Queen
Queen


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
November 23rd, 2011 | 21 replies | 11,169 views


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Well DAMN... no wonder Queen would grow into something big.

Chapter I: Humble Beginnings

Believe it or not, Queen wasn't ALWAYS an earth-shattering, stadium-filling arena act; in fact, their debut suggests something absolutely different, despite laying the groundwork for future successes. However, there's one thing that can't be denied... this album is a SUPERB start to the band's career.

The music present here is more akin to the progressive rock style seen in the early 70's, mixed with the usual latter-day Queen glam and flair. The lyrics are quite interesting here as well, using more of a medieval and fantasy-based style that would be all but dropped later. The result is an excellent prog-rock record that would fit neatly between the shelves of King Crimson and Genesis.

Of course, you might not see it that way when you listen to the first track, "Keep Yourself Alive." It has more of the powerful, amplified sound from Queen's mid-to-late career, with a driving rock riff from Brian May and even a rare drum solo from Roger Taylor. Freddie Mercury's vocals are just as powerful, and already show the man's incredible dynamic range. Either way you slice it, this song is different from the majority of the album, and it's surprising that it didn't go up the charts when it was released as a single.

Most of the other songs take a softer, more acoustic turn, punctuated by heavier areas and songs. "Doing All Right" is heavily reminiscent of King Crimson's "Cadence and Cascade," and is much calmer than the first song. The vocals are beautifully harmonized, and the electric guitar has a bit of a new-age feel to it. Soon, the song speeds up for a head-banging climax before concluding slowly and sweetly. Another slower selection is "The Night Comes Down." Kicking things off with a fast acoustic intro, the song builds up into a harmonized guitar section, leading into the sweetly calm verse. The chorus is a highlight of the song, again utilizing vocal harmonies for a beautifully captivating effect.

The band, however, isn't afraid in the slightest to get the distortion running for the heavier songs. There are some serious precursors to the true heavy metal style that would shine in the 80's, like "Great King Rat" or "Liar." Both are very powerful, convoluted songs much lyrical cleverness and style in each. You can always count on Brian May to lay down some intense solos, or on Roger Taylor for some complicated proggy fills and solos of his own. John Deacon provides a great backbone, and adds to the heaviness and brutality. Freddie Mercury powers his way through, combining raw energy and occasional soft emotion.

So, the flaws? The biggest one here is inconsistency, which is quite common in first albums. In some sections, the band have trouble in terms of knowing when enough is enough, especially in terms of soloing and jamming. Also, there are some throwaways present here, like Roger Taylor's short, random "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll" and what is essentially a short demo-version of "Seven Seas of Rhye."

What's really clear, though, is that Queen gave their all into this, and crafted a splendid debut album that would pave the way for their records to come. Good job, guys!

Queen were:

Freddie Mercury - lead and backing vocals, piano, Hammond organ on "Liar"
Brian May - electric and acoustic guitar, backing vocals, vocal bridge on "Keep Yourself Alive", piano on "Doing All Right"
Roger Taylor - drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll", vocal bridge on "Keep Yourself Alive", percussion
John Deacon - bass guitar



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user ratings (390)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
jamest33 (4.5)
No synthesisers! But great music!...

gblackman (2.5)
Keep Yourself Alive, the bands first ever single release, is classic Queen a catchy riff with excell...

mercury (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ch31929
November 23rd 2011



15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is a magnificent album , i agree

good job for you too! a pos

LoveYerBrain
November 23rd 2011



89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the cover art to this is one of my favorites

album is amazing

Dreamflight
November 23rd 2011



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. I'd rate this a little lower, but you pretty much summed up what the whole album is about.

scissorlocked
November 23rd 2011



3508 Comments


best band

pos

Digging: John Roberts - Ausio

Cipieron
November 23rd 2011



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

obviously not their best, but a taste of things to come. love this album!

good review, pos'd

Jethro42
November 23rd 2011



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Band rules. Great review.

Jethro42
November 23rd 2011



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No I don't, maybe one day. I frequent it a lot though. I feel like a kid in a toy store in there.

Jethro42
November 23rd 2011



12365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah really? What was your nick by curiosity? Also is it just me or there are more contributors than simple users?

AvantSeventier
December 27th 2011



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It's so hard for me don't rate each QUEEN album with a 5/5 (Really, I Love all their discography, even "Hot Space"). But, I have to do an effort to remember the first time when I could hear whole album, in that way, I can give an objective opinion for every work. Always (or almost always) I think that You need to have some "requirements" to hear for a first time anything, In this case You need to have heard "Led Zeppelin I" or "Led Zeppelin II" to get some kind of 'comprehension' of this album. You would like: "Keep Yourself Alive" or "Liar".

Altought, You must remeber that before 1973, QUEEN was the 'invited artist' in Yes' shows, so, They applied some "Progressive" details in their songs, as well as: "My Fairy King" and "Mad The Swine". In any way, enjoy this album, maybe It's not the best album to begin to know about QUEEN, but when You discover "70's QUEEN" You'll love this.

(Forgive any mistake in my english, I'm not a native speaker ;) )

Activista anti-MTV
February 14th 2012



3138 Comments


Would love to get my hands on this someday. great band

Cipieron
February 14th 2012



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Son and Daughter' could be remade into a really hard rocking song I imagine.. kinda like what KSE did with Dio's 'Holy Diver'

gfdhicool
April 22nd 2013



96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like the atmosphere of this album,it makes me feel weird,but in a good way.Especially Great King Rat

manosg
April 24th 2013



5681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Queen is one of my favorite bands but I'm not too fond of this album. Their next 5 are amazing though.

Digging: Donovan - Sunshine Superman

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 24th 2013



5643 Comments


Great band .... gonna check this one tonight

gfdhicool
April 26th 2013



96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was probably super original during the 70's

gfdhicool
April 28th 2013



96 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Most of the songs on here could have easily fit on Queen II.I'm surprised A Night At the Opera isn't a 4.5 here instead of a 4.4...

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2013



9611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Yeah, I really hope the rating goes up soon

mark7477
January 23rd 2014



392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I will say this is probably one of their best records although it's get a bit mediocre at times going halfway through the album.Of course it's opens quite nicely with keep yourself alive and gets a little better towards the end.

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2014



9611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"one of their best records"

"Album rating: 3"

...

Kalopsia
February 14th 2014



920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^

[2]


yeah wtf.



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