Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When I was a 15-year-old boy, Queen had less to do with Elizabeth II than what was, in those days, a very unusual English rock band.

News of the World (1977) was the Queen album that year, giving us songs like “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, songs the band played at sports stadia, where they have remained ever since – every time the home crowd needs a lift, every time the home team wins.

I liked Queen until that record came out. "Bohemian Rhapsody", from a Night at the Opera (1975), was like nothing else I had heard on AM rock radio, maybe the closest thing, in my day, to what "Strawberry Fields Forever" (1967) was to someone eight years older.

Below is the first Queen song I heard, from the album that preceded A Night At The Opera, Sheer Heart Attack (1974):

KILLER QUEEN
(Freddie Mercury)

She keeps Moet et Chandon
In a pretty cabinet
'Let them eat cake' she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can't decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well-versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

Chorus:
She's a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, Gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind
Anytime

Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?

To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from China
Went down to Asia Minor
Then again incidentally
If you're that way inclined

Perfume came naturally from Paris
for cars she couldn't care less
Fastidious and precise

Chorus

Drop of a hat she's as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild
She's out to get you

Chorus

Recommended at the price
Insatiable in appetite
Wanna try?
You wanna try.

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