Interviews - Queen

21 Magic Years (A Queen Timeline covering the years 1970 to 1991)


Freddie Mercury (Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums), Brian May (Guitar) and Mike Grose (bass) form Queen. Grose is replaced after just one gig. His replacement, Doug also lasts only one concert, Barry Mitchell is drafted in but the band are still not happy with the line-up.

John Deacon is recruited as bassist, Their debut is at the College of Estate Management, London. Queen is still not a full time occupation for the band members - Freddie runs a clothes stall in Kensington Market, John teaches, Brian is working on a doctorate and Roger is reading for a biology degree.

The band sign a management, record and publishing deal with Trident Audio Productions. They start work on their debut LP, eventually signing to EMI. Freddie designs the band's crest.

Queen are launched as EMI artistes at London's Marquee Club on April 9th, Their debut single Keep Yourself Alive, and debut album Queen are released in July. They begin their first major tour as support to Mott The Hoople at Leeds Town Hall on November 12th and record their first Radio One session for Sounds of the Seventies.

Their debut in Australia is not a great success but in March they begin their first headlining tour of the UK, coinciding with the release of Queen II. April sees the start of a US tour supporting Mott The Hoople and the release of their second single, Seven Seas of Rhye.

LP number three, Sheer Heart Attack, and single, Killer Queen, are released in November and Queen begin another UK tour.

A headlining tour of the US is so successful that matinee performances have to be scheduled but some shows are then cancelled when Freddie is stricken by a throat virus. The single Now I'm Here is released and Queen are voted 'Band of the Year' by readers of Melody Maker.

The debut Japanese tour finds the band besieged at Tokyo airport by thousands of fans. Freddie is presented with an Ivor Novello award for Killer Queen.

They split with Trident and sign up with Elton John's manager John Reid. The album A Night At The Opera and single Bohemian Rhapsody are released, with a UK tour beginning at Liverpool's Empire Theatre. Their Christmas Eve concert at the Hammersmith Odeon is broadcast on BBC TV and Radio 1.

Freddie receives his second Ivor Novello award for Bohemian Rhapsody. The band tour for four months in the US, Japan and Australia and, in April, their film, Queen at The Rainbow, is released.

A free concert in London's Hyde Park draws 150,000 people. Singles, You're My Best Friend and Somebody To Love are released.

Eight months are spent touring US, Canada and Europe - the innovative 'Crown' lighting rig, costing £50,000 is unveiled. LP number 5, A Day at the Races, is released along with the single, Tie Your Mother Down and Queen's First EP.

In October they embark on a three month American tour and Bohemian Rhapsody is named as the best single in 25 years at the British Record Industry Awards.

The end of the year sees the release of the News of the World LP and the double A-sided We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You

Queen split with John Reid to set up their own management company with Jim Beach. There are two European tours as well as treks around America and Japan. Two singles - Spread Your Wings and the double A-sided Bicycle Race / Fat Bottomed Girls - and an LP Jazz are released. The single It's Late charts in America.

Another European tour is interrupted when the band take out to work on mixing their live album, Live Killers, at Montreux Mountain Studios. They are so impressed with the facilities they decide to buy the studio. Singles Don't Stop Me Now, Love of My Life and Crazy Little Thing Called are released. On Boxing day Queen play a concert for the People of Kampuchea at Hammersmith Odeon.

Tours of the US and Europe support releases of LPs The Game, and Flash Gordon and singles, Save Me, Play The Game, Another One Bites The Dust and Need Your Loving Tonight (in America). By the end of the year total worldwide sales have reached 45,000,000.

With their eyes on unconquered territory Queen head for South America after a brief tour of Japan. Under the Gluttons For Punishment banner they played Brazil and Argentina, including performing before the biggest ever paying performance for one band - 251,000 at Sao Paulo's Morumbi Stadium.
Back in the UK singles Flash and Under Pressure (with David Bowie) and their Greatest Hits package are released.

Another world tour supports the release of Queen's 12th LP, Hot Space and singles Body Language, Las Palabras De Amor, Back Chat (in UK) and Calling All Girls (in US.)

As Queen, the band, takes a year long sabbatical the individual members pursue solo projects and interests. Brian May releases Star Fleet and Freddie Mercury records Love Kills for Georgio Moroder's re-issue of Fritz Lang's Metropolis movie.

Queen release The Works LP and five singles - Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, It's A Hard Life, Hammer To Fall and Thank God It's Christmas.

A European Tour including four nights at Wembley Arena, is followed by a controversial visit to Sun City in South Africa, which results in the band being put on the United Nations' cultural blacklist.

Roger Taylor released his second solo LP - Strange Frontier.

Freddie Mercury released his solo album Mr Bad Guy and Queen perform at two massive concerts. In January they appear in font of 250,000 people at the Rock in Rio Festival in Rio de Janeiro and in July play at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium. The single One Vision is released along with The Complete Works boxed set.

Music from the film Highlander is released as A Kind of Magic as well as singles A Kind of Magic, Friends Will Be Friends and Who Wants To Live Forever.

Back on the road Queen play to a total audience of over one million on their European 'Magic Tour' which results in a second live album, Live Magic.

Freddie contributes three tracks to the cast recording of Dave Clack's stage musical, Time.

Roger Taylor forms The Cross and Freddie joins Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballe to record the single, Barcelona.

The three-volume video compilation The Magic Years is released.

The Cross release their debut album Shove It. Mercury and Caballe release the album Barcelona and star in the glittering La Nit event in Barcelona, in front of the King and Queen of Spain. Freddie also appears, once on the London stage in Time.

Queen's 16th album, The Miracle, is released along with the singles, I Want It All, Breakthru, The Invisible Man, Scandal and The Miracle. Two children record Who Wants To Live Forever for the British Bone Marrow appeal, a charity supported by Brian May.

Queen at the Beeb is released.

The band receive a special BPI award for their outstanding contribution to music. A 20th Anniversary party goes on all night. Brian works on his first project for the stage while Roger concentrates on The Cross.

Innuendo - Queen's 17th album - is released and from it a brace of hit singles - Innuendo, I'm Going Slightly Mad, Headlong and The Show Must Go On.

The Queen catalogue is released on CD in America and Greatest Hits II is released. Freddie dies of AIDS in November following which Bohemian Rhapsody tops the charts one more.


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