Going Slightly Mad' is a fun bit of camp melodrama, probably better rememberd for its quirky video featuring Brian May turning into a penguin in a manner identical to that of Ford Prefect's penguinification in Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's not as memorable as the stirring opener, but it's a bit of fun that finishes just as it's getting irritating. Unfortunately, things nosedive and don't recover for quite a while. 'Headlong' is a fast rocker by numbers, and I always struggle to remember it. 'I Can't Live With You' is better, although it really is the definition of half-baked. The multi-tracked chorus and intermittent soaring vocals and guitar are great, but it's ruined by a totally insipid verse with the naffest lyrics they've ever penned - and that's saying something for a band that released a song called 'Ogre Battle'.

      Side two, as was back in the day, is a bit more introspective. 'All God's People' is an out-of-charater attempt at gospel, and although Mercury's voice is still a versatile tool up to the job, it feels like more of a dry run for the type of stuff that would turn up on their final album 'Made in Heaven' (I don't count that abomination with Paul Rodgers as a Queen album, I refuse to). 'These Are The Days of Our Lives' is a touching song, a bit cheesy in its sound and production, but most memorable as the final video appearance of Mercury before he departed, leaving his fans with the words 'I still love you'. Even more of a tear-jerker is the closing track 'Show Must Go On', which rivals 'Who Wants to Live Forever' as their most moving song. Again though, there are forgettable or misguided moments, such as the really sterile rock song 'The Hitman', and a song written by Mercury as a tribute to his favourite cat, 'Delilah', with Brian May making his guitar sound like a tabby on heat. It sounds utterly ridiculous of course, and the rest of the band hated it, but could anyone deny a dying man such a wish? 'Bijou' is a delightfully short number that segues into 'The Show Must Go On', featuring some liquid playing from May.

      In all, it is surprising that this album managed to exist at all, given just how ill Mercury was at the time of writing and recording. It has some genuinely moving moments, given the conditions under which it was recorded, and some real moments of emotive power and atmosphere as well. Yet there are too many half-baked songs or forgettable ones, and its potential is let down by them. The gospel moments seemed to hold a bit of promise, and was a theme largely continued on the posthumous 'Made in Heaven' to greater effect and having more maturity than the rock songs. Listening to this now some twenty years later with a more critical ear, it is easy to see why I enjoyed it, but equally a lot of it hasn't stood the test of time. The artowrk is ace though, with the band liberally using the work of French surrealist cartoonist Grandville to their own end. And the singles released from the album got the same treatment too, with extra artwork that can't be found elsewhere, making collecting them all the more fun/infuriating (delete as appropriate).

      It's a bold effort, and one that must be listened to in context, but it suffers from too much polarity of excellence to mediocrity and below. Worth a buy if you like Queen, if you're a casual fan, you'll own the best songs on any of their comprehensive greatest hits compilations.

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      04.08.2012 15:38
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      A fully memorable and meaningful album, capturing a perfect mix of mature rock and pop

      It was 1991 when one of Britain's best loved bands released their last studio album to include all new material titled Innuendo. Although not quite the band's last album all together, 1995's Made In Heaven was a posthumous album but did feature some reworkings of various solo material that had already been released earlier. From the late 80s, it was largely publicised that Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury hadn't been looking particularly healthy and although these accusations were denied, it eventually became fairly obvious. In terms of the band's career, the band had struck huge stardom with their performance at 1985's Live Aid. Mercury went on to release some solo material until the band released 1989's The Miracle which focused on the 80s commercial sound and today is regarded as one of the band's least worthy offerings. Mercury knew and the band knew that time was running out due to Mercury's declining health. From early 1989 to late 1990, the group worked hard in the studio to release what would be their final album. Queen's final hour proved to be Innuendo.

      The album's opener is titled Innuendo which lasts a whole six and a half minutes. From the drum roll opening comes a rather dark synthesizer melody. The verses carry some strong vocals from Mercury with the use of synthesizer and percussion. Some strong guitar is added for the chorus which is both powerful and well crafted. The lyrical message is summed up nicely in the chorus with lines such as "Oh yes, we'll keep on trying, tread that fine line..." After the second chorus is a new section which features some calm and casual vocals over flamenco guitar. A solo with the same instrument follows, played by Steve Howe of the band Yes. The following section features some strong orchestration and group vocals which a great lead guitar solo follows. This section flows into the final verse which is backed by the original synthesizer melody. The ending of the song closes with the final chorus, complete with anthemic backing vocals. Mercury's vocals are solid throughout whilst lyrically, this song refers to mankind's inability to live in peace with each other. The dark atmosphere of the track allows this lyrical message to sound strong throughout. "While we live according to race, colour or creed, while we rule by blind madness and pure greed. Our lives dictated by tradition, superstition, false religion, through the aeons, and on and on..."

      Following is I'm Going Slightly Mad which was primarily written by Mercury and Peter Straker. Right from the introduction, this track features a dark and rather gloomy synthesizer melody. The verses benefit from some witty lyrics and some low vocals from Mercury. Lyrically, this song is rather eerie, based on an individual now mad due to AIDS dementia. Obviously, these lyrics are personal to Mercury which makes the entire song much more important to this album. The chorus breaks the ice with the line "I'm going slightly mad, it finally happened..." Complete with the backing synthesizer melody, the chorus could be interpreted as both humorous and rather dark. Following the second chorus is a strong guitar solo which continues to capture the atmosphere of the track. Right to the end the song continues this atmosphere. The promotional video for this track further proves the dark imagery behind this song. A strong track consisting of dark lyrics, unsettling instrumentation and grim vocals. "One thousand and one yellow daffodils begin to dance in front of you, oh dear. Are they trying to tell you something? You're missing that one final screw, you're simply not in the pink my dear, to be honest you haven't got a clue..."

      Next is the stadium rocker titled Headlong, primarily written by guitarist Brian May. Originally written for a May solo album, Mercury's take on the vocals were so good that the number became a Queen track. The song immediately begins with sharp percussion and heavy guitar. The song begins with an opening version of the chorus which is both memorable and hard hitting. Mercury's vocals are on top form with plenty of power throughout the track. The verses flow with some interesting lyrics and more strong vocals, backed by vicious guitar. The next chorus follows which features strong backing vocals, creating a solid anthemic feel. A fantastic guitar solo is featured in this track, followed by the ending which consists of more heavy guitar and some strong vocal work. A strong stadium rocker with a huge anthemic feel. No doubt this song would have been included as part of Queen's live set if the band were able to tour at that time, sadly not to be. "Now you've got soup in the laundry bag, now you've got strings you're gonna lose your rag. You're getting in a fight then it ain't so groovy when you're screaming in the night "let me out of this cheap B movie"..."

      I Can't Live With You is another rocker written by May which is another highlight of this album. The song opens with a strong guitar riff which the chorus immediately follows. This chorus features some anthemic group vocals that use the call and response musical technique in which the group are answered by solo vocal from Mercury straight after. During Mercury's response, there is some strong harmony vocals. The chorus is immediately memorable and strong. Synthesizer features straight after until the track flows into the first verse. For the verses, a simple but effective guitar riff carries some strong vocals from Mercury. The pre-chorus features backing synthesizer and some more excellent vocals from Mercury, making a memorable section which leads to the chorus again. A great backing vocal section leads into a strong guitar solo. The ending of track features a stunning vocal performance which fades out nicely. Lyrically, this song is very personal to May. "I travelled a long road to get hold of my sorrow, I tried to catch a dream but nothing's what it seems. Love is saying baby it's all right, when deep inside you're really petrified, lover turns to hater on this escalator..."

      Don't Try So Hard slows the album down and allows Mercury to showcase his vocals in an operatic fashion. The song opens with Mercury's high vocals over a grand, atmospheric and chilling synthesizer. During the verse, backing guitar is present but doesn't fully feature until the chorus. For the chorus, percussion and guitar carry Mercury's strong vocals along in a powerful but emotive fashion. Mercury's vocal performance is spectacular throughout and very chilling. Following the second verse comes a strong section featuring some great harmonic vocals. A powerful guitar solo follows this section which leads into the final chorus. Lyrically, the song refers to the harder someone tries, the more difficult life will get and therefore should allow themselves time to wind down as well. The entire song is a showcase to the band's versatility. A rather atmospheric song with a rock edge all the same. "When your problems seem like mountains, you feel the need to find some answers, you can leave it for another day, don't try so hard..." and "If you fail you mustn't grumble, thank your lucky stars. Just savour every mouthful and treasure every moment. When the storms are raging round you, stay right where you are..." are two examples of the inspirational lyrics.

      Next is Ride The Wild Wind which was primarily written by drummer Roger Taylor. This song focuses on the sensation of driving and the use of instrumentation in this track creates the atmosphere for driving, complete with racing sound effects of a car. The song opens with a guitar drone which immediately leads to the chorus. Mercury's vocals are solid with backing vocal from Taylor. Synthesizer creates a layer of atmosphere behind the track which leads into a instrumental section before the verse. This section features strong, fast paced guitar and frantic drumming. For the verses, Mercury's vocal is carried by some more atmospheric synthesizer and a rhythmic bassline. The following chorus flows nicely with more fantastic vocal work. A strong guitar solo is featured which leads into the final chorus. The ending features some strong drumming, synthesizer and the repeating of the song's title. "Get your head down baby, yeah, we're gonna ride tonight, your angel eyes are shining bright. I wanna take your hand, lead you from this place. Gonna leave it all behind, check out of this rat race..."

      All God's People was primarily written by Mercury and Mike Moran who had worked with Mercury on his 1987-1988 solo project with operatic vocalist Montserrat Caballé. The lyrical theme here refers to the relationship between all people on earth and how we are all one with God and therefore should be treated equally. The song opens with some strong vocals from Mercury which features some multi-layered vocals by Mercury which runs throughout the track. Guitar nicely weaves throughout the first section of the song. Production is particularly strong throughout with plenty of interesting effects added to the song. The following section features more multi-layered vocal and a memorable keyboard melody. Following on is a strong guitar section and another verse which is carried by some solid piano, this is followed by a grand synthesizer solo. The final minute of the track features more multi-layered vocals, backing guitar and some interesting instrumentation with the synthesizer whilst the ending features some fade out percussion. This song certainly has a operatic Mercury influence, much like the solo project with Caballé but this track does lack a memorable melody unlike the other songs. Despite this, production is a highlight on this track as well as the interesting effect on Mercury's vocal. The entire song has plenty of depth and a slight gospel-influenced feel to it. "Rule with your heart and live with your conscience, we're all God's people, give freely..."

      Following is These Are The Days of Our Lives which was mainly written by Roger Taylor. One of the band's most simple in terms of structure and yet is a strong highlight on this album. The song begins with a simple but strong drum rhythm. Following is the verse that features some casual vocal from Mercury which is carried by backing synthesizer and a hint of guitar. A simple but effective chorus features some strong vocals and melodic keyboard. This track features a very memorable guitar solo after the second chorus. The ending nicely winds down after the final chorus. Lyrically, the song refers to memories of being a child and how carefree those times were compared to being an adult. This song's promotional video was the last created to feature new footage of Mercury. This was at the time where Mercury was extremely ill and only a few weeks from death. "The days were endless, we were crazy, we were young. The sun was always shining, we just lived for fun. Sometimes it seems like lately, I just don't know, the rest of my life's been just a show..." and "You can't turn back the clock, you can't turn back the tide, ain't that a shame. I'd like to go back one time on a roller coaster ride, when life was just a game..." are two strong examples of the lyrics.

      Delilah follows which was written by Mercury based on his own favourite housecat. Whilst the lyrics may have a limited appeal, the song is the closest thing to a happy pop tune on the album. The song kicks in with the vocals immediately which are backed by a memorable synthesizer melody. Mercury's vocals are strong throughout and work nicely with the instrumentation. The first half of the song flows similarly in this fashion. A strong guitar solo follows after the first two main vocal sections. Shortly after is some vocals that meow whilst some guitar, that was recorded using a talk box, gives the sound of a cat meowing. An interesting idea but still unneeded as it does sound out of place even with the lyrical message. The ending of the track fades out nicely with the recurring synthesizer melody, a small bit of vocal and some guitar. Taylor was not fond of the song and had only agreed to let it be included on the album due to it being one of Mercury's final wishes. "You make me smile when I'm just about to cry, you bring me hope, you make me laugh and I like it. You get away with murder so innocent but when you throw a moody, you're all claws and you bite, that's all right..."

      The Hitman is probably the heaviest track on the album although the original version was apparently on keyboards and in a different key. The introduction immediately features a hard-hitting guitar riff and some solid percussion. Mercury's vocals follow and are on top form here. After two vocal sections, a short but strong synthesizer melody appears with some weaving guitar. Throughout there is some strong and anthemic backing vocals which make this piece rather energetic. The final minute of the song is one large guitar solo which works well to close the track. Production from both Queen and David Richards mixes all instruments perfectly together. Overall, this song isn't a particular stand-out on the album and isn't as well constructed as other tracks. There is no usual verse and chorus sections but instead the song runs as one large theme. Despite the weaknesses, the entire song showcases some strong rock and highlights some great guitar. "Hey, I'm the hitman, stand aside. I'm the hitman, I want your life. Ain't no escaping, don't run and hide. There goes the neighbourhood, I'm gonna kill for your love, that's right..."

      The next track titled Bijou was primarily written by Mercury and May. The idea of the song was having guitar doing the verses and the vocal doing the solo break. The song opens with a strong guitar solo and some backing synthesizer which adds a layer of atmosphere behind the guitar. Here, the guitar crystallizes a certain feeling of loneliness. The first solo lasts almost a minute and then pauses before continuing into the following short section. Mercury's vocals come into the track about one minute and twenty seconds into the track. Although the vocals are not long, Mercury's performance is emotive and strong. This section is backed by some grand synthesizer. After the vocal section, the guitar solo continues for another part. The final section sees the guitar becoming more strong and dominant before backing down again until synthesizer fades the track out. The word bijou is French for a jewel. A rather unique track, inspired by the 1989 song Where Were You? by Jeff Beck. "You and me, we are destined, you'll agree, to spend the rest of our lives with each other. The rest of our days like two lovers forever, yeah, forever, my bijou..."

      The album's closer titled The Show Must Go On needs no introduction as one of Queen's most popular recordings, particularly of the band's latter day material. The song was primarily written by May, taken from an initial idea of a chord sequence that Taylor and bassist John Deacon were working on. The track opens with a haunting synthesizer melody which leads into a fantastic vocal performance by Mercury which maintains the right amount of gloomy emotion. For the chorus, a mixture of incredible vocals, strong percussion, backing synthesizer and powerful guitar makes a anthemic and memorable chorus. During the second verse, guitar weaves around the melody nicely and there is also some strong backing vocals. Lyrically, the song has several meanings. It could refer to how life must go on regardless of what happens or even about the band themselves and Mercury's inevitable fate. A strong guitar solo follows from the second chorus which leads into a hopeful vocal section. The ending of the track features a strong vocal performance and a clever fade out, making this track a perfect album closer. However, this song doesn't just serve as an album closer but also as the final farewell from the original band which it was aside from the 1995 Made In Heaven album. "The show must go on, yeah, oh, inside my heart is breaking, my make-up may be flaking but my smile still stays on..." and "Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance. Another heartache, another failed romance. On and on, Does anybody know what we are living for?" are two examples of the heartfelt lyrics.

      Innuendo saw the band focusing on making a true farewell. Upon release, the album was hugely successful worldwide although overall the album received mixed reviews from critics. Today, critical reception has changed and Innuendo is regarded as one of the band's greatest works. The album topped the charts in many countries including the UK, Ireland and Switzerland whilst peaking at #30 in America. The leading single Innuendo peaked at number one in the UK. I'm Going Slightly Mad followed and became a minor success, peaking at #22 in the UK. Headlong was the first single released in America and third in Europe, peaking at #14 in the UK, #3 on the American mainstream rock chart but failing to enter the top 100 singles in America. The Show Must Go On was released in late 1991 and peaked at #16 in the UK and #40 on the mainstream rock chart in America. These Are The Days of Our Lives was released as a double a-side with Bohemian Rhapsody after Mercury's death, peaking at #1 in the UK. Ride The Wild Wind was released as a single exclusive to Poland where it topped the chart. Finally, I Can't Live With You was remixed by Brian Malouf and released as a promotional single in America where it peaked at #28 on the American mainstream rock chart. Overall, each single was widely successful worldwide, especially throughout Europe although America didn't seem very interested in the band at the time until Mercury's death when Bohemian Rhapsody peaked at #2 in the American top 100 singles chart.

      On the whole I highly recommend this album to any rock or pop fan. This album features an eccentric mix of tracks, all strong in their own way with perfect production that is consistent throughout the album. Since the mid-80s, Queen had released material that sounded more and more commercial for the times. This album returned the band to their 70s roots whilst maintaining that commercial sound along with plenty of maturity. The album was a perfect farewell from Mercury and marked the end of the original band. Innuendo is a splendid album, the perfect swansong for Queen, bursting with creativity and memorable performances from each member of the band.

      Review originally posted on Ciao

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      • More +
        23.06.2010 17:36
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        A good album, but not Queen's best.

        Released just a few short months before Freddie Mercury's death, listening to Innuendo always gives me a slightly melancholic feel. As ever, it contains an eclectic mix of songs from ballads to heavier rock and some lighter, "sillier" songs. With hindsight, it is pretty obvious that Mercury was very ill when recording this. His vocals lack the power and sharp quality they once had. There are times when he struggles to hit the top notes - something he never did in his pomp - and singing is far less effortless than it was. Even so, he still stands head and shoulders above many other singers.

        Mercury's increasing frailty is also reflected in the fact that the rest of the group take a more active role in many of the songs. Some are almost entirely vocal free (Bijou) or have much longer guitar and drum solos, or see other group members sharing vocal duties. This all serves to give Innuendo a slightly different feel to some previous Queen albums.

        Anyway, as the great man himself said: On with the show...

        Innuendo
        -----------
        The album opens with an impressive, Spanish influenced number, six and a half minutes in length. Right from the start its strong beat grips you and marks this track out as something different. Heavy guitar riffs and drumbeats punctuate the songs and give it real appeal, whilst the words take on an added poignancy. From both its tone and its length, it's clear that Queen are aiming for another Bohemian Rhapsody and, whilst it never reaches those heights, it's still a strong song.
        Overall: 8/10

        I'm Going Slightly Mad
        ----------------------------
        A complete change of pace and a return to the quirkier songs of A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera. The lyrics - essentially slang ways of saying someone is a little mad - are inspired and fun to listen to. The tune is OK, although no great shakes by Queen standards, and is perhaps a little too low to suit Mercury's voice. Having said that, Mercury's more gravelly/semi-spoken delivery actually works well and the "serious" tone of his voice acts as a counterpoint to the silly lyrics. Not a Queen classic, but fun.
        Overall: 7/10

        Headlong
        -----------
        Headlong has a slightly more "rock" feel to it than the preceding efforts and this will affect how much you enjoy it. It's a fast paced little song, with a strong running drumbeat and guitar accompaniment. Personally, I find it rather repetitive and dull. The lyrics are rather uninteresting and uninspired, whilst the tune is pretty forgettable. It will have you tapping your foot to the strong beat, but there's little else to recommend it.
        Overall: 6/10

        I Can't Live Without You
        ------------------------------
        In many ways, this track is a companion piece to Headlong and suffers many of the same faults. Once again, a strong drumbeat and guitar accompaniment raises some interest, but this can't really hide the fact that there is not really much of a tune there and the lyrics are once again, fairly bog-standard stuff. It's also noticeable that this is far more of a group piece: Mercury takes a back seat for much of the song and the others lack the power and range to do the song justice.
        Overall: 5/10

        Don't Try So Hard
        ----------------------
        The rot is halted temporarily thanks to the presence of Don't Try So Hard - a quieter, more reflective piece. The song is pitched higher, which, even in its weakened state, suits Mercury's voice better. The slightly tragic, melancholy tone always sends a shiver down my spine, whilst the quiet verse and slightly more powerful chorus complement each other well. This slower paced ballad may not be to everyone's taste, but it's one I enjoy.
        Overall: 8/10

        Ride the Wild Wind
        ------------------------
        Ride the Wild Wind is a song I always have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's a little dull, cut from the same cloth as Can't Live Without You. On the other, it has something that makes it a fun song to sing along to. A strong bass guitar gives John Deacon a chance to do something for a change whilst the lyrics and the tune are a strange mix of the melancholy and the exuberant. It's not even close to being one of Queen's greatest songs, but at least it has that fun "sing-along" factor.
        Overall: 7/10

        All God's People
        --------------------
        Frankly, little more than a mess, this is the epitome of album. It tune attempts to ape Gospel songs, but disappears into a mess of notes for long periods, making it no fun to either sing along to or listen to. Lyrics are overly-sentimental and so badly written that there are times when Mercury has to gabble just to fit them in. Easily the worst song on the album.
        Overall: 3/10

        These Are the Days of Our Lives
        ---------------------------------------
        Combining a simple, but strong tune with a strong rhythm, this is one of the best songs on the album. A quieter, more reflective piece with deeply melancholic undertones the lyrics are deeply meaningful and sentimental, without ever going overboard. The unusual bongo-style percussion playing in the background perfectly sets the rhythm for this piece, whilst Mercury's final whispered words "I still love you" send a shiver down my spine every time.
        Overall: 10/10

        Delilah
        --------
        A cheesy little number, dedicated to Mercury's cat! Slushy and sentimental? Absolutely, but the song just about gets away with it thanks to some brilliantly over-the-top, ludicrous lyrics (how many other songs do you know with a line like "and then you make me slightly mad when you pee all over my Chippendale suite"? As with all too many songs on this album, the tune is slightly forgettable, although it's worth listening to for Brian May making his guitar mewl like a cat, once more demonstrating the mastery of his instrument. And if you've ever wanted to hear four grown men miaowing, then this is the song for you!
        Overall: 6/10

        The Hitman
        -------------
        If you like you Queen heavy and rock based, then this is heaven, a return to the style of some of their early stuff. If you hate that type of song, this will have you hitting the Next Track button. I fall into the second camp and whilst I will listen to it occasionally, The Hitman is too screechy and full of noise to hold much appeal.
        Overall: 4/10

        Bijou
        ------
        A track clearly written to give the ailing Mercury a rest. Bijou really showcases May's talent as a guitarist and bar a few lines in the middle, is a guitar solo. It's impressive enough from a technical point of view, but the tune becomes a little repetitive after a while.
        Overall: 6/10

        The Show Must Go On
        ---------------------------
        The album ends as strongly as it began with the superb The Show Must Go On. The meaningful, melancholic lyrics questions why we bother struggling our way through life, before the defiant, uplifting chorus explodes as a tribute to the battling nature of the human spirit. You might think that is reading a little too much into a simple song, but this is a typical Queen song combining a strong tune with genuinely interesting lyrics. It's clear the band saved the best till last and want to go out on a high, and that's just what they do.
        Overall: 9/10

        So there we go. Queen's last final album before Mercury's death is a bit of a curate's egg. A couple of moments of brilliance mixed with slightly too much mediocrity and a smattering of rubbish. Most other bands would consider this a good album, but by Queen's standards, it's rather mediocre. Thankfully, strong opening and closing pieces, combined with a couple of good songs in the middle, make it just about worth buying. It won't be one you play regularly, but there are certain songs that see you playing it every so often

        © Copyright SWSt 2010

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        • More +
          27.02.2010 19:10
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          A fantastic Album

          Introduction
          I have an extensive Queen CD collection. After my review of Basshunter (So called todays music/musicians) I thought I would review a "real" musician(s)/band. I have choosen Queen's Innuendo.


          Background

          I think its time to impart some Queen into the review pages. I mean they are pure class and their music has and will always stand the test of time. Hopefully this review will gain some more fans of the greatest rock band ever to grace our shores.
          Queen, for me the greatest British rock band ever! A bold statement yes, but they are the real package. All the members can play instruments, a rare thing in a band today. All can write quality songs, and oh how they can entertain and put on a show...Live....they were unequalled.

          Queen are:
          Freddie Mercury: Lead vocals, piano
          Brian May: Electric guitars
          Roger Taylor: Drums and percussion
          John Deacon: Bass
          Below are my thoughts on Innuendo:


          Innuendo

          Innuendo is Queens 14th studio album. Released in 1991 its final studio album released while lead singer Freddie Mercury was still alive and the last to be composed entirely of new material.
          This album was recorded when Freddie was in the advanced stages of the terrible illness HIV/AIDS. His and the bands determination to give the world as much music as he could before he lost his final battle with the disease is a credit to them all.

          Songs will be rated from 1-10. 1 being poor 10 being Outstanding. I dont think you will see ant 1's!

          Singing/Song Style
          All are good singers however, Freddie has the stand out voice. Its powerful, deep, rich and pure. He can deliver a hard ass rock tune, ballad or even operatic song that will blow you away.
          The music is generally of the rock genre. Their songs are generally up tempo with a great drum, piano and electric/bass guitar accompaniment.


          Track Listing

          1. Innuendo 6:29
          2. I'm Going Slightly Mad 4:22
          3. Headlong 4:39
          4. I Can't Live with You 4:35
          5. Don't Try So Hard 3:39
          6. Ride the Wild Wind 4:41
          7. All God's People (Queen, Mike Moran) 4:19
          8. These Are the Days of Our Lives 4:12
          9. Delilah 3:32
          10. The Hitman 4:52
          11. Bijou 3:36
          12. The Show Must Go On 4:24
          * CD Version.


          Personal Opinion On Each Song

          **INNUENDO**
          This is a brilliant opening track for the album. A great opening drum beat, then the wonderfully powerful voice of Freddie kicks in, brilliant! The song progresses until you get the Flamenco part of the song were Freddie softens his voice to almost ballad like. The flamenco music is brilliant and builds into a great finale. The lyrics are profund and hard hitting. A wonderful return to form. 10/10. Released as a single.

          ** I'M GOING SLIGHTLY MAD**
          Another powerful musical opening, a good drum beat throught with great strings. Freddie again delivers an oustanding performance, the song is almost spoken rather than sung. Lyrically is brilliant. The song is believed to represent the AIDS induced dementia that Kenny Everett incurred during the final years of his life. The video that accompanys this song is truely brilliant, its quirky and strange and a sight to behold. 9/10. Released as a single.

          ** HEADLONG***
          I love this song! what an introduction, the guitar and drums are ponding from the start. A great rock intro! Freddie again as always delivers a great performance. Brain May's guitar rifts are brilliant. this song should be played loud!!! Lyrically is pure class. The vidoe for this song is class. 10/10. Released as a single.

          ** I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU**
          A great intro as is now standard with this album. This song is not one of my favourites. It's a bit wet and the backing vocals of Brian May and Roger Taylor dont really add to the song. Its a little cheesy. 6/10

          ** DON'T TRY SO HARD**
          This is a much softer song. The musical arrangement is wonderfully soft at the beginning but then builds as the song progresses. Freddies voice is soft and warm. Lyrically its great. The song shifts between a ballad and a rock song with ease. A good song delivered as only Freddie can. 8/10

          **RIDE THE WILD WILD WIND**
          A great electric guitar introduction. Its a heavily drum beat and rhythmic bass line influenced song. The lyrics are again practically being spoken by Freddie. There is a great guitar rift midway through the song. Lyrically its not brilliant, but this does not detract from the quality of the song. 8/10

          ** ALL GOD'S PEOPLE**
          Not one of the stronger songs on the album. Its very operatic in its theme, its dramatic and big. Freddie as always delivers and again the musical arrangement is very good indeed. A lot of the song is sung in counterpoint with Brian May. Its a steady song thats never going to blow you away. Its a standard filler song in my opinion. 7/10

          **THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES**
          A brilliant drum introduction, it just stes the thyme from the off. A brilliant bass line and a stonkingly good guitar rift midway through. Btilliant. The lyrics are outstanding, they are a reflection on Freddies life. As a Queen fan its almost impossible to listen to this song without a lump in your throat, the video that accompanys this song its wonderful tribute to the great man.
          Possibly my favourite song on the album and indeed one of my favourite Queen songs os all time. The song its self is just about perfect. 10/10 Released as a single.

          **DELILAH**
          This song is actually about Freddies cat and there is me thinking he did not like pussy....cats. Innuendo?
          This is an upbeat song. It has a good beat but it just lacks something, probably due to the fact that you know its about a cat. That aside again as a musical arrangement and with Freddie's singing its still an average song. Again it has a great guitar rift and a good baseline throughout. The Meowing, yes Meowing! in the song for me spoils it, just no need. 7/10

          ** THE HITMAN**
          A proper rack track, what a great introduction. Got to be played loud. Freddie delivers such raw power in the lyrics, the backing singing by Brian May is great, as is his guitar rift. Lyrically is good nothing to shout home about, but the whole package together its a great rock song from the guys. 9/10

          **BIJOU**
          A great guitar introduction, brilliant. Its a great pwerful ballad. Freddies delivery of his very few lines is awe inspiring. The song is not burdened with words as musically its astounding, the guitar is just fantastic. Its easy listening and show off their musical/instrument talents to the full. Highly recommend this track. n10/10

          **THE SHOW MUST GO ON**
          This song coupled with " These are the days of our lives" are so poignant. In this song which was written by Brian May you feel as though you are being told that the story must continue.
          The introduction with the guitar and drums is brilliant. Freddie's voice delivers such emotion is almost unbelievable. Lyrically is so sad and poignant. Its a great song that sums up all that is good and great about Queen. The video really hits home that Freddie is losing his batlle with AIDS. My words cant do this song justice, listen to what Freddie says, he says it all so much better than I ever could. 10/10


          Summary

          What an album. As a final studio album of original material and the last one recorded whilst Freddie was alive its perfect. It has all that you could want in a Queen album, Rock, ballads, great lyricas, great bass and some kick ass guitar rifts. All members contribute songs and sing on this album. Its such a shame that this was the last album that they recorded together. For me the poignancy of some of the tracks is astounding. Their desire to make great music for their fans right to the end is the work of true masters of their craft, with a devotion to their fans thats more than just empty words. Almost every track is a masterpiece, the stand out tracks for me are: These are the days of our lives, Bijou, Headlong and rather poignanlty The show must go on. As the band tells us....." The Show Must Go On"

          Recommendation
          Yes Yes Yes, buy this album, Queen fan or not. You wont regret it!


          Album Information

          Innuendo
          Studio album by Queen
          Released 5 February 1991
          Recorded 1990, 1991
          Metropolis Studios, London, England
          Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland
          Genre Rock
          Length 53:44
          Label Parlophone
          The album cover was designed by Queen and Richard Gray. The booklets and single covers from the album are by Grandville, or are inspired by his illustrations.


          You Tube

          I have posted some links below to allow you to enjoy the videos that accompany the tracks. Hopefully this will help you to decide if you wish to purchase the album, or if like me you already own it, you can just enjoy the great vides.

          These are the days of our lives- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRwG5LoSvwQ

          The Show Must Go On - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ADh8Fs3YdU

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            06.10.2009 14:51
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            Everyone must own this album

            Innuendo is the 13th album by the band Queen. This was the last Album released by the band while lead singer Freddie Mercury was alive. Due to Freddie's advancing AID's the album was done in short stints with Freddie having shots of vodka to numb the pain.

            Due to these circumstances and the album is a contender for the best album Queen has released. The strong emotions and shear drive that the band were going through shines throughout.

            Queen did what they did best on this album. Pure Rock and Pop. Considering the pain Freddie was in recording this album his voice is still as strong as ever.

            The album opens with the title track Innuendo. This song comes at you from every angle. Slow fast, soft and hard. A great track.

            Other rock songs include Headlong, The hitman and The show must go on.
            I could talk about every song on this album as they are top class.

            3 songs stand out as I would say "goodbye" songs from Freddie. The show must go on, Bijou and These are the days of our lives. All so sad when you think about what they mean but so happy they were created as they are masterpieces. You will never forget the last words of These are the days of our lives as Freddie says his final goodbye "I still love you"

            The is an album that everyone should own. All great song by a great man and band.
            If you are looking to buy this album GET IT!!

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              12.06.2008 21:38
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              A Great Finale

              This album is what I would call the finale when it comes to Queen. Over two decades Queen had continued to make music that was loved by more or less everyone, whatever the age, whether it be older people, people of the same era, or younger people that found themselves bought up with them.

              Freddie Mercury, the lead singer, real name Farook Bulsara, was Persian, something that not many people were aware of, the were aware that he wasn't English but not familiar with his real nationality. Living life to max as every rock star should, it became evident during the late eighties that Freddie Mercury was not well and speculations began as too what was wrong with him. Freddie was never ashamed of his sexuality and was not afraid to be himself whether it be on the stage or off stage at one of the many parties that he used to attend, his flambuoyant behavious lead to him being diagnosed with the HIV virus which eventually developed into full blown AIDS.

              This was a shock to everyone, probably not to the people that knew him well, but to the millions of fans that worshipped him and the band itself consisting of Brian May, Roger Taylor and JOhn Deacon. I remember well to this day, the day that Freddie Mercury passed away from this killer disease many a tear was shed as he was so well liked and admired by many.

              Innuendo was recorded when Freddie was at his weakest, however he was a strong willed person and would not let his fans down. Recorded during 1990 and released early 1991, the album was full of new material and was a story about the end.

              Tracking Listing

              Innuendo
              I'm Going Slightly Mad
              Headlong
              I Can't Live With You
              Don't Try So Hard
              Ride the Wild Wind
              All Gods People
              These are the Days of Our Lives
              Delilah
              The HItman
              Bijou
              The Show Must Go On

              Innuendo was one of those tracks that followed in the same sort of footsteps as Bohemian Rhapsody, a very long instrumental at the start of it before Freddie actually kicks in and starts to sing.

              I'm Going Slightly Mad, I feel is portraying how Freddie was feeling at the later stages of his illness, being one biscuit short of a full pack and other various lines that make you think that he is losing the plot a little. With the lyrics "I'm Going Slightly Mad, It Finally Happened" leaves you to think that he knew this was going to happen, wasn't sure when it was going to but eventually did.

              Headlong reminds me of the tracks that were done in the 80's. A quite catchy track that really gets you singing along and a typical Queen track.

              I Can't Live With You starts with a really good section from Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Taylor, the three all put together are absolutely fantastic. This is one of my favourite tracks on the album, very catchy, great lyrics that are telling a story once again.

              "I don't know what time it is, all I know is I Can't Live With You"

              Delilah

              This is a track that I don't particularly like but can't associate myself with. Delilah was Freddie's Siamese Cat which he adored so much and was going to leave behind.

              "You make me so very happy when you cuddle up and go to sleep beside me"

              "You are the Apple of My Eye"

              "You make me smile when I'm about to cry"

              Its quite a sad track really, and if you are big Freddie fan then you can understand where he is coming from.

              The Show Must Go On is the final track and is basically saying that no matter how ill he is, he is still going to put that show on. The video to this particular track is made up of various cuts from different tracks throughout the years as Freddie was too ill to be filmed. This was the song to the end of an era and he fulfilled and made his fans proud of him right until the end.

              "The Show Must Go On, inside my heart is breaking, my make up may be flaking, but my smile still stays on."

              I was bought up with Queen, and I must admit I really love this album, purely because its a life story, more so than the rest of the albums that have been produced. A great album, which we thought would be the last but Queen will still live on.

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                11.11.2000 19:19
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                The last true Queen album, Innuendo has a great mix of the rock tracks that Queen do best, and some slightly tongue-in-cheek songs ("I'm going slightly mad" being the perfect example), in true flamboyant Freddie Mercury style. The stand-out track on this album is the wonderful "These are the days of our lives", a particularly touching song about appreciating the good days, and "when you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids". "The show must go on" is another outstanding track, perhaps reflecting Freddie's willingness to make the most of life, despite his illness. This album makes a fitting tribute to Freddie Mercury as he should be remembered, the extrovert showman playing to his audience. An album that all Queen fans should have in their collection.

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                  03.09.2000 17:18
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                  Before I tell you about the music on album, there are a few things you must bear in mind. One, this was Queen’s last album, and by the time it was released, they were known throughout the world. Two, Freddie Mercury by this time was very ill with AIDS, and he died soon after its release. The music on this album, like most Queen material, varies an awful lot. There is the “slightly” comic and amusing ‘Slightly Mad’, the rock of ‘Headlong’, and the different styles within the song ‘Innuendo’ also vary. It goes from the usual Queen rock to a Spanish guitar solo. This is the last Queen album, and possibly the best.

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                  11.08.2000 03:45
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                  He himself and the other band members knew that Freddie Mercury was dying when this album was recorded and released, so it is very moving to look back on songs like 'Show Must Go On' and 'These asre the Days of Our Lives.' They have a lot of meaning now. It is generally a more sombre album than the previous 'Miracle.' However, there are rockers with a lively happy fel in 'I can't Live With You' and 'Hitman.' The song writing and production is as good as ever, and this is an album that you can play from start to finish, but you can listen to odd songs, but this is not an album I would chose to start a Queen collection.

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                  05.08.2000 17:59
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                  This last album from the full line up of Queen was a remarkable album when one considers Freddie Mercury was dying. The lyics of the various tracks all testify to a different way of feeling and all demand a closer inspection. "I'm going slighty mad" must have been Freddie's humor coming through in spite of his difficulties and "These are the days of our lives" sum up what many people must feel when faced with the end. The most moving track for me must be "The show must go on", the power of Mercury's voice hides his frailty - yet on listening to the song, it never fails to give me goose bumps when I listen to the power behind the lyrics and consider how close to death Freddie Mercury was.

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              • Product Details

                Disc #1 Tracklisting
                1 Innuendo
                2 I'm Going Slightly Mad
                3 Headlong
                4 I Can't Live With You
                5 Don't Try So Hard
                6 Ride The Wild Wind
                7 All God's People
                8 These Are The Days Of Our Lives
                9 Delilah
                10 Hitman
                11 Bijou
                12 Show Must Go On