“Flash Gordon: A Night at the Space Opera” on Rattapallax.

There are two eras of Queen’s music: no synthesizers and then too-many synthesizers. It would take a B-movie space opera starring a former Playgirl centerfold to get from one era to the next.

As a Queen fan for 40 years, someone who has obsessed over the band’s personalities and has written two artsy-fartsy books that meditate on their recorded output, I’ve often asked myself: what happened? How did a hard rock band, with radio hits galore, whose Led Zeppelin-meets-Beach Boys sound earned them worldwide fame and critical disdain, arrive at a crossroads in the summer of 1979, artistically and commercially, a point where they not only broke out the synthesizers, but went full-on synth-crazy, their sound rendered almost unrecognizable?

Read the rest at Rattapallax.

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