Construction of Queen Queen are a British band formed in London in 1971, the band consisted of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar, vocals) and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). They began in the genre of progressive rock but became more conventional and “radio friendly”, they incorporated diversity and innovative styles to their music. Before Brian May and Roger Taylor joined Queen they were in a band together called “Smile”, with bassist “Tim Staffell” Freddie Mercury had been a fan of “Smile” and he encouraged them to be more elaborate on stage and when recording. Once Staffell had left in 1970 Mercury joined the band, they then changed the name to “Queen”. Then John Deacon was recruited whilst recording “Queen” debut album in 1973. Queen found success with their first album and it’s follow up “Queen II” in 1974. The releases of “Sheer Heart Attack” in 1974 and “A Night at the Opera” in 1975 found the band international success. “Bohemian Rhapsody” stayed at number one the in UK Singles Chart for nine weeks, it was number one in several other countries, and was there first top ten hit in the US Billboard Hot 100. In 1977 their album “News of the World” had two of rock’s recognisable songs “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You”. In the early 1980’s Queen were dubbed one of the biggest stadium rock bands, with performances at “Live Aid” in 1985, this is regarded one of the greatest performances in rock history. In 1991 Mercury died of bronchopneumonia a complication of AIDS, then Deacon retired in 1997. May and Taylor have since this had performed together and a collaboration with Paul Rodgers, Queen+ Paul Rodgers this ended in May 2009. Queen have released 18 number albums, 18 number one singles and 10 number one DVD’s and have sold over 150 million albums and some estimated 300 million albums, making them one of thw worlds best selling music artists. They have seven Ivor Novello awards and were inducted to the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in 2001. In May 2002 a musical written by British comedian and author Ben Elton entitled “We Will Rock You”, which was based upon songs by “Queen” opened at the Dominion Theatre in London’s West End. Brian May and Roger Taylor collaborated and it was produced by Robert De Niro. Since then it has appeared in many cities in the world, it premiered in Vegas on 8 th September 2004. Queen were awarded the 2,207 th star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” in 2002.
1973- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records (US)- “Keep Yourself Alive”. The song was the opening track on the first album “Queen”. It was their first single along with “Son and Daughter” as the B-side. It was a Brian May composition and sold badly. Yet now the single has been dubbed the highlight of the album. In 2008 “Rolling Stones” magazine ranked it 31 st in the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time”. Giving it this description “an entire album’s worth of riffs crammed into a single song. The album was certified gold in the UK and US. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl0mPx96ojY&ob=av2n
1974- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records (US)-“Seven Seas of Rhye” Freddie Mercury wrote the lead song from the bands second album “Queen II”. The single reached number ten in the UK, after their performance of the song on “Top of the Pops”, giving the band their first real hit. The single later became a live favourite throughout the bands tours. The song was recorded in the 1985’s “Queen: Live in Rio”, and “Queen at Wembley” in 1986. In a radio interview in 1977, Freddie Mercury describes the subject of the song as merely a “figment of his imagination”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZMxVji5zLA
1974- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records (US)-“Killer Queen” The single from the album “Sheer Heart Attack” reached number two in the British charts. It became the bands first US hit, reaching number 12 on the “Billboard Hot 100”. It is said to combine camp, vaudeville, and British music hall with May’s Guitar virtuosity. Freddie Mercury gave a description on the song saying “It’s about a high class call girl”. But then said “It’s one of those bowler hat, black suspender belt numbers”. The song was played at the “Montreal Forum” in Quebec, Canada in November 1981. It was recorded in the live album “Queen Rock Montreal”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAf2S6ij2gk&ob=av2e
1975- EMI, Elektra, Parlophone, Hollywood.- “Bohemian Rhapsody” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHbCE53s9hQ The song was written by Freddie Mercury, and is from the 1975 album “A Night at the Opera ” . The song has no chorus, instead its consists of three main parts a ballad segment ending with a guitar solo, an operatic passage, and a hard rock section. It was at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976. The song had chart success in several other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and The Netherlands. It got to number one again five weeks after Mercury’s death in 1991. The song only hit number nine in it’s first release in America, but hit number two in the charts after being played in the film “Wayne’s World” in 1992. The single was accompanied by promotional video, which was considered ground-breaking. “Rolling Stone magazine ” ranked it as the number 163 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
1976- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records (US)-“Somebody To Love” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRjBWZeFknE Freddie Mercury wrote the song, featured on their 1976 album “A Day at the Races”. Reached number two in the UK charts and number 13 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. The song is a soul-searching piece that is said to question God's role in a life without love. The song is inspired by gospel music, people such as Aretha Franklin. Mercury, May, and Taylor multi-tracked their voices to create a 100-voice gospel choir. Queen played "Somebody to Love" live between 1977 to 1985, and a live performance of the song is recorded in the album Queen Rock Montreal. The song is even played live on April 20, 1992, during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and was performed by George Michael with Queen. Promo video was filmed at Sarm East studios and their performance in Hyde Park.
1977- Elektra Records (US)-“We Will Rock You” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJYN-eG1zk&ob=av2e The song was written by Brian May, it was apart of the 1977 “News Of the World” album. “ Rolling Stone magazine” ranked the single as 330 th in the "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004. The RIAA placed it at 146 th on its list of “Songs of the Century”. In 2009, the single was inducted into the “Grammy Hall of Fame”. Besides last 30 seconds which then May performs a guitar solo, the rest of the song is set in a cappella form,with only stamping and clapping as a rhythmic beat. In 1977, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" were issued together as a worldwide Top Ten single. The song and its well-known partner "We Are the Champions" were written in response to an event that happened in the 1977 British Tour. At which the band had played a gig at Stafford's Bingley Hall and the audience sang “You Will Never Walk Alone” as an encore instead of clapping. The chants that are in the songs are connected to this experience of the bands.
1978- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records (US)-“Bicycle Race” Director- Dennis de Vallance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Om1AQLcEA8 The song is released on the bands 1978 album entitled “Jazz” and was written by Freddie Mercury. The single was released as a double A- side single together with the song "Fat Bottomed Girls". The song is known well for it’s video featuring 65 nude women, all of whom were professional models. They took part in a bicycle race at Wimbledon Stadium. Which was deemed as scandalous it was edited and even banned in several countries. The original video uses special effects to hide the nudity. Freddie wrote the song after supposedly being inspired by observing a leg of “Tour de France”.
1980- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records (US)-“Another One Bites the Dust” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE&ob=av2e The song was written by bass guitarist John Deacon, the song if from the band’s eighth album “The Game”. The single was a worldwide hit, charting one on the United States “Billboard Hot 100”, number two on the R&B charts and the “Disco Top 100”, and number seven in the United Kingdom Singles Chart.The song is credited as Queen's best selling single, with sales of over 7 million copies. This version was ranked at number 34 on the “Billboard's All Time Top 100”. “Michael Jackson actually suggested we release it as a single. He was a fan of ours and used to come to our shows”.- John Deacon. “ I'd been wanting to do a track like 'Another One Bites The Dust' for a while.” The music video for "Another One Bites the Dust" was filmed at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas
1981- EMI Records (Europe), Elektra Records “Under Pressure” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01QQZyl-_I This single was David Bowie’s first-time collaboration with another artist. The song came along spontaneously, as Bowie happened to drop by the studio while Queen were recording. When released, the song was extremely successful, reaching number one in the UK and featuring at number 31 on “VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s”. Queen performed the song at their live shows but David Bowie didn’t until 1992 at the “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” with Annie Lennox. Since then he has performed the song at virtually all of his live performances. The song was covered in 2005 by American Alternative rock bands “The Used” and “My Chemical Romance” for “tsunami relief”.
1983- EMI Records (Europe), Capitol Records (US) - “Radio Ga Ga” Director – David Mallet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azdwsXLmrHE The song was written by the bands drummer Roger Taylor, from their album “The Works”. It was released as a single with "I Go Crazy" by Brian May on the original B-side. The single was a world-wide success reaching number one in 19 countries, number two in the “UK Singles Chart”, and number 16 on the “ Billboard Hot 100” in the US. The band performed the single at every concert between 1984 to their last with Mercury in 1986, with their most notable performance at “Live Aid” in 1985. The song was about television overtaking radio, no longer where people listening to radio programmes, the song gestured to the rise of music videos and MTV. The song was a hit on MTV and was nominated for an “MTV Video Music Award” that year. David Mallet's music video for the song features scenes from Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction movie “Metropolis”. Freddie Mercury's solo song "Love Kills" was used in Giorgio Moroder's restored version of the film.
1985-1986 - EMI Records (Europe)- “Who Wants To Live Forever ?” Director- David Mallet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jtpf8N5IDE&ob=av3e The song is from the album “A Kind of Magic”, it was written by Brian May. It is on the soundtrack to the film “Highlander”. The song peaked at No 24 in the UK charts. Brian May sings the lead vocals for the first verse, then Freddie Mercury carries on for most of the rest of the song. German band “Dune” released their cover of "Who Wants to Live Forever", from their album “Forever”, as a single in October 1996. The music video was filmed in a (now demolished) warehouse at Tobacco Wharf at London's East End in September 1986. It featured the “National Philharmonic Orchestra” with forty choirboys and hundreds and hundreds of candles which remain lit throughout filming as well as Mercury wearing a tuxedo suit. It is the only Queen video to feature bassist John Deacon playing an upright bass.
1988- Parlophone (Europe), Capitol (US)- “I Want It All” Director- David Mallet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKEgrnOOHso The song is from the bands Twelfth album “The Miracle”, it was written by Brian May. The song was released as the lead single from the album on 2 May 1989. reached number three on both the UK Singles Chart and the American “Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks” chart, number 50 on the “Billboard Hot 100” chart and number one in other European territories, including Spain, where “Los 40 Principales” regularly played the song during the month of July 1989. The song was first played live on 20 April 1992, three years after its release, during “The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert”. The song was never performed live by Freddie Mercury. The music video features the band performing in a studio that used halogen lighting. The song is available as a playable track in the 2009 music video game “Guitar Hero: Van Halen”. The song is featured in the music video game “SingStar Queen”.
1991 - Parlophone (Europe), Hollywood Records (US) - “Innuendo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmHgdLKwU8U It’s the opening track of the album entitled “Innuendo” also and was the first single from the album. At six and a half minutes, it is one of Queen's longest songs, and their longest ever released as a single. The single went straight to #1 in the UK Singles Chart. The lyrics are inspired in part by lead singer Freddie Mercury’s illness. “Allmusic” described the single as a "superb epic", which deals with “mankind's inability to live harmoniously.”Accompanied by a music video featuring animated representations of the band on a cinema screen akin to Nineteen Eighty-Four, plasticine figure stop-motion and harrowing imagery, it has been described as one of the band's darkest and most moving works. Mercury drawn in the style of Leonardo da Vinci, May in the style of Victorian etchings, Taylor in the style of Jackson Pollock, and Deacon in the style of Pablo Picasso. An early draft of the video for "Innuendo" was banned from American television due to the inclusion of footage from the Gulf War.
1990- Parlophone (Europe), Hollywood Records (US) “These are the Days of our Lives” - Directors- Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher of DoRo Productions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDUmT3wm-0A&ob=av2n The song was written mainly by the bands drummer Roger Taylor, the single is from the album “Innuendo”. The single debuted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart, and remained at the top for five weeks. The song was awarded a “BRIT Award” for "Best Single" in 1992. At the end of the song, Mercury simply speaks the words. The accompanying video was the last to feature front man Freddie Mercury as he was in the final stages of his battle with AIDS, filmed on 30 th May 1991. The video was shot in black and white to hide the full extent of Mercury's condition from AIDS, as he was now barely six months away from death. The song was played live in April 1992 at the “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert”, sung by George Michael and Lisa Stansfield.
1971- present.. "Queen were absolutely the best band of the day... they just went and smashed one hit after another... it was the perfect stage for Freddie: the whole world” -Bob Geldof, on Queen's performance at Live Aid.