About ‘The Works’, the Album That Brought Queen Back to Rock

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When Queen returned to the studio in 1983 after some albums centered around pop and disco music, they decided to give fans “the works.” The band wanted to return to rock and get back to basics. The recording took a while—from August 1983 to January 1984 to be exact—but Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor created an album that both critics and fans welcomed.

A Return to Their Roots

The Works had a distinctively more guitar-driven approach and was notable for the absence of synthesizers and new wave influences that were prevalent on the previous album, Hot Space. With several notable tracks on the album, it now stands out as one of Queen’s best. The stylistic detour on Hot Space wasn’t well received, so Queen needed something good to show, and The Works got the job done.

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One great track on the album is “Radio Ga Ga,” written by drummer Roger Taylor, and another is “I Want to Break Free,” one of the most well-known performances by Freddie Mercury. The lyrics of “Radio Ga Ga” paid homage to the golden age of radio. The song is about how radio impacted society, and the great melody and chorus made it one of Queen’s signature songs.

The Band Now

The Works also included other iconic songs, including “Hammer to Fall,” which shines with Brian May’s guitar work. Freddie Mercury demonstrates his incredible vocal range on “It’s a Hard Life.” The album was a successful return to Queen’s rock roots. It remained a fan favorite for decades and is still contributing to the enduring legacy of the band.

Today, Queen is still performing worldwide, with remaining active members Brian May and Roger Taylor collaborating with American vocalist Adam Lambert.