Feel Old Now! Queen’s “The Miracle” Released 25 Years Ago Today!

Queen_The_Miracle On May 22nd 1989 the rock band Queen released their 13th album ‘The Miracle’. The album was recorded as the band recovered from Brian May’s marital problems and Freddie Mercury’s AIDS diagnosis (which was, though known to the band, not publicised at the time). Recording started in January 1988 and lasted twelve months.

The album was originally going to be called The Invisible Men, but three weeks before the release, according to Roger Taylor, they decided to change the name to The Miracle. The album reached #1 in the UK, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, and #24 on the US Billboard 200 chart. The Miracle is estimated to have sold 9.5 million copies. Allmusic would name it as Queen’s best album of the 1980s, along with The Game. Buy Queen’s “The Miracle” on iTunes or Buy Queen’s “The Miracle” on Amazon

The striking cover art utilised the Quantel Paintbox, then state of the art image-manipulation technology, to combine photographs of the familiar faces of the four band members into one morphed gestalt image, in line with their decision to dispense with individual credits and simply present their music as the product of Queen; the back cover went a step further with a seamless regiment of the bands’ eyes. Derek Riggs, best known for illustrating Iron Maiden covers, claims that Queen “stole” the idea for this album cover from his cover for the single The Clairvoyant.

Following their massive 1986 European stadium tour for the A Kind of Magic album, Queen took an extended break. Rumors swirled about an impending breakup, but it turned out the break was brought on by a painful marital divorce for guitarist Brian May (who subsequently battled depression and contemplated suicide), and Freddie Mercury being diagnosed with AIDS. Instead of sinking further into misery, the band regrouped, worked on each other’s mental state, and recorded one of their most inspired albums, 1989’s The Miracle. Lyrically, the songs tend to reflect on the band’s past accomplishments (“Khashoggi’s Ship,” “Was It All Worth It”) as well as the state of the world in the late ’80s (the title track, “I Want It All”). Produced by the band and David Richards, The Miracle packs quite a sonic punch, recalling the rich sounds of their past classics (1976’s A Day at the Races, etc.). Split 50/50 between pop (“Breakthru,” “The Invisible Man,” “Rain Must Fall”) and heavy rock (the aforementioned “I Want It All,” “Khashoggi’s Ship,” “Was It All Worth It”), the album was another global smash, even re-establishing the band stateside (going Top 30 and attaining gold status). Along with The Game, The Miracle is Queen’s strongest album of the ’80s. – Greg Prato

Buy Queen’s “The Miracle” on iTunes or Buy Queen’s “The Miracle” on Amazon

Track Listing

Party – The Miracle
Khashoggi’s Ship – The Miracle
The Miracle – The Miracle
I Want It All – The Miracle
The Invisible Man – The Miracle
Breakthru – The Miracle
Rain Must Fall – The Miracle
Scandal – The Miracle
My Baby Does Me – The Miracle
Was It All Worth It – The Miracle

Personnel

Freddie Mercury: lead and backing vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesisers, programming
Brian May: electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on “Party” and “I Want It All”, synthesisers, programming
Roger Taylor: drums, electronic drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on “The Invisible Man”, synthesiser, programming
John Deacon: bass guitar, electric guitars, keyboards, synthesisers, programming
David Richards – additional keyboards, engineering
Assistant engineers – Andrew Bradfield, John Brough, Angelique Cooper, Claude Frider, Andy Mason, Justin Shirley-Smith
Mastered by Kevin Metcalf and Gordon Vickary
Computer programming by Brian Zellis
Album sleeve design by Richard Gray
Original photography by Simon Fowler

Buy Queen’s “The Miracle” on iTunes or Buy Queen’s “The Miracle” on Amazon

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