Queen

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I see a little silhouetto of a man...
"We are a very competitive group. We are four good writers and there are no passengers."
Freddie Mercury as quoted in the Freddie Mercury Solo Collection

Famous British rock band fronted by Freddie Mercury (vocals, piano and other keyboards), with Brian May (guitar, vocals and keyboards), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals, also guitar and bass on studio recordings) and John Deacon (bass, keyboards and guitar on some studio recordings), known for their style which combines hard rock, massed vocal harmonies (from Mercury, May and Taylor; Deacon only supplied backing vocals live), Brian May's complex, intricately arranged and highly overdubbed guitar work, catchy pop melodies, surreal humour and flamboyant, theatrical performances (which the band was steered towards chiefly by Mercury).

All members of the band were songwriters, approaching wildly different styles, from straight-up Hard Rock and Arena Rock to Glam Rock, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, disco/Funk, pop, rockabilly, New Wave and Synth Pop, going all the way between 1 and 7 on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness. While all bandmembers shared an eclectic approach to songwriting and a tendency for experiments, generally speaking:

  • Mercury was responsible for many of their ballads ("Love of My Life", "My Melancholy Blues"), pop songs and stylistic experiments ("Killer Queen", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Somebody to Love" etc.).
  • If you're headbanging to an incredibly guitar-heavy Hard Rock tune it's probably been written by May ("Prophet's Song", "Tie Your Mother Down", "We Will Rock You")
  • If the song is more old school rock-ish and its lyrics deal with things like rebellion, passion, living a life outside the rules etc., it was probably penned by Taylor ("Tenement Funster", "I'm in Love with My Car", "Sheer Heart Attack", "Fight from the Inside").
  • The other band members have observed that Deacon was less influenced by bands like Led Zeppelin or The Who than the rest of them and had preferred Soul and American Funk music in his youth. As a result a lot of his songs have a kind of Motown pop style ("You're My Best Friend", "Misfire") or a funky, bass-driven sound ("Another One Bites the Dust", "I Want to Break Free"). He also wrote several ballads, including "Spread Your Wings", "You and I" and "Friends Will Be Friends" (the last one in collaboration with Freddie, with whom he also co-wrote "The Miracle").
  • Songs that combine several of these elements were often writing collaborations.

The band was formed in 1970, and technically ceased to exist after Mercury died of AIDS in 1991. Unwilling to continue without a key member, the band stopped all activity besides a posthumous album with Mercury's previously recorded vocals and one single in 1997. Deacon officially retired from the band soon afterwards. May and Taylor have continued to record and tour in collaboration with other musicians under the "Queen + ..." moniker, which resulted in one album with Paul Rodgers as singer. The album was greeted with critical disdain and a fan backlash over the perceived nature of Rodgers as a Replacement Scrappy, despite May and Taylor repeatedly pointing out that he was only a featured artist and not a replacement for Mercury. Rodgers parted with the band in 2009.

They have many well-known songs. Here's a few of them:

Discography:
  • 1973 - Queen
  • 1974 - Queen II
  • 1974 - Sheer Heart Attack
  • 1975 - A Night at the Opera
  • 1976 - A Day at the Races
  • 1977 - News of the World
  • 1978 - Jazz
  • 1980 - The Game
  • 1980 - Flash Gordon (official soundtrack to the film)
  • 1982 - Hot Space
  • 1984 - The Works
  • 1986 - A Kind of Magic (an unofficial Highlander soundtrack, with 6 out of 9 songs from the movie and three new songs)
  • 1989 - The Miracle
  • 1991 - Innuendo (last album recorded by the band)
  • 1995 - Made in Heaven (posthumous album with Freddie's vocals and piano, last album released by the band)
  • 2008 - The Cosmos Rocks (credited to Queen + Paul Rodgers)

Queen provides examples of the following tropes:
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Roger Taylor probably cultivated the hardest rocking image in the group.
  • All-Star Cast: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.
    • Freddie Mercury's debut solo album had been initially supposed to feature Jeff Beck on guitar and Michael Jackson (who'd just released Thriller) dueting on a song. Oh, if only...
    • Queen itself, arguably, since all members were considered to be one of the best (and apart from Freddie, one of the most underrated) at what they did.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Freddie. His real name was Farrokh Bulsara, and he was born in Zanzibar, East Africa to Parsi parents, and went to boarding school in Bombay, India. According to Wikipedia, he was named one of the 60 most influential Asian heroes of the last 60 years.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Also Freddie. He rarely to never came out and admitted his sexuality, but he was able to get much past the radar (the Leather Man look of the late seventies, and the Hard Gay "clone" look of The Eighties comes to mind) until his death. Queen's image combined the fey and the macho even after the "glitter rock" phase of The Seventies.
    • He was probably bisexual, with the exception of the "daffodil" quote, he identified himself as bi, and had both male and female partners (although seemed to be more into men than women.)
  • American Accents: Freddie claims to have one during the 1986 Wembley concert, and asks the audience if they like it. It's pretty good.
  • The Apartheid Era: The band got a lot of heat for playing the Sun City resort in South Africa during apartheid.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The titular character from "The March of the Black Queen" is known to 'boil' (people), 'bake' (people) and to 'never dot her "i"s'.
  • Audience Participation Song: "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Radio Ga Ga" spring to mind, though this works with a lot of their output. Freddie left the first lines of "I Want to Break Free" to the audience, and he himself explicitly stated that "Love of My Life" had been "turned into a duet" with the audience as early as the Live Killers album. And then there's the obligatory singing "contests" Freddie had with his audience, where he sang a sequence of notes, and the audience had to match it. On the Live Killers album, Freddie himself commented it with "You buggers can sing higher than I can, I tell you". Brian May and Roger Taylor imagine that songs like "I Want It All" and "The Miracle" could have ended up like this as well if Freddie hadn't become too ill for the band to keep touring.
    • My God, the Live Aid appearance!
  • Badass Boast: "Princes of The Universe", "Gimme The Prize", "We Are the Champions" (no time for losers) and "Seven Seas of Rhye".
    • The lyrics also contain bits of A God Am I. Given that the first two are from Highlander this should not be surprising.
      • Khashoggi's Ship, for the six of us who've heard it. Just partying with a famous arms dealer, gun-wielding giants be damned . . .
  • Badass Mustache: Freddie Mercury. As one November ad says, it turned Freddie from merely a queen to Queen!
  • Berserk Button: Brian and Roger's commentary for Queen Rock Montreal reveals that, at this point, Freddie was emphatically not pleased about making a concert film, didn't really get on with the director and thought the cameramen were getting in the way. Since the plan was to take footage from both nights' shows, he tried to make a mess of that by wearing trousers on one night and shorts on the second.
    • Freddie got really annoyed at one concert when fans showed up with banners that read DISCO SUCKS after the release of Hot Space. "It's only a bloody record for Christ's sake, people get so excited"
    • According to Word of God, a sticking issue Brian had with Freddie, philosophically, was Freddie's increasingly Camp Gay compositions, not so much against Freddie's lifestyle, but because Brian worried that Freddie would rope out and alienate the straight fans, and because Brian believed in Queen's songs being universally relatable. This was Brian's main issue with songs like "Don't Stop Me Now" and "Body Language".
      • Roger, on the other hand, musically disliked the idea of steering Queen too far away from their rock roots into funk or techno-pop as they had by The Eighties, though he still acquiesced in the end.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: "Fat-Bottomed Girls"
  • Black Sheep Hit: To some extent, "Another One Bites the Dust", a funk song that was pretty much written because it was the particular style John happened to enjoy and it actually wouldn't have been released as a single if Michael Jackson hadn't convinced Freddie that it would be huge. In Britain it was a hit during a period when everything they released shot up the charts, so it generally passed without any particular comment. In America, it's their most successful song and ended up dictating the sound their next album would follow.
  • Boring but Practical: Brian May's method for supplying the harp parts on A Night At The Opera. Since he couldn't actually play the instrument, he recorded each note separately and edited them together to get the chords he wanted.
  • Built With Lego: Lego versions of Queen in Lego Rock Band. It is the awesomest thing in the history of awesome.
    • Additionally, several videos are around on the internet of Queen songs with LEGO stop motion animation.
  • Camp: The video for the operatic It's A Hard Life takes it Up to Eleven. It features Freddie Mercury dressed in a costume that looks like a giant prawn, John Deacon and Roger Taylor wearing tights, ruffs and doublets and Brian May playing a guitar made of a skull and crossbones and a random Foot Focus shot between Freddie and his girlfriend at the time, all surrounded by a crowd of elaborately-costumed, ultra-hammy extras dressed like opera characters in period costumes. John Deacon also has a Unicorn head on a stick for some reason.
  • Cargo Ship: "I'm in Love with my Car", on A Night at the Opera is a canon example:

When my hand's on your grease gun

Oh, it's like a disease, son

  • Carpet of Virility: Freddie had quite a bit of manly chest hair.
  • Character Development: It's A Hard Life. It starts off with the singer dramatically announcing there's no reason to go on in life after a break-up, then within his mourning, he realizes how much effort lasting relationships take throughout the song. At the last chorus, the lyrics have changed to a more optimistic outlook, as he moves on without regret, instead reflecting back on the break-up as a lesson learned in life.
  • Christmas Rushed: A failed example. Innuendo was supposed to be available for Christmas 1990, but was delayed because of Freddie Mercury's health. It was eventually released in February of 1991, nine months before Mercury's death.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Freddie's white slacks and yellow jacket which he donned during the Magic Tour.
    • The chest-exposing checkerboard leotards from 1976-1978 are also iconic.
  • Continuity Nod: Love of My Life has "when I get older I will be there at your side to remind you how I still love you, I still love you". Sixteen years later, These Are the Days of Our Lives (by a different songwriter though) has an older (and dying) Freddie singing "when I look and I find, I still love you... I still love you." The video makes it all even more tearful, as it was Freddie's last.
    • "Seaside Rendezvous" from A Night At The Opera has "I love you madly", while "Was It All Worth It" from The Miracle has "We love you madly".
    • "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Bicycle Race" (both released on one single) reference each other; "Bicycle Race" features "Fat Bottomed Girls will be riding today," and "Fat Bottomed Girls" has "Get on your bikes and ride!"
    • The opening track from Jazz ("Let Me Entertain You") includes the lyric, "We'll Breakfast at Tiffany's / We'll sing to you in Japanese" as a reference to the song "Teo Toriatte" from the "A Day at the Races" album (which had a chorus sung in phonetic Japanese).
    • The symmetrical group image featured in the cover of Queen II (and on the profile pic) was frequently used in videos, including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and an updated one in "One Vision".
    • "No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)", being the reflective song that it is, also has several, namely the lines "Another tricky situation", "Forever paying every due" and "Now the party must be over", referencing "It's A Hard Life", "We Are The Champions" and "Party"/"Khashoggi's Ship" respectively.
    • The clip to "Radio Gaga" features brief excerpts of several of their clips to earlier songs.
  • Cover Version: They never actually recorded any cover songs on their albums, but they performed plenty of cover songs during live shows. Examples include "Jailhouse Rock" on Queen Rock Montreal and a medley of "Hello Mary Lou", "You're So Square", "Tutti Frutti" and "Gimme Some Lovin'" on Live At Wembley.
  • A Day in the Limelight: 1977-1982 concerts featured drummer Roger Taylor singing lead on one song (usually "I'm In Love With My Car") (on which Freddie stuck to piano and backing vocals). Most of their albums usually had one song with Brian singing lead, one song with Roger singing lead, one song with Brian on piano, one song with John Deacon on guitar and (less frequently but still) one or two songs with Roger on guitar and bass in addition to drums.
    • Roger singing lead vocals was particularly notable, in that his performances of "I'm In Love With My Car" were the only instances where another band member sang lead vocals live (at least until after Freddie's death). Freddie sang in Brian's place for "Sleeping On The Sidewalk" and "'39".
    • Roger had a sort of I Am the Band moment with "Fight from the Inside", which was entirely recorded by himself on vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Some other of his compositions at that time were almost entirely recorded by him too, with minimal contributions by the other members (generally some guitar noises by Brian)
  • Days of the Week Song: Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon and In Only Seven Days.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: It's an unfortunate fact that Queen had their most successful period in America immediately after the death of Freddie Mercury.
  • Determinator: In their commentaries for the music videos from The Miracle on the Greatest Video Hits II DVD, Roger Taylor and Brian often comment on how Freddie Mercury put as much energy as he could into making the best possible videos in spite of how fragile his health had become by 1989.
    • The story of how vocals to "The Show Must Go On" were recorded is similarly famous:

"When Brian May presented the final demo to Mercury, he had doubts that Mercury would be physically capable of singing the song's highly demanding vocal line, due to the extent of his illness at the time. To May's surprise, when the time came to record the vocals, Mercury consumed a measure of vodka and said "I'll fucking do it, darling!" then proceeded to nail the vocal line in one take without problems."

    • By the time when Freddie recorded vocals for "Mother Love", his last studio recording before his death, he could no longer stand up on his own.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first album sounded more like Led Zeppelin than the sound the band became well known for, while the second took their progressive tendencies Up to Eleven. They're good albums, but they're pretty different from what the stuff the band was doing after Sheer Heart Attack.
    • YMMV, as it is easy to see predecessors to the later songs which they are known for.
  • Eighties Hair: John Deacon's afro (seen in the "Radio Ga Ga" video and the Live Aid performance) has to count.
  • Epic Rocking: Particularly prevalent on their first two albums.
    • Brian's first solo effort (1984's Star Fleet Project EP) was three songs of epic rocking, featuring contributions from Eddie Van Halen and an extended tribute to Eric Clapton.
  • Everything Is an Instrument : "Bicycle Race".
  • Fading Into the Next Song: Used on several albums. For example, the piano at the end of "The Prophet's Song" fades into the introduction for "Love Of My Life" on A Night At The Opera.
    • Done twice consecutively on Sheer Heart Attack: "Tenement Funster", "Flick Of The Wrist" and "Lily Of The Valley" merge into one another seamlessly.
  • First Girl Wins: When the band began, Freddie was dating a beautiful blonde English woman named Mary Austin. They even moved in together for a while and broke up in 1976. After that, Freddie dated many men and women, eventually being domestic partners with an Irish man (who died on 1st January 2010, but not from AIDS). When Freddie died, Mary got half of his fortune (the other half was split between his sister and his parents), including his mansion, his piano, and publishing royalties (which keep growing with every passing day).
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Brian May holds a Ph.D in Astrophysics. He also designed and built his guitar, the Red Special, himself. The guitar's neck is mostly a piece of wood salvaged from an old fireplace surround, and the tremolo bar is a motorcycle handbrake combined with a knitting needle. John Deacon too, tinkered with electronics in his youth and later graduated with a First in electrical engineering. He joined in part because the others were impressed by his skill with equipment.
  • Gag Boobs: Freddie, infamously in "I Want to Break Free".
  • Genre Roulette: A typical Queen album from The Seventies might contain elements of heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, music-hall numbers, Dixieland jazz, folk, blues-rock, Beatlesque pop-rock, glam-rock and ballads. Later albums would include funk, dance music, synth-pop, punk-rock, rockabilly, reggae and/or new wave influences. Freddie suggested that this was why it took so long (close to fifteen years after Queen began) for Roger and himself to put out the first Queen solo albums; the band was four solo projects that came together to create the Queen sound.
  • Glam Rock: One of the longest lasting bands from this genre, bridging the gap between the artsy (David Bowie and Roxy Music) and heavy (Sweet, Slade) sides of the genre.
  • Grand Finale: There's no denying that "The Show Must Go On" is this.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Is there really any reason for those "Bismillah!"s in Bohemian Rhapsody? And, for that matter, just why is Scaramouche supposed to do the fandango?

Just take a look at the menu
We'll give you rock à la carte
We'll breakfast at Tiffany's, we'll sing to you in Japanese
We're only here to entertain you

  • Greatest Hits Album: The two main ones - Greatest Hits and Greatest Hits II - were released in 1981 and 1991 respectively and collected the hit singles of the preceding decade. A third album, Greatest Hits III, is probably more aptly described as "Greatest Leftovers", consisting mainly of live Queen+ recordings and some remixes.
    • Although it does contain some good songs which were left out on I and II and needed to be included.
  • Hard Gay: Freddie. (Or Hard Bi, maybe)
  • Heavy Meta: Roger Taylor wrote a few songs about rock music. His first composition for the group, "Modern Times Rock And Roll" was the first and "Radio Ga Ga" was the best known.
  • Heavy Mithril: Queen's first two albums are loaded with this.
  • I Call It Vera: Brian May's guitar, "Red Special", which he built from scraps as a teenager.
    • Also of note was the amp often used with the Red Special, the "Deacy Amp", built by Electrical Engineer-turned Bassist, John Deacon.
  • Iconic Item: Freddie's bottomless microphone stand; during a gig very early in the band's career his mic stand snapped in half in the middle of a song, but he carried on with the intact bit and decided it would be more interesting to keep it like that.
  • Important Haircut: Freddie, Roger and John all had long hair in the 1970s, but then appeared with short hair around the time of News of the World, which represented new directions in the group's style. Freddie's famous mustache, which he grew around the time of The Game and the Flash Gordon soundtrack, also accompanied changes to Queen's sound. Only Brian May has kept the same haircut (huge, dark and curly) for the past 40 years (one of his conditions for Queen's inclusion in Lego Rock Band was that they portray his hair accurately).
  • Intercourse with You: Hey, guess what "Get Down, Make Love" is about.
    • Funny, the chorus seems to make it about the lead singer bitching out his girlfriend for being a prude...
  • In the Style Of: "Somebody to Love" is In the Style Of Aretha Franklin, who Freddie Mercury was a fan of.
  • Ironic Echo: "Good Company", with the line "take care of those you call your own and keep good company".
    • "Sleeping On The Sidewalk" also has this: "I may get hungry but I sure don't wanna go home/I don't get hungry and I sure don't wanna go home/I may get hungry and I sure do wanna go home"
  • I Thought It Meant: No, "Mother Love" is not about Parental Incest.
  • It's All About Me: Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: "Another One Bites The Dust" is this of the disco band Chic's "Good Times". Chic's Bernard Edwards says that John Deacon, the song's writer, hung out at their studio, leading to this song.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Freddie adored cats, and even wrote two good-bye songs for his own felines before he died.
    • "All Dead, All Dead" was written because one of Brian May's cats died.
    • "Delilah" is aptly titled after Freddie's favorite cat.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Freddie had a chin that would put Bruce Campbell to shame.
  • Large Ham: Freddie, as well. Brian also qualifies in some videos, especially the aforementioned "It's a Hard Life" in which he (according to Roger) "Gets dangerously close to acting."
  • Long Runner Lineup: Taken to its Logical Extreme: a Long Runner band (20 years) with only one lineup: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor.
    • Except for the recent Queen + Paul Something or Another thing.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "I Want to Break Free" is not a happy song, but has a catchy, upbeat tone.
    • Unless it actually is a happy song and you're looking at it from the wrong angle. (Queen songs are not always about anything specific.)
    • There's also "Don't Try Suicide," which is about pretty much what you'd expect, but sounds like a reject from West Side Story.
    • Hell, Queen have this all over the place. "Bring Back That Leroy Brown", "Misfire", "'39", "Somebody to Love"...
    • "One Vision" sounds like an upbeat, inspirational song, until you realize the lyrics are about fascism...
      • Critics at the time had always equated Queen with fascism, due to the hold Freddie had over the audience coming as one, and due to the critics' dismissal of the kind of arena rock Queen did so well. Word of God mentions that One Vision (well, apart from the "fried chicken" line) is about Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Metal Scream: "In the Lap of the Gods" has a lot of them. Roger Taylor used to perform them live at every concert just to prove they weren't synthesized. Gimme the Prize from the Highlander soundtrack showed that Freddie could do this too, even though he hated the song.
  • Mind Screw: Applies to a lot of their early and later work. Don't even pretend Bohemian Rhapsody makes sense.
    • It sounds like the story of a murder trial. Seriously, it's not that hard.
      • A Guitar World special edition magazine interviewed Freddie's assistant, Peter Freestone, who suggested it might be about Freddie coming to terms with his newfound sexuality, and fearing breaking the news to his then-girlfriend, Mary Austin.
    • "39" does make sense, but seems not to. It helps to know the back story.
      • Seriously. Best song about theoretical Einsteinian space travel-induced time dilation masquerading as a sea shanty EVER.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: All the way from 1 to 7.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Queen and only Queen could write a song about something mundane as riding a bike and make it fucking AWESOME.
    • "Delilah" is an ode to one of Freddie's cats, who "make(s) (Freddie) slightly mad" when she "pee(s) all over (his) Chippendale Suite".
  • The Musical: We Will Rock You, surprisingly good for being a jukebox musical but then it helps to have Queen music period.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • Non-Indicative Name: Jazz. The songs on the album draw from a variety of musical styles, like most Queen albums, but there's nothing on it even remotely resembling jazz.
  • Pop Star Composer: Queen wrote songs for The Highlander, Flash Gordon the Movie, and Freddie contributed to a new edition of Metropolis.
    • Brian also wrote the soundtrack to a French movie called Furia. It sounds like he was chained to a copy of John Williams' Star Wars soundtrack.
    • Brian also did the soundtrack for Rise of the Robots. It was far more epic than the game was.
  • The Power of Friendship: Celebrated in "Friends Will Be Friends".
  • Porn Stache: Freddie, during the 80s.
  • Posthumous Collaboration: Deliberate on Freddie's part for Made in Heaven. Freddie recorded as many vocals as he could for the band to work with, but they still had to dig deeper than that to make a full album. For example, Brian sings the last verse of "Mother Love" because Freddie didn't finish his vocal.
    • And a lot of Freddie's vocal and piano work Made in Heaven comes from long before 1991. All in all, only three songs are actually written and completely recorded after Innuendo.
  • Pretty Boy: All of them when younger, although Freddie had Perma-Stubble.
  • Protest Song: "I Want It All" was interpreted both as an anti-apartheid song and as an LBGT anthem, though neither of those meanings were intended by the band.
    • The anti-apartheid interpretation is rather ironic in that Queen was one of the few major groups not to abide with the UN cultural boycott on apartheid South Africa, and they ended up fined and blacklisted. Queen members later argued that they weren't a political group and that the crowd was integrated, missing the point on the policy of deinvestment.
    • "I Want To Break Free" was also adopted as an LGBT anthem.
  • The Quiet One: John Deacon, almost literally; he was the only member who didn't sing, and said very little in group interviews, generally only speaking when a question was directed specifically to him. Since the band went their separate ways in 1991, John mostly retired from the music industry, only going back into the studio to record the "No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young)" single. He later gave his support to Queen+Paul Rodgers, but declined to take part.
  • Reality Subtext: Many of the songs from Innuendo and Made in Heaven were clearly inspired by Freddie's struggle with AIDS.
  • Reclusive Artist: Freddie was one to a certain extent. In contrast to his famously outgoing stage persona, he was quite introverted when he wasn't performing, giving few interviews in comparison to Brian and Roger and mostly keeping to himself (it wasn't publicly revealed that he had AIDS, much less that he was dying, until a day before his death). Since 1997, John has retreated from the music business and public view completely, with only the very occasional picture of him surfacing.
  • Refuge in Audacity: "Fat Bottomed Girls". And the promotional stunts of the era, with 50 naked women riding bicycles. And to top it off, the outrageous (and outrageously expensive), cocaine-fueled promotional party Freddie held in New Orleans to promote the Jazz album.
    • Let us not forget "Tie Your Mother Down," a song about getting a high school girl's (at least, we assume she's in high school) disapproving family out of the way in order to have sex with her.
    • Legend had it that when The Sex Pistols were recording in Wessex Studios at the same time as Queen in 1977, Sid Vicious visited them, taunting them with, "Bringing ballet to the masses, eh, Freddie?". Freddie responded with "Ah, Mr. Ferocious! Well, we're trying our best, dear."
      • On the sillier side, Johnny Rotten is said to have crawled into the studio while Queen were recording, stood up, said "Hello, Freddie!" and then immediately crawled out again.
  • Rule of Cool: During the video for Princes of the Universe, Connor MacLeod from Highlander challenges Freddie Mercury to a swordfight. The duel ends in a DRAW. Think about that for a second...
    • Add in that Freddie is fighting with the microphone stand.
    • For some, Roger Taylor and his high notes are this. Exhibit A: Opening notes of "Somebody to Love." Exhibit B: "For MEEEEE!" from Bohemian Rhapsody... And he could get even higher than that: Seaside Rendezvous has a high C, and his collaboration with British band Fox features him singing (without studio trickery) a tritone HIGHER than 'for me'. Conveniently, the word he's singing during that note is indeed 'higher'."I'm In Love With My Car" features him singing a high E in full voice; it was one of the few he sang on his own in live performances and without any apparent effort.
      • Roger's vocals in live performances in general. How many drummers do know you that can sing and play drums AT THE SAME TIME?
    • And if you think that's ridiculous, "It's Late" puts both to shame.
    • In the Lap of the Gods. The shrieks are Taylor's, and he could pull them off live.
    • The screams during the intro and second verse of "My Fairy King", as well as the intro and bridge of "'39", which he also recreated live.
    • "Brighton Rock" features Freddie singing mostly in falsetto.
    • That one note Freddie hits in the middle of "Under Pressure". Wow!
    • Their performance at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid 1985. Freddie somehow got 75,000 people to clap in unison during the refrain of "Radio Ga-Ga". (It must be seen to be believed, so go see it.)
      • What one always thought was amazing about that performance was the visual representation of the actual speed of sound. Everyone in the crowd "clap-claps" on beat, but since the crowd itself was so *HUGE*, you could actually see a "wave" passing over the crowd as each row clapped a millisecond later than the one before as the sound reached THEIR ears. It's shiver-worthy once you realize that's what's happening.
    • Brian May has stated that Freddie composed "Ogre Battle" on an acoustic guitar, and counts that as a personal moment.
    • On A Night At The Opera, the "brass" and "woodwinds" on "Seaside Rendezvous" are, respectively, Roger and Freddie's vocals, sped up or slowed down on tape. And the temperance jazz band on "Good Company" come entirely from Brian May's guitar. No synthesizers, no samplers, no guitar synthesizers. 16-track analog tape.
    • The overdubs on "Bohemian Rhapsody" were so multilayered (again, on sixteen-track analog tape) that you could see through sections of the tape.
      • May has stated that the vocals were even more multilayered on "March Of The Black Queen"
    • The song Bohemian Rhapsody was number one on the charts TWICE, years apart.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "I'm Going Slightly Mad".
    • Also, the traditional song "Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside" which plays at the end of "Seven Seas of Rhye". At least, this is how the musical We Will Rock You interpreted it.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Their trademark was to massively overdub their vocals to create a choral effect.
    • Depending on the song, they could have only Freddie ("Love of My Life"), only Brian ("Leaving Home Ain't Easy"), only Roger ("Tenement Funster"), Freddie + Brian ("All Dead, All Dead"), Freddie + Roger ("Rock It"), Brian + Roger ("Long Away") or the three of them ("Somebody to Love"). Sometimes they even sang each part (alto, tenor, baritone) together in order to make the resulting bounce sound really big.
  • Self-Deprecation: They all played other instruments besides their main one, but were usually more than modest about it. Freddie often half-joked on stage that he could only play three chords on guitar, Brian called his own piano skills "sub-par", Roger (in the 80's) said his voice was getting worse with every passing day, John was often shy about his own abilities on other instruments or when it came to songwriting (lyrics in particular, Freddie too) and said he never sang on any albums because he felt he couldn't compete vocally with the other three.
    • Freddie famously replied to a question about how he functioned as an artist with "I'm not an artist, I'm just a musical prostitute, my dear"
  • Seventies Hair: Brian May has kept his for more than forty years.
  • Shirtless Scene: Freddie had a few in concerts.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To the Marx Brothers, the albums A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races taking their names from two of their films.
    • The music video for "Calling All Girls" was based upon the George Lucas movie THX 1138.
    • The music video for "Radio Ga Ga" was based upon, and also featured actual footage from, the Fritz Lang classic Metropolis - which Freddie supplied a song for in a modern overdub.
      • The lyrics to the song also specifically mention Orson Welles' infamous The War of the Worlds broadcast.
      • The "The Works" tour's stage setup was also based on the same film, with a cityscape in the background and large gears.
    • "Bring Back That Leroy Brown" (from Sheer Heart Attack) is an homage to Jim Croce, who had died the previous year.
    • The "I Want To Break Free" video is a parody of Coronation Street.
    • The lyrics of "Innuendo" (which were started by Freddie, but were mostly Roger's work) are intended as a shout out to "Kashmir".
    • Cromartie High School has Freddie as a Japanese delinquent student.
    • The video game series Ogre Battle is full of references to the Band. Two of the games' subtitles are songs titles (The March of the Black Queen and Let Us Cling Together). The Seven Seas of Rhye exist in the game's world, and a unit of Ogre Battle 64 is the Vultan (upgraded from Hawkman). As in Prince Vultan, from Flash Gordon, whose soundtrack Queen provided.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions".
  • Sixth Ranger: Spike Edney was the band's touring keyboardist in the 1980s (when Freddie decided he wanted to spend more time moving about and interacting with the audience) and also provided additional guitars and backing vocals. He was sometimes referred to as the band's fifth member, and has since played with Brian and Roger in the solo projects as well as with Queen+Paul Rodgers.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Done occasionally, expecially with their more operatic songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Seven Seas of Rhye", with Freddie alternating between a harsh, growling tenor and a clean, piercing falsetto. Within the band itself, in contrast to Freddie and Brian, Roger frequently deployed a much harsher, snarlier voice, closer to really angry Roger Waters ("Fight from the Inside" is clear proof of this, or "Fun It" - it's really easy to tell Freddie and Roger apart there).
  • Spiritual Successor: Freddie Mercury wrote It's A Hard Life as a direct sequel to Play the Game and Somebody To Love, a sweeping rock opera to follow up Bohemian Rhapsody. The album Hot Space was meant to be a spiritual successor to the massive success of the Funk-influenced Another One Bites the Dust, although its success was debatable.
    • Let's not forget that the opening lines of It's a Hard Life share a significant snippet of melody with Vesti la Giubba from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.
    • More notably, the entirety of A Day At The Races can be thought of as a "sequel" to A Night At The Opera. They're both named after Marx Brothers films, the album art is almost exactly the same with a black background rather than white, and many of the songs parallel each other. "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Somebody to Love", "'39" and "Long Away", "The Prophet's Song" and "White Man", "You're My Best Friend" and "You and I", and very specifically, both albums open with Epic Riff-driven Hard Rock tunes ("Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to..." and "Tie Your Mother Down").
    • Additionally, In The Lap Of The Gods, My Fairy King, Liar and March Of The Black Queen could all be seen as predecessors to Bohemian Rhapsody.
    • Though they're written by and partially sung by different members, Fun It and Another One Bites The Dust have similarities. The drum intros sound particularly familiar.
  • A Storm Is Coming: "The Prophet's Song", based on the Biblical story of Noah.
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "Fat-Bottomed Girls".
  • Subdued Section: Used in too many of their songs to list.
  • Tabloid Melodrama: In the late eighties, the British tabloids went after Brian and Freddie in a big way (see below).
  • Take That:
    • "Scandal" is a take that against the celebrity-obsessed media, who were giving both Freddie (over his health problems, resulting in a picture of him looking haggard and emaciated on the front page of The Sun) and Brian (over his divorce and subsequent marriage to actress Anita Dobson) a hard time in the late eighties.
    • "We Are the Champions" was described by Freddie as being a "take that" directed to the music press, which almost always gave the band horrendous reviews (ex: Rolling Stone describing Queen as "the first fascist rock band" etc.) yet they continued to be one of the world's most popular and best selling bands. When the rest of the band heard Freddie do the first run-through of the song they "fell our laughing", knowing exactly whom he was slagging.
    • And then there's "Death On Two Legs (Dedicated to...)", a SCATHING attack on their former manager Norman Sheffield. On the Live Killers version, Freddie ramped it up a bit more by saying it was dedicated to "a motherfucker of a gentleman". "Flick of the Wrist", from the preceding album is written along the same lines, and reputedly directed at the same motherfucker.
    • "Fight From The Inside" and "Sheer Heart Attack" (both written by Roger) are Take Thats at the then-emerging punk scene.
  • Talks Like a Simile: "Don't Stop Me Now."
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Usually averted, as lots of Queen songs have quite a few more than three chords, and Brian May is highly respected for his virtuosity as a guitarist. However, Freddie Mercury joked about it at the 1986 Wembley concert - "This shitty guitar never plays the chords I want it to play. It only knows three. Let's see what happens." - before launching into "'Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
  • Uncommon Time: In the second part of "Innuendo." Namely alternating 5/4 and 3/4 passages.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Liar"... Maybe...
  • Ur Example: "Stone Cold Crazy" was one of the earliest Hard Rock songs not to be interchangeable with Blues Rock, and it was a precursor to and big influence on several styles of Metal (Speed Metal and Thrash Metal especially). As mentioned above "Dead On Time" falls in here too.
    • Metallica covered "Stone Cold Crazy", releasing it first as a B-side and then on their all-covers album Garage Inc. They also played it at the Tribute Concert, cementing its status as Metallica's homage/thank you to the band.
  • Villain Protagonist: "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Put Out The Fire" & "Tie Your Mother Down" all qualify to some extent. "Tie Your Mother Down" seems harmless enough, locking the girl's father out of the house and tying down her mother is one thing, but the line "take your little brother swimming with a brick" pushes it over the line into this.
  • Villain Song: "Gimme the Prize (Kurgan's Theme)"
  • Was It Really Worth It?...? / Worth It : The gist of the closing song from The Miracle, known as 'Was It All Worth It?'. According to the band, despite all the effort and heartache they put into it all, even after they knew that Freddie had AIDS, 'It was a Worthwhile Experience!'
  • Wasted Song: Their version of "New York, New York", which can be heard on Highlander never got a full version recording (they only recorded it partially, to match scene it plays on; Kurgan's drive through New York).
    • Also, it's never been released, except as a snippet on the movie itself.
  • Weapon of Choice: The Red Special for Brian. So much so that when he played on Paul Rodgers' set at the "Strat Pack" concert, which was a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster, Brian brought the Red Special along, theme of the concert be damned.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: 90% of their songs don't really mean anything, they just sound cool.
    • Although that's debatable: some sources say Freddie encouraged their (and especially his) "throwaway lyricist" image to avoid being asked to analyze the words in interviews, but many (or at least several) of them were actually very personal.
      • He did, however, once openly admit that Bohemian Rhapsody's lyrics have no real meaning to them. Another One Bites The Dust would be another example of a Queen song with (presumably) no real lyrical meaning. Originally, John Deacon wanted to write a song about cowboys, but he ended up rewriting the words enough that they didn't really mean anything in the end.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: It actually took them longer than one would think to start making money from music. Even when their albums really began to sell well, they were being paid £60 a week (not bad in 1973) but at the same time were stuck in a pretty bad management contract which resulted in them owing their ex-manager Norman Sheffield (the "motherfucker of a gentleman" targeted by the song "Death On Two Legs") something like £200,000.
  • You Are the New Trend: Freddie's look throughout the 80's became the stereotypical look for gays, especially the slicked/coiffed hair, moustache, and hairy chest.