Classic Rock Special Queen 2019
NO TIME FOR LOSERS
More than 45 years on from their first album, Queen remain champions of the world. We look back at their first 15 years, from just another band of hopefuls, to global superstars, through worring slump to ruling Live Aid. It was no bed for roses, no pleasure cruise, but they kept on fighting
To a nine year old kid, listening to his dad’s copy of Queen’s Greatest Hits on a state-of-the-art 1981 Hitachi stereo for the first time was like stepping through a portal into another world. To my untrained ears, this was nothing like the plastic pop clogging up the charts of the time: there was stadium-sized heavy rock and delicate ballads, there was finger-popping funk and skyscraping gospel. And then there was this crazed operatic blowout that sounded like it had beamed into from … well, god knows where. Not that my tiny, nine-year old mind knew how to describe any of it. But I knew it was something unique and special.
Greatest HÍts led to to me saving up my paper round money to byQueen JI, complete with crack in the vinyl that !asted precisely as long as opening track ProcessÍon. That led to News Of The World, which led to Sheer Heart Attack, which led to The Workswhich led to … watching that triumphant Live Aid set with the windows fully opened and the volume on the TV turned right up, just like everybody else on the street. Nearly 40 years on, that initial thrill hasn’t subsided. Queen have ebbed and f!owed in and out of fashion (if we’re being honest, they’ve always been more ‘out’ than ‘in’, at least if you pay attention to the self-appointed arbiters of cool), but that music – and the four men who made it – remains as dazzling and innovative as ever. They were virtuosos, mavericks, entertainers and visionaries ali at once.
Every Queen studio album, from their powerhouse debut to the blockbusting A Night Of The Opera, from the idiosyncratic Jazz to their emotional swansong Made In Heaven, contained an en tire musical universe within its grooves. We hope to reflect that dazzling breadth in this collection of exclusive interviews and features from the pages of ClassÍC Rock magazine and beyond – the finest coverage of this most majestic ofbands you’ll read anywhere. And that battered old copy of Queen’s Greatest HÍts? It’s still there, the proud centrepiece of my record collection. Long may they reign.