The late singer of the band Queen would have been 74 years old last September 5 (Saturday). On September 5, 1946, singer Freddie Mercury was born in Stone Town, Tanzania.
The frontman of the band Queen, who would have turned 74 last September 5 (Saturday). , had a vocal power and charisma that managed to captivate millions on and off stage.
Queen needs no introduction: a group that gave the world a good handful of classic songs had one of the most devastating live shows and one of the most charismatic leaders, and whose music is so characteristic that it is impossible to confuse them with any other band.
1. Queen (1973)
A fantastic debut album, where Freddie Mercury and Brian May are dedicated to synthesizing their maximum influences (mainly Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, but also other hard rock bands of the time) in a series of songs of a fairly high level. Perhaps the most debatable aspect is the mix, but in terms of composition it is a very complete album and the classic style of Queen appears everywhere. Despite the fact that their singles are not yet as effective as in the future, they already took care of melody and guitar power equally, which will be their trademark for many years.
2. Queen II (1974)
Another very good album also ignored by many listeners who only attract the more accessible facet of later albums, although it is universally revered by the most staunch fans of the group. It’s a progressive hard rock album where they delve down the hard-sounding path of their debut, with instrumental outbursts, dominating guitar riffs, and little concession to simple songs. The themes are complex and full of changes, making up a work even more grandiose than the first. The ingredients of the classic Queen sound are there, taking shape before our eyes, yet still wrapped in a steel envelope.
3. Sheer Heart Attack (1974)
Although it was released in the same year as Queen II, the months between the recording of one album and another show the beginning of an evolution towards more accessible themes. This album is, so to speak, the transitional step between the heavier Queen of the first two albums and the more melodic Queen of A night at the opera and A night at the races. Here they are reaching a new level when it comes to composing irresistible vocal lines and in some songs, they already show signs of authentic melodic excellence.
4. A Night At The Opera (1975)
In this fourth album, you can see that the success of Killer Queen has shown them the way forward. Freddie Mercury takes the helm, completely sure of where he wants to take the sound of the band. He begins to experiment with ideas such as mixing rock with opera, looking for a new kind of bombast that is not based solely on walls of guitars but on an operatic structure and even pompous at times. At this time, Mercury’s life goes through considerable changes: after living for a long time with his lover and later inseparable friend Mary Austin, he began to maintain homosexual relationships, letting flow a gay side that he had not lived fully or announced to the four winds (although, despite what some said later, he never hid his bisexuality and in interviews from this time he admitted to having had homosexual experiences in student days).
5. A Day At The Races (1976)
Once again, the title of the album pays homage to the Marx brothers, making clear their vocation to become a stylistic continuation of A night in the opera (as can be seen, even the covers were very similar). And so it is, because it adds several more classics to the group’s repertoire, as the band’s inspiration continues at its highest point. Not all critics agreed with this vision at the time and some called it a “mere sequel” to its predecessor. But hey, beyond the eagerness of certain critics to want to punish the fact that they continued on the same path, the music speaks for itself: the album is extraordinary and obtained a similar sales success, reinforcing Queen’s position as established stars at the international level.
6. News Of The World (1977)
In its day, this album surprised many people. Queen abandoned the complex and operatic progressive rock that had characterized them in their rise to great stardom, replacing it with simpler and more direct songs. There were critics who did not sit well with this change and not everyone welcomed the album with enthusiasm, but News of the world, while lacking the sense of grandeur of its predecessors, was a good work that assimilated new influences such as funk ( through Roger Taylor) or melodic pop (through John Deacon). For some the album was a downturn, for others an interesting surprise. It may not be comparable to A night at the opera or A day at the races, but it is very good. In addition, it contains two of the most universally known and reproduced songs of the band, which led to this album being another great sales success.
7. We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions
Another simple rock song contributed by Brian May, directly intended to be chanted by a crowd. Being so simplistic, it ends up being irresistible, no matter how much it clashed with the highly elaborate compositions with which they had fallen on previous records. Queen seems to be thinking about the big stadiums already. It is not their best song, but who has not ever sung it?
Freddie Mercury also wanted to compose his anthem for this album and he succeeded. This epic song that plays anywhere in the world today every time a sports team wins a victory was the second single that helped elevate News of the world to the top of the charts. A bit bombastic, perhaps, but no less effective for that. After all, bombast was the band’s trademark.
8. Jazz (1978)
No, despite the title, there is no jazz here. The album continues on the path of News of the world: songs even more direct, endowed with more sense of humor (that delusional Mustapha who opens the album!). There are no great novelties, nor abrupt changes with respect to News of the world, despite which there were critics who fed on Queen using more viciousness than ever before. Particularly famous is the psychedelic and very ridiculous review of Rolling Stone magazine (do yourself a favor and read it: this is a critic losing his mind!). Perhaps Queen were no longer at the absolute creative zenith, but they were very close. But they continued to record fantastic music, this is a very good album and success continued to accompany them, no matter how heavy it was for some sectors of the music press.
9. Live Killers (1979)
I was not going to incorporate live shows on this list, but I think the double album Live Killers is of enormous significance and is an essential testimony to the brilliant moment that the band was passing on stage. Although in the studio their music was increasingly subtle, live they were still a very powerful hard rock group that gave an impressive strength and intensity even to the most melodic songs. The Queen themselves were not entirely happy with the sound of the album or the mixes, but for many fans Live Killers was a milestone comparable to their studio work, in a similar way to how Made in Japan could be for Deep Purple fans.
10. The Game (1980)
The eighties begin (although technically 1980 still belongs to the previous decade, I suppose we understand each other). Following the path started with News of the world and Jazz, the British accentuate the turn towards a more accessible pop-rock. The album focuses on increasingly simple themes and the almost total abandonment of the grandiloquence characteristic of its previous style. When we want to find out, Queen no longer sound at all like their early albums. It is possible that to some of the rockier fans of the early days this album said little, but to me it seems like a good job where the band is still in shape.
11. Flash Gordon (1980)
Well, here Queen were comfortable experimenting, but this time it was not for the best. Flash Gordon is a B-series soundtrack in every respect. It was a best seller, but I am convinced that it left many fans of the group wondering why they had bothered to buy such a device once they heard it at home. Instrumental themes of the most artificial, all very washed out and boring. As much as Queen would have bragged years before not using a single synthesizer on their records, here they shoehorn them even when they are unnecessary. Not even the most rock songs contributed by Brian May save the whole. A bad album, although not as bad as the movie, which was not saved by the presence of the divine Ornella Muti. The best scribe makes a blur, arguably, and being a soundtrack it could be considered a playful hiatus and an understandable slip, though it was actually a serious sign that Queen were choking on success.
12. Hot Space (1982)
Queen have choked on success. The arrival of the 80s, as it happened to so many other bands, did not sit well with them. They try to adapt to fashionable dance music and fail miserably, at least in the artistic section. A real record disaster in which there are hardly a couple of notable songs. Although it sold well and did not completely lose its commercial pull in the United States, the Americans lost part of their faith in Queen because rock still reigned in the United States. In Europe, yes, they kept their success almost intact. The group’s discography is definitely divided into two from here on and the second half of that discography will be the least interesting, although good songs can be rescued here and there. But the great years, those of the greatest albums, are definitely behind us.
13. Under Pressure
Composed during a jam session with David Bowie, it’s probably the best thing on the album. At least it served as the album’s main commercial hook. It’s a good song, somewhat less inspired than for example Another one bites the dust, but also pleasant to listen to. And, yes, it worked wonderfully well live (without going any further, the version of the famous Wembley concert is fantastic.
14. The Works (1984)
Freddie Mercury has already become one of the definitive frontmen of rock, capable of moving huge audiences at will and of having the public in suspense with the least of his gestures and movements. In the recording studios, however, any resemblance between this band and the one from ten years ago is purely coincidental. They have acquired a new and large audience that in many cases simply does not know the music that Queen had made in the beginning. In the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe they are still gods, although with this album they lose a lot of traction among the American public, which is an audience eager for a return to a big rock that Queen, apparently, was not going to do. provide. The criticism was quite cold. In short, an album that probably improves on the previous two, but is not a masterpiece either.
15. The Miracle (1989)
Let’s remember that around this time, a band like Guns n’ Roses had already exploded in America and what Queen was doing, while successful, seemed suddenly out of date in the eyes of many people. Of course, the sales success is enormous in Europe and they are again number one in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, it is close to being the swan album of the band, since Freddie has only two years to live.
16. Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music
On February 8, 1990, the group won the British Phonographic Industry Award by winning an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
17. Innuendo (1991)
The farewell. The recording of this album was long and complicated, with a Freddie Mercury who had been plunged into a rapid downward spiral by AIDS and who had to finish the album amid increasing physical suffering, being well aware that he was going to die shortly. At the time there was a lot of talk that Innuendo was a supposed “return to the beginning”, mainly because they chose as their first single the baroque and dark song that title it, but the truth is that the album is quite similar to The Miracle; that is, some guitar songs combined with the most pop-rock songs of an eighties vocation. Many people, however, considered it a remarkable improvement in the band.
18. November 23, 1991
On November 23, 1991, Freddie Mercury announced to the world that he had AIDS.
19. December 1991
In December 1991, Queen had 10 albums in the top 100 in Britain.
20. Made In Heaven (1994)
Freddie Mercury wanted to die singing, and that’s what he did. The result is Made in heaven, Queen’s posthumous album. May, Taylor, and Deacon tried to sound as faithful as possible to the style of the classic Queens’, the ones from the mid-70s. Perhaps it was the right way to do it, because Mercury was no longer to lead the show and it was safer to stick with it. in his usual style. Although, if we are to be honest, the songs are not particularly remarkable and the final product is forgettable. It was the fourth consecutive number one in the UK and definitely the original Queen’s last studio album.
20.1 Queen Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction (2001)