- A stunning sounding copy — Triple Plus (A+++) on side two and Double Plus (A++) on side one
- Powerful sound throughout: incredibly huge and present with amazing clarity and lots of detail
- Some of the best Queen sound you’ll ever hear — We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions sound great here
- “…it’s massive, earth-shaking rock & roll, the sound of a band beginning to revel in its superstardom.” — Allmusic customers give it 4 1/2 Stars and that rating sounds about right to us
It is ridiculously tough to find decent sound for Queen. We’ve suffered through a lot of fruitless shootouts, but this album is clearly a cut above most of their recordings. On a copy like this, it’s absolutely stunning!
Side one starts out with Queen’s back-to-back anthemic classics, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. Does it get any better for a Queen fan? Hell no.
Stomping and Clapping
The stomps and claps that introduce the former should make you feel like you are in a stadium full of people with a single goal – to rock you. Those stomps and claps need to have both weight and clarity, an unusual combination. One without the other is not going to cut it. The record needs to be able to reproduce the room everybody is in, while still conveying the tremendous impact and power. Most domestic pressings are severely lacking in these areas. The sound is frustrating — you want to rock but the sound won’t let you.
Another quality our best copies excelled in was the sound of Brian May’s guitar during his solo toward the end of the song. Here his tone is very boxy with no real highs or lows, but when that sound is exaggerated by bad mastering, it sounds like there are mattresses sitting in front of his amplifiers. The best copies had extension on the high end, restoring the clarity and complimenting his distinctive technique.
Pay close attention to John Deacon’s bass work underneath Freddie’s singing. The notes he plays should be very distinguishable and have a full, round tone.
When the tension reaches its climax right before the epic chorus begins, Roger Taylor does a huge drum roll that should let you hear what his toms really sound like – serious attack, high-pitched, and roomy.
Some of the best sound on this album can be found on the second half of the second side. We listened to “It’s Late” with dropped jaws. It sounds like a completely different album. It’s got high-end extension that can even be heard on the bad copies. Can you imagine having to be the mastering engineer for this album? The problems seem far too varied and complex to be fixed in the mastering.
Then you play a track like this and realize that the cutting equipment they were using must have been great. The sound is awesome.
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small — they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies — my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” — create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings just plain rock harder. When you hear a copy that does all that, it’s an entirely different listening experience.
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions
Sheer Heart Attack
All Dead, All Dead
Spread Your Wings
Fight From the Inside
Get Down, Make Love
Sleeping on the Sidewalk
Who Needs You
My Melancholy Blues