And whereas each single Queen hit was sung by Mr. Mercury, there have been fairly a number of album cuts that includes Might and Taylor as lead singers which might be additionally standout tunes, as effectively – though admittedly, not well-known exterior of fanatics of the band. As a loyal Queen fan since 1980 (heck, and I am even the creator of the guide Lengthy Reside Queen: Rock Royalty Focus on Freddie, Brian, John & Roger!) and well-versed within the band’s discography/historical past, I may be trusted as your information by the 5 finest Queen songs that weren’t sung by Freddie.
“Some Day One Day” – Queen II (1974)
In case you’re a rock band and your debut album did not precisely storm the charts, a “course re-plot” could also be in retailer for the all-important sophomore effort. Not Queen. On Queen II, the band went fully excessive production-wise – with layered vocals (that gave the impression of a choir), guitar harmonies, fantasy lyrical topics (“Ogre Battle”), and so on. And the transfer paid off, as they scored their first-ever UK hit single, “Seven Seas of Rhye.”
However the album can be famous as the primary Queen LP to characteristic a tune by Brian Might on lead vocals, on the tune “Some Day One Day” (in case you had been questioning, Roger Taylor was the primary member aside from Freddie to sing lead – on the tune “Fashionable Occasions Rock n’ Roll” off their debut).
One of many extra melodic tunes on Queen II, “Some Day One Day” accommodates what appears to be a lyrical message of “tomorrow’s going to be a brighter day” – notably within the closing lyrics of every verse (“No star can gentle our means on this cloud of darkish and concern, However some day, in the future…”; “In the present day the cloud, it hangs over us and all is gray, However some day, in the future…”; after which lastly, “So nonetheless the cloud it hangs over us and we’re alone, However some day in the future…we’ll come dwelling”).
Additionally of observe, Queen II included a number of tunes that really reference the band’s identify – most clearly within the tune titles “White Queen (As It Started)” and “The March of the Black Queen,” but in addition inside this tune, with the lyric “And also you shall be a queen.”
“Lengthy Away” – A Day on the Races (1976)
After the grandiose manufacturing and compositions featured all through A Evening on the Opera (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Prophet’s Track,” “Seaside Rendezvous,” and so on.), Queen took a step towards a extra simple method on its follow-up, A Day on the Races. The primary-ever Queen LP to not have any enter in any respect from Roy Thomas Baker, the group was solely credited as producer.
Just like the earlier entry on this listing, “Lengthy Away” is a melodic rocker, penned and sung by Might. And in addition much like “Some Day One Day,” this tune possesses a constructive lyrical message, as evidenced by such lyrics as “Take coronary heart, my pal, we love you although it looks like you are alone; One million lights above you smile down upon your property” and “Hurry, put your troubles in a suitcase come let the brand new baby play.”
And as with numerous Queen compositions, Might assembles his trademark “guitar military” for the solo (creating multi-layered guitar components that create harmonies), whereas the backing vocals (supplied by Might, Mercury, and Taylor) had been layered as soon as extra in such a fashion to create a choir-like impact.
“Drowse” – A Day on the Races (1976)
All through their recording profession, Queen tackled quite a lot of types – metallic, pop, dance, rockabilly, ballads, prog, punk, new wave, calypso, blues, and so on. However not often did they ever method “psychedelic territory.” Nonetheless, they did no less than one time – with this missed Taylor tune, additionally off A Day on the Races.
“Drowse” can also be one of many few Queen compositions to prominently characteristic slide guitar (whereas one other tune on the album consists of slide, “Tie Your Mom Down,” it’s solely within the guitar solo part) – which creates a dreamy…sure, drowsy impact all through. And lyrically, it seems that Taylor is having a look again on his early/pre-Queen days – notably such lyrics as “It is the unhappy eyed goodbye yesterday’s moments I bear in mind” and “Half of the time we might broaden our minds extra within the pool corridor than we did within the faculty corridor.”
Tracing Queen’s roots, it isn’t a lot of a shock that trippy sonics seeped into their sound no less than this one time, as they usually listed such ’60s rock icons because the Beatles and Cream as prime influences early on. And lastly, one ultimate hyperlink between the tune and psychedelia – one of many prime stars of late ’60s in style music is talked about simply because the tune begins to fade out (within the line “Jimi Hendrix, he was good”).
“Battle from the Inside” – Information of the World (1977)
Whereas “One other One Bites the Mud” is commonly credited as Queen’s first foray into dance sounds, there have been a number of situations within the ‘70s once they acquired surprisingly funky. And the Taylor-penned (and Information of the World aspect one nearer) “Battle from the Inside” does comprise an unmistakable dance-vibe. However not like when the band ultimately fully embraced dance (particularly, aspect certainly one of 1982’s Sizzling Area), Might’s guitar work balances out the funk with the rock on this explicit observe.
Penned totally by Taylor, the drummer additionally handles lead vocals. Lyrically, the tune seems to be about “watch out what you would like for” from a rock star perspective, as evidenced by such strains as “You are simply one other image on a teenage wall” and “You are simply one other money-spinner device, you are simply one other idiot.”
Additionally, the drummer was pulling not simply double responsibility on the observe, however quite quintuple responsibility (by supplying lead vocals, backing vocals, drums, bass, and extra guitar work).
And it seems that Queen was not the one different arduous rockin’ band experimenting with funk sounds round this time. Working example, such tunes as “Fame” by David Bowie, “Trampled Underfoot” by Led Zeppelin, “Final Youngster” by Aerosmith, “Dancing within the Moonlight (It is Caught Me in Its Highlight)” by Skinny Lizzy, and “One other Brick within the Wall (Half 2)” by Pink Floyd, amongst others.
“Sail Away Candy Sister” – The Recreation (1980)
Out of all of the tunes included on this listing, the one which had the perfect shot at changing into a bona fide hit was this energy ballad from The Recreation, sung by Brian. Particularly whenever you assume again to the quantity of energy ballads that stormed the charts in the course of the early ‘80s (“Open Arms” by Journey, “The Better of Occasions” by Styx, “Preserve On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon, and so on.), “Sail Away Candy Sister” would have made sense as a single. Which results in the apparent query…why wasn’t it ever issued as a single?
Supposedly the band – or particularly, Brian – felt uncomfortable issuing a non-Freddie-sung tune as a single by the band (though Freddie does present a lead vocal cameo within the tune’s bridge). And the tune follows the now-famous energy ballad tune construction – comfortable verses, anthemic choruses, and a searing/emotive guitar solo. So far as the tune’s lyrical which means, its full title affords a clue – “Sail Away Candy Sister (To the Sister I By no means Had).” And in case you had been questioning, sure, Brian Might was an solely baby.
Though the tune was by no means carried out reside by Queen, it has been by Might solo in 1998, and even by Weapons N’ Roses – or extra particularly, Axl Rose a capella – in 1992 (together with a pro-shot efficiency from Tokyo, which ultimately leads into one other a capella snippet of Grand Funk’s “Unhealthy Time,” earlier than launching right into a full-band efficiency of “Candy Youngster o’ Mine”).
Greg Prato is a longtime AllMusic contributor and creator of a number of books, together with Lengthy Reside Queen: Rock Royalty Focus on Freddie, Brian, John & Roger.