Check out the new issue of Record Collector – in shops now:
In this issue
COVER STORY – QUEEN: [page 74 – 87]
How a cult quartet caught between glam, prog and hard rock place made 1975 their annus mirabilis with A Night At Opera and, of course, the deathless cod-operatic genius of Bohemian Rhapsody
Includes full discography by Joe Geesin.
Before 1975, Queen were a cult band, albeit with two Top 10 hits (and one No 11) to their regal name.
Then, 45 years ago next month, came Bohemian Rhapsody, followed four weeks later by fourth album A Night At The Opera: one groundbreaking six-minute song-suite and reputedly the most expensive LP ever made. Those two releases – acts of rare creativity and ambition – changed the band’s fortunes and launched them into rock’s superleague.
Nick Hasted speaks to insiders to find out how it all happened, while on page 85, Joe Geesin offers an in-depth discography of Queen’s 197 releases.
Of all the late, lost stars, none have soared as high into the heavens as Freddie Mercury. In a cultural afterlife ranging from Wayne’s World to We Will Rock You, and maintained by Brian May and Roger Taylor in posthumous records and gigs, Queen have grown almost beyond recognition. Though equating them to The Beatles measures width more than depth, that is where they now exist in the classic rock landscape… … …
Bohemian Rhapsody is the defining artefact of this double-existence: a sui generis landmark, most often appreciated for its pioneering video, but rarely recalled in the same breath as revolutionary singles such as Like A Rolling Stone, or studio masterpieces such as Sgt. Pepper’s. Like it’s closest contemporary, Stairway To Heaven, it’s a monolith at first too obvious to see clearly, but on closer inspection, a living, breathing marvel of light and shade, delicate feelings and absurd excess, electric eruptions an acoustic close-ups.