Five insanely overrated albums from the 1970s

Strap yourselves in, this is going to get messy. It's going to be controversial.
George Rose/GettyImages
5 of 6

Queen - Jazz

I'm a huge fan of Queen. Their early albums were among the first I bought. I saw them live at their early pomp and majesty in 1977. It was such sad news when the world lost Freddie Mercury, surely one of the best frontmen ever.

Which makes it harder to not rate one of their albums. But what was that Jazz thing all about? I bought their seventh album Jazz when released in November 1978 and rushed home to play it. No easy downloads or streams back then. I can still remember the disappointment and bemusement now.

There were notable songs on the album. “Don’t Stop Me Now” became an anthem and a hit single. “Bicycle Race”/”Fat Bottomed Girls” was a fun tongue in cheek double A side, out just before the album. That was about it for the UK and US anyway. 

The rest of the songs were notable for being either odd or ordinary. There seemed more attempts to be loud than musical, in my view anyway. I spent a couple of weeks playing the album trying to convince myself they grow on me and I’ve not played it again since. Have a listen to the bizarre opening track “Mustapha” below for example.

At the time there were many positive reviews and a few less so. Surprisingly, to me anyway, if you look at many later rankings of Queen albums, Jazz features highly at the ‘Best’ end. Often top five or higher. Maybe time has been kind to the album. I dug it out this week to see if my views had softened, and immediately regretted doing so. Which saddens me as an otherwise stalwart Queen fan.