Album #310 – Queen II

Album #310

Queen’s second album is filled with some surprises. The album’s cover served as the inspiration for the music video for Bohemian Rhapsody among other things. The band disliked the photo because they thought it made them look cocky!!  The musical content of the album is split into two distinct sides: Side one being named the White Side (with songs written by Brian May and Roger Taylor) and Side two being named the White Side (with songs written by Freddie Mercury). Both sides are distinctly different. The White Side consists of a mixture of musical styles: hard rock, folk on White Queen (As It Began), a funeral march on Introduction, heavy metal and Glam Rock on Taylor’s Loser In The End. Taylor and May sing lead on one song each on side one. Side two is what Queen would become famous for. Theatrics are abound. March of the Black Queen reminded me instantly of Bohemian Rhapsody mostly due to the similar rhythms both songs have. Side two ends with Queen’s first big hit, Seven Seas of Rhye. The Black Side was much more dark than the White side but, it was also an indication of where Queen would end up musically in the next couple of years. I really enjoyed this album. I was expecting it to be more theatrical, over the top and a wee bit cheesy. Instead, I got an album with varying musical styles presented with heavy metal and hard rock at the core. I can see why this album has influenced many including: Axl Rose and Billy Corgan. It is not Queen’s most well known album but, it is certainly one of their best. Brian May’s guitar playing is exceptional and the songs are amazing and well written. I’m definitely adding this one to the collection. Other highlights include: Father to Son, Some Day One Day, Ogre Battle and Nevermore. Overall, I give Queen II, 4.5 out of 5.

Next: Country Life by Roxy Music

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