History of Queen
Photo: Electra Records / Public domain

Queen History

Queen is a British rock band founded in 1970 by its singer, Freddie Mercury, Brian May on guitar, Roger Taylor on drums and John Deacon on bass. Despite the absence of some of its members, the band was active until 2009.

Brian May and Roger Taylor founded the band Smile in 1968, with Tim Staffell as the vocalist. He studied with Freddie Mercury at Ealing Art College, who was a big fan of the band. Therefore, when Tim Staffell left the group to join another, Humpy Bong, May and Taylor immediately thought of Mercury. Once the three of them were together, Smile’s name became Queen’s at the suggestion of Freddie himself. After playing songs of other bands and artists, they renewed some that they had composed for Smile and other previous bands.

Already by 1970, they were presented for the first time in the City Hall of the city of Truro in 1970 and then, that same year, in the Imperial College. At that time, several bassists tried out, like Mike Grose, Carry Mitchell, and Doug Ewood Bogie, but finally, they met John Deacon in a bar and they called him to be part of the band definitively. This one appeared with them for the first time in 1971. By this same date, Freddie Mercury designed the logo of the band inspired by the zodiacal signs of its members: that is why you see two lions, by Deacon and Taylor who were Leo, a crab for May, who was Cancer, and two fairies for Mercury, who was Virgo.

A friend of Brian May told him that he had a studio and that he needed to prove it. So Queen tried the studio out and ended up recording four songs, with which they began to look for a label, but without any success. However, over time they would be recognized by the firm Chrysalis Records, which would offer them a contract, which Queen chose not to sign for terms that were not very beneficial for them. The same thing happened at first with the Trident label, although they would finally sign a contract in 1972, but only to record and represent them. Thus, a stamp that distributed them was missing. This would not appear until 1973, year in which they would sign with Elektra Records, which distributed their first album: Queen. This was well received by some critics, although in general, it was not very successful.

In 1974, Queen appeared in the Top of the Pops, where he played Seven Seas of Rhye. This presentation was broadcasted on television, which greatly promoted the theme. Quickly, EMI released a single with the song and with See What A Fool I’ve Been, with which they managed to be in the ranks of the 10 songs most listened for at least ten weeks. That same year, the second album of the band was released, Queen II, which was ranked No. 5 on the English list. Thanks to these two successes, Queen made its first tour, without being the opening show, in the United Kingdom.

In November of the same year, the third album was released, Sheer Heart Attack, of which Killer Queen and Flick of the Wrist managed to enter the American lists. After these, they toured Europe, the United States, and Japan.

In 1975, the first single of its next album was published, Bohemian Rhapsody, with which they were during 18 months in the top of the list of the United Kingdom, and which granted Mercury the Ivor Novello Prize to him for the second occasion. For this, a video clip was made, with which it became usual to accompany the singles with an audiovisual sample. Finally, in November of that same year, A Night at the Opera would be released.

After making a tour promoting their latest album, Queen released A Day at the Races in 1976, an album that is considered a sequel to the previous one, and News of the World in 1977, which is famous for its songs “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” which would be used in various sporting events. By 1978, Jazz would appear and in 1980 The Game. The following year, the band would make its first tour in South America.

In 1981, they would return to the position nº1 of England with Under Pressure, a song composed and realized next to David Bowie. In 1982, they published Hot Space, and, after a year of rest, they published The Works in 1984. Two years later, “A Kind of Magic” was released and in 1989 The Miracle.

In 1987, Mercury’s couple, Jim Hutton, announced that the singer had AIDS, although all the members of the band denied it. However, in 1991 Mercury said in a statement that he did have the disease. In this same text, he asked for the support of his public and his friends to fight against the disease. Despite this, two days later, on November 24, Freddie Mercury died at only 45 years old.

After the death of the singer, an album with the greatest hits of the band was released, a commemorative concert was made and the album Made in Heaven and the song “No-One, but You” were published. The band entered the hall of fame in 2001 and the following year they got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2004, Brian May and Roger Taylor announced that they would join with Paul Rodgers to form Queen + Paul Rodgers. In 2008, the new group released the album The Cosmos Rocks, and finally separated in 2009.

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