THE QUEEN (Band) Story , MHI – Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals and piano), Brian May (lead guitar and vocals), Roger Taylor (drums and vocals) and John Deacon(bass guitar). Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.
Before forming Queen, May and Taylor had played together in the band Smile. Mercury was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques. He joined in 1970 and suggested the name “Queen”. Deacon was recruited in March 1971, before the band released their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974. Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 brought them international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and helped popularise the music video format.
The band’s 1977 album News of the World contained “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, which have become anthems at sporting events. By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rockbands in the world. “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980) became their best-selling single, while their 1981 compilation album Greatest Hits is the best-selling album in the UK and is certified eight times platinum in the US. Their performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert has been ranked among the greatest in rock history by various publications. In August 1986, Mercury gave his last performance with Queen at Knebworth, England. In 1991, he died of bronchopneumonia – a complication of AIDS, and Deacon retired in 1997. Since 2004, May and Taylor have toured under the “Queen +” name with vocalists Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert.
Estimates of Queen’s record sales range from 170 million to 300 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. In 1990, Queen received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music from the British Phonographic Industry. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Each member has composed hit singles, and all four were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2005, Queen received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2018, they were presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Brian May – guitar, keyboards, vocals (1970–present)
- Roger Taylor – drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals (1970–present)
- Freddie Mercury – lead vocals, keyboards, guitar (1970–1991)
- John Deacon – bass, guitar, keyboards (1971–1997)
Long-term Queen + vocalists
- Paul Rodgers (2004–2009)
- Adam Lambert (2011–present)
Current touring members
- Spike Edney – keyboards, piano, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1984–present)
- Neil Fairclough – bass guitar, backing vocals (2011–present)
- Tyler Warren – percussion, drums, backing vocals (2017–present)
Former touring members
- Morgan Fisher – keyboards, piano (1982)
- Fred Mandel – keyboards, piano (1982)
- David Grosman – bass guitar (1998–2004)
- Jamie Moses – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1998–2009)
- Danny Miranda – bass guitar, backing vocals (2005–2009)
- Rufus Tiger Taylor – percussion, drums, backing vocals (2011–2017)
- Mike Grose – bass (1970)
- Barry Mitchell – bass (1970–1971)
- Doug Bogie – bass (1971)
1968–1974: Early era
In 1968, guitarist Brian May, a student at London’s Imperial College, and bassist Tim Staffell decided to form a band. May placed an advertisement on a college notice board for a “Mitch Mitchell/Ginger Baker type” drummer; Roger Taylor, a young dental student, auditioned and got the job. The group called themselves Smile. While attending Ealing Art College in west London, Staffell became friends with Farrokh “Freddie” Bulsara, a fellow student from Zanzibar of Indian Parsi descent. Bulsara, who was working as a baggage handler at London’s Heathrow Airport, felt that he and the band had the same tastes and soon became a keen fan of Smile.
In 1970, after Staffell left to join the band Humpy Bong, the remaining Smile members, encouraged by now-member Bulsara, changed their name to “Queen” and performed their first gig on 18 July. The band had a number of bass players during this period who did not fit with the band’s chemistry. It was not until March 1971 that they settled on John Deacon and began to rehearse for their first album. They recorded four of their own songs, “Liar”, “Keep Yourself Alive”, “The Night Comes Down” and “Jesus”, for a demo tape; no record companies were interested. It was also around this time Freddie changed his surname to “Mercury”, inspired by the line “Mother Mercury, look what they’ve done to me” in the song “My Fairy King”. On 2 July 1971, Queen played their first show in the classic line-up of Mercury, May, Taylor and Deacon at a Surrey college outside London.
Having attended art college, Mercury also designed Queen’s logo, called the Queen crest, shortly before the release of the band’s first album. The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leo (Deacon and Taylor), a crab for Cancer (May), and two fairies for Virgo (Mercury). The lions embrace a stylised letter Q, the crab rests atop the letter with flames rising directly above it, and the fairies are each sheltering below a lion.There is also a crown inside the Q and the whole logo is over-shadowed by an enormous phoenix. The whole symbol bears a passing resemblance to the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, particularly with the lion supporters. The original logo, as found on the reverse-side of the cover of the band’s first album, was a simple line drawing. Later sleeves bore more intricate-coloured versions of the logo.
In 1972, Queen entered discussions with Trident Studios after being spotted at De Lane Lea Studios by John Anthony. After these discussions, Norman Sheffield offered the band a management deal under Neptune Productions, a subsidiary of Trident, to manage the band and enable them to use the facilities at Trident to record new material, whilst the management searched for a record label to sign Queen. This suited both parties, as Trident were expanding into management, and under the deal, Queen were able to make use of the hi-tech recording facilities used by other musicians such as the Beatles and Elton John to produce new material. Roger Taylor later described these early off-peak studio hours as “gold dust”.
In 1973, Queen signed to a deal with Trident/EMI. By July of that year, they released their eponymous debut album, an effort influenced by heavy metal and progressive rock. The album was received well by critics; Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone called it “superb”, and Chicago’s Daily Herald called it an “above average debut”.However, it drew little mainstream attention, and the lead single “Keep Yourself Alive” sold poorly. Retrospectively, it is cited as the highlight of the album, and in 2008 Rolling Stone ranked it 31st in the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”, describing it as “an entire album’s worth of riffs crammed into a single song”. The album was certified gold in the UK and the US.
The group’s second LP, Queen II, was released in 1974, and features rock photographer Mick Rock’s iconic image of the band on the cover. This image would be used as the basis for the 1975 “Bohemian Rhapsody” music video production. The album reached number five on the British album chart and became the first Queen album to chart in the UK. The Freddie Mercury-written lead single “Seven Seas of Rhye” reached number ten in the UK, giving the band their first hit. The album is the first real testament to the band’s distinctive layered sound, and features long complex instrumental passages, fantasy-themed lyrics, and musical virtuosity. Aside from its only single, the album also included the song “The March of the Black Queen”, a six-minute epic which lacks a chorus. The Daily Vault described the number as “menacing”. Critical reaction was mixed; the Winnipeg Free Press, while praising the band’s debut album, described Queen II as an “over-produced monstrosity”. AllMusic has described the album as a favourite among the band’s hardcore fans, and it is the first of three Queen albums to feature in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
1974–1976: Sheer Heart Attack to A Night at the Opera
In May 1974, a month into the band’s first US tour opening for Mott the Hoople, Brian May collapsed and was diagnosed with hepatitis, forcing the cancellation of their remaining dates. While recuperating, May was initially absent when the band started work on their third album, but he returned midway through the recording process. Released in 1974, Sheer Heart Attack reached number two in the UK, sold well throughout Europe, and went gold in the US. It gave the band their first real experience of international success, and was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The album experimented with a variety of musical genres, including British music hall, heavy metal, ballads, ragtime, and Caribbean. At this point, Queen started to move away from the progressive tendencies of their first two releases into a more radio-friendly, song-orientated style. Stretching contemporary production methods, Sheer Heart Attackintroduced new sound and melody patterns.
The single “Killer Queen” from Sheer Heart Attack reached number two on the British charts, and became their first US hit, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was partly recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales.With Mercury playing the grand piano, it combines camp, vaudeville, and British music hall with May’s guitar virtuosity. The album’s second single, “Now I’m Here”, a more traditional hard rock composition, was a number eleven hit in the UK, while the high speed rocker “Stone Cold Crazy” featuring May’s uptempo riffs is a precursor to speed metal. In recent years, the album has received acclaim from music publications: In 2006, Classic Rock ranked it number 28 in “The 100 Greatest British Rock Albums Ever”, and in 2007, Mojo ranked it No.88 in “The 100 Records That Changed the World”. It is also the second of three Queen albums to feature in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
In January 1975, the band left for a world tour with each member in Zandra Rhodes-created costumes and accompanied with banks of lights and effects. They toured the US as headliners, and played in Canada for the first time, after that they played in seven cities of Japan from mid-April to the start of May. In September, after an angry split with Trident, the band negotiated themselves out of their Trident Studios contract and searched for new management. One of the options they considered was an offer from Led Zeppelin’s manager, Peter Grant. Grant wanted them to sign with Led Zeppelin’s own production company, Swan Song Records. The band found the contract unacceptable and instead contacted Elton John’s manager, John Reid, who accepted the position.
In late 1975, Queen recorded and released A Night at the Opera, taking its name from the popular Marx Brothers movie. At the time, it was the most expensive album ever produced. Like its predecessor, the album features diverse musical styles and experimentation with stereo sound. In “The Prophet’s Song”, an eight-minute epic, the middle section is a canon, with simple phrases layered to create a full-choral sound. The Mercury penned ballad, “Love of My Life”, featured a harp and overdubbed vocal harmonies. The album was very successful in Britain, and went triple platinum in the United States. The British public voted it the 13th greatest album of all time in a 2004 Channel 4poll. It has also ranked highly in international polls; in a worldwide Guinness poll, it was voted the 19th greatest of all time, while an ABC poll saw the Australian public vote it the 28th greatest of all time. A Night at the Opera has frequently appeared in “greatest albums” lists reflecting the opinions of critics. Among other accolades, it was ranked number 16 in Q magazine’s “The 50 Best British Albums Ever” in 2004, and number 11 in Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time” as featured in their Mexican edition in 2004. It was also placed at number 230 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2003. A Night at the Opera is the third and final Queen album to be featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
We realized we’d look odd trying to mime such a hugely complex thing on TV. It had to be presented in some other way.
—Brian May on Mercury writing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the groundbreaking music video.
The album also featured the hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which was number one in the UK for nine weeks. Mercury’s close friend and advisor, Capital London radio DJ Kenny Everett, played a pivotal role in giving the single exposure. It is the third-best-selling single of all time in the UK, surpassed only by Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997”, and is the best-selling commercial single (i.e. not for-charity) in the UK. It also reached number nine in the United States (a 1992 re-release reached number two on the BillboardHot 100 for five weeks). It is the only single ever to sell a million copies on two separate occasions, and became the Christmas number one twice in the UK, the only single ever to do so. “Bohemian Rhapsody” has also been voted the greatest song of all time in three different polls. The band decided to make a video to help go with the single and hired Trilion, a subsidiary of the former management company Trident Studios, using new technology to create the video; the result is generally considered to have been the first “true” music video ever produced, and popularised the medium. Although other bands, including the Beatles, had made short promotional films or videos of songs before, most of those were made to be aired on specific television shows. According to Brian May, the video was produced so that the band could avoid miming on the BBC’s Top of the Pops, since it would have looked strange miming to such a complex song. In addition, the band knew they would be set to appear at Dundee’s Caird Hall on tour and would be unable to appear on Top of the Pops.
On the impact of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” promotional video, Rolling Stone states: “Its influence cannot be overstated, practically inventing the music video seven years before MTV went on the air.” Ranking it number 31 on their list of the 50 key events in rock music history, The Guardian stated it ensured “videos would henceforth be a mandatory tool in the marketing of music”. The first track on A Night at the Opera, “Death on Two Legs”, is said to have been written by Mercury about Norman Sheffield (and the former management at Trident who helped make the video so popular) because the band was broke despite the success of the previous album. The second single from the album, “You’re My Best Friend”, the second song composed by John Deacon, and his first single, peaked at number sixteen in the United States and went on to become a worldwide top-ten hit. The band’s A Night at the Opera Tour began in November 1975, and covered Europe, the United States, Japan, and Australia.
1976–1979: A Day at the Races to Live Killers
By 1976, Queen were back in the studio recording A Day at the Races, which is often regarded as a sequel album to A Night at the Opera. It again borrowed the name of a Marx Brothers movie, and its cover was similar to that of A Night at the Opera, a variation on the same Queen logo. The most recognisable of the Marx Brothers, Groucho Marx, invited Queen to visit him in his Los Angeles home in March 1977; there the band thanked him in person, and performed “’39” a cappella. Musically, A Day at the Races was by both fans’ and critics’ standards a strong effort, reaching number one in the UK and Japan, and number five in the US. The major hit on the album was “Somebody to Love”, a gospel-inspired song in which Mercury, May, and Taylor multi-tracked their voices to create a 100-voice gospel choir. The song went to number two in the UK, and number thirteen in the US. The album also featured one of the band’s heaviest songs, May’s “Tie Your Mother Down”, which became a staple of their live shows.
During 1976, Queen played one of their most famous gigs, a free concert in Hyde Park, London. A concert organised by the entrepreneur Richard Branson, it set an attendance record with 150,000 people confirmed in the audience. On 1 December 1976, Queen were the intended guests on London’s early evening Today programme, but they pulled out at the last-minute, which saw their late replacement on the show, EMI labelmate the Sex Pistols, give their infamous expletive-strewn interview with Bill Grundy. During the A Day at the Races Tour in 1977, Queen performed sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, New York, in February, and Earls Court, London, in June. The Earls Court concerts commemorated the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and saw the band use a lighting rig in the shape of a crown for the first time.
The band’s sixth studio album News of the World was released in 1977, which has gone four times platinum in the United States, and twice in the UK. The album contained many songs tailor-made for live performance, including two of rock’s most recognisable anthems, “We Will Rock You” and the rock ballad “We Are the Champions”, both of which became enduring international sports anthems, and the latter reached number four in the US. Queen commenced the News of the World Tour in November 1977, and Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times called this concert tour the band’s “most spectacularly staged and finely honed show”. During the tour they sold out another two shows at MSG, and in 1978 they received the Madison Square Garden Gold Ticket Award for passing more than 100,000 unit ticket sales at the venue.
In 1978, the band released Jazz, which reached number two in the UK and number six on the Billboard 200 in the US. The album included the hit singles “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Bicycle Race” on a double-sided record. Reviews of the album in recent years have been more favourable. Another notable track from Jazz, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, provides another example of the band’s exuberant vocal harmonies.
In 1978, Queen toured the US and Canada, and spent much of 1979 touring in Europe and Japan. They released their first live album, Live Killers, in 1979; it went platinum twice in the US. Queen also released the very successful single “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, a rockabilly inspired song done in the style of Elvis Presley. The song made the top 10 in many countries, topped the Australian ARIA Charts for seven consecutive weeks, and was the band’s first number one single in the United States where it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Having written the song on guitar and played rhythm on the record, Mercury played rhythm guitar while performing the song live, which was the first time he ever played guitar in concert. On 26 December 1979, Queen played the opening night at the Concert for the People of Kampuchea in London, having accepted a request by the event’s organiser, Paul McCartney. The concert was the last date of their Crazy Tour of London.
1980–1984: The Game to The Works
Queen began their 1980s career with The Game. It featured the singles “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Another One Bites the Dust”, both of which reached number one in the US. After attending a Queen concert in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson suggested to Mercury backstage that “Another One Bites the Dust” be released as a single, and in October 1980 it spent three weeks at number one. The album topped the Billboard 200 for five weeks,and sold over four million copies in the US. It was also the first appearance of a synthesiser on a Queen album. Heretofore, their albums featured a distinctive “No Synthesisers!” sleeve note. The note is widely assumed to reflect an anti-synth, pro-“hard”-rock stance by the band, but was later revealed by producer Roy Thomas Baker to be an attempt to clarify that those albums’ multi-layered solos were created with guitars, not synths, as record company executives kept assuming at the time. In September 1980, Queen performed three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. In 1980, Queen also released the soundtrack they had recorded for Flash Gordon. At the 1981 American Music Awards in January, “Another One Bites the Dust” won the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single, and Queen were nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo, or Group.
In February 1981, Queen travelled to South America as part of The Game Tour, and became the first major rock band to play in Latin American stadiums. The tour included five shows in Argentina, one of which drew the largest single concert crowd in Argentine history with an audience of 300,000 in Buenos Aires and two concerts at the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, where they played to an audience of more than 131,000 people in the first night (then the largest paying audience for a single band anywhere in the world) and more than 120,000 people the following night. In October of the same year, Queen performed for more than 150,000 fans on 9 October at Monterrey (Estadio Universitario) and 17 and 18 at Puebla (Estadio Zaragoza), Mexico. On 24 and 25 November, Queen played two sell out nights at the Montreal Forum, Quebec, Canada. One of Mercury’s most notable performances of The Game’s final track, “Save Me”, took place in Montreal, and the concert is recorded in the live album, Queen Rock Montreal.
—Brian May on the most turbulent period in the band during the early 1980s.
Queen worked with David Bowie on the single “Under Pressure”. The first-time collaboration with another artist was spontaneous, as Bowie happened to drop by the studio while Queen were recording. Upon its release, 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.
In October that year, Queen released their first compilation album, titled Greatest Hits, which showcased the group’s highlights from 1974 to 1981. It is the best-selling album in UK Chart history, and (as of June 2019) has spent 867 weeks in the UK Album Chart. The album is certified eight times platinumin the US, and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Taylor became the first member of the band to release his own solo album in 1981, titled Fun in Space.
In 1982, the band released the album Hot Space, a departure from their trademark seventies sound, this time being a mixture of rock, pop rock, dance, funk, and R&B. Most of the album was recorded in Munich during the most turbulent period in the band’s history, and Taylor and May lamented the new sound, with both being very critical of the influence Mercury’s personal manager Paul Prenter had on the singer. May was also scathing of Prenter, who was Mercury’s manager from the early 1980s to 1984, for being dismissive of the importance of radio stations, such as the US networks, and their vital connection between the artist and the community, and for denying them access to Mercury. Q magazine would list Hot Space as one of the top fifteen albums where great rock acts lost the plot. On 14 and 15 September 1982, the band performed their last two gigs in the US with Mercury on lead vocals, playing at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The band stopped touring North America after their Hot Space Tour, as their success there had waned, although they would perform on American television for the only time during the eighth-season premiere of Saturday Night Live on 25 September of the same year; it became the final public performance of the band in North America before the death of their frontman. Queen left Elektra Records, their label in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, and signed onto EMI/Capitol Records.
After working steadily for over ten years, Queen decided that they would not perform any live shows in 1983. During this time, they recorded a new album at the Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles and Musicland Studios, Munich, and several members of the band explored side projects and solo work. Taylor released his second solo album, Strange Frontier. May released the mini-album Star Fleet Project, collaborating with Eddie Van Halen.
In February 1984, Queen released their eleventh studio album, The Works, which included the successful singles “Radio Ga Ga”, “Hammer to Fall” and “I Want to Break Free”. Despite these hit singles, the album failed to do well in the US, where the cross-dressing video for “I Want to Break Free” – a parody of the British soap opera Coronation Street – proved controversial and was banned by MTV, while in the UK it went triple platinum and remained in the albums chart for two years. The concept of the video came from Roger Taylor, who stated to Q magazine: “We had done some really serious, epic videos in the past, and we just thought we’d have some fun. We wanted people to know that we didn’t take ourselves too seriously, that we could still laugh at ourselves. I think we proved that.”
That year, Queen began The Works Tour, the first tour to feature keyboardist Spike Edney as an extra live musician. The tour featured nine sold-out dates in October in Bophuthatswana, South Africa, at the arena in Sun City.Upon returning to England, they were the subject of outrage, having played in South Africa during the height of apartheid and in violation of worldwide divestment efforts and a United Nations cultural boycott. The band responded to the critics by stating that they were playing music for fans in South Africa, and they also stressed that the concerts were played before integrated audiences. Queen donated to a school for the deaf and blind as a philanthropic gesture but were fined by the British Musicians’ Union and placed on the United Nations’ blacklisted artists.
1985–1988: Live Aid and tours
In January 1985, Queen headlined two nights of the first Rock in Rio festival at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and played in front of over 300,000 people each night. The Boston Globe described it as a “mesmerising performance”. Highlights from both nights were released on VHS as Queen: Live in Rio, and was broadcast on MTV in the US. In April and May 1985, Queen completed the Works Tour with sold-out shows in Australia and Japan.
—Bob Geldof, on Queen’s performance at Live Aid.
At Live Aid, held at Wembley on 13 July 1985, in front of the biggest-ever TV audience of 1.9 billion, Queen performed some of their greatest hits. The sold-out stadium audience of 72,000 people clapped, sang, and swayed in unison.The show’s organisers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, other musicians such as Elton John, Cliff Richard and Dave Grohl, and journalists writing for the BBC, CNN, Rolling Stone, MTV, The Telegraph among others, described Queen as the highlight. An industry poll in 2005 ranked it the greatest rock performance of all time. Mercury’s powerful, sustained note during the a cappella section came to be known as “The Note Heard Round the World”.The band were revitalised by the response to Live Aid – a “shot in the arm” Roger Taylor called it – and the ensuing increase in record sales.
Queen ended 1985 by releasing the single “One Vision” and a limited-edition boxed set of Queen albums, The Complete Works. The package included the 1984 Christmas single “Thank God It’s Christmas” and previously unreleased material. In early 1986, Queen recorded the album A Kind of Magic, containing several reworkings of songs written for the fantasy action film Highlander. The album was successful in the UK and many other countries, producing a string of hits including “A Kind of Magic”, “One Vision”, “Friends Will Be Friends”, “Princes of the Universe” and “Who Wants to Live Forever”. In the US the album only peaked at number 46, and it was described by biographer Mark Blake as “a so-so album” and “a somewhat uneven listening experience”.
In mid-1986, Queen went on the Magic Tour, their final tour with Freddie Mercury. They once again hired Spike Edney. The Magic Tour’s highlight was at Wembley Stadium in London and resulted in the live double album Queen at Wembley, released on CD and as a live concert VHS/DVD, which has gone five times platinum in the US and four times platinum in the UK. Queen could not book Wembley for a third night, but played at Knebworth Park. The show sold out within two hours and over 120,000 fans packed the park for what was Queen’s final performance with Mercury.Queen began the tour at the Råsunda Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden, and during the tour the band performed a concert at Slane Castle, Ireland, in front of an audience of 95,000, which broke the venue’s attendance record. The band also played behind the Iron Curtain when they performed to a crowd of 80,000 at the Népstadion in Budapest, in what was one of the biggest rock concerts ever held in Eastern Europe. More than one million people saw Queen on the tour—400,000 in the UK alone, a record at the time.
After working on various solo projects during 1988 (including Mercury’s collaboration with Montserrat Caballé, Barcelona), the band released The Miracle in 1989. The album continued the direction of A Kind of Magic, using a pop-rock sound mixed with a few heavy numbers. It spawned the European hits “I Want It All”, “Breakthru”, “The Invisible Man”, “Scandal”, and “The Miracle”. The Miracle also began a change in direction of Queen’s songwriting philosophy. Beforehand, nearly all songs had been written by and credited to a single member. With The Miracle, their songwriting became more collaborative, and they vowed to credit the final product only to Queen as a group.
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- “Tie Your Mother Down” has been included in all of the band’s tours from the summer of 1976 to the most recent Return of the Champions tour, Queen Concertography.
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There was no stipulation that we wouldn’t have any synths, but the statement ‘No synths’ was printed on the album sleeves because of peoples’ lack of intellect in the ears department. Many people couldn’t hear the difference between a multitracked guitar and a synthesiser. We would spend four days multi-layering a guitar solo and then some imbecile from the record company would come in and say, ‘I like that synth!’
- Billboard 12 July 1980. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
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- Sutcliffe, Phil (2009). Queen: the Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock (2015 ed.). Minneapolis, MN, USA: Voyageur Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-7603-4947-2.
Corey Taylor: ‘The older I got, the more I got into Queen, and I got into the harmonies, which were just unreal … It was one of those things where you go, ‘Man I wish I would’ve started listening to this earlier.’ I think Freddie Mercury was one of the best singers ever lived. I think he would look around at a lot of this stuff today and laugh his ass off ’cause it would be so funny to him. Then again, he’d probably be a god to some of these people because he was such a great frontman, such a good singer, and just incredibly gifted man.’
- Sutcliffe, Phil (2009). Queen: the Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock (2015 ed.). Minneapolis, MN, USA: Voyageur Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7603-4947-2.
Tom Morello: ‘There is no band remotely like them. There aren’t even imitators that come within a hundred city blocks of Queen, and that can be said about very, very few bands. It’s one of the few bands in the history of rock music that was actually best in a stadium. And I miss Freddie Mercury very much.’
Sutcliffe, Phil (2009). Queen: the Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock (2015 ed.). Minneapolis, MN, USA: Voyageur Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-7603-4947-2. Wayne Coyne: ‘Musically they really are phenomenal. Freddie Mercury was just a beautiful singer, and they all are so great as musicians and have so many great moments where it’s like, oh my God, here’s a band that didn’t hold back.’
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- Hodkinson, Mark (2005). Queen: The Early Years. London: Music Sales Limited. ISBN 978-0-7119-6012-1.
- Hogan, Peter (1994). The Complete Guide to the Music of Queen. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-3526-6.
- Jackson, Laura (2002). Queen: The Definitive Biography. London: Piatkus. ISBN 978-0-7499-2317-4.
- Michael, Mick (1992). Queen, In Their Own Words. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-3014-8.
- Nester, Daniel (2003). God Save My Queen: A Tribute. Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press. ISBN 978-1-887128-27-8.
- Nester, Daniel (2004). God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On. Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press. ISBN 978-1-932360-51-6.
- Purvis, Georg (2006). Queen: Complete Works. Richmond: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 978-1-905287-33-8.
- Sutcliffe, Phil; Hince, Peter; Mack, Reinhold (2009). Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock. London: Voyageur Press. ISBN 0-7603-3719-5.