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Queen: Deep Cuts 1973-1976

Album Notes

Ever since Freddie Mercury's passing in 1991, fans have seen countless Queen compilations and reissues come their way. And in early 2011, another one arrived, Deep Cuts 1973-1976. As its title suggests, the 14-track compilation is comprised of tunes that were not hits (in other words, don't expect the likes of "Killer Queen," "Bohemian Rhapsody," etc.). But as longtime Queen admirers know, Queen was always an "album rock band," meaning that many of their albums were all killer-no filler from beginning to end. So as a result, many of their uncommon tracks were quite strong on their own. Spanning the group's first five albums (1973's Queen, 1974's Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack, 1975's A Night at the Opera, and 1976's A Day at the Races), the track list was compiled by Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, as well as Foo Fighters drummer/Queen super fan Taylor Hawkins. And something else that hardcore Queen fans will notice is that the track list is not in chronological order. Regardless, you can't debate the quality of many of these oft-overlooked songs, including such rockers as "Stone Cold Crazy," "Keep Yourself Alive," and "The March of the Black Queen," and such ballads as "My Fairy King" and "Lily of the Valley." Also included are tunes that fall somewhere between the middle or rockers and ballads ("In the Lap of the Gods.Revisited"), as well as tunes that show that Freddie was not the only Queen member who possessed a fine singing voice (May on "Long Away" and Taylor on "I'm in Love with my Car"). If you already own Queen's Greatest Hits and want to further explore their harder rocking early years, Deep Cuts 1973-1976 is a smartly assembled little package which packs quite a wallop. ~ Greg Prato


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