Queen – Under Review: 1980-1991

Queen – Under Review: 1980-1991 / 2006 MVD / 90 Minutes / http://www.mvdb2b.com /

Queen is a great act, but I thought they really fell off during the 1980s. I guess I was wrong; just because none of the radio stations play anything that Queen created after 1980 does not mean that they became weaker in any way. Being only a casual fan of Queen, I had no clue that Queen did the Flash Gordon soundtrack or anything; the ninety minutes of this “Under Review” are fact after fact that individuals that may only casually listen to Queen would not know. As is the case with most of the “Under Review” series of DVDs, there is a high amount of first-person information. Music videos, live shows, and tons of interviews are provided during this DVD to show the evolution of Queen as a band during the eighties.

What makes me very happy is that there actually was a video for the Highlander theme; the track was one that I was looking for for years, and this edition of “Under Review” is absolutely perfect to show these little nuances that may have not been known by many. There seems to be a certain period during the early eighties in which pretty much all of the rock bands lost their way. In the early eighties, Queen had their disco album, Bad Religion had their Rush-sounding album, and Kiss had “Creatures of the Night”. The theme of “Under Review: 1980-1991” seems to be one of experimentation, where Queen would jump from hard rock to disco to something that resembled more of a Journey meets Chicago like sound. “Radio Ga Ga” shows that Queen is again falling into the same style as other artists during the period did.

With that song, the band approaches the same style as Neil Young’s “Trans”. The evolution of the band is not only shown with the individuals that are being interviewed about it, but also from the live show and music video footage that hit listeners every few minutes. When earlier I said that I did not know Queen after 1979 before watching the DVD, I guess I lied. The track “I Want To Break Free” was used on a few car commercials, even though the original video was much more intelligent and funny. For the individuals that have only heard a few Queen tracks, the DVD serves to show that there are 10-15 other related albums that individuals can pick up and start digging. This serves as a great ending for the Queen dynasty. While the period after Mercury’s demise might have still provided a Queen that is head and shoulders above most rock acts, it still barely holds a candle to the Mercury-led act of the seventies and eighties. What I can see MVD doing in the next few years is releasing live Queen concerts from this period, so that individuals can hear and see more of what made the band such a big act then and today. Give this a go regardless of whether you are a fan or not.

Rating: 7.3/10

[JMcQ]

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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