Roger Taylor (Queen) Best [Digipak] * CD

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Roger Taylor (Queen) Best [Digipak] * CD. Recording information: Cosford Mill Studio, Surrey; Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland; One On One Recording, Los Angeles.
Photographers: Paul Maxon; Jim Marks; George Hurrell; Richard Gray ; Simon Fowler ; George Taylor ; Peter Christopherson.
The first-ever single-disc anthology of Queen drummer Roger Taylor's solo material, 2014's Best brings together tracks off all five of his studio albums. The collection follows-up the more exhaustive 2013 box-set, The Lot, and features cuts from 1981's Fun in Space, 1984's Strange Frontier, 1994's Happiness?, 1998's Electric Fire, and 2013's Fun on Earth. While primarily known for his commanding drum presence with Queen, Taylor is also a strong rock singer and talented songwriter, responsible for penning such Queen hits as "Radio Ga Ga," "Breakthru," "These Are the Days of Our Lives," and others. Vocally, Taylor has a throatier, more gravelly presence on the microphone than Queen's highly resonant, operatic frontman Freddie Mercury. In that sense, he often brings to mind the sound of such similarly inclined contemporaries as the Who's Roger Daltrey, Mott the Hoople's Ian Hunter, and Deep Purple's Ian Gillan. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the cuts here sound like they could easily have ended up on a Queen album, and tracks like "Let's Get Crazy," "Man on Fire," and "Strange Frontier" showcase the same synth-driven, pop/rock approach Queen was championing in the '80s. Elsewhere, Taylor's wry, socio-political commentary and epic, prog-inflected grandeur on cuts like "Nazis 1994" and "Nation of Haircuts" recalls the work of fellow Brits Pink Floyd. Ultimately, while Taylor's rock legacy will forever be tied to Queen, Best demonstrates how much further his legacy has gone given his solo work, and it's far beyond his talents as a drummer. ~ Matt Collar


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