Greatest Hits III


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Greatest Hits III
Greatest Hits III, 1999
Released 8 November 1999
Recorded 1980 - 1999 at various studios
Length mm:ss
Label Parlophone (UK), Hollywood Records (US)
Producer(s) Queen, variously with Mack, David Richards, and Justin Shirley-Smith
Queen chronology
Queen Rocks
Greatest Hits III
The Platinum Collection
2000, 2002


Queen had a tradition of issuing greatest hits compilations every ten years, offering a retrospective on the singles they released during that period. Because Freddie died in November 1991, shortly after the release of the second edition, and only one posthumous album and a tribute single by the surviving members appeared since then, some concessions had to be made in time for Queen's third greatest hits collection. However, this time, huge errors were made, the first being that this compilation appeared in November 1999, a full two years before it should have. Strike one.

Another (this time arbitrary) tradition had been to issue only UK singles that reached the Top 30. This meant that Tie Your Mother Down, Spread Your Wings, Love Of My Life (live), and Back Chat were all absent from the compilation. Surely, some exceptions could have been made, so as to offer an album that felt more like a Queen album, instead of the haphazard mess that Greatest Hits III became? At the very least, Flick Of The Wrist (technically a #2 hit, considering it was a double A-side with Killer Queen), Body Language, Scandal, and A Winter's Tale should have been included. Strike two.

Instead, what Queen fans are left with is a sorry excuse for a compilation, sullying the otherwise spotless reputation that its elder companions have afforded it. While the presence of a remix of Under Pressure, featuring newly-recorded instrumental bits from Brian and Roger, was appreciated, it wasn't a hit single until a month after it first appeared on the album. On top of that, what were solo singles doing on the compilation? The band had always made a deliberate effort to keep their solo careers separate from Queen, so the fact that four solo singles graced the album was downright offensive. And while the rap remix of Another One Bites The Dust was technically a hit single, it should have been reserved, say, for a separate "Queen+" compilation, that would also have featured the George Michael rendition of Somebody To Love, as well as anything else that may have fallen under such a header. Strike three, yer out!

There are few reasons to buy the compilation: the single edit of Heaven For Everyone is finally available, and a more widespread release of Thank God It's Christmas (inexplicably labeled as a bonus track) is appreciated, and the few legitimate hits present – those from Made In Heaven, These Are The Days Of Our Lives, and Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love) – certainly deserve to be heard. Other than that, Greatest Hits III stands as a total failure; while this author generally tries to remain completely objective and unbiased, he has taken the same route as Queen did with this compilation and broken tradition. In simple terms, Greatest Hits III is the dregs of a barrel being scraped dry. Had some actual thought gone into the compilation, with more emphasis on the "forgotten" singles from Queen's past, this would have been a rather decent collection, but it only confirmed that any old thing with the Queen name slapped on it can suddenly pass as worthwhile, while the long-awaited anthology projects and any live concerts from the 1970s still collect dust.

In this author's humble opinion, this release could be made exponentially better by the listener compiling the album thusly:

  1. Princes Of The Universe
  2. Tie Your Mother Down (single edit)
  3. Heaven For Everyone (single edit)
  4. Too Much Love Will Kill You
  5. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love)
  6. Let Me Live
  7. Spread Your Wings
  8. Pain Is So Close To Pleasure (single remix)
  9. Body Language
  10. Back Chat (single remix)
  11. You Don't Fool Me
  12. Calling All Girls
  13. Scandal
  14. Thank God It's Christmas
  15. A Winter's Tale
  16. No One But You (Only The Good Die Young)
  17. These Are The Days Of Our Lives
  18. Love Of My Life (live)

It may eschew the arbitrary rule of only Top 40 singles, but at least there aren't any hideous remixes, special guest live performances, or out-of-place solo hits; in other words, it's a proper Queen compilation, instead of the start of the never-ending "Queen +" debacle that continues to this day.


CD version

  1. The Show Must Go On (live, 1997) (Queen + Elton John)
  2. Under Pressure (Rah Mix) (Queen + David Bowie)
  3. Barcelona (Freddie Mercury + Montserrat Caballé)
  4. Too Much Love Will Kill You (Queen)
  5. Somebody To Love (live, 1992) (Queen + George Michael)
  6. You Don't Fool Me (Queen)
  7. Heaven For Everyone (Queen)
  8. Las Palabras De Amor (The Words Of Love) (Queen)
  9. Driven By You (Brian May)
  10. Living On My Own (Freddie Mercury)
  11. Let Me Live (Queen)
  12. The Great Pretender (Freddie Mercury)
  13. Princes Of The Universe (Queen)
  14. Another One Bites The Dust (1998 remix) (Queen + Wyclef Jean)
  15. No One But You (Only The Good Die Young) (Queen)
  16. These Are The Days Of Our Lives (Queen)
  17. Thank God It's Christmas (Queen)


  • Musicians:
John Deacon - bass guitar, keyboards
Brian May - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Freddie Mercury - vocals, piano, keyboards
Roger Taylor - drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards

Additional info

  • Info


  • Reviews


UK CD (back)
Russia Cassette, Gala Records
Russia Cassette (back), Gala Records