Between a world of cancelled and postponed gigs and time spent in lockdown, 2020 has been a troubled year, but nevertheless, time marches on. Unbelievably, we’ve reached December and our traditional countdown to Christmas has begun.
Real Gone’s first Queen poll, looking at the band’s 70s work, was a roaring success. Hot on its heels, we ran a second poll asking you to vote for your favourite songs from the second phase of their much-celebrated career. While similarly successful, the second poll showed how much love fans have for band’s singles – in this case, far more so than the album material.
There’s no denying the quality of Queen’s hits between 1980-1991. Aside from those from the “marmite” album ‘Hot Space’ (1982), the band achieved wall-to-wall greatness in the singles department during their stadium years; their singles still in regular radio rotation the world over. …And fans clearly still love them.
Over the past week, Real Gone has been running a poll covering Queen’s seventies output. We knew the idea would get people talking, since Queen are one of the few bands that could be considered a global phenomenon. We had no idea when it began whether the well known hits would dominate, or whether the long-standing fans would speak out for some of those lesser heard album cuts. [Full results here.]
Almost 1,300 votes were cast, and one thing is clear. People still absolutely adore ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It’s so entrenched within the Queen legacy, it’s become almost unavoidable. Although there’s a vast amount of great material recorded by the band between 1973-78, it was guaranteed a high placing, but it secured the top spot within hours and then held onto a fairly commanding lead. It’s easy to dismiss the song as overplayed, but if we are able to step aside from that fact for a moment, it’s still a fantastically crafted piece of music, unlike anything in rock music before, and – a couple of other Queen numbers aside – still stands out from so much since.
In recent years, the market has almost been flooded with Queen compilations. We’ve seen ‘Absolute Queen’, three volumes of ‘Deep Cuts’ and most recently ‘Queen Forever’ a collection of ballads with a couple of unreleased bits to tempt the die-hard fan.
The band really pleased fans when they issued the complete ‘Live At The Rainbow ’74’ show, a live set capturing the very early Queen on fire. This release has led to some speculation as to whether more live sets will be issued. We all know that excellent quality footage from Hammersmith 1975 and Hyde Park 1976 exists in the Queen vault, but some fans are currently speculating about an expanded reissue of the classic ‘Live Killers’ disc…
To coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the much celebrated Rainbow shows, Queen will finally make those legendary gigs available in a deluxe package this coming September.
Although circulating on bootleg recordings for years, up until now, only highlights of Queen’s Rainbow gigs have ever been released officially, with 45 minutes worth of gig footage available as part of a limited edition box set.