Sunday, September 29, 2013

Music Sunday: The Queen Edition

I first became aware of Queen as a band with the release in 1974 of the song "Killer Queen". I can remember tooling around Norwalk in my car (well, not my car, my father's car) and cranking up the volume on the radio every time the song came on. I loved the unique sound of the song and of the band, and I think this is still my favorite Queen song. So, what better way to start out this Music Sunday with another listen:

And then, the next year, there was "Bohemian Rhapsody". Talk about unique. I know I had never heard anything even remotely like it. It is a somewhat mysterious song, with several different interpretations of its meaning conflicting with statements Freddie Mercury made from time to time indicating that there was really no meaning to it at all. Whether it has some deep, hidden meaning or no meaning at all, "Bohemian Rhapsody" has captured the imagination of generations of listeners and remains one of the most requested songs in the history of rock music. Adding to the song's mystique was the promotional video made to accompany it at a time before this was common practice in the music business:

Unlike the two previous songs, which were written by Freddie Mercury, 1978's "Fat Bottomed Girls" was written by Queen's guitarist, Brian May:

Later on, in 1984, Queen released "I Want to Break Free", accompanied by a music video that was banned by MTV although it had been critically acclaimed in the UK:

In 1985, Queen performed at the Wembley Stadium venue during Live Aid, with Freddie Mercury proceeding to give all the other performers present that day a master class on how to hold an audience. It was something that Mercury could do better than just about anybody, before or since. During their set, the band performed "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Radio Ga Ga", "Hammer to Fall", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions", plus a bonus at the end of the clip. Here is Queen's full performance from that day:

And that, I think, is as good a place as any to stop for the day. Clearly, this is just a sampling of Queen's music. There is much more good music that the band released over the years. Just call stopping now a good excuse to make some future Sunday the Queen Edition, Part 2.

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