“They always deliver” – the words of concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith about Queen, at or around the time of the famous Wembley shows in 1986. For anyone casually landing on this review of the Queen + Adam Lambert Rhapsody tour, let’s take that as a given. Queen deliver the goods – every time.
When plans for the film Ammonite, about the nineteenth-century English fossil collector and palaeontologist Mary Anning, were announced, I assumed – wrongly, as it turns out – that it would concentrate on her struggles to be recognised for her expertise and pioneering work. In fact, other than brief scenes in the British Museum that top and tail the film – a new exhibit that makes no mention of Mary’s role in finding and identifying it – the emphasis is very much on her life in Lyme Regis and a love affair with Charlotte Murchison who, though wealthy and privileged, is trapped in a stifling, loveless marriage.
Elizabeth I meets Mary, Queen of Scots! Churchill rediscovers his mojo on the Underground! Homosexual genius Alan Turing is blackmailed by Soviet spy John Cairncross at Bletchley Park! Hmmm. Memo to self: ‘Films based on historical events are not documentaries. Stop judging them as if they are.’
At last — cue the opening drum roll from Innuendo — we arrive at what this fan considers to be the twenty greatest Queen songs. The best of the best. And yes, Bohemian Rhapsody is in there somewhere. But is it Number One?