Review Summary: So, with all THESE ADDED ARTISTS, and solo efforts, it’s no wonder this album was called “Queen+ Greatest Hits III.”
This is a strange release, not necessarily a bad one, but a strange one.
Two years earlier, they had basically covered near enough everything on ‘1997’s’ “Queen Rocks” compilation. Admittingly, you could argue that it was more of a hard rock collection than a hits collection. Afterall, it had songs such as “Stone Cold Crazy,” “Tear it Up,” “Sheer Heart Attack,” and “Put out the Fire,” which had never even been released as singles. Also, it did not include any takes from their previous studio release “Made in Heaven.”
So what “Greatest Hits III” does offer us are four single releases of that album (“Heaven for Everyone,” “Too much love will kill you,” “Let me Live,” “You Don’t fool me,” although “A Winters Tale” has been oddly left out, despite being one of their biggest hits on that album.)
A mixture of re-releases/remixes, (“The Show Must go on-WITH ELTON JOHN,” “Under Pressure- RAH MIX,” “Somebody to Love-WITH GEORGE MICHAEL,” “Another one bites the dust-WITH WYCLEF JEAN.”)
Solo material, (‘Freddie’s’ “Barcelona,” “The Great Pretender,” and “Living on my own” and ‘Brian’s’ “Driven by You”)
And some left over single releases that never made it onto “Greatest Hits II" (“Las Palabras de Amor,” “Princes of the Universe,” “These are the days of our Lives,” “Thank God it’s Christmas.”)
So, with all THESE ADDED ARTISTS, and solo efforts, it’s no wonder this album was called “Queen+ Greatest Hits III.”
But strangely, it’s more about what isn’t there, than what is.
Of course there’s the aforementioned A Winters Tale, and also there’s an argument for hits such as “Body Language,” and “Back Chat,” from their underrated Dance/Pop release “Hot Space.”
It’s a bigger shame that the band didn’t even indulge deeper into their past as there are other gems that were not on earlier hits compilations such as “Keep Yourself Alive” from their ‘first album,’ “Tie your Mother Down;” from “A day at the Races,” and US single release “It’s Late,” from ‘1977’s’ “News of the World.” Even another American single release “Need your Lovin’ tonight” from ‘1980’s’ “The Game,” would have been a welcome addition.
They’ve even cut short on the solo material.
For starters there’s no ‘Brian May’ version of “Too much love will kill you,” yes the Queen version is there but May’s version is just as good and would have been great for listeners to compare. But they’ve really been sloppy with Freddie’s solo material. Yes they have his biggest hits, but they still missed out on top ten smashes such as “Love Kills,” and “In my defence,” and the brilliant top 20 hit “I was born to love you,” as well as top 40 hit “Time.”
What is left though is more of a collection that barely scratches the surface of what Queen/other members had done before.
Admittingly the ‘George Michael’ performance of Somebody to Love, from the ‘1992’ “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert,” is a welcome addition and was one of the best performances of the day. But there’s also needless additions such as the ‘Elton John’ Paris performance of “The Show Must go on,” the terrible Under Pressure (Rah Mix.)
Yes it was a hit single but it’s still terrible, as was ‘Wyclef Jean’s’ murdering of Another one bites the dust, and why the pompous Princes of the Universe and the vomit inducing Thank God it’s Christmas are there I’ll never know. (Especially Thank God it’s Christmas as A Winters Tale is a million times better as a Christmas tune.)
The rest though is excellent.
“No one but you (Only the good die young),” from “Queen Rocks,” makes a welcome addition here, as do the Brian and Freddie hits (the few there are, although it does make his brilliant “Mr Bad Guy” album even more essential because the songs are not even covered at all here).
These are the days of our Live, which was just released too late for Greatest Hits II also is a welcome addition, as well as Las Palabras de Amor, which should have been on that compilation (Anything but “Friends will be Friends”-PUKE.)
So, although ultimately disappointing there’s enough on Greatest Hits III to at least warrant a listen, but it just doesn’t have the long term quality of its previous, higher quality, predecessors.