Despite the fact that some of Queen’s songs are now over 40 years old, there aren’t many people alive today that don’t know each and every lyric to Bohemian Rhapsody or Don’t Stop Me Now.
Queen truly did, and still do, rock the world with their songs that have become classics. Most artists have their short lived moments of glory and are forgotten about within a few years, but nearly 50 years after Queen formed, they’re still as well loved and well played (if not more so) than they were in the 70s. So what is it that made them so popular?
The first thing Queen fans will respond to that question with is talent, Queen were a truly talented band who knew how to make music and how to perform.
All four of the band members helped to write their songs, a task that most artists pass off to songwriters. By writing the songs themselves they allowed each and every hit to capture the personality of the band. This combined with their vocal harmonisation and the use of several instruments working together, they created an image of unity in their songs that was unique to their band.
Their ability to play instruments for themselves, rather than simply sing, set them aside from other artists, and brought back the appreciation of musical talent that had been lost with pop music’s focus on vocal music. Each of May’s solos had (and still has) listeners stunned into a silence of appreciation and awe.
We can’t talk about Queen’s popularity without mentioning Freddie Mercury, who on multiple occasions proved the star of the show.
His eccentric and outrageous stage personality surrounded the band with excitement. Fans admired Freddie’s courage, and his energy was infectious. To this day he remains one of the most energetic and exciting performers.
He did as he pleased on stage, without caring about what people might think, and as a result people loved him for it. Despite many still being prejudiced against homosexuality, Mercury never tried to hide who he was, and even cross dressed in his videos. The people loved him for who he was, and every eccentric movement, every quirky trait, furthered the power of his charisma.
Queen appealed to everyone
Most bands adopt a genre and stick to it, not Queen. Each and every one of Queen’s songs were different. There was pop, there was rock, there were meaningless but fun songs, and meaningful emotional songs – there was something for every one.
The mix of songs gave a more realistic feeling to the emotions of the band members, rather than writing for the sake of writing, we get the feeling that the different songs represent the ups and downs of everyday life. From the victorious We Are The Champions, to the sad but accepting song near the end of Mercury’s life – The Show Must Go On, there’s a Queen song for every occasion. They’re a band whose songs will never not be relatable.
Their ability to jump between genres and styles also further emphasised their undisputed talent. Most artists stick to what they know, but if Queen wanted to write a song to express something, they wouldn’t hesitate, regardless of whether it proved a challenge, and regardless of how long they spent in the studio recording it.
They were a band of friendship
It was clear from each of their performances and each of their appearances on television that they were a group of people who genuinely loved each other, and as a result we loved them.
Their evident friendship made each celebratory song that bit more uplifting, as still several of their songs act as anthems of celebrations and friendship. As for their more depressing tracks, the genuine emotion displayed within each make the importance of friendship in hard times more hard hitting.
Their genuine friendship is perhaps what make the band and their songs so timeless, as friendship is a theme that will never grow old, and with a song for every occasion, Queen are always there for us, as a friend might be.