Queen
The Works


2.5
average

Review

by Necrotica USER (194 Reviews)
May 26th, 2013 | 39 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Queen's worst non-soundtrack record.

Chapter XI: Haven't We Heard This Before"

Queen's tenth effort Hot Space alienated a lot of the band's fanbase, many believing that the group's dance influence went way overboard. It was certainly a huge departure from the normal Queen sound, being more restrained and poppy than their previous efforts. So what did they do with their next record The Works" They made more hard-rocking tunes again! Unfortunately, they also spend most of the record rehashing their old material and boring listeners to death. That's not to say every song sucks; in fact, the "average" label on its rating is pretty much accurate. It's simply an average album.

On the bright side, there's more of the classic Queen feel on this record than Hot Space, but at the same time they really don't break any new ground. Some traces of Hot Space are still present, such as with the synthrock anthem "Radio Ga Ga," but thankfully things are more downplayed in that regard. As for the good tunes, there are a good few songs you'll wanna come back to, such as "Hammer to Fall," "I Want to Break Free," "Is This the World We Created"" "Tear It Up" and so forth. "Hammer to Fall" is especially fantastic, revolving around a mammoth hard rock riff from May and leading up to a classic harmonized chorus that resembles Queen's 70s heyday. "I Want to Break Free" is a great ballad that benefits from a beautifully arranged chorus; the synthesizers really add a nice orchestral touch, and even have a nice solo in the middle near the song's bridge. "Tear It Up" is your typical hard rocking Queen affair, but "Is This the World We Created"" is really where more attention should be given. The song is based around a beautiful acoustic guitar melody as the band leave us some food for thought at the end of the record; it's a very tasteful conclusion.

But now it's time for the bad, and there's a lot of it. I'll just address this right now and get it out of the way though: I don't like "Radio Ga Ga." It just never struck me as anything special; it sounds like a bland synthpop song that could have been taken right out of an early A-ha record. Not only that, but the chorus is just cheesy beyond belief; the band's chants of "radio goo goo" and "radio blah blah" just seem really childish and unnecessary. The instrumentation isn't really stellar either; it's just a midtempo pop song with no real standout moments. Further into the record, there are many rote rehashes of previous albums by the band. "Man on the Prowl" is a fast piano rocker that tries to cash in on the success of their 1980 hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." It has a very similar style, but is simply not as memorable. "It's a Hard Life" sounds almost exactly like "Play the Game," so analysis is pretty limited on that one as well. Finally, we get to the biggest travesty on the record, "Machines (or 'Back to Humans')". It's pretty much "Radio Ga Ga" with even less memorability, and it even includes extremely cheesy robotic vocals that could have fit on Styx's song "Mr. Roboto." The entire song is bland and boring, taking a midtempo pop/rock approach and sucking any life and likability out of it; the synthesizers are merely ok, the vocals seem a bit average compared to Freddie's usual work, and the overall tune just doesn't do much of anything in the end.

The thing is, this isn't a bad record; it's just very, very average. There are amazing tracks and there are terrible tracks, so it sort of evens out in the end. The big negative aspect of this record is how much of a boring retread it is; at least Hot Space tried to do some new things with the band's sound and think outside the box a little. But to be fair, there are some fantastic tunes on this record; "Hammer to Fall" in particular is almost worth the price of admission alone. So I guess this is simply... average. That's about all there is.



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user ratings (409)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
gblackman (2)
“Radio Ga Ga,” the first single released from the album “The Works,” proved indeed to be a h...

Patrick (3)
...

Patoivanfer (2)
Probably the most dissapointing album by a great band. Queen at their lowest....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Necrotica
May 26th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

2 more left

ViperAces
May 26th 2013


12588 Comments


Radio Gaga, I Want To Break Free, and Sombody To Love are my top 3 Queen songs

Dreamflight
May 26th 2013


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

you pretty much summed up all my feelings about this album apart from



""I Want to Break Free" is a great ballad that benefits from a beautifully arranged chorus...."



Idk why but I can't stand this song lol.



But yea, worst Queen album imo.



Necrotica
May 26th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^ Yeah, I can see why it gets on some peoples' nerves. The song's an acquired taste, really

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2013


11337 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pretty uninspired regarding Queen's standards but has some enjoyable moments.

tempest--
May 27th 2013


20626 Comments


:0 harsh this albums rocks i mean come on it's QUEEEEEEEEEEN

Necrotica
May 27th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, I feel bad for giving this such a low score, but I'm just not a big fan of it compared to a their other 80s stuff :[

ViperAces
May 27th 2013


12588 Comments


"I don't like "Radio Ga Ga.""
damn!

tempest--
May 27th 2013


20626 Comments


Hammer to Fall makes this a 3 at least!

manosg
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2013


11337 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hammer to Fall is a good track indeed.

Necrotica
May 27th 2013


10583 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh God, isn't that the drag video?

Dreamflight
May 27th 2013


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this reminds of a dumb brazilian interviewer asking Freddy how it was to write a gay anthem like I want to Break Free (or smt along these lines), which he calmly answered: "that song was written by our bassist John Deacon, who is 100% straight".

ViperAces
May 27th 2013


12588 Comments


best video ever

emprorzurg
October 26th 2013


566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is just 4 singles and really bad filler (except for "Tear It Up", which is awesome)

manosg
Staff Reviewer
October 27th 2013


11337 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not a good album.

deathschool
January 28th 2014


23030 Comments


Hammer to Fall kicks too much ass.

MeatSalad
January 28th 2014


17386 Comments


more like

the worst

emprorzurg
January 28th 2014


566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's a few good singles broken up by really bad filler

MrSirLordGentleman
November 26th 2014


12049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This isn't terrible guys, Radio Gaga and I Want to Break Free are classics, I mean, let's remember Flash Gordon exists

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2014


18196 Comments

Album Rating: 2.6

"Forever" is far worse though

Digging: Nina Simone - Wild is the Wind



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