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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Rock Music > Soundtracks > Politics > AIDS > Queen – The Complete Review (Music Video Distributors/Chrome Dreams DVD Set)

Queen – The Complete Review (Music Video Distributors/Chrome Dreams DVD Set)

 

Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Main Programs: B

 

 

The great Under Review series continues to reissue their underrated, under-seen profiles of the best acts in the music business and this time, it is two very well done volumes on the band Queen.  The Complete Review pairs two Under Review segments/DVD releases that cover the first and last half of the band in its original configuration with the late, great Freddie Mercury.  We covered the 1973 – 1980 segment a while ago at this link:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/3485/Queen+-+Under+Review:+1973+-+19

 

 

That leaves the 1980 – 1991 volume, which is from a time when they band started to challenge fan expectations and found themselves treading odd waters, then Mercury became ill from AIDS and we lost him.  This period was marked by their controversial stints in the Apartheid-laden South African resort Sun City, a policy which was eventually collapsed, but got the band blacklisted despite playing to integrated audiences.  Pure music fans were shocked, unhappy and confused when the band decided to delve into music for film.  The results included classic results with Mike Hodges’ 1980 version of Flash Gordon, Russell Mulcahy’s original Highlander, ironic Anti-Fascist theme to the first Iron Eagle, and other such projects.  They saw MTV coming and turned out to be ahead of the curve.

 

There was also their time on MTV, their influential Under Pressure duet with David Bowie and albums like The Game, which we reviewed the multi-channel sound version (now very valuable and out of print) at this link:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/214/Queen+-+The+Game+(DVD-Audio)

 

 

That turned out to be their last pure studio album before the soundtrack era, but that move kept the band more viable than many of their 1970s contemporaries.  The Bowie duet appeared on Hot Space, The Works offered the infamous Radio Ga Ga that many were unhappy with, A Kind Of Magic had the Iron Eagle and Highlander tracks, the anti-Apartheid theme I Want It All was on The Miracle, Innuendo was their last commercial hurrah and Made In Heaven was started with Mercury and finished after his passing.  This second volume does a great job of bringing new life and light to their work at this time and we can see in hindsight they were being smarter than they were getting credit for.

 

This is one of the best Under Review volumes because it does what the series is best at; digging into the real story and history of music we are not seeing or hearing about enough.  Add the first disc and this may be the best reissue set they have put out to date.  The coverage is exceptionally thorough and shows why the band is so great in a way that needed to be said.

 

The second disc has 1.78 X 1 letterboxed footage, but is at 1.33 X 1 framing otherwise and seems to again originate on analog PAL video.  As usual for this series, it looks as good as it can.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also good, well-recorded interviews and licensed music included, though diehard fans will want to track down the multi-channel DVD-Audios of The Game and A Night At The Opera (also reviewed on this site).  Extras on the second volume include contributor bios, another tough Queen quiz and Queen – The Collector (5:14) about all the great memorabilia on the band.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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