Omnivore Recordings 2014
Review by David Bowling
Drummer Roger Taylor was a founding member of Queen and is a member of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In the United States he has always been associated with his band. In his home country, he has also had a successful solo career. Now the music from his solo career is coming to two compilation CD’s. If you are a hard core fan there is The Lot, which is a 12 CD, one DVD box set, which contains his entire solo output. If you want a taste of his career there is Best, which draws 18 tracks from his five albums and two singles.
Taylor’s solo career has been very different from that of Queen as without the band around him, he has been free to move in different directions. There are passionate ballads, electronic music, and good old rock and roll.
Taylor has always been able to create a song. He has written or co-written three number one songs in the United Kingdom; “These Are The Days Of Our Lives,” “Innuendo,” and “Under Pressure.” In addition, at least one of his compositions was included on every Queen album. While he is the drummer for Queen, on his solo releases he also is a capable guitarist and vocalist.
“Foreign Sand” is an excellent example of his ability to carry a ballad that builds throughout. “Man On Fire” is a down to earth gritty tune. “A Nation Of Haircuts” finds him letting loose as he just rocks.
There is an excellent booklet that provides an informative history of his solo career. The music is well-recorded and clear, which enhances the listening experience.
Best may not be a cohesive album as it jumps from different periods of his career and sometimes skips a decade. What it does is provide an introduction to his solo music and possibly whets your appetite to explore his music further. It also proves that he has a creativity that extends beyond Queen and that he is capable of creating some good music on his own.