The 1970s produced some fantastic bands, Queen being one of them. As lyricists, they were collectively strong, with each member writing songs. And as musicians, they meshed together incredibly well.
But with so many excellent and eternal songs, it seems impossible to pick less than ten to say are the best. But we’re about to do just that.
Today, we’re diving into Queen’s immense musical catalog to discover the band’s seven greatest songs.
The British rock band Queen formed in London in 1970. The group consisted of lead vocalist Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, and bassist John Deacon.
They’re best known for their unique sound, bringing in elements of rock, pop, and opera. In addition, Mercury commanded the stage like few musicians did at that time. His vocals were powerful, and his ability to entertain the masses was impressive.
Queen is one of the best-selling musical groups in the world. In 2001, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And the following year, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Their musical legacy continues to influence many current bands. Despite Mercury’s untimely death in 1991, Queen continues to tour and release new music, with Adam Lambert joining as lead vocalist in 2011.
#1 Under Pressure
About the Song: David Bowie collaborated with Queen to create this great hit. Released in October 1981 as a single, it reached the number-one spot on the UK Singles Chart. The group recorded the song at an impromptu session in Montreaux, Switzerland, a few months before its release.
Under Pressure is about something so many of us can relate to at some point in our lives. Feeling the weight of responsibilities, relationships, and the world, in general, can destroy lives.
Freddie Mercury wrote most of the lyrics, while John Deacon created the iconic two-note bass riff.
It's the terror of knowing What this world is about Watching some good friends Screaming, 'Let me out'
#2 We Will Rock You
About the Song: Guitarist Brian May said this song came to him in a dream. In a 2008 interview with Mojo magazine, he told the reporter he wanted to create an audience participation style tune. For anyone that’s ever heard this hit at a sporting event, it’s all about the crowd singing, clapping, and stomping along with the lyrics.
Queen released this song in 1977 on their News of the World album. In concert, they’d often follow We Will Rock You with another great tune, We Are the Champions, which is also on the same record. So the two hits pair well together.
You got mud on your face Big disgrace Somebody better put you back into your place We will, we will rock you
#3 Bohemian Rhapsody
About the Song: Freddie Mercury referred to this six-minute track as a “mock opera.” Anyone familiar with this tune knows it has multiple operatic-style sections. It’s a great masterpiece that many fans consider Queen’s signature song. The band released Bohemian Rhapsody on their 1975 album A Night at the Opera.
The lyrics remain a mystery as to their meaning, but many speculations exist. Unfortunately, the band never revealed their own interpretation, leaving it to the imagination of their fans.
Some people think certain words are Arabic and from the Qu’ran, while others say it has to do with Mercury’s coming out as bisexual. Unfortunately, we may never know the truth since the remaining band members remain tight-lipped about the song’s meaning.
I see a little silhouetto of a man Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me Galileo, Galileo, Galileo Figaro magnifico
#4 Another One Bites the Dust
About the Song:
Bassist John Deacon wrote the lyrics to this catchy tune. Queen included the track on their 1980 album The Game. The song became a worldwide hit, reaching the number-one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It remained there for three weeks.
The band performed Another One Bites the Dust regularly in concert after The Game‘s release in June 1980. However, they were reluctant to put it out as a single. But after a gig in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson convinced them they should and that it would be a great hit. It turns out he was correct.
Are you ready? Hey, are you ready for this? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Out of the doorway the bullets rip To the sound of the beat, yeah
#5 We Are the Champions
About the Song:
Freddie Mercury wrote the lyrics to this one. The singer said in an interview, “I was thinking about football when I wrote it. I wanted a participation song, something that the fans could latch on to.” We Are the Champions is the companion piece to Queen’s hit We Will Rock You. So it’s pretty obvious why these two tracks seem to go together.
This song follows after We Will Rock You on their 1977 News of the World album. Radio DJs would also typically play the tunes together.
In 2009, We Are the Champions earned a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame. And in 2011, a team of scientific researchers deemed it to be the catchiest song in the history of popular music. It’s certainly a serious earworm for us!
I've paid my dues, time after time I've done my sentence, but committed no crime And bad mistakes I've made a few I've had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I've come through
About the Song:
Written by Brian May, the title gives away exactly what the song is about. In a 2008 interview with the magazine Mojo, the guitarist said, “I wrote it with Fred in mind, as you do, especially if you’ve got a great singer who likes fat-bottomed girls or boys.” Anyone with a little extra in the tush certainly appreciates the message of this number.
Queen included the song on their seventh album, Jazz, released in 1978. Fat Bottomed Girls was also a single with a very racy cover. It showed a nude woman riding a bicycle but required an alteration before many record stores agreed to stock it. The new version had the same exact image but with panties on the woman.
Oh, won't you take me home tonight Oh, down beside your red firelight? Oh, and you give it all you got Fat bottomed girls, you make the rocking world go around
#7 Somebody to Love
About the Song:
This 1976 song has a great gospel feel to it. Mercury, May, and Taylor were able to multitrack their vocals to make them sound like a 100-voice choir.
The lyrics, written by Freddie Mercury, speak of faith, desperation, and soul-searching throughout life. They also touch on the feelings of isolation that accompany trying to find love as a gay man in an unaccepting world. Mercury never shied away from expressing personal views through his music.
Ooh, each morning I get up I die a little Can barely stand on my feet Take a look at yourself in the mirror and cry Lord, what you're doing to me?
Queen Continues to Reign
The music of Queen will live on long after most of us are gone. Luckily, a new generation of fans is being introduced to their music as the band continues to create new songs and perform concerts.
In addition, musicians like Metallica, Green Day, Robert Plant, and Brandi Carlisle also cover Queen songs in their performances. So it seems the influence of this British rock band stretches across multiple genres.
What’s your favorite Queen song? Let us know in the comments.