...the last of the classic-period Queen albums...
Daryl Easlea 2007-04-18
Queen's varied palette of styles was none more apparent than on their sixth studio album, News Of The World, recorded over summer 1977 at various locations in London. Released as punk was breaking across the UK music scene (prompting the delicious exchange when Freddie Mercury met Sid Vicious: "ah, Mr. Ferocious, how are you?"), the album showed the group, for many the ultimate in musicianship, both out-of-kilter, yet strangely in step with the times.
In step was the football-terrace proto-rap “We Will Rock You”, the anthemic Mercury special “We Are The Champions” and the full-on assault of the Roger Taylor/Mercury duet “Sheer Heart Attack”. Out of kilter with the times was the ornate, fussy balladry of John Deacon’s “Spread Your Wings” or Mercury’s bluesy “My Melancholy Blues”. Elsewhere, the heavily strutting “Get Down Make Love” acts as something of a bridge between the earlier “Seven Seas Of Rhye” and the “Another Ones Bites The Dust” funk-isms that lay ahead.
News Of The World was the last of the classic-period Queen albums, and heralded a spell in the relative doldrums before 1980's The Game. The album was a huge hit in America, something the group could never take for granted; and went four times platinum, largely as a result of their lengthy tour with Thin Lizzy earlier in the year. What News Of The World demonstrates perfectly is Queen’s unerringly ability to sound absolutely like no-other group – even when parodying other musical styles