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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Valensia - 2003 Queen Tribute
Valensia - 2003 Queen Tribute

ARTIST: Valensia
ALBUM: Queen Tribute
LABEL: Avalon/Marquee
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Valensia - vocals, all instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sheer Heart Attack * 02 Man from Manhattan * 03 Bohemian Rhapsody * 04 Polar Bear * 05 I'm in Love with my Car * 06 We Will Rock You * 07 Liar * 08 Dear Friends * 09 All The Young Dudes * 10 Killer Queen * 11 Love Of My Life * 12 My Fairy King * 13 You Take My Breath Away

Let's be honest. Valensia has a Queen fixation with no end in sight. Now this is OK because I am a big fan of Valensia's work as well as fellow Dutchman Robby Valentine, but I am a bigger and life- long fan of Freddie Mercury and company, so while I enjoy the output of these two artists, they really can't compete with the pomp and circumstance of their musical idols which brings us to Valensia's 'Queen Tribute'. My first reaction to this project was mixed. Why bother? On the other hand, I was curious to hear new versions of Queen songs from someone who actually understands the music as opposed to a group of early 'twenty something's' fresh from the garage and their Dad's record collection, slapped on yet another hastily put together 'tribute' to a band they couldn't possibly stand shoulder to shoulder with musically.

The Songs
Valensia's choice of material is certainly interesting and the man knows his Queen history with the inclusion of two tracks only a true fan would be aware of. 'Man from Manhattan' was recorded by Eddie Howell and was produced by Freddie Mercury and featured Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie on vocals and instrumentation. As you can imagine the original single is a major rarity these days, but here Valensia captures the song beautifully and in typical 'Dandy' Mercury fashion. The second track of interest is 'Polar Bear' which was originally recorded by pre-Queen group Smile, (Freddie also recorded a version with Queen that has been bootlegged numerous times) is a nice ballad that in my opinion should have made it to an official Queen album, but here it is and again Valensia handles it wonderfully. Close your eyes and you would be forgiven thinking this was Freddie Mercury with Brian May on guitar. Incredible! The better known covers here are quite good, although attempting to recreate 'Bohemian Rhapsody' falls short, as expected in delivering the sheer power and scope of the original opus. 'Liar' and My Fairy King' come across far better with Valensia adding more of his own personality to both tracks. What I fail to understand is the inclusion of the 'All the Young Dudes', the David Bowie penned song written for Mott the Hoople? Much has been made in just about every Queen blurb about the now infamous tour with Mott the Hoople, but that doesn't justify the song to be placed here. It's a good take on the classic tune, but Queen supported many bands prior to the Hoople tour including Caravan, Hawkwind, 10cc, Yes and Genesis. Might as well cover them too?

In Summary
'Queen Tribute' is a fun listen for Queen fans and I have to give Valensia credit for sticking his neck out with this project which for the most part is successful in capturing the magic of one of the world's greatest bands. Having said this and knowing Valensia can be an acquired taste, if you are not a fan of either artist it will probably be best to stay away from this high priced Japanese import.

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#1 | rkbluez on June 04 2006 18:03:42
The Valensia Queen Tribute is also on Lion Music at a much cheaper price.
#2 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:51:14
Queen fans out there must listen to this one as I would be really interested to hear what they make of it. This is incredible stuff, mainly due to the fact that Valensia plays everything bar drums on this & does an amazing job in reproducing these tracks down to a tee, check out 'Bohemian Rhapsody' & see what I mean. I'm not a lover of Tribute albums one little bit, but with this I will make a big exception as it is brilliant stuff.
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