To say that I am a mark for Queen would be an understatement. Bohemian Rhapsody is the first song I can remember hearing, and in Freddie Mercury they had the greatest showman a band could ever have.
A few weeks ago, Queen and their new running buddy, former Free and Bad Company front man Paul Rodgers, released their new double CD set, Return of the Champions. So this writer went into his local Woolworths, grabbed his copy, and took the long walk home.
After sitting through nearly three hours of songs such as Tie Your Mother Down, A Kind of Magic and Rodgers-penned classics All Right Now and Can’t Get Enough, a wave of disappointment swept over me. So where do I begin?
Firstly, this just isn’t Queen. Sure, Brian May and Roger Taylor are there, but John Deacon isn’t, and when you listen to this performance, you can hear that he’s not there.
And Paul Rodgers, great singer that he is, is just no replacement for the great Freddie Mercury. While Rodgers does his best while singing classic Queen songs, the sense of class and showmanship that Freddie brought to those songs is sadly missing.
Overall, while the songs themselves are good, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. Part of me would like Queen to go on forever, but the rest of me would like to see Queen call it a day. Without the sadly departed Mercury, and the missing Deacon, it’s just not the same. Maybe it’s time to end this now, to protect Queen’s legacy.