These guys get a bad rap from critics. Why? Hell if I know. But the difference between Queen and a million other bombastic in-your-face 1970's groups is that Queen did it well.
Three of the four band members were talented songwriters, the rhythm section was solid albeit unimaginative, Brian May was a first-rate guitarist, and Freddie Mercury was a truly talented singer who really knew how to arrange vocals to great effect and make any song his own.
Not that it worked all the time. Some of the 'let’s see how many synths we can cram into this one' songs like "Play the Game" and "Body Language" nauseate me, and others are just plain unmemorable. But most of their good songs are masterpieces, from "We Will Rock You" and everybody’s favorite bet-you-didn’t-know-it’s-a-gay-anthem "We Are the Champions", to Mercury’s delightfully prissy "Killer Queen", or the multi-layered vocals of "Bicycle Race".
My favorite songs though are the operatic "Somebody to Love", with its gazillion Mercury vocals piled one on top of another, and the cute 50's throwback "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - the production and playing on both songs is great.
But as I mentioned, some of the tracks here aren't especially memorable - even though I’ve owned this album for years, I couldn't remember how they went. Still, Greatest Hits
does showcase the talents of one of the cooler groups of the 70’s and 80’s, and there weren’t many of them believe me.
by Reviewer: Cosmic Ben
(blogging at Cosmic Ben [Defunct]