Between 1977 and 1982 Queen officially became the most successful band in the world, releasing some of the biggest and best songs of all time including ‘Tie Your Mother Down’, ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, ‘Bicycle Race’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, ‘Save Me’, ‘Play The Game’, ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘Flash’ and ‘Under Pressure’ which features David Bowie.
On September 13, just 8 days after what would have been the 65th birthday of late legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, Hollywood Records will reissue deluxe editions of the five Queen albums from this period – ‘News of the World’, ‘Jazz’, ’The Game’, ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Hot as part of the band’s 40th Anniversary celebration.
These five albums were recorded as Queen’s success spread worldwide – to the USA, South America, Europe and Asia and are the sound of a band breaking through the crash barriers of their own limitless ambition. The early 80’s saw the band conquer South America for the first time, creating rock history when they played at the Morumbi Stadium in Brazil – then the largest paying audience for a single band anywhere in the world.
If the early 70’s and the first five albums Queens released represented the band’s hard-rocking years, then the late 70’s and early 80’s represented their hard partying era. As Brian, Roger, Freddie and John toured the world their reputation for off-stage rock’n’roll extravagance grew with stories of legendary party excess from Kensington to Copacabana informing the Queen mythology.
The Queen image changed too in the second half of the 70s. Infamously Sid Vicious bumped into Freddie Mercury at Wessex Studios where both Pistols and Queen are recording – ‘Ullo Fred – I see you’ve bought ballet to the masses then!’ Says Sid, eyeing up Freddie’s legendary ballet pumps, ‘Ah Mr Ferocious. Yes, doing my best dear’ retorted Freddie.
It was also during this period that one of the most iconic images in contemporary music was developed, when in 1980 Freddie Mercury grew perhaps the most famous moustache of modern times! Inspired by his adventures in the New York nightlife of the late 70’s, the moustache and attendant leathers completely reinvented the band’s look. Famously the moustache caused outrage among many fans that mailed him disposable razors!
Queens 40th Anniversary year has kicked off in spectacular style so far with a major art & photography exhibition ‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos’ in London’s East End. Meanwhile, the bands first five albums have been reissued to considerable acclaim.
Rolling Stone gave the first set of reissues the magazine’s highest rating of five-stars, describing the collection’s “instrumental intensity” as a “compelling portrait of vehement and violent art.”
Queen’s next round of remasters will highlight the more refined and diverse talent, musical ambition and global success of a band made up of some of the best songwriters, musicians and performers of all time.