My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Queen II was recorded in August of 1973 and released in March of 1974. This recording was almost completed, before their delayed debut album was released. The two sides of the record are broken down into White Side and Black Side as opposed to side A and side B.
What I think: I’ve never listened to a whole Queen album and as much as I know about them, how many singles I know (and love) and huge songs they had at a later point, I really knew nothing about how their music progressed. I did have a feeling their earlier albums were more based in Prog Rock, you can just see it in the song titles. That feeling I had was certainly true, and I dismissed the lyrics right out. The music sounds great, the production is amazing.. it was just those lyrics. And then there was a song sung by Brian May and another by Roger Taylor and I was ready to be done. I was ready to dismiss the music, but applaud the production, the guitar playing and the almost Thrash metal feeling at a couple points.
Then the second side started…. The Black side. It’s completely incredible, and the lyrics are still about castles, queens and ogres. It doesn’t matter though as everything is close to perfect. Mercury’s vocals, May’s guitar (one of my favorite players, I love the tone and the way he adds to the song without showing off), and Taylor’s drums (those toms are just intense, I actually jumped in my seat at one point when one snuck up on me.) And with that you have a perfect side of overwrought, dramatic and layered Prog Rock/Glam Rock/ and Heavy Metal. Check out songs 6-11, if you can’t give that much listen to “Ogre Battle” and “The March of the Black Queen”.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I think this should be here, it’s the unexpected result, the one that grabs hold.
Rating (Out of 5): 4
Queen II Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (248/320)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%
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