This is a fine memorial to Freddie Mercury, the solo artist.
Chris Jones 2006
Irony abounds in this collection of the highlights from the former Farrokh Bulsara’s solo career. His main meal ticket, Queen, offset his tendency towards flamboyancy with their brand of sub-Zeppelinesque bombast. Yet, when left to his own devices Freddie was free to channel his innate pop tendencies into - let’s face it - some of the campest records ever made. Tremendous fun it all is, too.
Considering that Freddie only made two solo albums (one with diva, Montserrat Caballé) it seems remarkable that Parlophone have managed to squeeze a double album out of them. That is until you realise that disc two consists of remixes and extended versions. But griping aside, it’s obvious that Mercury was not only in possession of a fine voice but also songwriting skills that easily withstood the removal of Brian May et al’s support. All the big hitters are here including his self-mocking rendition of the Platters’ “The Great Pretender”; a slew of dancefloor greats from Mr Bad Guy (including the mighty “Living On My Own”) and his Giorgio Moroder-produced electro-stomper, “Love Kills” (the only good thing to emerge from the woeful ‘remix’ of Fritz Laing’s Metropolis).
While his later ventures into popular opera may not be so convincing, this is a fine memorial to Freddie Mercury, the solo artist. Still sadly missed...