Rediscovering Queen through three songs
After the release of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the movie, the world rediscovered their love for Queen (if they had ever lost it). Everybody thinks they know Queen and it would be so easy (and so pointless) to say let’s talk about ‘Somebody to Love,‘ ‘We Are the Champions‘ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ We have heard these. Then some would point to the early back catalogue and, in my view, their best album, Queen II as “lost” music. However, here are three songs that I will present and give a brief discussion on; three songs that can show different sides to Queen and what they mean.
These could be classed as deep cuts, but (among Queen fans) they are well loved.
First up, ‘March of the Black Queen‘ from Queen II. This is a precursor to the great over the top numbers that came in later years. It is almost like three songs in one, it mood changes, switches from screaming to melody to Sabbath like riffs. It also has Queen nailed onto it. My favourite bit, one of my favourite moments from the Queen catalogue ever, comes when it switches from haunting ballad to kicking rock, listen for: I reign with my left hand, I rule with my right
I’m lord of all darkness, I’m queen of the night
I’ve got the power
Now do the march of the black queen…
It has the power alright.
Next switch to ‘Death on Two Legs’ a song that Freddie really lets rip on. From “A Night at the Opera” this is not a lovely song, it is a bitter and angry song, Freddie really hates his ex manager !! But it’s more than that, it spits vindictiveness and bile. The rest of the band, apparently, especially disliked the line “Do You feel Like Suicide?” and the biting riposte: “I think you should!” It is a song to be listened to when you really dislike someone! A song to take your anger out with, then you can smile at them the next day.
And last of all I nearly, very nearly, chose ‘Great King Rat’ but instead settled on a song my late father and I both loved. It is a lilting, little known’ ballad from “Night of the Opera” featuring Brian May on vocals. The song is “39” and it is a joy, hearing it after the other two tracks here, it transports you to the days of the volunteers, waving goodbye to the girl you love and sitting round the camp fire listening to the storyteller. Queen were a band of many musical styles, this featured in their “sing along” section of the live shows around “Live Killers.” Listen to all three of these and rediscover parts of Queen that still remain little known outside the main fan base.
The Editor: Benny, “the ball” Benson.