Release date: 4 February 1991
UK chart peak: #1
Running time: 53:48
Singles: Innuendo (#1), I’m Going Slightly Mad (#22), Headlong (#14), These Are The Days Of Our Lives (#1), The Show Must Go On (#16)
Queen’s first output of the 90s garnered a lot of top tens: #6 in Australia & New Zealand, #2 in Austria, #1 in the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal & Switzerland, #9 in France & Sweden, #3 in Hungary & Spain, and #8 in Norway.
The 90s was quite the mix, musically speaking, with the rave scene and Madchester dominating the early part of the decade, before relinquishing their grip to Britpop. Gloria Estefan was just beaten to #2 with her album Into The Light, with Queen holding on to the top spot, and Chris Isaak was also bothering the top ten with Wicked Game. And in the singles charts, Do The Bartman ended up as number one, with Kylie’s What Do I Have To Do and Wiggle It by 2 In A Room sitting in the top ten.
By this point, the band were writing & recording at literally any moment they could, squeezing in sessions around Freddie and making the most of the time he had left – he would reportedly down a vodka and then just keep going.
A real return to form after A Kind of Magic and The Miracle – though it’s existence poses a bit of a philosophical dilemma. Had Freddie’s fate not been sealed by the early 90s, we undoubtedly would not have had some of the big hitters on this album – and who’s to know if Queen would have continued into their third decade? Though bullish in Live at Wembley, that’s no guarantee of anything. Anyway, I digress.
Although I’m still not a fan of Delilah, as the In the Lap of the Pods guys said: let the man have his cat song! Everything else, I do really love. It’s hard to look past the singles and the three pretty iconic videos produced for These Are The Days Of Our Lives, I’m Going Slightly Mad, and the title track – all fairly different songs, but all equally brilliant (in my eyes). Brian’s guitar on Bijoi just sings out, pure & true, and I do like Roger’s sequel to I’m In Love With My Car, Ride The Wild Wind. A fitting end for the foursome we know and love.
Let Me Entertain You
The band were retired from touring, due to Freddie Mercury’s health. The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was held on Monday 20 April 1992, featuring many of Queen’s peers & idols.