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Reviews > Queen Music Reviews > 11-04-1995 - Made in Heaven - The Times


QUEEN Made In Heaven Parlophone 8 36088** FRANKLY, the impending battle of the bands with dead singers is not an alluring prospect. But while the regrouped Beatles have, by all accounts, been forced to work with some pretty scant contributions from the late John Lennon, the remaining members of Queen were bequeathed a generous album's worth of surprisingly full-blooded performances by Freddie Mercury.

Mercury wrote and recorded his parts in the 16 months between the end of the Innuendo sessions in the summer of 1990 and his death in October 1991. Although cruelly aware of the limited time left, he threw himself into these performances with typical zest.

Certainly, there is no discernible loss of range or power in his voice on the exuberant I Was Born To Love You or the soaring, pseudo-gospel chant of Let Me Live.

Nor are there any obviously half-baked, or patched-up numbers. Two of the songs have been recorded before, including Heaven For Everyone, which cropped up on an album by drummer Roger Taylor's band, The Cross, and the ghastly Too Much Love Will Kill You, a solo hit for guitarist Brian May in 1992. Most, however, are as good as anything that Queen came up with in their later years. How good that is, as always with Queen, is largely a matter of taste. Mother Love, the last recording that Mercury made, is a song of truly heartfelt pathos: "I can't take it if you see me cry I long for peace before I die."

Despite its overdue delivery, Made In Heaven stands up remarkably well as the closing chapter in a spectacular pop odyssey.