Today is the official Freddie for a Day, in celebration of the birthday of the late Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. This year is the first time I have noticed the celebration of this event, and I have to say that this is awesome. I love that people around the world are paying respect to the frontman from my favorite band. Rovio, makers of Angry Birds, have even joined in this year by having a Freddie version of an Angry Bird. How cool is that?
I have been a Queen fan for over a decade now (how old that makes me feel to say that!). They used to be my favorite band when I was growing up and, although I always loved their music, there was a time when I thought other bands were my favorite. I cycled through bands like Def Leppard, Poison and Van Halen. But about two years ago, when I sat down and truly contemplated my musical taste, it was Queen that emerged on top.
I have a very clear memory from my childhood that involves their Greatest Hits album. I loved to listen to it, back in the days before iPods and MP3s existed. My dad owned the CD but I think that I had it in my CD Player the majority of the time. I know that I must have listened to this CD a lot, because when I hear a Queen song from that album my mind automatically plays the intro to the next track as the song ends. Even now, having listened to their Jazz album dozens of times, I hear the start of Bicycle Race as Fat Bottomed Girls ends. Not Jealousy, which is the track that follows on Jazz.
When my parents were going through a divorce, I came home one day when my dad was packing up some things. When I noticed that he was going to be taking the Queen Greatest Hits CD with him, I was angry. I believe I actually called him an asshole for taking the CD that I loved listening to.
My current collection of Queen CDs is News of the World, A Night at the Opera, and Jazz. I have learned, with the purchase of these three albums, that there are many great songs that never made it to the three Greatest Hits albums. In some instances I listen to those songs more often that the ones I grew up listening to.
So, in honor of Freddie Mercury, I thought it would be fitting to do a top ten list of Queen songs. As I started making the list, I realized this is nearly an impossible task. By selectively listing my favorites I reached 20 songs, which meant that a lot of the good ones wouldn’t make the cut. Songs like “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust” ended up falling below the threshhold, and even some of my newer favorites couldn’t earn the justification to knock off some of the staples that I have heard for years.
Perhaps even more difficult was then to try and get an order for the remaining ten songs. Well, apart from number one. That one was a given.
I think that I just need to buy a few more Queen albums and do a Top 50 or Top 100 list…
10) Bicycle Race - Jazz album: This song is just fun to sing, and it ties in so well with another great hit from the same album (see #6).
9) Crazy Little Thing Called Love – The Game album: Out of all the different covers I have heard of this song, I still love Queen’s original version the best. This is rockabilly music at its finest.
8) My Melancholy Blues – News of the World album: I think this song stands out to me because it is just Freddie and a piano. You get to hear the power in his voice as he belts out the vocals.
7) Dreamer’s Ball – Jazz album: Apparently this song was written as a tribute to Elvis the year after he died.
6) Fat Bottomed Girls – Jazz album: I have always loved this song, and time has only made me appreciate it even more.
5) Let Me Entertain You – Jazz album: The first time I heard this, the opening guitar riffs convinced me that I would love this song.
4) Somebody to Love – A Day at the Races album: When listening to this song, I can hear how it paved the way for Bohemian Rhapsody. Hard to believe that this is just three men singing all the parts for this.
3) Under Pressure – Hot Space album: Queen plus David Bowie. How could it go wrong?
2) Don’t Stop Me Now – Jazz album: This song is an adrenaline rush. I feel as though I channel a bit of Freddie’s energy every time I crank this song up in the car.
1) Bohemian Rhapsody – A Night at the Opera album: As if there could possibly be any other song that could claim this spot. This is one of the greatest songs ever written and displays the depth of talent that Queen possessed.