A return to the old days, with some new sounds thrown in too
BGFN8 | Massapequa, NY USA | 06/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After the release of the Hot Space album in 1982, Queen knew that their next album had to be a good one, as Hot Space was poorly received by even their biggest fans. Some fans even got very picky and wanted Queen to reinstate their "no synthesizer" policy, which was lifted in 1980 with "The Game."... ... ... This album gives you a taste of Queen both new and old. "It's A Hard Life" could have well fit on albums such as News Of The World or Jazz, while "Radio Ga Ga" and "Machines" showed everyone that Queen were just as hip to new sounds as anybody.The album opens with "Radio Ga Ga," probably one of the best songs of the 80s. Ironically, this song with the sound of those others being played on MTV is about how much the singer misses listening to the radio, and how MTV has replaced the radio. Then, things get rocking with Brian's anthemic "Tear It Up," a track very reminiscent of "We Will Rock You," giving the listener an adrenaline rush and a musical high. Next is a track that is vintage Freddie Mercury from top to bottom. "It's A Hard Life" has everything one loves about Freddie. It is a piano ballad ala Somebody To Love with plenty of multilayered vocals and and excellent May guitar solo, yet it still rocks you. Following this then-current classic is a catchy rockabilly track. "Man On The Prowl" is somewhat reminiscent of Elvis Presley, except with a little more modern rock mixed in, as was their 1980 hit "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." The next track is not one of the more popular Queen tracks, but "Machines" is very very cool. All the synthesizers fit the lyrics perfectly. If the Terminator movies were made back then, one could picture a pretty cool video based on the movie being used for this synth track. There are even vocals sung through a vocoder, to simulate the voice of a robot. Next is a song, which is the one disappointment on this album. The single release of "I Want To Break Free" had a lot happening in it, and clocked in at a little over four minutes. On the album, the song is stripped down and a lot shorter. It seems to much like something is missing, though the song itself is quite enjoyable. Next is "Keep Passing The Open Windows," a Freddie track that sounds both old and new at the same time, and would have been fitting for "The Game." Up next is one of Queen's classic hard rock songs, "Hammer To Fall," this Brian May-penned track will rock you (no pun intended) and make you bang your head. Finally, closing the album is a track reminscent of the live performances of "Love Of My Life," which just featured Freddie at the microphone while Brian played acoustic guitar. "Is This The World We Created" is a duet of Freddie and Brian as they are on the live performances of "Love Of My Life," and the track was often played after "Love Of My Life" at concerts during all future tours.Another positive thing about this CD release is the bonus tracks are actually quite good. Though I couldn't care less about the extended versions of "Radio Ga Ga" and "I Want To Break Free," "I Go Crazy," the B-side to "Radio Ga Ga," just rocks. It should have been included on the album's original release, it's a great rocker that fits in perfectly with the rest of the album.In conclusion, The Works is an absolutely fabulous album. Not only did it completely make up for the "mistake" the band made with Hot Space, it also provides a great variety of everything Queen was and would be in the future. Excellent piece of work, recommended to all music fans and musicians everywhere. A true showcase of the many talents of one of the greatest bands to ever grace the planet."
A fabulous queen cd!
BGFN8 | 11/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Queen is my absolute favorite band on the planet and I am totally obsessed (as also with Freddie Mercury). I have a total of 12 Queen albums, and I plan to get more. I just picked up this one along with "A Kind Of Magic", about 3 weeks ago, and to be quite honest from listening to the song clips, I didn't think I was going to like this, along with the rest of Queen's 80's and 90's catalog...boy was I wrong. I knew the song's "Radio Ga Ga", "Hammer To Fall", and "I Want To Break Free", from both "Queen's Greatest Hits", and "Classic Queen".All of those songs, plus those 2 albums are fabulous. But the rest of the tracks literally are just as fabulous, if not even more. "Tear it Up", is ultra heavy, and was written by Brian May. "It's A Hard Life", another great song, written by Mr. Mercury. "Man On The Prowl", is reminiscent of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", which Elvis-like rockabilly. "Machines", sounds like 80's incorporated music. "Is This The World We Created", is soft, melodic and beautiful.....But, my absolute,favorite track on the whole entire album has to be "Keep Passing The Open Windows", written by the man himself, Freddie Mercury. This song is reminiscent of "Bohemian Rhapsody", (don't believe me?, listen to it yourself)and basically the Queen we know from the mid 70's, featuring Freddie's elegant, heartfelt vocals against his elegant piano playing, progressions containing pop/hard rock, choiral overdubs, guitar solos, etc, to make it short, the perfect ingredients to a perfect song. The lyrics talk about feeling lonely and thinking about the end, which I think everyone has felt, or will feel some time in their life. I hear alot of things like Brian May is the best songwriter, blah, blah,. Well, I say FORGET THAT. 2 things. I think the people who admire Brian May that way are the ones who love Queen mainly for the hard rock influence he had on the band, even though he's written soft one's too. Secondly, their is no better of the 2 because they both were strong songwriters, and their songwriting styles you really can't compare because they were kind of different to begin with.But, I on the other hand love Queen mainly for Freddie Mercury, and his influence on the band. His elegance, his eccentricities, his operatic and dramatic tendencies and his indulgence, all heard in his influence of Queen's music. I guess the moral of this this story is: to each his own.Anyway, this is an excellent album and Queen was, is, and always will be my favorite band.Thanks."
Not bad, but feels somewhat contrived
Vandelay Industries | Augusta, GA USA | 11/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I could be totally off-base here, but after Queen's disappointing Hot Space, I wouldn't be suprised to hear if outside influences (specifically the suit-wearing ones) made a "suggestion" or two concerning the direction of the band's follow-up album, The Works. There's alot of "Queen-like" songs (whatever that means) on here, but they feel too calculated & by-the-numbers IMO...derivative of themselves, if that makes sense.
While it's better than Hot Space, you get the feeling that Queen "settled" with The Works instead of going with their gut. It's still a decent album, and the extra track "I Go Crazy" is their heaviest rocker since "Sheer Heart Attack" (live version) or "Stone Cold Crazy"...almost worth the price of the album for that song alone."
Back to Form
Daniel Kartsev | Memphis, TN, USA | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After dissapointing Hot Space and FlashGordon albums, Queen produced classic 80s sound and very much queen pop with The Works album. "Radio Ga Ga", the opening song, hit number one in 17 different countries and was a concert favorite. Couple of Brian May standard rockers are ofcourse included with the political "Hammer to Fall" and party time "Tear it Up". Typical Queen ballad included ofcourse with "It's a Hard Life" and a very sentimental May/Mercury written "Is this the world we created?" The classic off this album is without a doubt "I Want to Break Free". A song used countless times on America TV and British TV and even Russian TV where I was born. Recently used heavily in a Coca-Cola commmercial, and everyone always recognizes this vintage 80s classic."
One of my favourites...
Claire Hennessy | Dublin, Ireland | 06/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'The Works' kicks off with Roger Taylor's addictive masterpiece, 'Radio Ga Ga', a nostalgic and catchy ode to the days before video. It's followed by an average rocker by Brian May, 'Tear It Up'. 'It's A Hard Life' and 'Man On The Prowl' are both by Freddie Mercury, the former being a classic rock/pop hit, the latter echoing 1979's Elvis-inspired 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. The fifth track, a May/Taylor collaboration, is the sorely under-rated 'Machines'. Great lyrics, great music. Next up we have John Deacon's utterly brilliant 'I Want To Break Free'. (Love the video...) 'Keep Passing The Open Windows' is Mercury again. Originally recorded for a movie project, it's a high point of the album with stunning lyrics and a beautiful melody. 'Hammer To Fall' is another hard rock song by Brian May, completely surpassing his earlier contribution, and is - well, brilliant. The album ends with 'Is This The World We Created...?', another masterpiece, this time a thought-provoking collaboration between Mercury and May. Some of Queen's best work is on this album, although bear in mind that this is coming from someone who prefers their late 80s/early 90s work to the earlier 70s stuff."