Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer School of Rock - Queen

There are a few bands in this series that are hard to categorize, for the simple fact that their music spreads across several genres.  Queen is a band that never ever fit nicely into a niche.  They drew on influences from many different styles, blending them together into what can only be described as organized chaos.

Rock, pop, glam, opera, gospel, disco, dance, folk, psychedelic...you name it, they did it.  And they did it with style an flair unlike anything the world had ever seen.

A concert is not a live rendition of our album.  It's a theatrical event. ~Freddie Mercury

He was absolutely right about that.

Queen formed in the early 70's in London.  They climbed to fame in Europe fairly quickly, but it wasn't until around 1975 that they became popular here in the United States.  Bohemian Rhapsody was their first Top 10 song here in the States, and remains the best example of their eclectic music style.

Their 1977 album News of the World contains two of their most popular songs, and the ones that became the two most popular rock anthems in the world, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.

By the early 80's they were selling out arenas all over the world, and gave one of the most memorable performances in Wembley Stadium during Live Aid.

Mercury fell ill, succumbing to the complications of AIDS, but insisted on still creating music and making albums.  He could hardly stand by the time The Show Must Go On was recorded in 1991.  He died in November of that year.

Six months later, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert was held in his honor at Wembley Stadium, with performances by Def Leppard, Robert Plant, Metallica and more.  

The remaining members of Queen are still recording and touring to this day.  Most recently, they announced shows with Adam Lambert, who has always said Mercury was one of his biggest influences.  The shows sold out almost immediately.

Queen has stood the test of time, even with losing their front man over 20 years ago.  Anyone who's ever stepped foot into a football stadium or hockey arena has heard their songs pumped through the speaker systems, the motivation, the inspiration, the push.  

We are the champions, my friends.  And we'll keep on fighting 'till the end.

Mercury wasn't just a talented musician, he was a bit of a prophet, at least when it came to the legacy he left.

I won't be a rock star.  I will be a legend.
~ Freddie Mercury

1 comment:

  1. Favorite Summer School of Rock post yet!!! :-)


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