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Reviews > Queen Music Reviews > 11-11-1977 - News of the World - The Valley News

It's been a please to see Queen record four knockout LPs in a row: "Queen," "Queen II," "Sheer Heart Attack" and "A Night at the Opera," the last of which contained "Bohemian Rhapsody/' the best single out of England since The Beatles' "A Day in the Life."

Last year's "A Day at the Races" was an engaging but decidedly less daring LP than "Opera," a superb album oozing with intricate experimental instrumentation.

Like "Races," the band's new record, "News of the World" (Bektra 6E-112) encompasses a wide range of styles — blues, rock, pop, Latin rhythms and even a tip of the hat to punk pacing in drummer Roger Taylor's frantic "Sheer Heart Attack." However, the emphasis is on pop and the songs written in this idiom are the LP"s most satisfying tracks.

Standout cuts are Brian May's "We Will Rock You," Freddie Mercury's "We Are the Champions," a melodic ode to the right for fame and fortune (in music circles?). "All Dead, All Deod," a poignant Beatie-ish piece. "Spread Your Wings," John Deacon's ballad about an underdog chap named Sammy, May's up-beat bluesy rocker, "Sleeping on the Sidewalk" and —gasp— finally Mercury's (circa 1930) torch song, which sparkles with his evocative tenor warblings and skillful piano accompaniment.

"We Will Rock You" is going to be a killer in concert due to Mercury's hot coppdla vocals, the band's hooky chorus and Taylor's heavy bock beat, mode all the more' hypnotic by the (in time) mass handclaps recorded behind it.

Although "News" is a rockier disc than "Races," it appears thst Queen wants to focus on accessible styles that have wide appeal. As a result, the two latest albums are tamer, less exciting works that the band's first four LPs. But Queen still pulls off top honors with its colorful vocais (Mercury reigns supreme here), rich harmonies. May's guitar virtuosity and the band's sharp production work.