Queen

Queen Forever

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Sold upon its November 2014 release as a compilation containing some unearthed, even "forgotten," material, Queen Forever doesn't contain much new in either its standard or deluxe versions. Just three songs, actually: a finished version of the Works outtake "Let Me in Your Heart Again," a reworked version of Freddie Mercury's solo "Love Kills" from the soundtrack to Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis, and a completed version of "There Must Be More to Life Than This," a Freddie duet with Michael Jackson from the early '80s. Relatively interesting selections all, the best is "Let Me in Your Heart Again," which approximates much of the band's peak majesty (an alternate version slathered in synths by William Orbit is not so successful), but "There Must Be More to Life Than This" is a cheery bit of showbiz schmaltz hampered only by a production that makes its piecemeal origins too clear ("Love Kills," now a ballad, is merely OK). The rest of the compilation, in either single- or double-disc format, consists of songs that have been previously released, often many times before. There doesn't seem to be much internal logic to the collection: there are some hits ("Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "You're My Best Friend"), a lot of album tracks, and a fair amount of latter-day material, some present in slight newer edits that don't feel all that different from the originals. The hardcore fans might notice the difference but, apart from those three songs, there's not much reason for them to pick this up because Forever consists of songs they've purchased many times over. So who is this collection for? Anybody who feels an itch in 2014 to get a new Queen collection, whether it's as a gift or nostalgia -- the real pleasure would be in the acquisition, not possession.

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