During the 70’s and 80’s, Queen produced some of the most iconic, controversial, and innovative music that is still enjoyed today. Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, formed their band in London in 1970 and would become one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world. Their performance at Live Aid in 1985, is ranked among the greatest in rock history. Freddie had a way of connecting with his audience creating a group atmosphere where everyone felt connected. Freddie was the leader of the group and had invented the name and the Queen crest. He thought the name was very strong, universal, and open to all sorts of interpretations. Of course he expected the gay connotations, but that didn’t bother him or the group. Freddie also designed the crest using the astrological signs of the four members: two Leos, one Cancer, and one Virgo. Interesting enough, Freddie claimed to not believe in astrology.
Within the two decades they created nine albums. In 1972, they signed with Trident Studios, which struggled to label the group because of the name and the connotations attached to it during this time. Their earlier works before Sheer Heart Attack and A Night at the Opera weren’t received mixed reviews and wasn’t widely appreciated. Their single “Keep Yourself Alive” was released twice but sold poorly and gained little mainstream attention. Both of these later albums experimented with a variety of genres and perfected their distinctive layered sound, complex instrumental passages, and their musical principles.
Their legendary hit “Bohemian Rhapsody”, has been voted as the greatest hit of all time. This song contains several different sections without a chorus, essentially becoming a musical story or a poem. It starts with an intro, moves into a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock section and a reflective coda to wrap it up. This is the type of song someone can listen to in any mood, it is constantly changing and entertaining. It was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004, and became one of the best selling hits of all time. In the US it only reached #9 in the charts but later reached #2 thanks to the film Wayne’s World.
Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, are two of their most recognizable hits that are now very popularly used as sports anthems. These anthems are two examples of Freddie Mercury connecting with his audience and creating something that is universally understood and appreciated. “We Are the Champions” was the FIFA World Cup anthem in 1994. The passion in his voice inspires unity and harmony to anyone who can hear (if you don’t like Queen I don’t think I can trust your judgment).
All songs are below (I’m sure you’ve heard them all before):
ps. Sorry for the lateness!