I could write you a never-ending list of why Queen are the greatest band of all time. Well, I could try to write you one… of course, it would have to end eventually.
Quite frankly, I have no idea where to start my argument. So, in no particular order, here are just a few reasons why you should accept Queen as the reason for why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, for why the sky is blue and the grass is green, and for why, as mere mortals, we have been blessed with the goodness we know as sushi. The point I’m getting at is that Queen is why nice things exist.
- Every member in the band have individually written a #1 hit for Queen (even though we know those songs which didn’t quite reach #1 on the charts are just as good as those that did). The following songs have all reached #1 somewhere along the line.
Brian May; We Will Rock You
Roger Taylor; Innuendo, These Are The Days Of Our Lives
John Deacon; Another One Bites The Dust
Freddie Mercury; Crazy Little Thing Called Love, I Was Born To Love You, Bohemian Rhapsody
- They’ve had #1 singles in FOUR different decades. Those decades being the 70’s all the way to the 00’s. The only other artist to have done that is Cliff Richards.
- The song “The Invisible Man” subtly mentions the names of each band member, which blew my mind when I first realised this on the bus on my way to uni
- Brian May built his own guitar! With his dad! From a 200-year-old mantelpiece!
- Freddie Mercury designed the band logo! ie. they didn’t rely on outer sources – but rather their own skills. Freddie had a degree in art and design so it’s pretty neat that he put that to good use (his inspiration came from each of the band members’ astrological signs; 2x Leo, Cancer & Virgo)
- Taylor, May and Deacon also were smart cookies. With Taylor having a BSc a Biology, May a BSc in Physics and Deacon who studied Electronics.
- In 1970 (when Queen had only just began) , Roger Taylor turned down an offer to be the drummer of Genesis. Phil Collins was hired instead! (This is an important fact because I love Phil Collins/Genesis/Queen and therefore ship any connections they may have had. But I’m also glad everything turned out the way it did.)
- Roger Taylor got the inspiration to write “Radio Ga Ga” from his little boy, who would say “Ca Ca” (French for poo). Thus, in the actual song, “Ca Ca” is often said… along with “Ga Ga” and “Blah Blah”.
- If you watch “The Making Of One Vision” (you should) on YouTube you get to see Freddie’s incredible creative talent as both an entertainer and lyrical genius. I would have been happy if “one dump, one turd, two tits, John Deacon” was kept in the final version, but I guess “fried chicken” will do. (It’s honestly such a good video though, particularly when Brian May is on the piano (ugh, music feels) and when Roger Taylor is trying to devise lyrics but completely skips a line.)
- In regards to live performances, the show went on for Queen/Freddie on their Live Killers Tour (1979) despite Freddie’s vocal nodules. It physically hurts me to watch/listen to him trying to sing and hit such high notes, but he makes it easier for himself by opting for lower versions of notes where possible. Of course, Freddie makes it work. But it’s Freddie’s determination here that I really admire.
- I also really love the way Queen developed as a band, rather than individually. They eventually came to publishing songs as “written by Queen” rather than the individual members, which I find really nice. The importance of teamwork, people!
- Another really special thing is that every single album by Queen is absolutely perfect. Every. Single. One. EVERY ALBUM. Reading online Queen forums I see that a popular opinion is that ‘Hot Space’ was a train-wreck of an album in comparison to the others. But, friends, there is so much energy in ‘Hot Space’! C’mon, “Action This Day”, “Calling All Girls”, “Dancer”, “Staying Power”? These songs are capable of rescuing me from any negative headspace I may be in. And then “Las Palabras De Amor” ooooooh the happy feels. And I haven’t even mentioned “Under Pressure”, an absolutely iconic collaboration between Queen and David Bowie! Yeah, ‘Hot Space’ might be a bit more disco than other works by Queen, but isn’t it Queen’s diversity that makes them so admirable?! And then theres the album ‘Made in Heaven’, another source of complaint! This consists of the raw vocals of the late and great Freddie Mercury. Released in 1995, I feel like this was a tribute by the remaining Queen members to the posthumous Freddie Mercury. And for this reason it’s quite an emotional album for me. I’m going to need to do a whole other post commentating Queen albums, but to sum this (very long) bullet point up, every single Queen album is necessary/perfect in it’s own way (jeez, I’m so cheesy), including ‘Hot Space’ and ‘Made In Heaven’.
- The albums “A Night At The Opera” and “A Day At The Races” are sort of like a little sequel! Their titles were inspired by two of The Marx Brothers’ films.
- Freddie refrained from fixing his overbite because he thought doing so would affect the resonance of his voice. Again, he chose us, as his audience, over himself. His voice over aesthetics. (I liked your overbite though, even if you didn’t, Freddie.)
- Queen also never played “Bohemian Rhapsody” live in its whole. This is because the song had so many layers and the band wanted their live performances to be real (rather than something like lip-syncing or use of recordings). They would therefore play the record version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” over speakers and use it as a form of intermission, where they would leave the stage to change costumes etc.
- Brian May is an animal rights advocate! He became vice-president of the RSPCA as of September 2012.
- Freddie also loved his cats. A LOT. In the song “Delilah” (about his cat, Delilah) you can hear him replicating cat sounds with his voice (“oh my, oh my, oh my”), as well as May doing the same with his guitar!
- Queen at Live Aid, Wembley Stadium (1985), is the best live concert you will ever see.
There you go. A few reason why I love Queen, and why you should at least appreciate them a little more. I’d happily continue writing about Queen until the early hours of the morning, but it’s already 2am. Thus, the show must not go on.