RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Roger Taylor – Best
Omnivore Recordings
http://omnivorerecordings.com/music/roger-taylor-best/

Rating: B

Roger Taylor is best known as the drummer for the band Queen.  “Rock It (Prime Jive)” “These are the Days of Our Lives,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Under Pressure,” “I’m in Love with My Car” and “Sheer Heart Attack” were written or co-written by Taylor. 

Not only can he tap the skins and write songs, the guy is a damn fine vocalist as well.  It is a shame that his solo career never achieved more widespread popularity, as one can tell by the diversity in the aforementioned songs, Taylor’s well runs deep with many styles of creativity. 

Omnivore Recordings has now culled the best of Taylor which spans decades, beginning with his first single “I Wanna Testify” (which was released during the recording of the iconic Queen album News of the World), clear up to Roger’s latest solo effort in 2013. 

Taylor released the albums Fun In Space (1981), Strange Frontier (1984), Happiness? (1994), Electric Fire (1998) and Fun on Earth (2013).  Now, Omnivore has taken his career and put together the top 18 solo tunes and released them on one Best album.

Roger Taylor proves his worth on these songs...why they were not huge hits, no one will ever know.  The talent is there.  Perhaps Roger’s day job was so darn popular that the time necessary to give the albums the attention they deserved was probably not there.  That said, Roger has a total U2 meets Sting-thing going on throughout these songs.  I am by no means saying he sounds like those two bands, rather I am attempting to give you an idea of what his work might kinda, sorta, in a weird way resemble. 

Truth is, just like his popular songs in Queen, Taylor’s solo songs are not easy to describe as they are creative, unique and esoteric in in their own right. 

Suffice it to say, this is good music by a true master of his craft.  His career as the drummer of Queen may always come first, but unlike many of his peers, his solo albums are great. 

This is a long way from a Mick Jagger style solo album... you know, a flop.  Instead, Roger Taylor let his inner rock flag fly, creating some really cool music that hovers below the radar for rock and roll archeologists like me to un-earth and enjoy. 

TRACK LISTING
1. FUTURE MANAGEMENT (YOU DON’T NEED NOBODY ELSE)
2. I WANNA TESTIFY
3. LET’S GET CRAZY
4. MAGIC IS LOOSE
5. STRANGE FRONTIER
6. MAN ON FIRE
7. BEAUTIFUL DREAMS
8. NAZIS 1994
9. FOREIGN SAND with Yoshiki
10. EVERYBODY HURTS SOMETIME
11. HAPPINESS
12. SURRENDER
13. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
14. A NATION OF HAIRCUTS
15. TONIGHT
16. NO MORE FUN
17. THE UNBLINKING EYE (EVERYTHING IS BROKEN) (Single Version)
18. SUNNY DAY

By Jeb Wright

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