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Made in Heaven
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Made in Heaven

Made in Heaven which was released in November 1995 was Queen's last proper album. Freddie Mercury's death in 1991 brought an end to one of the greatest rock bands in history. The remaining members Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor worked with Freddie's vocals to create the final Queen album. Opening with the optimistic It's A Beautiful Day Queen show that this album will be far from maudlin. The title track was actually a Freddie solo song from the mid 80's. The rest of the band added their instruments to it and it does sound far better. Brian May's guitar here is quite majestic. Let Me Live started life as a jam with Rod Stewart in the 80's. This one has the least Freddie input as Brian and Roger sing all of it, save the first verse and chorus, with the help of backing singers. This gospel infuluenced track is probably the best on the whole album. Despite the dubious title, it isn't Freddie pleading for his life. It's a song about doomed relationships.

The next Mother Love was the last thing Freddie Mercury ever recorded. A bluesy feel and a laidback affair with the haunting lyrics make this Queen's most affecting song. The coda featuring snatches of Freddie live, and a sample of him singing Going Back and a final sound of a baby crying would sound ridiculous if any other band tried it but Queen get away with it. My Life Has Been Saved started life in 1989 as a b-side, the remaining members have reworked it into a nice little pop song. Another Freddie solo track gets the Queen treatment in I Was Born To Love You, this is instantly recognisable as the classic Queen sound with heavy drumming, lots of "Whoo's" from Freddie and a real Queen rocker. Next up is the Roger Taylor penned Heaven For Everyone which his band The Cross released in 1987 with Freddie's vocals. A lovely song calling for peace and understanding and the complete opposite of the next song: Brian's Too Much Love Will Kill You. Queen's albums always had one duff song on them and this is Made In Heavens. The lyrics are cringe-making, the instruments uninspired, and it's best heard with your fingers in your ears shouting "la la" very loudly. You Don't Fool Me features one of Brian's best solos so he redeemes himself after the last song. It's a dancy-catchy hook and is inoffensive. A Winter's Tale is a poignant look at winter in Switzerland where Queen recorded. Freddie's voice here is amazing and you wonder how he did it with the debilatating illness of AIDS taking its toll. Then a reprise of It's A Beautuful Day closes the album (or does it? You'll have to by the CD to find out). A heavy rocker with Brian's eastern-tinged guitar and a bit of Seven Seas Of Rhye their first hit in 1974.

Overall then, a fine album, but if Freddie had been around they would never have released it. Classics such as Let Me Live, Mother Love and I Was Born To Love You win out to the not-so-good Too Much Love Will Kill You and My Life Has Been Saved. A definite purchase for Queen fans and rock fans in general.