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Reviews > Queen Music Reviews > 06-21-1980 - The Game - Record Mirror

by Robin Smith

Queen: 'Play the Game' **** (out of a 5 * rating)


So there you are, you bunch of jerks making your cute little sideswipes at one of Britain's leading attractions. Go and slap on the next Willie Nile record and leave me in peace.

I was converted to Queen the first time I saw them live. It's that big production that I've always gone for, that Hollywood Babylon stage show, those lights and that dry ice. After Zeppelin and even before the Scorpions, Queen are the most exciting band I've ever seen or heard. And I'm sure all you lovers of quality music will agree.

This album is a straight kick into the goal (Christ what a pun). It's like winning the men's singles at Wimbledon. It's a pity though that Queen have seen fir to include two recent singles in the running order. Considering the price of albums these days would it not have been worthwhile to slap on some new material?

This album isn't exactly high camp Queen either. Gone, nearly forever, are those halcyon over the top days of fruit cake harmonies. Nowadays Queen have cut down considerably on such ploys, but there's still enough left for their brandmark. The title track is couched in the grand style. Fred, high on lung power, while May is invited in for the odd guitar burst and Taylor gets fondly engaged in his heavy 'stripper theme' drum work.

On 'Dragon Attack' you perhaps expect some more of the same style setting, a pattern for side one. 'Fraid not, 'Dragon Attack', despite the title, crawls and sprawls in what sounds like the development of a simple Jam, complete with a brief bass solo -- one of the few look ins that Deacon seems to be allowed these days and what a pity.

What's all this then, eh? 'Bites The Dust' merely comes over as a bit of disco wrapping. Maybe the track isn't meant to be taken that seriously but I'm not sure. Sorry, but this is the weak point of side one plundering from a well flogged idea.

But hold on, here comes 'Need Your Love Tonight' which isn't at all awful despite the mundane title. Queen emerse themselves in the rock pile on a neat piece of toe tapping, only equalled in force by 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. This track is the perfect counterpoint with those blue eyed harmonies.

'Rock It' could have really done without that Alvin Stardust overtoned intro, but fortunately it develops into a fine flash, bang, wallop and should be good for videos.

Meanwhile 'Suicide' is black comedy. Fred wields the flick knife and leathers to a quirky chorus and lines that fit together like a tight fitting jigsaw.

Ah ha, it's here at last. One of those Queen lump in the throat epics on 'Sweet Sister'. Let it all go with baroque guitar and sweet vocal refrains on this track for romantic fools. 'Coming Soon' features the headlights blazing again as the lads glide through the chords for an eternity.

'Save Me' finds Fred clinging to the rock of desperation once again. More plaintive vocals, more desperate soul searching. My don't you just love it. Oh, yes, in case you've forgotten, I LIKE QUEEN.