Queen II

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Queen II
Studio album by Queen


March 8, 1974

Label (s) EMI / Parlophone ; Elektra , Hollywood Records (USA)

Format (s)

LP , cassette , CD

Genre (s)


Title (number)


running time


  • Roy Thomas Baker: Castanets in Funny How Love Is


Studio (s)

August 1973, Trident Studios (London)

Queen II Sheer Heart Attack
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Queen II is the second studio album by the British rock group Queen , released in 1974 . It contains their first hit, Seven Seas of Rhye .

Publication dates and chart placements

Queen II appeared

  • in Great Britain on March 8, 1974; it had been on the UK charts for 29 weeks, peaking at number 5;
  • in the United States on April 9, 1974; it had been on the US charts for 13 weeks, the highest ranking was 49th.

On September 5, 1974, the band received their first Silver Record for 125,000 copies of Queen II sold in the UK . The album later went gold in both their home country and the United States .

The third album Sheer Heart Attack was released in autumn of the same year .

The new CD (Hollywood Records, digitally remastered by Eddy Schreyer) released in the USA in November 1991 contains 3 bonus tracks: See What a Fool I've Been (single B-side); Ogre Battle (1991 Bonus Remix by Nicholas Sansano); Seven Seas of Rhye (1991 Bonus Remix by Freddy Bastone).

Track list

page Track Song title length author Lead vocals Producers BBC
3rd December 1973
3rd April 1974
1 ( Side White ) 1 Procession 1:11 May - Baker and Queen    
2 Father to Son 6:11 May Mercury Baker and Queen    
3 White Queen (As It Began) 4:31 May Mercury Baker and Queen   4:46
4th Some day, one day 4:21 May May Baker and Queen    
5 The Loser in the End 4:02 Taylor Taylor Baker and Queen    
2 ( Side Black ) 6th Ogre Battle 4:06 Mercury Mercury Baker and Queen (3:56)  
7th The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke 2:31 Mercury Mercury Baker and Queen    
8th Nevermore 1:24 Mercury Mercury Cable and Queen   1:26
9 The March of the Black Queen 6:33 Mercury Mercury Baker, Cable and Queen    
10 Funny How Love Is 2:46 Mercury Mercury Cable and Queen    
11 Seven Seas of Rhye 2:46 Mercury Mercury Baker and Queen    

On some CDs, the information about the length of some tracks deviates considerably from the figures mentioned above, because incorrect start and end times of the (merging) songs were used for the calculation.

As a B-side of the single Seven Seas of Rhye was See What a Fool I've Been (written by May, sung by Mercury) published.

The album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, Robin Geoffrey Cable and Queen; Mike Stone was the sound engineer.


In August 1973, recordings began for the second album Queen II , which was finally released in March 1974 eight months after the first album Queen . Previously there had been problems with the record cover, which contained a small spelling error. Then came the oil crisis , the effects of which delayed the album's release again.

Queen II can be seen as a concept album . It shows a high degree of formal unity through seamless transitions between most of the pieces (1-2-3, 6-7-8, 9-10). Four tracks on page I are by Brian May, the fifth by Roger Taylor, on page II there are only tracks by Freddie Mercury, which are characterized by rapid changes between fast, nervous rhythms and quieter sections.

The orchestral and singing guitar sound of Brian May is characteristic of the album. Since he created sounds that are difficult to create without an effects device or synthesizer, this album also emphasizes: " ... and nobody played the synthesizer ... again ". ("And again nobody played synthesizers"). In places the album is reminiscent of some role models from Queen, Led Zeppelin and The Who , for example in Father to Son . Here, however, the defining tone is based on the overdriven guitar.

In accordance with the guitar sound, the backing vocals are also designed as polyphonic chants. The singing roles of Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor sometimes reach extreme heights.

Not least because of the high complexity of many tracks, only a comparatively few tracks on the album were also performed live: Father to Son , White Queen (As It Began) , Ogre Battle , a short excerpt from The March of the Black Queen , The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke , Seven Seas of Rhye (available on the album Live at Wembley '86 , among others ), and See What a Fool I've Been .

Notes on individual titles


The first album Queen ended with the instrumental version of Seven Seas of Rhye , as a preview of Queen II . The intro to the album is again an instrumental piece that Brian May's guitar style (see “ Red Special ”) has finally established and is programmatic for the entire album. The piece begins with thuds on the bass drum , which remind of the heart rhythm and run like an ostinato through the whole piece. It develops into an orchestral work with two different "instrumental groups" and seamlessly merges into the second title, Father to Son .

White Queen (As It Began)

This ballad , written by Brian May in 1969, is one of his most complex pieces. Although the song is in A minor, it ends in A major, a conclusion that was particularly common in the Baroque period (see Picardic third ). This kind of ending was also used in May's The Prophet's Song . In the BBC version, Freddie Mercury also plays the piano.

Ogre Battle

Here Queen experimented, especially at the beginning of the song, with rewound tapes and with popping noises that were created with flanger effects , drums and gong .

The BBC version has a different intro and the guitar playing is also different from the album version.

The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke

Mercury harpsichord

Some characters from Dadd's painting

The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke ("The masterful stroke of the elven woodcutter") together with a ticking sound results in a nervous intro. For this song he was inspired by the painting of the same name by Richard Dadd (1817–1886). In this painting the painter depicts a scene from the world of fairies and elves , whichcomes from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream : In the first act, fourth scene by Romeo and Juliet , Mercutio tellsof his dream:

O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o 'mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she 'gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;

The song describes the scenery that the painter represents on the painting (the numbers refer to the numbers in the illustration, the quotations from Freddie Mercury's lyrics are in italics): The magic folk have gathered ( "the fairy folk have gathered" ), to watch the magic woodcutter ( “Fairy Feller” , 32) splitting a nut (31) from which a carriage is to be made for Queen Mab (12). He is just raising the ax for his “master stroke” . The following have gathered: Mönch Pflüger ([Monk] "Plowman", 33), Fuhrmann Will ( "Wagoner Will" ), a politician with a senatorial pipe ( "Politician with senatorial pipe" , 23), a cross-eyed educator with a frown ( "Pedagogue squinting wears a frown" , 19), a satyr squinting under the skirt of a Lady ( "and a satyr peers under lady's gown" ), a thief and a dragonfly -Trompeter ( "There's a thief and a dragonfly trumpeter" , 10 and 2), a fairy dandy amuses his lady ( “Fairy dandy tickling the fancy of his lady friend” , 21 and 20), Titania , the nymph in yellow (“The nymph in yellow”).


While the song on the album only features piano, lead vocals, (double) choir and bass guitar, the BBC version also features drums and guitars.

The March of the Black Queen

The piece was composed by Mercury in 1973 and in its complexity resembles songs like Bohemian Rhapsody . The vocal parts sometimes reach immense heights, the spectrum contains two and a half octaves (G2-C5)

The song ends with an ascending sequence, the last vocal chord of which is the first in the following song, Funny How Love Is .

Funny How Love Is

Funny How Love Is was made in the studio. Freddie Mercury composed it on the piano ; the song was never played live. It includes setbacks and serves as a link between The March of the Black Queen and Seven Seas of Rhye .

Seven Seas of Rhye

The first album Queen closes with a shorter instrumental version of this title. The new version, also the final track of his album, differs significantly from it - and at the very end of the track the traditional I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside is built in. This is also quoted in the intro to Brighton Rock , the first song of the subsequent third Queen album Sheer Heart Attack .

See What a Fool I've Been

According to Brian May, his song was heavily influenced by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee 's blues song That's How I Feel . See What a Fool I've Been could already be heard in the live program of Queen's predecessor band Smile . Queen's studio version appeared as the B-side of the single Seven Seas of Rhye .

Single releases


  • Cover concept: Mick Rock and Queen
  • Photos: Mick Rock
  • Typography: Ridgeway Watt

The two tracks White Queen (As It Began) and The March of the Black Queen inspired Mick Rock and Queen to create a black and white design for the album cover in double format (like for a double album). On the black outside the four band members can be seen in the pose known from the later video by Bohemian Rhapsody . The white inside contains the counterpart, a formally less strict portrait of four. The sides of the record are labeled "Side White" (page 1) and "Side Black" (page 2).


To the single Seven Seas of Rhye :

  • NME (Great Britain): "This single showcases all their power and drive, their writing talents, and every quality that makes them unique."

To the album Queen II :

  • Melody Maker (Great Britain): “It's reputed Queen have enjoyed some success in the States, it's currently in the balance whether they'll really break through here. If they do, then I'll have to eat my hat or something. Maybe Queen try too hard, there's no depth of sound or feeling. "
  • Sounds (Great Britain): "Simply titled Queen II , this album captures them in their finest hours."
  • Disc: "The material, performance, recording and even artwork standards are very high."
  • Record Mirror (UK): “This is it, the dregs of glam rock. Weak and over-produced, if this band are our brightest hope for the future, then we are committing rock and roll suicide. "

Alternative song versions

BBC versions:

  • Second BBC session, recorded on July 25, 1973 broadcast on John Peel :
    • See What a Fool I've Been
  • Third BBC session, recorded December 3, 1973; available without the intro on the album At the Beeb (1989):
    • Ogre Battle
  • Fourth BBC session, recorded on April 3, 1974:
    • Nevermore
    • White Queen (As It Began)
    • The March of the Black Queen was also broadcast on the radio as part of this session, but it was only an excerpt from the album version.

Official remixes (included on the 1991 US CD remix, Hollywood Records):

  • Ogre Battle ('1991 Bonus Remix' by Nicholas Sansano)
  • Seven Seas of Rhye ('1991 Bonus Remix' by Freddy Bastone)

Web links


  1. According to the official Queen website ( Memento from August 21, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Gold status in the USA; however, this gold award does not appear in the RIAA database .
  2. See the explanations in www.english.emory.edu / ...
  3. The rascal and the party goers could not be assigned ( "Tatterdemalion and the junketer" ).
  4. a b c d e cit. N. Jacky Gunn, Jim Jenkins: Queen. As It Began. Sidgwick & Jackson, London 1992, pp. 75-77. ISBN 0-283-06052-2