Tag Archives: Queen

19: Jazz (Queen)

Album: Jazz
Artist: Queen
Year: 1978

1. Mustapha
2. Fat Bottomed Girls
3. Jealousy
4. Bicycle Race
5. If You Can’t Beat Them
6. Let Me Entertain You
7. Dead on Time
8. In Only Seven Days
9. Dreamer’s Ball
10. Fun It
11. Leaving Home Ain’t Easy
12. Don’t Stop Me Now
13. More of That Jazz

I’ve never been a huge fan of Queen as stadium rock has never been my thing, though I do enjoy many of their singles. For some reason, this album hits the right notes for me despite only have a couple of songs I’m crazy about. Crazy thing is Freddie Mercury wrote five of the thirteen songs and those are easily my five favorite.

Mustapha opens things, and while it’s completely nonsensical, utilizing several languages and some made up words, it has great energy and is a great lead-in.  Jealousy is a decent ballad made better by the buzzing guitar work. Bicycle Race is silly but has some pretty impressive changes in meter and chords.  Let Me Entertain You is a simple rocker but a great sing-a-long. And finally, Don’t Stop Me Now is transcendent. It’s been ranked the number one driving song and I can’t disagree. Mercury’s writing, rhyme scheme, piano playing, and harmonizing with his band mates is just insane. It was also wonderfully introduced to a new audience in the famous zombie killing bar scene in Shaun of the Dead.

As for the rest of the album, I can sing along to Fat Bottomed Girls but only so often. I also enjoy If You Can’t Beat Them and Dreamer’s Ball. More of That Jazz is an odd choice to end the album considering Don’t Stop Me Now would have been a great closer. The final song acts as a summary of everything we’ve just heard, much like old musicals would often have during the credits.  It’s actually pretty good for what it is, but I can’t imagine every listening to it outside the context of the album.