Blast From The Past: Hot Space

Parker Otto

With the release of the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” in November, a killer performance at the 91st Academy Awards in February and an upcoming North American tour starting July 10, Queen is on fire. The music that their current and past members have to offer is the stuff of legends. However, in 1982, an album was released by Queen which was critically panned and is often regarded as their worst album. That album was “Hot Space.”

After the international success of the album “The Game” largely thanks to the hit single “Another One Bites The Dust,” lead singer Freddie Mercury thought that disco influenced rock was the way for the band to go which led to “Hot Space.” According to guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, Mercury’s personal manager, Paul Prenter, denied the rest of the band access to Mercury and alleged that Prenter had a strong influence on the direction of the album.

Looking back on the album, it’s not as bad as everyone, even members of Queen, make it out to be. Several of the tracks are actually pretty catchy including “Back Chat” and “Staying Power” with funky dance beats. It’s no “Bohemian Rhapsody” but it is fairly entertaining. Several of the singles are very groundbreaking including “Life is Real (Song for Lennon),” which pays tribute to John Lennon after his tragic death, “Las Palabras De Amor” and “Under Pressure” which saw Queen collaborate with David Bowie.

Queen has constantly redefined themselves by switching genres. From heavy metal to opera to rockabilly, the band tried hard not to be lumped into one specific genre. But in the case of “Hot Space,” the dance music was too much too soon. While the singles performed well, the album was seen as a disjointed mess. “Hot Space” might not be Queen’s finest but it deserves to be looked at more.