Original UK Release Date: 30 June 1980
“40 Years of Glam Rocking Genius” – NME 14th March 2001
“Britain’s Best Loved Band” – The Sun 25th February 2011
Between 1977 and 1982 Queen officially became the most successful band in the world, releasing some of the biggest and best songs of all time including ‘Tie Your Mother Down’, ‘Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, ‘Bicycle Race’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, ‘Save Me’, ‘Play The Game’, ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘Flash’ and ‘Under Pressure’ featuring David Bowie.
Island Records reissued the five Queen albums from this period on June 6th 2011 as part of the band’s 40th Anniversary celebrations – ‘News of the World’, ‘Jazz’, ’The Game’, ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Hot Space’. The reissues will be accompanied by the second in the ‘Queen: Deep Cuts’ series, which looks at some of the lesser known tracks from these albums.
These five albums were recorded as Queen’s UK stadium success spread to the USA, South America, Europe and Asia and are the sound of a band breaking through the crash barriers of their own limitless ambition. The early 80’s saw the band conquer South America for the first time, creating rock history when they played at the Morumbi Stadium in Brazil to 131,000 people – then the largest paying audience for a single band anywhere in the world.
If the early 70’s and the first five albums Queens released represented the band’s hard-rocking years, then the late 70’s and early 80’s represented their hard partying era. As Brian, Roger, Freddie and John toured the world their reputation for off-stage rock’n’roll extravagance grew with stories of legendary party excess from Kensington to Copacabana informing the Queen mythology.
The Queen image changed too in the second half of the 70s. Infamously Sid Vicious bumped into Freddie Mercury at Wessex Studios where both Pistols and Queen are recording – ‘Ullo Fred – I see you’ve bought ballet to the masses then!’ Says Sid, eyeing up Freddie’s legendary ballet pumps. ‘Ah Mr Ferocious. Yes, doing my best dear’ retorted Freddie.
It was also during this period that one of the most iconic images in contemporary music was developed, when in 1980 Freddie Mercury grew perhaps the most famous moustache of modern times! Inspired by his adventures in the Lower East Side New York nightlife of the late 70’s, the moustache and attendant leathers completely reinvented the band’s look. Famously the moustache caused outrage among many fans who mailed him disposable razors.
These five albums highlight the diverse talent, musical ambition and already global success of a band made up of some of the best songwriters, musicians and performers of all time.