From 1973 to 1978, Queen released seven albums that were rock and roll masterpieces. They broke onto the scene in 1973 with a sound that was completely original, faster, harder, and more melodic than most rock bands of the time period. Freddie Mercury would emerge as a rock vocalist that could hit notes higher and fuller than most rock stars. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Ann Wilson of Heart, Steve Perry of Journey and Freddie Mercury of Queen were easily the best of the classic rock era vocalist.
Queen’s mixture of operatic singing blended within a futuristic powered melodic metal sound was beyond unique. It was a sound when heard, turned heads instantly. I first heard Queen on the radio in 1974. WNEW, FM New York played “Stone Cold Crazy.” This was before the breakout of the Night at the Opera album and the release of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” My friends and I were in complete shock of what we were hearing. During the time period before videos, computers or anything digital, are only recourse was to heard straight to the record store and purchase the vinyl album. There has never been another band that has sounded like Queen from the 1970s.
After Freddie Mercury passed away, the remaining band members pursued solo career projects. Brian May released a series of solo albums. Roger Taylor formed his own band called The Cross. John Deacon has seemed to disappear into retirement. Over time Roger Taylor and Brian May have toured again with a reformed Queen with different lead singers. They did an album and a tour with Paul Rogers of Bad Company.
They have also toured with Adam Lambert as their lead singer. However, no one can ever replace the voice and personality of Freddie Mercury. All we can do is remember and celebrate the music of Queen. Here is a list of some of the best Queen songs in their catalog. Like any list, it is completely subjective. However, if you have not heard any of the Queen songs on this list then take a listen. You will be blown away………
Top 10 Queen Songs
# 10 – Liar
Well, we just can’t think of a better Queen song to open up the Top 10 Queen songs list than “Liar,” The song “Liar,” was originally released on their first album entitled Queen. Their debut album was officially released in 1973. The album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker. The legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker has worked with some of the most important artists of the classic rock era including Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Lindsey Buckingham and so many more.
The song “Liar,” was written by Freddie Mercury. The song was the opening track on side two of the album. It’s an intense song that highlights Brian May’s extraordinary guitar work and incredible harmonies that were a hallmark of the classic Queen sound.
# 9 – Now I’m Here
Queen’s third album Sheer Heart Attack was the record that caught the interest of many rock fans that there was something special going on in with this band. The album contained many great Queen Songs that would become concert staples over the years for the band. One of the best tracks on that Queen album that was played many times during the nineteen seventies tours was the Brian May penned track, “Now I’m Here.”The song closed side one of the album, It was released on November 8th, 1974. The album was once again produced by Roy Thomas Baker.
# 8 – Killer Queen
The iconic Queen song “Killer Queen,” was the band’s first big hit. The song was released on their 1974 Sheer Heart Attack album which features the most songs on this top 10 Queen Songs list. The song “Killer Queen,” reached number twelve on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 music charts, It reached all the way to number two on the U.K Music charts. The song was written by Freddie Mercury. Queen’s first two albums were hard and somewhat progressive rock records. On Sheer Heart Attack, the band began to explore the metal pop sides that they would embrace in the following years. The track “Killer Queen,” intertwined the pop, classical, and metal sides of Queen together. And for the first time, fans are introduced to the flamboyant side of the multi-talented Freddie Mercury.
# 7 – It’s Late
The great Queen song “It’s Late,” was released on the News of the World album in 1978. The News of the World album was a step in another direction for Queen after the Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races releases. The Queen songs on the album were shorter and a little more pop-oriented. Yet, the album still contained the heavy guitar, bass and drum sounds of Brian, John, and Roger. When the album first came out, most of the die-hard Queen fans at the time chose the song “It’s Late,” as their favorite on the album. The song was released as a single but did not do well. The song seems to have been forgotten amidst the unbelievable success of “Will Rock You,” and “We are the Champions.” However, if you have never heard the song “It’s Late,” after listening here, you will undoubtedly make it one of your favorite Queen Songs.
# 6 – We Will Rock You/ We Are the Champions
“We Will Rock You/ We Are the Champions,” is possibly the most successful one-two punch of any single ever released by a rock band. The song “We Are the Champions,” was released as the single and “We Will Rock You,” was released as the B Side. However, FM Radio at the time always played both songs back to back as they appeared on the album.
The single “We Are the Champions,” hit No. 2 on the U.K Pop charts. In the United States, the song reached all the way to No. 4 on the Billboard 100. At the time in 1977, the Billboard charts were flooded with the music of the Bee Gees and disco music. It was very refreshing for a band like Queen to make a dent into that world of disco pop on the radio that rock fans had to suffer through.
# 5 – I’m In Love With My Car
Not sure why this song never appears on top 10 Queen songs lists. It was a song that clearly stood out on the Night at the Opera album. “I’m In Love With My Car,” was Roger Taylor’s brilliant shining moment in the band. Talyor’s voice served as a great alternative on a Queen album. Freddie was the best ever, but having Roger sing on an album just made it more fun. If you like these great Roger Taylor songs, then I would recommend checking out Roger’s band from the ’90s called The Cross. Roger Taylor Website
# 4 – Tie Your Mother Down
Having to follow up the huge smash “Bohemian Rhapsody,” must have been no easy feat for the band. How could a band possibly top the chart success and creativity of such a groundbreaking piece of music? The answer seemed to be to just continue to write and perform great rock songs without worrying about creating another artistic masterpiece. When Queen followed up the Night At the Opera album with the LP A Day At The Races, the first single released from the album was “Somebody to Love.” It was simply a great song with an incredible vocal by Freddie.
The song was a big hit. However, the song many die hard Queen fans fell in love with instantly was the album’s opening number, “Tie Your Mother Down.” It was pure Queen rock and roll. It was the ultimate song of teenage rebellion. No other song would open concerts better than “Tie Your Mother Down.” It became a concert opening staple for years to come.
# 3 – Stone Cold Crazy
“Stone Cold Crazy,” is the third song from the Sheer Heart Attack album to appear on the Top 10 Queen Songs List. The song has been regarded by many rock critics as a musical piece that inspired thrash metal. When we first heard the song on the radio back in 1974, we had no idea what we were listening to. The rhythmic complexity of the song and guitar, bass and drum sound was completely unique to anything we had ever heard. All we knew was that it was great and we wanted to hear more. The song was covered by Metallica in 1990. Metallica’s version of the song is incredible.
“Stone Cold Crazy,” was also given a remix treatment by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails back in 1991. Quite possible it can be regarded as the first-speed metal song in history. However, in the end, labels really don’t matter much. “Stone Cold Crazy,” was one of the best songs Queen ever recorded and stands as one of the best rock performances on vinyl of all time.
# 2 – Bohemian Rhapsody
Okay, we already know what you’re saying. How can this not be the number-one Queen song of all time? Yes, it was completely groundbreaking. Yes. It was their breakout hit that made them famous worldwide.nYes, it reached No 2 on the U.S. Billboard charts and No.1 on the U.K. music charts in 1975. Yes, it’s one of the best-selling singles of all time in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Yes, it has been featured in many motion pictures, television shows, and commercials. Yes, we know of its memorable placement in the Wayne’s World movie as well as many others. So why, why, why, is it not number one? The answer is simple, we like the next song better.
# 1 – Ogre Battle
Queen’s second album was one of the best records of the band’s career. It was a heavy album that featured brilliant original songwriting and arranging. All the material featured virtuosic performances by Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian May. Opening the second side of the album was the track “Orge Battle.” Everything that we love of bout Queen was first discovered in the iconic track. The speed metal, thrash metal, original melodic ideas, operatic singing, blazing guitar work that sounded like synthesizers, Roger Taylor’s Beatles meets grunge Metallica drum style all is on full display in “Orge Battle.”
There are so many great songs in the Queen catalog. Many of them have become symbols of popular culture. It’s tough to choose a number one song. But we have chosen “Orge Battle,” because of what it represents as far as the development of the Queen sound. It was early, honest, and organic. It was all before the maddening success that would follow the band. It was Queen at their best.
Top 10 Queen Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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