Queen
Hot Space


3.0
good

Review

by Necrotica USER (194 Reviews)
May 25th, 2013 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Queen's infamous dance album? RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIVES! Actually, it's surprisingly not that bad.

Chapter X: A Controversial Turn

Queen's soundtrack to Flash Gordon stirred up quite a lot of controversy with their fanbase when it came out, many people wondering where the band's "No Synthesizers" policy had gone (although to be fair, they started this trend with their eighth record The Game). The band's usual pomp and campy humor had been replaced with dark brooding keyboard arrangements and a distinct lack of Freddie Mercury's voice. Naturally there was a backlash from the band's following, but the worst was yet to come... as 1982's Hot Space would eventually prove. Yes indeed, this is the album that brought Queen's dance influence (originally found on The Game) to the next level; and when I say next level, I MEAN it. This record is almost entirely packed with 80s synthpop arrangements, drum machine recordings galore, and a lot more focus on the bass and vocals. Many fans feel that this was the record that represented Queen at their absolute worst, the album even being included on Q Magazine's list of "Albums Where Great Rock Acts Lost the Plot." So wow, this must be really awful then, right" Well, not quite.

While this album can get very clunky and inconsistent, there are just enough great songs and moments to balance out the record's negative aspects. "Staying Power" is a suitably entertaining opener that sets the funky tone for the rest of the dance-influenced material on the album, but songs like "Back Chat" and "Cool Cat" really make you wonder what the band were thinking. The former has a very "70s disco" vibe about, sounding like something from mid-career Michael Jackson while the latter has a slow soulful groove that could have granted the band an appearance on the show "Soul Train" back in the day. However, the biggest oddity on the record would have to be the hit single "Body Language." A very minimalist number by Queen's standards, the song combines a dark bass line with seductive yells and moans by Freddie (man, did I really just have to say that") and some bizarre synthesizer embellishments. Oddly enough, it happens to be one of my favorite songs on the album out of its sheer entertainment factor. Songs like these are offset by more traditional Queen rockers and ballads; this is still where the band really shines on the record. With many of the more "rocking" numbers, the whole band finally comes into play again and things feel more cohesive. "Put Out the Fire" is a really fun anti-firearm hard rock (even verging on heavy metal) number that even includes a guitar solo by an intoxicated Brian May! And do I even need to go into much detail about "Under Pressure"" The song's a classic; David Bowie's guest performance is wonderful, the fast bass line is a great way to introduce the piece, the chorus is really climactic and well-arranged; everything about the song is just awesome. Finally, "Action This Day" is sort of a mix of the dance and 70s rock of Queen rolled into one tune. The quirky verses sound like they could have been on a Devo record (one of their better ones, mind you), but the chorus sounds like it could have been on A Day at the Races or News of the World.

So what does all this analysis add up to" Some fantastic songs, some good songs, and some very mediocre songs. Songs like "Under Pressure" and "Put Out the Fire" bring the listener back to the 70s days of the band, but the dance-inspired tunes are pretty hit-and-miss. And yet, what is it that still draws this record to me" Honestly, it's mainly based on how fun the album is. Sometimes you just need a nice dance album and let yourself go, and this album is very good at making that happen. As a traditional Queen album, this is pretty weak and has a lot of flaws; however, similar to Risk by Megadeth, you just have to see this for the diversion it is and respect its flaws. Despite its many problems, I still recommend this album... but just barely. Proceed with caution. I'd consider this a "try-before-you-buy" record.



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user ratings (419)
Chart.
2.6
average
other reviews of this album
MasterSan (2)
Rightfully overlooked....

gblackman (2.5)
That’s where ‘1982’s’ “Hot Space” comes in. Of any of all ‘Queen’s’ efforts, this ...

MrFahrenheit (4)
The last great Queen album........



Comments:Add a Comment 
Necrotica
May 25th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sorry if this one was a little unfocused, this was a bit of a tough album to write about

tempest--
May 25th 2013


20626 Comments


meh album but it's Queen so it rocks

breakingthefragile
May 25th 2013


3104 Comments


GIVE

ME

YOOOUR BAAAAAAAAAAADAAAAAAAAAAAY

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2013


11338 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

meh album but it's Queen so it rocks [2]

Aids
May 25th 2013


24456 Comments


em

slash

ViperAces
May 25th 2013


12588 Comments


under pressure rocks hard

ZackSh33
May 25th 2013


680 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I believe this was the one that was mostly driven by Freddie and less input from the rest of the band was happening. This is prob my least fav Queen album because the sound just doesn't suit them. Good review though, but a 3 is being generous.

Necrotica
May 25th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Body Language rules

deslad
May 25th 2013


625 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Great review once more man. Not a bad album.

facupm
May 25th 2013


11330 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nice review, but i just dislike this album hard

Necrotica
May 25th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just realized... since I already did A Kind of Magic and Innuendo... only 3 Queen reviews left :D

Necrotica
May 26th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^ Haha, thanks man. They're terrible reviews, but comedy gold :P

gfdhicool
May 28th 2013


96 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet review mate ,I personally dance to this album a lot xD (especially to Staying Power,Dancer,and Back Chat).Body Language is atrocious though :/

Necrotica
May 28th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man! Yeah, Body Language is a guilty pleasure of mine, haha

gfdhicool
May 30th 2013


96 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha,it's alright x).We all have guilty pleasures x) (Mine is More of that Jazz).

MrSirLordGentleman
August 8th 2013


12049 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Body Language is like the worst thing ever

Under Pressure is like the best thing ever



meh album but it's Queen so it rocks [3]

FunkyFleaBass
May 22nd 2015


80 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is a pretty bad attempt at funk.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2015


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

the thing inspired thriller, you oughta give it that

Digging: Nina Simone - Wild is the Wind

FunkyFleaBass
May 22nd 2015


80 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Really? Wow, the more you know haha.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2015


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 2.9

yeah MJ pretty much cited it as the main inspiration for Thriller, not to mention he was hanging with the band quite a bit in '81-'83



the rock-oriented tracks are better, but I dig the dance tunes even if they aren't up to par



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