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Question: What did you think of Queen II?
I already knew it and love it - 6 (75%)
I already knew it but didn't enjoy it so much this time - 0 (0%)
I've never heard this before and love it - 1 (12.5%)
I've never heard this before and it was ok - 1 (12.5%)
I've never heard this before and didn't enjoy it so much - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 8

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Author Topic: W/C 16th May - Queen - Queen II  (Read 5480 times)
AmazingWilf
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« on: May 16, 2011, 08:05:06 PM »

The Listening Club album for this week is chosen by a Mr. James McSanders of Sweden, and is a dyed-in-the-wool rock classic:

Queen - Queen II (1974)



Queen II is the second album by British rock group Queen, released in March 1974. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London in August 1973 with co-producers Roy Thomas Baker and Robin Cable, and engineered by Mike Stone.

The two sides of the original LP were labelled "Side White" and "Side Black" (instead of the conventional sides "1" and "2"), with corresponding photos of the band dressed in white or in black on either side of the record's label face. It is also a concept album, with the white side having songs with a more emotional theme and the black side almost entirely about fantasy, often with quite dark themes. Mick Rock's album cover photograph was frequently re-used by the band throughout its career, most notably in the music video for the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975).

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 and has in recent years been cited by a number of music publications, fellow artists and fans as one of their finest works.


Can be heard here.
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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Ash
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 08:06:27 PM »

ooooh  Grin
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MikeEvs
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 08:36:37 PM »

Looking at the track listing I think Seven Seas of Rhye is the only one I've heard

I'll have to put headphones on to listen in work tomorrow as Queen is banned in the office
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Ash
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 08:39:07 PM »

me too

and wow! what an absolutely amazing album!

That has gotta have been a major influence on every prog rock band I like (and the Polyphonic Spree)
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MikeEvs
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 08:42:10 PM »

That has gotta have been a major influence on every prog rock band I like (and the Polyphonic Spree)

That's kind funny as the guy in the office who really can't stand Queen really likes the Polyphonic Spree
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Ash
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 08:57:14 PM »

The Polyphonic Spree were my favourite band before I heard Milliontown.

I saw them several times, the best one being at Brixton Academy.  If that is what it is called these days.
There are definitely bits of side white that remind me of the Spree. 

I spose I must have heard this album when I was a teenager as my stepfather would most definitely have had it, but I haven't listened to it myself before tonight.  Not so sure about Funny How Love is - its great but weird at the same time.

And then of course being a Queen Greatest Hits sort of person, loved Seven Seas of Rhye.
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Simon
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 09:08:29 PM »

Queen II is probably the proggiest of all the their albums in that the songs are much more complex than their later material. I bought this album back in the 1980s not because I thought it was a good Queen album but simply down to the fact that it was cheap.  Grin Thankfully I wasn't short-changed at all. Ogre Battle is still one of my favourite Queen songs (that change over between the track being played backwards and the band playing it forwards is still a very impressive piece of audio trickery even by modern standards).

You can hear all the Queen elements there (epic power chords, huge vocal and guitar harmonies, bonkers changes of pace every five seconds) even if the sound quality is no-where near as good as the later catalogue (unsurprising really when you consider they hadn't really broken into the big time at that stage). Father to Son is actually a much better track than I remembered. I love the guitar feedback that makes up the chord at the end and how it dips away into White Queen.

Some Day One Day has always been one of my fave Brian May songs. Nothing has changed it would seem.

Strange but after listening to this album again, I suddenly realised that Magnum comprehensively ripped off Queen's arrangements mercilessly for their first three albums (Kingdom Of Madness, Magnum II and Chase The Dragon). I don't really know why I didn't notice that before.

One thing I had forgotten about Roger Taylor's drum style was something I've never heard from a drummer before since and that is the trick of when playing a groove, he would open his hi-hats a little every time he struck the snare. This gave the backbeat a much fatter sound than it would otherwise have had. That hi-hat 'bark' sort of became his trademark sound throughout their recording career and he never really deviated from the formula (almost the opposite of Charlie Watts dropping the hi-hat out when he hit the snare). You certainly are able to pick Taylor's spirited if not very technical playing out of a drum line-up every time I think.

All in all, it's probably the one Queen album I can listen to from start to finish even today.

Thumbs up.
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 06:09:56 AM »

Sorry that I've not done anything on the Fishtank album club in a while - I've been busy. Sorry.

Without listening to this album (nor needing to!) I declare Queen II to be the winner by a country mile.
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Robert
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 09:08:32 AM »

That has gotta have been a major influence on every prog rock band I like (and the Polyphonic Spree)

That's kind funny as the guy in the office who really can't stand Queen really likes the Polyphonic Spree

Is it time he came out of the closet?
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MikeEvs
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 09:10:31 AM »

That has gotta have been a major influence on every prog rock band I like (and the Polyphonic Spree)

That's kind funny as the guy in the office who really can't stand Queen really likes the Polyphonic Spree

Is it time he came out of the closet?

I'll let you suggest that to him I think Grin
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AmazingWilf
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 11:05:03 AM »

Listening through this again - it's the 2011 remaster that's on the site - I'm surprised just how decent it sounds now, from a quality perspective. The songs are all monster.
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David 'Wilf' Elliott
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 11:10:36 AM »

That has gotta have been a major influence on every prog rock band I like (and the Polyphonic Spree)

That's kind funny as the guy in the office who really can't stand Queen really likes the Polyphonic Spree

Is it time he came out of the closet?

I'll let you suggest that to him I think Grin

That will be the prog closet where we all hide, just behind the afghan coats and the electric blue flared trousers.
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 11:13:14 AM »

I'm sure there aren't many people on this forum who haven't declared themselves free from the closet and are massive, raving Prog-lovers.
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 11:18:19 AM »

What I remember of Queen II is that it's bonkers. Just bonkers. The arrangements are mad. The production is mad (and simply brilliant in most cases). The performances by the band members are often mad. And it rocks like a b*stard! There's a real Hard Rock element which wouldn't have set them far apart from Deep Purple or Black Sabbath at the time. All Queen albums seem to have some level of variety between the songs, especially A Night At The Opera, but none were more (I'll say it again) mad and bonkers than this one. I'll be giving it a listen once my Rush set has finished (if the college wi-fi will allow me).
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 01:19:10 PM »

Oh, great. I was able to listen to the White Side, but now I can't listen to anything else. I'm back to that weird link thing again. Bah!  Angry
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