Queen – ‘Killer Queen’
  • Writer: Freddie Mercury
  • Producer: Roy Thomas Baker and Queen
  • Recorded: Summer 1974 at Trident Studios in London
  • Released: October 1974
  • Players:
    Freddie Mercury — vocals, piano
    Brian May — guitar, vocals
    Roger Deacon — bass
    Roger Taylor — drums, vocals
  • Album: Sheer Heart Attack (Uni/Hollywood, 1974)
  • Also On:
    Queen Live Killers (Elektra, 1979)
    Greatest Hits (Elektra, 1981)
    Greatest Hits (Hollywood, 1992)
    The Crown Jewels (Hollywood, 1992)
    Greatest Hits I & II (Hollywood, 1995)
    Gold (EMI, 2003)
  • “Killer Queen” was the first single from Queen‘s third album, Sheer Heart Attack.
  • Lead singer Freddie Mercury wrote the song as an ode to a high-class call girl. “Classy people can be whores, too,” he explained at the time.
  • Guitarist Brian May, meanwhile, felt that “Killer Queen” was “the turning point” in the band’s career — “It was the song that best summed up our kind of music, and a big hit, and we desperately needed it as a mark of something successful happening for us. We were penniless, you know, just like any other struggling rock-and-roll band, all sitting around London.”
  • The song, and the Sheer Heart Attack album, did have their critics, however. As producer Roy Thomas Baker noted, “People didn’t like it at the time, because they thought it was a bit over the top, which it was. It had every conceivable production idea that was available to us.”
  • Both “Killer Queen” and Sheer Heart Attack peaked at Number 12 on their respective Billboard charts.
  • Sheer Heart Attack was Queen’s first album to be certified gold in the U.S.

FAST FORWARD:

  • Mercury’s death from AIDS on November 24th, 1991, brought an end to the band, though not their success. 1975’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” became a Number One hit in the U.K. shortly after Mercury’s death, and it was a hit again in the U.S. after it was used in the soundtrack for the 1992 Mike Myers film Wayne’s World.
  • May and drummer Roger Taylor continue to pursue solo careers. In addition, they’ve overseen a stage musical in London’s West End called We Will Rock You that features Queen’s music, and there have been versions of the show in Australia, Germany, Spain, Russia, the U.S., and Canada.
  • Queen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
  • Queen was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.
  • Queen was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • May and Taylor toured in 2005 and 2006 with Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, performing songs from all of their bands.
  • Bassist John Deacon is no longer active in the music business, and, after some tension a few years back, he seems to get along well again with May and Taylor.
  • May, Taylor, and Rodgers have begun recording new material, and an album and world tour have been announced for the fall of 2008.