Made In Heaven (1995.) Queen's fifteenth album.
Following the release of Queen's 1991 Innuendo album, tragedy struck the classic rock powerhouse. Freddue Mercury died of AIDS on November 24 of that year. It was a shame that such a talented musician was forced into the premature death that befalls many a rock and roll legend. Although Mercury was gone, his spirit (along with many long-lost recordings) certainly was not. There were a number of recordings Freddie worked on that never made it onto albums - but John Deacon, Brian May, and Roger Taylor decided to release a posthumous album using the material in question. What surfaced was Made In Heaven. Read on for my review of this album.
Although this wasn't released until over three years after the death of Freddie Mercury, and although it takes recordings from various eras, it remains an excellent album. Admittingly, it probably isn't quite as good as Innuendo (since that was a "true" album), but it's still a solid release. Some of these tracks are reworkings of previously-existing recordings, including some old Queen B-Sides and old Freddie Mercury solo tunes. Some are reworkings of existing recordings, some are new recordings altogether. But the good majority of the songs on this album are songs that hadn't been released prior. It really is fascinating that these songs didn't surface until after Mercury's death, because they are all great (it makes you wonder whether or not there are still Freddie Mercury recordings this good just waiting to see the light of day.) In the end the album stands strong. No Queen fan should be without it.
Queen's albums were remastered and rereleased. The remastered versions feature improved sound quality, lyrics, rare band/discography photos, and even some bonus tracks. Of course, in most cases, the bonus tracks on these reissues are just lame remixes that DO NOT differ substantially from the classic versions of the songs. Still, the remasters are better than the older CD versions of the albums, but if you've got the older versions, you're not missing out on much.
Made In Heaven was an excellent posthumous release from Queen. Often, posthumous releases from an artist are disasters, but in the case of Queen, theirs was VERY GOOD. If you're a fan of the group, this album is well worth purchasing. I wouldn't recommend that a new fan start with this recording, but any tried and true fan would be doing themself a real favor picking this up.