Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Queen (band)
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Queen (band)

Queen is a British rock band popular in the 1970s and 1980s. They are most well known for their hit "Bohemian Rhapsody", first released in 1975 and promoted by one of the earliest successful music videos and later re-released for the soundtrack album to the movie Wayne's World. Queen are widely recognised as pioneers of R&B;, glam rock, and stadium rock.

The beginnings of Queen can be traced to 1968, when Brian May and Roger Taylor formed the trio Smile, at Imperial College, London, where they were both students. After their bassist and lead singer Tim Staffell's departure in spring 1970, they formed a new band — Queen — with Freddie Mercury as lead vocalist in April 1970. In 1971 John Deacon completed the lineup as Queen's bassist.

Table of contents
1 Members
2 Queen Live
3 Musical progression
4 The End Of Queen?
5 Famous songs
6 Films
7 Theatre
8 Discography
9 External link

Members

Though Freddie Mercury's personality always dominated in the press, all four members of the group actually wrote huge hits:

Most of the group's albums contained at least one song written by each member, and though Mercury penned most of Queen's hits, he was by no means the dominant songwriter; indeed, the group considered themselves creative equals, and quiet bassist John Deacon wrote their biggest hit, "Another One Bites the Dust." In their later years, two or three or even all four band members commonly contributed to individual songs; after arguments over the attribution of these cooperative efforts, the band agreed to simply credit "Queen" rather than single members. (e.g. for The Miracle or Innuendo.

Queen Live

Queen's live performances were truly groundbreaking, employing massive lighting rigs, pyrotechnics, and other special effects to make their shows into engaging theatrical events. Along with their contemporaries KISS, they changed live concerts forever from the staid, stodgy events that had prevailed since the time of the Beatles, where performers would merely stand around and play their instruments.

Queen embarked upon many popular tours, with memorable shows (including the historic Live Aid concert) held at Wembley Stadium in England, and Maracană, for the Rock N' Rio festival in Brazil, although only the group's final tour, in support of the album "A Kind of Magic", ever actually made any money.

The Wembley concert, part of a UK tour in 1986, attracted 150,000 people over two nights. A memorable and prophetic moment occurred when Freddie Mercury told the audience: "There's been a lot of rumors lately about a certain band called Queen... the rumors are that we're gonna split up. What do you think?" Audience: "No!" Freddie: "Forget those rumors, we're gonna stay together 'till we fucking well die, I'm sure!". At this point Freddie did not know he had AIDS.

Musical progression

Queen's musical style changed every few years, sometimes rather drastically. They started off with what may be called Medieval metal moving in the direction of glam rock.

The A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races albums (named after Marx Brothers movies) are perhaps best described as opera metal. News of the World and Jazz are fairly eclectic.

Throughout the 1970s, Queen enforced a strict no-synthesizer policy, as evidenced by the famous "No Synthesizers were used on this Album" sleevenote included on their early LPss. The first album to feature a synthesizer was 1980's The Game, although the change in policy came about during the earlier recording of the music for the movie Flash Gordon which was released as an album after The Game.

The band lost many fans with the Hot Space album, which used funk and synth-driven disco beats rather than the Glam or Hard rock styles of earlier albums, a move intended by Freddie Mercury to target the American radio audience. The Hot Space album's opus, "Under Pressure", co-written by and performed with David Bowie, was a hit, but the change in direction never really caught on with the band's guitar rock fan base.

With The Works and A Kind of Magic Queen gave up experimenting, making sure the fans got what they wanted.

With The Miracle Queen returned to their hard rock roots.

Still, most Queen albums contain songs that do not fit into these descriptions.

The End Of Queen?

In 1991, rumors started spreading that Freddie Mercury was suffering from AIDS. Even tabloids worldwide got in on the news. Mercury flatly denied these rumors, but knowing the actual truth as his other bandmates did, they decided to make an album free of conflict and differences. That album became Innuendo. Although his health began to deteriorate, Mercury was courageous in handling his contributions. Highlights of the album were the anthems "The Show Must Go On" and "These Are The Days Of Our Lives".

On November 23, 1991, in a prepared statement made on his deathbed, Freddie Mercury finally acknowledged he had AIDS. Within 12 hours of the announcement, Mercury was dead at the age of 45. His funeral services were private, held in accordance with the Zoroastrian religious faith of his family.

On April 20, 1992, the public shared in the mourning of Mercury's passing at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, held at London's Wembley Stadium in Mercury's honor. Musicians such as Annie Lennox, Elton John, W. Axl Rose, George Michael, and Liza Minnelli (along with the three surviving members of Queen) perfomed most of Queen's major hits.

Queen never actually disbanded, although their last album (not including compilations) was released in 1995, ironically titled Made In Heaven, put out four years after Freddie Mercury's death, and constructed in part from leftover sessions for their previous studio album Innuendo. The band, minus John Deacon, still appears from time to time, making "Queen+" projects with various guest musicians. However, in this era of tribute albums such as those to Carole King and Elton John, there has yet to be an official one for Queen in English. However, one such album exists in Spanish.

Famous songs

Films

Queen contributed music directly to the movies Flash Gordon and Highlander (the original film directed by Russell Mulcahy). Several other films featured their songs, including Iron Eagle, Wayne's World, Small Soldiers and A Knight's Tale.

Theatre

In 2002, a musical or "rock theatrical" based on the songs of Queen, entitled We Will Rock You, began playing at the Dominion Theatre in the West End of London. The musical was written by British comedian and author Ben Elton in collaboration with Brian May and Roger Taylor. The launch of the musical coincided with the Queen's Golden Jubilee. As part of the Jubilee celebrations Brian May performed a guitar solo of the National Anthem — as featured on Queen's A Night at the Opera — from the roof of Buckingham Palace.

Discography

Albums

External link