Review: 'Queen: Album By Album' (2018) Aut. Martin Popoff
In both gorgeous hardback and comfortable paperback, this book traverses the musical history of Queen from their debut album 'Queen' in 1973 right through to their final studio album release of 'Made In Heaven' in 1995.
This is journey pieced around the formulation of each album and tracks each band member - lead singer Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon - through their highs and lows in the process. It doesn't just explore the albums and the songs on each, but goes into the story and creative process that brought each one to life.
Quite simply, it's fascinating reading.
The breakdown of each album goes into great detail about the culture that Queen were present in; from the glam-rock of the 1970s to the synth-wave of the 1980s. It explores how each album was a risk; a dare to stay different unique, and often ahead of their time. The group pushed boundaries in terms of musical style, lyrics and their own talent and they never gave up regardless of each hit or miss.
You can almost picture the group of industry experts sat around table to discuss each album; you feel part of the reflection and the celebration.
With a maximum of four to six of the experts chatting with Popoff, all transcribed in easy to read, digestible chapters per album, this adds new dimensions to the music. These experts are ones who have worked with Queen; ones who have been influenced by Queen and ones who simply adore Queen. They're not afraid to go into what works and what didn't, and why. It's always honest, and always interesting to read.
Full of high-resolution pictures of the band on stage and in studio, and also rare pressings of tickets, posters and sleeves, this is a visual journey a much as it is written. There's so much to see and look at here, and you get a wealth of information about each album, including the 1980 soundtrack 'Flash Gordon'.
There'll be facts and unknown trivia to unearth here for even the most hardcore Queen fan, but it also acts as a wonderful window for new fans into the albums that defined a career for one of the most celebrated - if not the greatest - British rock band in the world.
A definitive insight into the music of Queen from those who knew them best, with so much to see and learn at the same time.
'Queen: Album By Album' is a Voyageur Press publication