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Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

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Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Old 01-28-16, 07:47 PM
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Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Queen has come up a few times recently in the music thread and I keep wondering this : For those old enough to remember popular music in the 70s, was Queen the sort of band that fans of Led Zep, Pink Floyd and AC/DC would listen to without embarrassment? Now they're considered a great classic Rock band, but I seem to remember my friends in Junior High being pretty under-impressed with them back in the day (and booing a performer who broke out the Bass riff of "Another One Bites The Dust" during a school assembly).
I mean "Somebody To Love" is kind of breathtaking, but doesn't exactly rock. "You're My Best Friend" sounds like a Partridge Family song (c'mon, you know you can see Susan Dey singing "Ooooh you make me live, Oh-Oh-Oh"). "Bicycle Race" is just weird, and not in a "Tomorrow Never Knows" cool sort of way. It certainly isn't traditional 70s Classic Rock. If anything, a lot of their songs seem very, very Poppy.

I just wonder if Freddy's death and Wayne's World shook up our impression of the band to the point they we've convinced ourselves that they were far more revered than they actually were at the time, at least in Rock circles in the U.S. (I'm aware they were huge in Europe).
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Old 01-28-16, 08:00 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

In 1977 Queen played Atlanta. I wanted to go, but my parent's wouldn't let me. The review of the concert in the paper said that the arena was mostly empty. So they weren't extremely popular at that place and time.
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Old 01-28-16, 08:06 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I was a fan when I first heard Killer Queen. Never heard of them being considered not cool. They were cool with me and that's all that mattered.
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Old 01-28-16, 10:32 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I'm not a fan and don't know much of their music, but "Under Pressure" is simply an all-time classic, and "Hammer to Fall" is pretty awesome as well. I also like Mercury's intensity and voice.
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Old 01-28-16, 10:38 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

No question "Under Pressure " is and always was mind-blowingly great. But so-called Rock Snobs could always like that song as a Bowie number and still be dismissive of Queen as a legitimate rock band.

Mercury was one of the all-time great lead singers live, something I never realized until Live Aid in 1985.
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Old 01-28-16, 11:20 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

When Hot Space and The Works came out they lost their street cred. "Radio Ga Ga," really hurt their career in the U.S. - that wasn't true internationally, but in the U.S. they lost almost all of their Rock fans with that one (following the decline of Rock on The Game and then the Rock-less Hot Space).

So, yeah, there was a time when Queen wasn't cool. It took Wayne's World to revive their career here.
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Old 01-29-16, 12:38 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
In 1977 Queen played Atlanta. I wanted to go, but my parent's wouldn't let me. The review of the concert in the paper said that the arena was mostly empty. So they weren't extremely popular at that place and time.
I saw them in 1977 (my first concert at 13) at the Forum in LA (after Day at the Races came out) and it was full. They were sort of nitch popular I think, but Bohemian Rhapsody was played quite a bit around me when it first came out, Somebody to Love was played a fair amount too.

Last edited by Ginwen; 01-29-16 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 01-29-16, 07:29 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
"Radio Ga Ga," really hurt their career in the U.S.
I think the video for "I Want to Break Free" was actually the reason. Even if Roger Taylor was a pretty gorgeous chick
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Old 01-29-16, 08:01 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I was made fun of consistently throughout junior high and high school because I unabashedly named Queen my favorite band. I was called a "queer" and all that stuff because of Freddy Mercury (of which I had NO idea he was a homosexual...how did I miss that? Even if was, I didn't care because I loved the music so much). This was 1980 to 1991.

I was stunned to see some of my redneck macho fraternity brothers in 1992 singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody with the Wayne's World video on MTV. The song had always been a kind of secret that only myself and few others knew about (at least it felt that way). It almost made me hate the song after that.

So, to answer your question, in Alabama listening to Queen was never considered "cool" and you never heard them played on the radio. Very rarely you heard Another Bite The Dust or Crazy Little Thing Called Love but you never heard Bohemian Rhapsody. And you didn't hear We Are The Champions because many in my area felt it was a "gay anthem."

As far as people considering them rock, I have no idea since no one I knew listened to them and radio stations hardly played them.
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Old 01-29-16, 08:09 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Yeah but Alabama always struck me as place where if your music didn't have that twang you craved the wang.
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Old 01-29-16, 08:27 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I cut my teeth on heavy metal in the 80s and Queen wasn't really a blip on my radar. I didn't hate them or anything, but by that time they seemed like more of a pop act. I did hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" on an oldies AM radio station once and it seemed really weird, but kind of fascinating.

Queen really hit the pop culture consciousness in the early 90s when Freddy Mercury died and "Bohemian Rhapsody" was featued in Wayne's World.

As far as their popularity in the 1970s and 80s, I always kind of got the impression that they were more popular in the UK and other parts of the world than in the US.
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Old 01-29-16, 08:43 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

They weren't my thing but I do respect them. I was more into Zeppelin, Purple, and Sabbath.
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Old 01-29-16, 08:57 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Stone Cold Crazy is downright metal.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:20 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I know that the band blames their decline in the US on conservative morality and homophobia, but honestly: few 70s rock bands maintained into the 80s anyhow. Styles shifted and the quality of their music took a bit of a nosedive IMO (everything from the debut album to Jazz is in heavy rotation here, afterwards I pick and choose carefully).

So yes, in the mid to late 80s, Queen was "uncool" in the US. But you couldn't possibly escape "Another One Bites The Dust" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" around 1980/81.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:21 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

was Queen the sort of band that fans of Led Zep, Pink Floyd and AC/DC would listen to without embarrassment
Yes, although I wouldn't put AC/DC in that group. I don't remember them gaining any sort of mass popularity until 1978ish.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:23 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
No question "Under Pressure " is and always was mind-blowingly great. But so-called Rock Snobs could always like that song as a Bowie number and still be dismissive of Queen as a legitimate rock band.

Mercury was one of the all-time great lead singers live, something I never realized until Live Aid in 1985.
Meh, Queen was never ostracized from the classic rock world until "The Game" in 1980.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:32 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I grew up in England. They were always huge in Europe.
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Old 01-29-16, 09:42 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Mercury was one of the all-time great lead singers live, something I never realized until Live Aid in 1985.
May and Deacon were pretty amazing as well.

Queen was always considered one of the best bands in the crowd I hung out with. We would play them often when goofing off, trying to cover our favorite songs. Songs from the entire career, even songs from The Game (have no idea why people dislike that album, so many great songs beyond the two hits).

Unlike many other who only like their earlier material, many of my favorite Queen tracks come from their last few albums. Hammer to Fall, One Vision, Who Wants to Live Forever, I Want It All, Innuendo, Headlong, The Show Must Go On, Let Me Live.
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Old 01-29-16, 11:07 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
When Hot Space and The Works came out they lost their street cred. "Radio Ga Ga," really hurt their career in the U.S. - that wasn't true internationally, but in the U.S. they lost almost all of their Rock fans with that one (following the decline of Rock on The Game and then the Rock-less Hot Space).
A lot of their 80s work is downright awful and embarrassing in my opinion. It was funny to me how they use to write "No Synthesizers!" on their albums from Queen II to A Day at the Races and then later on embrace them fully. Hot Space is the low point of their career.
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Old 01-29-16, 11:16 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Growing up in the '80s in California I can say that for all intents and purposes Queen did not exist. You might hear We Will Rock You at a sporting event, but never on the radio. Their music fell outside the format. Rock stations were playing heavily commercial, blues-based hard rock like Poison and Motley Crew and G&R, and alternative rock radio was focused on things that were more punk and DIY, not polished studio music.

Wayne's World had an absolutely astonishing effect. It was like night and day. And sadly just as they were on this precipice of revived interest, the guy dies. It's really a shame.
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Old 01-29-16, 11:40 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Funny how often Wayne's World is gets mentioned as bringing back Queen. Certainly true that it put them back on the radar for causal fans, or people that never really were fans at all.

But if I was to point at one thing that really brought them back it was that Live Aid performance. I was surprised how many people bought this album and started paying attention to them again based on that one performance. There was no official release of that Live Aid performance for many years, and this disc came as close as you could get:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Magic

Queen really brought it that day at Live Aid and even non-fans took note.
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Old 01-29-16, 11:54 AM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I can't really speak for the era during which they were originally around (with Mercury) but I've always enjoyed their hits more than anything. I'm sure they have good album cuts that aren't necessarily considered hits but they just were never a band I got very big into.
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Old 01-29-16, 12:28 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

I've also been surprised just how many bands, especially metal bands, cite them a significant influence. Many are more familiar with the covers of Queen songs than the original version by Queen. Stone Cold Crazy is a great example.
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Old 01-29-16, 12:50 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

How about Rush. They seem pretty nerdy, I can only assume their fans were more "shunned" than that of Queens. Styx too.
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Old 01-29-16, 01:08 PM
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Re: Was Queen Always Considered "Rock" and "Cool" To Listen To?

Unlike Queen, Rush maintained a measure of commercial popularity from the 70s straight through the 80s and even into the early/mid 90s.
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