Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Queen

Ugh. I just said it. It's an understatement to say there aren't many bands beginning with 'Q' and because no elderly women have yet started a tambourine troupe called Quilters, I'll have to go with Queen.

Queen may have been a massive British success story but I never really warmed to them. I'd rather go to a concert featuring last year's A-Z for Q entry Q is for (the) Queen and see her play a flute with her corgis howling in the background.



Queen were formed in 1971 and soon became one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world. While I'm not a huge fan of their material I have to concede they could put on a great live show and clearly stole the show at Live Aid in 1985.

They could certainly rock you, if you were feeling remotely like being rocked. At least they changed their name early on from Smile, which strikes me as a very lame name for a band.

Thir biggest hit was Bohemian Rhapsody which was the third biggest selling record in British history and somewhat bizzarely became Number One at two separate Christmases. I'm actually fairly partial to a bit of Bohemian Rhapsody which is a good song to sing along to after about eight beers, although not as good as Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl.



But I really don't go in much for We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You, Crazy Little Thing Called Love... blah blah.

The 1978 album Jazz with the singles Fat Bottomed Girls and Bicycle Race, was accompanied by a strange marketing campaign in which 65 naked women were persuaded to get on bicycles rented from Halford's cycles and sent racing around Wimbledon Stadium. This has given me a moment of pique because I am recalling my new bicycle from Halford's that was callously stolen. We are actively seeking video of this marketing campaign that is probably even stranger than Pink Floyd floating an inflatable pig over Battersea Power Station.




Queen were fronted by the ever exuberant Freddie Mercury (real name Farrokh Bulsara) who tragically died of pneumonia linked to AIDS. His death raised the profile of AIDS tremendously in Britain and the UK. Mercury remains one of the consummate showman in rock and a legend on both sides of the Atlantic.

Curious fact about Queen: Lady Gaga was a big fan of the band and their hit Radio Gaga inspired her name.

13 comments:

  1. I do love Queen, but to each his or her own. Mercury was indeed a showman. Nice post. :)

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  2. You're right that there aren't many Q choices in music. I was never a huge fan myself, but they were never one of those groups which sent me dashing for the radio dial to turn the station either. Freddy Mercury was definitely quite the showman. His death bringing more awareness for AIDS is so true. Good post :)

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  3. Poor Freddie. Died waaaay too young.

    Regarding the Q letter, i'm surprised no one has done Quidditch.

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  4. ha - well there we go Daisy - they were big in the US, I think. Thanx Tracy, yeah they never quite grabbed me, either. Now x has me concerned. He did Jo Jo - it would be an excellent post but haven't seen it anywhere either.

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  5. Oh boy! You're really going to be reaching for X. I hadn't thought of that. Yikes.

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  6. I like Queen; their music is power-packed. I imagine it'd be a lot less so had they kept the name Smiles.

    xoRobyn

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  7. I was one of the millions that bought Bohemian Rapsady and loved it... Wish I was a concert goer back then.. what a showman.

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  8. Queen was amazing - great songs could sing to, stuning vids, such showmanship. Really the consummate performers, they were brill.

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  9. Ohhh, you're so right. Queen put on an incredible show, but think they peaked with Live Aid.

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  10. That last song confused the shit out of me. What the hell is it about? Maybe they just wanted an excuse to use all that footage of naked cyclists? Anyway, I'm not a fan of Queen, but I enjoy their songs a lot, especially because they are so likeable, it's one of the few bands my sister, my father and I enjoy. Thanks for illuminating me on two of their most obscure songs!

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  11. X will not be inspiring Tracy - lol Robyn. I don't think they would have taken off with that name.

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  12. it would have been quite something Vodka - so you are a fan possibly Sarah?

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  13. They were said to be the best band at Live Aid Kitty. I know Starla - let's just blatantly use naked women on bikes etc.

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