When Queen released their second album, Queen II on March 8, 1974, their critics somehow shied away from them. They released a new Queen sound, which wasn’t similar to their debut that the British Press loved.
All the positive reviews it had that time didn’t somehow help on sales, and the negative ones didn’t as well hurt it — it was totally balanced, but not successful as their first one. The very reason why they had to slow themselves down with their new sound for the album was because of Brian May’s help at the time. He got hit with hepatitis which led him to boycott all their 41 shows for the Queen II tour.
And when Queen didn’t want to find a replacement for Brian May to fill his spot to finish the tour, they had to stop, and immediately left the road and support their sick bandmate. By the time, Brian was healed, they were back in the studio, and released Sheer Heart Attack, their first of many hit LPs.
Queen II didn’t quite achieve the commercial success the band were hoping for, but their efforts to build such a unique album didn’t go to waste as they managed to build a massive following and it was a favorite for many fans.
“We took so much trouble over that album, possibly too much, but when we finished we felt really proud,” drummer Roger Taylor later said of Queen II. “Immediately, it got really bad reviews so I took it home to listen to again and thought ‘Christ, are they right?’ But after hearing it a few weeks later, I still like it. I think it’s great. We’ll stick by it.”
Listen to the full album below: