Queen II [Deluxe Remastered Version]by Queen
In one regard, Queen II does indeed provide more of the same thing as on the band's debut. Certainly, of all the other albums in Queen's catalog it bears the closest resemblance to its immediate predecessor, particularly in its lean, hard attack and in how it has only one song that is well-known to listeners outside of their hardcore cult: in this case, it's "Seven Seas of Rhye," which is itself more elliptical than "Keep Yourself Alive," the big song from the debut. But these similarities are superficial and Queen II is a very different beast than its predecessor, an album that is richer, darker, and weirder, an album that finds Queen growing as a band by leaps and bounds. There is still a surplus of ideas, but their energies are better focused this time around, channeled into a over-inflated, pompous rock that could be called prog if it wasn't so heavy. Even with all the queens and ogres that populate Queen II, this never feels as fantastical as Genesis or Uriah Heep, and that's because Queen hits hard as a rock band here, where even the blasts of vocal harmonies feel like power chords, no matter how florid they are. Besides, these grandiose harmonies, along with the handful of wistful ballads here, are overshadowed by the onslaught of guitars and pummeling rhythms that give Queen II majesty and menace. Queen is coiled, tense, and vicious here, delivering on their inherent sense of drama, and that gives Queen II real power as music, as well as a true cohesion. The one thing that is missing is any semblance of a pop sensibility, even when they flirt with a mock Phil Spector production on "Funny How Love Is." This hits like heavy metal but has an art-rock sensibility through and through, which also means that it has no true hook in for those who don't want to succumb to Queen's world. But that kind of insular drama is quite alluring in its own right, which is why Queen II is one of the favorites of their hardcore fans. At the very least, it illustrates that Queen is starting to pull all their ambitions and influences into a signature sound, and it's quite powerful in that regard.
- Release Date:
- Hollywood Records
Performance CreditsQueen Primary Artist
Freddie Mercury Piano,Harpsichord,Vocals
Brian May Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Bells
Roger Taylor Percussion,Vocals
Roy Thomas Baker Castanets
John Deacon Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsFreddie Mercury Composer
Queen Producer,Additional Production
Brian May Composer,Executive Producer
Roger Taylor Composer,Executive Producer
Roy Thomas Baker Producer
Robin Geoffrey Cable Additional Production
Mick Rock Art Direction
Mike Stone Engineer
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I've always enjoyed Queen, but I wasn't a fan proper until I heard Queen II. Queen II is perhaps the most overlooked album in the Queen catalogue--and it's a shame. If you've never heard this album, if you're only familiar w/their hits, then you haven't heard Queen. I have eclectic tastes in music, and after 30 years since the first listen, Queen II still ranks high among the best music I've ever heard. It's easily the best rock/popular music album ever conceived. I can't compliment this masterpiece enough.
I can't compliment this album enough, it's been a favorite for over 30 years. If you haven't heard Queen II, if you're only familiar with their hits, then you haven't heard Queen. Yes, it's that good.
This album needs to be heard by all these so called "artist" out there today, so they know what Real music is! This is one of Queen's best piece of art/work ever!!!
Have been trying to get this on CD for a couple of years. This was the first Queen album that I ever owned. Once I listened to this album I was hooked on their music. Much of the music recorded on this album reappeared in their later music. It was great to find a copy of the CD and to play and bring back the memories and to remind me again how amazing their music was and is still today.
What an amazing album. Even if it isn't as all-encompassing as A Night at the Opera, Queen II has everything you could want from any album. The best song on this album is definitely Seven Seas of Rhye, and only The Fairy-Feller's Master Stroke is bad. It's just a bit over the top. Even for Queen. Brian May's opening trio of songs are excellent, and Roger Taylor's The Loser in the End is one of the best songs on the album. Not to mention the Freddie Mercury penned tracks. Seven Seas of Rhye and Ogre Battle are two of my favorite Queen songs of all time.
All these years later I still listen to Queen ll and continue to be in amazement at the beauty and musical skill demonstrated in this astonishing album. Brian May's guitar work here is some of the most blistering rock ever recorded. Varied in style from track to track, this album has been put together masterfully- there is a definite flow and the album (much like the Beatles' Abbey Road) begs to be listened to as a whole. (Among other things, the segue from "The March of the Black Queen" into "Funny How Love Is " is genius.) I cannot say enough to praise this under-rated work of art. If you enjoyed Lord of the Rings, listen to this album and enjoy the musical trip into another world. Bear in mind that the track "Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke" is totally based on the painting of the same name, and as such, is absolutely a "master-stroke" of creativity (study the painting as you listen to the track). It's quite unlike any other Queen album you will ever hear. Freddie Mercury (God rest his soul) really comes into his own vocally with his trademark sound, and Brian May more than confirms the title of guitar god. Another esstential point of interest is the fact that in the early-mid 70s when this album was released, Queen did not employ the use of synthesizers--real music by real people--A MUST have for any rock fan. As I read in another review, this album "simply cannot be played loud enough". A treasure that has only improved with the passing of the years and should be "discovered" by those not around when it was first released.