Iâ€™ve been to "Rock and Roll Heaven on Earth," and it can be described in three words: Greatest Video Hits. What more needs to be said? Goodnight everyone, thanks for coming. End of review.
Okay, I canâ€™t get away with that. But I suspect it wonâ€™t take much salesmanship to persuade rock fans they should snap up this collection of three hours of 33 Queen videos on two DVDs in glorious DTS 5.1 Surround Sound. Well, there are folks who already have this material on previously released packagesâ€”itâ€™s everyone else who needs to get caught up. Perhaps I should press the point that those still listening to their favorite music on their computers and not through five speakers properly placed around their living rooms now have the ultimate excuse to upgrade their systems.
Consider: If you want to experience â€śBohemian Rhapsodyâ€ť anew and once again feel the chills racing over your body, this is the disc for you. See the young Queen debuting on Top of the Pops lip-syncing â€śKiller Queen.â€ť Toss in the remastered â€śAnother One Bites the Dust,â€ť â€śFat Bottomed Girls,â€ť â€śCrazy Little Thing Called Love,â€ť â€śSomebody to Love,â€ť â€śTie Your Mother Down,â€ť â€śWe Will Rock You,â€ť and â€śWe Are the Champions.â€ť Thatâ€™s just a few of the titles on disc one.
While billed as containing three hours of music, this set is actually double that. After feeling the full wave of Queenâ€™s first video decade, you can start all over and watch the iconic imagery accompanied by the commentary of guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor with occasional clips from interviews with singer Freddie Mercury and bassist John Deacon. Throughout each track, they recall the circumstances of creating those videos as well as sharing their opinions of what weâ€™re seeing. With the exception of â€śBohemian Rhapsody,â€ť Taylor and May feel many early Queen videos were assembled by filmmakers with minimal input from the band. We hear adjectives like contrived, artificial, and sterile. It doesn't appear they enjoyed the tedious task of making films created for the sole purpose of getting their music on television.
Ironically, itâ€™s on disc two where Taylor and May get more animated describing the videos of their second era. While many critics either downplay or dismiss outright Queenâ€™s music from 1982 to 1989, May and Taylor have much to say about the videos for their songs. Theyâ€™re justifiably proud of â€śRadio Ga Gaâ€ť with its use of footage from Fritz Langâ€™s 1927 Metropolis. They explain the humor in â€śI Want to Break Free,â€ť a cross-dressing spoof of the British TV series Coronation Street that few Americans understood. They share insights both in filming and in the recording studio regarding hits like â€śA Kind of Magic,â€ť â€śI Want It All,â€ť and â€śUnder Pressureâ€ť including who they felt were the better directors and how the lighting and colors were chosen.