Prior to Queen's formation, there was a smattering of recordings laid down by the group's future members -- most of which were unreleased or wallowed in obscurity. The tapes were eventually rediscovered after Freddie Mercury's passing, and led to such unofficial releases as Pre Ordained. Included are tracks that will be long familiar to hardcore fans who purchased bootleg versions years ago -- including selections from the early Brian May/Roger Taylor outfit Smile, as well as solo Freddie Mercury tracks (issued under the alias Larry Lurex) and an actual Queen track (the wonderful "Mad the Swine") that was inexplicably left off their debut album initially before appearing on the Hollywood Records reissue. While most of these early tracks are certainly not up to the high standard set by Queen's later classics, there is a smattering of highlights, such as Smile's "Step On Me" and "Earth," while the Lurex tracks "I Can Hear Music" and "Going Back" prove that Mercury always possessed an exceptionally fine voice. If you're a fan of Queen's early music, then Pre Ordained may prove to be a worthy purchase.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato