TITLE: Sheer Heart Attack
YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: #12 US, #2 UK
SINGLES: Killer Queen (#12 US, #2 UK), Now I’m Here (#11 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Stone Cold Crazy
LINEUP: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, Roger Taylor
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Queen solidifies its home fan base, and breaks through in the US with this diverse and tasty record.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Running out of the gate quickly with “Brighton Rock”, a showcase for Brian May’s guitar work and Freddie Mercury’s vocal range, then hitting the listener with the breakthrough track “Killer Queen”, this third record from Queen started fast. It didn’t relent.
Campy songs, ballads, some prog work, layers upon layers of harmonies, and even a medley of three diverse songs that work well together – this record had it all for Queen and was a bluepring for their work in the rest of the decade.
Some of the proggy stuff is a bit heavy handed, and some of the ballady songs a bit too earnest, but for the most part this is Queen at their best.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: It’s said the “In the Lap of the Gods” has the highest vocals on any Queen song – it’s a scream by Roger Taylor.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the latest one had live and BBC tracks
GRADE: A: Whenever I start playing this one, I always run through it a couple of times. Just a couple of tracks aren’t up to snuff.