In the 1970s, there was no insult you could hurl a band’s way worse than, “Oh, they’re a singles band.”
After “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the album was considered an art form. From that moment on, every musician fell all over themselves to produce a definitive statement of 40 minutes or more, to showcase their refusal to sully themselves with chart success.
Queen never signed up for that, and would happily point to their many chart-topping singles as evidence that they had no use for such pretentious shenanigans. Lead singer Freddie Mercury, who was one of the best goddamn singers who ever lived, took it even further.
“My songs are like Bic razors,” he is quoted as saying in the book Freddie Mercury: His Life in His Own Words. “For fun, for modern consumption. You listen to it, like it, discard it, then on to the next. Disposable pop.”
Queen’s music has hung around now for decades, so if it was supposed to be disposable, nobody actually went to the trouble of disposing of it. But while their singles are probably what introduced most people to the band, they also created music that was as good as any of the chart-toppers.
Here are 10 songs from Queen’s catalog that are frequently overlooked, and which deserve your attention just as much as the well-known stuff.
“White Queen (As It Began)” from Queen II
“’39” from A Night at the Opera
“The Prophet’s Song” from A Night at the Opera
“All Dead, All Dead” from News of the World
“It’s Late” from News of the World
“My Melancholy Blues” from News of the World
“Save Me” from The Game
“The Hero” from Flash Gordon
“Who Wants to Live Forever?” from A Kind of Magic
“The Show Must Go On” from Innuendo