Pixies

This article is about the band named Pixies. For pixies of folklore, see pixie.

The Pixies are a band which toured and recorded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then reunited in 2004 and began touring again. The band's lineup consists of Black Francis a.k.a. Frank Black (vocals, guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), and David Lovering (drums). Their style of music influenced many aspects of alternative rock throughout the 1990s. Most notable was their use of soft verses and hard choruses, which was later popularized by Nirvana.

History

The band was formed in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts by Joey Santiago and Black Francis (born Charles Thompson IV). Bassist Kim Deal joined the band after she responded to a classified ad Black Francis had placed which requested an unusual combination of musical influences. Reportedly, the ad asked for a bass player who liked The Mamas and the Papas and Husker Du.

They arrived at a name ("Pixies") by selecting an entry from the dictionary at random, and began playing shows in the Boston area.

During a concert with Throwing Muses, the band was noticed by Gary Smith, a producer at Fort Apache Studios. Smith became the band's manager and produced a 17 track demo (known as the "Purple Tape", publicly released in 2002). The demo fell into the hands of Ivo Watts-Russell, owner of 4AD, who signed the band. Eight tracks from the demo were selected for the Come on Pilgrim EP, the band's first release. It was followed by their first full-length album, Surfer Rosa in early 1988.

4AD was a British music label, and the notoriously rabid British music press immediately clutched the Pixies to their collective bosoms and refused to let go. The band remained unsigned in the US for a while, but after a foray up the UK pop charts and some inroads into American college rock stations, they were picked up by Elektra Records. For the remainder of their career, the Pixies remained large-scale stars in Britain and cult figures in the US.

Their sophomore album, Doolittle, featured three prominent singles: "Debaser," "Here Comes Your Man," and "Monkey Gone to Heaven." It was a top 10 hit in the UK and reached the top 100 in North America.

After Doolittle, Black Francis temporarily went solo, while Kim Deal formed The Breeders with Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses and Deal's sister, Kelley. During this time, Black Francis limited Deal's contributions to the band; the first two albums had been partly written by Deal, but when Bossanova was released in 1990, all songs were by him. Deal was not pleased, and unilaterally announced an apparent break-up of the band on-stage during the following tour. The Pixies were at the height of their popularity, however, and while headlining at the Reading Festival in 1991, they played a highly enthusiastic version of "Debaser" which has become legendary among fans.

Break-up announcements notwithstanding, one more album was to follow. Trompe le Monde still featured little input from Deal and wasn't as critically regarded as their first few albums. Without telling anyone, Black Francis ended the band, and it wasn't until a year later that he faxed an official notice to the other members.

After the break-up

Black Francis renamed himself Frank Black, and released several solo albums. He then went on to form a band with Scott Boutier, Eric Drew, Rich Gilbert, David McGaffrey, and Dave Phillips called Frank Black and the Catholics. Deal returned to the Breeders, and scored a hit with "Cannonball" from that group's Last Splash in 1993. However, for several years they struggled to produce another album, mainly due to Kelley Deal's struggles with heroin. The album, Title TK, finally appeared in 2002, with only Kim and Kelley remaining from the previous Breeders lineup. Kim Deal has also recorded with The Amps. Lovering dropped back into obscurity, making occasional appearances as a "scientific phenomenalist", performing experiments on stage; he also drummed on one of Tanya Donelly's solo albums. Santiago has appeared on Frank Black's solo albums, writes music for FOX television, and has a band called The Martinis with his wife, Linda Mallari.

Musically, the Pixies were just slightly ahead of their time. Right at the moment they were imploding, Nirvana was recording Nevermind, the album that would break alternative rock into the mainstream. There are substantial parallels between the two groups' sounds and Kurt Cobain was known to have been a fan—in fact, in a Rolling Stone interview he claimed "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt to write a Pixies song. This revitalized some interest in the band after they were gone.

Reunion

In the 11 years since the band broke up, there were a number of rumors that would circulate regarding reunion tours. Roughly once a year on April Fool's Day someone would be led to believe that the band had re-united. It wasn't until 2004 when the Pixies would play their first "post-breakup" concert on April 13 at The Fine Line Music Cafe in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota and a 15 concert warmup tour of the western United States and Canada, culminating in the performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Tickets for shows on this tour often sold out minutes after going on sale despite some rather moderately sized Canadian cities such as Winnipeg and Regina being stops. It is rumoured that these dates hold the world record for fastest selling shows ever.

This was followed by a three-month world tour and four-month return to the US, ending on December 18 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City (see tour dates (http://www.pixiesmusic.com/live_04.php) for detailed information).

In spring 2004, 4AD released Wave of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies and a companion DVD which features a full concert, the music videos, and a documentary on the Pixies. A "new retrospective compilation CD" is set for release in the near future. Many of the reunion shows, including that April 13 show in Minneapolis, were sold by DiscLive (http://pixies.disclive.com/) in sets of 1,000. The entire edition size has now sold out.

Discography

Studio Albums

Compilations

Samples

  • Download sample of "Holiday Song" from Come on Pilgrim

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The entire edition size has now sold out. As part of the Jubilee celebrations Brian May performed a guitar solo of God Save the Queen, as featured on Queen's A Night at the Opera, from the roof of Buckingham Palace. Many of the reunion shows, including that April 13 show in Minneapolis, were sold by DiscLive (http://pixies.disclive.com/) in sets of 1,000. The launch of the musical coincided with the Queen's Golden Jubilee. A "new retrospective compilation CD" is set for release in the near future. It has since been staged in Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia; Cologne, Germany; and Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. In spring 2004, 4AD released Wave of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies and a companion DVD which features a full concert, the music videos, and a documentary on the Pixies. The musical was written by British comedian and author Ben Elton in collaboration with Brian May and Roger Taylor.

This was followed by a three-month world tour and four-month return to the US, ending on December 18 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City (see tour dates (http://www.pixiesmusic.com/live_04.php) for detailed information). In 2002, a musical or "rock theatrical" based on the songs of Queen, entitled We Will Rock You, opened at the Dominion Theatre in the West End of London. It is rumoured that these dates hold the world record for fastest selling shows ever. The song "Bohemian Rhapsody" was re-released after appearing in Wayne's World, and subsequently topped the US billboard chart. Tickets for shows on this tour often sold out minutes after going on sale despite some rather moderately sized Canadian cities such as Winnipeg and Regina being stops. Several other films featured their songs, including Iron Eagle, Wayne's World, Small Soldiers, Super Size Me, A Knight's Tale, The Girl Next Door, and Shaun of the Dead. It wasn't until 2004 when the Pixies would play their first "post-breakup" concert on April 13 at The Fine Line Music Cafe in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota and a 15 concert warmup tour of the western United States and Canada, culminating in the performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Queen contributed music directly to the movies Flash Gordon and Highlander (the original film directed by Russell Mulcahy).

Roughly once a year on April Fool's Day someone would be led to believe that the band had re-united. It is unknown whether or not Mercury was aware he had AIDS at this time. In the 11 years since the band broke up, there were a number of rumors that would circulate regarding reunion tours. Ironically, the band were to hardly meet for another 3 years, during which time Freddie Mercury did some solo work and Roger Taylor did some work with The Cross. This revitalized some interest in the band after they were gone. I mean, how can you split up when you have an audience like this, I mean, really! We're not that stupid!". There are substantial parallels between the two groups' sounds and Kurt Cobain was known to have been a fan—in fact, in a Rolling Stone interview he claimed "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt to write a Pixies song. I mean, really, look at this! (cheers).

Right at the moment they were imploding, Nirvana was recording Nevermind, the album that would break alternative rock into the mainstream. "...and earlier on, there were rumours of us splitting up, but I mean, fuck 'em!. Musically, the Pixies were just slightly ahead of their time. At the Knebworth concert held with some 120,000 in attendence on August 9th that same year, Freddie makes the following statement:. Santiago has appeared on Frank Black's solo albums, writes music for FOX television, and has a band called The Martinis with his wife, Linda Mallari. What do you think?" Audience: "No!" Freddie: "Forget those rumors, we're gonna stay together 'till we fucking well die, I'm sure!". Lovering dropped back into obscurity, making occasional appearances as a "scientific phenomenalist", performing experiments on stage; he also drummed on one of Tanya Donelly's solo albums. the rumors are that we're gonna split up.

Kim Deal has also recorded with The Amps. A memorable and prophetic moment occurred when Freddie Mercury told the audience: "There's been a lot of rumors lately about a certain band called Queen.. The album, Title TK, finally appeared in 2002, with only Kim and Kelley remaining from the previous Breeders lineup. The Wembley concert, part of a UK tour in 1986, attracted 150,000 people over two nights. However, for several years they struggled to produce another album, mainly due to Kelley Deal's struggles with heroin. Queen embarked upon many popular tours, with memorable shows (including the historic Live Aid concert) held at Wembley Stadium in England, and at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil, although only the group's final tour, in support of the album "A Kind of Magic", ever actually made any money. Deal returned to the Breeders, and scored a hit with "Cannonball" from that group's Last Splash in 1993. This resulted in a stunning moment at Live Aid at which almost 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium clapped their hands over their head in unison to "Radio Ga-Ga.".

He then went on to form a band with Scott Boutier, Eric Drew, Rich Gilbert, David McGaffrey, and Dave Phillips called Frank Black and the Catholics. Beginning with "News Of The World" in 1977, Queen began to write songs with the specific purpose of involving the crowd, like "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions," and tailored some songs, like "Radio Ga Ga" to involve claps. Black Francis renamed himself Frank Black, and released several solo albums. Mercury immersed himself in the crowd's adulation and thrived off their excitement, a trait for which many, including Kurt Cobain (in his suicide note), have expressed admiration. Without telling anyone, Black Francis ended the band, and it wasn't until a year later that he faxed an official notice to the other members. The energy with which they performed, the excitement, enthusiasm and pure adrenaline Freddie Mercury brought with his vocal performance, was so natural and so genuine that the audience almost always joined in and sang. Trompe le Monde still featured little input from Deal and wasn't as critically regarded as their first few albums. Along with their contemporaries KISS, they changed live concerts forever from the staid, stodgy events that had prevailed since the time of the Beatles, where performers would merely stand around and play their instruments.

Break-up announcements notwithstanding, one more album was to follow. Queen's live performances were truly groundbreaking, employing massive lighting rigs, pyrotechnics, and other special effects to make their shows into engaging theatrical events. The Pixies were at the height of their popularity, however, and while headlining at the Reading Festival in 1991, they played a highly enthusiastic version of "Debaser" which has become legendary among fans. True to form, Taylor and May are in constant communication with fans, collectors and industry experts to find out where demand lies for future releases and where the industry and new technology is headed. Deal was not pleased, and unilaterally announced an apparent break-up of the band on-stage during the following tour. The Queen camp continues to work on future concert releases, at least one more video collection (Volume 3) and the rest of album catalogue in the DVD-Audio format. During this time, Black Francis limited Deal's contributions to the band; the first two albums had been partly written by Deal, but when Bossanova was released in 1990, all songs were by him. Brian May has said he would like to see the entire Queen catalogue reproduced in this format, as it is closer to what the band envisaged for their work years ago.

After Doolittle, Black Francis temporarily went solo, while Kim Deal formed The Breeders with Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses and Deal's sister, Kelley. Known for their densely layered arrangments and backing, this medium seems tailor-made for Queen's music. Their sophomore album, Doolittle, featured three prominent singles: "Debaser," "Here Comes Your Man," and "Monkey Gone to Heaven." It was a top 10 hit in the UK and reached the top 100 in North America. So far, two of Queen's most acclaimed albums, A Night At The Opera and The Game, have been fully remixed into DTS Surround on DVD-Audio albums. For the remainder of their career, the Pixies remained large-scale stars in Britain and cult figures in the US. DVD releases of their famous 1986 Wembley concert (titled Live At Wembley Stadium) and 1982 Milton Keynes concert, and two Greatest Video Hits (Volumes 1 and 2, spanning the '70s and '80s) have seen the band's music remixed into 5.1 and DTS Surround Sound. The band remained unsigned in the US for a while, but after a foray up the UK pop charts and some inroads into American college rock stations, they were picked up by Elektra Records. Under the supervision of Brian May and Roger Taylor, numerous restoration projects have been underway involving Queen's lengthy audio and video catalogue.

4AD was a British music label, and the notoriously rabid British music press immediately clutched the Pixies to their collective bosoms and refused to let go. Queen is credited by artists like Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Guns n' Roses, Def Leppard, Trent Reznor, George Michael, Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins, and The Darkness as having a major influence on their sound. It was followed by their first full-length album, Surfer Rosa in early 1988. Queen is noted in particular for its musical eclecticism and groundbreaking live shows. Eight tracks from the demo were selected for the Come on Pilgrim EP, the band's first release. Queen is remembered for its never-seen-before theatrics, showmanship, camp and bombast so much that critics have since classified the band as a major player in the evolution of rock music. The demo fell into the hands of Ivo Watts-Russell, owner of 4AD, who signed the band. The tour which will lead the band through Spain, Holland, Germany, England, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Sweden will feature both classic Queen tracks as well as material from Paul Rodgers.

Smith became the band's manager and produced a 17 track demo (known as the "Purple Tape", publicly released in 2002). In the meantime dates for the ?2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers? tour have been announced. During a concert with Throwing Muses, the band was noticed by Gary Smith, a producer at Fort Apache Studios. At the end of 2004, it was announced that Queen will reunite and return to touring in 2005, with Paul Rodgers (founder and former lead singer of Free, Bad Company, and The Firm) who will be singing in Freddie Mercury's place, as frontman, but will not be in the band as Brian May has announced recently to the Queen fan club, that Paul Rodgers will be "featured with" Queen, not replacing the late Freddie Mercury. They arrived at a name ("Pixies") by selecting an entry from the dictionary at random, and began playing shows in the Boston area. The album is entitled "Dragon Attack" after one of Queen's earlier recordings. Reportedly, the ad asked for a bass player who liked The Mamas and the Papas and Husker Du. A tribute album has appeared, but not with musicians of note.

Bassist Kim Deal joined the band after she responded to a classified ad Black Francis had placed which requested an unusual combination of musical influences. The band still appears from time to time, minus bassist John Deacon (whose few public appearances are normally to pour cold water on any rumours of a Queen get-together involving him) making "Queen & ..." projects with various guest musicians, something which Deacon is said to generally support. The band was formed in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts by Joey Santiago and Black Francis (born Charles Thompson IV). Queen never actually disbanded, although their last album of original material (not including compilations) was released in 1995, titled Made In Heaven, put out four years after Freddie Mercury's death, and constructed from Freddie's final recording sessions in 1991, plus material leftover from their previous studio albums. Most notable was their use of soft verses and hard choruses, which was later popularized by Nirvana. Musicians such as Annie Lennox, Guns n' Roses, Def Leppard, Elton John, George Michael, David Bowie, Metallica and Liza Minnelli (along with the three surviving members of Queen) perfomed most of Queen's major hits. Their style of music influenced many aspects of alternative rock throughout the 1990s. On April 20, 1992, the public shared in the mourning of Mercury's passing at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, held at London's Wembley Stadium in Mercury's honor.

Frank Black (vocals, guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), and David Lovering (drums). His funeral services were private, held in accordance with the Zoroastrian religious faith of his family. The band's lineup consists of Black Francis a.k.a. Within 24 hours of the announcement, Mercury was dead at the age of 45. The Pixies are a band which toured and recorded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, then reunited in 2004 and began touring again. On November 23, 1991, in a prepared statement made on his deathbed, Freddie Mercury finally acknowledged he had AIDS. Download sample of "Holiday Song" from Come on Pilgrim. Highlights of the album were the epic title track, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir"; the hard-rocking, rollicking powerhouse "Headlong"; and the anthems "The Show Must Go On" and "These Are The Days Of Our Lives".

Although his health began to deteriorate, Mercury was courageous in handling his contributions. That album became Innuendo. Mercury flatly denied these rumors, but knowing the actual truth as his other bandmates did, they decided to make an album free of conflict and differences. Even tabloids worldwide got in on the news.

In 1991, rumors started spreading that Freddie Mercury was suffering from AIDS. This record continued the direction of A Kind of Magic with a polished pop-rock sound and hits like "Invisible Man", "The Miracle" and "Breakthru". After working in various solo projects during 1988 (including Mercury´s collaboration with Montserrat Caballé, "Barcelona") the band released The Miracle in 1989. It sold out within 2 hours, and over 120,000 fans packed the park to get a glimpse of Queen one last time live.

They couldn't book Wembley for a third night because it was already booked, but they managed to get Knebworth Park. On this tour, Queen performed for the last time together. It is rumored that Freddie contracted AIDS that year as well. Freddie teased the capacity crowd of 89,000 that Queen might be breaking up, only to tell the crowd that it was just a silly rumor, and that Queen would be together until "we fucking well die, I'm sure!" much to the delight of the crowd.

Later that year, Queen went on a sold-out final tour, known as The Magic Tour, in support of their 1986 release, "A Kind Of Magic", which culminated at Wembley Stadium in London and resulted in the triumphant live double album, "Queen Live At Wembley Stadium", which has become for many fans and critics, Queen's ultimate live document, (released both on CD and also as a live concert film on DVD), and live recording and film of Queen at their transcendent pinnacle. This album was very successful, producing a string of hits including the title track "A Kind of Magic", "Who Wants To Live Forever?" and "Friends Will Be Friends". In early 1986 Queen recorded the album "A Kind of Magic", inspired by the 1986 Russell Mulcahy film Highlander. It was used in the film "Iron Eagle".

Revitalised by the reponse to Live Aid and the resulting increase in record sales, Queen ended 1985 by releasing the single "One Vision", an uptempo guitar-based song credited, unusally for this period, to the four members of the band. In the eyes of critics and fans alike, the group stole the show at the worldwide extravaganza, performing some of their greatest hits and wowing audiences with their energy and superb musicianry and showmanship. Then came 1985, and the benefit concert Live Aid, which Queen were invited to perform at. This led to the members of Queen branching off onto solo projects during this period.

In 1984, Queen successfully bridged the gap between hard rock and pop with the album The Works, which included the incredibly successful glitzy rock anthem "Radio Ga-Ga," the gorgeous pop of "I Want to Break Free," (a song that would become an anthem of the supressed left-wing of Brazil and later Coca-Cola "C2" Commercials), the heavy, hard-rock live favorites "Hammer to Fall" (a poetic commentary on the Cold War) and "Tear It Up." Despite these hit singles and live barn-burners, the album failed to sell well, contributing to tensions within the band. The album was especially disappointing to the hard-rock faithful that followed them through the 70s since their first album and their breakthrough success "Sheer Heart Attack." Nonetheless, the album included "Under Pressure," the only real highlight, and "Body Language," a single that only gained attention in the U.S., netting a surprise number 11 hit. The result was the 1982 album Hot Space, an album which, either fairly or not, has been almost unanimously regarded by critics and die-hard, loyal fans alike as being one of their worst. The response to "Another One Bites the Dust" was overwhelming, so the band decided to do an entire album of disco/funk influenced songs.

The group also released a widely successful greatest hits CD, their first, which showcased their rock highlights during the first phase of their career. The memorable riff showed up for Vanilla Ice's hit, "Ice, Ice Baby, prompting a lawsuite over the use of the sample. The single netted a number one in Britain and a well-remembered rock anthem, a fan-favorite of both Queen and Bowie legionnaires. 1981 saw Queen collaborate with David Bowie for the single "Under Pressure".

The album sold poorly, but served as a showcase for Queen in a different light. 1980 also saw them do the innovative and critically-acclaimed soundtrack for the movie Flash Gordon. The album also featured two of Queen's greatest ballads; "Play the Game" and the fan-favorite "Save Me," both of which were hits in Britain and well-remembered by rock fans in the States. It stayed at number one for four weeks in the United States, and the album went four times platinum States-side.

It combined Queen's rock sensibilities with a funky minimalism that resulted in a discofied rock classic. The album featured the "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" single, as well as the monster hit "Another One Bites the Dust" a track that was released in 1981 after Michael Jackson suggested it would make a great single. The album turned out to be their highest selling non-greatest hits. Queen kicked off the 1980s with the hugely successful album, The Game.

They also released the very successful single, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," a song done in the style of Elvis Presley; the single made the top 10 in most countries and was the band's first number one single in the U.S. The album, entitled Live Killers, went platinum (twice in the U.S.) in most developed countries. They did, however, release their first-ever live album, in response to the exorbitant amounts of money Queen bootlegs were fetching. All band members, especially Mercury, noted frustration and disappointment with the album, and as a result, took a break from the breakneck schedule of one or more albums a year, and focused during the year of 1979 totally on a new album to come out in 1980.

Fan response was lukewarm to Jazz and for the first time Queen's sales saw a bit of a dip. The album cover was inspired by a painting on the Berlin wall. Important tracks of the album were "Dead on Time", "Let Me Entertain You" or "Mustapha", a song by Freddie, which had a very Arabian sound combined with heavy rock guitar. In 1978 the band released the Jazz album, including the hit singles "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Bicycle Race", being a double-A-side single. This album produced the anthemic "We Will Rock You" and the famous rock ballad "We Are The Champions", as well as the punchy, near-punk sound of "Sheer Heart Attack" (not to be confused with the album of the same name released three years earlier) - and possibly an influence on Queens Of The Stone Age's "Feelgood Hit of the Summer" which features an alarmingly similar guitar riff.

This album had more of a sonic punch to it, as well as songs that were tailor-made to be performed (and subsequently have their greatest effect) live. 1977 saw the release of News of the World, an album that was critically panned at the time but has gained recognition over time. charts. "Tie Your Mother Down" was a typical Queen hard-rocker that produced a very recognizable riff and displayed Queen's trademark sense of humor. singles chart and number 2 on the U.K.

Staying true to their guitar-driven style, it was filled with Brian May's virtuoso harmony, and it went to number 11 on the U.S. The standout tracks were "Somebody to Love" and "Tie Your Mother Down." "Somebody" was an incredible rock ballad, on which Freddie Mercury mulitracked his voice to make a 100-voice gospel choir. Although it was by both fans' and critics' standards superb, it was unable to eclipse its predecessor, and thus as a result has been somewhat underrated. The album was done very much in the vein of Opera musically as well.

Plans were made to eventually release the two together as a package, but those plans never came to fruition. The cover was the same as Opera's, only with the colors inverted. Back in the studio and unable to really top A Night At The Opera in sales or quality, Queen recorded what essentially was a companion album, A Day At The Races, also in keeping with the Marx Brothers' movie theme for the title. It was official; Queen had hit the popular music scene.

The album was a smash in Britain, and went three times platinum in the United States. "I'm In Love With My Car" was a hard-rock tune, written and sung by drummer Roger Taylor, which is currently being used in Jaguar Car commercials. charts), a sweet, pure pop gem that was unlike anything Queen had ever done to that point. The album also featured "You're My Best Friend" (which peaked at 14 on the U.S.

Considered by many to be their greatest effort (some call it Queen's Led Zeppelin IV), this is the album that featured the huge worldwide hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody." "Bohemian Rhapsody" was number one in the UK for nine weeks, breaking the record set by Paul Anka's "Diana." It reached number 9 in the U.S.; when it was rereleased in 1992, it reached number one in the UK again, and hit number 2 in America. If Sheer Heart Attack's blend of eclectic styles and heavy-metal was considered to be gamut-running, their 1975 effort A Night at the Opera was all-encompassing. It combined campy, vaudeville British music hall with Led Zeppelin-like sound and Brian May's virtuosity on the guitar. charts.

The standout track was "Killer Queen" a British Top Ten and which got as high as number 11 on the U.S. Considered one of their greatest efforts, Queen made a surprisingly cohesive album with a wide variety of different types of music; British music hall to heavy metal tunes like "Stone Cold Crazy" (which Metallica would later cover and earn a Grammy for) and "Now I'm Here" (a live concert favorite); ballads ("Lily of the Valley"), ragtime ("Bring Back That Leroy Brown"), even Caribbean ("Misfire"). The album was huge in the UK and throughout Europe; it went gold in the United States. Later that same year, Sheer Heart Attack was released.

The album was highly experimental, so it garnered little mainstream attention, but the single got them on to the charts in Britain. 1974 saw two releases; the first being of Queen II, which had the hit "Seven Seas of Rhye" on it. It drew little attention, but succeeded in giving the band an FM radio anthem "Keep Yourself Alive." In hindsight, it's considered to be a strong first album. In 1973 Queen released their first album, a self-titled effort.

It was not until 1972 that they found John Deacon and started to rehearse for the first album, Queen. One of the first was Barry Mitchell. Freddie quickly stepped in for Tim and they started to search for a bass player. At some point Tim Staffell decided Smile was not going anywhere and he decided to join a band called Humpy Bong.

Still, he was very eager to share his ideas in which musical direction Smile should develop. At that time Freddie was a singer in other bands, such as Wreckage and Ibex. Freddie was Tim's roommate in Ealing Arts College and followed Smile's rehearsals and concerts closely. Brian May and Roger Taylor were playing on a band called Smile with bass player/singer Tim Staffell.

Most of the group's albums contained at least one song written by each member, and though Mercury penned a lot of Queen's hits, he was by no means the dominant songwriter; indeed, the group considered themselves creative equals, and quiet bassist John Deacon wrote one of their biggest hits, "Another One Bites the Dust." In their later years, two or three or even all four band members commonly contributed to individual songs; after arguments over the attribution of these cooperative efforts, the band agreed to simply credit "Queen" rather than single members (from The Miracle onwards). Though Freddie Mercury's personality always dominated in the press, all four members of the group actually wrote huge hits:. In 1971 John Deacon completed the lineup as bass guitarist. After the group's bassist and lead singer Tim Staffell departed in the spring of 1970, May and Taylor took on vocalist Freddie Mercury in April 1970 to form Queen.

The beginnings of Queen can be traced to 1968, when Brian May and Roger Taylor formed the trio Smile, at Imperial College, London, where they were both students. Their official crest, seen pictured, includes the zodiac signs of all four members. Queen are widely recognised as pioneers of heavy metal, glam rock, and stadium rock. The group is well known for its sports anthems and classic rock radio staples, particularly the hits "We Are the Champions" and "Bohemian Rhapsody;" the band promoted the latter, first released in 1975, with one of the earliest successful music videos, and later re-released it for the soundtrack album from the movie Wayne's World.

Queen is a British rock band which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition (2004). 1-3 (2001). Platinum Collection, Vols.

Greatest Hits III (1999). The Crown Jewels (1998). Queen Rocks (1997). 1-2 (1995).

Greatest Hits, Vols. At the BBC (1995). Greatest Hits [Parlophone] (1994). Greatest Hits [Hollywood] (1992).

Classic Queen (1992). II (1991). Greatest Hits, Vol. Queen at the Beeb (1989).

The Complete Works (1985) - all albums from 1973-1985 plus bonus material. Greatest Hits [Elektra] (1981). Queen on fire - Live at the Bowl (2004). Made In Heaven (1995).

Live at Wembley '86 (1992). Innuendo (1991). The Miracle (1989). Live Magic (1986).

A Kind of Magic (1986). The Works (1984). Hot Space (1982). Flash Gordon (1980).

The Game (1980). Live Killers (1979). Jazz (1978). News of the World (1977).

A Day at the Races (1976). A Night at the Opera (1975). Sheer Heart Attack (1974). Queen II (1974).

Queen (1973). It was an anthem during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. "Barcelona", although a solo endeavour by Freddie Mercury, was featured on Queen's Greatest Hits III and Freddie's duet album with Montserrat Caballé. Featured on the 1986 album "A Kind of Magic" and performed by Seal at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.

The version used within the film itself is sung exclusively by Freddie. Reportedly written in a limo while returning to their hotel after seeing a music-less cut of the film, the song played heavily on the theme of loneliness the movie's immortals feel as they watch their loved ones grow old and die, while they remain forever young. "Who Wants To Live Forever", a rare duet by Freddie and Brian May, featured strongly into the plot and later marketing of the 1986 film Highlander. From the 1984 album The Works.

It was eventually changed to Radio Ga-Ga, because it sounded better, clearer, and rolled off the tongue easier. Drummer Roger Taylor wrote this, and it was originally conceived as "Radio Ca-Ca" (apparently from something his toddler son once said), a slam against radio for the decrease in variety of programming and the type of music being played. as well as the advent of the music video and MTV. The song was a commentary of the invention of televison overtaking radio's popularity, and how one would listen to radio for their favorite comedy, drama, sci-fi programs etc..

"Radio Ga Ga" was an enormous worldwide success for the band; it was in the top 20 of no less than 36 countries, and in 20 of them it reached number one. Released as a single in 1979 and appeared on the 1980 album The Game. It has a unique, rockabilly sound to it not like anything Queen had ever recorded, and Mercury does an absolutely superb job of imitating Presley's voice. He recorded it with band members Deacon and Taylor, with May overdubbing lead guitar throughout.

Freddie Mercury wrote the song whilst languishing in a bathtub at a hotel, and put it to rhythm guitar. and is often mistaken for an Elvis Presley tune. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was a number one hit in the U.S. From the 1980 album The Game.

It has been one of the songs rumored to have a backwards message, supposedly "It's fun to smoke marijuana." The title phrase of the song does sound vaguely like that when played backwards, but it is most likely a coincidence, since there is nothing about the song that suggests that the lyric was contrived to sound a particular way when played backwards. It was inspired by the bass guitar riffs of the disco group Chic, and ironically released at the tail end of the disco era. It was a unique brand of discofied funk rock. "Another One Bites the Dust" was a huge crossover hit when it was released, topping both the pop and R&B charts.

From the 1977 album News of the World. "We Are the Champions" is a favorite post-game song for obvious reasons. From the 1977 album News of the World. "We Will Rock You" is a staple at sporting events around the world; audience members will stomp and clap along to the rhythm of the song and chant the chorus line of the song, in support of their team.

From the 1976 album A Day at the Races. However, it has one of rock music's most recognisable riffs, and while many people cannot identify the song or who played, they are familiar with the riff. Because of Queen's stringent Greatest Hits standards (if it wasn't in the top 30 in the UK they would not include it) it hasn't enjoyed a resurgence like many of their other classics. "Tie Your Mother Down" was not one of Queen's biggest hits - it came in number 33 in the UK charts and peaked at 49 in the US - which pales in comparison to many of their other singles.

The single was rereleased in the US in 1992 following its feature in the film Wayne's World. It became the 1991 Christmas number one and the first single to reach number one on the charts on two separate occasions (the only other single to have done this is George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"). After Mercury's death, the single was rereleased in the UK as a double A-Side with "These are the days of our lives". It first appeared on the 1975 album A Night At The Opera.

It is (arguably) the most listened to song ever written by a modern artist. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a classic song that was the focus of one of the first music videos ever. "Killer Queen" from Sheer Heart Attack featured May's virtuosity on the guitar and first brought widespread attention to the band. "Seven Seas of Rhye" from Queen II (1974) was Queen's breakthrough single and displayed their style of bombastic pomp-rock to the public for the first time.

John Deacon, bass guitar ("Another One Bites the Dust"). Roger Taylor, drums & percussion ("Radio Ga Ga"). Brian May, guitars ("We Will Rock You"). Freddie Mercury, vocals ("Bohemian Rhapsody").

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