Freddie Mercury

Not just another band

Freddie Mercury's "Queen" broke a lot of ground

November 3, 2017

Yes, Freddie Mercury and Queen were theatrical, bombastic, artsy, campy, colorful, quirky, bizarre, etc. ... but they made it work. Perhaps Freddie Mercury was like Elvis on speed, trying to merge rock, glam, progressive, heavy metal, blues, jazz, country-western, rockabilly, gospel, disco and opera ... but c'mon ... isn't that what we want in a front man? 

At age twelve, Freddie Mercury created a band called The Heretics and began covering songs by Little Richard and Cliff Richard. Mercury's other influences include the Beatles, Elvis, the Sweet (early glam rockers), Liza Minnelli, Deep Purple, Roger Daltrey and the Who, Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Chic, Aretha Franklin, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Cream and Jimi Hendrix. 

In 1970, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon combined to form the band we now know as Queen. Mercury chose the name because "It's very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid. It's a strong name, very universal and immediate. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it." 

You'll hear their music every day on Sunny 98.1- because it's good.  The Beatles reinvented music in the 60s. Queen reinvented it again in the 70s and 80s.  Here are their (arguable) 6 best songs..

#1 Bohemian Rhapsody ― The ultimate rock music authority, Wayne's World, made this their anthem. What more can we possibly add? The song hit number one in the US after its 1991 re-release. 
#2 Somebody to Love ― This gospel-inspired Queen classic was memorably covered by George Michael before 72,000 screaming fans at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. Written by Freddie Mercury.
#3 Cazy Little Thing Called Love ― Freddie Mercury, perhaps channeling the young Elvis, wrote this seductive little honky-tonk number in a "ten minute flash of inspiration." It became Queen's first number one single in the US. 
#4 Killer Queen ― A killer hit from Queen's third album, this may be their signature glam-rock song. Written by Freddie Mercury, it reached #2 in Great Britain and #12 in the US. 
#5 Another One Bites the Dust ― Anthem rock is not my thing, normally, but no one did rousing anthem rock better than Queen. The biggest hit written by John Deacon, this song became Queen's second number one single in the US. 
#6 We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You ― What did sports arenas play before Queen? Oh yeah, tinkly stuff like "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Despite the songs' popularity today, they only charted at #44 in the US.