Queen – News of the World is the next to be featured in our regular feature of classic album reviews. Of course, as usual, what qualifies as a classic album is a matter of opinion and typically, I will highlight albums that I have listened to quite a fair bit in order to ultimately arrive at this particular specific assessment.
In addition, it’s impossible not to associate these selections with emotional landmark life moments. Queen – News of the World was the first Queen LP I really listened to back in early 1978. The album had been released in late 1977 but by the time I had gotten to appreciating the album I was probably 17 already.
Of course, my discovery of Queen (viz. Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon) led to my frantically picking up all the earlier LPs (with the exception being the debut, for some reason) and Jazz which was released later that year. Which is probably a significant discovery to make considering how much I revere the band now.
With hindsight and my music journo/historian hat on, I can now appreciate that the album was a slight departure for the band, focusing on shorter songs (to go with their shorter hairstyles, except May, of course!) to reflect the impact of punk on music in the latter half of the 1970s.
Still, what remained the same was the band’s commitment to eclecticism and the highest songwriting and performance quality. The album is well known for producing the iconic singles “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, together with the memorable “Spread Your Wings”. Deep cuts I personally like include “My Melancholy Blues”, “Too Late”, “All Dead All Dead” and “Sleeping on the Sidewalk”.
In the final analysis, the purpose of a classic album review is not to simply describe the music. That is pointless, you can click on the links I have provided here to listen to the music yourself. What I try to do is to convey what the album means to me and how affected me mind, heart and soul. What more can I do, Queen – News of the World is essential listening. You know what to do.
… still there’s more …