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February 17 , 2008

The Mammoth Book of Freddie Mercury and Queen


There has never been a band quite like Queen, and it’s hard to imagine that there will be again. While a number of groups may have had a go at rock, prog rock, opera, funk, pop, and twenties pastiche, few, if any, have done so on a single album.

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Unusually, not just one or two, but every member of the band was a great songwriter. And while bands like ELO may have made similar use of layered harmonies, Queen were emphatically the pioneers of this vocal style.

From the stadium anthem ‘We Will Rock You’ to the Fifties retro of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and the slick synth-pop of ‘I Want to Break Free’ to the unlikeliest Number One ever, the category-defying ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, with its unlikely blend of strutting rock and operatic intrigue, Queen was truly a band like no other.

Egan, as he has done so successfully in Mammoth Books on The Beatles, Bob Dylan and, most recently, The Rolling Stones presents a bumper selection of writing, both old and new on Mercury, bassist John Deacon, guitarist Brian May, and drummer Roger Taylor: features, interviews, reviews, and opinion pieces to created a rounded portrait of one of history’s most remarkable groups.

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