Formed 27 June 1970.

UK rock group

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Brian May talks about the Tie your Mother Down riff

Queens' Brian May talks about the conception of this riff

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen's earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, incorporating further diverse styles into their music.

Before joining Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had been playing together in a band named Smile with bassist Tim Staffell. Freddie Mercury (then known by his birth name of Farrokh "Freddie" Bulsara) was a fan of Smile, and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques after Staffell's departure in 1970. Mercury himself joined the band shortly thereafter, changed the name of the band to "Queen", and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen enjoyed success in the UK with their debut and its follow-up, Queen II in 1974, but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack later in 1974 and A Night at the Opera in 1975 that gained the band international success. The latter featured "Bohemian Rhapsody", which stayed at number one in the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks; it charted at number one in several other territories, and gave the band their first top ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. Their 1977 album, News of the World, contained two of rock's most recognisable anthems, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions".

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Links & Information


BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Greatest Hits I and II

    Greatest Hits I and II 2011

    Reviewed by John Doran
    Essential rock artefacts, remastered and reissued.
  2. Review of Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl

    Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl 2004

    Reviewed by Richard Banks
    If you need a reminder of just how invincible Queen were in concert, look no further...
  3. Review of Greatest Video Hits 2

    Greatest Video Hits 2 2003

    Reviewed by Mick Fitzsimmons
    But my, didn't Roger Taylor look good as a schoolgirl in ''I Want to Break Free''?
  4. Review of News Of The World

    News Of The World 1977

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    ...the last of the classic-period Queen albums...
  5. Review of A Night At The Opera

    A Night At The Opera 1975

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    ...remains their finest hour.
  6. Review of Sheer Heart Attack

    Sheer Heart Attack 1974

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    The album remains a perfect example of their baroque and roll.
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