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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Taylor, Roger - 1981 Fun In Space
Taylor, Roger - 1981 Fun In Space

ARTIST: Taylor, Roger
ALBUM: Fun In Space
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 1996, Parlophone, 7243 8 38201 2 2


LINEUP: Roger Taylor all instruments * David Richards keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 No Violins * 02 Laugh Or Cry * 03 Future Management * 04 Let's Get Crazy * 05 My Country I & II * 06 Good Times Are Now * 07 Magic Is Loose * 08 Interlude In Constantinople * 09 Airheads * 10 Fun In Space


Unlike his former band mates, Queen drummer and pretty boy Roger Meddows Taylor was decidedly prolific when it came to solo projects beginning in 1977 with the single 'I Wanna Testify'. A cover of an old Parliaments song, the 45 was only released in the UK and never charted but it lit a fire under Taylor who recorded 'Fun In Space' between sessions for 'The Game' and the 'Flash Gordon' soundtrack. Released in the spring of 1981; Roger never had a chance to promote the record due to understandable commitments with his main gig which in hindsight is part of the reason the LP tanked big-time and certainly not helped by a critical drubbing from the punk enamored press core that never cared for Queen from the outset.

The Songs
I have always delighted in Taylor's contributions to Queen's catalog. His gritty, no-fuss Rod Stewart like rasp and 'let's rock' attitude was the polar opposite of Freddie Mercury's extravagant high-tenor dandy with a parasol rhapsodies. Indeed, much of this record sounds like Roger's previous work and that's not a bad thing as 'Fun In Space' is often ranked by Queen fanatics as the best of the bands solos. Self-produced and playing everything on the record with the exception of sporadic keyboard contributions from engineer David Richards; the driving 'No Violins' kicks off the record with a distinctly new wave flavour. 'Laugh Or Cry' has a thoughtful John Lennon feel while 'Let's Get Crazy' which was released as a single in America remakes 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' filtered through The Blasters/Stray Cats style that I've never been particularly fond of. Nine out of ten but I can't complain as 'Airheads' with its instantly recognizable guitar riff borrowed off 'Ogre Battle' from the immaculate 'Queen II' album and the spacey David Bowie-esque title track helps make for a half hour thrill ride that easily tops output from Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Phil Collins or any other drummer of renown.

In Summary
Taylor's second solo 'Strange Frontier' released in 1984 wasn't nearly as strong, grasping at a heartland American rock sound and really not his forte. Producing both Virginia Wolf and Magnum as well as forming The Cross who turned out three varied albums, Roger kept busy outside Queen throughout the remainder of the 80's. Following the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, a couple more solos saw the light of day and the sadly short-lived Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration in 2008 found Taylor and Brian May touring again, although nothing has come close to his heyday with the original Queen, a band we shall never see the likes of again.

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