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The Restoration

Some bands split up, never to be seen again (eg., The Beatles). Some split, only to return stronger than ever (eg., Blur). And some just keep blundering on through the decades.

Queen - despite having lost their singer and creative force two decades ago - are one such band. Having mounted several atrocious tours with several guest new singers, the band has sensibly decided to focus on milking their Mercury-filled (geddit?) back catalogue for cash.

They've signed a new record contract with Universal Music Group - making the latest big act, after The Rolling Stones, Radiohead and, er, OK Go, to leave troubled British label EMI. The new deal includes their back catalogue so inevitably they're all going to be re-released next year.

The fun part will be in May, when the really good first few albums - 'Queen', 'Queen II', 'Sheer Heart Attack', 'A Night At The Opera' and 'A Day At The Races', the NME thoughtfully recaps - will be re-released. After that, the rest of 2011 will present the group's slow slide into 80s mediocrity.

Dr. Brian May PhD had this to say: 'We are very excited, after all this time, to be embarking on a new phase of our career – with a new record company – with new ideas, and new dreams.'

'New ideas.' Yeah right.

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