Queen is an aptly named band, for they are sheer royalty, particularly when the late, great Freddie Mercury would strut his stuff about the stage and regale us with his operatic voice and tales of everything from sex to robots. With a discography that contains some of the best music ever written by any band, it’s easy to remember the classics while others that can hold their own are still lost in the shuffle (pun intended). It is for that reason that we present to you the seven best, lesser-known Queen tracks.
5. “Back Chat” (from the album Hot Space)
While “Back Chat” was released as a single from the album Hot Space and reached #40 on the U.K. Singles Chart, ask anyone in America (aside from the die-hards) if they’ve ever heard this song, and they’ll probably stare at you blankly. Yet this groovy track caused some interesting discord within the band. Guitarist Brian May was unhappy with John Deacon’s idea to remove rock and roll elements from the song. John Deacon was, incidentally, the only member of the band who was raised on soul, as opposed to rock and roll.
4. “Scandal” (from the album The Miracle)
“Scandal,” the third song off of the album The Miracle, was released as a single but did not chart here in the U.S. May wrote this song as a response to the British press, who were hounding both May (over his divorce and then subsequent marriage to actress Anita Dobson) and Mercury (for his health problems that he had not yet disclosed were a result of his positive HIV status).
3. “Mother Love” (from the album Made in Heaven)
1995’s Made in Heaven is the final album to feature Mercury before his death from AIDS complications in 1991, as well as Deacon, who retired from the band two years before Made in Heaven was released. After Mercury’s passing, Deacon, May, and drummer Roger Taylor worked on the parts that Mercury had already completed to flesh the album out. “Mother Love” is the last song May and Mercury wrote together, and May sings the final verse of the song. This was because as they approached the last verse, Mercury said he needed “a rest” and would be back later to finish it. Sadly, he passed before he could finish.
2. “Is This the World We Created?” (from the album The Works)
This ninth track on the original album (before the Hollywood Records reissue in 1991) is still just as appropriate today as it was when it was recorded back in the early ‘80s, perhaps even more so now, as Mercury pleads with us to see what we’re doing to the world in an effort to help us change our ways.
1. “I’m Going Slightly Mad” (from the album Innuendo)
While this second track off of Innuendo was also released as a single, it did not chart here in the U.S. This song is appreciable in particular for its music video, one in which an increasingly ill Mercury, along with the other band members, dress in crazy costumes and partake in silly antics. This was the last time Mercury was able to provide significant creative input on a music video, and it proved how much he cared about his craft and his fans that he would still go to such great lengths to entertain, despite being so ill.