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Roger Taylor - 'Fun On Earth' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/52/ee/f3/RogerTaylorFunOnEarth-91-1389046410.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     January 06, 2014    
 
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The Queen drummer's fifth solo album, and most eclectic work to date.

Although best known as the drummer and occasional vocalist for rock legends Queen, Roger Taylor is by far the most prolific member in terms of work outside the group. He was the first member to dip his toe in solo waters, releasing a single ‘I Wanna Testify’ followed in 1981 by a solo album ‘Fun In Space’. Playing almost everything himself and handling all the vocals, Taylor proved to be a talented all rounder.

He released ‘Strange Frontier’ in 1984 before forming his own band The Cross in 1987, handling rhythm guitar and lead vocals. He penned the debut effort ‘Shove It’ alone, with The Cross releasing two more albums. Taylor himself released two more solo records ‘Happiness?’ (1994) and ‘Electric Fire’ (1998), while still finding time to write consistenly strong material, including smash hits such as ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and ‘A Kind Of Magic’, for his parent group.

Originally stating ‘Electric Fire’ would he his last solo album, when it came time for the Queen + Paul Rodgers album ‘The Cosmos Rocks’, Brian May was busy with his thesis in astrophysics and only contributed a couple of his own songs, so Taylor penned about half of the album. It seems to have sparked an interest in recording again, as now his fifth solo album ‘Fun On Earth’ lands.

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His most eclectic work yet, the album’s title pays homage to where it all started and delivers rock fare such as ‘One Night Stand!’, ‘Up’ and the excellent tongue in cheek stomper ‘I Am The Drummer (In A Rock And Roll Band)’ alongside gentle cuts like ‘Be My Gal (My Brightest Spark)’ and ‘Smile’. Taylor adds his great rendition of the Queen + Paul Rodgers track ‘Small’ as well as revisiting ‘Say It’s Not True’, now given a more bluesy feel by guest Jeff Beck. There’s political fare in the form of ‘The Unblinking Eye’ as well as songs talking about soldier’s struggles in ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Quality Street’, both of which make effective use of saxophone.

Aside from the sax, Taylor again takes responsibility for the bulk of the instrumentation. Vocally he is on top form, from the gravelly to the lilting and drawing comparisons to Rod Stewart on the superb single ‘Sunny Day’.

I’m a huge fan of Roger’s output and I love this record. Fans like myself will also know there is a lavish box set called ‘The Lot’ which features this album, and all his previous solo and Cross releases. If you’re new to his solo output, this magnificent effort is a great place to begin. Fun indeed!

James Gaden

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