Elektra, 1978


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Much like A Day at the Races was the after-party hangover from A Night at the Opera, so Jazz loses something after the uniformly excellent my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 News of the World. However, the album is redeemed by the sheer variety of styles and the usual theatrical campy rock that is the band's unique sonic signature.

A bit of Eastern influence...ok, a lot of Eastern influence creeps in on "Mustapha" and the sitar on "Jealousy," but neither is a particulary good song. Bland material like "If You Can't Beat Them" and "Leaving Home Ain't Easy" clutters the album, obscuring decent songs like the sarcastic "Let Me Entertain You" and "Dead on Time." A disco song even pops up in "Fun It," foreshadowing the early 80s material. Another boring Broadway ballad is present in "Don't Stop Me Now," and it's no different than the other Queen songs in this vein.

The hit "Bicycle Race" remains truly weird and entertaining, but "Fat Bottomed Girls" remains annoying...although it was a big hit, so maybe that's just a personal dislike. Brian May wraps things up the psychedelic "More Of That Jazz," featuring a fuzzed-out guitar with harsh solos over top of that and the strident vocals slicing through the fuzz. For some reason, a sample of the other songs on Jazz interrupts "More" for 20 seconds before returning to the song.

As it turned out, this would be the last Queen release with the creativity and variety fans had come to expect; from here out they would take a decidedly pop turn and, in the process, lose much of their audience. That fact alone makes Jazz interesting, but on its own merits the record fails to really excite more than a couple of times. 

Rating: C

User Rating: B


Strange to hear Don't Stop Me Now described as 'boring'! I think it's a classic, a rapid-fire hard-rockin piano song with a great guitat solo and great vocals. Pure high-energy fun! And as a minor correction, More of That Jazz is a Roger Taylor song I believe it's even Rogers guitar work on that one.

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