Special albums /// Queen ‘Innuendo’

Queen

Music has the habit of flowing into people’s lives and changing them irrevocable, in case you allow it to of course. But when it happens, it does so incredibly smoothly and naturally that you don’t even notice when you wake up a different person. Today I can easily call Queen one of the most important bands in my life – the collective who have cultivated the sense of gorgeous, unashamedly sophisticated music in me, the ones who became my guide into the world of rock music and opened the doors to the universe of great music for me.

When Queen’s album ‘Innuendo’ found its home in my father’s music collection, this event passed absolutely unnoticed by a 16-year-old me keen on pop and R&B music and denying any other forms of this art whatsoever. It was the time when cassettes were being slowly substituted by CDs, but a CD player was still a bit of a rarity, so quite a few people got by using cassette recorders, me included. It was this memorable, though slightly uncomfortable, time when one had to rewind the tape in order to find the most favourite track, put up with the tape getting stretched and thus sounding worse after a while, Side A and Side B favourites and noisy buttons of old cassette recorders which used to drive my parents absolutely mad.

When my father first gave me the ‘Innuendo’ cassette, I was pretty reluctant to be educated, but thanks to his gift of persuasion I was soon listening to the end of Side B and watching my world turn upside down several times: ‘Show Must Go On’ was on. The grand melody sounded imposing, majestic and that voice… Great singers have this ability to impress you, grab you with their intonations, persuade you with their voices and make you fall in love with them even when you aren’t listening to them live. That was exactly what Freddie’s voice was doing to me at that truly special moment: I was sitting in absolute awe, hypnotised by his fantastic voice and soaking in the magical grandeur of Queen’s music which was meant to stay with me forever. That was the end of mainstream pop era in my life…

When I learnt that ‘Innuendo’ was Queen’s last studio album and Freddie had died before I knew who Queen were, it added a shade of melancholy to my experience with the band as my dream to see them live in the original line-up will never come true. However, Queen have given me much more in return: love for real music, the ability to appreciate talent and unforgettable minutes every time I put on their music and hit Play. I still keep that cassette, which inevitably moved from my father’s shelf to mine, as a sign of this turning point of my entire music life.

 

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