Queen spent a lot of time on the road during 1980 but in between stops drummer Roger Taylor spent a fair amount of time at the Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland, recording tracks for what would ultimately become his first solo album Fun In Space.
The music completely originated from the fertile mind of Taylor as he wrote all the songs, played all the instruments except for some keyboards here and there, provided all the vocals, arranged the music, and produced the album.
Taylor’s career and this album in particular are very different from that of Queen. The music is more experimental as he lets his mind wander to produce material that would not have fit into the Queen sound. The use of synthesizers and the odd melodies travel a different road from the songs he wrote for the band.
“Future Management” is about as close to the mainstream as he comes. It is a sonic piece of rock that draws on influences from Pink Floyd. “Let’s Get Crazy” and “Airheads” veer in a hard rock direction complete with experimental like percussion and synthesizers. Songs such as “Laugh Or Cry,” “Interlude In Constantinople,” “My Country I & II,” and the title track have off kilter melodies that are more haunting than catchy.
There are three bonus tracks included. While Fun In Space was his first album, back in 1977 he released a non-album single “I Wanna Testify/Turn On The TV.” While they do not fit the musical concept of the album, their inclusion fills in the missing pieces of his early material. The last song is an altered version of “My Country I & II,” now titled just “My Country,” which was issued as a single in the U.K.
Roger Taylor’s solo work is always interesting and full of surprises, especially when compared to the Queen body of work. Fun In Space was the first step in his eclectic solo journey that continues down to the present day.