Path: Queen - Royal Legend - Albums: The Works

Albums: The Works

After one year of separation in 1983, Queen went to the studio again.

But this year didn't started well - Brian and Roger quarreled themselves about the song selection, stage visage and thousands of other things on San Remo festival. Freddie managed them to the laughting, as it saved the evening and maybe the whole band.

Legendary Hollywood photographer George Hurrell was working on the cover, he had taken photograph of Marilyn Monroe too, and his speciality was in manual retouch.
'Hammer To Fall' wasn't so bright song for Freddie. He fell down and broke his leg during singing this song on German tour. He wan unable to get up till somebody came and helped him to sit down on the chair. He sung next three songs and than the show was canceled, because of big pain. Two days after the accident he stood up on the stage again, although it was against the doctors.

Name for the song 'Keep Passing The Open Windows' is quote from book of John Irving 'The Hotel New Hampshire'. Literally it means "don't try suicide", or something similar.

Queen about the record:
Brian
"We did hate each other for a while. Recording 'The Works', we got very angry with each other. I left the group a couple of times - just for the day, you know. 'I'm off and I'm not coming back!' We've all done that. You end up quibbling over one note."
"I think our next album is damn good, much better than anything we've done for a while. It's going to be called 'The Works'. And it really is! There's all the Queen trademarks. Lot's of production and arrangements and harmonies. We've experimented in the past and some of the experiments didn't work. Our last album was one big experiment and a lot of people totally hated it. And it didn't sell very well - not compared to earlier stuff, anyway."
"I always got the most enjoyment out of the harder material. Actually, our new album is a lot harder... but I did fight to get it that way. We've done some fantastic over the top harmonies and a lot of heavy things that we haven't done for years.
The pressure has always been against me, because not everybody in the band is into the same stuff as I am.. I get the most pleasure out of things that I can hammer and down and really get some excitement out of. Basically, I'm just alike a little boy with the guitar, I just like the fat, loud sound of it. But that's not important to the others, and I agree with this, the songs come first. That's where the common ground ends and the arguments begin. The result is always a compromise."

Roger (about 'Radio Ga Ga')
"I'm an instinctive musician. I can play key boards, guitar and drums and I can write songs. I have a facility for writing music, but I don't want to know anything particularly technical - like what the chords are called. Even in 'Radio Ca Ga' there are some very difficult chords. I don't know what they're called, but it doesn't matter. I'm a much better guitarist than I am a keyboard player, but now I find melodically it's much easier to write on keyboard. 'Radio Ga Ga' was a completely keyboard-written song. I defy anyone to write that on the guitar because you wouldn't find the chords, they wouldn't come naturally to any guitar player I know."
"One day the radio came on in our house and my three year old son Felix came out with 'Radio Poo Poo'! I thought that sounded good, so I changed it around a bit and came up with 'Radio Ga Ga'. The song came after I'd locked myself in a studio for three days with a synthesizer and a drum machine."

Brian (about 'I Want To Break Free')
"When we did the 'I Want To Break Free' video in drag, everyone in England thought it was very funny, but America hated it and looked on it as a gross insult."

Reviews:
Radio Ga Ga / I Go Crazy
NME: Material is missing, idea, artistic intent and coherence. It's arrogant nonsense, it has spoiled my mood.
Record Mirror: After long break the Queen is rolling back again. So we'll hear nothing than Radio Ga Ga, Radio Goo Goo for a couple of weeks..

The Works
Record Mirror: Energic and bumptious 'Tear It Up' with feverish raw guitar play has beaten the relaxating and not challenging song 'Radio Ga Ga'. Next jewel has accrued in the crown.
Sounds: There's really all: social suggestion in 'Machines', Freddie's ballad in 'Is This The World We Created?' and even old good metal of Brian May in 'Hammer To Fall'.

Hammer To Fall
Kerrang: Brian May has tuned Queen group back on rock wave and switched to the famous memories of era before 1976.
Melody Maker: Very good song in pop-rock style.

I Want To Break Free / Machines Or Back To Humans
Record Mirror: ...big flatulent nonsense...

Other versions:
Radio Ga-Ga
Instrumental Version
Only on 12". Without Freddie's vocal.
Extended Version
A 6:65 long version with different start and end. Contains parts from instrumental version.
Re-Cut '92 Mix
Very long mix (9:45). It's instrumental and extended versions combined together.
Hot Trax Mix
US DJ-only Hot Tracks Mix
Both names mean the same song, long 8 minutes, probably similar to the extended mix.

It's A Hard Life
Extended Version
Features are some extra guitar solos by Brian and sometimes with different arrangement, also contains some additional vocals. Not much longer than album  version (5:06).

Man On The Prowl
Extended Version
Similar style, 6 minutes long version features extra piano.

I Go Crazy
Original B-side
B-side of the 'Radio Ga Ga' single, written by Brian.

Machines (or Back To Humans)
Instrumental Version
Released in US as 5:09 long B-side for the 'I Want To Break Free' single. Remix is done by Brian, it features some samples of another Queen songs (mostly from Ogre Battle) and parts from 'Goin' Back.

I Want To Break Free
Single Remix
On 7", CD3 and on 'Greatest Hits II'. Song has longer intro and it's more instrumental.
Extended Version
7:16 long edit with instrumental parts, and samples from another songs from The Works album at the end (something similar to the No More Of That Jazz).
Special Single Mix Edit
On US 7" promo. About 19 seconds shorter edit, probably identical to the known version, but with earlier end.

Keep Passing The Open Windows
Extended Version
B-side of the 12" 'Thank God Its Christmas' single. 6:50 long version with different end and various stereo-effects. Probably it's remix from Roger or John.

Hammer To Fall
Single Edit
For about 48 sec. shorter version for 7", it can be found on 'Greatest Hits II'.
Headbanger's Mix
12" version, 5:25 long, different to the known version, mainly it the beginning and at the end, with some additional guitar solos and heavier drums.
Edit Of Headbanger's Mix
Malouf Mix
On US promo CD, 4:08 long mix by Brian Malouf. It has different sound of drums and phased vocals of the last verse.
Malouf Mix Edit
Malouf's version of the single mix.

Is This The World We Created?
Original Version
Original version contained Freddie on piano, but the piano track has been lost.

There Must Be More To Life Than This
Queen Version
Planned as the last track for 'The Works' album, but was replaced by "Is This The World We Created?". Maybe this version is that one that appears on Freddie's 'Mr. Bad Guy'.

Thank God Its Christmas
Original 4:19 Single Version
Queen's only Christmas single, written by Brian and Roger. On 7" and 12" and later as a B-side of 'A Winter's Tale' single.
Hollywood Records Version
Features longer intro with drums.
Peace In The Middle East Mix
A 6:10 long 12" mix from Israel, released as a celebration of end of hostilities there in the early 90's. Only 250 copies were made.

My opinion:
8/10
Nice album, which brought more fans back to the Queen after quite unsuccessful 'Hot Space' album.
It contains known great songs like melodic 'Radio Ga Ga', 'Hamer To Fall', I Want To Break Free, or 'Man On The Prowl' in Elvis's style.
It's a pity, that 'I Go Crazy' song don't appear on the release. Also I regret that the piano track of 'Is This The World We Created?" has been lost. But Brian did super work.