Long Life to the Queen

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A beastly and totally unnecessary reminder of just how hard the mighty had fallen. An audience recording from a show in Zurich, Switzerland, in April 1982, disc one is awful, the band lumbering through some of the most uninspired songs in their recent catalog, then grabbing a couple of oldies ("Somebody to Love" and "Liar"), and bludgeoning them into mushy submission as well. Disc two is better, the band giving up trying to torture their new album, the horrid Hot Space, and getting to work instead on their last one, Queen's Greatest Hits. But a total lack of respect for even their finest hours leeches through each song, the unspoken knowledge that the lemmings will love it whatever they do. So here's a hamfisted "Bohemian Rhapsody." here's a clunky race through "Under Pressure." and "Another One" bites the dust through absolutely no fault of its own. Completists alone will want this album; Queen-haters alone will need it, to further fuel their loathing of a band which had so completely lost its way that it's amazing it could even find the stage. On this evidence, it's an awful shame they did.

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