I actually praise "The Cosmos Rocks" but it will always be compared to Freddie Mercury era Queen unfortunately, it'll never get a fair shake despite then outstanding collection of new material.
C-Lebrity had massive airplay via PIXY 102.9 FM, the local classic rock station here on Cape Cod of Massachusetts USA, I don't know about anywhere else stateside.
The Hyannis, MA retailer in store Best Buy stocked up on the vinyl release, I don't know how well it sold though.
Spinnakers, a actual mom and pop CD store in Hyannis had no trade ins or returns of "The Cosmos Rocks" but had plenty of Freddie era Queen unfortunately and Spinnaker's was the sole place on Cape Cod to get imports - official and bootlegs up until DSL & Broadband & the MP3 made an appearance here in the states. Spinnakers still does carry all that too.
Why Queen + Paul Rodgers failed to tour the United States has never been fully explained or talked about by any member of the band that I know of but if you know where an interview exists, lead the way please.
As a whole, the production is similar to the slick "Made In Heaven" and the only down point of the release is that most of the material were jams originally, then written out thoughtfully and recorded meticulously with exception to "Voodoo" and even that is take two of an impromptu jam. Had "The Cosmos Rocks" been subject to production similar to Queen's first release, would've it made much of a difference? I think so for Queen's first full length album best represents Queen as a live band in the studio and QPR was made for the concert stage imho.
My favorite song to this day from "The Cosmos Rocks" is "Time To Shine" and imho, it suffered from lack of live performances, only being played under 5 times or less that I am aware of. "Time To Shine" is easily the most uplifting song on the whole album, never ceasing to create wonderment and a feeling of positiveness about life as a whole, one of those, pick you off the ground and stand you straight up kind of songs.
"Call Me" - why they ignored this song as a single here in the States despite being listed on a sticker on the album and Rolling Stone stating it should be downloaded - is a standout track is beyond me. QPR never performed this rock-a-bily song live either, opting for the preachy boring - never should've been performed live "We Believe".
"Small" & the reprise never were performed live despite being a standout but the frailty of the song, the quietness and strong words of being humble well, I couldn't imagine trying to win over a large crowd of 350,000 people like QPR had in the Ukraine, the free gig. "Small" would best sound better live in a club perhaps? Could've QPR got 350,000 people to sing along to the chorus had it been more well known, a single instead of an album favorite and cut? One will never know.
Brian May caught much flack for including a sample of "We Will Rock You" in "Still Burnin'" and I am in line with the flackers on this. What starts out as a bombastic bluesy slow burning rocker is turned into a façade of itself when the stomp-stom-clap of "We Will Rock You" is introduced towards the end. "Still Burnin'" would've succeeded without Brians meddling in my humble opinion.
The song "The Cosmos Rocks" was first reported to be known as "Whole House Rockin'" according to first reports about the song, one reviewer didn't know the proper title at the time. It should've started the concert first song done in backed with "Tie Your Mother Down" following "The Cosmos Rocks" instead of the first encore slot it got. Other than "Voodoo" it easily represents the band as a adlib-freestyle-blues rock-jam type band that opted for one of the first recordings of the song instead of recording it over and over again, they did this song fairly quickly and the results are excellent.
"Surf's Up....Schools Out", well, if not "The Cosmos Rocks" to start the album, would've best been first? At some point during the tour, the song was the show opener and it did quite well. Paul Rodgers blues performance with the harmonica was a welcome intro to him and Queen and is one of only a handful of Queen songs, Freddie Mercury era included that features another instrument besides synth, piano, guitar, bass and drums. "One Year Of Love" has the saxophone and would've been awesome live with a guest performer playing sax but Queen never had that many live guests, if any at all until the Freddie Mercury tribute concert - and I'm not including Jackson or Bowie and the studio recordings either, just live performances.
I would like to think Queen weren't cheap and would've welcomed a gospel group for "Somebody To Love" & "Bohemian Rhapsody" in concert, I mean, how expensive could've it been to hire singers as a large group - a proper chorus to do justice with Queen in concert?
Now that Paul Rodgers is done with Brian May & Roger Taylor, there is one studio album to listen to and dozens of variations of live performances from both tours to enjoy.
As of late, perhaps Adam Lambert could "step up to the plate" and deliver a proper Queen + Adam Lambert studio album? A full length release? It's been hinted at.....
I much prefer Paul Rodgers over Adam Lambert with Queen any day of the week.
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