Photo By: Noah Naf from Unsplash
Nov. 24 marks the 30th anniversary of the untimely death of one of the greatest singers to have stepped on stage, Freddie Mercury.
Known as the lead singer of the rock band Queen, Mercury is remembered for his lively and entertaining stage performances, as well as his vibrant voice, which is still called one of the most recognizable voices in music. He contributed greatly to Queen’s iconic sound that has allowed them and their music to stand the test of time.
With outstanding performances and multiple hits released every year, Queen became the band to watch live in the early 80s. Starting their music career in the 70s, and ending in the early 90s after Mercury’s death, it is clear that there was no Queen without Mercury.
Five months after his death, a tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium in his honour and to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. Artists such as Elton John, Roger Daltrey from The Who, Tony Lommi from Black Sabbath, Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin, Axl Rose and Slash from Guns and Roses, among many other artists joined the stage with the three surviving Queen band members, John Deacon on bass, Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums.
Starting with their 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack, Queen would begin to take on their unique style that would go on to set them apart, as can be heard on the album’s hit song, “Killer Queen” which remains one of their most known songs. Here, Mercury’s voice is outstanding and unlike any other. The range his voice reaches on this song is phenomenal. As many have pointed out, Mercury used his voice like an instrument, and it shows on this track.
A year later, Queen released A Night at the Opera, which includes arguably their most well-known song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” among other hits such as “You’re My Best Friend,” and “Love Of My Life.” “Bohemian Rhapsody” was originally supposed to be three different songs, which explains its change in tone throughout its running time, but they certainly made the distinct parts flow together very well.
In 1976, A Day at the Races was released, and with it “Somebody to Love” and “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy.” Both with a more upbeat rhythm than their hits from the previous year’s album.
1977 introduced the songs that collectively do what music does best, bring people together. “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” were released on News of the World. Now perpetually connected to any sporting event, the intro to “We Will Rock You,” with its simple clapping and stomping beat is instantly recognizable, even by people who are not fans of the band. “We Are the Champions,” a celebratory song that is also connected to sporting events, follows and wonderfully complements “We Will Rock You.” It’s hard to imagine these two songs ever being replaced as sporting event staples.
From 1978 to 1984, some of their other hit releases include, “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Radio Ga Ga,” and “I Want to Break Free,” among others.
Freddie Mercury was a defining artist and continues to shape the music industry 30 years after his death. An inspiration to many, we remember him and his music today and any day we hear his instantly recognizable voice belting out one of Queen’s classic songs.