Blast those "Greatest Hits" albums!


Ago 30 2005, 22:12

I need to vent this, because it's been building up in me for years.

Why oh why do so many Queen fans know only the songs off the Greatest Hits albums? Looking here on I see the list of the top tracks that people listen to and right up there at the top is Bohemian Rhapsody, and underneath it for almost the entire rest of the page is nothing but singles taken off the Greatest Hits albums.

Don't get me wrong, the Greatest Hits are a good starting point for getting into any band's music, especially a band as diverse as Queen - it's how I discovered more of their music myself - but so many people and even fans don't seem to go past them.

It really bothers me when I find someone who also likes Queen (and believe me, I don't find many even though they are all out there) and ask what their favourite song or album is. I think 100% of the time the answer has been a song that was a single or Greatest Hits. "Don't you have any of their albums?" I ask. "What albums?"

My God. What these people are missing out on. The same situation doesn't happen with The Beatles, ask someone their favourite song and you can get a huge variety of answers, many people even citing b-sides like Don't Let Me Down as their favourite. Everyone knows every Beatles song - Queen have just officially overtaken them recently as the biggest selling and most popular group in the UK, so why is it such a different story?

Queen's Greatest Hits albums are not at all representative of what Queen's real musical output was. Yes, the Greatest Hits show a good degree of diversity in the styles and genres, but they don't give the real gems that were the album tracks. The wonderful compositions that were the songs Freddie did not sing. The daring and very successful attempts (for the most part) to experiment and try new styles.

So here I am providing a quick starter course for Queen fans new and old and also casual, who still haven't gotten past the Greatest Hits.

For simply astounding song writing and gorgeous melodies without any overblown excessive silliness listen to:
Long Away
Dear Friends
Tenement Funster

For out-and-out hard rock, edging towards varying styles of metal and even punk listen to:
Sheer Heart Attack
Stone Cold Crazy
Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll

For funk-rock written well ahead of it's time listen to:
Fight From The Inside
Dragon Attack

For fun and craziness listen to:
Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon
In the Lap of the Gods
The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke
I'm in Love With My Car

And to hear where The Smashing Pumpkins got a good deal of their early sound and influence from listen to:
Father to Son

Rant over!


  • Liquidtrance

    thats why they are called greatest hits, people love thsoe songs the most because theya re catchy or whatever or thats all they've heard and they are content with it or dont know where to start to look for non popular songs.

    Set 1 2005, 9:56
  • MartinW

    March of the black queen, The prophet's song, Great king rat, Mad the swine, Machines, Bijou, Ogre battle, Nevermore, Procession, Fairy fellers master-stroke... Their other songs are so much better than their hits!

    Set 8 2005, 12:58
  • sir_mikealot

    Amen! All truely great songs, Made In Heaven is also a great album with a different sound to usual.

    Set 14 2005, 3:25
  • klotilde

    hei ;) I know a lot of queen songs .. just those are so popular and on radio you can hear almoust only them. my favorite song [I like 'em all] is ogre battle. don't know why p.s. and in my country there is a city caaled ogre ;)

    Set 30 2005, 20:59
  • thepinko

    queen just has so many fantastic hit singles.. how mnay other bands do you need like 3 CDs to hold all their 'greatest hits.' its true though, that people miss out on some gems by getting the compliation.. my biggest complaint about hits albums is that they destroy the natural flow of an album.. it just makes so much sense to hear Sheer Heart Attack right after We Are The Champions..

    Nov 1 2005, 2:45
  • der3TageBart

    ...I love each track of all Queen Songs. Each from the over 180 Tracks. From Dear Friends to Sheer Heart Attack.

    Nov 4 2005, 13:52
  • pjebsen

    @m_notley: Thanks for the recommendations! I will eventually dig out my original Queen vinyl albums - until I do, can you recommend more funky songs along the lines of Dragon Attack (great drums, great bass!) and Fight From the Inside?

    Dic 3 2005, 0:52
  • m_notley

    pjebsen - Queen have such a large reportoire of musical styles under their belt that it is hard to pin down many songs within the same genre, but I can also recommend similar stuff like: Flick of the Wrist Dancer (it sounds a bit too 80's though!) A Dozen Red Roses For My Darling Let Me Entertain You Spread Your Wings (BBC version) Most of their other heavy stuff was just out-and-out hard rock, but you can't really go wrong with any of their albums of the 70's.

    Dic 4 2005, 12:00
  • stanbanaan

    I love especially the crazy songs like: Lazing on a sunday afternoon Seaside Rendezvous (<< my favourite song ever) Bring back that Leroy Brown But idd there are lots and lots of Queen songs nobody ever heard of.. and that's a huge shame, for such a band.

    Dic 19 2005, 16:12
  • Andrewlee

    My favs are Hammer To Fall and Is This The World We Created, I believe they were not included on the Greatest Hits CDs.. really great songs.

    Mar 6 2006, 20:17
  • m_notley

    Ah, but their rule was only singles were allowed to go on the Greatest Hits albums, and of those singles only the ones that reached the UK Top 20 were allowed on.

    Mar 7 2006, 19:48
  • ewilah

    You should mention Great King Rat - it has grown to be one of my fav Queen songs ever! :)

    Apr 13 2006, 16:05
  • DarkViperd00d

    Seven Seas Of Rhye, Brighton Rock and She Makes Me are also some very good songs. Keep Youself alive is also great. Queen does have 4 or 5 greatest hits albums or collections so it's hard to find a good track that's not on one of them.

    Lug 20 2006, 15:53
  • valweird

    I have to agree about what you've said about The Greatest Hits. A good starting point for anybody interested in getting into Queen. Any semi-serious fan should have checked out Queen's first four albums at the very least. And actually listen to the tracks in order.

    Set 24 2006, 11:27
  • 6:00

    The fact that any of the first [i]seven[/i] Queen albums could be considered an unqualified masterpiece is testament to how great the band was. I mean... their genius was blinding. It's a pity that (relative) garbage like [i]We Will Rock You[/i] will go down in history as representative of their music is almost saddening.

    Dic 20 2006, 5:34
  • 6:00

    KYA is actually on the GREATEST HITS II compilation.

    Gen 9 2007, 16:30
  • NikoTeaJay

    Gonna write something here even if this is 'a bit' old. I personally haven't listened to any of their 'best of' albums, since I first got to know Queen when a friend of mine recommended it to me and let me listen some various songs from them. Now, more or less one year later, I've listened all of their albums dozens of times, in order. I can make a mini review of every album to a perfect stranger in just minutes. I have quite clear opinion on most of the albums and songs. I know some details about all albums, and with my natural ability to create lots of bullshit about nothing, I can babble hours about their albums and songs. Ironically, at the moment I know more about Queen's music than my friend who introduced me to it, though this is due to multiple reasons. One being that he has a lot more diverse musical taste than me (though I do listen to a lot of bands besides Queen), but the more important one is that while I listen to an album, I listen to it as an album. I listen to all of the songs in order more than once. My friend just puts all of the songs in one huge play list and puts his media player on shuffle. While neither of these is the right or wrong one, mine definitely gives me more information about the band's music as a whole. One good (if old) example is this: this was little after my friend had introduced me to Queen, I listened to some of their albums and was exceptionally drawn to 'Great King Rat', and when I mentioned this specific song to him, he was quite literally: this sounds good, but wtf is this band?. I found it quite amusing that he didn't recognize a band which he himself had introduced me to. And what was it that I was trying to say with that wall of text? Yes, I feel your pain brothers and sisters. This is truly a tragedy for a band such as Queen to experience a semi-fanbase like that. Yes, many of their un-'best of'd' songs are too unknown, and We Will Rock You and Another One Bites The Dust in particular are way too overrated (not saying that they're bad, merely overrated). PS. Hot Space is their worst album. Honestly, sure, it had Las Palabras, Lennon song and Under Pressure, but as a whole, it just isn't their brightest jewel.

    Ott 18 2007, 0:13
  • alexzzx

    I totally agree and I even used to be the kind of fan you're talking about. I bought their 3 CD greatest hits, and I liked some of the songs that I hadn't heard on the radio before. I guess I thought that the band Queen was decent back then, but not better than that. And somehow I bumped into A Night at the Opera, and was literally shocked at the quality. I mean, I had listened to all of their so called "best songs" from the 70's and the 80's, and I just thought. Man, atleast half of this album should be on the Greatest Hits. And then I bought Queen, Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack sometime later, and then the rest of their albums from the 70's. After listening to their Greatest hits, Queen was maybe one of my top 10 favorite bands of all time at best, and after listening to their first 4 albums they went from nr 10 to nr 1 (tied with Led Zeppelin). This changed my opinions on Greatest Hits compilations for life.

    Ago 22 2008, 0:56
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