Queen - Platinum Collection This collection was released back in May in the UK and I strongly resisted adding it to my hoard, even though I am a big Queen fan. The first two albums I ever owned were A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races, on 12" vinyl even.
At first glance this three-CD collection looks like another blatant attempt by the record company to make more money from one of yesterday's biggest bands - they do that often enough. Look again. It's only £15.00 in the UK (US$22), so whyinthehell is it US$69.99 in the US? Look again. How many bands have enough genuine hits to fill three CDs? There are 17 tracks on each CD - that's 51 hits. Look again. Each disk is a picture CD. Look again. Comprehensive liner notes in a slick silver slip case. This is not a thrown together income-generator - real effort has gone into the packaging.
There are a few bum tracks: I don't think much of the mixing on this version of Now I'm Here; Elton John completely fails to do justice to The Show Must Go On and, on a purely personal note, I don't think We Will Rock You works unless the listener is in the audience and helping to shake the hall by joining in with the foot stomping.
Queen lasted almost 30 years, changing styles along the way. They started as a Glam Rock band in the seventies, when I was a teenager. Remember the first time you saw the video of the operatic rock song Bohemian Rhapsody? It is often thought of as the first pop video. It wasn't, but it is the best remembered of the first ones. Hammer to fall is pure rock, and shook many a stadium when they toured. Barcelona can still sweep me away with its power today.
Tracks like Who wants to live forever; I'm going slightly mad; Show must go on and others seem especially poignant in retrospect (when some of those were released it was not generally known that Freddie Mercury was HIV-positive).
Queen were always a great showband and, now that we can't see them live any more, this collection is a great way to remember them.