Reason #317 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Hot Space

queenHot Space is to Queen what Cruising is to Al Pacino. Misunderstood and poorly received, but better than you think.

Is this album really as bad as (virtually) everyone says it is? Cool Cat, a song purportedly about Michael Jackson, certainly deserves a thrashing. And Body Language, funky as it is, is cringe worthy due to Mercury’s over…ahem, give me a minute here…enthusiasm for the lyrical content. You can criticize Las Palabras De Amor and Put Out The Fire as too overwrought and bombastic, but c’mon, this is Queen we’re talking about here. That would be like criticizing a tab of acid for it’s “mood altering” abilities. So what are we left with? Quite simply, we are left with a Queen album. Not a masterpiece like A Night At The Opera or Sheer Heart Attack, but pretty similar to The Game in quality.

Yes, the gay lyrical content was notched up a level, but that element had been around for ages (Don’t Stop Me Now, anyone?), and would be elevated to an even greater degree with their supposed comeback LP The Works (Man On The Prowl…Mercury wasn’t even bothering with innuendo by this point). And if you were a Queen fan you were totally OK with that. Or you were a douche, plain and simple.

I really think that Back Chat, Staying Power, Dancer, Action This Day and of course the Bowie collaboration Under Pressure, stand up with anything they ever did. Really! Live, these songs take on a lot more muscle than they do here. It’s Queen’s disco album, but only for half of it. Combined with the rest of the tunes it is just another schizophrenic, wonderfully inconsistent and wildly imaginative Queen record.

I can fully dig why some folks don’t like it, and that’s fine. But for me this album was just a continuation of what they’d always done before.