I once purchased the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die. If I died tomorrow, I’d have really missed out on some good albums (according to the book anyway). I made it a goal to listen to all 1001 Albums. I’ve still got about 750 to go, but it was through this book that I heard Queen: Sheer Heart Attack.
Simply put Freddy Mercury was one of the best vocalists in music history and Brian May was an equally incredible guitar player. The biggest hits from this album were Killer Queen (which contains one of my favorite guitar solos in popular music history) and Stone Cold Crazy (credited with creating Heavy Metal). That being said, the opening tack Brighton Rock contains some of Queen’s best guitar and vocal work ever and immediately puts you in the mood to really rock out.
Queen is more than just great guitar work and vocals though. Every element in these songs are key be it John Deacon’s heavy bass work or Roger Taylor’s drumming or even the incredible multiple vocal tracks and harmony the album is perfection.
However my favorite elements of the album is the way tracks overlap into each other. Tenement Funster slowly morphs into Flick of the Wrist which itself leads into Lily of the Valley. While stuff like this is nothing new (Mewithoutyou makes whole albums like this) for some reason the idea of this existing in the recording days of 1974 is incredible to me (although the Beatles first introduced it in Abbey Road Side-B)
The revolutionary elements of this record almost seem unending. For example, if you’re a metal head and you’ve never heard Stone Cold Crazy prepare to hear some of the first elements of Speed Metal. It’s undeniably one of the fasted and heaviest tracks of the 70’s. With insane drumming from Roger Taylor and even more impressive guitar work from Brian May.
However despite all of these impressive musical moments my favorite song is the shortest track. Dear Friends is simply Brian May on Piano and Freddy on lead vocals. Clocking in at only 1:09 it still always managed to make me smile and cry a little at the same time. In fact I’m just going to close this with that now.