So my first encounter with Queen ‘News of the World’ was perhaps say the late 70’s or the early 80’s and that wasn’t due to the fact I purchased this album. Nope it was my buddy Chico whose older sister had this on album and it always struck me as a Star Wars like cover with robot like C3PO.
But man it’s amazing that as much as Queen’s 1980 The Game album has been a total game changer musically in my world of sonic’s for 38 years!(WHUT??!!) I have never owned News of the World until about a month ago when I went record hunting with my daughter Lexie.
We were at our local record store New Day Records and as per protocol I usually leave with no less than 5 used albums per visit as New Day owner Jason always has a real good selection of Hard Rock so as I was paying for my albums on the counter I spotted this copy on a stack of albums.
Lexie of course came across Queen when she along with her sister Lauren performed the We Will Rock You play in their final year in High School. Learning all those Queen Tunes Lauren and especially Lex developed a deep appreciation for Queen!
Lex especially had to listen to me ramble on about countless facts and babble on and on about how great The Game album was! Lex for my 50th Birthday last year bought me The Game on vinyl and I was so stoked to own it once again on record….
Sorry for the verbal detour but back to New Day Records I told Lex about News of the World and that this was the album that had the biggie songs We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions. I asked Jason if this copy sitting before me was for sale. Jason replied with an “It could be” He checked it over and sold it to me for a real fair price. What I mean by that is he could have sold it for way more as used Queen albums I don’t see in the bins too often so thanks Jason for giving me a deal on it and perhaps he heard me rambling on and on about this album…
When it comes this Queen record what do you write about especially in regards to the first two tracks on Side 1?
We Will Rock You featuring those drums doing a stomp clap stomp throughout as Lead Singer(The Late Great ) Freddie Mercury leads the chant of the chorus that everyone knows from front to back. Brian May(who wrote this track) ramps up his homebuilt Guitar and there’s that distinctive sound from May.
We Will Rock You segues right into We Are The Champions (written by Freddie)which of course we all know with Fred twinkling the ivories before the band ramps up into the chorus that every one all knows! Man,am I repeating myself here or what?!
Sheer Heart Attack is Drummer Roger Taylors contribution and the cool thing about finally owning the album you can read in the credits that Taylor plays not only the Drums but Rhythm Guitar/Bass on this track. Roger sings the chorus as Mercury handles the verses! Queen obviously never had a problem of letting everyone in the public know who did what on their albums….
May steps up to the mic on his written tune titled All Dead All Dead which for May being a ripping guitar player basically lets the piano take over on this track.
The Great John Deacon writes another of those tracks that I would term a ‘GEM’. The Gem is indeed Spread Your Wings which features Queen firing on all four cylinders with great music/vocals/solo’s and this song is such a great track! Deacon is a master at writing tracks that grab you by the collar and take notice!
Taylor takes over the lead vocal on his track Fight From The Inside which has that 70’s like vibe to it but still sounds current today. Once again does the Rhythm guitar and Bass and gives Deacon the day off!
That’s just Side 1…..
Side 2 begins with Freddie and his composition Get Down Make Love with that real cool groove that Mercury could do and the song just ramps up during the chorus. Cool use of effects throughout and the music is just wild with all kinds of craziness going on throughout. Fred could do stuff that was out there but rope it all in with a super-duper catchy chorus and this track delivers it in spades!
Now going from the Crazy White Funk N Roll of Get Down Make Love comes Sleeping on the Sidewalk which is a jiving Blues like tune that has May handling the lead vocals and laying down some brilliant playing…
John Deacon delivers Who Needs You which has a real chill vibe with Fred of course delivering a strong lead vocal with a cowbell keeping the track flowing. May tosses down a brilliant Spanish acoustic guitar solo. Also of note Queen flexes their big backing vocal muscle throughout this track as well!
Its Late (written by May) is that big 6 minute sounding like bombastic track that you do expect from Queen. It’s Late goes all over the Queen musical horizon shifting gears throughout and what a track. After May rips out a classic May solo the song just ramps right up like a Freight Train not wanting to put the brakes on! Queen once again showing their diversity…
News of the World ends with Fred composition of My Melancholy Blues which has guitars. Just Bass/Drums and Piano will do thank you. Than again after the ramped up May guitar extravaganza of May’s on It’s Late that’s ok for him to take a tea break….
What an album and 41 years late to the party on owning this! My bad of course but better late than never I suppose..
Queen are brilliant on here and once again when you dig in and listen you hear Queens diversity shining through as each guy gets a couple of tracks to do his own deal. That is the brilliant thing as there are no co writes as each fella brought his own stuff into the studio and they crafted these songs. Like I mentioned earlier I like the how the album sleeve has who played what and it was out there for the public to see not some big hush hush secret. If you played or sang on a certain track everyone knew…