Queen defined the glam pop excess of the 1970s. Combining elements of vaudeville, prog rock, camp and stage theatrics, Queen became one of the biggest rock bands in the world in the mid 70s.
The band formed at London’s Imperial College as “Smile” in the late 60s, recruiting a dental student for drums, and picking up an avid fan, a baggage handled named Farrokh “Freddie” Bulsara. Soon Smile lost their singer and the fan joined, using the name Freddie Mercury, and the band renamed themselves Queen.
In 1975 Queen released “A Night at the Opera” with the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” staying at #1 in the UK for 9 weeks. To avoid having to lip sync the song on BBC, Queen produced a video of the song to be aired on “Top of the Pops”. The video is considered to be the first true music video.
From the mid 70s thru the 80s Queen toured worldwide, setting a number of firsts including being the first major rock band to play shows in Latin America, and attracted an audience of 300,00 for a show in Argentina.
1982’s “Hot Space” was the first album to include collaboration with an outside artist. David Bowie appears on “Under Pressure”, after showing up unannounced while the band was recording in Germany.
After reports in 1988 described Mercury as appearing gaunt, he initially replied that he was exhausted, but it was eventually revealed that he was suffering from AIDS. Although Queen continued to record, by 1991 Freddie Mercury released a prepared statement from his deathbed confirming that he had AIDS. On November 24th, 1991 Freddie Mercury died.