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Thursday, 10 November 2011

40 Years of Queen by Harry Doherty

40 Years of Queen

Queen: one of the biggest bands the world has ever seen. Sell-out tours, chart-topping records and stunning success for four decades. Hundred of millions of CDs, videos and DVD's sold all over the world. They have broken records constantly: biggest ever paying crowd, longest number of weeks in the charts, headliners at the biggest festival ever and more. They have received accolades too numerous to list in full, but suffice to say 'Best Band', 'Best Album' 'Best Single', 'Best Video' and 'Best Live Act' feature again and again. They were indicted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and given their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. The Queen musical "We Will Rock You" has been shown in Australia, Spain, the USA, Russia, South Africa, Germany and Japan and has been seen by more than 5,000,000 people. "40 Years of Queen" is an official publication, and has been approved at every stage by the band. It shows and tells the story of a fantastically talented and popular group of musicians who have retained an enormous fan base throughout their entire history. The book showcases the band, its members, recordings and concerts through images and the written word, as well as through the unique pieces of memorabilia that are from the private collections of Queen's members. "40 Years of Queen" gives fans unprecedented access to all areas, and the chance to get their hands on some amazing memorabilia for the first time ever: backstage passes, setlists, handwritten lyrics, unpublished album art, ultra-rare posters, original tour itineraries, postcards, limited-edition records, invites to the now-legendary tour parties, and more! It includes: "Rainbow Poster" March 1974; QI Press Kit (four pieces in envelope); "Keep Yourself Alive" sheet music; QI playing card (4); "Seven Seas of Rhye" sheet music; Hand-written fan club letters (4) on cut-out headed notepaper; "Bohemian Rhapsody" blue vinyl with cover; "Day at the Races" race card booklet; "Portraits" poster 1976; Queen Fan Club A5 biog and membership card; "Torso thing" (3D cut-out Freddie 'doll'); "News of the World" special edition cover; and, Japan April 1979 Jazz tour ticket.

This is a fantastic celebration of 40 years of the band, Queen. It is a scrapbook style book with many pieces of memorabilia slipped into the book, within pockets or added into the book's binding. There are pages of containing hand written lyrics to some of the bands top hits, tickets from some of their biggest shows and many promotional leaflets advertising tours and records. There is also a CD included within the book of an interview between Tom Browne and the band which was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in 1977. 

The book is a fantastic record of the history of one of England's biggest bands going from the early years of the band, through their rise to fame, Freddie Mercury's early death, the resulting Tribute concert and Queen without Freddie.

The book is full of photographs, depicting the bands history and include some unseen before photographs. There is also plenty of text, with enormous detail about the band's life and the story behind the hits.

This would make a fantastic gift to any Queen fan, a true celebration of the band Queen. It would be a great coffee table book, one which could be dipped into and enjoyed at any time. It is beautifully presented, in a black slipcase with silver embossing and wording making an impressive impact. The enclosed book is to an equally high standard, which is tribute to the band it celebrates.

Thank you to the publishers, Carlton Books, for sending me this beautiful book to review.

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