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Queen II

Queen

1974

Buy At Rough Trade
Queen II
Album Summary

Queen II is the second studio album by the British rock band Queen. It was released on 8 March 1974 by EMI Records in the UK and Elektra Records in the US. It was recorded at Trident Studios and Langham 1 Studios, London, in August 1973 with co-producers Roy Thomas Baker and Robin Geoffrey Cable, and engineered by Mike Stone. It is significant for being the first album to contain elements of the band's signature sound of multi-layered overdubs, vocal harmonies, and varied musical styles.Described as "arguably the heaviest Queen album", Queen II marked the end of the first phase of the band's career. The album combines a heavy rock sound with art rock and progressive rock elements, and has been called "a pillar of grandiose, assaultive hard rock" by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Queen II is not a concept album but a collection of songs with a loose theme running throughout. The two sides of the original LP were labelled "Side White" and "Side Black" (instead of the conventional sides "A" and "B"), with corresponding photos of the band dressed in white or in black on either side of the record's label face. The white side has songs with a more emotional theme and the black side is almost entirely about fantasy, often with quite dark themes. Mick Rock's cover photograph was frequently re-used by the band throughout its career, including the music videos for the songs "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975), and "One Vision" (1985). Released to an initially mixed critical reception, Queen II remains one of the band's lesser-known albums. Nonetheless, the album has retained a cult following since its release, garnered praise from critics, fans, and fellow musicians alike.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.51

Votes

13110
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

As a wide-eyed, prog-worshipping 17 year old who thought fantastical lyrics and complex song-structures were the be-all-and-end-all, "Queen II" went straight to the top of my list when I first heard it, alongside "A Night at the Opera". I'm still sentimental about this album now, even though I appreciate Queen wouldn't peak until a year or so later. Rather than the eclectic range and impressive genre experimentation the band would later display, this album is grounded in hard-rock and proto-metal riffs, some innovative and some derivative. "Father to Son" contains some transparent Zeppelin/Sabbath homages, while Roger Taylor's "The Loser In The End" sticks out like a sore thumb on the first side. He obviously hadn't got the memo of mythical fantasy, and opts for a disappointing blues-rock number. These comments aside, there's a mountain of precocious talent on show here. It's not Queen at their most commercial or recognisable, but the hallmarks of their appeal are here: Freddie Mercury's dazzling, theatrical vocals, Brian May's multi-layered guitar wizardry, the intricate arrangements across the board. "Queen II"'s crowning achievement is something the band would never attempt again: an almost side-long suite of songs, in keeping with the prog-rock of the early 1970s. I adore the sequence beginning with Ogre Battle and ending with "Funny How Love Is..." with "Seven Seas of Rhye" as an encore. It has scope, ambition, rise and fall, light and shade. From the aching ballad "Nevermore" to the camp humour in "Fairy Fellers Master Stroke" to the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink showstopper "March of the Black Queen", it's a perfectly paced run of tracks. As if that weren't enough, "Seven Seas of Rhye" is a giddy glam greatest hit to close proceedings on a high. The iconic piano intro, the opening drum roll, the decisive and commanding lyric, the country-inflected "sister" middle eight, the singalong outro: it all just works. The first half of the album is nowhere near as strong, though I've always had a soft spot for the folksy "Some Day One Day", May's first turn at lead vocals in the band. While the magical lyrics seem a little dated when revisiting them now, musically I was still enthralled by most of the album. Virtuoso talent, distinctive melodies, cohesive storytelling: hearing "Queen II" today made me fall in love with Queen all over again.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
1

If you insist on creating albums like the blueprints for a large civil engineering project, your fussiness is gonna bleed through--and fussiness is boring, however histrionic you are. With that ogre guarding the gates to this supposed castle of pleasures, I couldn't even begin hearing the dorkiness on offer, but I'm guessing it was very dorky. Get over yourselves, lads, and shake it loose.

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Sat Mar 13 2021
5

Ashamed to say seven seas of rhye was the only one I knew on this

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

Queen. Fantasy inspired songs. Some of the best guitar work I've heard in years. Need I say more?

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

For as popular as Queen is, I’d say they’re still somehow underrated. They’re a pretty different band than their singles let on. This album is very cool and it’s not even their best one

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Sun Jun 06 2021
2

I don't really like queen so an album with none of their hits was only going to go one of two ways. It's not gone well for Brian, Roger, Freddie and whoever the fuck the other guy is.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Immer wenn ich Queen höre, denke ich: "Ich sollte mehr Queen hören."

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

never listened to a full Queen album, only knew maybe 1 song off this. super good!

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

It's not the typical sound of Queen we are used to.

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Tue Jan 10 2023
5

Father To Son- 9.0 White Queen (As It Began)- 8.6 Some Day One Day- 7.2 The Loser In The End- 8.1 Orge Battle- 9.2 The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke- 8.1 Nevermore- 8.0 The March Of The Black Queen- 9.6 Funny How Love Is- 7.0 Seven Seas Of Rhye- 9.7 It's a 4.5 out of 5 overall

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Mon Aug 14 2023
5

I like Queen a lot, but I never really listened to this album but "Seven Seas of Rhye" is just meh for me on its own. But after listening to this album I am OBSESSED with it. The first half is amazing, and I kept having to force myself to listen to the next song because I just wanted to repeat the one I had just listened to. I even kind of like "Seven Seas of Rhye" now because it fits in so well with the rest of the album. I wish I hadn't slept on this for so long because it's so good.

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Tue Mar 09 2021
2

The one thing that is missing is any semblance of a pop sensibility. 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.

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Sun Dec 25 2022
2

You ever type out a word, know it’s spelled correctly, but when you look at it, it looks…wrong? Is there a name for that, because I’m having that right now with word “Queen”. I don’t know why, but those two “e’s” seem out of place. Maybe it’s because as I write this, Queen II is playing (I write these reviews in real-time as I listen to the records) and while the sound is familiar, something feels off. I’m not really a Queen fan, so this is my first listen to Queen II. Obviously, I am familiar with Queen’s hits, but as far as the catalog goes, I’m mostly unfamiliar. This might be the first time I’m hearing a Queen album in full. What’s making me feel like I’ve entered another dimension, is that this record feels more like an off-brand Peter Gabriel-era Genesis record, than what I know Queen to be. It’s kind of a lite-prog/early metal record. What I’m getting at is this sounds like Queen, but it also doesn’t. They’re clearly still figuring things out, but it’s not bad….just weird. “Nevermore” is the first one that really felt like a full-fledged “Queen” song to me. Props to them for the title “The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke”, though - quite a song title. A lot of this record doesn’t work to my ears, so I’m a little surprised by its inclusion. The vocals are the clear highlight. The production is weirdly muddy at times and a lot of the guitar overdubs come in way too hot. The song construction is kind of a mess - a lot of changes for the sake of changes. These songs are really busy, but not in a good way. It was funny to hear Freddie Mercury sing about Ogres, though. This record is so fucking weird, bro. I don’t know what else to say.

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Mon Apr 08 2024
2

So I’m a big Queen fan, and am well-versed in their catalog – and have to say that this is among their weakest efforts… I get that this album changed a lot for them in terms of their maturing in the studio… Sorta like Neil Peart the drummer from Rush always used to say that they never would have gotten to “2112” – the album that broke the band big-time, without all that they learned from creating their album “Caress Of Steel” (i.e. which is really NOT a very good album at all…) – so I get that… At the end of the day however, I judge these albums by the quality of the material… To be honest, other than the “White Queen” & “Black Queen” songs – along with “The Seven Seas Of Rhye” – there is not a lot on here to like… Yes – I enjoyed hearing the evolution of their sound – especially on the longer pieces, but other than that – it really left me wanting – and I’m a big rock guy… Really thought I would enjoy “Ogre Battle” as I had heard so many praise it over the years, but I’d probably only give that a 3-stars out of 7-stars on my little ratings scale… Glad I listened, as I had never run this one all the way through before, but was a bot disappointing, as compared to what I was expecting…

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Sun Mar 21 2021
1

I will not waste my time on these shitmunchers.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Good album from start to finish. I especially like the last song.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Tja, SO macht man ein Rock-Album. Nach all dem Schrott in den letzten Wochen ein Highlight. Kannte ich natürlich wieder nicht.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

Shame on me for not knowing more of these songs. I need to do better.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

This is exactly what you would expect from a queen's album

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Sun Apr 25 2021
5

Definitely epic music. I can't really say no to slapping a five on this bad boy.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Un milagro. Un disco de Queen que SÍ me gusta. Es pesado, tiene grandes riffs, solos increíbles, es medio proggy y pretencioso y absolutamente ridículo. Me encanta.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

It doesn't get any better than this. Honestly. Lay me down with Queen's II and SHA. Thank you.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Heel veel nummers die ik nog nooit gehoord had en die hier een mooi geheel vormden. De betere kant van Queen.

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Sat May 08 2021
5

Aunque todavía no es Queen en su máxima expresión, ya se deja ver en este disco su sonido tan característico, con letras y música muy teatrales. 10000/10

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Sun Oct 03 2021
5

Now this though. All time classic and my introduction to Queen (thank you Christine Ward’s brother).

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Mon May 06 2024
3

Discovering albums like this are what this project is all about. Somehow never heard any of these songs but liked it. Definitely a more classic hard rock sound than some of their later more famous stuff. You can still see the theatricality, particularly in the march of the black queen.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
1

I'll never understand why Freddie Mercury doesn't sing lead on every Queen song. For some reason, Brian May and Roger Taylor insisted on handling lead vocals on several songs. I mean, you've got FREDDIE FUCKING MERCURY right there. Let him wail! It's not like we were subjected to John Paul Jones or John Bonham singing lead on some deep Zeppelin cuts (although now that I think about it, I would have been all in on any song with Bonzo tackling lead vocals). This album doesn't sound like Queen. It sounds like watered down Mott The Hoople with some Led Zeppelin influence. Overall, it just doesn't work. Everything I'd heard about this album suggested it was Queen's hard-rock album. A pretty limp one if that's the case. One good song (Seven Seas Of Rhye), and even that one sounds half baked. I enjoyed the instrumental opening track, which could have been the only thing keeping this from a 1 rating (in the interest of full disclosure, I was listening with a great set of headphones where it really stood out). But this album has no business being on the list. Queen alone has at least 4 better albums.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
1

clever-clever pompous mock-rock

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Tue Mar 15 2022
1

No, thank you. The algorithm followed this up with Spinal Tap, which seems appropriate

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Mon Apr 29 2024
1

I can't stand Queen. This over dramatic album confirms why. The Loser in the End was listenable.

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

Really great album. Lots of really good songs

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

Listen, I already know I like Queen. I know I've heard this album a few times, but am not super familiar with any of the songs. I'm looking forward to the re-listen. Almost done with the album now, I'm so happy this was today's album. It's so easy to work to since I don't know the specific songs that well but love the band. Yup, I love Queen.

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

My most-listened-to Queen album

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Wed May 26 2021
5

We. Will. Rock. You. Never gets old. I remember having to run laps in 7th grade and the PE Teacher put this song on to motivate us to run. But I couldn’t hear it if I was running on the other side of the field. So I pretended to twist my ankle so I could sit by the speaker and listen to the music. #genius and Freddy Mercury was #genius too. 💛

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Sat Jul 03 2021
5

Good intro, seamless transition to next song A great album overall, also great for listening top to bottom

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Sat Aug 14 2021
5

No hace falta para saber que es uno de los mejores disco de todos los tiempos.

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Thu Aug 19 2021
5

Pleasantly surprised, was not expecting that.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

What an album! Started a little weak, not quite the oomph I'm used to from Queen. But man, did it pick up! Ogre Battle was epic, March of the Black Queen is amazing (very reminiscent of Bohemian Rhapsody), and of course Seven Seas of Rhye. Loved it!

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

Easy to forget with where they later went that in the early days Queen were a terrific rock band. Quality, start to finish.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

queen rainha outra banddinhas nadinhaa

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Short and sweet album. Although Seven Seas Of Rhye is definitely the highlight, this album contains some great tracks, like March of the Black Queen and White Queen. The instruments are incredible throughout, and Freddie Mercury's vocals only make this album better.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

Amazing Band. Amazing Album. They rarely have bad songs.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
5

couple of twee moments with the fairy fellows swanny whistle but some innovative sounds and structures

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Some new Queen for me, which I loved all of

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

The world needs more Freddie mercury

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

Amei o começo de todas as músicas aqui. A teatralidade, o suspense, a emoção. É tudo perfeito, do começo ao fim. É a cara do Queen.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

Procession is gold! They were still young and having a lot of fun with music...Can never resist all those baroque/classical chords and progression combined with pop and rock.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

Classic. Seven Seas of rye has d me ready to run through a wall

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

EL disc per connoisseurs de la banda. Enrevesat, contundent, inspirat. Era només el seu segon disc i ja estaven a la cúspide de la seva etapa més experimental. Un disc, potser l'únic de la banda, que no cansa amb les escoltes repetides, es pot esgotar l'agulla i les seves cançons continuen sonant fresques i sempre amb nous matisos per descobrir

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Tue May 24 2022
5

This album was very important to me and the first Queen album I purchased way back when (I was 13). Audacious and far from perfect, it was, nonetheless, perfect to me at the time. While not everything works, it also clearly provides a roadmap for much what comes later for the band. There are vocal overdubs throughout. Procession introduces Brian May’s layered guitar sound. March of the Black Queen is a precursor to Bohemian Rhapsody type epic. Nevermore is a classic Freddie ballad. Loser in the End is a Roger Taylor pseudo-heavy metal contribution. The only thing missing is a John Deacon pop song. Lastly, the Mick Rock cover is a classic and was the basis for the Bohemian Rhapsody video two years later. I return to this release often.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

Lovely to hear some song so hadn’t heard before and some songs back to basics - not the crowd pleasers. Good to hear other voices on the recordings

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

This album was spectacular. So many great songs. I listened to it again right after I listened to it a first time. Then I went back and listened to a couple of the songs again. For how good this album is I am surprised that more of the songs were not mega hits. I will definitely listen to it again. Also this album lead to a great Super Nintendo game Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Incredible. I have only listened to best of and the way this album is put together is so epic. Really glad I’ve now listened to a queen album all the way through. Loved it!

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Wild that I've enjyoed Queen most of my life and knew ZERO of these songs. No major pop hits, but all awesome rock with fantasy themes, layered vocals, and Brian May's incredible guitar tone. Easy 5.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

I'd never heard this album before and I wasn't in the mood for Queen (or at least their single-type songs) this morning, but then Queen II just INSISTED UPON ITSELF. By 3 songs in I was hooked and now at the end I'm kicking myself for only hearing it for the first time at 38. I've always been 50/50 on Queen; I LOVE their prog/metal-type stuff and HATE their pop songs. I think Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the best songs ever written and Bicycle Race one of the most overrated dog turds in existence. I'd always assumed their early stuff was the more pop end - totally wrong there. And I can't even say it's due to either Mercury or May being the main writer cause according to Wikipedia they basically went 50-50 with songwriting, and I loved the lot. Even though Queen isn't exactly wicked obscure underground, this is what I joined this project for: to stumble across albums I'd never heard but absolutely love. Gotta drive for 3 hours or so later today and Queen II will be on again for sure. 5/5 and going to tell all my mates to stop what they're doing and listen to it.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

I love Queen. It reminds me of someone and it sort of pains me to hear it. Music makes me feel really nostalgic. I really enjoyed this album though. Ogre Battle was a trip and I loved The March of the Black Queen 10/10 okay next!

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

Queen is my favourite band. I know every album and every song so it's going to be hard to say anything negative about them, especially for the Queen albums on this list since they are my favourites. I love Queen II since it improves significantly on the debut album and still has Queen in their prog-rocky/fantasy phase which disappears for the most part after this album. So much great stuff on this album but I have to say The March of the Black Queen is just such a fucking banger track and I wish Queen played more songs from this era later in their career since it was completely different from what came later.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
5

Tähän ei kyllästy koskaan.

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Sat Oct 29 2022
5

The best album of the best rock band

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Mon Nov 21 2022
5

I enjoyed every second of this album. Most of these songs aren’t their big hits so I was surprised by that

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

Au début, je le trouvais plus sage que les albums de Queen que je connais. Mais finalement j’ai retrouvé les arrangements grandioses et théâtraux, l’omniprésence des guitares et des harmonies, les mélodies inattendues

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

All Queen albums are amazing

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Queen er Queen! Dette var riktignok et ukjent album for meg, og ikke så hyppig spilte sanger som de senere - men umiskjennelig Queen i vokal, gitarspill, instrumentalisering. Seven Seas of Rhye var en klar favoritt.

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Sun Jan 29 2023
5

Mixing of styles, heard some prog rock influences which were very enjoyable. The march of the black queen remains one of my favourite underrated Queen songs.

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Tue Jan 31 2023
5

Queen is so flipping good. I hadn’t heard many songs on this album but I enjoyed all of them.

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Thu Feb 09 2023
5

Unique songs and voices, good first album to listen to in this journal. Classic rhythms brought to life.

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Sat Feb 11 2023
5

Great album! It doesn't contain any of the major classics that everyone knows of Queen, but the music is still on point and just brilliant!

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Wed Feb 15 2023
5

Queen: Weirder than you thought. And that's a good thing.

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Tue Feb 28 2023
5

Ah Queen. My first favorite band. Queen has always been, and in many ways remains, extremely popular. Liking Queen is kind of like liking Star Wars. It doesn't make you cool or unique or nerdy. They're one of the biggest bands of all time. That being said, I feel like most of Queen's fame and notoriety comes from their middle years. The Stadium Rock Anthem belters, occasionally veering into weird artsy stuff. For as big of a band as they are, I feel like their early years and later years are underrated. Queen II is a Queen in transition. They are still finding out who they are, and that is Queen in a very interesting place. Queen II is a dark fantasy, something clearly created by young art students. Fairies! Ogres! Queens! They get a lot of their imagery and philosophies form the early days of prog rock, but their musical sensibility is much more hardcore than the boops and beeps of Yes. An early mantra for the band was "No synthesizers. Ever" (This lasted until Freddie changed his mind). You can hear the beginnings of their Rock Opera mentality in pieces like White Queen and The March of the Black Queen. They're almost the Queen everyone knows, but they're still trying on different outfits. I also REALLY enjoy the B-side of See What a Fool I've Been. We get a great glimpse into the "what if" or "sliding doors" scenario of a Queen that pulls more influence from Led Zeppelin (and Black American Blues music by extension). Anyway it's a perennial favorite.

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Sat Mar 04 2023
5

5/5 queen slays I love them. queen will always hit

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Thu Mar 09 2023
5

WE FINALLY GOT SOME QUEEN!! This is my 2nd favourite Queen album (Night At The Opera can't be beaten, sorry not sorry) This album is pure joy for me, from start to finish. It really introduces what Queen will go on to become further in their career (and it does this way better than Queen I which is far less polished and cohesive imo) March of the Black Queen is such an underrated song, one of my favourites in their whole discography. Seven Seas of Rhye is one of my favourite Queen singles (love the piano). Love Roger and Brian's vocal tracks on this record You really get everything here, quality songwriting, huge Freddie vocals, killer Brian May guitar, big harmonies and well written, interesting music

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Thu Mar 09 2023
5

Every song is just a Queen song. (which is most definitely a compliment) Ogre Battle and The March Of The Black Queen were amazing tracks (alongside Seven Seas Of Rhye, which is definitely the best track on the album) There were a couple parts in songs that I thought dragged the track down for me but sooner rather than later it was back to hard hitting vocals or a sweet solo I think my real rating would be somewhere around 4.75, because it didnt WOW me like some other albums i've given 5 too, but in the same breath it was a constant stream of great music

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Wed Mar 22 2023
5

I'm more familiar with their later work. This has all the talent but less silly.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

this album is exactly what i wanted to find when I started doing this. complete rock opera, fantastical, medieval, epic lol. its like almost nerdy in how hard it goes, and i love that. they created this whole other world here like this album needs a labyrinth style movie to go along with it. love it. favorite song is white queen but they all bang.

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Wed Apr 05 2023
5

Queen’s biggest hits are so unique that I tend to think of them as a band without peers. But I enjoyed hearing them on this early album making music that sounds like the prog/folk/heavy metal mash-up that Led Zeppelin was doing around the same time. This whole album is new to me and it’s just killer top to bottom. They sound ferocious when they’re in hard rock mode! The epic “Father to Son” and the blues crunch of “The Loser in the End” are early favorites for me.

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Thu Apr 27 2023
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: White queen, The fairy feller’s master-stroke, Nevermore, The march of the black queen

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Tue Jan 31 2023
5

One of the all time greatest albums of all time. This album has worlds in it. It has characters. It has melody and harmony. And rock. The faerie fellas master stroke, controlled insanity. Father to son with its beach boys harmonies. March of the black queen, with its six sections. Oh, did they do that type of thing again? And it’s an album. You start with procession, and you listen till seven seas of rhye fades out. I pity those who don’t get it. It’s its own universe. Walk in and let Freddie, Brian, Roger and John guide you through.

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Fri May 05 2023
5

What an incredible album. I'm a big Queen fan but had never heard most of the songs on this album. Some of them are just the most wonderful Queen songs I've heard. It really justifies my plan to listen to all these albums!

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Sun May 21 2023
5

Not their best work, in my opinion, but still better than most other bands! Really interesting to hear some of the deep cuts from their early years, including Brian and Roger taking a turn on lead vocals, as well as seven seas of Rhye, one of my favourite Queen tracks.

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