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|From||1968 to Bad question! Still active!|
|Genre(s)||Rock, rock and roll|
|Members||Brian May, Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, and John Deacon|
|Notable Single(s)||All of them|
|Notable Album(s)||All of them|
|Awards||Most amount of chest hair on a single male, Best Band ever (fan based award)|
|Record Label||OMG Records|
Queen are an English rock/metal band, formed in 1970 by friends Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor as an alternative option to manual labour. Later on, they recruited some guy who played bass guitar who, as the band grew on, grew an afro. Over a period of twenty years together they produced many hit albums, and wrote numerous hit songs like "Another One Bites The Crust" (a song about pizza), "We Will Rock You (For A Nominal Fee)", "Nous Sommes Les Champignons (French for We Are the Mushrooms)", and their most famous work, a complex multi-layered track named "Bohemian Crapsody". They also wrote many other famous songs...and a fair few clunkers.
edit Early Years
Queen, was formed in 1970 by three friends, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and Brian May. They later used some guy who played bass guitar (1972). They started off regularly performing at their local Sainsbury's, where Brian May was working as a cleaner but was later fired because of constant use of the broom for mimicking guitar at the gigs because they were tight on cash. They made no money whatsoever and Freddie had to start selling handmade drugs around the corner at McDonalds. The band soon had enough money saved up to buy an old Ford station wagon to use while touring.
They played their first real gig on a fishing vessel near Brighton. Unfortunately, Mercury's voice served as a siren song and 39 Spartan warships crashed on rocks nearby, leading to the song "Brighton Rock".
edit The First Noise
Freddie Mercury was loved by many; his charisma was so great that it could not be fully contained. Much of it was perspired by Mercury and May consumed some of it. May soon developed amazing guitar skills; as such, he remains known to the general public though retains none of their adoration.
After several months spent covering BB King songs, Freddie decided to start writing original compositions and stop acting like a woman. His first song was called "Keep Yourself Alive" and it was a smash hit in Japan. Unfortunately, he was later informed that Brian May had written it. Freddie then proceeded to throw a fit, which lead to his infamous '18 Month Wardrobe Tour', in which Mercury toured the UK performing his own piano version of the song from within the confines of an oak wardrobe.
Upon rejoining the group, Freddie discovered every as "Another One Bites The Crust", and lead to radical misinterpreted as "Another One Bites The Dust". This song, if played backwards, sounds exactly like the song "Purple Haze" by the late Jimi Hendrix. This was later discovered to be Hendrix's fault.
edit The Quest For Success
"Keep Yourself Alive" provided Queen with a steady income, leading to more exciting drinking nights at the tavern. But much of the money was donated to weapons, used to fight off the local chupacabra infestation. According to the famous story, kazooist Brian May lost his left foot during one of these battles, and he never found it again. This lead to his nickname amongst fans of "Hobble".
The band soon realized their next logical step - leave the tavern and go on tour. The next day, Roger, Freddie, Brian and the bassist said goodbye to their first manager One-Eyed Johnny. They made a great loss that night, as Johnny was also their manager and producer of their first five singles. They toured almost all clubs and taverns of Northern England and Ireland, but nothing felt like Johnny's half-eaten trailer. Drummer Roger Taylor, after a night of heavy drinking, fell into a deep depression and attempted to kill himself with a rusty carving knife; after a 7 hour ordeal of sobbing and intermitant drum solos, Taylor was calmed down sufficiently by the band's road crew with the promise of cake.
Despite such incidents, the tour was succésful and the band gathered enough money to buy a children's tape recorder and hire a flat in west Liverpool. They could have sworn that something happened to all the money, because they drew hundreds of thousands of fans to the tour. Their new manager Jim Breach, a retired midwife, said that it was because they were all too tired to think straight. He was later seen paying for a private helicopter using money that smelled like the Queen tour. Producing a smash hit EP entitled "Moore Queen", the band could now afford a recorder with two microphones and longer battery time. This, then, was the break they had been looking for and Queen set about recording their first album. They called it "Clean".
edit Clean (1973)
The first full length record by Queen, Clean was an early concept album telling the story of a young man's dream of a world obsessively neat and tidy. This motif does not pervade all of the songs however, and so the album was never really considered to be 'concept'.
edit Our Number Two (1974)
In 1973, on the back of the moderate success of Clean, the band released their second album, Our Number Two. This was prompted by a band decision that another record after the original might sell just as well as the first and lead them to record a third album. With this sound principle in mind, Queen produced a hard sounding slice of rock glory and a number one record featuring such hits as "Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil", "Some Day, One Day, Not Today, Was It Yesterday?" and the timeless sing-along classic "Nevermind".
edit My First Heart Attack (1974)
The band's second album did indeed sell even more than their first album and rocketed the band into stardom. Queen went on to tour the world 3 times in one year, playing to sold out venues in every country that is recognised as a country and even one small island where the inhabitants had never even heard music before. Despite several torn body stockings, a broken pair of curling tongs and the loss of Roger Taylor's shin bone during a particularly powerful bass drum solo in Munich, things were looking grand for Queen.
But during the final performance of the band's last show on their third world tour of the year 1973, the pressures of such a long jaunt finally caught up with them. The entire band collapsed on stage mid-song. All of them were rushed to the nearest hospital except for the bass player who had a sit down, several glasses of water and felt well enough to take the stage once more and close the gig on his own, employing the singing of the crowd as a convenient cover for the absence of the other members.
It transpired that the entire group had suffered a collective heart attack brought about by the stress of such long touring and the sheer force of their rocking. Suprised at their own power and dwindling stamina, the band headed into the recording studio in January 1974 to record their third album My First Heart Attack. The new songs were heavier than anything they had done before, each track exploring the visions each band member had experienced during their brush with death. Whoever Played Bass had visualised a difficult vomitting at the end of a dark tunnel and felt compelled to write "Misfire". Brian May took a more literal path with his writing, producing the hits "Stone Cold Fucking Dead" and "Now My Arm Tingles".
But the most revealing experience from the whole affair had been Mercury's. Having recently broken up with his girlfriend but not fully understanding why he had done it, Freddie's visions as he lay close to death began to shed light on the truth of his sexual nature. This lead to his first musical expressions of desire for other men in "Brighton Cock" and "One Off The Wrist".
edit International Succéss
Word got out to the rest of the world that Queen was stealing the stage in England, and foolishly they chose to open their doors to the band in hopes of using their songs during parliamentary broadcasts. Queen then stole the stage from the rest of the world, sometimes during the middle of performances by other bands. U2 infamously suffered for this during their first ever gig at the Meat and Taters Inn, beginning their set on stage to a packed crowd and closing it in the beer cellar.
edit A Day As a Racist (1976)
Having experienced a massive boost in their income, Queen became drunk on their success and inumerable bottles of Babycham. This lead to the recording of their most unloved album, called A Day As A Racist. Featuring 15 minute guitar solos performed by Brian May whilst sitting on a toilet during his daily bowel movement, and cathedral organs filling in for any real form of percussion, the album was a bold leap forward musically for Queen. The lyrics however created a furore around the group throughout the world.
The power of fame had affected Freddie Mercury most of all and he now turned his lyrical attention to insulting, abusing and slagging off every nation on the face of the Earth. Whilst many of Queen's own fans praised the group for 'finally having the guts to acknowledge the pointless existence of the Swiss', many music critics and music lovers alike balked at the blatant racism and abusive rhymes.
In spite of all this, the single "Somebody To Club" hit number one in the charts throughout Europe and would later be covered by George Michael and his rhythm and blues orchestra.
edit A Day And A Night At The Opera (1975)
Queen didn't care so much about making albums by now, as they were practically bigger than former The Beatles member Jesus Christ. Earning an enormous amount from touring and stealing from old ladies on the street, they made plans to record a new record. Someone however was stupid enough to waste it all on an Pacific Island Recording Studio and a 40% share in Costco. Freddie never figured out who wasted the money, leading the new record to become a tax dodging financial recuperation. Failing to see why they should produce any new material considering how well loved their previous albums had been, the band simply re-recorded two old albums in stereo and changed the track titles. It was a huge succéss. By now Mercury had been recognized as one of rock's greatest vocalists, but not yet as one of rock's greatest homosexuals.
The song 'Your Breath Cuts Thru Lead (What You Been Eatin')' has a very interesting back story. It was written about one of Brian May's ex-girlfriends. Their relationship ended when Brian walked in on Roger Taylor giving the woman a very feisty kiss. When asked what the kiss was like, Roger responded with, "Her breath cuts through lead,". These words inspired Freddie Mercury to write a song based around the events.
edit Ska (1978)
With Ska, the band moved into new lyrical and musical territory, recording much of the record on a small island off the coast of Australia as a tax dodge. The use of a "lounge band" style for much of the album gave an interesting feel that was very different to previous records.
edit The Slightly Less Awesome
The early 80's proved to be a disheartening decade for Queen. With the birth and subsequent death of punk music and the rise of the new romantics, the once great rock monster found itself battling the Mothra of dismal 80s music. Queen decided to fight crappy fire with crappy fire.
edit Hot Spasm (1982)
In their quest for more singles, Queen produced an album that sounded like everyone else's. Consequently, this is the generally considered the worst Queen album. Some psychologists theorize that this is because That Hypnotic Anti-Social Guy in the Back wrote 2 songs on Hot Spasm and that this was his last ditch effort to destroy the human race. T.H.A.S.G.i.t.B. confirmed this during a torture session with Geraldo Rivera.
edit The Buerks (1984)
An early 80's return to their rock roots, "The Buerks" was aptly named and became a hateful figure amongst fans in the band's catalogue. Queen had foolishly decided to record an album that sounded nothing like an album. Instead, they hoped to achieve the effect of a greatest hits set by writing each song from the perspective of being a single. This lead to the following years being filled with live shows featuring only the songs on this record, as the band felt they had accidentally created the best songs of their career. Fans were known to commit suicide at their concerts rather than endure yet another 12 minute rendition of the album's lead single "Radio? AAAAARRGGGHHHH!!!"
edit A Kind Of Formaggi (1986)
After Live Aid, Queen had decided to continue on making another album. A Kind of Formaggi, with their lead single, A Sort of Queso, brought some Mediterranean sounds to the world. The first single of this album, One Vice, explains the listener why he shouldn't eat chicken during recording sessions. With an extremely low-pitched intro, varying from -1 to 15 Hz, is only hearable by whales and dogs. This is why Queen became popular among the whales (also the Welsh) during 1986. The live period was mainly focused on evading the U.S.A., Since Brian May got a nasty disease there back in 1974, which forced the doctors to amputate his arm. Later, in 1977, Brian got a bionic arm, a technical masterpiece back in the day. A Kind of Formaggi also features some headbanging aliens.
edit The Clinical (1989)
With the Clinical, the band tried to move into new territory - and failed dismally. It wasn't the strongest idea for a concept album - 10 songs developed from entries in the Mosby's Medical Encyclopedia - and it was criticised by fans and critics alike for it's tinny sound production (it was recorded in an operating theatre) and it's persistantly graphic medical themes. Another point of conflict was the conjoined four-head of Queen's members, which was achieved by a controversial doctor in India. Monty Python fans were upset over the eerie resemblance to their three-headed guard on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
edit On Its Last Legs
By late 1989, it had become clear to the other members of Queen that Freddie Mercury was unwell. In spite of initially failing to be concerned, the band's management eventually convinced May and Taylor to broach the subject with Mercury, who claimed to be suffering from a heavy cold. With this in mind, the band set about recording one more album, for fear that a chesty cough or throat infection might rob their singer of his amazing vocal prowess. For May and Taylor, the possibility of no longer earning royalties from new Queen albums was too terrifying to comprehend and Mercury was placed in an oxygen chamber 24 hours a day, absorbing cough syrup intravenously through a funnel held up using the body of a dead newt. This is credited for the particularly distinctive vocal sound on this album.
edit In U.N. Owen (1991)
While Mercury was held together by shitty rip-off ducttape, the other band members started to explore stuff from Japan, and found an Yamaha DX7 and a game called Touhou Project. The first single and lead single of the album thanks his name to the game, since it shares its name with the theme song for the Extra Stage Boss level stage. Somehow, Deacon discovered the art of singing, and sung the complete intro of the second single on the album: 'I'm getting slightly fat'. The third single, 'Catlong', is the father of the now wellknown 'Longcat'. The terms were reversed by 'someone that found the lyrics of Guns 'n' Roses objective, could f**k himself and bought something from the New Age section'.
edit Made in Taiwan (1995)
In 1995, the remaining members of Queen, who were all alive despite media claims of the premature death of The bass player's fashion sense, assembled at a former army barracks in Kent. Here they were played several cassette tapes of the late Freddie Mercury singing about losing his virginity for the first time (and later the fifth). Astounded by the sheer nonsense they heard, the band decided to polish up these 'demos' by re-recording them and writing new lyrics that weren't about bursting cherries in order to create a final record featuring the original line-up.
Two singles were torn from the final record. The first, 'Studio Chatta', hit number six in the Russian charts and remained confident throughout. The second single, 'You're A Fool Mate' failed to chart and instead became a popular disco soundtrack amongst the over forties. But the lasting impression amongst the band's fanbase soon brought the band to the decision to release the aborted sessions of new music. This 'new' album would be called Made in Taiwan after an incident involving Brian May's deportation from the country of the same name, after he was discovered smuggling an effects box into the country inside his hair.
edit Queen: The Next Generation
Shortly after the success of Made In Droitwich, Queen recorded a new album, Made in Taiwan which consisted of the original abandoned recordings for the former album. A new and frankly epic 35 minute version of "Unicycle Race" would become the lead single, prompting riots throughout Kensington.
With no lead singer, they hired a random male from the streets of Bangkok for every song. Although an utterly flawed and stupid idea, the album went number one everywhere, except for Italy, a country that had not yet forgiven the band for A Day As A Racist.
edit Fun Facts
- Queen's original name was King, but Freddie Mercury altered it for fear it sounded 'too camp'.
- Jimmy Page was a session musician for the album A Day As A Racist. This lead to rumours that he played guitar on every album Queen produced and that Brian May couldn't actually play at all.
- On every album, there is at least 10 minutes of total silence, to build up tension, except A Day As A Racist, which contains a 20 minute guitar solo featuring only 3 chords.
- Roger Taylor has grown incredibly fat in recent years, yet still fits behind a traditional drum kit.
- Queen played their first gig in the basement of Roger's parent's house, to an audience of stuffed animals.
- When not recording, writing, touring or just hanging out, the remaining members of Queen take care of their herd of wild water buffalo and attend honourary university ceremonies.
- If you reverse the name of the band, the resulting word is "Neeuq" - ancient Egyptian for "The Austin Allegro was a very poor car".
- Playing "Ogre Battle" backwards causes a wormhole to open in Montreaux, Switzerland. The large statue of Freddie located there is said to have fallen out of such a wormhole. The only way to close it is to have Roger Taylor scream into it.