Album per diem: Queen – Innuendo

I’m a big fan of Queen. Queen was the first that I was fully exposed to that was outside of the realm of country music. I love my country music, but Queen taught me that there is a whole lot more out there than just the single genre.

Innuendo was released on February 4, 1991 in the United Kingdom and the next day in the United States. It was the last album the band put out while lead singer Freddie Mercury was still alive. That theme rises to prominence throughout some of the tracks.

  1. Innuendo – Queen is probably best known for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ which is simply the best rock opera out there. They go back to that kind of formula for the title track and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s not ‘Rhapsody’, but how many bands could really pull this kind of thing off twice?
  2. I’m Going Slightly Mad – This is one of my all-time favorite Queen songs, probably because I am slightly mad. The instrumentation gives it this dark and haunting feel of going mad, plus the description of how he is mad (one wave short of a ship wreck, one card short of a full deck, knitting with only one needle) is just absolute brilliancy.
  3. Headlong – Rock and roll at its finest. It’s a little heavy, but fast-paced with Brian May absolutely killing it, as usual, on the guitar. This song is a hardcore rock song that also has “Hoop diddy diddy – hoop diddy do” in the lyrics. That’s how freaking great Queen is.
  4. I Can’t Live With You – If the Rolling Stones got really experimental, this is what they would try to sound like. A solid rock and roll love song that is really catchy. It’s the weakest track so far and I still love it.
  5. Don’t Try So Hard – Freddie was denying that he was sick, but we now know he was already fighting AIDS when the band was making this album. It truly comes off as one of those songs that comes from someone who knows their time is almost up. It’s a good message, don’t try so hard, just be you.
  6. Ride The Wild Wind – It’s the same as ‘Don’t Try So Hard’, but while trying to be squeezed into a real commercial feeling rock song. It doesn’t have the same emotion. For some bands this would probably be groundbreaking, but we hold Queen to a higher standard.
  7. All God’s People – Might be the weirdest religious song I’ve ever heard. It has a little reggae feel to it. Give freely we are all God’s people which is a good message, but, even as a Queen lover, it’s one of those weird sounding Queen songs. It doesn’t sound bad, but it’s not the best either.
  8. These Are The Days Of Our Lives – Roger Taylor did a much better job writing this song that ‘Ride The Wild Wind’. It’s a retrospective song again, but it’s a slow meaningful one. The bongo drums on it are a nice little touch. And no this song doesn’t have anything to do with the soap opera The Days Of Our Lives.
  9. Delilah – I looked it up. It’s a song about Mercury’s damn cat. His favorite cat, but still it’s a song about a cat. I love Queen, but they just made me listen to a song about a cat. What the hell. I mean the ‘meow, meow, meow’ lines might’ve given it away, but I thought maybe I was just missing a really big metaphor. Nope. It’s a song about a cat.
  10. The Hitman – This sounds like a hit for Guns ‘N Roses. I like the sound. It’s quite the rocker, nothing too critically to acclaim about it other than the rock sound. A song about a hitman is kind of a rare treat that was pulled off fairly nicely here.
  11. Bijou – The Wikipedia article for the album describes this song as an inside out song which is the perfect description for it. It’s a guitar expect for a break where Mercury sings a total of 31 words. The rest is just plain and simple beautiful guitar playing by Brian May. May is one of the best guitarists in the history of the world, so you know this track is good.
  12. The Show Must Go On – When Queen knocks it out of the park, they hit the ball into the next county. This song is the last track on the last album that Queen released while Freddie Mercury was still alive. It’s a pretty powerful statement to go out on. ‘The Show Must Go On’ and it did with Mercury continuing to record up through the end which resulted in the final Queen studio album Made In Heaven.

It’s a Queen album, so it’s automatically going to be solid and that’s what it is. The band knocks a couple songs out of the park and some just are kind of there and not their best work. If you’re a fan of Queen and rock and roll, you’ll enjoy this album. The ones that aren’t even that great are still fun to listen to.

It’s hard to pick one song, but after listening to it again, you have to go with The Show Must Go On if you can only have one. If you can splurge also get I’m Going Slightly Mad and then Headlong. At this rate, just get the album.

Next up: Elton John – Wonderful Crazy Night (it’s release day!)

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