1984-1995: THE SHOW MUST GO ON
’40 Years of Glam Rocking Genius” NME 14th March 2001
‘Britain’s Best Loved Band’ The Sun 25th February 2011
‘Remastered Queen is jaw-dropping for its rabble-rousing consistency’ Q August 2011
Between 1984 and 1995 Queen released their last five studio albums and consolidated their reputation as the biggest, brashest and boldest band in the world. They achieved legendary status as they delivered THE defining performance of the century at Live Aid as well as headlining massive stadium concerts all over the world. Queen also released some of their best loved and most anthemic work in this period, before and after the passing ofFreddieMercuryin 1991.
Now in 2011 Island Records reissue the five Queen albums from this period on September 5th (to coincide with what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday) as part of the band’s 40th Anniversary celebrations – ‘The Works’, ‘A Kind Of Magic’, ‘The Miracle’, ‘Innuendo’ and ‘Made In Heaven’. The reissues will be accompanied by the third in the ‘Queen: Deep Cuts’ series, which looks at some of the lesser known tracks from these albums.
Many Queen favourites were released during this period including ‘Radio Gaga’ (the track from which Lady Gaga took her name), ‘I Want To Break Free’ (complete with the infamous cross-dressing Coronation Street parody video that MTV banned in the US), ‘One Vision’, ‘A Kind of Magic’, ‘I Want It All’, ‘The Miracle’ and ‘These Are The Days of Our Lives’ (featuring Freddie’s final haunting video appearance).
These five albums cover the era when Queen were elevated to truly legendary status as they stole the show at Live Aid in front of a global TV audience of 1.9 billion people, and wowed audiences with subsequent headline shows at Knebworth and Wembley in 1986, the latter recently voted by the public as one of the most iconic events ever seen at the stadium. This was also Queen’s most consistent period of commercial success with each of the five albums going platinum in the UK and ‘A Kind of Magic’ and ‘Made in Heaven’ each selling over 1 million copies, the latter doing so four years after Freddie’s death showing that the Queen legacy reigns eternal.
As well as their huge UK gigs they continued the global domination of the late 70’s playing Rock in Rio twice to crowds of over 300,000 each time. On their subsequent Magic tour they sold over 1 million tickets around the world playing the first ever stadium gig in Eastern Europe at the Nepstadium in Budapest with fans hitchhiking from all over the Eastern Bloc to attend.
After Freddie’s death The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert saw a packed Wembley set alight again to the music of Queen once again in April 1992, with stars from all over the world joining Queen surviving members John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor on stage. Subsequently The Mercury Phoenix Trust was founded to help distribute money raised from this concert for AIDS awareness. Since then, the Trust has raised and distributed over $15 million to help in the fight against AIDS. The charity has just created a truly unique initiative with the launch of the ‘Freddie For A Day’ Global Charity Network.
Queens 40th Anniversary year has kicked off in spectacular style so far with their first ever major exhibition ‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos’ in London’s East End which drew an incredible crowd of over 20,000 visitors in two weeks, and kicked off with a star studded launch party attended by the likes of Foo Fighters and Jessie J.
A recent two part BBC TV documentary drew widespread rave reviews asBrianMay andRogerTaylorlooked back over their first 40 years in detail for the first time. The Guardian described it as ‘fantastic and moving’.
Meanwhile the bands first ten albums have been reissued to considerable acclaim. The Telegraph said of their early work, ‘Queen’s greatest music was extravagantly innovative, technically brilliant and created with a jeweller’s care.’
These last five studio albums highlight the diverse talent, musical ambition and global success of a band made up of some of the best songwriters, musicians and performers of all time.