They came to work...
On February 27, 1984 "Queen" came to "work" with the mini-comeback of the album "The Works", their 11th studio album.
"Mini comeback" is it possible? After all, "Queen" did not break up...
So yeah, we think that after "Hot Space" from 1982 - an album with Disco, Funk, Dance, and Pop influences, that did not sound like the classic "Queen", after Brian May joined Eddie Van Halen for the album and project "Star Fleet Project" and after Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor Worked on their solo albums "Mr. Bad Guy" and "Strange Frontier", the fact that "Queen" came back with an album that more or less represents their root sound, is a musical miracle that deserves to be crowned as a "mini comeback".
And what an amazing album this wonderful quartet has brewed for us. An album that each of its nine songs was released as a single or was a B-side. An album that brought them back to the center of the stage, that opened them up to a new audience, that gave them rotating playbacks on radio stations, and that the clips from it were shown non-stop on MTV. An album that turned them from stars to idols.
So, after about a year of "Queen's" members working on personal projects, the band met in August 1983 in Los Angeles, to start the work on their next album. This was the band's first time recording in the US. The goal was to show the world that "Queen" was back in a big way. Roger Taylor was the one who set the goal, when he mentioned the phrase "Let's give them the works!", which influenced the album title.
Mini comeback we said? So it is also expressed in the musical material that the band members brought with them to this album. As if "Queen" wanted to tell the fans, we indeed went on a little trip, but there's nothing like returning home, to the roots that characterize us.
Sounds weird to you? Listen to the beat of the song "Tear It Up" and say if it's not meant to correspond with "We Will Rock You", listen to Mercury's piano and May's solo in "It's a Hard Life" and say if they do not mention "Bohemian Rhapsody" a bit, listen to "Man On the Prowl" and swear you're not thinking straight about "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". On your way you will pass "Is This the World We Created ...?" and we are sure that the guitar will resonate like the one in the live version of "Love Of My Life?"
So maybe some of you will think it's a coincidence, nothing more. We think a little differently, and so does Roger Taylor. It was he who declared at the beginning of the recordings "Let's give them the works!". In other words, in our opinion the band members made an informed choice to open up to a new audience, to the sounds of the synthesizers and drum machines of the 1980s, with songs like "Radio Ga Ga" and "Machines (Or 'Back to Humans')", but at the same time speak to the old and loyal audience and let them know that the band's DNA has not changed with tracks like "Hammer to Fall".
And how beautiful it is, that each of the band members contributed one big hit to this album. Roger Taylor brought the immortal anthem "Radio Ga Ga", which he wrote and composed on keyboards with the help of a drum machine. Freddie Mercury wrote "It's a Hard Life" and even instructed Brian May how he wants his guitar solo to sound like. John Deacon concocted "I Want to Break Free" And insisted it would not have a guitar solo and Brian May compensated himself with the amazing riff of "Hammer to Fall".
Needless to say, this album was very commercially successful, as it topped the charts all over the world. But more importantly, the album brought "Queen" back to the top of the world rock map.
The band returned to fill stadiums and perform in front of hundreds of thousands of people, with "The Works" being the trigger for their coronation process as one of the biggest bands in rock history, culminating in the "Live Aid" show, in July 1985.
The image from that iconic show, of the huge crowd waving his hands in the air and clapping to the beat of "Radio Ga Ga", will forever be engraved as the band's highlight and probably also the greatest moment in the history of rock shows of all time!