The Game



by Adapter USER (3 Reviews)
May 29th, 2007 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1980 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Best-selling album, yes. Best album? Far from.

Queen's 1980 The Game is the most commercially succesful album they released and got the most overplayed rock radio song ever next to Stairway to Heaven, the disco/rock anthem Another One Bites the Dust. It is also the first album that Queen uses synthetizers on and is an overall overhaul when it comes to sound and style. For example, it was around the release of this album Freddie got his fameous moustach. But is the album really as good as all the rave reviews and buyers out there says it is? The answer is a resounding "Hell no!".

First of, the album only got a few moderatly strong tracks and some pure crap, really. Most of it is on the second side, and some of it is actually really offensively bad. Like Don't Try Suicide. What a horribly stupid song. I'll get to it later.

The album kicks of with a synth-shock for all the poor people out there who still thought that Queen was a synth-free band. This song is called Play the Game and I can't stand it, really. The overuse of misplaced synthetizers (what's the point with the break, really?!!) and the crappiest moment in Queen's career ruins this otherwise okay song for me. I'm talking about the lines "My game of love has just begun/Love pumps from my head down to my toes/My love is pumping through my veins/Driving me insane/Play the game, play the game, play the game". Those lines are so horribly stupid that it's goddamn impossible for me to believe that Freddie Mercury actually wrote that. For god's sake, he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody 5 years earlier.

The next track cheers me up after the pathetic starter, though. It is a funky hard rocker called Dragon Attack, and got some really cool basslines, solos and... Well, the lyrics are cool as well. Overall, this is a cool track that it's impossible to not groove while listening to. After this great piece of music, it's time for the probably most fameous song ever, Another One Bites the Dust. Okay, it got a cool bassline and violent lyrics about a guy that shoots people on the street. And that is actually a lot and the track is not overrated one little bit at all. Well, maybe a little. But still, great music.

And for the next track, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, I'm going to upset some people with saying that I can't listen to this song for more than 30 seconds. Seriously, what's so good about it? It's a rockabilly with some dumb lyrics that just happened to be a hit because the americans thought it was an Elvis song (that's true) and that was impossible because Elvis was dead and... Yeah, you got it. I might be the only one in the world that is a Queen-fan but still can't stand their rockabilly anthem. However, the line "Ready Freddie!" is enough to make the song at least a little bit good. But just a little bit.

So, now has pop, funk and rockabilly been covered. The only thing I'm thinking now is "where's the pure, kickass hard rock?". Well, there is none on the entire album (except of Dragon Attack). The next song is a pop-rocker by John Deacon that could be any Beatles-song, really. The song is not bad at all and sure helps the album, but it's not that very special either. An okay track.

And now, pave way for the most horrible side of an LP Queen has ever written, if you don't count the first side of Hot Space (altough I still doubt that is a real Queen-album and not just a wrong-labeled Michael Jackson-album). The second side kicks of with Freddie slowly wailing some tribute to rock n' roll, and this is followed by a moderatly fast rock n' roll number sung by Taylor, all with annoying synth-bleeps in the background and even more stupid lyrics than Jazz's Fun It. Synth + Roger singing + bad lyrics = a big no-no on this one.

Far less impressive (and the latest track was still bad) is the Mercury-penned pop song Don't Try Suicide. This is a boring song with offensive lyrics (Is this supposed to be funny?) about... Well, not trying suicide (because nobody cares if you die anyway). Mercury, your humor worked as long as it was about bicycle races and arabic non-sense, but this is just pathetic. Among the worst songs Queen ever wrote, that's for sure.

To cheer me up once again, Brian May is always there (Brian is the one that saves this album from being total ***e) with the ballad Sail Away Sweet Sister (To the Sister I Never Had). It is a stronlgy emotive song with a really good chorus, altough it is not enough to save me from the musical torture of Don't Try Suicide. I'm still in a bad mood after this.

And it gets worse. Roger Taylor thinks that he should take a try on new wave-pop with the track Coming Soon, but really just fails big time and the track is utterly fortgetable. Hell, I can't even remember how it goes. It is some generic beat, and then "ohh, oooh´/I'll be coming soooooooon, coming soon"... Just makes me like this album even less. He could at least handed over the lead vocals to Freddie.

The album ends on a high note though, with the cheap corny power ballad Save Me. This song is also written by Brian and is next to Spread Your Wings from News of the World their best power ballad Queen ever did. Sure, the song is not original at all and just about anyone could have done it, but it sounds good and got a killer solo, and Freddie's vocals are on top here. Good thing they put this at the end to save my poor ears after all the crap they've shoved on me earlier.

So this album gets 4,5/10, and is saved by some strong tracks and a few okay tracks. But still, this is Queen's official changing from hard rock to pop rock, and that just makes me sad. It's all because of their pop singles, if those weren't hits this would have happened...

Best song: Dragon Attack
Worst song: Don't Try Suicide

Song ratings:
Play the Game: 3/10
Dragon Attack: 10/10
Another One Bites the Dust: 9/10
Crazy Little Thing Called Love: 3,5/10
Need Your Loving Tonight: 6,5/10
Rock It: 3/10
Don't Try Suicide: 1/10
Sail Away Sweet Sister: 7/10
Coming Soon: 3/10
Save Me: 8,5/10

Styles covered: Pop, hard rock, funk, disco, rockabilly, pop rock, rock n' roll, balladery.

user ratings (600)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 30th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Since folks don't seem to be commenting, I'll put some effort into my response.

First of all good review in the sense that I can definitely understand why your rating for this album is so low. I agree that the two Roger Taylor songs are weak on this album and true it is kind of a pop record, but on the other hand it was something of a departure for Queen. Although you obviously don't like "play the game" it is certainly worth more than 3/10 and you give "Crazy little thing" 3,5/10 but that song is pastiche at its best - that was something Queen always did well - step into another genre and pull it off (which is really a very "Queen" thing to do). I get that you don't enjoy "don't try suicide" and you may have a point - although the song does go through quite a few changes and is at least interesting. On the flip side - much as I like Dragon Attack - I don't know if it deserves a ten - purely because Brian May has been criticised for stealing the rhythm and melody in the vocal line from "we will rock you" - "take me to the room where the . . . " and "buddy you're boy make a big noise. . ." Which of course brings me to my own personal fave Queen album . . . "News of the World" - but that's another story. In any case, I think side 1 of this record was pretty flawless, while side 2 faltered a bit. So I give it 3.5. This Message Edited On 05.30.07

May 30th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Play the Game would reicive a 6,5/10 if it wasn't for the horribly misplaced synths and the at points extremely stupid lyrics.

Yeah, maybe I'm a bit harsh on Crazy Little Thing Called Love, but I just hate it. The reason that it gets a strong 3/10 is because of the "ready Freddie!"-line. I know pulling of any given genre is very Queen-ish, they have done most everything really well. They just failed at rockabilly for me.

Oh, and Dragon Attack is genious. I find it to be one of Queen's best, and it's a shame that it is only popular among hardcore Queen-fans.

Don't really understand what you mean about Don't Try Suicide; I find the melody to be utterly boring and the song to be distasteful and pointless.

News of the World is a truly great album, a 4,5/5 from me for sure.

January 2nd 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album. don't try suicide is shit but I think most of the other songs are ok.

Play the game: 9/10- I think this song is great! the bass is strong and it has a wondorful (but short) guitar solo and a great falsetto by freddie I love this song!

Dragon attack: 9/10- this is a great rocker with a great bass line

Another one bites the dust: 9/10 kinda pointless lyrics but very funky music

Need you love: 7.5/10 nice song I guess

Crazy little thing: 9.2/10 this is a great song! great bass and guitar solo lyrics are only ok though

I'll agree the second side is a little....meh

rock it: 6.7/10- honestly I don't hate this song it kinda gets me going

suicide: 3/10- now this song is crap. it seems like they were just trying to rush to make a song. the music is ok but it seems kinda empty (no soul) and the lyrics..........my god...............awful just awful. I don't get it. I think that this song would have been good if they got rid of all the lyrics and added some new lyrics (not about suicide) and added more instrument work in there it would have been a ok song.

Sail away: 8/10- it's a great song but the name reminds me of a styx song (shudder) but is is a good song. may is a better writer than mercury me thinks.

coming soon: 6.5/10 it's an average song. wouldn't call it bad but I wouldn't call it good either.

Save me: 10/10 this song ties up this album really nicely. it's all about the lyrics in this one. and freddie sings his heart out. definently one of the best Queen songs.

this album: the first side is great but the second side seems to have a lot of filler and frankly bad stuff. this album gets a 70%

June 9th 2011


Don't Try Suicide is probably not as bad taste as it seems. It opens as some Bob Fosse musical number, like a group of Greek chorus snapping their fingers approaching the main character. The lyrics address someone who's young and a bit of drama queen. This "child" acts foolish about love, to Mercury's "older & wiser sister" dispensing advice -

"Nobody's worth it", "Look at yourself you need help", "You just can't be a prick teaser all of the time", "Need some affection - you got it".

It's natural to expect "serious" subjects treated in good taste. In this case it sounds like a precise situation, addressed from a particular viewpoint about love gone bad. Also remember Queen always scoffed at being too political, using music for activism (though they'd learn their lesson after Sun City in the 80s.) By 1980 they've also just survived punk and post-punk. It's unlikely with so much irreverent, combative attitudes about establishment symbols and tasteful conduct (think of all the rude band names from the time, eg Joy Division) Queen were suddenly going to get preachy being already perceived as old men relics from an earlier time.

July 21st 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

coming soon is shit, but dragon attack is art

March 11th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

opinions sure are super.

half of the songs the reviewer hates, i have no problem with at all.

*blissfully continues listening*

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