The Legendary Queen
Brian May and Roger Taylor, in 1970, set the wheels in motion for Queen when they decided to form a band during their college years. Queen started out as a band called Smile who signed with Mercury Records, and included: Tim Staffell, Brian May, and Roger Taylor. Once Tim Staffell left, the group added Freddie Mercury (lead singer) and bassist John Deacon. Freddie Mercury, Farrokh Bulsara, was a fan of Smile and was added on as the lead vocalist. John Deacon began as a young guitarist who was a member of the group called The Opposition. This band was composed of a group of friends, and they were influenced by groups such as The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits. Eventually, Deacon was added to the group that already included Mercury, Taylor, and May. Over time, the group changed their name to Queen. The name Queen was selected by Mercury, and this name is symbolic of power and regality. The addition of Mercury proved to be an essential aspect to the history of Queen’s success. In Queen: The Early Years, Hodkinson writes, “much of what made Freddie also defined Queen: without him they were merely a model rock band with a bent for a commercial tune” (2). The group became well known for their theatrical performances and costumes that were often over the top. “From their international breakthrough in 1976, Queen continually remained one of the best-selling rock acts worldwide beyond Mercury's death in 1991. Their total record sales are estimated at up to 300 million records” (Desler 391). This group was important to the evolution of music and music performance in bands that were to follow them.
• Now I'm Here
• Bohemian Rhapsody
• Killer Queen
• The March of the Black Queen
• Bohemian Rhapsody (Reprise)
• Bring Back That Leroy Brown
• Brighton Rock
• Son and Daughter (Reprise)
• Keep Yourself Alive
• In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited
• Big Spender (Shirley Bassey cover)
• Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover)
• Stupid Cupid (Connie Francis cover) (Partial)
Queen is predominantly known as a rock group, and they have worked in various genres such as: glam rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock. This unique mix of styles was influenced heavily by the contemporaries of the band at that time. These contemporaries included groups such as: The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and others. Queen was unique due to the fact that, “their sound deviates from the conventions of rock music, resistant to the masculine coding that the rock style typically embodies. In this way, Queen's music is atypical to the rock genre and unfamiliar to the critics, resulting in further resistance and marginalization” (De Boer 5). The music that Queen made was often heavily critiqued due its originality. People were unaccustomed to the sound and style that came out of this band, so it was often met with some hesitance. Heavy criticism was a large part of Queen’s history, and many reporters saw them as imposters...