Excluding live records and collections, Queen’s discography includes 15 records, one of which was released after the death of frontman Freddie Mercury. Choosing 5 is a difficult task, because each of these 15 has some pearls and particularities that you can hardly put aside in a list of “not to be missed records”. What’s most obvious is that selecting just a few records in a discography that in total has sold more than 300 million records is a more subjective choice than ever and can not be otherwise.
Although it is probably not the most successful Queen’s album, one cannot ignore listening to Queen, the first album published by Freddie Mercury and his associates. Recorded between 1971 and 1972, it was released in the United Kingdom on July 13, 1973 and over the years became a Golden Disk.
It’s the first time you’ve seen the Queen logo, designed by Freddie Mercury himself, and it’s the beginning of many albums where Queen will adopt the “No synthesizers” policy. Among the most interesting tracks, of course Keep Yourself Alive, the first single of the London band, and My Fairy King, where you can hear the progressive and rock influences that hovered in the English capital in the 70s.
A Night At The Opera (1975)
Usually you keep the fine piece for the finale. In this case, using a very normal temporal order, the moment comes for the best Queen album (according to everyone, insiders or just listeners). If we put aside the order of time, however, this would certainly be the first in the list of 5 records not to be missed.A Night At The Opera is the album with which Queen break through the world, with songs like Love Of My Life, ’39, God Save The Queen, but especially Bohemian Rhapsody. You could spend hundreds, thousands of words on this record: the advice is to carve out 43 minutes, sit back and listen to it calmly. The words will come alone.
A Kind Of Magic (1986)
With a long time jump, we get to 1986. In the 11 years that separate A Night At The Opera from A Kind Of Magic, an album composed as a soundtrack for the movie Highlander, there are a lot of things worthy of note (one above all We Are The Champions in the album News Of The World in 1977) and Queen have become a band of international stature. Kind Of Magic was followed by the 80’s fashion of commissioning rock bands to play the soundtrack of science fiction movies (Toto and David Bowie, for example, followed this trend). The album is characterized by more modern sounds and historical songs such as One Vision, Who Wants To Live Forever and the same A Kind Of Magic.
That’s the last album with Freddie still alive. The album has a disarming beauty, sung with an intensity never heard before. Innuendo is a song with a thousand faces, considered the Bohemian Rhapsody of the 90s; The Show Must Go On is a sort of testament, even if it was written by guitarist Brian May and not by Freddie Mercury, as many people think. The album Innuendo is a journey through the music of Queen and a work to be inserted without any doubt in the 5 records not to be missed.
Made in Heaven (1995)
Queen’s last album, to close the circle. It’s also the best-selling unreleased album by the British band, although this is probably due to the fact that it’s the first and only album since Freddie Mercury’s death. The final 22-minute ghost track is a journey through sensations and music, as if, directly from Paradise, Freddie were to guide the listener through what is the end of a 22-year story, one for every minute. Queen have continued and continue to play their greatest hits around the world: what they have created in these 22 years will remain in the history of music and the show will have to continue forever, necessarily.