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Book Review: Phil Sutcliffe's Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock



The Deal: Chronicling Queen in words and pictures.

The Good: Nobody ignored Queen front man Freddie Mercury. You either loved him or hated him, but you couldn't dismiss what he and guitarist Brian May were doing to rock in the early '70s. In sound and spectacle, Queen was so far over the top and so diverse that chronicling their career is a daunting task. But author Sutcliffe has done an exceptional job with this coffee table compendium of Queen. There are lots of visuals, including Queen's eye-popping soft-core porn backstage passes. There's an abundance of photos, with Mercury camping it up in many of them, including a shot of him looking like a slatternly housefrau wearing falsies in an '85 concert in Rio. But Sutcliffe reveals a tougher side of Mercury as well, describing a run-in with Sid Vicious. But it's not all glitter and gossip. The music is discussed at length by the band, critics and fellow musicians. Even former Gunner and current Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash has some warm words for Brian May, calling him "one of my all time favorite guitarists."

The Bad: Nothing to report. It's a good look and a good read.

The Verdict: "The band was greater than all of us," May said in a '99 Mojo interview. "It was more enduring than most of our marriages." Sutcliffe's book does a grand job of helping to ensure that there always will be a Queen.

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