10 classic Queen songs you won’t hear on the radio
Perfect ten: Freddie Mercury
Forty years ago this month, Queen released their self-titled debut album, ushering in an era of outrageous rock’n’roll, camp theatricality – and distinctive facial hair.
But while countless TV and radio polls would have you believe that the Queen story begins and ends with Bohemian Rhapsody, we know different. Which is why we’ve decided to mark this momentously Mercury-tastic anniversary by picking out 10 Queen songs you’ll never hear on the radio – those unsung classics that truly made the band who they were.
And you’ll be relieved to know that it’s a “Bismillah!”-free zone…
Words: Dave Everley
Few bands are born fully formed, and Queen were no exception. But you can hear all the parts settling into place on this Zep-esque six-minute highlight from their debut album: the Mercury wail, that ringing guitar tone, those towering harmonies, the restless time changes. All that and some cracking cowbell too.
2. Father To Son
If their first album was an am-dram take on grandiose rock’n’roll, then Queen 2 served up the full La Scala experience, right down to its Bohemian Rhapsody-prophesising sleeve. Its second track, Father To Son, was the perfect fanfare of what was in store: some outrageously ambitious baroque’n’roll that made Zeppelin sound like Simon & Garfunkel.
3. Tenement Funster
Forget A Night At The Opera – every connoisseur knows that Sheer Heart Attack is Queen’s greatest album. Just look down the track list: Brighton Rock? Now I’m Here? Stone Cold Bleedin’ Crazy?! (Okay, we could have done with Bring Back Leroy Brown, but you can’t have it all). But this effortlessly cool Roger Taylor-fronted ode to cars, girls and rock’n’roll is one of the best things on it – and one of the best things they ever did on any album. As the man himself says, “Just find me an open car, I’ll make the speed of light out of this place.”