Hot Space by Queen

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Hot Space by Queen
Hot Space by Queen

Album Released: 1982

Hot Space ::: Artwork

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1.Staying Power4:10
3.Back Chat4:33
4.Body Language4:32
5.Action This Day3:32
6.Put Out The Fire3:18
7.Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)3:31
8.Calling All Girls3:52
9.Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)4:29
10.Cool Cat3:48
11.Under Pressure4:03


This is the kind of album Queen fanatics either love or despise, as it presents the band doing hardcore dance music. And in 1982, dance music had synthesizers everywhere, electronic drums, and horny lyrics. I don't know what Queen were trying to do, either they were just fiddling with synthesizers, or just wanted to have some fun in the studio.

Fun or not, this album sounds horribly dated. Whilst this stuff was hot in 1982, it's nowadays only recommended for people who are really into Queen, or people who just want to witness this kind of music. The production is a kind of echoey airy sound, with the drums going 'pisssh! pisssh! pisssh!'.

The album does include a couple of gems though, because the 'dance' stuff was concentrated on Side A, and Side B had more 'mellow' spots. The album's most famous track is probably the closing "Under Pressure", added here against the band's wishes. It's a famous duet with David Bowie, with the groovy bass/piano riff and the improvised vocals. It's a nice song, not a classic, but definitely entertaining. But it has nothing to do with the rest of the album.

Mercury's compositions make me think this album was his idea. "Staying Power" and "Body Language" are the two signature songs, but the latter really really blows - it's an absolutely disgusting and aggressive, insulting piece of tripe that I refuse to enjoy. I liked "Get Down, Make Love" because it was quite weird, but this is not weird - this is stupid and downright offensive, musically void and insubstantial. Mercury just moans and groans his way through the song, not delivering a single melody worth a penny. "Staying Power" on the other hand is a goodie, with some clever vocal lines and groovy synthesizer work. The disco vibe doesn't affect me in any bad way, even though it does have the worst Queen lyric ever, in blow, baby, blow. Still, the song is fine provided I avoid singing along to it.

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by Reviewer: Fernando Canto (blogging at Sir Mustapha's Album Reviews [Defunct])

It seems the idea behind Queen releasing a disco/dance album in 1982 was pushed mainly by Mercury, reinforced by Deacon, who - unlike the others - grew up listening to soul music.

However, May and Taylor were reported to completely detest that musical direction. Of course, those two were still members of the band and contributed songs anyway, but it must've been through clenched teeth!

After releasing their synthesizer-heavy soundtrack for Flash Gordon, Queen were so comfortable using that instrument they started making entire pop songs from them that don't feature any guitar at all! And what a mistake ... "Body Language" is just flat from beginning to end, featuring a lifeless bass-synth loop, drum machines, and an uninteresting (though *flashy*) vocal performance from Mercury. That's without a doubt one of the worst songs they've ever done.

Most of the other songs aren't too far behind that one. "Action This Day" also features a dull bass-synth sound and a forgettable melody, although it at least has some electric guitar to keep the beat; "Dancer" has a catchy bassline and some rather heavy electric guitar sounds, however I'm disappointed that Mercury's disco-diva overtones comes off as such a joyless exercise.

"Black Chat" actually sounds like a genuine early-80's R&B song, but it isn't long into it before I get awfully bored; "Staying Power" is the best song from the first half of the album, which at least sounds like Mercury is singing a half-decent melody.

Although the second half of the album is miles better than the first, it continues to reveal how Queen had completely lost their magic, for whilst "Put Out the Fire" has a heavy electric guitar sound that rings of classic Queen, its melody is forgettable, and "Calling All Girls" sounds like another attempt at New Wave, but why must that groove be so clunky and mechanical?

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)