The beginnings of Queen can be traced to 1968, when Brian May and Roger Taylor formed Smile, a psychedelic trio, at Imperial College, London, where they were both students. After their bassist lead singer's departure in spring 1970, they formed a new band - Queen - with Freddie Mercury as lead vocalist in April 1970. In 1971 John Deacon as bassist joined. Queen never actually disbanded, although their last album (not including compilations) was released in 1995, four years after Freddie Mercury's death from AIDS. The band is still active from time to time, making 'Queen+' projects with various singers.
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2 Musical progression
Though Freddie Mercury's personality always dominated in the press, actually all four members of the group wrote huge hits:
- Freddie Mercury (We Are the Champions)
- Brian May (We Will Rock You)
- Roger Taylor (Radio Ga Ga)
- John Deacon (Another One Bites the Dust)
They lost many fans with the Hot Space album, which used Funk and Dance music rather than the Glam or Hard Rock of earlier albums. Despite this, the song Under Pressure, co-written and sung together with David Bowie, was an enormous world-wide hit.
They also embarked upon many successful tours, and were one of the first bands to play in stadiums, with memorable shows held at Wembley Stadium in England, and Maracană, for the Rock N' Rio festival in Brazil.
The Wembley concert, part of a UK tour in 1986, attracted 150,000 people over two nights. 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 rumors are that we're gonna split up. What do you think?" Audience: "No!". Freddie: "Forget those rumors, we're gonna stay together till we fucking well die, I'm sure!".
With The Works and A Kind of Magic Queen gave up experimenting, making sure the fans get what they wanted.
With The Miracle Queen returned to their Hard Rock roots.
However, most Queen albums contain songs that do not fit into these descriptions.
Queen contributed music directly to the movies Flash Gordon and Highlander (the original film directed by Russell Mulcahy). Several other films featured their songs, including Iron Eagle, Wayne's World, Small Soldiers and A Knight's Tale.
In 2002, a musical or rock theatrical based on the songs of Queen, entitled We Will Rock You, began playing at the Dominion Theatre in the West End of London. The musical was written by British comedian and author Ben Elton in collaboration with Brian May and Roger Taylor. The launch of the musical coincided with the Queen's Golden Jubilee. As part of the Jubilee celebrations Brian May performed a guitar solo of the National Anthem - as featured on Queen's A Night at the Opera - from the roof of Buckingham Palace.