February 18, 2018
Love this band. Love their studio albums. Their live ones are ok (obviously, not as good, because Roy Thomas Baker wasn't up there on stage with them.) However, I keep getting more and more pissed off about all the strange changes they continue to make to this record, which certainly was a five star album back when it was released in 1982. The original - and best - version didn't have the chaff on it. By "chaff," I'm talking about all the unnecessary additions. "Good Ol' Fashioned Lover Boy" is not one of their best tunes. It wasn't a "Hit," and it's here instead of "Tie Your Mother Down?" Actually, I don't think "Don't Stop Me Now" was on there, either. I do like that one, but it wasn't a "hit," and it definitely breaks up the flow of the record. Not to mention the odd use of the tune in advertising in the 21st century ... Geez. If you're in your 20s, you probably think that was a huge hit, over "Bicycle Race" or "Fat Bottomed Girls." You would be incorrect. You would also be incorrect in thinking that's a better song than "Jealousy" or "If You Can't Beat 'Em," also. I have seen editions of this album containing the cut "Staying Power." I like it, but it doesn't fit here at all. The same goes for "Under Pressure," which, as a diehard, I can tell you was not on my original copy of Queen's Greatest Hits. The Queen/Bowie collaboration is ok. Not the best of either, but again, it has been used in a ton of commercials in recent times, so it "feels" like it should be there (like a Hall of Famer who "feels" like he should be enshrined but only hit .270, lifetime.) "Now I'm Here" wasn't on there, either. Again, I like the tune. It wasn't a "hit," though, and there isn't any way it should be there over Lap of the Gods ... Revisited, one of their most popular anthems. Oddly, I have also seen versions that omit "Seven Seas of Rhye," which was there on the original. Even there, I couldn't really believe they wouldn't have used "Stone Cold Crazy," but whatever. Queen is a great band. Queen's Greatest Hits was a great album, upon release, and for many years thereafter. Once the CD "revolution" occurred, though, it became a passable hits collection, with some, frankly, strange choices, regarding sequencing, inclusion, and subtraction. Fortunately, the audio seems nearly unchanged; there may be some remastering, but it hasn't made much difference, because their studio albums were so immaculate, in the first place. However, caveat emptor in the worst way. Someone in the band's camp has decided to "modernize" most versions of the album, featuring brand new track listings and cuts that shouldn't ever have been there at all. Additionally, these "new" additions seem to be heavily influenced by their success in advertising and in media, as does the aim of the entire album nowadays. I truly hate turning on ABC and hearing "You're My Best Friend," switching to NBC and hearing the fast version of "We Will Rock You," and then flipping over to CBS in time to hear "Don't Stop Me Now," but again, whatever (then, I turn on the news and hear "Under Pressure.") Just writing that makes me want to dock this album another star, but I won't, because I remember how much joy the original recordings brought me before corporate America anointed Queen as its favorite band. Actually, in '18, they're probably the most overexposed, hyped band in history, and I'm writing this years after having collected every single album they ever did. I ran out and bought "Innuendo" on the first day, after seeing the video on MTV. Man, is that a great song or what??? It's certainly better than "Good Ol' Fashioned Lover Boy."