on July 4, 2004
"Innuendo" was the last album released by Queen before Freddie Mercury died, and it was a fitting final album for him. "Made In Heaven" was released in 1995, 4 years after Freddie's death. Of the 11 songs on the album, 5 were previously released in other forms: "Made In Heaven" and "I Was Born To Love You" were originally on Freddie's "Mr. Bad Guy" album, and are included here with those same vocal tracks, but with Queen's instrumentation; "My Life Has Been Saved" was a B-side to "Scandal" from "The Miracle", but is slightly different here; "Heaven For Everyone" was originally recorded by Roger Taylor's band "The Cross"; and "Too Much Love Can Kill You" was previously released on Brian May's "Back To The Light" album (with Brian on vocals). But even though not all of the material here is new, all of the material is very good, and it's a great album. Not quite as good of an ending as "Innuendo", but a very fine piece of work nonetheless.
on February 7, 2003
This is one of those albums to play when you are feeling nostalgic and pensive. It is gloomy, not totally, cause the trax from Freddie's solo album(on here) punctuate the melancholy. Made in Heaven(the song) sounds like its name, for it rises to such a spiritually transcendent level, you could almost mistake it for schmaltzy, but I adamantly proclaim it is NOT SUCH!-it may be the grandest they have ever sounded. It is so grand it will knock you off balance when you first hear it.
Too Much Love Will Kill You has wonderful, wayworn lyrics, that fit so well on their swansong album. It is both sparse and elegant, and will touch those who have truly lived.
You Don't Fool Me is Freddie and Brian making love and laughing with their backs against the wall. Freddie is doing what he did best-showing his beauty and determination in a carefree chantuese sort of way, while Brian chimes in with a glittering and glorious solo which seems to be a homage to his singer(like a lot of this cd).
The second Its a Beautiful Day is the band letting out their pent up anguish, and pulling out all stops and letting out a ten on the frenzy/crunching gothic scale that harkens back to their trenchant style. They intertwine the vocals as a sonic device, complimenting Brian's howling guitar, while Roger's drums revel like pounding fury. This track is complex, yet tribal and primal, and is another virtuoso piece to this tribute to Freddie. Listen to this song LOUD, you will hear something different every time you play it.
These are just 4 songs, but the whole lp seems so cohesive its amazing, considering the group had to patch it together. It may have helped that they always recorded in bits and pieces at a time, so maybe this hurdle(Freddie gone) was weirdly moot.
If you find yourself reflective, and want to be accompanied by something deep, proudly defiant(as Freddie's spirit radiated), and so subtley mature, this is a beautiful vehicle that will transport your soul like medicine. It is a unique lp, and as great as anything they ever did, and that includes QueenII, SHA, and ANATO. From a fan of 25 years.
on January 18, 2004
Yes, I love Queen's 70s. Yes, I love Innuendo like crazy. Still, this album is so worth buying... even if it makes you think of what more would have flown out of Freddie if he were only alive today.
The best song here, I think, is "I Was Born to Love You". Yes, it is a pop-style, yes it sounds like a solo rather than Queen, but it really reveals Freddie's undying genius and delivery.
A Winter's Tale, Freddie's last song, is of course beautiful. Others such as Let Me Live and My Life Has Been Saved are tear-inducing. When it gets to Mother Love, however, I sort of get angry... I understand this is posthumous album, but the production did not have to be indicative of the fact to this obvious state.
Just because it broke my heart again and again and again (and still now) I can't be insensitive to my never-ending assumptions - what if Freddie were still alive... what if? what if? I keep asking and get sick of it.
In all, you will not regret buying it, but you will be really sad. And this album was made to do exactly that.
on June 24, 2002
...quite frankly, so depressing at times that you'll be wondering why you love it so much. Because this is one of Queen's best albums, probably my favourite one. Every single song is stunning - the vocals (mostly Freddie, singing with such incredible power and emotion that it's hard to believe the majority of these songs were recorded just months before his death) are amazing, the music is fabulous. Two songs Freddie recorded on his solo album, Mr Bad Guy, appear on this CD (Made In Heaven, I Was Born To Love You), and with added background material from Roger, Brian and John, they really do improve. Heaven For Everyone, which was originally a song by The Cross with Freddie on vocals, is reworked into a Queen song, and is one of their best. Too Much Love Will Kill You was released as a solo single for Brian in the early '90s, but the Queen version is pretty damn good too.
The rest of the album consists of rock ballads at their best. The emotional Mother Love, the gospel-esque Let Me Live, the upbeat My Life Has Been Saved, the achingly beautiful A Winter's Tale, the powerful It's A Beautiful Day... all are exceptional tracks. You Don't Fool Me is a much-looked-down-upon dance track, but one I happen to enjoy.
And really, it gets less melancholy the fiftieth time you hear it...
on April 8, 2002
I wrote those exact same words the first time I reviewed this album for our campus magazine, a month after it was released. At the time I was being deferential to the talent of the band as well as their enviable catalogue, so I remember giving it more credit than it deserved.
The title track is classic Queen at it's finest; "I Was Born To Love You", and "Too Much Love Will Kill You" are Brian May's shining moments on the disc, but in retrospect, the whole album is a bit too melancholy to sit through from start to finish--and Queen was always a wistful band, but not necessarily a depressing one.
"You Don't Fool Me" is pure filler, as is "Heaven For Everyone", while the reprise of "It's A Beautiful Day" is nothing more than a poor attempt of padding out the CD to it's fullest possible length. But "A Winter's Tale" lends a certain Christmas-y charm to it, and by the end, you're won over by Freddy's chops, unmatched even at the end of his life.
A fitting send-off LP for Freddy, but merely an average one from the band itself. Buy it anyway.
on December 11, 2001
It's amazing that 3 guys could go into the studio without freddie, with a few songs not considered good enough to be included on their two previous albums and with several bits and pieces of songs recorded just before freddies death and come out with something so beautiful and solid. Most amazing is how freddie mercury continued to record practically untill his death and sing so well.
Almost all these songs seem to fit a theme. While the tone is melancholy each song always leaves room for hope. Very powerful for a rock band that usually was intent on writing songs that were more humorous and fun. "It's a beautiful day" sets things off and it doesn't take much imagination to understand what "let me live" is about. "Mother love" is particularly moving. A song apparently referring to freddie's life long friendship with mary austin. This was the last song freddie recorded a song that denotes true friendship because he didn't live to finish it but his friends do finish it. Brian adds the finishing vocals to one of queens best songs ever. "Heaven for everyone" denotes queens catholic mentality and "a winters tale" is very very beautiful. "Too much love will kill you" is a good song that brian wrote some time before and sang solo at the tribute concert.
No this isn't the best queen album for those who want to rock and hear fantastic guitar flourishes or complex cord changes. It's peaceful, melodic and quite an exellent eulogy to a fine friend and great artist. I'm glad queen made this album and i do consider it essential for true fans. The message is to live each day to the fullest and never give up regardless of how difficult the circumstances.
on September 17, 2001
Having listened to this album for a period of approximately six years to date, I can say that its appeal is long lasting and it stands as one of the greats.
Suffering very little bearing in mind it was produced after the death of band leader Freddie Mercury - who's vocal tracks (most of them original) have been sensitively blended in with new music from the remaining members of the group, the result is a fascinating album.
With a fan club run as a multi-national company at the time of release, you may have expected it to be a simple 'cash-in' orchestrated by the record company - this is not the case.
The tracks on this album reveal quality. I'm pleased to say that the classic Queen ingredients are present - lush multi-layered vocal harmonies and electric guitar, breathtaking guitar leads from the axe-master Brian May, superb vocal leads from Mercury, together with faultless musical accompaniment and strong songwriting - this is classic Queen. The tracks range from the almighty stadium rock anthem 'Too Much Love Will Kill You', the incredibly catchy 'Heaven for Everyone' (an immense track), the wonderfully depressing 'Mother Love' as well as more refreshing tracks such as 'You don't fool me'. This is an emotional album full of feeling and energy - as you would expect from Queen.
In summary this album ranks as one of the strongest Queen albums; I personally believe it is very under-rated. Queen were just getting better and better...you would be forgiven for thinking that this album lives up to its title's claim...
on November 22, 2000
Queen's final studio album with Freddie and what an emotional send off it was.From the thunderous percussion and melancholy guitar of the title track "Made In Heaven" to the wonderfully gospel-like vocals on "Let Me Live" (which featured for the first time, Freddie, Brian & Roger sharing lead vocals) this is a roller coaster of emotions.Having to record this album after Freddie has passed away proved extremely difficult for the surviving members.While half of this album contains wholly original material, the other half is comprised of previously released tracks released on solo albums (though in most cases, completely redone/reworked by the band.) Freddie's original "I Was Born To Love You" was dated six months later by it's over use of synthesizers while Queen's new version keeps it ageless.Freddies last vocal recording came with "Mother Love" though you'd never be able to tell. He sang with such vigor and energy that'd put most of today's "singers" in their place, which is to say, well behind Freddie.This is, by no means, all Freddie. Brian plays one of his all time best solos in the somewhat out of place dance number "You Don't Fool Me" (which would go onto be remixed SIXTEEN times throughout the world.)In the U.K, the album provided Queen with 4 top ten hits (and another in the top 15) and has also become one of their biggest selling albums ever. Naturally, it barely made the top 60 in America due to poor promotion from Hollywood Records. You'd have thought with this being the last of "new" material from the band, they would've promoted it to high heaven (pardon the pun) but alas, no.One track that should not have been included was the former non-album B-side "My Life Has Been Saved", an extremely poor track that could have been replaced by any number of Freddie solo tunes."A Winter's Tale" - the last song Freddie ever wrote, provides the most touching of all of "MIH". He describes his second home in Switzerland and how peaceful it was, how happy it made him. The chorus is dream-like...pushing you to close your eyes and imagine how wonderful a place it is.A wonderful and moving end to the rich and never ending legacy of Freddie and Queen.
on November 20, 2000
Rock has gone through big changes since Nirvana released "Nevermind" in 1991 and Freddie Mercury died in November of that same year. Even Kurt Cobain lamented in his suicide note (penned just two years after the legendary 1992 Freddie tribute AIDS benefit concert) that he wished he could have had that union with his audience that Freddie had. In 1995, even though some of the material were brand new versions of songs that were only 4 years old (recorded shortly before Freddie's death), the rock trends had changed so much by that time that this release seemed like a retro flower in a rubble-ridden "alternative" environment. Even Prince (considered "the last hope" in pop music by some), during a feud and protest with his record company, practically disappeared, changed his name and released only old music while his new music remained unreleased during this time. When he resurfaced in 1996, too much time had gone by for people to notice. In short, "Heaven" seemed like the last spasms of what used to be a rock scene brimming with possitive, promethean, inventive and yes, sometimes cheesy, schmalzy Spinal Tap, but gifted music. Once one of the many Godzilla bands in the '70s and early '80s that most critics couldn't wait for to go out of style, in '95 this release was so out of place, it was almost like seeing a ring-tailed wolf-boy at your local mall. Now that the market is saturated with screaching white male hip hop and head banger metal that is more intense than whatever was going on in '95, this is basically a re-polished artifact from an era as old to today's generation as The Beatles seemed to us in the '70s, '80s or early '90s, even though it's only 5 years old.
This has to be the worst time EVER for rock music. And for all the attacks, hatred and backlash disco suffered, rock music may be getting some it's own backlash coming up because of the rut it is in. (I think Elvis Costello said it best "Anyone can do punk, but that doesn't mean anyone can do it and be good") It's all my fault of course, but in the meantime, hear the beautiful, unrestrained muse in the title track and the remaining Queen members amazing reworking of this 1985 Freddie solo song. It sounds better and more original than ever. And the '95 version of the Roger Taylor's "Heaven For Everyone" would've easily been a Top 40 hit in another era and brightened up the radio with it's irresistable melodies and calls for world peace. A rare 1988 Queen B-side is also rerecorded here, as is some Freddie solo material, a Brian May solo track sung by Freddie from the late '80s is here, the ironically titled "Too Much Love Will Kill You", but the most chilling music, the NEW music recorded when Freddie was sick with the disease, is unbelieveable. You can hear the strain in Freddie's voice in songs like "Mother Love", "You Don't Fool Me" and "A Winter's Tale". It would almost be unlistenable if Queen weren't such a great band to listen to. (Brian May once said that the Freddie's vocals were recorded at a snail's pace. Because of his illness, a half hour per week was all that Freddie was able to do) There's alot missing, creative wise, from them of course. It's been that way since their late '80s albums progressively got more and more light, harmless and adult oriented. There's none of the hyper-literate, impossibly complicated and diverse sounds of "Queen II" and "Sheer Heart Attack" or the modern (in the '70s at least), encyclopedic epics like "A Night at the Opera" or "A Day at the Races" and they seem completley out of touch with the current sounds, but fans have been used to that for some time but have gotten cozy with their more low-key, "mainstream" sounds. With this release, as with anything connected with them, there only comes a sigh of ecstatic relief at glimpsing at the heavenly possibilities that still are a potential in rock but stay confined to those outsiders who still wish to try. Oh hell, Queen is not the last word. Great music will always be made. You just have to look for it or create it. But "Made In Heaven", at times, takes you places you forgot it was possible for rock to go. And it's the much needed missing link that completes one of the most unbeatable album catalogues in rock and has their hero go out in style. Don't miss it.
on October 26, 2000
Queen's recording history reads like a good book, and if Innuendo was the last Chapter (Indeed, it's last song 'The Show Must Go On' was as fitting a tribute to Mercury as anything they've tried since), Made in Heaven is the epilogue, taking the material Freddie Mercury recorded after Innuendo, and peicing it together into a comprehensive, final Queen album.
The history is a little convoluted, not every track is brand new, a couple were from Mercury's original Mr. Bad Guy solo album (Made in Heaven, I was born to Love You), others were outtakes from The Miracle (Life has been Saved, Too Much Love will Kill You), Made in Heaven was original a Roger Taylor solo song that Mercury re-recorded in '88-89, but the rest of the material here is Mercury's dying days basically set to tape. Even the older material is given the full Queen treatment by Brian May and company, so it all sounds fresh and new.
The sound of the album is very uplifting as opposed to the overall wistful, dark overtone of Innuendo. It's a Beautiful Day, Made in Heaven, and Let Me Live make one heck of an opening trio, the latter also sung by Roger and Brian, backed with a gospel choir. I Was Born to Love You is given full Queen rock treatment with one of Brian May's better guitar solos, and the lead-off single Made in Heaven flows as only Queen's best songs do. You Don't Fool Me is a great dancey tune, harkening back to Hot Space. Too Much Love will Kill You and A Winter's Tale are two beautiful ballads, the latter a hit in the U.K., and the album 'closes' with a stunning reprise of It's a Beautiful Day, followed by an unmercifully long instrumental (over 22 minutes) that is really pretty unneccesary. It never really gets going until the final minutes, and it's reminiscent of a new-age moods instrumental. It tries to set a mood of peacefulness but doesn't quite work.
The most telling work on this album, however, is the final song Mercury recorded, Mother Love. From the second he opens his mouth until he closes it for the final time, you can hear the utter pain and longing in his voice. He's through with this life, he has no more hope, he just wants to die in peace. Brian May keeps a lonely guitar circling overhead. And as Mercury sings the second chorus, and whispers 'Mother Love', it's almost as if he died immediatley after uttering those words, and ingeniously, Brian May finishes off the song himself. After that is a quick snippet of numerous Queen concerts, followed by a baby's cry, symbolizing Mercury's rebirth into his new life. It's enough to make any Queen fan break down and cry; why the album didn't end with THIS song I have no idea, instead it's thrown smack into the middle.
Made in Heaven is among Queen's best works, even if most people dont' count it as a 'real' album because half of it has been done before, it's simply beautiful in context and Mercury proved that he had the greatest voice in rock right up until his all-too-soon death.