It’s Friday! Friday! FRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-DAY!
I used to wake up my boys this way on Fridays. I used some crazy monster-ish voice. I was cruel like that, in a fun way. It was all in fun, but the boys sure did not see it that way. Then, to put the cherry on top of this wake up, I would put some music in their CD players. There was always a theme to what they were up to that day. But, the one group that I would play the most was Queen.
It just so happens that Queen worked for nearly any occasion. “We Are the Champions” for game day. “We Will Rock You” for test day. “Tie Your Mother Down” if you got in trouble with Mom the night before.
Now, I only did this to them back when they were in grade school. You think I’m crazy enough to poke a sleeping teenager? Heck no!! But, in elementary, they still thought I was fun and somewhat funny. So, I did this. Especially, after they had watched Wayne’s World. Son #2 was awesome at mimicking characters from movies and repeating lines, which was hilarious to see a youngest doing that. That is, until he did the “We’re not worthy” bowing up at the alter at church for communion. That was when things went a little too far. Still, in retrospect, it was funny.
Anyway, I was fortunate enough to have seen Queen twice in concert. The first time was in August 1980. Toward the end of the concert, something went wrong, like a flash pot did not fire on time or something. So, the next thing we saw Freddie cracking a roadie over the head with his partial microphone stand. It was an intense moment. The concert was awesome, even though Freddie was pissed. The next day, in the concert review, the writer revealed was occurred and that two roadies were fired.
Once again, two years later, I got to see Queen perform on what would be their last American tour. This time they actually had an opening act worth remembering (Billy Squier and some band Dakota opened in 1980). That night they put on a show to remember. They showed that they quite possibly were the most versatile band in the world at the time, as they slide effortlessly from proto-metal to funk-rock to baroque pop to vaudevillian-style pop to flat-out rock. The show was mesmerizing in a way that only Queen could do.
If you want to see a Queen concert from the 1980 North American tour, check out Queen Rock Montreal. It will give you the full concert experience. Plus, the DVD that I own includes the band’s show-stealing performance at Live Aid. That six-song set is the perfect distillation of Queen into a simple, digestable proportion. And, not only can you witness the unparalleled musicianship of guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, but you can see that Freddie Mercury was easily the greatest frontman of all-time.
So, in honor of a little nostalgia, here are My 20 Favorite Queen Songs. Enjoy the list!
20. “There Must Be More to Life Than This (with Michael Jackson)” (2014)
19. “One Vision” (1986)
18. “Hammer to Fall” (1984)
17. “Flash” (1980)
16. “I Want to Break Free” (1984)
15. “Now I’m Here” (1974)
14. “Bicycle Race” (1978)
13. “You’re My Best Friend” (1975)
12. “Body Language” (1982)
11. “Another One Bites the Dust” (1980)
10. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (1979)
9. “Fat Bottomed Girls” (1978)
8. “Killer Queen” (1974)
7. “Radio Ga-Ga” (1984)
6. “Tie Your Mother Down” (1976)
5. “Don’t Stop Me Now” (1978)
4. “We Will Rock You”/”We Are the Champions” (1977)
3. “Somebody to Love” (1976)
2. “Under Pressure” (1981)
1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975).
C’mon! We all knew “Bohemian Rhapsody” would be number one! It’s only the greatest single of the rock era, with its three-part rock mini-opera going on. And, to think that they created this during the analog days of 16 track recording machines and tape splicing. Nothing like today’s Pro-Tools, where the producer or engineer can copy a portion to the hard drive, then move the piece to where they want it. “Bohemian Rhapsody” required more man hours to obtain the finished product.
Well, loyal fans, have a great weekend! Be sure to live and breath rock and roll, buy some music and play it loud. And, read about music in a magazine, book or on the internet. Just bathe yourself in the warm fuzzy feelings you get from your favorite artist. Peace be with you! Have a fantastic weekend!