QUEEN – I can remember like it was yesterday, it was 1980 and I wanted so badly, as a Christmas gift from my Mom and Dad, Queen’s The Game album. I can recite what and how many albums I received as gifts from my parents when I was young, due to the fact that I so deeply appreciated each one. While growing up, my family may not have been “rich” with money, instead we were pretty “rich” with love. As a young dude, I never expected more than one album as a gift from my parents, with each passing Christmas and birthday. Receiving an album a few times during the year, as a thank you for helping out around the house and yard, was reality as well. Therefore, that “one” album at Christmas held some weight… and each album gift was always one of my choices that I made known to anyone who would listen.
1980 came upon me as a breakout year in my life… for I finally broke out of eight years of parochial school. (A Catholic School). I was now an official high school student… enrolled as a freshman. My Rock and Roll taste buds were changing by the week it seemed… so many bands I was hearing on the FM dial, still, so little funds to buy them.
When Christmas of 1980 finally rolled around, I was anxious as to whether or not an album would be under the tree at all. If there was an album, which one would it be? I had jotted down just about every KISS album on that wish list back in 1980, save for Double Platinum and Dynasty, which I already owned. I remember putting Queen’s The Game down on my wish list, I needed a real Queen album and this one would be as good as any. All I did own of Queen at this time in my life was the 45 rpm of We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions. Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Another One Bites The Dust were enormous hits for Queen on the FM dial in 1980. Each time I heard these two songs back then, it felt like Rock and Roll magic in my brain.
Once I heard these next two songs from this powerful Queen album, I was literally covered in ostrich bumps: Play The Game and Need Your Loving Tonight. The Hartford, Connecticut FM stations were very cool back in the late ’70′s on through the ’80′s, their spinning these deeper album cuts from The Game only made it more clear to me, that I absolutely needed this album! Listening to the song Play The Game made me feel like I was walking on air. It still does have that affect on me. Sure, Another One Bites The Dust has been overused commercially over the decades, I do understand. This entire Queen album still makes me feel more powerful than I really am… it’s as if it lifts me up and puts the troubles of the day below my feet.
I did see a wrapped album under the Christmas tree, that Christmas morning back in 1980 and it had my name on the tag. It was from Mom and Dad. Once the wrapping was taken off, (gently I might add, as not to damage a cool album), my eyes widened as big as Pennsylvania Dutch pancakes on a Saturday morning. Queen. The Game. In my hands, the entire album. Yes, I played it on my turntable every day during my freshman year in high school. Back in 1980, hearing the song Dragon Attack was a quick study in Hard Rock 101 for me.
This Queen album, single handedly inspired me as a high school freshman, in ways that I cannot even explain. The operatic and prolific vocals of the late and ultra legendary Freddie Mercury, the ever distinguishable guitar tone of Brian May and the rhythm being solidly accented by John Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums. A Rock album for the ages was and still is – The Game.
LONG LIVE QUEEN. REST PEACEFULLY, FREDDIE MERCURY.