Queen (band)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logo, first on the album The Works (1984)

Logo, first on the album The Works (1984)
Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon and Roger Taylor
Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon and Roger Taylor
General information
origin United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Genre (s) skirt
founding 1970
Website queenonline.com
Founding members
Freddie Mercury († 1991)
Guitar , vocals
Brian May
Drums , vocals
Roger Taylor
Mike Grose (until 1970)
Current occupation
Guitar, vocals
Brian May
Drums, vocals
Roger Taylor
former members
Electric bass
Barry Mitchell (1970-1971)
Electric bass
Doug Ewood Bogie (1971)
Electric bass
John Deacon (1971-1997)
Accompanying musician for live performances
Fred Mandel (1982)
Keyboard, guitar
Spike Edney (since 1984)
Morgan Fisher (1982)

Queen is a British rock band formed in 1970 . Her line-up of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , Roger Taylor and John Deacon remained unchanged for two decades.

The group's music is characterized by great stylistic diversity, and all of the band members played a key role in the songwriting . Queen's best-known songs include We Are the Champions , composed by Freddie Mercury , Brian Mays We Will Rock You , John Deacons Another One Bites the Dust and Roger Taylor's Radio Ga Ga . The Mercury composition Bohemian Rhapsody occupied the top of the British singles charts for many weeks in both 1975 and 1991. For this title, which combines ballad and operetta-like exaggerated vocal capers as well as hard rock in one song, the band produced one of the earliest and most style-defining music videos .

Queen was consistently successful internationally: all of the studio albums released after her breakthrough in 1974 reached number one in the charts. With around 200 million albums sold, Queen is one of the world's most commercially successful bands. In her home country of Great Britain her first greatest hits album alone was sold more than five million times, which is unsurpassed there. With more than 31 million copies sold, it is also one of the world's best-selling albums. With sales of over seven million units, Another One Bites the Dust is the band's best-selling single. Queen played more than 700 concerts in 16 years.



In August 1963 Brian May started building his first electric guitar, the “ Red Special ”, together with his father . She later shaped the typical, unmistakable guitar sound of Queen. In 1966, Tim Staffell and Farrokh Bulsara  - who called himself Freddie Bulsara at the time and Freddie Mercury from the early 1970s - became friends , both of whom were studying at the Ealing College of Art .

In 1968 May (guitar, vocals), Staffell (lead vocals, bass) and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) founded the group Smile . Meanwhile, Mercury joined the Liverpool band Ibex as a singer. He met Smile through his friend Tim Staffell and became a fan of the band.

In February 1969, Smile attended a festival at the Royal Albert Hall . They played among other things. the later Queen title See What a Fool I've Been . With producer John Anthony, who later co-produced Queen's debut album, the band recorded the tracks Doin 'Alright , Earth and Step on Me at Trident Studios . The single with the latter two titles was released in August on Mercury Records in the USA. The label made further recordings possible at De Lane Lea Studios in London. This is where, among other things, the piece Blag with an anticipation of May's later Brighton rock guitar solo.

1970–1974: first years

While May was in Tenerife for a few months to study , Staffell left the band Smile and went to Colin Petersen's Humpy Bong . Then May, Taylor and Freddie Mercury formed a band called Queen .

With Mike Grose on bass, this formation made their live debut in Truro on June 27, 1970 , due to the fact that they were already being advertised under the name Smile . On July 18, the band performed live as Queen for the first time at a concert at Imperial College London . Great successor Barry Mitchell made some appearances as the bassist of Smile from August , but separated from the group again at the beginning of the next year. This was followed by a brief guest appearance by Doug Bogie until February 1971. After a long search for a bassist, John Deacon finally completed the line-up of Queen, which did not change for 20 years until Mercury's death. In the same year, the group recorded the first demo recordings with five tracks at De Lane Lea Studios , which later appeared on their first album.

In February 1973 she recorded her first BBC session for John Peel's radio show Sounds of the '70s (which was released on the 1989 album At the Beeb ). In the following years there were numerous other BBC sessions by Queen . On April 9, 1973, the Queen's press launch took place at the Marquee Club in London .

The Trident producer Robin Cable invited the band to studio recordings, which allowed the sound engineers to try out ways to mimic the Phil Spector sound. This resulted in a cover version of the Beach Boys hit I Can Hear Music (without John Deacon) , which was released as a single together with the Dusty Springfield title Goin 'Back . Since the style of the recordings was completely different from that of the band, it was released three weeks before Queen's debut album under the pseudonym Larry Lurex , a humorous allusion to Gary Glitter .

On July 6, 1973, the single Keep Yourself Alive was released as a pre-release of the first album , which did not reach any chart placement. A week later, the first album, Queen , was released, representing Queen's music from the past three years. The following month, recording began for the second album. In the fall, Queen toured the UK as the opening act for Mott the Hoople and then toured the US in 1974.

The second single Seven Seas of Rhye , released in February 1974, reached number ten in the UK charts and was Queen's first hit. In March the band embarked on their first major tour headlining the UK. In the same month, the second album Queen II was released. The band presented a concept album with a wide range of different types of music: from pieces in the style of the British music hall to heavy metal tracks and ballads . The album reached number five on the UK charts. In September 1974, the band received their first Silver Record for more than 100,000 copies sold by Queen II .

With the previously released third single Killer Queen , in which the theatrical British variety theater merges with Brian May's guitar sound, the band had international success for the first time. The record reached number twelve on the US Billboard charts . In Great Britain, the single just missed the top of the charts with second place. In November 1974, the third album Sheer Heart Attack was released , which also reached number two in the British charts.

1975–1979: number one

Freddie Mercury (1978)

The pre -single Bohemian Rhapsody released in October 1975 was Christmas number one hit of the year and occupied number one on the British charts for nine weeks; with this, Paul Anka's 1957 record set with Diana was set. The song, written by Freddie Mercury, differs from other singles of the time due to its musically unusual structure and its length of 5:55 minutes. Bohemian Rhapsody is also considered to be the beginning of the music video era . Since the band did not have time for a live performance on the BBC, a short film was made instead, in which the band, mirrored in many ways, represents a large choir for the Rhapsody. A Night at the Opera , released in November 1975 , was the first Queen album to top the UK charts. It went platinum three times in the United States and was Queen's commercial breakthrough.

The two albums A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races , released in December 1976 , which also reached number one in the British charts, can be regarded as sister works. Both titles refer to film titles by the Marx Brothers , the design of the two record sleeves is complementary: the first white, the second black, both of which have the Queen logo as the cover picture. Parallels can also be found in the selection of music styles. The singles were the gospel influenced Somebody to Love and the hard rock song Tie Your Mother Down .

On a pre-release of the next album, the anthem We Are the Champions appeared, one of today's most famous Queen songs; on the B-side was We Will Rock You . In October 1977, the sixth album News of the World , held musically rougher than its predecessor, was released. The album cover was designed by Frank Kelly Freas .

Queen live (1979)

The recordings for the next album took place for the first time outside of Great Britain - in Montreux and Nice . The double A-sides Fat Bottomed Girls and the Tour de France- inspired Bicycle Race were released as pre-singles . The album Jazz followed in November 1978 . Attached to this plate was a poster of naked women on racing bikes; the photo was taken on the occasion of the video recording of the Bicycle Race at Wimbledon Stadium. The second single Don't Stop Me Now was released. The recordings for Queen's first live LP were made during the jazz tour: The double album Live Killers , released in June 1979, contains excerpts from various concerts in Europe.

Also in June, with Reinhold Mack as sound engineer and co-producer, the recordings for the next album began for the first time in the Musicland Studios in Munich. Mack was supposed to give Queen's music a new direction. In October 1979, one of Queen's most successful singles was released: With Crazy Little Thing Called Love , Queen made it to the top of the US singles charts for the first time in the following year. In this rockabilly- style song , Mercury can be heard for the first and only time as a rhythm guitarist . The song later appeared on the album The Game . The “Crazy Tour” through Great Britain ended on December 26, 1979 in London with a charity concert for the needy population in Cambodia .

1980–1984: New ways

After the two other pre-single releases Save Me and Play the Game , the album The Game was released in June 1980 . It is Queen's only album to hit number one in the US charts. The band had radically changed not only in sound, but also in appearance: the long hair was cut short, with the exception of Brian May, who has not renounced his long locks to this day, and the flashy costumes were replaced by leather clothes. Freddie Mercury also had a mustache . For the first time a synthesizer could be heard on an album . In August 1980, during the North American tour, the fourth single Another One Bites the Dust was released . This funk rock song, based on the Good Times bass line , stayed at number one on the US charts for several weeks and is Queen's best-selling single in the United States.

The film producer Dino De Laurentiis asked the band to write the score for his film Flash Gordon . In December 1980 the album Flash Gordon - Original Soundtrack Music was released with mainly instrumental pieces.

In 1981 Roger Taylor released his solo album Fun in Space as the first band member . In the same year the band played for the first time in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico in large football stadiums. Towards the end of the tour, Queen set a new attendance record: On March 20, 1981, the band played in front of 131,000 spectators in the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo .

Another outstanding event of the year was the release of the single Under Pressure in October 1981 . The idea of ​​a collaboration between Queen and David Bowie came about during a chance meeting in the studios in Montreux. Under Pressure reached number one in the British charts as the second Queen single; the song later appeared on the album Hot Space . In November the first “Greatest Hits” album was released with the most successful Queen singles to date: Greatest Hits , which stayed in the charts for over ten years, is by far the best-selling album in Great Britain. This compilation is Queens world's best-selling album.

In November 1981 the band gave two concerts in Montreal , which were used to record the concert film We Will Rock You , which premiered two years later. In 2007, this recording of Queen's last live performances as a quartet was released on CD and DVD under the title Queen Rock Montreal .

In April 1982 the Hot Space tour began, on which Morgan Fisher accompanied the band for the first time. The concert at the Milton Keynes Bowl was released in 2004 under the title Queen on Fire - Live at the Bowl . In May 1982 the album Hot Space was released . The song Life Is Real is dedicated to John Lennon († December 8, 1980). The overwhelming sales success of Another One Bites the Dust was one of the reasons why the band decided to produce significant parts of the album in a disco and funk style. Because of this change in style, Hot Space is one of those Queen albums that polarize the most. While music critics expressed themselves quite positively, parts of the fans of the traditional rock sound of the band were disappointed with the unfamiliar ways of the album. The sales figures were overall worse than the previous albums.

After completing the Hot Space world tour in November, Queen took their longest - nine months - break to date. Brian May released the mini-album Star Fleet Project in 1983 , including with Edward Van Halen .

Queen live (1984)

In early 1984, the pre-release Radio Ga Ga was released , one of Queens internationally most successful singles. The video for the song shows the band in scenes from Fritz Lang's science fiction silent film Metropolis . The short film for the second single, I Want to Break Free , in which the band members disguised themselves as women, is also one of Queen's best-known video clips, but like Bicycle Race was not shown in the commercially important but prudish US market. In February 1984 the album The Works was released. The sound of the album is due to the inter alia. influenced by the synthesizer programmed by Fred Mandel. With the album, Queen built a bridge between hard rock (Hammer to Fall) and pop (I Want to Break Free) .

Spike Edney was hired as a live keyboardist , who from now on was to be present at all other Queen concerts and also participated in numerous solo projects. Because of their performances in Sun City , when apartheid was still prevalent in South Africa, the band was confronted with severe criticism due to the boycott breach. In November, the single Thank God It's Christmas , which was not featured on any of Queen's studio albums, was released .

1985–1989: Live Aid and last tour

Queen at Rock in Rio (1985)

In January 1985, Queen played two concerts at the first edition of " Rock in Rio " in front of an audience of over 250,000. In April, Freddie Mercury released his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy .

On July 13, 1985 at 6:41 pm, Queen performed at Bob Geldof's Live Aid benefit concert at London's Wembley Stadium . They played some of their biggest hits: The first part of Bohemian Rhapsody , Radio Ga Ga (75,000 viewers clapped in sync with the chorus), Hammer to Fall , Crazy Little Thing Called Love , We Will Rock You and finally We Are the Champions . With their inspiring 20-minute performance, Queen stole the show from everyone else in the eyes of the fans and the organizer, Bob Geldof. Mercury later sang with May Is This the World We Created?

Inspired by the live aid experience, the band members worked together to write the title One Vision , which was released as a single in November 1985. The fast, guitar-driven song was unusual for Queen's creative period; he became the opener of both the following album and the Magic Tour . The song was also used in the soundtrack of the film The Steel Eagle . In March 1986, the advance single A Kind of Magic was released, the original version of which comes from the simultaneously released film Highlander by Russell Mulcahy . Shortly before the European tour, the album A Kind of Magic was released in early June 1986 . Queen had written six tracks for Highlander , which were included in the album in a modified form. As a film score, some of these pieces have a lush orchestration . Therefore, numerous other artists were involved in this album. Mulcahy also shot the two videos A Kind of Magic and Princes of the Universe , in which the main actor Christopher Lambert played.

The sold out Magic Tour led through Europe from June to August. The two appearances in London's Wembley Stadium on July 11th and 12th were released as a compilation in 1992 under the title Live at Wembley '86 on CD and later on DVD. On July 27th, one of the first concerts of a large western band in what was then the Eastern Bloc took place in Budapest's Népstadion . On August 9th, more than 120,000 fans (according to unofficial counts up to 200,000, a record attendance for Queen in England) saw the final concert of the tour in Knebworth Park without knowing that they would see the entire band for the last time. In December 1986 the album Live Magic was released , the recordings of which come from these appearances.

In the following time, the individual band members dealt with solo projects. Roger Taylor founded the band The Cross in the fall of 1987 in order to be able to go on tour again and produced their debut album Shove It , which was released the following year . Freddie Mercury sang the title Heaven for Everyone . In 1988, Mercury's second solo album Barcelona was released , which he had recorded with the Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé , a synthesis of pop and opera singing.

Three years after Queen's last studio album, the pre-single I Want It All and the album The Miracle were released in May 1989 . A sign of the bond between the band members was that all titles were named Queen as the author. David Richards was the first time the sole co-producer. Musically, the album is a continuation of A Kind of Magic , which can be seen in the then contemporary pop-rock sound of the hits The Invisible Man , The Miracle and Breakthru . Especially because of Freddie Mercury's (initially kept secret) AIDS disease, there were no live performances for the first time when a new Queen studio album was released. In December, the album At the Beeb was released with BBC recordings from 1973.

1990–1994: Freddie Mercury's death and "Tribute Concert"

In February 1990, Queen was honored with the BRIT Award for her outstanding achievements. Mercury's sickly appearance at the event gave rise to further speculation about his health.

In January 1991, Innuendo, the six-and-a-half-minute title track from the following album, was released as a pre-single. It reached number one in the British charts as the third song by Queen. In February, the album Innuendo was released, which also came to number one on the British charts. The title ("allusion, hint") is the program for the songs on the album, but this only became clear after Mercury's death: I'm Going Slightly Mad , These Are the Days of Our Lives and above all The Show Must Go On . That Freddie Mercury had not lost his sense of humor despite everything, can be seen in his song Delilah (a declaration of love to one of his cats) as well as in the video for I'm Going Slightly Mad .

Brian May produced the benefit single The Stonk by Hale and Pace with Roger Taylor's participation , which reached number 1 in the UK charts. The commercially successful Queen compilation Greatest Hits II was released on October 28, 1991 .

This year rumors intensified that Freddie Mercury was seriously ill and suffering from the immunodeficiency disease AIDS , reported by tabloids around the world. Mercury himself did not comment on these rumors and had them denied by spokesmen. On November 23, he made a prepared statement to inform the public that he had AIDS. A few hours after this announcement, Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991 at the age of 45 in his home at No. Logan Place. 1 in London Kensington in the closest circle of pneumonia.

In December 1991 the single Bohemian Rhapsody with the double A-side These Are the Days of Our Lives appeared as a legacy from Mercury ; it was once again number one on the British charts for weeks. The proceeds were donated to an AIDS foundation. Only in North America was the compilation album Classic Queen (instead of Greatest Hits II ) released in March 1992 . It reached fourth place on the US charts, which was the best placement for a Queen album in more than a decade.

One of the outstanding musical events of the year was the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert , organized by the remaining Queen members on April 20, 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium. Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon have performed with guest singers and musicians, including with George Michael , Robert Plant , Axl Rose , Annie Lennox , David Bowie , Roger Daltrey , Paul Young , James Hetfield , Elton John and Liza Minnelli . At the end of May, the double album Live at Wembley '86 was released , the digitally edited compilation of both concerts at Wembley Stadium from 1986.

1995–1999: Posthumous Album

In November 1995, almost five years after Innuendo , Queen's last studio album, Made in Heaven, was released . It contains the tracks A Winter's Tale , You Don't Fool Me and Mother Love, recorded in 1991 in the months leading up to Freddie Mercury's death in Montreux . The other songs, with the exception of the final, instrumental track, are from the eighties and were largely re-recorded for this album by the remaining band members, whereby Mercury's original lead vocals were retained. Some of these titles had previously appeared in other versions, especially in the context of solo projects, such as Mercury's theme song and the first single Heaven for Everyone written by Taylor . The album is one of Queen's most commercially successful releases.

The last live performance of Taylor, May and Deacon so far took place on January 17, 1997 in Paris : Queen played on the occasion of the premiere of Maurice Béjart's ballet Le Presbytère n'a rien perdu de son charme, ni le jardin de son éclat with Elton John as guest singer The Show Must Go On . The music for the ballet comes from Queen and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . The theme of the piece relates to AIDS and the early death of Freddie Mercury and Jorge Donn , the company's first dancer. Le Presbytère was released as a video under the title Ballet for Life ; the live version of The Show Must Go On is also available on the Queen compilation Greatest Hits III .

In November 1997 the compilation album Queen Rocks was released with mainly harder, rock-oriented songs: it contains single hits, album tracks and some previously unreleased versions of older pieces. Above all, however, the new track No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young) can be found on the album : It is the only (new) song that May, Taylor and Deacon wrote as a threesome after Freddie Mercury's death ( 1997). Brian May, who wrote the piece, and Roger Taylor share the vocals.

The album Greatest Hits III was released in November 1999. It is the first record with the word "Queen +" under the coat of arms of the Phoenix makes it clear that a new concept has been realized here: The album also contains solo tracks as well as Queen collaborations with other singers. Somebody to Love was performed by George Michael at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert . Another One Bites the Dust is a remix by Wyclef Jean with rap additions by Pras Michel .

2000–2004: musicals and other projects

The planetarium in the Forum der Technik of the Deutsches Museum produced a multimedia laser show together with Brian May , which premiered on December 13, 2001 in Munich. The show includes laser effects and 5.1 - surround sound , including the projected into the dome of the planetarium night sky. Wrapped in light, artificial fog, the audience experienced music and videos of newly mixed Queen hits. The show was shown in the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena from 2002, in the Nicolaus Copernicus Planetarium in Nuremberg from 2005 and in the Vienna Planetarium from 2006 .

Together with Ben Elton , Queen wrote their own jukebox musical called "We Will Rock You", which premiered in London in 2002. See We Will Rock You (Musical) .

On June 3, 2002 Brian May and Roger Taylor appeared on the occasion of the celebrations for the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II . The BBC broadcast the Party at the Palace live from Buckingham Palace Park . At the beginning May intoned his version of God Save the Queen , which was expanded with an intro , standing on the roof of the palace with Roger Taylor on the kettledrum . For the song Radio Ga Ga sung by Taylor , Phil Collins was on the drums. Then the ensemble of the Queen musical took the stage and sang a Queen medley with the band. The middle part of Bohemian Rhapsody did not come off the tape this time, but was performed by the choir of the musical ensemble.

Numerous digital restorations were carried out under the supervision of May and Taylor, significantly extending Queen's audio and video catalog. Since 2002 several concert recordings have been released (including Live at Wembley Stadium and Live at the Bowl ) as well as compilations of video clips in DVD format. They were also remixed in 5.1 and DTS surround sound, as were two of Queen's most successful albums, A Night at the Opera and The Game , which were released as DVD-Audio albums.

On November 6, 2002, was Queen Symphony by Tolga Kashif with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall premiered. The performance was televised with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Mercury's mother Jer Bulsara on location. Kashif was inspired by the band's melodies. Queen Symphony was nominated for “Album of the Year 2003” at the Classical BRIT Awards .

In 2003 Queen was seen in connection with a charitable music event in South Africa: The band performed in Cape Town at the 46664 concert, which she helped to organize and which was initiated by Nelson Mandela as a benefit project to fight AIDS. In December 2004, Brian May and Roger Taylor announced that they would go on tour again with Paul Rodgers as singer after 19 years. Bassist John Deacon, who had completely withdrawn from his work as an active musician at the end of the nineties, was not involved. The name of the new project was " Queen + Paul Rodgers ".

2004-2009: Queen + Paul Rodgers

The basis for the collaboration of Brian May and Roger Taylor with Paul Rodgers was a meeting of May and Rodgers at the Fender Strat Pack concert in 2004, when the guitarist accompanied the singer on the free piece All Right Now . As a result, May asked Rodgers to accompany Queen as she entered the UK Music Hall of Fame , where they played We Will Rock You , We Are the Champions and All Right Now .

In 2004 it was announced that they wanted to go on tour together. In March 2005, Queen and Rodgers performed the new edition of the 46664 concert. In the same month an extensive European tour began under the name " Queen + Paul Rodgers "; this was followed by appearances in the USA and Japan, among others. The six-member cast included Spike Edney, the previous keyboardist at Queen concerts, the accompanying musicians Jamie Moses on guitar and Danny Miranda on bass. In addition to the Queen songs, there were pieces by Free and Bad Company , the former bands of Paul Rodgers, on the program. For the song Bohemian Rhapsody , Freddie Mercury and Rodgers shared the vocals via video feed. The Sheffield concert was recorded and published under the title Return of the Champions . In 2006 “Queen + Paul Rodgers” undertook an extensive tour of North America. In the same year, a live recording of a concert recorded there the previous year was released on DVD (Super Live in Japan) only in Japan .

In December 2006, Brian May confirmed that work on a film about the band's history had begun. May and Roger Taylor lead the project. The film is produced by Robert De Niro's company Tribeca Production, which is also involved in the musical We Will Rock You .

On the occasion of World AIDS Day in 2007, Queen + Paul Rodgers released the song Say It's Not True as a free download . A few weeks later the song was also released as a single, the proceeds of which flow into the 46664 project. In September 2008 their album The Cosmos Rocks was released , the first joint studio album by Brian May and Roger Taylor in 13 years. At the same time a tour through Europe and South America began. The opening concert of the tour in Peace Square in Kharkov was later released on DVD as Live in Ukraine .

In May 2009, Rodgers announced that the collaboration had ended. He explained that his involvement with Queen was similar to that of Jimmy Page with The Firm , that is, they never thought of working together on a long-term basis. Rodgers added that he thought the time together was very successful - they had produced two world tours, some live releases and, last but not least, the first completely new Queen album since the early 1990s. Rodgers did not rule out future appearances with May and Taylor, especially for charity.

Since 2010: Change of record company and film project

On November 8, 2010 it was announced that Queen would end the 37-year collaboration with her record company EMI and will be under contract with Island Records from January 2011 . This new record company will be releasing the Queen's back catalog from 2011 with extensive bonus material.

A film project was also announced. In this film, Freddie Mercury should have been portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen . The project was delayed and finally hit theaters in 2018 under the title Bohemian Rhapsody . Mercury is played by Rami Malek in this film .

At the end of 2011 they cast their own cover band on the Internet, which then goes on a big tour because they were annoyed by the large number of bad cover bands. In January 2012 the cover band, which is called The Queen Extravaganza and consists of 7 people, was determined.

In October 2011, the music magazine NME reported that there were considerations to go on tour with Lady Gaga as a replacement for Paul Rodgers , who left in 2009. Lady Gaga then said that she was not averse to doing something with Queen.

In December 2011, the music magazine Billboard reported that it was also possible to go on tour with Adam Lambert . A joint appearance was planned for July 7, 2012 at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth . However, the festival was canceled at the end of March 2012. Shortly thereafter, two appearances at the Hammersmith Apollo were announced. Both concerts were sold out within 24 hours. For June 30, 2012, a performance by Queen and Lambert in the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium in Moscow was planned. A performance in the Miejski Stadium in Wroclaw was planned for July 7, 2012 .

On August 12, 2012, Brian May and Roger Taylor appeared with Jessie J as a guest singer at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics entitled We Will Rock You .

In December 2013, Brian May announced that he had found unreleased material by Freddie Mercury in the band's archives. He tries to arrange these tracks with the producer William Orbit for new songs. However, he said he wasn't sure whether it would be enough for a new Queen album. Among other things, there are tracks from studio sessions with Michael Jackson , David Bowie , Andy Gibb and Rod Stewart . At the same time, the band announced at an exhibition in Montreux that they had signed a new contract with the Universal Music Group .

2012 – today: Follow-up project Queen + Adam Lambert

As Queen + Adam Lambert , Queen gave six concerts in 2012 in Eastern Europe, Russia and three in London together with the singer Adam Lambert. Since 2014 Queen + Adam Lambert went on a world tour. Only old hits were played. They were accompanied by Rufus Taylor, the son of Roger Taylor, among others. In 2014 they traveled to North America, Japan and Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and in 2015/16/17 in Europe, Asia and America.



Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks / months, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sourcesTemplate: chart table / maintenance / monthly data
(Year, title, rankings, weeks / months, awards, notes)
DE DE AT AT CH CH UK UK US USTemplate: chart table / maintenance / charts non-existent
1973 Queen - - - UK24

(19 weeks)UK

(22 weeks)US
First published: July 13, 1973
Sales: + 700,000
1974 Queen II - - - UK5

(30 weeks)UK
US49 (13 weeks)
First published: March 8, 1974
Sales: + 200,000
Sheer Heart Attack - - - UK2

(47 weeks)UK

(32 weeks)US
First published: November 1, 1974
Sales: + 900,000
1975 A Night at the Opera DE5

(6 months)DE

(7 weeks)AT
CH69 (8 weeks)

(72 weeks)UK
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(57 weeks)US
First published: November 21, 1975
Sales: + 4,575,000
1976 A day at the races DE10

(4 months)DE
AT8 (3 months)
- UK1

(24 weeks)UK

(19 weeks)US
First published: December 10, 1976
Sales: + 1,550,000
1977 News of the World DE7th

(25 weeks)DE
AT9 (7 months)

(21 weeks)UK
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(37 weeks)US
First published: October 28, 1977
Sales: + 5,275,000
1978 jazz DE5

(39 weeks)DE

(7 months)AT

(… Where.)Template: chart table / maintenance / preliminaryUK

(18 weeks)US
First published: November 10, 1978
Sales: + 1,645,000
1980 The Game DE2

(36 weeks)DE

(7½ months)AT
- UK1

(18 weeks)UK
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(43 weeks)US
First published: June 30, 1980
Sales: + 4,712,500
1982 Hot space DE5 (21 weeks)

(3 months)AT
- UK4th

(19 weeks)UK

(21 weeks)US
First published: April 5, 1982
Sales: + 725,000
1984 The Works DE3

(39 weeks)DE

(10 months)AT

(32 weeks)CH

(93 weeks)UK

(20 weeks)US
First published: February 27, 1984
Sales: + 1,707,500
1986 A kind of magic DE4th
Triple gold
× 3
Triple gold

(63 weeks)DE

(5 months)AT
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(19 weeks)CH
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(63 weeks)UK

(13 weeks)US
First published: June 2, 1986
Sales: + 2,507,500
1989 The Miracle DE1

(46 weeks)DE

(6 months)AT

(22 weeks)CH

(32 weeks)UK
US24 (14 weeks)
First published: May 22, 1989
Sales: + 1,325,630
1991 Innuendo DE1

(48 weeks)DE

(20 weeks)AT
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(36 weeks)CH

(37 weeks)UK

(17 weeks)US
First published: February 4, 1991
Sales: + 2,218,221
1995 Made in Heaven DE1
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(67 weeks)DE
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(21 weeks)AT
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(33 weeks)CH
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(39 weeks)UK

(11 weeks)US
First published: November 6, 1995
Sales: + 20,000,000
2008 The Cosmos Rocks
with Paul Rodgers
DE4 (7 weeks)
AT11 (8 weeks)
CH5 (7 weeks)

(6 weeks)UK
US47 (2 weeks)
First published: September 12, 2008
Sales: + 70,000

hatched gray : no chart data available for this year

Characteristic of the music

Writers of the Queen songs

Although Freddie Mercury was sometimes considered the head of the band in the media due to the dominant role he played in the live performances, in the studio, in the development of the songs, all band members had equal rights and everyone contributed several hits.

Of the 180 original compositions published, Freddie Mercury wrote 51, Brian May wrote 46, Roger Taylor wrote 22 and John Deacon wrote 14. The collaboration of two band members each resulted in 8 titles; for 35 titles, the official author's name is “Queen”.

External authors collaborated on four more songs:

  • Doing All Right on the first album Queen (1973) dates back to the time when Brian May worked with Tim Staffell in their joint band Smile .
  • Under Pressure waswritten jointlyby Queen and David Bowie and recorded at Queen's own Mountain Studios in Montreux. The single reached the top of the British charts in 1981; the piece is included on the 1982 album Hot Space .
  • Too Much Love Will Kill You wrote Brian May with Frank Musker and Elizabeth Lamers. Freddie Mercury recorded the vocals during the Miracle sessions in the late 1980s. The song premiered in 1992 at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium. In May's solo album Back to the Light (1992) a version sung by himself can be heard. The title was later included in a completely revised version with the voice of Mercury in the album Made in Heaven (1995).
  • In All God's People on the album Innuendo (1991) was Mike Moran co-author. Moran had also written the songs for the album Barcelona (1988) with Mercury , a solo project by Freddie Mercury with the opera singer Montserrat Caballé .

In 1989 the band agreed to indicate "Queen" as the authors instead of individual members. The group first implemented this project with their album The Miracle . The percentage of individual band members cannot be determined for the following titles, among others: Soul Brother (released in 1981 on the single Under Pressure ), Under Pressure , One Vision (on A Kind of Magic ) and Stealin ' (on the single Breakthru ).

The band also released two instrumental cover versions arranged by Brian May on their studio albums : the Traditional God Save the Queen and The Wedding March from Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin . In live performances, the band often interpreted pieces from the fifties and sixties, for example Elvis Presley's hit Jailhouse Rock and Big Spender from the musical Sweet Charity, as well as Ricky Nelson's single Hello Mary Lou , Little Richards Tutti Frutti and occasionally during the 1986 tour Gimme Some Lovin ' by the Spencer Davis Group .

On the album The Cosmos Rocks by Queen + Paul Rodgers (2008) all three band members are named as authors.

Details about the compositions can be found in the articles on the individual albums or band members.

Singer of the Queen songs

Freddie Mercury sang most of the tracks on studio recordings: his own, all by John Deacon and many by Brian May and Roger Taylor. Brian May interpreted ten of his own songs and Roger Taylor eleven. On some tracks, one or two of the band members, who are otherwise often heard in the refrain interjections, add the voice of Freddie Mercury.

The main vocals are divided between several Queen members in the following pieces:

year Song title Lead vocals author album
1973 Doin 'Alright (BBC version) Mercury & Taylor May & Season At the Beeb (1989)
1974 The March of the Black Queen Mercury & Taylor Mercury Queen II
1978 Fun it Taylor & Mercury Taylor jazz
1980 Rock It - Prime Jive Taylor & Mercury Taylor The Game
1980 Sail Away Sweet Sister May & Mercury May The Game
1980 Flash's theme Mercury & May May Flash Gordon
1982 Action This Day Mercury & Taylor Taylor Hot space
1986 Who Wants to Live Forever Mercury & May May A kind of magic
1989 I want it all Mercury & May May The Miracle
1991 Ride The Wild Wind Mercury & Taylor Taylor Innuendo
1995 Mother love Mercury & May May & Mercury Made in Heaven
1995 Let me live Mercury & Taylor & May Queen Made in Heaven
1997 No-One But You - Only the Good Die Young May & Taylor May Queen Rocks

Under Pressure on Hot Space (1982) is the only song on a Queen studio album that features a non-band member, David Bowie , as the lead singer alongside Freddie Mercury . Queens engineer Mike Stone ( Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy , 1976) and Joan Armatrading ( Don't Lose Your Head , 1986) had short guest appearances as singers .

During the live performances, Freddie Mercury sang all tracks, including those that were interpreted on the albums by May ('39) or Taylor (Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll; Rock It) . The only exception was Roger Taylor's I'm in Love with My Car , who sang on stage himself with his unmistakable voice. At Under Pressure , Roger Taylor took over the role of David Bowie.

Guest singer after 1991

After Mercury's death, the remaining Queen members May, Taylor and Deacon performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992 with a variety of guest singers, including Roger Daltrey , James Hetfield , Robert Plant , Seal , David Bowie, Annie Lennox , George Michael , Lisa Stansfield , Elton John , Axl Rose and Liza Minnelli . The second - and at the same time last - appearance for three took place in 1997 on the occasion of the premiere of Maurice Béjart's ballet in Paris: Elton John again took over the lead vocals in The Show Must Go On , the only piece played at the time. This live version was released in 1999 on the album Greatest Hits III .

In the following years Brian May and Roger Taylor undertook various smaller live and studio projects under the name "Queen +" (without the participation of John Deacon): May and Taylor shared the lead vocals with alternating guest singers. Short appearances included Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (2001 in New York at Queens introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ), Patti Russo (2002 in Amsterdam), Zucchero and Luciano Pavarotti (2003 in Modena) and Anastacia (2003 in Cape Town at 46664- Benefit concert). In the studio there were new recordings of Queen titles, among others. with Five ( We Will Rock You , 2000), Robbie Williams ( We Are the Champions , 2001) and John Farnham ( We Will Rock You , 2003).

From the end of 2004 there was a permanent collaboration with Paul Rodgers . Extensive tours through Europe, Japan and North America took place with him in 2005, 2006 and 2008 under the name " Queen + Paul Rodgers ". The project ended in 2009 when Paul Rodgers left.


In addition to the mentioned new recordings in the studio and live interpretations, numerous remixes have been made since the beginning of the nineties, which were officially released on Queen records. As a remixer z. B. Rick Rubin , Trent Reznor , Vanguard (Flash) and the rapper Wyclef Jean , on whose version of Another One Bites the Dust also Pras Michel was involved.


A special feature of Queen's music is its wide range of styles. This ranges from intimate, quiet songs with harp or guitar accompaniment (Love of My Life) to pompous Bohemian Rhapsody , from music hall echoes to rock 'n' roll of the fifties, from hard rock to disco sound.

Selected examples of individual musical styles:

  • Classical music : The Wedding March .
  • Waltz : Excerpt from The Millionaire Waltz .
  • Flamenco : excerpt from Innuendo .
  • Music Hall or Vaudeville : Killer Queen; Bring Back That Leroy Brown; Lazing on a Sunday afternoon; Seaside rendezvous .
  • Gospel music : Somebody to Love; All God's People; Let me live .
  • Blues : See What a Fool I've Been; Sleeping on the Sidewalk; Lost Opportunity .
  • Film Music : Soundtrack Flash Gordon , Album A kind of magic (including soundtrack from the movie Highlander )
  • Rock 'n' Roll and Rockabilly : Crazy Little Thing Called Love; Man on the Prowl .
  • Bossa Nova : Who Needs You .
  • Folk : '39 .
  • Hard rock or heavy metal : Son and Daughter; Stone cold crazy; Sweet lady; Bohemian Rhapsody; White Man; Tear It Up .
  • Progressive Rock : The March of the Black Queen; Brighton Rock; The Prophet's Song .
  • Pop : Radio Ga Ga; I want to break free; A kind of magic .
  • Funk and Disco : Fun It; Another One Bites the Dust; Back chat; Dancer; Body language; Staying power .
  • Ambient : Track 13 .

References to Dixieland (Good Company) , Psychedelic Rock (Jesus) and Punk (Sheer Heart Attack) can also be found in Queen's music. Hardly any other band has had so many hits in so many different styles. The typical Queen sound is mainly due to the unmistakable voices of Mercury, Taylor and May as well as their characteristic guitar sounds.

The "theatrical"

Some critics said Queen that her music often has something theatrical and pompous about it. This is mainly due to the lush guitar and vocal choirs, the large volume and expressiveness of Mercury's voice and the special mastery of the high pitches by Roger Taylor (e.g. in '39 ). This is best expressed in Bohemian Rhapsody , but also in Don't Try So Hard , Innuendo , The Miracle and Was It All Worth It . Another reason for the theatrical impression is the harmonious variety of the pieces. Queen is not content, like many pop or pop song , with tonic and dominant , but enriches the harmony through more distant keys , cadences , suspensions , so by the means of "classical" music, at.

Guitar sound

Until 1980 Brian May created all the sound effects with his self-made “ Red Special ” that synthesizers , string orchestras or brass instruments take over in other groups . On the one hand, this was possible because his guitar has structural peculiarities such as resonance chambers , which produce an unmistakable sound regardless of any electrical changes. In addition, May recorded more than just one guitar track on many of the pieces. The score of Somebody to Love has five electric guitar parts. In the purely instrumental pieces ( Procession , The Wedding March and God Save the Queen ), but also in songs like Keep Yourself Alive , Dreamer's Ball or The Millionaire Waltz , this “orchestral” guitar sound comes into its own. A further increase in these guitar effects achieved May in Good Company ("jazz band"), The Loser in the End ("rock organ"), All Dead, All Dead and Lily of the Valley ("string orchestra"). In some titles the guitar sound is given a flexibility similar to a choir or a singing voice, so that the transition between vocals and instrument is hardly noticeable, as in the pieces with the extremely high "screams" by Roger Taylor ( Seven Seas of Rhye , The March of the Black Queen , The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke , Ogre Battle , Father to Son )

This Queen-typical equal treatment of singing and guitar is also evident in the " Kanon " pieces: Here the delay technique enables the musicians to sing or play with themselves in several voices. Examples include May's three-part guitar playing in Brighton Rock and White Man, and Mercury's vocals in Now I'm Here (live) and The Prophet's Song .

Brian May doesn't use a pick when playing the guitar , but a British sixpence coin. When these were taken out of circulation, he had coins made with his likeness, which are now a sought-after collector's item.

Queen as a live band

Deacon, May and Mercury (November 1978)

Queen played over 700 concerts in 16 years; the band was one of the most successful live bands of the 1970s and 1980s.

In the 1960s before Queen, the live performances were more reminiscent of the transfer of the conditions of a record or television studio to a small stage: the clothing was conventional, the band members barely moved (which was also due to the restrictive technical conditions) and the musicians could make little contact with the audience . The pieces musically corresponded to the recordings, but it was to be noted that the technology and recording conditions of the studio could not be transferred to the stage.

For Queen, on the other hand, the focus was always on the perfect show and entertainment for the audience. They used new techniques to improve acoustics and light and used appropriately large sound and light systems. Special effects such as fog, light changes and pyrotechnics were used in a targeted manner and with a feeling for the right, dramatic point in time. Extravagant hairstyle and costumes played an essential role on the stage until 1980. Freddie Mercury was anything but static as the lead singer. He fascinated his audience with his dance-like, powerful movements that were tailored to the music and inspired by the music. His microphone stand, from which the feet were removed, played a special role. It was an integral part of his stage presence and was used as a drum stick, guitar, balancing device and phallic symbol . Mercury needed a large stage for his type of performance, which extended into the third dimension through stairs and ramps. So every concert became a theatrical work of art.

Queen could not and did not want to bring the complex titles of the records 1: 1 to the stage. Each piece was edited for the live performance, and thanks to the improvisational skills of Mercury and May, the interpretation differed from performance to performance.

Basically, the group was of the opinion that nothing should come off the assembly line. But there were a few exceptions: While the a cappella middle part of Bohemian Rhapsody was played on tape, the band disappeared from the stage, which was only dominated by light effects and fog. The transition to the final part was then a veritable explosion of light and fireworks, from which the band reappeared as if from a theatrical immersion. The second piece that came off the tape was played every time (except in Ireland ) at the end of the concert: During the God Save the Queen arranged by Brian May, the four musicians said goodbye to their audience. On the Magic Tour , Freddie Mercury previously appeared with a coronation gown and crown , which he drew as a tribute to the audience. As the opening of each concert on the Magic Tour , the intro of One Vision was also played on tape, as was the intro of Flash on the Hot Space Tour .

Also on the Magic Tour , Mercury appeared with a Union Jack during the encore We Will Rock You . He wore the flag like a cloak. After he had strutted across the stage with it for some time, he turned it around at lightning speed and presented the respective national flag on the other side to the enthusiasm of the audience.

The selection of the tracks was usually based on the current album, although many older hits remained in the program. Standard repertoire, however, were a few tracks that were played at most concerts: The most common was Now I'm Here , a piece in which Mercury used the delay technique to improvise a canon with himself . Keep Yourself Alive and Killer Queen were played almost as often as Bohemian Rhapsody , which was one of the highlights at more than 500 concerts. The twins We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions have never been missing since 1977 . The program could change from concert to concert for individual pieces on a tour.

With the album News of the World , the band wrote titles that were tailored to the participation of the concert-goers. Above all, We Will Rock You deserves a mention here with its characteristic basic rhythm that gets the audience to join in. This also includes Radio Ga Ga , which animates the audience to clap rhythmically with them, influenced by the video clip .

Queen also attached great importance to the structure of their concerts. In the first part of the concert, the band played mainly fast, rocky songs that should sweep the audience away. In the middle part of the concerts, quieter pieces were played with a smaller cast or solo improvisations. On the one hand, this enabled individual band members to take short breaks, on the other hand, a dramatic arc was struck from tension to relaxation to the final climax. Acoustic interpretations such as Love of My Life with Brian May on guitar and Mercury, who let the audience sing alone over long passages, played here. Also in the middle of the concert, May's long guitar improvisations such as Brighton Rock could be heard. The songs that the band performed especially for the country of performance were special: in Japan Teo Torriatte or in Budapest the Hungarian folk song Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt (“The spring winds make the water rise”).

Queen gave most concerts in the USA (almost 250) and in Great Britain (200). This is followed by Germany with 55 and Japan with 51 tour appearances. Queen had the largest audience on January 12, 1985 in Rio de Janeiro (250,000), the smallest (6) on January 28, 1972 in Bedford College, London. From 1973 to 1986, Queen went on at least one major tour each year. Exceptions are 1981 with three shorter concert tours and 1983, in which Queen did not perform live.

Tour name Beginning end Countries or cities Concerts
Solo appearances June 27, 1970 July 11, 1971 England 18th
Cornish tour 17th July 1971 August 21, 1971 England 11
Solo appearances October 6, 1971 3rd August 1973 England 12th
Queen I. 13th September 1973 January 21, 1974 Great Britain, Germany, Australia 35
Sunbury Festival 2nd February 1974 Australia 1
Queen II March 1, 1974 May 11, 1974 UK, USA 41
Sheer Heart Attack * October 30, 1974 May 1, 1975 Europe, USA, Canada, Japan 77
A Night at the Opera November 14, 1975 April 22, 1976 UK, USA, Japan, Australia 77
Summer 1976 September 1, 1976 September 18, 1976 Great Britain 4th
A Day at the Races (World) January 13, 1977 March 18, 1977 USA, Canada 40
A Day at the Races (Europe) May 8, 1977 June 7th 1977 Europe 19th
News of the World '77 November 11, 1977 December 22nd 1977 United States 26th
News of the World '78 April 12, 1978 May 13, 1978 Europe 20th
jazz October 28, 1978 December 20, 1978 USA, Canada 35
Live Killers * 17th January 1979 May 6, 1979 Europe, Japan 43
Saarbrücken Festival 18th August 1979 Germany 1
Crazy Tour November 22, 1979 December 26, 1979 Ireland, Great Britain 20th
The Game (World) June 30, 1980 September 30, 1980 USA, Canada 46
The Game (Europe) November 23, 1980 December 18, 1980 Europe 17th
Japan 1981 February 12, 1981 February 18, 1981 Japan 5
South America Bites the Dust February 28, 1981 March 21, 1981 Argentina, Brazil 7th
Gluttons for Punishment September 25, 1981 October 18, 1981 Venezuela, Mexico 6th
We Will Rock You * November 24, 1981 November 25, 1981 Montreal (Canada) 2
Hot Space (Europe) * April 9, 1982 5th June 1982 Europe 30th
Hot Space (World) * July 21, 1982 3rd November 1982 USA, Canada, Japan 39
The Works '84 * August 24, 1984 20th October 1984 Europe, South Africa 32
Rock in Rio * January 12, 1985 January 19, 1985 Rio de Janeiro 2
The Works '85 * April 13, 1985 May 15, 1985 New Zealand, Australia, Japan 14th
Live Aid * July 13, 1985 London 1
Magic Tour * June 7, 1986 August 9, 1986 Europe 26th
Selection of further appearances after 1991:
Freddie Mercury Tribute * April 20, 1992 London 1
Premiere Béjart Ballet * January 17, 1997 Paris 1
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame March 19, 2001 new York 1
46664 (Nelson Mandela) * November 29, 2003 Cape Town (South Africa) 1
Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour * March 19, 2005 May 25, 2006 South Africa, Europe, Aruba, North America, Japan 66
Rock the Cosmos Tour Sept 12, 2008 November 29, 2008 Europe, Dubai, South America 40
* Longer excerpts from these concerts were published on videos or albums.

World tours

  • 1973–1974: Queen I Tour, 35 concerts in the United Kingdom , Germany , Luxembourg and Australia
  • 1974: Queen II Tour, 41 concerts in the UK and USA
  • 1974–1975: Sheer Heart Attack Tour, 76 concerts in the United Kingdom, Sweden , Finland , Germany, the Netherlands , Belgium , Spain , the USA, Canada and Japan
  • 1975–1976: A Night at the Opera Tour, 78 concerts in the UK, USA, Japan and Australia
  • 1977: A Day at the Races Tour, 59 concerts in the USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark , the Netherlands and the UK
  • 1977–1978: News of the World Tour, 46 concerts in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium , the Netherlands, France , Switzerland , Austria and the United Kingdom
  • 1978–1979: Jazz Tour, 35 concerts in the USA and Canada
  • 1980–1981: The Game Tour, 61 concerts in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium
  • 1982: Hot Space Tour, 69 concerts in Sweden, Norway , Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA and Japan
  • 1984–1985: The Works Tour, 48 concerts in Belgium, Ireland , the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Bophuthatswana , Brazil , New Zealand , Australia and Japan
  • 1986: Magic Tour, 26 concerts in Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Austria, Hungary and Spain
  • 2005–2006: Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour, 65 concerts
  • 2008: Rock the Cosmos Tour, 41 concerts
  • since 2012: Queen + Adam Lambert Tour, 228 concerts (as of February 29, 2020)

Band name

In an interview, Freddie Mercury commented on the band name: It was then that I thought about the name Queen. You know at that time the name summoned up a lot of things, a lot of theater, very grand, very pompous, all of that kind of connotations. It meant so much, you know, it was nice. It wasn't a precise label, it could mean a lot of things.

Freddie Mercury in particular played with this unspoken ambivalence of expression in his live performances: he knew how to prevent prejudices with humor and ironic distance, through ballet steps, hairstyle and costumes on the one hand and through emphatically masculine gestures and playing with the micro stand on the other to serve the audience in one direction or the other. Some costumes were very extravagant, for example skin-tight with sequins and a deep neckline. Mercury never wore clothes that are characteristic of a drag queen . In an interview, Mercury once said: “I like to ridicule myself. I don't take it too seriously. I wouldn't wear these clothes if I was serious. The one thing that keeps me going is that I like to laugh at myself. "

Even with possibly "suspicious" sounding song titles from Mercury such as The March of the Black Queen or My Fairy King ("fairy" has the same connotation as "queen") it is up to everyone which interpretation they prefer. The songwriter himself usually did not comment on his lyrics.

Freddie Mercury did not expand his private life in public. For the audience, it usually didn't matter what preferences they had. Music and stage presence were the only things that mattered. At the latest when it was officially announced that he was suffering from AIDS, many began to suspect that Farrokh Bulsara was more than just the “official” image of a “rock diva”. George Michael stated in his short address at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert : "I think a lot of people (...) are probably taking some small comfort in the fact that although Freddie died of AIDS he was publicly bisexual."


The Queen emblem designed by Freddie Mercury, most clearly shown on the cover of the LP A Day at the Races , is based on the full coat of arms of the British royal family . A Q forms an oval shield that contains the stylized British crown and is surrounded by allegorical figures. Two soaring, crowned lions serve as shield holders . The left ( heraldic right) lion has a yellow coat, while the right (heraldic left) is gray and winged. A red crab balances on the upper edge of the shield , behind which flames blaze up. In heraldry it takes the place of the helmet . A white phoenix rises from the flames as a helmet jewel , spreading its wings over the group. Two female, winged fairies or elves (English fairies ) flank the shield in front of the lions . The currency band that is otherwise common with full coats of arms is taken over by the curved underscore of the Q. The rays of the rising sun represent the background.

Meaning of the figures:

  • In Egyptian mythology , the phoenix embodies the sun: just as it dies in the evening to be reborn in the morning, the phoenix burns itself every 500 years and then rises rejuvenated from the ashes. After the death of Freddie Mercury, the phoenix gave its name to the AIDS foundation Mercury Phoenix Trust . The symbol for the tours of Queen + Paul Rodgers was the crowned phoenix.
  • The two lions symbolize the zodiac sign for Roger Taylor (born July 26, 1949) and John Deacon (born August 19, 1951). In astrology , the lion is considered a fire sign and is ruled by the sun.
  • Cancer is the zodiac sign for Brian May (born July 19, 1947). At the summer solstice , the sun is in the constellation of Cancer.
  • The two elves represent the zodiac sign Virgo by Freddie Mercury (born September 5, 1946). Usually this sign of the zodiac is represented by a girl with a sheaf of corn.

Queen's coat of arms in its original version is shown on the back cover of the debut album Queen . The album covers of A Night at the Opera , Greatest Hits II and Queen Rocks show many variations of this emblem .

Influence on other musicians

Musicians and bands from very different styles - from alternative rock , hard rock , heavy metal and progressive rock to, among others. to industrial rock and pop - were influenced by Queen's music and stage performances, such as Judas Priest , Def Leppard , Steve Vai , Culture Club , George Michael , Pulp , Frankie Goes to Hollywood , Melvins , Manowar , Guns N 'Roses , Blind Guardian , Trent Reznor , Extreme , Ween , The Smashing Pumpkins , Radiohead , Robbie Williams , Ben Folds Five , Muse , The Darkness , Alex Kapranos and Mika .

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins repeatedly emphasized their appreciation for Queen. The two members of the Foo Fighters also gave the eulogy for Queen's admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Several times her band performed live together with Roger Taylor and Brian May; in addition, the Foo Fighters recorded some pieces in the studio with May.

Dave Grohl ( Nirvana ; Foo Fighters ; Queens of the Stone Age ):

"Freddie Mercury has to be one of the greatest frontmen of all time." - “Making thousands and thousands of people connect with your music - it's not easy. Queen can do it (...). " About Live Aid : “Queen smoked on it. They just took everybody. They walked away being the greatest band you'd ever seen in your life. "

Henry Rollins ( Black Flag ; Rollins Band ):

“When you see that footage of Wembley, here is the band kicking it. And what made it for me was Brian May's guitar sound. He is an amazing guitar player. "

Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins):

“(...) had made me so sick during the eighties that I just couldn't listen to them any more. I worked at this record store (...) and I found ' Queen II ', probably their least popular album. It's so over the top, so many vocal and guitar track overdubs - total Queen overload. I loved it. I loved the cool, weird, ambiguous songs about Freddie's sexuality and the way it shifts from heavy to beautiful ballads. So I liked Queen again and I realized it was okay to do an over-the-top album. "

Queens songs have been covered many times . The band Metallica received a Grammy in the category "Best Metal Performance" in 1991 for their version of Stone Cold Crazy , released one year earlier . Other artists who recorded new versions of Queen's compositions in the studio include Weird Al Yankovic ( e.g. Another One Bites the Dust ), Laibach (One Vision), Nine Inch Nails (Get Down, Make Love) , Lemmy Kilmister (Tie Your Mother Down) , Dwight Yoakam (Crazy Little Thing Called Love) , Travis (Killer Queen) and The Flaming Lips (Bohemian Rhapsody) . In addition, a Queen tribute band , Gary Mullen and The Works , has existed since 2002 , trying to copy Queen's music and stage appearances as faithfully as possible.

Numerous artists used samples from songs by Queen in their work . These include the American hip-hop musicians Grandmaster Flash (in: The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel ), Public Enemy (in: Terminator X to the Edge of Panic ), Vanilla Ice (in: Ice Ice Baby ), Ice Cube (in: When Will They Shoot? ) And Eminem (in: 'Till I Collapse and Puke ).

Awards (selection)


  • George Tremlett: Queen. Royal skirt from Great Britain . Heyne Verlag, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-453-80053-2 (American original edition: The Queen Story .) (This book covers Queen's career up to 1980.)
  • Ken Dean: Queen & Freddie Mercury. Omnibus Press, 1992, ISBN 3-8118-3099-6 .
  • Jacky Gunn, Jim Jenkins: Queen. As It Began. Sidgwick & Jackson, London 1992, ISBN 0-283-06052-2 . (German edition: Queen. Created in collaboration with the band. Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-442-42083-0 .) (With the careers of the band members, the history of the band from 1970 to 1991 and the death of Freddie Mercury . With a preface by Brian May.)
  • Mark Hodkinson: Queen. The Early Years. Music Sales Limited, London 2005 (first edition: 1995), ISBN 1-84449-012-2 (English)
  • Greg Brooks: Queen Live. A Concert Documentary. Omnibus Press, London 2005 (first edition: 1995), ISBN 1-84449-660-0 (English)
  • Georg Purvis: Queen. Complete Works. Reynolds & Hearn, London 2007, ISBN 978-1-905287-33-8 (English)
  • Mick Rock: Classic Queen. Photographs. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2007. ISBN 978-3-89602-748-1 . (Extensive illustrated book with around 200 photographs taken between 1973 and 1976.)
  • Freddie Mercury: A Life in Your Own Words. Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2007, ISBN 978-3-85445-280-5 (Original edition: Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words. )
  • Sean O'Hagan: Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender (A Life in Pictures) . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2012, ISBN 978-3-85445-401-4 (Original edition: Freddie Mercury Life In Picture.s )
  • Peter Hince: Queen intimate - groupies, gin and glitter (on tour with Queen) . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2015, ISBN 978-3-85445-490-8 (Original edition: Queen Unseen - My Life With The Greatest Rockband Of the 20th Century )

Web links

Commons : Queen  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references and comments

  1. Founding on bbc.co.uk
  2. heraldscotland.com: 20 facts about Queen to quote at their Hydro gig. Accessed May 1, 2018 .
  3. Official Charts Company / BPI: Top 40 Best Selling Albums 28 July 1956 - 14 June 2009 (PDF; 99 kB)
  4. ^ Queen, live at Imperial College, London, UK; July 18, 1970. In: queenlive.ca. Retrieved July 17, 2020 .
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k The Official UK Charts Company and everyhit.com - UK Top 40 Hit Database .
  6. ^ Gunn / Jenkins, London 1992, p. 83.
  7. ^ A b Andrew Young: Queen International Singles Chart Positions .
  8. ^ A b Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA): Gold & Platinum .
  9. ^ A b Andrew Young: Queen International Album Chart Positions .
  10. "(...) 131,000 people, the largest paying audience for one band anywhere in the world to date." - Gunn / Jenkins, London 1992, p. 142.
  11. ^ Queenonline: Greatest Hits .
  12. officialcharts.com: Queen's Greatest Hits becomes first album to sell 6 million copies in the UK ; and BBC: Queen head all-time sales chart . In: bbc.co.uk , November 16, 2006.
  13. See e.g. B. BBC: Queen win greatest live gig poll . November 9, 2005.
  14. See www.queen-lasershow.de or www.queen-tribute.de/qheaven.htm
  15. ↑ First performance November 2002
  16. The Queen Symphony at ultimatequeen.co.uk
  17. NME.com: Queen end collaboration with Paul Rodgers (May 14, 2009)
  18. Queen sign to Universal in another blow to EMI , November 8, 2011, Reuters , English
  19. Queen and Cameron Diaz & Jennifer Lopez - Top & Flop of the Day . , September 21, 2011.
  20. www.nme.com: Lady Gaga in talks to become new singer of Queen . , October 6, 2011, English.
  21. ^ Queen Wants Lady Gaga as Its New Lead Singer . , October 7, 2011, English.
  22. Queen + Adam Lambert? Roger Taylor Talks Possible Live Dates . , December 6, 2011, English.
  23. Queen + Adam Lambert = Saturday night partytime ( Memento from February 21, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), February 20, 2012, English.
  24. www.rollingstone.com: Sonisphere Cancellation Nixes Adam Lambert and Queen Gig . , April 6, 2012, English.
  25. queenonline.com: Press Release: Queen To Play Hammersmith , April 12, 2012
  26. queenonline.com: Queen + Adam Lambert Hammersmith Shows - SOLD OUT , April 19, 2012
  27. queenonline.com: Queen + Adam Lambert Will Rock Moscow - Tickets On Sale Now! , March 6, 2012
  28. queenonline.com: Queen + Adam Lambert Poland Show - Tickets On Sale Now! , May 1, 2012
  29. QUEEN Signs New Deal with UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  30. BRIAN MAY Still Discovering Unheard FREDDIE MERCURY Material. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  31. queenonline.com: Concerts 2012 , accessed on May 6, 2016
  32. stuttgarter-zeitung.de
  33. queenonline.com: Concerts 2014 , accessed on May 6, 2016
  34. queenonline.com: Concerts 2015 and Concerts 2016 , accessed on May 6, 2016
  35. Made in Heaven sales
  36. Up to and including 1997, a total of 180 own compositions recorded in the studio were released, taking into account the instrumentals A Dozen Red Roses for My Darling and Track 13 and the titles Seven Seas of Rhye and It's a Beautiful Day each counted once.
  37. ^ Gunn / Jenkins, London 1992, p. 54.
  38. ^ Queen Concerts: Concertography .
  39. The Show Must Go On with Elton John.
  40. We Will Rock You and Tie Your Mother Down with Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters .
  41. Interview from the video Queen - Magic Years, Part One , published on November 30, 1987. (For the content of the video see www.ultimatequeen.co.uk ) - Translator: “It was at the time [1970] when me the name Queen came to mind. As you know, the expression offered a lot of interpretations at the time, a lot of drama, very great, very intriguing, all these undertones. It meant so much, you know, that was nice. It was not an exact name, it could mean a lot of different things. "
  42. The Man Who Would Be Queen. In: Melody Maker , May 2, 1981. (See queen.musichall.cz ) - Translator: “I like to make fun of myself. I don't take myself too seriously. I wouldn't wear these clothes if I was serious. The only thing that keeps me going is that I like to laugh at myself. "
  43. Booklet of the CD George Michael and Queen with Lisa Stansfield: Five Live , Parlophone, 1993. - Translator: "I think that many people (...) probably take some comfort from the fact that Freddie, although he died of AIDS , was publicly bisexual. "
  44. A picture of the cover of A Day at the Races described here with the so-called "Queen Crest" is reproduced on the official Queen website .
  45. Rob Halford , quoted in Classic Rock , October 2006, p. 45. (See QueenCuttings )
  46. Stephen Thomas Erlewine: Def Leppard. Biography . In: All Music Guide .
  47. Interview of February 27, 2002. In: Bright Eyes Germany ( Memento of January 13, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) .
  48. George Michael . In: All Music Guide ; and George Michael ( memento from September 2, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). In: Rollingstone.com .
  49. ^ Ned Raggett: Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Review . In: All Music Guide .
  50. FM4 -Guest January 1997. ( "We've always loved Queen.")
  51. www.youtube.com Manowar - Rare live medley 1993. Retrieved October 25, 2016 .
  52. ^ Andy Secher: Kings of Metal. Guns N 'Roses. The Complete Classic Axl Rose Interview. In: Hit Parader , April 2005 (see www.heretodaygonetohell.com )
  53. Interview on February 27, 2002, in The Metal Observer .
  54. Nuno Bettencourt, quoted in The Life of Brian. In: Guitar World , August 1991 (see queen.musichall.cz )
  55. Jason Ankeny: Ween. Biography . In: All Music Guide .
  56. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Greg Prato: The Smashing Pumpkins. Biography . In: All Music Guide .
  57. ^ Greg Prato: Thom Yorke. Biography . In: All Music Guide .
  58. Holger Mehlig: Robbie Williams. “My career is based on three movements” . In: Spiegel online , October 7, 2005.
  59. Tim DiGravina: Absolution. Review ; and MacKenzie Wilson: Black Holes and Revelations. Review . Both in: All Music Guide .
  60. Ed Rivadavia: The Darkness. Biography . In: All Music Guide .
  61. ^ Robert Rotifer: Eleanor's boys put the boot in ( Memento from June 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). In: FM4 , December 16, 2005.
  62. Raphael Honigstein: Mika. The man who wants to be Queen ( Memento April 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). In: Vanity Fair , April 4, 2007; and Emma Jones: Sound of 2007: Mika . In: bbc.co.uk , January 5, 2007.
  63. ^ Taylor on Taylor. Foo Fighters firestorm Taylor Hawkins selects his favorite Roger Taylor tracks. In: Rhythm , September 2002. (See Foo Fighters website )
  64. Channel 4 : UK Music Hall of Fame, November 11, 2004. - Translated: "Freddie Mercury is definitely one of the greatest frontmen of all time." Queen can do that (...). ”“ They just grabbed everyone. They went off the stage as the greatest band you have ever seen in your life. "(Grohl)
  65. Channel 4: UK Music Hall of Fame, November 11th, 2004. - Translated: “If you look at the Wembley recordings, this is the band that really can do it. And what made the difference for me was Brian May's guitar sound. He's a fantastic guitarist. "(Rollins)
  66. ^ Rebellious Jukebox. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins talks about the records that changed his life. In: Melody Maker , August 14, 1993. (See www.starla.org ) - Translator: “(...) I found myself so annoyed in the eighties that I just couldn't hear them anymore. I was working in a record store (...) and discovered 'Queen II', probably their least popular album. It's so cluttered, there are so many vocal and guitar overdubs - total queen madness. I loved it. I loved those cool, weird, ambiguous songs about Freddie's sexuality and the way the album shifts from 'heavy' songs to beautiful ballads. So I liked Queen again and I realized that it was okay to make an overloaded album. ”(Corgan)
  67. Published under the title "Another One Rides the Bus" (1981).
  68. Published under the title "Birth of a Nation" (1987).
  69. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Queen in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  70. 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 8, 2017 .