I always thought that Queen’s “News of the World” (1977) was their best effort.
Many fans would probably heartily disagree.
It sported great tunes throughout, had a different sound (adapting, in parts, to much raunchier tendencies that were ramming their way into the music scene back then), seemed almost experimental in some places (“Get Down Make Love”) and has my absolutely favorite Queen track (it’s one of the few songs that do not feature Freddie Mercury, but, being a super-huge fan of Mercury, that is definitely not the reason why it’s my favorite), “Sleeping on the Sidewalk” (written and sung by Brian May, coupled with lovely “odd” notes played by Deacon and a delighted May towards the last few seconds of the track).
On top of that, I also managed to catch that tour (the ticket stub at the top is not mine, I “found” it on the Net) at Falconer Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was one of the very best concerts I ever attended and I can still “taste” the air of that spectacular show, which, especially from today’s perspective, had a stellar set list: We Will Rock You (slow/fast) | Brighton Rock | Somebody To Love | Death On Two Legs | Killer Queen | Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy | I’m In Love With My Car | Get Down Make Love | The Millionaire Waltz | You’re My Best Friend | Spread Your Wings | It’s Late | Now I’m Here | Love Of My Life | ’39 | My Melancholy Blues | White Man | The Prophet’s Song | guitar solo | The Prophet’s Song (reprise) | Stone Cold Crazy | Bohemian Rhapsody | Keep Yourself Alive | Tie Your Mother Down | We Will Rock You | We Are The Champions | Sheer Heart Attack | Jailhouse Rock | God Save The Queen.
What a band they were. There has been so much great music recorded and performed since that time, but the Queen sound of 1977/1978 and the classic performance in Copenhagen with a wonderfully agile band and a near-perfect Mercury will always hold a special place in my heart.
Fun Fact: The cover is actually an adaption of a cover painting Frank Kelly Freas did for “Astounding Science Fiction“, October 1953, illustrating a story by Tim Godwin, “The Gulf Between“. Freas actually agreed to adapt the original painting to Queen’s gatefold album cover (front and inside). Check out the interesting details on Classic Album Covers‘ website.