Greatest Hits


1992: Queen Productions/Hollywood Records H-61265-2

  1. We Will Rock You
  2. We Are the Champions
  3. Another One Bites the Dust
  4. Killer Queen
  5. Somebody to Love
  6. Fat Bottomed Girls
  7. Bicycle Race
  8. You’re My Best Friend
  9. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  10. Now I’m Here
  11. Play the Game
  12. Seven Seas of Rhye
  13. Body Language
  14. Save Me
  15. Don’t Stop Me Now
  16. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy
  17. I Want to Break Free

I’ve had severely mixed feelings about Queen for decades. On the one hand, they produced some truly superb tracks, usually the hits, which are undeniably magnificent even now; on the other, well, GOD they were overblown and their non-hits were ghastly. My sister had Jazz while we were growing up and I grew fond of it, despite the awful “Bicycle Race”/“Fat Bottomed Girls” duo it featured, and I will never forget the first time I heard “Bohemian Rhapsody” on headphones (I couldn’t move, it was so tremendous). So when I finally decided I HAD to have “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the other “musts” I was confronted by the choice of hits collections, none of which had all the necessary ones. In the end I think I got everything I wanted by getting the crimson Greatest Hits CD and A Night at the Opera, the latter only for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

I think Freddie Mercury had a fantastic voice and a shrewdly nasty sense for what would make a good song, and the band certainly was four-fold strong, but Freddie himself I have almost always found repellent physically (ditto Prince), and I fear that’s colored my appreciation of the band all these years. They certainly hold up over the years on headphones and off.

My feelings about Queen seem pretty definite when I glance down the tracklist for this CD:

  1. hated it then, hate it now
  2. hated it then, hate it now
  3. loved it then, love it now
  4. didn’t know what to make of it then, love it now
  5. hated it then, hate it now
  6. HATE IT
  7. HATE IT
  8. ecchhh…too sweet…
  9. kicked ass then, kicks ass now
  10. missed it then, wouldn’t mind remaining ignorant of it now
  11. lame then, lame now
  12. ugh…rock group still figuring out who they are…ugh…
  13. oh YEAH baby…
  15. well, there are times for this sort of song, but usually it’s not my kinda thing…
  16. a bit twee but it does have an odd appeal, especially because of its ambiguities zipping in and out of the lyrics
  17. GAAAHH!!! Turn it off! Turn it off!! AAAAIIIGGHH!!!
But when I look over the reactions and add “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the scope in consideration, I find that I still have strongly contradictory feelings about the group and its work. In retrospect I attribute this to the fact that the songs were so variously written by the four group members, although I concede that that’s no definite answer. Perhaps there isn’t one: I’m content to let Queen remain an occasionally catchy enigma in my perception of pop music.

All that being said, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is pretty damned solid as an Elvis tribute done in the Queen vocabulary.