Queen

Gold

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You can't fault Queen's record labels, EMI and Hollywood, for issuing countless compilations over the years -- after all, the group remains immensely popular throughout the entire world. And if one thing was made clear from the record industry, it'll milk every last drop of an artist's catalog for profit. Hence this, the umpteenth Queen set Gold, that, save for a few tracks, most of the selections have appeared previously on other collections. Two discs and 30 tracks in total, Gold basically consists of the original U.K. version of 1981's Greatest Hits, while the second disc attempts to include overlooked album tracks with a few latter-day hits and Freddie Mercury solo selections. Although most rock fans have heard Queen's hits countless times over the years, you can't deny the exceptional quality of such tracks as "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You," "Somebody to Love," and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," all of which reside on disc one. Disc two, on the other hand, is a bit of a hodgepodge. While it's admirable that a few oft-overlooked tracks finally get to share the spotlight ("Love of My Life," "Dragon Attack," "39," etc.), by and large, it's a headscratcher. Fans looking for a collection of strong album tracks (and there were a multitude of them -- many of which still have never been included on any comps) will be disappointed, as such bona fide hits as "Under Pressure" and "Radio Ga Ga," plus such solo Mercury selections as "I Was Born to Love You" make it an obvious attempt to please both new and old fans a like. As a result, the best double-disc Queen set remains 1995's Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2, and if it's a compilation of overlooked album tracks you're after, 1997's single-disc Rocks, Vol. 1, is a better choice.

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