By Ashley Paskill
Album: Hot Space
When most people think of their favorite Queen albums, they typically choose classics like News of the World, Night At the Opera, or Day at the Races. However, Hot Space, released in 1982, is often overlooked, despite having “Under Pressure.” It is just one of those albums that only have a few songs that people know while the others get lost in space (pun intended).
The album art of “Hot Space” is more colorful than their other covers. It features a contemporary feel with pictures of the four members of the band overlayed with colors that resemble a modern art painting. This contemporary feel also translates to subjects in songs, from cursing to breastfeeding.
“Staying Power” is the perfect start to the album. It is catchy and upbeat, making the listener want to stay for the rest of the album. For those who are fans of Broadway musicals, this song has a strikingly similar feel to “Land Of Lola” from Kinky Boots. “Back Chat” has a similar feel, though not as pronounced,
“Body Language” is one of the few songs on the album that ever became popular. It has a jazz feel and is provocative, more so than any other Queen song. It was a song that was ahead of its time, having come out in the early 80s. It is discretely sexy at a time when such things were not openly discussed.
Despite being overlooked, this album addresses issues that are still relevant. “Calling All Girls” just so happens to be this year’s theme for Mercury Phoenix Trust theme for this year. They are getting young people involved in raising awareness of HIV and AIDS, the disease that Freddie himself suffered from and ultimately died of.
Another powerful song that speaks volumes into contemporary times is “Life Is Real (Song for Lennon).” The line talks about Freddie breastfeeding himself. This topic is still so controversial, yet the song was released in an earlier era. The song also states that “Life is a bitch,” which is a huge deal where cursing in songs or any public art was not the norm.
Overall, this album is vastly underrated as it still pertains to relevant issues while having interludes of songs that are less serious. The contemporary issues within the songs are still as relevant and controversial today as they were when the album was released in 1982. This only proves that Queen’s music is timeless and that Freddie’s legacy will never die.