FOR GOD’S SAKE, STRAP YOURSELVES DOWN
From page 88 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
Who on earth let Steven Wilson review Queen’s remasters? What a tit! Never have I read so much bollocks. That dude needs to listen to some of his own albums! When he produces A Night At The Opera (7/10? Fuck off!), I’ll listen to him – dickhead!
David, via email After reading Steven Wilson’s review of the first five Queen rereleased albums I felt the urge to write. The review seems odd or even at a loss to explain the subject he is writing about.
He claims that their are too many end-of-the-pier British music hall songs which crop up too often across these five albums, well if you listen to these five albums those songs crop up twice on one album and once as an outro to one song on another.
His review of A Day At The Races is only about six lines long during which he reviews a song that isn’t even on the album. He goes on to call it country and western. Just because a song features a 12 string guitar it doesn’t make it country and western. He does a similar thing with A Night At The Opera , reviewing that album in two lines. I really wonder if he listened to these albums before reviewing them.
A criticism he levels at these albums is that they contain a small number of good, well-produced songs such as the singles but the rest is just filler. I would strongly disagree with this view. Having already said that Queen had something special from the start, I would suggest that Steven Wilson also disagrees with his own view! He makes no attempt to explain the impact these albums had at the time of release. For someone in the know he seems to have heard very little.
Being a musician/producer I would have thought he would have spotted the amount of work that went into all the songs using basic, by modern standards, equipment – 16-track recording on the first two albums!
Part of the problem with Queen is that they can’t be pigeon-holed, and therefore any review is going to be hard work. But you have to look at the bigger picture, which in Queen’s music is maybe bigger than even Steven Wilson can cope with.
They never stood still and on these five albums there is so much that other people were influenced by. It adds up to more than a few tracks held together with filler.
Ian Dugini, via email PS: For the next batch of Queen re-releases, get the Foo Fighters to review them. At least they seem to understand what Queen were doing!