Queen - Greatest Video Hits

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Earlier this year Eagle Vision released the excellent documentary Queen: Days of Our Lives and that film was appended with a handful of the band's music videos. Now the 2-DVD set Greatest Video Hits compiles all a Queen fan could ask for in the way of music videos. Disc 1 holds most of the band's big hits and favorite numbers, culled primarily from Queen's '70s and early '80s output and featuring super-oldies like "Killer Queen" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." Just about all are relatively simple performance videos shot in-studio or in common settings but "We Will Rock You" and "Spread Your Wings" feature the band mugging outdoors where a smattering of snow has fallen and lead singer Freddie Mercury gyrates in a fur coat and peers out from behind glasses with star-shaped lenses. This was the era before music videos got too complex --- "Another One Bites the Dust," "Fat Bottomed Girls," "Somebody to Love" "You're My Best Friend" and "We Are the Champions" rely on just the music and Mercury's showmanship to maintain an interest while small embellishments like background effects are found on "Play the Game" and the trippy "Bohemian Rhapsody." For "Flash" clips of the sci-fi flick Flash Gordon are spliced in, Mercury hams it up as a greasy Elvis-meets-James Dean biker in "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and a bevy of naked, bike-riding girls pedaling around London's Wembley Stadium add spice to "Bicycle Race." Disc 2, although presenting music from an era when many Queen fans lost interest in the band, contains the group's more creative and visually stimulating video work. "I Want to Be Free" finds the band in a very playful mood as they all dress in drag, appearing as housewives doing mundane chores. Mercury in particular has a ball in the clip as he pokes fun at his excessive femininity, seeming quite at home pushing around a vacuum while wearing a dress and a top straining to control a set of fake conical boobs. Making the clip even more hilarious, Mercury is kind of cute as a girl even though he's still sporting his trademark moustache. The band must have spent a ton of money on "Breakthru;" the clip shows them performing on a railroad flat car pulled by an old-fashioned locomotive roaring through the countryside. Big hit "Under Pressure" is featured here as are favorites "Radio Ga Ga," "Body Language" and "Princes of the Universe" but there's little doubt that many fans will cherish the poignant "Who Wants to Live Forever" the most; Mercury would be dead a scant five years after the cut's release. Yes you can trace the evolution of Queen's music here but fans will only want to do with this video collection what they've done all along with their heroes' music --- turn it up and let it rock.

Queen - Greatest Video Hits

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