There Isn’t a Single Person Who Doesn’t Like QueenVitriola Music Shambles by Michael Legge
If you think you don’t like Queen, it turns out you’re wrong and you actually do. Here’s why.
There isn’t a single person who doesn’t like Queen.
I’ve met people who THINK they don’t like Queen, but they’re confused, misinformed and wrong. There are people who say they hate Queen because “Bohemian Rhapsody is boring” but they like electro pop, exactly like Queen did for a lot of the 80’s. There are people who mistakenly claim to hate Queen because “It’s all a bit too light and camp” despite Queen II being a very heavy progressive rock classic and the song Stone Cold Crazy pretty much invented Thrash Metal. There are even uneducated wank plankton bores with limited edition vinyl beards and corduroy teeth that say they hate Queen because “they’re just a bit too middle of the road” despite the fact they recorded an entire album that mixed Kraftwerk, Wagner and Brian Blessed laughing at his own death.
As Gandhi once said, “Anyone who says they hate Queen deserves a long, hard playlist and a swift, concise kicking”.
Of course, Queen will never be popular. They’re too popular. But there’s so much more to them than most give them credit for. They are bold, outrageous, delicate and really, really weird. They’re made up of four very different individuals: The camp one, the muso, the rocker, the quiet one, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.
All four of them have separately written huge hit singles for the band. Songs that make drunk football fans cry and sing, songs that make wedding reception dancefloors become messy, defiant and glorious and songs that make hoovering impossible without giving a wink to an imaginary camera. They’re somewhere between the most highly rated rock band in UK music history and the most underappreciated experimental outfit of all time. Bohemian Rhapsody, a new film named after one of Queen’s songs from the 1970’s I believe, opens this week and before you go see it because even though you hate Queen, you’ve heard that Rami Malek is good in it, I just want you to be honest: Stand up, say your name and admit that you’re a Queen fan.
I can’t remember not being a Queen fan. Even though I definitely remember a time before seeing them perform Killer Queen on Top of The Pops, the first time I’d ever heard of them (I was 5), I still can’t quite remember or even imagine them not being around. I immediately loved them. Why wouldn’t I? I was 5 and they were hilarious. Freddie Mercury, making his TOTP debut as a rock frontman, dressed as a deluded Mrs Robinson determined to seduce the bingo caller. At age 11, I was in California with my family visiting relatives. My uncle told me that my 6-years-older-than-me cousin Patti had a box of old t-shirts in the basement that she was going to throw out and offered me a chance to grab some first. I came back upstairs with just one t-shirt. It was black and had the word Queen written on it in silver letters. I immediately wore it. My family looked awkward. “No, son”, my mum said. “You can’t wear that. That’s for girls”. I was immediately confused. Mum explained that the reason the top had such a low collar that was exposing most of my chest was because… well, because of girls’ chest bits… you know? I didn’t know. Mum was wrong. The reason it exposed so much of my chest was because Freddie always wore a leotard and now I have one too. Stupid mum! I wore it for a month.
That same week, my cousin Danny saw me in my new leotard and laughed. He more than made it up to me by driving me in a real American pick-up truck all the way up a hill to almost see Queen play live in a stadium in Oakland. I could hear noise and I could see lights but knowing Queen were RIGHT THERE was exciting enough to make me drool. Thank goodness I was wearing a leotard.
A few years later, I bought my first Queen album. They had just released The Works featuring the huge hits Radio Ga Ga and I Want To Break Free. It was £5.99 and I didn’t have enough money but, luckily, Woolworths sold back catalogue Queen albums cheap on the Fame label. I bought Queen II, the one with the iconic diamond quartet photo. I hated it. It wasn’t like Radio Ga Ga at all. But I played it to death because I wasn’t throwing that £2.49 away. I played it until I loved every bit of its pretentious, prog rock beauty. Every song on this album is utterly fantastic. Maybe I wasn’t a Radio Ga Ga-era Queen fan after all? Maybe I liked the prog stuff. Not long after that I started loving Marillion and Genesis (bear with me, I know where I’m going with this) but it was the Queen back catalogue I really wanted, and I bought more every chance I got.
I bought Sheer Heart Attack, arguably the band’s greatest record, and was soon listening to T-Rex and my sister’s Bowie albums. Their album News of The World got me into the Ramones because a friend said one of the songs sounded like them (I mean, it vaguely does) and therefore listened to the Sex Pistols. Queen got me into punk! Their absolutely superb Flash Gordon soundtrack, an album full of weird darkness, electronic coldness and shrieking joy, got me into listening to Kraftwerk and John Carpenter. I even quite like Quentin Tarantino soundtrack albums because, hey, they’re a bit like that Queen one! I got into Sparks, Iron Maiden, The Smiths, Metallica, Depeche Mode, The Cure… all my teen bands because of Queen. I love all that music. Of course, I do. I’m a Queen fan.
And here’s why you must admit, you’re a Queen fan too. For a brief time, I decided Queen were rubbish. I’d just got into Beastie Boys, Anthrax and Madonna (there’s a line-up!) and when I was offered a ticket to finally see Queen in concert, I said no. They never toured again.
GOD DAMN IT!!! What will stop if you don’t finally admit you’re a Queen fan too? Well, I won’t let that happen to you. You ARE a Queen fan. Here’s a playlist of songs you may well not know. I’ve put it together with you in mind. I know you’ll love some of them. So, slip into your leotard and give a listen to the poppiest, rockiest, most experimental, electronic, prog rock, operatic, music hall, metal, disco, two-hand-claps-in-the-air band of all time.
Listen to the playlist on Spotify right here.
The Cosmic Shambles Network relies on your support on pledges via Patreon so we can continue to provide great, new, exciting content without the need for third party ads or paywalls.
For as little as $1 a month you can support what we do and get some great rewards for doing so as well. Click the Patreon logo to pledge or find out more.
Michael Legge is a stand up comedian and writer who has performed all around the world. He is a previous winner of a Chortle Award for best blog and is a team captain on the popular podcast ‘Do the Right Thing’. His 2017 live show Jerk was recently released accompanied by the EP Jerk:The Musical. Michael can often be found both on The Cosmic Shambles Network and Vitriola yelling about music with Robin Ince. He is @michaellegge on Twitter.
If you would like to reuse this content please contact us for details
Subscribe to The Cosmic Shambles Network Mailing list here.
Can’t fucking stand them. Only band I race to the radio to switch it off
According to the article, James, that’s not true. 😉
On acclaimedmusic.net which ranks music artists based on how many critical acclaim their music has received by all different music critics from decades,The Beatles are ranked # 1.The only Queen songs that I have heard that are just good not great is Killer Queen and Your My Best Friend, I can’t stand We will Rock You,We Are The Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody they are so annoying and obnoxious.
Queen is appropriately rated # 80.
As The 1992 Rolling Stone Album who gave every Queen album only 2 and 3 stars,only their Greatest Hits they gave a 3 and half to,they accurately described Queen as having bombastic schlock rock hits and said even their Greatest Hits sound dated.
The very good Russian music reviewer George Starostin gave Queen only a C rating
http://starling.rinet.ru/music/queen.htm (and that’s way too high!) but he,like almost all music critics and reviewers gave The Beatles an A and he only gave them the highest number a 5,and he wrote in bold letters and underlined,*The Highest Rating Ever*
Here Stephen Thomas Erlewine who wrote The All Music Guide’s excellent long Beatles biography, also says how bombastic and campy Queen were and that despite their being second to The Beatles in popularity,they were never taken seriously by the music critics.
Queen | Biography & History | AllMusic
The origins of Queen lay in the hard rock psychedelic group Smile, which guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor joined in 1967. Following the departure of Smile’s lead vocalist, Tim Staffell, in 1971, May and Taylor formed a group with Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer for Wreckage.Within a few months, bassist John Deacon joined them, and they began rehearsing.
Queen | Biography & History AllMusic
Find Queen biography and history on AllMusic – Few bands embodied the pure excess of the ’70s…
I made a mistake in my December 2018 post, The All Music Guide’s excellent Beatles biography is written by Richie Unterberger but Stephen Thomas Erlewine did write The Rolling Stones biography and reviewed many of their albums as well as Beatles and solo Beatles albums he gave mostly great reviews to on The All Music Guide.
Say whatever you like Michael. I assure you that I hate … loathe … despise … both Queen and the Beatles. One bar of either and I start developing hives!
Don’t like ’em. Find them wicked annoying. Can’t even stand watching Mercury perform. It’s the worst. What is it – glam rock? Whatever it is, nope.
I’ve never liked their music, perhaps with the exception of Bohemian Rhapsody which had novelty value & was quite an impressive production. Their whole schtick left me cold tbh, it’s kind of soulless & empty with no genuine emotion coming through at all.
No. I really don’t like them. One or two songs are okay but otherwise, I’m not such a fan. I respect them, they made good music but I, personally, wouldn’t listen to the on an average day. Also, no one has the right to tell anyone that they like or dislike a certain thing. You had no right to tell people that they can’t dislike Queen. A better example would be that “if you’re not such a fan of Queen, you should check out this style that they played and see if you’re interested.” You, however, can not make me feel belittled and wrong for having my own opinion so can you kindly please leave and stick your toxic, obsressive teen girl opinion somewhere people actually care.
Queen is by far the most overrated and annoying band to ever grace our planet
Nope. I don’t like Queen. Never did. I don’t even consider them to be real rock. Glam nonsense. It’s nice to know that most rock critics have never liked Queen.
I hate their songs. I find it super annoying.
idiot, have you heard all of their songs? Because no song sounds the same.
Shut up. Every song is trash because it’s all carbon copy. Clean your ears out, pick up a book, and get smart.
I don’t mind them but I don’t actually like them. It’s like hearing elevator music. I don’t pay any attention to it or them when they are playing.
Nope. I hate Queen. I have literally listened to every record and while i like some guitar solos in their first albums, the (literally) GAY church like chores make me want to puke and so I turn the palyer off. Besides they were never actually good. Then they turned to pop, and i despise pop music.
Besides, I would say the opposite is true, people who claim to be Queen fans, barely know any songs, and only say the like the band cause it’s a popular thing to say and it’s overvalued to hell by pop culture.
I know someone who named their cat after freddy mercury 😂