The History of Queen

Queen was formed in 1970 by Brian May, Roger (Meddows) Taylor and Farrokh “Freddie” Bulsara, who later changed his name to ‘Freddie Mercury’, who he is known as today. It wasn’t until 1971, after many other bassists that the last Queen member, John “Deaky” Deacon, joined.It was a bit of a slow start for Queen. In 1973 they released their first album, a self-titled one, but it received little attention and had poor sales, though it did get good feedback from critics. Their first single ‘Keep Yourself Alive’, written by May, also sold poorly. Queen became known as “one of the most underrated rock debuts of all time.”Things began to get better for the group after they released their second album Queen II in 1974. Their second single ‘Seven Seas of Rhye, written by Mercury, became their first hit reaching 10 in the UK. During this time they did their first tour as support to Mott the Hoople, and they began to get noticed. But record sales were still low.Later that same year their third album Sheer Heart Attack was released, though May was mostly absent when it was started because he was suffering from Hepatitis. It did much better than the first two albums, reaching number 2 in the UK, sold well through Europe, and went gold in the US. It gave the band their first taste of success. It was a unique album, as were all of Queen’s albums, experimenting with many different genres. Queen became known for this, having all four of the members contributing at least one song per album (except for the first 2, where Deacon didn’t contribute).After they completed their Japan tour in 1975, they began working on their next album, A Night at the Opera. At the time, it was the most expensive album ever created. Once again, this album explored the different music styles of Queen. The album was very successful. The single that everyone will of heard at least once, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, written by Freddie Mercury, was a huge hit and may very well be the best song ever, as it has been voted that many times. For this song, Queen decided to make their first “true” music video for it. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the first music video to be offered for free to any station, network, or program that would air it. The second single from the album, “You’re My Best Friend”, written by John Deacon, was also successful.
By 1976, Queen was back in the studio recording A Day at the Races which is often mistaken for A Night at the Opera, as their covers are similar and they are both named after Marx Brothers’ movies. The album was successful, as were the two main singles released from is: “Somebody to Love”, written by Mercury, and “Tie Your Mother Down”, written by May.
In the year of 1977, Queen released News of the World. In it, it had some very good songs, the most recognizable being “We Will Rock You” (May) and “We Are the Champions” (Mercury), which from then on were played at nearly every live show. The two singles also became international sports anthems, and are heard nearly anywhere. Also during this year, Roger began working on some solo work. A year later they released their seventh album, titled Jazz. The album included the hits “Bicycle Race” (Mercury) and “Fat Bottomed Girls” (May). The album was not a jazzy album, so don’t be mistaken by the name. In 1979 they released their first live albums, Live Killers.1980 was the year where they released the successful album The Game, which was also the first album of Queen’s to have synthesizers. On The Game, the singles released were: “Another One Bites the Dust” (Deacon), “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (Mercury), as well as “Save Me” (May) and “Play the Game” (Mercury). Later that year they released the soundtrack for the movie Flash Gordon.In 1981, Queen didn’t release an album, but they did lots of touring, and worked with David Bowie on a song that was later called “Under Pressure”. Later that year, Queen released their first greatest hits album. It was highly successful, and as of 2007, is the UK’s best selling album. Also Roger Taylor became the first Queen member to release a solo album, called Fun In Space, though it did not do to well.
During the year 1982, Queen released the album Hot Space, which some people called it the worst Queen album and it was hated by Queen’s own Roger Taylor (with an exception of the track “Under Pressure”).
Finally in 1984, after a year off from touring, Queen released The Works. On this album, it had the first Queen single written by Roger Taylor (excluding "Calling All Girls"), called “Radio Ga-Ga”, which went on to be a hit. Before this, his songs were deeply underrated. The album, though only 9 tracks long had 4 singles: “Radio Ga-Ga” (Taylor), “It’s a Hard Life” (Mercury), “I Want to Break Free” (Deacon) and “Hammer to Fall” (May), one song from each member.In the year following 1984, Queen toured some more, their most notable concerts being the ‘Rock in Rio’ festival. It was a two night festival, and each night they performed in front of over 180 000 people.At Live Aid, held on July 13th 1985, Queen as well as many other successful groups performed. They performed some of their greatest hits, and it has become known as one of Queen’s best performances to date, which is really saying something became Queen always, delivers a great show. Following their Live Aid performance, Queen’s record sales continued to go up, and they ended 1985 by releasing the single “One Vision” which was used in the movie Iron Eagle. They also released a limited-edition boxed set, The Complete Works, which contained hits as well as previously unreleased material.In early 1986, Queen began recording the album A Kind of Magic, containing several songs to be used in the movie Highlander. The album was very successful, producing a string of hits, including the title track “A Kind of Magic” (Taylor) which contained key lyrics such as “There can only be one”, making reference to the movie’s plot.Later that year, Queen went on a sold out tour (the band’s largest) in support of the A Kind of Magic album. The most notable concert was at Wembley, as there is a CD and DVD collection for the concerts. They couldn’t book Wembley the third night, so instead played at Knebworth Park, which was sold-out in about two hours. Unfortunately, this was Queen’s last live performance with Mercury. The tour set a record (at the time) for having the most people come to watch the shows.Three years later, they released The Miracle. This album was very successful, as it contained hits such as: “The Miracle” (Queen), “I Want it All” (May), “The Invisible Man” (Taylor), “Breakthru” (Taylor), and “Scandal” (May).After fans noticed Mercury’s thin appearance in 1988, rumours began flying that Mercury had AIDS. For reasons unknown and will stay that way, Mercury denied it, and insisted he was too tired to do interviews. However, Queen continued to put out albums.In 1990, they began working on Innuendo, but it was not released until 1991, because of Mercury’s deteriorating health. The album had singles which were “These Are the Days of Our Lives” (Taylor), “I’m Going Slightly Mad” (Queen), “Innuendo” (Taylor), “The Show Must Go On” and “Headlong” which there was a video for all of them, “These Are the Days of Our Lives” being Queen’s final video with Mercury. On November 23 1991, Freddie Mercury made a statement (made on his deathbed) confirming that he did in fact had AIDS. Within 12 hours of that statement, Freddie died of bronchial pneumonia, which was brought on by AIDS. His funeral service was private and consisted of Freddie’s family, and the remaining members of Queen and their wives. Shortly after Mercury’s death, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was re-released as a single, with “These Are the Days of Our Lives” as the B-side. The single went to number one. The song was also in 1992’s Wayne’s World.On April 20th 1992, the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert was held at London’s Wembley stadium, it had many performers, three of which were the remaining members of Queen. It was a successful concert that was televised to over 1 billion viewers worldwide. The concert is listed in ‘The Guinness Book of Records’ as "The largest rock star benefit concert." It raised over £20,000,000 for AIDS charities.Many fans also paid their respects by leaving gifts and what-not outside of Freddie’s house, which became Mary Austin’s house. Later a statue of Freddie was made in Montreux, overlooking a lake, as seen on the cover of Made in Heaven.Made in Heaven was released in 1995 using material scrapped earlier on in Queen’s career, songs that Freddie recorded in his final days, and some other songs such as Freddie’s solo stuff. After it was released, John Deacon decided to retire from music, Roger Taylor worked on some more solo stuff as well as his side-band The Cross (which later broke-up), and Brian May worked on solo work.Several Queen + projects were developed in the following years. Brian May and Roger Taylor preformed as Queen on several occasions, with guest singers on lead vocals. At the end of 2004, May and Taylor announced that they would reunite and return to touring in 2005, as Queen + Paul Rodgers. Many people did not like this, thinking that the idea was to replace the irreplaceable Freddie Mercury, and that if they wanted to work together fine, but don’t call yourself ‘Queen’ even if it’s ‘+ (somebody)’. John Deacon did not come back to “Queen” either. They went on to release albums such as “Return of the Champions’ and ‘The Cosmos Rocks’, which weren’t even close to the sales of the actual Queen albums.Even though Queen (as just Queen) ended after the release of Made in Heaven, they still have many fans, and keep getting more and more. If you still don’t know who Queen is, remember this: Queen is one of the most successful bands in the history of music, and they rock.
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