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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Queen - 1982 Hot Space
Queen - 1982 Hot Space

ALBUM: Hot Space
LABEL: EMI (UK), Elektra (USA)
SERIAL: EMA 797, E1-60128
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1986, EMI, CDP 7 46215 2 * 1991, Hollywood Records (USA), HR-60138-2


LINEUP: Freddie Mercury - lead vocals, piano, synth bass, synthesizer * Brian May - guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals, piano, synth bass * John Deacon - bass, synthesizer, rhythm guitar * Roger Taylor - drums, drum computer, lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards

Additional Musician: David Bowie- lead vocals, keyboards, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Staying Power * 02 Dancer * 03 Back Chat * 04 Body Language * 05 Action This Day * 06 Put Out The Fire * 07 Life Is Real (Song For Lennon) * 08 Calling All Girls * 09 La Palabras de Amor (The Words Of Love) * 10 Cool Cat * 11 Under Pressure


For many fans, especially in the U.S. 'Hot Space' was the final straw, believing Queen had truly lost their minds and yet the album shouldn't have come as a big surprise. Queen was always testing the waters, experimenting and staying ahead of game. In fact it was the previous album 'The Game' that gave the band that funky - love it or hate it - number one hit 'Another One Bites The Dust. Written by John Deacon, it was the quiet bass player and Freddie Mercury that pushed for the dance grooves on 'Hot Space' capitalizing on the earlier blockbuster disco crossover while Brian May and Roger Taylor went along for the ride although not entirely convinced it was the direction Queen should follow. In hindsight May and Taylor were right as the record alienated a lot of Queen's hard rock fan base, which in North America never fully returned.

The Songs
I personally remember absolutely hating this record when I first heard it, but over the years I've warmed to its colourful music and despite some obvious failures here and there, it's really not THAT bad. Of course 'Staying Power', the disco R&B of 'Dancer' which by the way is one of the worst songs ever written by Brian May who should have known better, 'Back Chat' and the hyper-sexual 'Body Language' are not what your average Queen fan would choose as some of the band's best work, but it's on side two where Queen actually sounds like Queen. 'Put out the Fire' is a splendid return to hard rock form and 'Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)' is an inspiring and heartfelt tribute to the slain Beatle at a time when the wounds were still fresh in everyone's mind. 'Calling All Girls' is a tasty slice of period Synthpop that should have given upstarts A Flock Of Seagulls and Human League a run for their money while Brian May's South American directed 'Las Palabras de Amor (The Words Of Love)' has quality written all over it. All of this brings us to the falsetto hell of 'Cool Cat' which I wish I never heard and the band's collaboration with David Bowie 'Under Pressure'. Never been a big fan of the song, a little too close to 'Another One Bites The Dust' for my tastes and the annoying Vanilla Ice sampling the bass line for 'Ice Ice Baby' only made me dislike the song even more.

In Summary
Queen toured America in support of 'Hot Space' and I had a chance to see one of the early dates in Philadelphia with Billy Squier as support. Needless to say Queen was in top form, but not surprisingly the material performed from 'Hot Space' received a noticeably subdued reaction. No one knew then that it would be the band's last North American tour, but 'Hot Space' did irreparable damage to Queen in the States and the focus turned to Europe and with 'Live Aid' just around the corner, wisely picked up the slack and turned Queen once again into a rock powerhouse. Our loss.

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#1 | englandashes on January 02 2010 20:29:54
At the time of release, I played this alot and quite enjoyed it, I even liked Under Pressure, I still feel this tune and a surprise to me La Palabras stand up today as quality. Saw them at Milton Keynes (still have the program!), which of course has now been released, I was a young lad wearing my 'Flash' T'shirt. Still to this day, one of the best concerts I ever attended. Over the last month, the BBC have been showing the 1975 Legendary Concert, really show how strong Freddie voice was in these early days, however the performance is minus Ogre Battle, which is strange, as it was part of the concert as footage still appears on you tube of this. One weird point is at the start Bob Harris is introducing the program standing outside the Odeon (?) this part has been filmed in 2009, what group is on the sign outside the building?, no other than Mott The Hoople! reunion concert!, of course Queen supported them early on in their career.
#2 | Eric on January 03 2010 00:31:33
Was that the Christmas '75 show? I would have loved to have seen one of those Mott reunion concerts. Look for a MTH review shortly...
#3 | englandashes on January 03 2010 11:01:12
Yes, it was the Christmas shows, which included a couple of dodgy covers as an encore, great stuff!
#4 | Explorer on February 16 2018 23:53:04
Ouch, I've listened to this and `Queen II` back to back tonight and I can't believe it`s the same band. I`m all for progression....but this was really a band struggling with itself and the wider market forces.
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