Queen: guaranteed to blow your mind (but not always in a good way)

Freddie Mercury on stage at Wembley Stadium, 1986
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Over the 20-odd years that the classic line-up was together, Queen made such an impact on music that there’s always some tenuous anniversary waiting to be celebrated. So, as this year marks the fortieth anniversary of Bohemian Rhapsody, the thirtieth of the band’s career-defining performance at Live Aid and the twentieth of their final, posthumous album with the legendary Freddie Mercury on vocals, here’s a brief history of Queen’s albums from 1973 to 1995. Although each of the band’s releases has something to recommend it (some more than others, it must be said), as much as I love them I think it’s fair to say that quality control wasn’t always Queen’s strongest point. With that in mind I’ve highlighted the best and worst track on each album and collated them into two handy Spotify playlists: Killer Queen and Filler Queen. Naturally your experience may vary, so no threatening letters, emails or photos of yourself riding a bicycle in the nude, please. Continue reading

Another day, another girl

Lambrettas "Page Three" label
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I’m hearing today that The Sun has quietly dropped the idea of decorating page 3 of their “newspaper” with a photo of a lady in the nip. Thus ends a bizarrely British custom dating back to the early 1970s, when standards were different, tabloid papers were strictly monochrome and the printing process distinctly low definition. Even so, the practice of having a topless woman in the paper for absolutely no reason at all was always baffling, and by 1980 there were murmurs of discontent coming from an unexpected source… Continue reading