Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock Hardcover – Oct 22 2009
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“This 288-page tome is overwhelming, overblown, pompous, theatrical, orgiastic, and self-indulgent. In other words, it’s a brilliant tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time. Although it’s an illustrated history, with gorgeous photos from every part of the band’s career and the members’ lives, it contains a tone of great writing to accompany the photographic story. From their humble beginnings as Smile to the world-beating success they would later achieve, Phil Sutcliffe does a great job of chronicling the band’s development and placing them in a historical context as he does so, with tales of the band opening for Hendrix and Pink Floyd, seeing the first Led Zeppelin tour, recording ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ mourning the huge loss of Freddie Mercury, and beyond. The guitar info is spot-on, thanks to a killer contribution form Dave Hunter that goes so far as to detail Dr. Brian May’s pickup selections on several tunes. In addition to the insightful prose of Sutcliffe, a general sprinkling of quotes form May and his eloquent mates makes this book impossible to put down.”
U. The National College Magazine
“Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock makes the ideal gift for someone who loves rock and roll. Filled with hundreds of photos, stories, and memories from other rock icons, such as Slash and Tommy Lee, this compendium of rock’s majesty Queen will be a hit with any music lover.”
From the Inside Flap
Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon—they were renowned for electrifying live performances, envied for rumors of rock ’n’ roll excess, and beloved for music that melded an array of genres. To celebrate Queen’s music and accomplishments, here’s the first history befitting this larger-than-life rock band.
Packed with stunning performance and offstage photographs—dozens of them previously unpublished—as well as handbills, posters, backstage passes, tickets, T-shirts, LPs, and singles gathered from around the globe, this is the ultimate visual history for Queen fans everywhere. All told, more than 500 photos and artifacts are accompanied by specially commissioned works from a host of today’s top rock journalists in Europe and North America. A history of the band written by longtime U.K. music writer Phil Sutcliffe spans the pre-Queen years to current work with Paul Rodgers. Complementing this thorough account are reviews of all studio and live albums; complete year-by-year tour dates; an extensive annotated discography; reflections on the band and their music from some of rock’s top performers past and present; and exclusive insights from former crew chief Peter Hince, longtime producer Reinhold Mack, and Mercury collaborator Billy Squier.
Queen created one of the most compelling catalogs and lasting legacies in rock. Little surprise, then, that forty years after their debut, they are enthroned among rock royalty. Here is the book that dares to tackle their towering achievements.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It just urges you on. You can put it down and go back to it later. You just don't want to.The running commentaries on different LP's was most enjoyable,with quotes by Freddie, Brian ,John and Roger thrown in at the appropriate moments.
I have never seen so many exotic pictures particularly of Freddie.
Nearing the end there is a wonderful picture of Freddie at Queens' last gig together live at Knebworth. The tapes must exist. How can we get John ,Roger and Brian to hit the studio and do a tribute to Fred on the 20th anniversary of his death? What a present it would be to us all.
Everything else I want to say has been said by those who've written reviews before me. This is simply the best!
Sutcliffe's exhaustively detailed book includes contemporary reviews of each Queen album, and at the risk of going off on a tangent, I'd like to discuss Jon Bream's review of A Night at the Opera. With apologies to Lou Reed and Elton John, Bream declares, "Queen's A Night at the Opera was the gayest mainstream rock album of the 1970s." He makes this claim based on the never before heard diversity and completely unconventional material. He sums it up, "a gay old time at the opera." However, my take on the record is that it encompasses all four band members' dreams and styles with no thought to boundaries, conventions, or budgets. I don't know what gay has to do with this; any music lover will appreciate the approach and the execution of perhaps the greatest rock record ever. The inclusion of such diverse material as I'm In Love With My Car, The Prophet's Song, You're My Best Friend, and Seaside Rendezvous is mad or genius, and certainly risky. In hindsight, the band knew what it was doing, gay or straight doesn't matter. Bream's review seems more like a backhanded compliment.
Queen was the most progressive, material-diverse band in history. They were constantly forward thinking; their popularity ebbed and flowed, but they never stagnated. Beyond simply pure entertainment, that is their greatest achievement. Here's a magnificent quotation that captures this theme, "Just watching that band morph and change directions over the years was just amazing." - Paul O'Neill, Trans Siberian Orchestra.