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Queen - Queen II CD (album) cover




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4.36 | 742 ratings

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4 stars 3.5 I bought this CD some decades ago in a record sales market. It was an epoch in which I was a hardcore fan of underground music and searched actively for bands like The Soft Machine, Caravan, King Crimson, The Flock, ELP, etc. Maybe for that reason I was not very impressed by this album that I cataloged as sophisticated near-Glam Rock and it has been growing dust in an upper shelf of my record library. I come to listen to it recently, and decided to dig further in Queen's early production that was supposed to be Prog (in the wide term of present times). Certainly, near all bands in early 70's had some Prog spots, either because they truly initiated this blend of musical experiment and composition, or simply because it was mainstream and they were asked to do so by the industry. After many years and tons of music loaded in my brain, this Queen II has a somewhat different taste; I now see the historical side and its site. It has really interesting moments, even some memorable themes. But leaving aside the commercial boom of the band after 75-76, this early production is an AOR Prog-Rock deliberately designed for a listener that was beginning to be melancholic by the imminent death of symphonic prog and the need to adapt to newer stuff, and with a main purpose of entertain. That's not necessarily bad, but I think it's fair to open things to a wider context. The same spirit was in contemporary bands like the ELO, glam rock bands as T-Rex or the more Prog and natural of them all, the Manfred Mann's Earth Band, allowance made to their musical distance. Many musicians and bands originally formed as R&B or Beat, later inspired in great rockier Prog pioneers like The Who, The Moody Blues or the Purple/Zeppelin duo to make a move for a new style. This is evident in Queen's early production, but does not reduce their creative value. Here you'll find great themes, like the smooth Some Day One Day, or the faster and rockier The March of the Black Queen. The short Funny How Love Is clearly tributes to Yes' Roundabout. Don't let you amaze by the bits of the classic Queen's sound you are familiar with (The Fairy Fellers, Nevermore, Seven Seas of Rhye) and try to listen to this album as a totally different band in order to appreciate its true value. You will also discover the musicianship of the band members, which was later more difficult to appreciate as they moved to simpler music.
poito | 4/5 |


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