Sunday, 7 October 2018

Queen - Innuendo (1991)


  

Released February 1991

Recorded in London and Montreux, Switzerland

Queen's last album released while the great Freddie Mercury walked the earth, was a solid affair, with  many echoes of their heavy-ish rock albums of the mid-seventies.

The title track is a lengthy, inventive, almost "prog-rock" in places number, with some excellent heavy bits plus a flamenco guitar part played by Yes's Steve Howe. There are also some bombastic, operatic parts. It is a song that changes mood and vibe many times throughout its nearly seven minutes. It is a superb piece of work, one of the band's last true classics. "I'm Going Slightly Mad" is an intoxicating, atmospheric Mercury song. It is a camp-ish, rather amusing typical Mercury ditty. Given the circumstances of the time, though, it always sounds very poignant to me. It has some excellent Brian May guitar in it, too. "Headlong" is, as its title suggests, a breathless number. It is one May had written for himself but, upon hearing Mercury sing it, decided it was better as a Queen song.  It is one of their finest later-era rockers. The same applies to May's "I Can't Live With You", another catchy, riffy rocker. It appears in a more guitar-dominated format on the "Queen Rocks" compilation.

"Don't Try So Hard" is a Mercury piano and vocal ballad, plaintive and melodic. "Ride The Wild Wind" is one of Roger Taylor's better compositions - an upbeat, rhythmic number with some great guitar underpinning it. "All God's People" is a laid-back and melodic Mercury number that is ok but doesn't stick in the mind too much. Unlike the evocative, beautiful Mercury swansong, "These Are The Days Of Our Lives". The video was heartbreaking. Even now I get sad listening to it. "I still love you" whispers Freddie at the end. Likewise.

A lot of Queen fans pretty much disown "Delilah", a quirky song Freddie wrote about one of his cats. As a cat-lover myself, I have always related to it. Fans will be delighted to hear "Hitman" next, though, with is powerful chunky riffs. There is a copper-bottomed May guitar solo on it too. "Bijou" begins with some excellent guitar then Mercury sings a floaty verse before it ends with more sumptuous guitar. It is really a track that is all about Brian May's guitar parts.

"The Show Must Go On" is a bombastic stadium-pleaser to end the album. It has actually never been one of my favourites, although I can understand its appeal. Overall, this album has a bit of a feel of the posthumous "Made In Heaven" about it. Apparently a lot of it was recorded in different bits and then put together, largely due to Mercury's ever-declining health. as good as it is in places, you can sort of tell. As a fulfilled album, I prefer "The Miracle".

B-

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