1983

A year of rest. On January 7th, last year's Milton Keynes gig is aired on Channel 4's 'The Tube'.

For the first half of the year, the band go their separate ways, relaxing with their families or getting involved in their own individual poejects. Brian produces Scottish HR outfit Heavy Pettin', plays guitar for Jeffrey Osborne and works on his own solo project. Freddie gets busy writing with various people, including Michael Jackson. John wastes some time jamming with John McEnroe (!), and Roger gets down to recording his second solo album, with help from Rick Parfitt, amongs others. Roger, a total car freak ('I'm In Love With My Car; attests to that) makes a point of going to the Monaco Grand Prix this year, with Rick and girlfriend Dominique. Freddie and Roger also find time to contribute backing vocals to Billy Squier's 'Emotions In Motion' album. All in all the band are kept occupied!

The film 'We Will Rock You' is shown to an audience of 6,000 in the San Diego Sports Arena at the beginning of August. It continues on its world tour in the autumn. And, to ensure that Queen are kept well and truly alive on film, if not in body, the Milton Keynes video is broadcast throughout America on MTV on August 20th.

Queen finally get together in LA in September, having satisfied their respective inerests. They spend the next two-and-a-haLf months immersed in the Record Plant, recording material for 'The Works'. This will be their eleventh studio album. On September 5th, Freddie throws a mega party to celebrate his birthday. Guests include Giorgio Moroder, the producer of 'Flashdance'.

On October 26th, Queen move from Elektra to Capitol in the States, and Brian signs a solo deal with the latter. At a party to celebrate their union with Capitol, Roger sums up his feelings about the Elektra contract:

"It SHUCKED!", he says, before getting back to studying the contents of his beer glass...

In November, 'Starfleet Project' by 'Brian May And Friends' is rereleased. A mini-LP, it comprises Brian's composition 'Starfleet' from the kids' sci-fi cartoon of the same name, and a long bluesy, jamming session with 'friends' Eddie Halen, Phil Chen, Fred Mandell and Alan Gratzer (the latter of REO Speedwagon). The LP makes it no further than No 35, the single 'Starfleet; even worse, a non-starter at 65.

So relaxed is the band's schedule this year that Roger even sees fit to appear on the Christmas edition of 'Pop quiz'.

1984

"We've reached the point where we're working a little bit less as a group" (John Deacon stating the obvious).

On January 3rd, Queen relase 'Radio Ga Ga', just the sort of song to totally alienate the more rock-orientated of their fans. Roger's explanation of the song:

"I wrote it after watching a lot of MTV in the States, and it seemed to me there was far too much emphasis on a band's visual image. I got the name Radio Ga Ga from my son, Felix - he was watching TV with me and started going around saying ' radio pooh pooh' which changed to 'radio ka ka' and then eventually 'ga ga'. So now you know!"

'Radio Ga Ga', however despised by the more traditional Queen fans, shoots up to No 2.

The 'Radio Ga Ga' video includes footage of the 1926 Fritz Lang movie 'Metropolis'. The band have made a deal with Giorgio Moroder, who has bought the film rights from the German government. Basically, Queen can use the footage if, in exchange they write a song for Moroder to use on his current project - a revamping of the same movie, 'Metropolis'.

In February, Queen play the San Remo Annual Song Festival, which is broadcast throughout Europe. Surprisingly, it's the first time Queen have played in Italy. Other artists include Paul Young, Culture Club (Freddie is a great admirer of Boy George's dress-sense) and Bonnie Tyler.

On February 27th, 'The Works', Queen's first album for two years, is unveiled and goes stright to No 2. On April 14th, 'I Want To Break Free' breaks into the Top 10 at No 3, twelve days after its release date. The single is accompanied by the now-famous 'Coronation Street' video.

Queen play the Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival in Switzerland on May 12th. Although this TV spectacular pays each band a mere 2,000, the coverage is worth much more - a staggering 400 million viewers tune in to the festival.

On May 22nd, during recording sessions for his solo album in Munich, Freddie badly injures his leg during a night-club brawl. Apparently he was kicked in the leg and tore a few ligaments. Naturally this delays studio work.

Rogr Taylor's second solo album, 'Strange Frontier', sees the light of day in June '84, just slipping into the Top 30 in July (at No 30!) A single of the same name appears in August, but it fails to chart.

In July, Queen reveal tht they've been invited to play Sun City in South Africa later in the year. The news is not received well.

Despite this news, the single 'It's A Hard Life', is released on July 16th, spends a healthy nine weeks in the charts, peaking at No 6.

Queen spend August and September touring Europe and the UK, (their first 'home' tour for two yers). After one of their two nights at Birmingham NEC in September, Queen are sent a letter by the Management congratulating them on a record one-night merchandising turnover - a staggering 51,414.50!

During this time Freddie's debut single 'Love Kills' (from the CBS soundtrack LP of Griorgio Moroder's updated 'Metropolis', to be released in October) charts at No 10. Not only that, but Queen currently have no less than NINE albums in the UK Top 200!

In September, the video compilation 'We Will Rock You' is released. The band head off for their controversial Sun City gigs - no less than eight of them throughout October... Despite wide-spread criticism, Queen maintain that politics have no foothold in their decision to go to South Africa - they have gone there to play for 'The people'.

'Thank God It's Christmas, released on November 26th, fails to make the usual 'Queen impact' although it does achieve a No 21 position.

In 1984, Queen have been awarded the Silver Clef Award from the Nordoft Robbins Music Therapy for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

1985

Queen play the gargantuan 'Rock In Rio' Festival on January 11th and 12th (the 'Live In Rio' video goes to No 1 in May). The turn-out is massive, and Queen assume this must be the biggest crowd they'll ever face. They're wrong. After their first-ever gig in New Zealdnd (where they're faced by angry apartheid demonstrators outside their hotel), the band head for Wembley Stadium...

On July 13th, Queen realise tht Woodstock was not the largest-ever rock festival ever. Live Aid supersedes everything Queen have ever done before. They play a storming 20-minute set - and record sales soar even more. The band fiercely object to accusations that they're only doing it fot the exposure.

In August, Freddie is seen for the first time with new companion, Barbara Valentin, a German actress.

The single 'One Vision' is released on November 5th, and escalates to No 7, followed by 'The Complete Works'. A limited edition boxed set of all Queen albums to date (excluding 'Greatest Hits), it includes an additional album, 'Complete Vision', a compilation of singles an B-sides.

Following a comment by Sun City's enetainment director Hazel Feldman to the NME on 7th December that 'a return appearance by Queen (to Sun City, South Africa) should not be ruled out', the band issued the following statement:

"Queen categorically state that they have no plans, at present, to return to Sun City and wish to make it plain that they have a total abhorrence of apartheid."

1986

This year sees Queen in a much more favourable light than in the previous couple of years. Settling, at long last, into the realisation that they're well and truly rooted into rock 'n'roll history, the band are much more relaxed. The single and album 'A Kind Of Magic' both become best-sellers in March and May respectively.

'A Kind Of Magic' comes from the $20,000,000 'Highlander' film, Queen's second soundtrack.

On 25th April, the first International Fan club Convention is held at Great Yarmouth. Over 1,000 fans attend from as far afield as Australia and South America.

In June, 'Friends Will Be Friends' reaches No 14 in the singles charts. In June, July and August, Queen concentrate their efforts on a European tour, in which they will be incorporating some legendary gigs.

During this tour, they play St James Park, Newcastle in aid of the Save The Children Fund on July 9th... Wembley Stadium on the 11th and 12h, supproted by Status Quo and The Alarm... Budapest in Hungary on the 25th, as the first band to play a large stadium date in the Eastern Bloc. The gig is filmed as 'Magic In Budapest...

Roger: "We had a wonderful time in Hungary. I think everybody who came to the Nepstadion enjoyed themselves. Specially our support! It was about 60 middle-aged ladies in traditional costumes singing an Hungarian folklore version of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', and, believe me it was different!"

... and they play Knebworth, Queen's biggest-ever concert in the UK, on August 9th, utilising their new 160 ft stage. All gigs are sold out...

Over 1,000,000 people have seen Queen on their European tour, in excess of 400,000 in the UK alone. In September Queen release 'Who Wants To Live Forever', which reaches No 24. It is also sold as the very first video-single, a double-A with 'A Kind Of Magic'.

In October, Queen's 'Live in Rio' video beats Dire Straits, Madonna and Kate Bush to the Best British Video category of the Daily Mirror Awards. In November, '86, Queen are the first band to have their entire album catalogue released on CD. And on December 13th, the album 'Live Magic' hits the UK charts at No 3.

In 1986, in the UK alone, Queen have sold an amazing 1,774,991 albums!

1987

Mercury, in his continuing bid for solo status, releases a cover of The Platters; 'The Great Pretender' on February 23rd and, amazingly it gets to No 4.

In March, he meets with Opera Diva Montserrat Caballe in Barcelona and forms an unusual partnership. The two continue to work together on an album. Freddie and the Diva appear together for the first time performing 'Barcelona' at the 'Ibiza 92' Festival at the famous Ku Club on Ibiza in May 1987.

In August 1987, Roger forms a new band The Cross, to exercise his creativity during Queen's 'quiet' period.

Meanwhile, Brian has teamed up with Eastenders' actress, Anita Dobson, and backs her attempts at pop stardom. But her first single 'Talking Of Love' is drivel, and slithers down to the lower echelons of the charts.

'Barcelona' the single is released in Spain in September '87 and 10,000 copies are sold in three hours. The Spanish Olympic Committee adopt the song as the theme for the 1992 Olympic Games to be held in that City. The single is released in Britain in October and manages to achieve a respectable No 8 in the charts. Freddie is at last realising his operatic aspirations.

Roger's band the Cross, meanwhile, have been recording. The product of various sessions is the single 'Cowboys And Indians', released in October '87. Alas, it slides in at No 74, never to be seen ever in the Top 70.

In the same month, a Brian May-produced single called 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is released. But this is not the 'Bo Rhap' Queen fans are used to. Bad News, The Comic Strip spoof metal band, have actually managed to rope Brian in to produce a piss-take of Queen's most legendary song! Not only that, but the rest of Queen somehow end up helping with the 'Galileos'... The single is, of course, PAINFUL.

'The Magic Years', a trilogy of documentary style videos is released in November 1987.

Before the end of 1987, Queen are awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, as well as the famous 'Silver Screen' award from the USA (this being the biggest video and film festival in the world) and the IMMC Award at the Montreux Golden Rose TV Festival. Phew...

1988

In January, Queen go into the studios to begin work on their new album. January 25th sees the release of The Cross' debut album 'Shove It', which makes it to No 58 (oh dear). Roger Taylor takes the band on their first European tour, pkaying club and university dates.

Freddie and Montserrat appear in Barcelona on October 8th at the massive La Nit event, held to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic flag from Seoul. Freddie and Montserrat close the event, which is held in the presence of the King and Queen of Spain, by singing 'Barcelona', plus two other tracks from their album.

On December 4th, The Cross play a one-off gig at the Hammersmith Palais for the Fan Club christmas party. Special guests are Brian and John.

1989

Queen release their sixteenth album, 'Miracle' on May 22nd. It enters the charts at No 1. The album is a worldwide success, gleaning five single releases, including 'I Want It all', 'The Invisible Man' and 'Breakthru', in the UK. The title track is released as Queen's last single of the decade.

Meanwhile, the band are off doing various charitable work. On June 3rd, Brian sets off on a 5,000,000 quest to save children with leukaemia by re-recording 'Who Wants To Live Forever'. And both Brian and Roger are involving themslves in the Rock Aid Armenia project, along with the likes of Ian Gillan, Bruce Dickinson and David Coverdale - to help the victims of 1988's Armenian earthquake.

In mid-89, Freddie visits Switzerland and while he's there, he pops in to see Swiss-resident producer. The visit snowballs into a recording session, which results in what will become the song 'Delilah' from the forthcoming 'Innuendo' album.

By Christmas, all of Queen are out at their much-coveted Mountain Studios in Montreux, working on a relaxed regime from noon til midnight.

1990

The band continue to work this way throughout most of 1990, alternating two-week recording spells with two-weeks R & R breaks. After four months 'Innuendo' is finished, quite a record in this business.

1991

'Innuendo', Queen's 37th single is released on 14th January with their most stunning video since 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. February sees the release of 'Innendo' the album.

Brian May is proposing the new 'Comic Relief' single, working with Hale and Pace.

And this is where we came in...

Source: Metal Attack No1/92



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